There is no doubt that a condition monitoring solution optimized for a particular application can help reduce life cycle costs of operating and maintaining machines and maximize production. Implementing such a system, however, especially a plant-wide system can get people scratching their heads. It potentially places great demands on resources if, for example, everything has to be done all at once.
Scalability is vital for minimizing these installation and operation challenges. The monitoring system should be designed such that it can be installed and operated in line with the current expertise of the users, and extended as experience is gained or budget for expansions grows.
As in the case of the Morava power station, the system should also be able to be upgraded according to current monitoring requirements with minimal changes.
The Morava power station has been using legacy monitoring systems since 2002, consisting of a third party condition monitoring and diagnostic system and Brüel & Kjær Vibro VIBROCONTROL 4000 (VC-4000) for machine protection. In 2015, during the major machine overhaul of the unit, it was decided to upgrade the condition monitoring portion of the system with Compass 6000™. The customer was happy with the VC-4000 protection system and wanted to keep it for the basic vibration measurements, but a couple of modern VIBROCONTROL 6000® modules were also added for additional measurements. Scalability was achieved in this application by using the VI-6080 data interface to transfer data from the legacy VC-4000 systems to the modern Compass 6000™ condition monitoring system server, without any replacement or modification of the equipment. VI-6080 is a simple yet powerful data interface can be used with virtually any protection system, thereby allowing the easy use of the Compass 6000™ with existing protection hardware.
The 120 MW lignite fired steam turbine monitored by the system, owned and operated by the Serbian state utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), was commissioned in 1969. Condition Monitoring plays a critical role for this power plant since the plant operates for peaking operations 6 months a year, which can stress the machines, and baseload for the remainder of the year. Moreover, as there is only a single generating unit, i.e. no back-up, there is no tolerance for unplanned downtime.