Fossil Consulting Services, Inc. (FCS)

Fossil Consulting Services, Inc. (FCS)

Gas and Steam Turbine Generator Services


Power producers are under unprecedented pressure from government regulation, deregulation, and competition to operate their plants with maximum efficiency and availability. This is a daunting task, given the complexity of power generation facilities.

There is no piece of equipment in most plants more complex than the steam or gas turbine-generator. Turbine-generators in most plants are large and complex pieces of machinery that are supported by many subsystems such as lube oil, steam seal, fuel forwarding, and so on. Safe and effective operation of the turbine-generator requires that the plant staff have good understanding of the machine and its subsystems for both operations and maintenance.

Understanding the complex turbine-generator system can be even more difficult considering the voluminous and often generic documentation supplied by most turbine-generator manufacturers. Sifting through this mass of information to distill the points that are relevant and important to the operation and maintenance of any given turbine-generator set is a difficult and time-consuming task.


FCS has extensive experience with both steam and gas turbine-generators from nearly all major manufacturers including GE, Westinghouse, ABB, and Seimens. Our experience covers maintenance, operations, controls, and thermal performance. We can assist clients in developing programs that can help assure high availability of the turbine-generator with maximum efficiency. Specific examples of our services are:


FCS has taught power plant personnel from hundreds of plants worldwide in the operations and maintenance of their turbine-generators. FCS training provides both the theory and plant-specific information that enables operators not only to perform routine operations but also to respond to abnormal situations, such as water induction in steam turbines. Specific training that can be done includes:

  • Operations - Typically a one-week course for operators that covers the operation of the turbine-generator, including the manufacturer's Starting and Loading Instructions (SALI), and all of its supporting subsystems.
  • Maintenance - Typically a one-week course that addresses both routine and major maintenance that is done in major outages.
  • Controls - Typically a 3-5 day course for operators that covers the controls for the turbine. Topics such as regulation and its interaction with the load limit are covered as well as routine operations.  Older MHC, newer analog and digital EHC systems, and advanced PLC- or DCS-based turbine control systems can be covered.
  • Performance - Typically a 2-4 day course that covers the theory required to understand turbine performance as well as practical guidance on both routine performance monitoring and rigorous ASME code testing.  Diagnosis of performance-related problems is emphasized.

Thermal Performance

FCS has extensive experience in turbine-generator thermal performance. This experience includes routine performance monitoring, full-scale ASME code testing, diagnostics, and troubleshooting. Specific services offered include:

  • Performance Audits - FCS can review the current performance of the turbine-generator through the examination of test records, actual operating data, and interviews with plant staff. Rudimentary testing may be performed depending upon the data and instrumentation that is available. The results of this audit are a report detailing the findings and providing recommendations with a tentative action plan for their implementation.
  • Test Procedures - FCS can develop detailed, specific test procedures. These procedures can cover both rigorous tests that meet ASME code requirements or more routine testing that might be done as often as monthly. The test procedure provides not only for the installation of instrumentation and taking data, it also provides detailed, step-by-step calculations for test results and a format for the presentation of test results that can provide management with a concise summary of the information needed to make decisions on issues such as capital expenditures for performance improvement. Typically the procedures include an uncertainty analysis that provides both performance engineers and management with guidance for the quality of the test results.
  • Testing - FCS can perform the testing of steam and gas turbine-generators. Where test procedures already exist, FCS will make use of them. Where no test procedures exist, FCS can develop and then implement those procedures. Detailed test reports that provide both the detail and a concise summary as well as a diagnostic analysis give plant personnel an excellent snapshot of the condition of the turbine.
  • Post-Outage Testing - FCS can set up testing before and after outages to help measure the effectiveness of an outage. This is often an important issue in validating decisions to replace components such as seals. FCS provides a detailed before and after report that focuses on the details of performance that can help determine the effect of such work.


FCS can provide clients with assistance in turbine-generator maintenance. These maintenance services range from pre-outage planning to on-site diagnostics for specific problems. Specific services include:

  • Maintenance Procedures - Maintenance outages often fail to produce the desired results because there is no detailed written guidance to ensure consistency in the maintenance tasks performed. FCS can develop detailed maintenance procedures for both specific components (such as coupling assembly and disassembly) and more global procedures covering complex, multi-component assemblies (such as an entire turbine section) and systems (such as a seal oil system). These procedures detail the tools, consumables, spares and documentation required before the job begins as well as a detailed step-by-step procedure for disassembly, inspection, and re-assembly.  Hold points for inspection are spelled out to help assure that the job is done right. Custom forms for recording and reporting the results of inspections are included. These forms can be provided electronically as spreadsheet-like forms for entry directly into a computer. One result of effective maintenance procedures is information required for the planning of future maintenance.
  • Pre-Outage Inspection - Experienced FCS personnel can perform an in-service inspection of the turbine-generator.  This inspection includes a walkdown of the unit, performing routine tests such as valve testing and lube oil pump autostart tests, and examination of operating records. The result of this inspection is a detailed report that provides specific recommendations for maintenance and testing that should be performed during an outage.
  • Pre-Outage Planning - Failure to adequately plan for outages can result in unplanned delays and cost overruns.  The key to a successful outage is effective planning. FCS can help in this planning by reviewing records from past outages, manufacturers' recommendations, and industry experience.  That plan can be converted to a CPM (Critical Path Method) network and Gantt chart that are the foundation of a planned outage. Once the outage begins, FCS can help monitor the progress of the outage and keep the plan up to date, taking into account unplanned work that may be necessitated by unexpected damage discovered during the outage.
  • Maintenance Management - FCS can assist in the management of turbine-generator outages.

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