Users of aeroderivative gas turbines converge at California meet

The annual Western Turbine Users Inc. (WTUI) conference took place recently in Pasadena, California. There were about 900 participants, mostly users of GE LM2500, LM500, LM6000 and LMS100 aeroderivative gas turbines. Such events allow users to hear from their peers and quiz the OEM on issues concerning their facilities.

The show was all about GE aeroderivative turbines, which have managed to rack up impressive stats in the relatively few years of their operation. The LM2500, for example, has over one million operating hours and the more recent LM6000 has passed the 1000 units installed mark. Even the new kid on the block is doing well.

Jon Kimble, President of WTUI began the proceedings by listing the technical information letters (TILs) and service bulletins since last year's event – there were dozens for the LM6000 alone. He said, "We provide a unique feedback loop between users and the OEM.” Gabriel McCabe, General Manager of Global Customer Services for GE Aero Energy said the LMS100 now has 26 units installed, and 16 of them are in California.

Authorized service depots

WTUI also showcases the major authorized GE service depots (IHI Corp. of Japan, Air New Zealand Gas Turbines (ANZGT), TransCanada Turbines, MTU Maintenance of Germany and Avio of Italy). Each had a booth in an exhibit hall consisting of several hundred booths, and each had the opportunity to address the gathering.

Following the depot talks, the gathering dispersed into various specialties. The two-day closed-door sessions briefed the participants about the specifics of their own machines. Each of the GE aeroderivatives merited its own program where TILs could be reviewed, experiences shared and tip offered to other users. OEM input and Q and A was also part of the lineup.

Series of technical presentations

Sessions continued on day two, and were preceded by an early morning briefing by turbine consultant Mark Axford, and a series of technical presentations. Axford gave his annual roundup of GT statistics and trends. The big news was that there was an "explosion of GT orders" both in the U.S. and worldwide.

The technical presentations were kicked off by Bran Hans of Lincoln Electric
Systems and Ed Jackson of Missouri River Energy who covered "User Genreated Gas Turbine Package Improvements."  Michael Taylor and Jackie Ferlita of Element Markets discussed "Green House Gas Impacts of Califonria AB32 and Federal Regulations" and Dale Reed of Reed Services spoke on "Peaker versus Base Load O&M."

Chris Siplin of Wood Group Power Services zeroed in on "NERC Program Copliance Audits" while L.J Miuzio and T.D. Martz of Fossil Energy Research Corp. briefed the participants on "Tools for Optimizing GT SCR Performance."

The best presentation came from Rob McHamhon of Alliance Pieplines and Steve Medvetz of W.L. Gore & Associates on "Gas Turbine Inlet Filtration (HEPA Systems)." It outlined field experience from Alliance Pipelines with Gore HEPA filters, wherein they have entirely ceased water washing as it has become redundant.

Read more about the conference in the May/June issue of Turbomachinery International.