Editorial - VGB PowerTech Journal 12/2017

VGB's Technical Services: A successful service for power and heat generation

VGB’s Technical Services are an important part of the service of the VGB PowerTech association. They are to be regarded as an en-hancement to the services for our members and cover many aspects of technology and operation in power and heat production.

In detail the services offered comprise:

  • Engineering consultancy for planning, construction and operation of all kinds of power generating facilities
  • Analysis of damages in the Materials Laboratory
  • Chemical investigations of water chemistry
  • Construction and installation supervision, including quality management and expediting
  • Oil management, including oil testing in laboratory.

These services are used by members worldwide to achieve sustainable, safe, fault-free and cost-effective operation. The solutions pro-vided by the VGB Technical Services are notable for their cost-effectiveness and technical expertise and are tailor-made for the respec-tive task. It is our objective to detect undesirable influences on a plant at an early stage and to remove them or limit their effects by directly involving ourselves in the manufacturing, installation and commissioning process and subsequent operation. The cooperation between the various specialist departments of the VGB office and the VGB expert network has a decisive influence on the work of the Technical Services.

The results of Technical Sonsulting can also be seen in work on VGB-Standards and thus provide an important impetus as regards technical options when describing the state of technology. Current technical challenges with regard to damages that has occurred to the materials T24 and HR3C demonstrate the importance of professional exchange in the field of materials technology. In close cooperation with the members, new concepts for damage prevention and minimisation were developed in the committees of the VGB. For this purposes, the state-of-the-art equipment of the VGB Materials Laboratory can be used. The scanning electron microscope (field emitter) and the X-ray diffraction system are worthy of special mention.

The department of Water Chemistry supports operators of thermal power plants of all output ranges as also all kinds of fuel – fossil fuels, biomass, substitute fuel. The department has extended the experience it had already gained in the interplay of the working medium and the materials used in the latest generation of large fossil fuelled steam boilers. Thanks to the close cooperation between the materials laboratory and the water chemistry department, it is possible to apply the scientific findings on the behaviour of new materials in practice with successful results.

The team Construction and Installation Supervision supports the members with regard to quality for new-build projects as also modernisation and the refabrication of the concerning components.

I am particularly pleased about the integration of the Team Oil Management into VGB’s Technical Services from January 2018. This new team will enable us to continue to pursue our strategy of adapting our services to the growing consulting needs of our members. The condition of lubricating and insulating oils is assessed by means of a suitable analysis. By inhibiting the lubricating oil, the lifetime can often be prolonged considerably, thus generating direct added value for our member. The spectrum of application of oils ranges from conventional power generation to renewable energy plants. Heiko Fingerholz (formerly Uniper Technologies) is an internationally renowned expert in oil management for the VGB Group.

This brief introduction to VGB PowerTech’s Technical Services highlights how this interdisciplinary service with its synergies within the VGB association is an important and valuable part for safe, environmentally friendly and economical power and heat generation for all kinds of generation sources. The VGB members make extensive use of these services for upcoming tasks.