About half of all forced outages in modern power plants result from corrosion within the steam turbine loop. That means reliable, cost-effective power supply heavily depends on the purity of water used in the process. So the right water quality analyser can make all the difference.
ABB's AX 400 dual input analyser not only monitors water quality, but can also cut costs for power utilities by at least 30 percent because it does the work of two separate input analysers.
"Staff levels in most power stations are being reduced to a minimum, which places increasing demands on equipment and monitoring devices," explains Anil Bhatia, product manager for analytical instruments.
The AX 400 dual input analyser offers continuous, convenient in-line monitoring from a single unit, and actually does the work of two separate units. Connected to two sensors, it performs two conductivity measurements providing "before" and "after" water treatment readings.
It also calculates conductivity ratio for ion exchangers, percent passage and rejection for reverse osmosis units, and even infers pH readings without maintenance. Versions are also available with two pH inputs and a combined unit for both conductivity and pH.
This series of continuous on-line AX 400 analysers is designed for use in power stations, water treatment plants and industrial processes.
"Power plants have been largely dependent on one sensor and one analyser for every single measurement," explains Bhatia. "With ABB's dual input analysers, users can cut the number of devices in half, substantially reducing initial costs. Not to mention ensuring a lower cost of ownership through lower installation and maintenance costs."
There are many water quality measuring points along the steam turbine loop - from make-up water to the condensate polisher, boiler water and hot well.
"Today's analysers must offer greater accuracy and flexibility with minimum maintenance requirements - while contributing to the overall cost-effectiveness of the operation," says Bhatia.
"Our low-level conductivity analysers, for example, provide primary detection of dissolved corrosive salts that damage turbine blades and would result in downtime and replacement costs. In addition, high-level conductivity instruments are used to control regeneration of costly regenerants."
ABB offers a complete range of AX 400 analysers for power plants, including single and dual input analysers for measuring low and high conductivity, and pH. The full portfolio includes dissolved oxygen, sodium and silica monitors designed for maximum performance and availability while supporting environmental compliance efforts.
"The AX 400 analyser may be a small device, but it offers power plants big benefits - and pure water - for a long time to come," says Bhatia.