The contribution of the gas turbine in simple and combined cycle systems to power production in the United States has been steadily rising over the past 25 years. In 1998 their contribution to power production was approximately 15% and it increased over the past 5 years by 1.5 to 2%, annually. In parallel, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) has financially supported Advanced Technology development with good formulated goals for overall performance of plants including reliability, availability and maintainability (RAM). In this paper the authors evaluate RAM performance data from power plants over the past five years. This evaluation can be used as baseline or benchmark for further improvements. It takes into account the mode of operation being base load, cycling or peaking application and analyses the power plant on a year-by-year evaluation. All RAM-data came from the same source and are collected and analyzed according to standardized procedures.
Availability will be reviewed for machines of different sizes and technologies. Maintainability will be analyzed as function of the size of units, energy production, and the mode of operation.
Gas turbine simple and combined cycle power plants have been operated in peaking, cycling, base and continuous load operation. The flexibility is shown in different “Service Hours per Successful Start” and a correlation with the RAM parameters. To analyze and explain these differences will be the main result of this evaluation. The contribution shall help to evaluate the best solution for individual sites because efficiency and availability cannot always be increased in parallel.