commercial power plants

Turbine Trip on High Hotwell Level

Plant: 1 MW Small Binary Steam Power Plant (Experimental)
Query: Turbine Trip on High Hotwell Level
Explanation of Query: We have been trying to commission a newly constructed small power plant, which has been assembled using mainly old second-hand components which have been refurbished. The water systems were thoroughly flushed before the start of commissioning, and all steam systems have been given a thorough blow-through. Everything appeared to be performing properly, and we have managed to achieve Steam-to-Set and Generator Synchronising. However, and during the Turbine loading stage, the Condenser Hotwell Level becomes uncontrollable, resulting in the Turbine tripping when the Hotwell level goes Too High. Over the past two weeks, we have been searching for a possible cause and resolution of the issue, but with no luck so far. We suspected that there might be an air leakage somewhere, and have examined and tested the entire plant comprehensively (sometimes several times), but we cannot detect any leaks. We have also closely examined and tested the Condenser Vacuum Pump, and the Condensate Extraction Pumps appear to be operating properly (the Hotwell level control issue persists, even with both condensate pumps in service). This is a very costly hindrance to the project, and a serious embarrassment to the commissioning team (not to mention the very real possibility that the plant owner might well be considering sacking us). Can you provide any guidance, please? Kev.

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