The surge of activity in new combined cycle power plant construction, retrofit, and expansion has led to a greater need for engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services. Busy EPC engineers need to do thorough due diligence when selecting a system supplier for instrument enclosures:
Do they offer engineering design?
Do they offer a complete system solution?
Are they a core technology expert?
Do they offer installation services?
Do they offer training?
Demand stretches resources thin
This growing demand places increased pressure on resource-challenged EPC contractors to successfully meet client expectations and deliver power plant design and construction within the agreed-upon time frame. Streamlining processes for increased productivity and improved efficiency are necessary for keeping the project on track and within budget. Delivering quality is equally important — not only for the job at hand, but also to maintain a good reputation within the power generation community to be recommended and considered for future projects. EPC firms need to choose suppliers they can rely on to deliver quality, comprehensive system solutions from concept to completion.
Measurement and monitoring of differential pressure and pressure flow control are vital to combined power plant operation. A heated instrument enclosure system is the primary tool used within the power industry to monitor pressure and flow. Let us explore factors to consider when selecting a heated instrumentation system supplier.
Keeping the lights on
Combined cycle power plants use both gas and steam turbines to produce over fifty percent more electricity than traditional power plants. Within a power plant that uses a combined cycle system, high-temperature, high-pressure steam flows through large piping systems. This steam is used as a primary energy source to turn the turbine that produces the electricity being sold to the grid. These large pipes must be continually monitored by instrument enclosure systems to ensure proper flow and pressures are being maintained to the turbine.
How a heated enclosure system works
Measurements are taken regularly and signals are sent through heated tubing bundles to instrument pressure transmitters located throughout the plant. The pressure transmitters read the pressure levels and calculate flow rates. These transmitters are usually located outdoors and housed in heated enclosures to protect against harsh conditions. A typical power plant might have as many as one hundred pressure transmitters, each with custom instrumentation specific to its location in the plant.
What to consider when choosing a supplier
Partnering with the right heated instrument enclosure supplier is critical to successful plant startup and operation. Just because a supplier offers a complete system, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best solution. When vetting suppliers, EPC firms should consider partners that not only provide a system solution, but also are core technology experts offering engineering assistance, installation, and training. In other words, many suppliers may not specialize in engineering design, they may outsource the system components, or they may not offer installation and training services. So, when a problem or technical question arises, the supplier will most likely need to contact their supplier, which may very well result in delays, errors, rework, and additional costs. Ideally, the supplier should manufacture all of the components to ensure in-depth engineering knowledge of the system and consistent product quality.
Parker Hannifin, for example, is well known in the power industry as a leading engineering design and manufacturing company for instrumentation products and thermal control heated bundles. Parker offers fully integrated pressure and differential pressure instruments as part of its heated tubing bundle system for low pressure, medium pressure and high pressure applications.
A comprehensive turnkey system solution
Parker has expanded its product offering to include the HES heated enclosure, a robust fiber reinforced polyester (FRP) enclosure and sun shade to protect field mounted instrumentation from severe weather, extreme radiant sun heat, sub-zero temperatures, and damage from airborne dirt and dust particles, falling debris or even accidental breakage. Other benefits of the system include:
- Protection from harsh conditions extends instrument life and eliminates downtime caused by instrument failures. During downtime, no electricity is produced resulting in revenue loss.
- Unique double seal technology with a built-in molded groove and tongue seal provides an IP65 rating.
- Better protection means fewer instrument replacements and a savings of thousands of dollars in maintenance costs.
- Meets hot surface personnel protection 140°F (60°C), per NEC 427.12.
- Ready to install system reduces field labor costs.
This new “all in one” heated enclosure system includes manifolds, instrument, fittings, and heating systems pre-fitted, pressure tested, certified, and delivered to the job site ready to mount on to a 2” NB pipe stand. For added convenience, each component is tagged for location in the plant.
Core technology expert
Since Parker manufactures all of the components of the heated enclosure system, including the instrumentation, EPC firms can rest assured they are partnering with a core technology expert to provide materials of the highest quality — there is no need to worry about where the components are sourced. Parker will provide the system engineering designs as well as installation and training services.
Additional benefits of partnering with Parker
- Reputation – Parker is the industry leader in engineering design as well as instrument and heated bundle manufacturing.
- Simplify the project management process – one supplier for the entire system, and only one technical and commercial contract to deal with.
- Cost savings – ready to install system reduces field installation labor costs.
- Custom designs available – large panel instrument systems can be customized to house multiple instruments at a centralized point within the plant to simplify long-term operational usage and maintenance.
For additional information on Parker heated enclosure systems, download this brochure.
Are you attending Power-Gen International?
To learn more about the HES Heated Enclosure System, attend a presentation or visit with us anytime during the show at booth 2208, Power-Gen International, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida, December 13 – 15, 2016. Power-Gen International is the world's largest power generation event, providing comprehensive coverage of the trends, technologies and issues facing the generation sector. More than 1,400 companies from all sectors of the industry exhibit each year to benefit from the exposure to more than 20,000 attendees.
HES presentation schedule
Wednesday, December 14th at 10:30AM
Thursday, December 15th at 12:30PM
Parker Parflex Division
This article was contributed by John Jansen, business development manager, Parker Hannifin Parflex Division.