Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Steam and Gas Hot Water Equipment for Industry

Regardless of the method you use to heat water, Armstrong has the intelligent solutions you need. They will show you how to avoid scaling, improve efficiency and safety, and increase your production and yield. Armstrong delivers groundbreaking accuracy, simplicity and unparalleled performance with their advanced steam heated and gas heated solutions. From a single product to a complete, fully integrated system, Armstrong hot water solutions for steam and gas can fulfill your most exacting demands.

Products:
  • Readitemp™ Steam/Water Hot Water System
  • Emech® Industrial Mixing Center
  • Emech® Digital Control Valve
  • Vfd Pump Assembly
  • Hot & Cold Water Hose Stations
  • Flo-Direct® Gas-Fired Water Heater


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Mead O'Brien 2019 Steam Seminar Registration is Now Open

Steam SeminarDo the people who maintain your plant’s steam system really understand how to save you money?

The Mead O’Brien Steam Seminar provides you a window into elements of the plant steam cycle as you observe live steam and condensate behavior in glass piping and glass-bodied steam traps under differing conditions. You will gain useful knowledge regarding:
  • Steam generation
  • Distribution
  • Control & Heat transfer
  • Heat Recovery opportunities
  • Condensate removal & return
Follow this link to sign up.

SAMPLE AGENDA

Steam System System-Wide Objective 

  • Basics of steam 
  • Steam energy facts 
  • Thermodynamic relationships 
  • Steam table uses 
  • Video: What is Steam? 
  • Steam system-wide components

Steam Traps 


  • What it is, where it fits, how it works 
  • Function and Operation of generic Steam Trap types How they operate against typical characteristics 
  • Testing techniques 
  • Troubleshooting and Video 
  • Functional problems associated with Steam traps 
  • Tools to maintain an efficient steam system 
  • Surveys and assessments 
  • Continuous monitoring 
  • SteamStar™

Distribution systems 


  • Functional problems associated with Distribution Systems Effects of not removing condensate formed in the system Water Hammer and Corrosion 
  • Differential Shock water hammer demonstration 
  • Piping for effectively removing the condensate 
  • PRVs: Use and effect on the steam distribution system Video: Guidelines for Steam System efficiency 

Steam usage systems (heat transfer) 


  • Different heat transfer devices 
  • Functional problems associated with heat transfer systems Process control considerations & challenges 
  • Pressure zone and partial load example 
  • What the control people usually don’t consider 
  • Stall and how to overcome it 
  • Vacuum Breakers and TAVs (thermostatic air vents) Control modes and unintended consequences 
  • Leaving the pressure zone

Condensate return systems 


  • System efficiencies 
  • Electric condensate pumps: operation and advantages Mechanical condensate pumps; operation and advantages Open and closed systems: advantages & disadvantages Stall review and solutions 
  • Flash systems and heat recovery options 
  • Back to the boiler house: Deaerators and their function
For more information, or to sign up, visit this web site - https://events.meadobrien.com

Sunday, June 30, 2019

US Power Grids, Oil and Gas Industries, and Risk of Hacking


A report released in June, from the security firm Dragos, describes a worrisome development by a hacker group named, “Xenotime” and at least two dangerous oil and gas intrusions and ongoing reconnaissance on United States power grids.

Multiple ICS (Industrial Control Sectors) sectors now face the XENOTIME threat; this means individual verticals – such as oil and gas, manufacturing, or electric – cannot ignore threats to other ICS entities because they are not specifically targeted.

The Dragos researchers have termed this threat proliferation as the world’s most dangerous cyberthreat since an event in 2017 where Xenotime had caused a serious operational outage at a crucial site in the Middle East. 

The fact that concerns cybersecurity experts the most is that this hacking attack was a malware that chose to target the facility safety processes (SIS – safety instrumentation system).

For example, when temperatures in a reactor increase to an unsafe level, an SIS will automatically start a cooling process or immediately close a valve to prevent a safety accident. The SIS safety stems are both hardware and software that combine to protect facilities from life threatening accidents.

At this point, no one is sure who is behind Xenotime. Russia has been connected to one of the critical infrastructure attacks in the Ukraine.  That attack was viewed to be the first hacker related power grid outage.

This is a “Cause for Concern” post that was published by Dragos on June 14, 2019

“While none of the electric utility targeting events has resulted in a known, successful intrusion into victim organizations to date, the persistent attempts, and expansion in scope is cause for definite concern. XENOTIME has successfully compromised several oil and gas environments which demonstrates its ability to do so in other verticals. Specifically, XENOTIME remains one of only four threats (along with ELECTRUM, Sandworm, and the entities responsible for Stuxnet) to execute a deliberate disruptive or destructive attack.

XENOTIME is the only known entity to specifically target safety instrumented systems (SIS) for disruptive or destructive purposes. Electric utility environments are significantly different from oil and gas operations in several aspects, but electric operations still have safety and protection equipment that could be targeted with similar tradecraft. XENOTIME expressing consistent, direct interest in electric utility operations is a cause for deep concern given this adversary’s willingness to compromise process safety – and thus integrity – to fulfill its mission.

XENOTIME’s expansion to another industry vertical is emblematic of an increasingly hostile industrial threat landscape. Most observed XENOTIME activity focuses on initial information gathering and access operations necessary for follow-on ICS intrusion operations. As seen in long-running state-sponsored intrusions into US, UK, and other electric infrastructure, entities are increasingly interested in the fundamentals of ICS operations and displaying all the hallmarks associated with information and access acquisition necessary to conduct future attacks. While Dragos sees no evidence at this time indicating that XENOTIME (or any other activity group, such as ELECTRUM or ALLANITE) is capable of executing a prolonged disruptive or destructive event on electric utility operations, observed activity strongly signals adversary interest in meeting the prerequisites for doing so.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Understanding Differential Pressure Measurement: Differential Pressure Gauge Example


This video (courtesy of Ashcroft) does an outstanding job illustrating the concepts of differential pressure and flow measurement using the differential pressure method.

Engineered restriction devices are often inserted into a closed pipe system to create a differential pressure for the purposes of measuring fluid flow rate. These restrictions can come in the form of an orifice plates, Venturi, wedge, and other designs.

To measure the differential pressure, taps must be installed on both sides of the plate.  The upstream side will always produce the greater pressure, and is referred to as the high side. Conversely, the downstream pressure will always be the lesser value, due to the obstruction.

A differential pressure gauge's range is based on the maximum difference that can be expected as a result of the restriction. The gauge's dial will display the differential pressure in units of pressure measurement, like psi or bar.  By applying the linear square root relationship between flow rate and pressure, the gauge style can be scaled in a specified rate of flow, such as gallons per minute. A dual scale dial can also be created to display both the flow rate and the differential pressure.

Another important consideration is the maximum line pressure, also referred to as the static pressure. The higher the static pressure, the more robust the gauge must be to contain it. That's why it's crucial to ensure that the gauge carries a static pressure rating that exceeds the highest pressure in the line.

For more information about differential pressure gauges, transmitters, and flow measurement, contact Mead O'Brien at (800) 892-2769 or visit their web site at https://meadobrien.com.

Friday, June 14, 2019

ValvTechnologies RiTech® Coating an Excellent Alternative for Applications Where Stellite Disbonding a Concern

ValvTechnologies
Stellite is a trademarked name of Kennametal Inc. describing a range of cobalt-chromium alloys designed for wear resistance. Commonly used on severe service valves, Stellite alloys operate at high temperatures (600 – 1112° F), can be polished to excellent levels of surface finish producing low friction coefficients and in-turn providing good sliding wear. In high-temperature, high-pressure steam applications, however, there are reported issues of Stellite delamination when valves operate at Stellite's upper operating temperature range.

ValvTechnologies RiTech31
Table of ValvTechnologies RiTech Coatings
(Click for larger view)


ValvTechnologies, a manufacturer of severe service valves, offers their RiTech® coatings and process as a better alternative to Stellite for these applications.

ValvTechnologies' RiTech® is a high-velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF), hot, high-velocity, gas jet coating process. RiTech® 31 is an alloy that maintains its hardness at high temperatures and is self-repairing in operation.

The article below, written by the editors of the Combined Cycle Journal and distributed by ValvTechnologies, explains the reported Stellite delamination problems as well as a RiTech® 31 user experience.

For more  information about ValvTechnologies valves and RiTech® 31, contact Mead O'Brien by calling (800) 892-2769 or by visiting https://meadobrien.com.


Coating Critical Steam-valve Parts with Chrome Carbide Avoids Stellite Delamination Issue

Stellite liberation from large valves installed in main and hot reheat (HRH) steam systems serving F-class combined cycles, considered a major industry problem 10 years ago, has been eliminated by substituting chrome carbide as the hard-facing material for critical valve parts.

The editors first learned of stellite delamination at the 2009 7F Users Group Conference where the liberated material from a 20-in. HRH block valve was displayed. The industry had been made aware of stellite liberation by GE, which issued Technical Information Letter 1626 about three months ahead of the 7F meeting. It advised steam-turbine owners to check the condition of the stellite inlay sections used in fabricating seats for the OEM’s combined stop and control valves.

Revision 1 of that TIL, published at the end of 2010, recommended a “one-time seat stellite inlay UT inspection during valve installation or the next planned maintenance inspection”—this to identify any lack of bonding between the inlay and base metal on units with fewer than 50 starts.

Disbonding of stellite associated with combined-cycle plants has occurred primarily in parallel-slide gate valves and non-return globe valves. Hardfacing has been liberated from valve seats, guide rails, and discs. Tight shutoff of valves has been compromised in some cases.

Many incidents of stellite liberation were reported. To illustrate: CFM/VR-TESCO LLC (formerly Continental Field Machining), a leading valve services company said that in 2011 and 2012 it repaired 50 valves manufactured from F91 (forged body) or C12A (cast body) and ranging in size from 12 to 24 in. More than half of these jobs involved stellite liberation.

These repair projects were split roughly 50/50 between valves within the Code (ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code) boundary and those that were part of the boiler external piping. Repairs on the former were performed according to guidelines presented in Section I of the Code and in the National Board Inspection Code; those outside the Code boundary were performed according to ASME B31.1.

There hasn’t been much discussion on stellite disbonding the last few years—at least at meetings attended by the editors, which include the Combined Cycle Users Group, Steam Turbine Users Group, and HRSG Forum with Bob Anderson.

However, mention was made by one owner/operator regarding the successful use of ValvTechnologies Inc.’s IsoTech® parallel-slide gate valves on his company’s HRSGs in eliminating the need for stellite. According to the manufacturer, critical parts for its severe-service valves, used where steam temperatures exceed 1000F, are provided with its RiTech® 31 coating.

This chrome carbide refractory coating is much harder than Stellite 6 (68-72 RC versus 34-38 RC). It is applied in state-of-the-art HVOF (high-velocity oxygen fuel) spray booths using a proprietary compressive spray technique to achieve high bond strength. Applications extend up to ASME/ANSI Class 4500 at 1800F for valves up to 36 in.

The chrome carbide hard-coated web guide ensures the discs are kept parallel through the entire valve stroke. As the valve is cycled under differential pressure, the hard surfaces reportedly burnish and polish each other, avoiding the scratching and galling cited by some others.

The user sharing his experience with the ValvTechnologies product said their parallel slide gate valves have been operating on four or five of his company’s HRSGs for three years or so and the only hiccup was a stem-packing leak on one valve which was quickly corrected. This testifies to the vendor’s claim that RiTech 31 hard-coating technology is impervious to the effects of high-temperature cycling typically experienced today in combined-cycle main-steam isolation and HRH applications. The company guarantees coating integrity for 10 years or 10,000 cycles—whichever comes first.

Finally, the user mentioned that a representative of the manufacturer annually visits each plant where ValvTechnologies valves are installed to verify that they continue to meet expectations.

Courtesy of Combined Cycle Journal. Combined Cycle Journal is the independent voice of the gas-turbine-based generation sector of America’s electricity industry.