Temperature Sensors and the Power Generation Industry

Temperature is one of the most widely measured parameters in a power plant. No matter the type of plant, accurate and reliable temperature measurement is essential for operational excellence.

What is Power Generation?

Power generation is the process of generating electric power from sources including heat (thermal), wind, solar, and chemical energy. Sensors and controls play a pivotal role in the future of energy generation in the U.S. Temperature sensors are cost-effective devices used to monitor plant operations and components under extreme environments with high vibration. Most power plants use either resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) or thermocouples to measure temperature.

Temperature and Power Generation

Temperature is one of the most widely measured parameters in a power plant. No matter the type of plant, accurate and reliable temperature measurement is essential for operational excellence.

For decades, Temp-Pro has provided the power generation industry with innovative sensors and control solutions for challenging applications.

Temperature sensors not only monitor but they can also save operational costs. Read on to learn how they help save costs for a sustainable business model.

Safety and Cost Effectiveness

Using temperature measurement in power plants provides a higher degree of safety and reliability. Utilizing innovative technologies can result in improved safety along with lower installation and maintenance costs. Most temperature applications in power plants involve directly wiring a temperature sensor to the control system. The current trend is to use transmitters in conjunction with temperature sensors. Transmitters save time and money in installation, improve measurement reliability, reduce maintenance and increase uptime.

Power plants can generate extremely high temperatures that often cause measurement problems. For example, in energy-from-waste plants, furnace temperature is a critical measurement. Burning the waste at high temperatures minimizes the release of harmful emissions. To accurately record the temperature in the furnace, three or more temperature thermowells are inserted into the furnace directly above the flame.

The unforgiving industrial environments in power generation require precision and accuracy in the harshest of high temperature conditions. This is particularly important during peak demand periods. Power plants require maximum equipment availability and to ensure an optimal level of output and avoid premature failure, turbo machinery equipment and its related systems require operators to measure temperature shifts and other thermal variables.

When temperatures are out of control, either too high or too low, they may lead to massive damage to the equipment. A gas turbine costs approximately between 12 and 35 million dollars. Replacing this equipment would be costly and it would take a toll on the business operations. Boilers, Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG), steam and gas turbines are some of the most critical pieces of equipment in a power plant. The most reliable indicator is temperature measurement.

Specific Applications

Gas turbines are heat-generating engines that combine air and gas and ignite the two to produce electricity. In instances where the air contains ice particles that have the potential to damage the turbine blades, the temperature sensors will pick up the fault and notify the team before there is more damage.

Coal-fired power plants are under growing pressure to operate with higher efficiency, cleaner emissions, and enable efficient and reliable applications with intermittent renewable energy sources. Advanced sensor hardware and control software are becoming increasingly available and providing a reliable means of meeting these demands.

By supporting a diverse range of power generation facilities including fossil steam power plants, simple cycle gas plants, combined cycle plants, and cogeneration plants Temp-Pro is able to react swiftly to the specific needs of each type of facility. 

Will Temperature Sensors Replace My Maintenance Team?

The sensor’s advantage is saving you from premature failure of machinery. It detects any change in the temperature that might affect the equipment. It sends a warning sign before an impending issue, where it is, and possible diagnostics make it easier for the maintenance team to address the issue before it results in more damage. It does not take away the team but helps work more efficiently. The most reliable indicator is temperature measurement, allowing for an effective outage planning process which should have four fundamental steps that are repeated through every outage cycle.

As companies move to renewables, there is an increased need for setting up a sustainable power-generation industry. It is, therefore, helpful to incorporate resistant temperature devices as you set up shop. RTD sensors are stainless steel devices that are key in temperature sensing. They are highly accurate, give reliable temperature readings, and withstand the high vibration produced in a power generation industry.

 

Key takeaways

  • RTD sensors are a simplified way to keep track of temperatures in the industry. They are highly accurate and offer long-term stability
  • Help save the cost of replacing equipment and parts as they will detect the issue early.
  • Temperature monitoring leads to operational excellence as there are little or no disruptions to fixing machinery.
  • Thermocouples or RTD sensors are appropriate for different uses, work with a professional to help you choose what works best for you.
  • Temperature sensors do not replace your maintenance team but make them work more efficiently by aiding faster diagnosis of an issue.

 

Next Steps

Temperature sensor services do not end the moment you purchase one. That is because there are different specifications. You need to work with a company to ensure the temperature sensor meets your company’s individual needs. 

At Temp Pro, we offer a complete line of OEM replacement and aftermarket equivalent sensors for steam turbines. We maintain a complete set of drawings for bearing sensors including the U252 Series (part numbers begin with U251, U252, U253, U231), Bearing Lube Sensors and U7025 Series. 

The versatility Temp-Pro offers to power generation plants with our temperature measurement solutions is also the reason why we continue to grow and thrive.

We offer customized training for the teams and calibration services, as well as design and manufacture sustainable sensors. Contact us today and get a customized solution to suit your business needs.