Temporary Solutions to Optimize Plant Outage Season

Add these to your outage planning

In order to maximize productivity and efficiency, power plants often plan outages between seasons to complete routine maintenance. Fall outage season is crucial and planning for a successful execution is an elaborate, labor-intensive task. And while the plan is highly coordinated, there can be elements of the outage that go overlooked or unresolved until the last minute. During an outage, time is money. And when temporary solutions are properly incorporated into the outage plan, they can save both time and money.

When planning for an upcoming seasonal outage, consider the following temporary solutions to help offset costs and potential lost productivity:

Temporary power generation

Outages are strategically planned to ensure minimal disruption but there are still critical power infrastructure and support requirements for onsite contractors and the outage team. Temporary power generation is a must and is most likely already baked into the pre-outage planning. But there are other things to consider: Are there alternative solutions? Temporary transformers might be a good option in place of generators. What about validation of the primary electrical equipment? If so, load bank and circuit tests become essential as well.

Supplemental plant air 

Often, when only a portion of the plant is down, there’s still a need for plant and instrument air. Temporary air compressors provide critical redundancy for this air when the plant’s air compressors are shut down.

Temporary dehumidification solutions

Moisture buildup on turbine motor windings and blades during an outage can cause a lot of issues - corrosion and reduction of the turbine performance to name a few. Temporary dehumidification can dry up some of moisture-related issues and keep the equipment running smoothly long after the outage is complete.

Fluid solutions 

Build up from seasonal sediment and the inlet water source can cause serious issues and minimize megawatt output. Consider solid removal and elimination solutions to maintain reliability during and post-outage. If boiler flushes or cooling tower cleanouts are part of the outage plan, consider pump, fluid transfer, storage and treatment applications as well.

Confined space work

Open excavations require specialized safety equipment like modular aluminum shoring boxes with guard rails, mounted ladders and ramps. Pipe testing and bypass work needs even more specialized equipment. Plus, there are confined space training requirements for the team. There is a lot to consider when it comes to confined space work, especially during an outage.

Comfort cooling in confined space work 

In addition to the specialized trench safety equipment for confined space work, add portable cooling to the list. Confined space areas such as tanks, boiler drums, or economizers are prone to elevated temperatures which can be a safety hazard.  As such, portable cooling like air conditioners and blowers can help curb heat and keep the team safe and comfortable.

Portable Sanitation

Now more than ever, safety and cleanliness are a top priority. Consider sanitary solutions like portable restrooms and hand-washing stations for the outage crew and contractors.

Equipment tracking 

The plant may need a certain piece of rented equipment only briefly during an outage, but a busy manager may not have time to notice that it’s no longer being used and to take it off rent. A web-based equipment management platform such as United Rentals’ Total Control® solves the problem by providing transparency into owned and rented assets; and by letting customers order or offload any piece of rented equipment at anytime

Outage planning and execution is a large and costly undertaking and you should always consult with an expert regarding the specific circumstances, applicable rules and regulations related to your site and to your situation. Temporary solutions can offset some of those costs and keep the plant outage on track so operations can resume in no time.

To learn more about United Rentals power outage solutions, call 866.URP.WRGN.

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