Alinta Energy has selected GE Power Services to deploy advanced robotic inspection tools to gas-fired power plants in Australia and New Zealand.
As per the inspection agreement, GE will use its diagnostic inspection with rotor in situ (DIRIS) and TurboRotoscan inspection systems to inspect 19 generators located at seven of Alinta Energy’s gas-fired power plants in Australia and New Zealand.
The generators are manufactured by GE, Alstom, Mitsubishi and Brush.
Alinta Energy engineering services-power generation manager Gareth Williams said: "We worked closely with GE’s team and our insurance company to demonstrate the benefits of the DIRIS and TurboRotoscan technologies for ensuring effective generator inspections.
"Proving the technology’s reliability was important because the generator monitoring system provides the current condition of the generator and indicates any issues or early warnings of failures."
The inspection systems will help alert the utility to potential generator issues, providing time to evaluate its options in order to increase reliability.
Williams added: "The biggest win for us was the ability to use this technology on non-GE units and apply it across our whole fleet.
"This makes such inspections quicker and easier to perform and is endorsed as a best practice by our insurance company, which indicates that most generator claims arise through rotor removal and replacement activities."
The DIRIS robot is expected to provide modern robotic instrumentation and tooling for the utility to enable fast and reliable remote inspection of the turbogenerator.
GE said that the TurboRotoscan robotic technology can perform inspections of the generator retaining rings while the rotor remains in place.
The firm plans to begin new generator inspections in April 2016 and continue through 2020.
Image: GE’s DIRIS inspection system. Photo: courtesy of General Electric.