Central Indian Large Power Plants

Recently visited a large private power plant in central India.

The response from Operational and maintenance team was overwhelming.

Ironically, story remained the same. I could recall many of my visits to the independent power plants, co gen plants, captive power plants.

The feedback follows the predictive pattern

  • Non performance of existing large fan type cooling towers. Especially in peak season.

  • Regular repairs.

  • Revamp Headaches.

  • Bad quality of spares and workmanship during each revamp.

  • Structural issues and at times collapse of fan assembly/connecting shaft

Jet technology as one of the alternatives (either as primary cooling system or secondary supplementary cooling system) is taken with a lot of hope as every one is very positive and they want to assume that jet technology is “sab marz ka Illaz” (final solution to all the present problems.)

The beauty is that the operational and maintenance team have little say in choosing the technology for cooling system. They have to run what is given to them.

Obviously they have no financial power to even install something which can be complimentary to their existing system. So most of the times they do their job in very jugadu way. Engineering economics are kept aside. The stand by cells are put in continuous use. The water flow rate is increased .One or two extra cells are purchased and used along with the existing jingbang.

Interesting business cycle :

The present power plant is of 300 MW. All the available fan cells are already in use. Now there is “No stand by“. (900 KW of electrical input is being used to run the cooling towers.) Water flow is increased…………………………

But, with all above there is a huge problem with vacuüm. Power plant runs at reduced capacity.

The user is ideal buyer for spares industries. There are vendors who are selling them different MOC of fan blades. FRP to GRP and from Solid to Hollow (or vice a versa). Soon there will be vendors proposing fills change/repairs. From splash bar to honey comb or to tubular fills. (or in any order)

There will be some who will change the spray pattern some will work on fan cylinder. All this will go on to have smaller business cycle.

The interesting fact is, for next expansion of 300MW, the same vendor is given repeat order. The order obviously carries earnest request : please do not under design?? Or please take care as we have suffered. Vendor has a good chance to ask better prices to offer cooling system which can give less nightmares.

The business will go on!!


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