Maintenance put to the test
TÜV SÜD is testing the maintenance measures at Vattenfall's "Schwarze Pumpe" power station, facilitating future budgeting for further sites
As modern power stations grow larger in size, the associated maintenance processes also increase in complexity and volume. Vattenfall Europe commissioned the experts at TÜV SÜD Industrie Service to carry out an unbiased analysis of its maintenance measures and forecast future maintenance budgets. The measure is aimed at providing a detailed evaluation of past and future activities and pointing out potential for optimisation.
TÜV SÜD started its assignment by systematically recording all data included in the maintenance orders for an 800 MW reference block at the Schwarze Pumpe power station and reviewing all measures carried out during the initial phase of operation (2000 – 2009). In this phase of the project, the experts analysed over 60,000 maintenance orders. The experts then verified the effectiveness of the measures by comparing the data with the plant's current state of repair. In cooperation with Vattenfall, TÜV SÜD also forecast the maintenance costs for the next 12 years of operation until 2022. Using the derived trends of defects in individual systems as a basis, the experts drew up future maintenance planning. Applying system-specific benchmarking criteria and correction factors, the results were then extrapolated to four similar blocks of the power station.
More planning certainty
The maintenance analysis shows that most of the costs are caused by the heat generation system and the key power-station machinery. The plant's good state of repair proves that the available budget was used wisely in the first phase of operation. Regarding the effects of the wide spectrum of coal fuels and the volume of additional fuels burned in the plant, the experts revealed potential areas of optimisation in the components of the flue gas pass. Given this, the second maintenance period will focus on replacing components and on measures aimed at aligning the system closely to varying fuel compositions, because the use of additional fuels causes higher wear and more cleaning efforts.
"The study shows that our maintenance strategy so far has been absolutely right", says Thomas Kittan, Location Representative at the Schwarze Pumpe power station. Given this, third-party assessment of the maintenance measures not only verified the effectiveness of the existing maintenance strategy, but also ensures more reliable planning for the years to come.