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Another significant advantage of the new software is that it can help plant engineers identify which component in a line of apparently identical components might be most susceptible to FAC. For example, with CHECUP, if plant piping has 10 elbows in a line, the software treats them alike. FFA allows users to see if, for example, in configurations having two elbows spaced closely together, a cumulative flow disturbance effect might be occurring.
Other advantages include the ability to output remaining life and next inspection date, and the ability to manually input historical cycle chemistry data. A number of interface improvements also were made to give users different options — e.g., to allow sorting of results by wastage rate, service life or total wastage, and to group results by line, component or geometry.
The current version of FFA has a number of limitations. It is not capable of modeling HRSGs and is difficult to use in modeling cycling plants. The software is based on all-volatile treatment, reducing (AVT [R]). Analysis capabilities will be added in future
To date, about 15 utilities are testing the beta version. EPRI is maintaining a list of user-requested features and will incorporate them as budgets permit. EPRI hopes to release a final version by the end of 2011.
Other FAC resources
In addition to the new FFA tool, EPRI is the leading industry source of guidance, training and analysis tools for FAC management in power plants. A comprehensive library has been compiled of data and science associated with FAC and the technology surrounding FAC damage and progression.
EPRI also has conducted research on best practices and new technologies for detection and control of FAC. One prime example of this work is EPRI’s Guidelines for Controlling Flow Accelerated Corrosion in Fossil and Combined Cycle Plants, which includes examination technologies as they apply to detection of wall loss from FAC. The Guidelines include a description of the FAC damage mechanism, an outline for a step-by-step FAC mitigation program, inspection activities and guidelines for optimizing feedwater chemistry.
Darryl Glanton is a project manager in EPRI’s Boiler Life and Availability Improvement Program. You may contact him by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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