The Monitor

Production Process Insights

What You Need to Know For a Stress-Free Power Plant Shutdown

Posted by Joe Kreinus on 10/5/16 11:00 AM

Power plant at mid-day before shutting down

Shutting down a power plant is a complex process that can be stressful and complicated. But having a step-by-step process to follow can simplify the entire procedure, especially when it comes to shutting down and servicing steam and water sample conditioning systems or analyzers.

Why shut down?

Power plant operators typically shut down power plants and schedule maintenance in the spring and the fall to help ensure that the plants are available to meet peak electric demand in the summer and winter.

With the U.S. Energy Information Administration projecting that world energy consumption will grow by 48% between 2012 and 2040, it’s more critical than ever to ensure power plants are maintained properly to deliver the reliable power we need.

Protect plant equipment – Scheduling an outage prevents damaging plant equipment, which can cost millions of dollars.

Safety – Following a step-by-step approach to shutting down your power plant ensures the safety of personnel and plant equipment. It allows operators to systematically inspect every aspect of the plant before, during and after the shutdown to prevent accidents and injuries.

Maintenance – During a shutdown, operators can handle general maintenance, repairs and modifications, which can help prevent unexpected outages during high demand times. Regular maintenance ensures analyzers are calibrated and safely operating at peak performance with adequate levels of reagents.

Cost – Planning an outage in spring and fall, when demand is lower, minimizes the overall cost of the shutdown. It also helps reduce expensive outages later in the year.

Nuclear power plant cooling towers reflected in water

 Steam and Water Analysis System Shutdown Maintenance Checklist

 This checklist helps ensure a safe and successful shutdown that protects your assets, operators and the  environment.


  Safety inspection – Look for steam and / or water leaks

 ▯ Check for blowdown valve leaks with an infrared camera

 ▯ Check for hot spots in coolers with an infrared camera


 ▯ Inspect lagging and insulation

 ▯ Inspect and clean Variable Pressure-Reducting Elements (VREL) Valves

 ▯ Remove, disassemble, inspect and clean sample coolers

 ▯ Disassemble and clean flow meters

 ▯ Replace or rebuild blowdown valves

 ▯ Install new “pristine” blowdown valves

 ▯ Test Thermal Shutoff Valves (TSVs) and replace if necessary

 ▯ Place instrumentation in lay-up

 ▯ Clean Temperature Control Unit (TCU) condenser coils

Print This Checklist

Make the most of your scheduled shutdown

Choosing the right service partner can help you achieve more before, during and after a scheduled shutdown.

Look for a partner that can give you a comprehensive service plan, including regularly scheduled preventative maintenance; troubleshooting; safety inspections; analyzer calibration, verification and certification.

Your partner should dedicate local service technicians to your facility so they fully understand your challenges and goals. These experts can inspect the condition of components; clean, repair or replace wearable parts; replenish reagents and other consumables; and test sample flow and filter systems. They can also coordinate the ordering of consumables and reagents so you have them on hand for continued smooth operation.

Schedule Your Safety Inspection Today!

Topics: Power, Steam & Water

Written by Joe Kreinus

Picture of Joe Kreinus
As Director of Parts and Service, Joe Kreinus works with customers to actively improve company's sampling systems through specification development, review, installation, and maintenance. Joe is driven to find the best solution, parts, and service for the specific needs of each unique application and customer. He is committed to serving customers in all Sentry sampling markets. Joe also has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Green Bay and enjoys coaching his three children in fast pitch softball and baseball.