In the late nineteen eighties, electric utility companies, such as Kansas City Power and Light (KCPL), recognized the viability of extending the life of power plants by repairing or replacing major components instead of building entirely new facilities. As part of a strong life management program, a life evaluation can postpone the replacement of major components to future years. A physical condition assessment is the first step in a life evaluation. It requires the following information: 1) original design data; 2) component operating data; 3) knowledge of current industry practices; and 4) detailed component inspections. The second step in a life evaluation is an economic life assessment to ascertain the component’s current loss of performance. The cost associated with operating the component in its current degraded state is then compared to the cost of repairing or replacing the component. Based on this cost comparison, a course of action is determined to optimize the component’s life cycle cost. This paper describes the methodology of life management and its application to a feedwater heater at Kansas City Power and Light.

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