Hot gas path components of gas turbines need to be refurbished and/ or replaced several times during the life of the gas turbine. Replacement of these components is expensive and costs can go up as high as 30% of the initial gas turbine price. A life cycle management approach is crucial for understanding the operation and maintenance costs of these critical components.
Since the early eighties KEMA has been involved in failure analysis, inspections and performance assessments of gas turbines. Through contracted research KEMA has been involved in prediction, quantification and monitoring projects focusing on the degradation of the hot gas path components. The expertise and tools used and developed in these projects enabled to define a life cycle management approach for gas turbines based on actual operation, maintenance and inspection data. Specific applications in this approach include combustion dynamics monitoring, life management models, compressor fouling management, performance assessments and monitoring, non destructive testing and inspection, quality assurance and quality control for hot gas path component replacement and failure analysis.
This paper will describe the life cycle management approach and present examples where the approach has been applied.