The objectives of an effective power plant performance monitoring program are several-fold. They include: (a) assessing the overall condition of the plant through use of parameters such as output and heat rate (b) monitoring the health of individual components such as the steam generator, turbine-generator, feedwater heaters, moisture separators/reheaters (nuclear), condenser, cooling towers, pumps, etc. (c) using the results of the program to diagnose the causes for deviations in performance (d) quantifying the performance losses (e) taking timely and cost-effective corrective actions (f) using feedback techniques and incorporating lessons learned to institute preventive actions and, (g) optimizing performance. For the plant owner, the ultimate goals are improved plant availability and reliability and reduced cost of generation. The ability to succeed depends upon a number of factors such as cost, commitment, resources, performance monitoring tools, instrumentation, training, etc. Using a case study, this paper discusses diagnostic techniques that might aid power plants in improving their performance, reliability and availability. These techniques include performance parameters, supporting/refuting matrices, logic trees and decision trees for the overall plant as well as for individual components.

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