CANADA . Gas turbines


TransCanada Turbines Ltd, part of the gas turbine services business of John Wood Group and a joint venture between Wood and TransCanada Pipelines, has opened its newly built cold end drive test facility for GE LM6000 PA and PC industrial aero-derivative gas turbines. Located at the Cavalier power station near Alberta, Canada, the test facility enables TCT to test against a live power grid, while utilising a real package with systems and controls identical to actual customer conditions.

Under agreement with site owner EnCana, TCT has access to its test facility during off peak power periods, typically weekends. To overcome the time contraints associated with testing during weekends only, TCT modified an existing LM6000 PC package into a quick changeout test cell, and adapted it to accommodate PA engines also. This design means that TCT has reduced the time required to remove, reinstall and align an engine from 36 to 12 hours. Additional key features of the new test facility are its control system and data acquisition. The original GE Mark VI system has been replaced by a Woodward MicroNet, capable of operating all versions of the LM6000. TCT also added Yanos Remote Client software, which enables the company to provide on-line calibrations and calculation of performance numbers, and also remote dial in access via the internet for customers to witness testing, saving them time and money.

Pete Watson, president of TCT, said: “…cold end drive testing on the grid duplicates the engine’s actual operation on-site. Hot end drive testing is not how the LM6000 typically operates. The successful completion of this project gives LM6000 operators worldwide an independent testing alternative.

TCT successfully completed its first LM6000 PC test during 2003, and its first LM6000 PA engine test in January this year.