Gas turbines often undergo degradation or damage, which is either recoverable or not. Poor performance resulting from degradation often results from compressor fouling. You can correct such compressor problems by offline or online washing. Non-recoverable damage is often a result of engine wear and tear caused by corrosion or faulty parts.
This article highlights some of the common causes of loss to wind turbines, and how borescope non-destructive damage inspections can help in solving these problems.
1. Debris, dust, and fuel contaminants
The plugging of cooling channels with water, fuel, and air contaminants also causes the damage of most gas turbines. Contaminants sucked into the system can destroy the turbine blades, combuster, compressor, and the turbine’s engine. Salt crystals damage turbines. Once attached to the turbine, the salts attract other particles and cause salt deposits that attract moisture and causes severe corrosion. Such corrosion can diminish a turbine’s power by almost 15%.
Hot corrosion is a severe form of turbine damage, which worsens the damage when it mixes with salt, dust, debris, and fuel contaminants. The heat of the turbine components leads to accelerated oxidation, which combines the heat and salt to create corrosive molten salt deposits.
2. Lightning damage
Apart from the damage caused by contaminants, lightning is also one of the significant causes of turbine damage, especially; for the wind turbines. Lightning causes short-circuiting, and if your turbines don’t have lightning arresters, they may get significant damage.
3. Manufacture defects
Defects in gas turbine manufacture sometimes cause deterioration of the bonds of gas turbine components. The structural elements of the blades may create de-bonding, which may make the blades to hit the tower or hit against each other.
4. Human error
The making of unauthorized adjustments during maintenance, repair, and installation may also lead to failures that occur later on during the working of the turbines. Crane impacts during scheduled maintenance, and the disassembling of the turbines before repair or maintenance may result in errors that cause damages.
5. Failure of making regular inspections and control system problem detection
Failure of the turbines’ system to detect problems such as insufficient power, imbalance, load buckling, and vibration may later lead to the issues that can make the turbines to fail. Also, if you don’t do your regular inspection of turbines in a proper way some turbine problems may go unnoticed. Their deterioration worsens if there is no appropriate maintenance schedule for the turbines.
How to Overcome these Challenges by Using Turbine Support
Turbines need regular maintenance that will enable you to detect their problems early to avert excessive damage. The non-destructive bore examination process is the ideal way to inspect your turbines to detect any faults before they can lead to an extreme loss on your turbines. But why are such NDE borescope turbine processes necessary.
The NDE borescope examinations allow you to do turbine inspections without disassembly. To conduct a thorough turbine inspection, you have to dismantle it to check out the state of its internal components. But with borescopes, you can do regular check-ups. These turbine support inspections are also affordable because there are no assembly costs and time required like is the case with traditional turbine inspections.
Turbine support inspections take clear pictures and videos, which allow you to get high-resolution images of any damages that may be within your turbine. The high-resolution pictures will enable you to inspect and make reports about potential turbine damage without threatening your safety because you don’t have to get into tight spaces to make a comprehensive assessment.
Borescopes are also flexible, and they can allow you to conduct extensive damage assessments and inspections without having to scale the heights of the wind turbines, props, or any other structures to view the structural components of your turbines.
The possibility to outsource turbine support inspections
If you or your company lacks borescope NDE equipment, you can hire professional turbine support inspectors to handle the checks on your behalf, and at affordable rates. If there is too much fuel, dust, and salt contaminants in your environment, then it’s advisable to hire an NDE borescope inspection firm to provide you with regular inspection and turbine problem detection services.