The approach to maintenance in the power industry has changed in recent years. Many energy suppliers are now focusing on equipment reliability to strengthen their competitive position and secure a higher return on investments. In a time of shrinking budgets and growing demands, moving beyond conventional maintenance practices becomes a means to an end.
SPM Instrument has been a supplier of innovative solutions for condition monitoring to the power industry for many years. Each sector of the industry has its specific concerns. Safety, reliability and availability issues influence the growth of the individual power plant as well as the choice of power generation technology and equipment hardware. Common to all is the importance of maintaining availability in production. Interruptions of the power supply causes high costs to the end user and often liability to penalties on the part of the distributor. Also, exchanging spare parts can be very costly.
For various reasons, parts of the northern hemisphere are the most power consuming in the world. For instance, many highly power-consuming industries are located here (aluminum and steel plants, paper and pulp industries etc.). A harsh climate in the northernmost parts also demands effective heating systems in buildings during the cold season of the year.
In response to demands for clean and renewable power, wind farms are emerging around the world and wind power is now the fastest growing sector in power generation. Our patented methods have proven particularly valuable for the difficult measuring conditions in wind power.
The nuclear power industry of course has very strict process guidelines. SPM offers measuring equipment suited to plants where safety and environmental integrity must be ensured. In power plants the typical applications are turbines, gearboxes and generators. These are mainly monitored by continuous protection systems. Supporting machinery like cooling pumps and exhaust fans etc. are typically equipped with online measuring systems, or are included in periodic round measurements with handheld devices, like Leonova Diamond or Leonova Emerald.
Taking into account the tough environmental demands of the power industry in general and the varying operating conditions in windmills in particular, SPM offers every piece of hardware and software equipment needed for an efficient condition monitoring solution, from the point of data collection all the way through to evaluated measurement data. On slowly rotating machinery, the SPM HD® measuring technique can be used with benefit. SPM HD uses RPM based sampling frequency and algorithmic correlation techniques to ensure the highest possible signal quality and razor sharp spectrums for analysis.
Major distributors using SPM equipment are Vattenfall (hydro power, nuclear power and coal power), GE Energy (wind power), Fortum (all types of power) and J Power (wind power).