Every day, at its Monitoring & Diagnostics (M&D) Center, GE collects more than 30,000 operating hours of data from a fleet of more than 1,500 gas turbine and generator assets, supplementing a 40-terabyte database representing more than 100 million fleet operating hours.
The Atlanta-based facility features a team of more than 50 engineers that analyze more than 35,000 operational alarms per year. Among the activities monitored at the center are the inlet temperature of a compressor, thermal performance of a gas turbine, temperature of combustion exhaust, dynamic tones of the combustion system, vibration levels of a rotor and the temperature of bearings.
On a GE gas turbine unit there are more than 100 physical sensors/300 virtual sensors.
“Our monitoring and diagnostics team and capabilities, play a key role in helping GE customers operate their power plants at high levels of performance and reliability,” said Justin Eggart, general manager, fleet management for GE’s Power Generation Services business. “Our team takes a holistic approach to what we call ‘predictive maintenance,’ which focuses on helping customers sidestep operational barriers before they occur, no matter what type of equipment they are managing.”
The ability to foresee and forestall issues is at the very heart of predictive maintenance. Predictivity services for GE’s power generation customers harness massive volumes of data analyzed from one of the world’s largest monitored gas turbine fleet to develop solutions that allow them to make more informed operational and business decisions.
Drawing on the experience of hundreds of thousands of resolved cases, GE’s M&D team has developed dozens of physics-based, proprietary algorithms that provide early warning of more than 150 potential failure mechanisms.
The M&D Center served 502 customer sites in 2014, located in 58 countries, providing assistance more than 8,000 times and helping power plant customers achieve their desired outcomes with reliability and performance 24/7/365.
In addition to GE units, this remote monitoring can be applied across a customer’s entire fleet. Through device-agnostic predictive solutions, the M&D Center monitors technology and equipment not only from GE, but also Nooter/Eriksen, Flowserve, Emerson, Delaval, Byron Jackson and others.
GE also has made substantial improvements in reducing trip rates since the M&D Center opened in 1996. For example, trips per thousand hours for the combined 7F and 9F monitored fleet of gas turbines are down approximately 25 percent since 2009.
Additional regional support with these services is provided to GE customers around the globe from other M&D locations in Scotland, France, India and its newest centers in Dubai, Saudi and China. Using a broad range of analytic tools, these teams diagnose problems ranging from possible failed sensors to gas turbine compressor damage.