TG327 - Steam Turbine Operation Practices & Alarm Response

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4.5 days - 2.9 Continuing Education Units Awarded

Course Dates Download Brochure PDF
USD 2,695.00

Because our clients asked for a Seminar “emphasizing” operator understanding and response to operational problems.

When things go wrong, with respect to steam turbine operations, they go wrong quickly! 

  • Packing rubs can occur for what might appear to be, no apparent reason.  Your gut reaction on what to do, when a packing rub occurs, can be seriously wrong!  Learn the concepts here and be prepared.
  • One moment all is fine, and the next moment the alarms are dancing off the wall (or CRT).  Could it be a water induction incident?  The next few minutes of decision making and operator action is critical!  Learn how the turbine is impacted and what one should or should not do.
  • We often hear that there are two lines of defense against overspeed.  Learn, exactly what they are and what they are not!
  • Haven’t seen that vibration trend before.  What does it mean?  Learn what data needs to be collected to answer this question and how to come to an answer as well.
  • The lube oil temperature is 110oF while on turning gear.  So what?  Learn why this can be an issue.
  • .. and the list of issues go on.

This Seminar is intended to have a positive impact upon steam turbine operator decision-making.  The Seminar specifically targets Control Room Operators, wannabe CRO, and Shift Supervisors.  Engineers can benefit as well.  It has been HPC’s experience that all too often that the procedures for starting up and loading a steam turbine are based upon hand-me-down communications.  Too often, equipment has been improved but procedures have not.  Too often, equipment has been replaced, but the procedures have not been altered.  This Seminar is not intended to develop or discuss procedures, but is, instead, directed toward development, in the operational personnel, a thorough “understanding” of what considerations the ideal procedures are based upon.  HPC believes that if personnel thoroughly understand the operating concepts the result will be less forced outages, improved efficiency and improved availability.

Emphasis is on those steam turbines driving large generators.  HPC’s “Steam Turbine Operating Practices & Alarm Response” Seminar is instructed by experienced OEM engineers.  A topical outline includes:  Review of Steam Turbine Operating Theory, a Review of Steam Turbine Components, Auxiliary Systems, Thermal Stress, Turbine Supervisory Instrumentation, Steam Turbine Control Concepts, Normal Operation, Failure Modes, and Abnormal Operations.  The discussion on Normal Operation is to include Methods of Prewarming, Starting and Loading Instructions, Load Change Considerations, and Normal Shutdowns.  The discussion on Abnormal Operation is to include:  Eccentricity Issues, Packing Rubs, Effect of Synchronizing Errors, Lube Oil Problems during Startup, Water Induction (an in-depth discussion), Overspeed (Normal, Emergency and Destructive), Vibration Trends as a Telltale of Operational Problems, Differential Expansion Issues, Effects of Frequency Deviation, Vacuum Breaking, High Exhaust Hood Temperatures, Over Pressure/Temperature at Inlet, and Feedwater Heater Removal.


  1. Describe those steam turbine components that are susceptible to damage in abnormal operating conditions.
  2. Describe the type of damage that could occur and what the operator can (or cannot) do to correct for the situation.
  3. Describe in detail the function of the turbine support systems, procedural issues, “typical” abnormal conditions, and operator corrective action.
  4. Draw a simple block - diagram that describes all the elements of steam turbine controls: speed, load, and pressure control, the generation of a servomechanism signal, feedback and regulation.
  5. Describe the function of each of the block diagram elements drawn.
  6. Describe each of those operating parameters monitored by turbine supervisory instruments.
  7. Describe operating conditions where an eccentricity detector is used to include detailed discussion on what is acceptable (or not acceptable) and operator actions.
  8. Describe operating conditions where a shell expansion detector is used to include detailed discussion on what is acceptable (or not acceptable) and operator actions.
  9. Describe operating conditions where a differential expansion detector is used to include detailed discussion on what is acceptable (or not acceptable) and operator actions.
  10. Describe the causes of steam turbine vibration to include data to be recorded, detailed discussion on how to recognize the major causes of turbine vibration, and operator actions.
  11. Describe normal steam turbine start-up procedures.
  12. Describe normal steam turbine shutdown procedures.
  13. List and describe those actions that can be taken by operations to minimize efficiency losses.
  14. List abnormal conditions often experienced in operating steam turbines, and for each abnormal condition discussed:
    1. Describe any operational symptoms.
    2. Describe how the steam turbine is at risk.
    3. Describe typical controls’ automatic response.
    4. Describe required (recommended) operator response.

Seminar OUTLINE:

  1. Monday
    1. Steam Turbine Fundamental Review: Theory, Turbine Sections and Component Descriptions
    2. Turbine Systems: Lubricating Oil Systems, Gland Steam and Water Seal Systems and Hydraulic Power Unit (where applicable).  Emphasis is on abnormal operations as opposed to being a "system description".
    3. Turbine Supervisory Instrument Location & Function: Eccentricity, Speed Detection, Valve Position, Vibration, Shell Expansion, Differential Expansion, Metal Temperatures
  2. Tuesday
    1. Steam Turbine Control Concepts: Speed Control, Load Control, Limiters, Flow Control, Extraction Turbines, Overspeed and Reset System, Overspeed Trip
    2. Wednesday
    3. Turbine Normal Operations: Thorough Examination of the Cause and Effect of Thermal Stress, Starting and Loading Procedures (including what the OEM didn’t tell you), Drains, Pre-warming Procedures, Normal Operations, Load Changes, Shutdown
    4. Failure Modes
  3. Thursday
    1. Vibration Analysis as an Indicator of Abnormal Operating Conditions:  Oil Whip, Bowed Rotors, Packing Rubs (Low Speed versus High Speed), Mechanical Unbalance, Resonant Vibration, Coupling Unbalance, Cracked Rotors,
    2. Abnormal Conditions: Detection, Potential Results and Operator Action to Prevent Loss: Loss of Turning Gear, Extended Turning Gear Operation, Inability to Stay on Turning Gear during Prewarm, Abnormal Cooler Discharge Oil Temperatures, Bearing Wipes, Water Induction, Excessive Differential Expansion, Axial Rubs, Low Speed Operation, Sling-Shot Starts, Low Frequency Operation, High Exhaust Hood Temperatures, Vacuum Breaking, Over Pressure, Over Temperature, Loss of Boiler, Inlet Pressure Fluctuations, Valve Oscillation, Governor Bobble, Full-Load Rejection, Hot Restarts, Feedwater Heater Removal
  4. Friday
    1. Abnormal Conditions: Detection, Potential Results and Operator Action to Prevent Loss Continued
    2. Periodic Tests