FCS eng



The addition of gas turbine-based combined cycle power plants to supply new generating capacity continues to play a major role in the power industry. This technology is being adopted by all key players in the power industry because it offers high thermal efficiency, low emissions, low installed cost, flexibility in fuel selection, low operation and maintenance cost, short installation time, and high operating flexibility.


Combined cycle power plants use a combination of two thermodynamic cycles:  the gas turbine cycle (Brayton cycle) and the steam turbine cycle (Rankine cycle).  Cogeneration plants utilize the gas turbine cycle for power generation, and use steam produced in a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) for power or process purposes.  Advancement in combined cycle technology is relatively recent and involves complex equipment and controls to meet stringent emissions requirements and performance standards. Most new combined cycle/ cogeneration plants utilize new technology and complex equipment, and also have strict contracts to satisfy.  This requires even experienced plant personnel to be trained to operate the new equipment. Further, since these plants are often staffed at low levels, it is imperative that the entire staff be properly trained and qualified to ensure maximum utilization.  Due to lack of formal training, more than one third of the non-utility power plants surveyed in 1994 reported additional costs from increasing staffing levels over those originally planned.

A successful approach to providing technical services and engineering support is to address the operational and maintenance aspects involving the integrated functioning of the two thermodynamic cycles in a combined cycle power plant.  The staff must understand the interrelationships between the combined cycle plant components and systems to efficiently operate the plant.

The factors that improve the efficiency and/or output of only the gas turbine cycle or only the steam turbine cycle may not improve the efficiency/output of the combined cycle. Therefore, in order to optimize the functioning of the combined cycle power plant, the operator or engineer should possess knowledge of not only the individual characteristics of the combustion turbine, heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) and the steam turbine, but also the integrated functioning and thermodynamic tradeoffs incorporated in the combined cycle power plant. The staff should be able to explain the effect of operating parameters such as firing temperatures, compressor pressure ratios, ambient temperature and pressure conditions, turbine exhaust temperatures and their effect on gas turbine efficiency/power output, and the combined cycle efficiency/power output.


FCS offers a wide range of services aimed at helping our clients achieve maximum profitability from plant operation.  These services include:

  • Performance Optimization Reviews
  • Operability/Maintainability Engineering Analysis
  • Plant-specific operation, maintenance, and test documentation
  • Generic and plant-specific training
  • On-the-Job Training (OJT) manuals, training guides, and program implementation
  • Assessments of training needs, functional analyses, and staffing studies
  • Interactive and multi-media based training program development  Equipment Failure Analysis (EFA) and reliability/availability improvement
  • Plant/Equipment efficiency and acceptance testing
  • Development of test protocols and automated spreadsheets
  • Computer Aided Design and Drafting services

FCS has developed site-specific System Descriptions, Operating Procedures, Alarm Response Procedures, and performance based On-the-Job Training Programs for gas turbine and combined cycle power plants. Our staff also have experience with gas turbine/combined cycle power plant equipment and controls from all major suppliers including General Electric, Westinghouse, ABB, and Siemens. Our capabilities include developing training and qualification programs for all disciplines and jobs at these plants. FCS has the experience to support all of your training and technical support needs. Our personnel have the knowledge and skills to relate to the needs of plant personnel and are committed to excellence in supporting your needs.