Steam unit startups can cause unusual & transitory equipment issues. In our case, we had a main steam stop valve drain that dumped into the main condenser that was not outfitted with expansion relief. The subsequent piping expansion from main steam conditions would cause cracks on the condenser wall where the pipe penetrated. When the cracks would form, we would have excessive air-in leakage, at times to the level that would max out the vacuum pump capacity (which in turn would cause excess condenser back pressure & loss of turbine efficiency.
CJ Horecky at INTEREP provided us with a simple, effective solution in the form of an expansion joint that allows movement of the drain line, without the bellows being exposed to the full steam pressure. The pipe now floats through the condenser wall, and the bellows are only exposed to condenser vacuum.
These guys know what they're doing!
K.B. - Chemistry Manager: 625 MW Thermal Generating Station
INTEREP is a great company to have in your back pocket for any of your power plant needs. We have always been able to lean on them for both planned and emergency outage work.
We appreciate their responsiveness to our needs. More than once we have needed bellows expansion joints for our condenser and INTEREP has been able to provide them as specified with a surprisingly short lead time. Normally within a few days.
The most recent project we did with them was on a fabric expansion joint that required some patch work on a gas turbine exhaust duct. INTEREP gave us a good estimate, the contract process went very smoothly, they were prompt to be on site, and successfully performed the work safely. No more leaks… I will be including them on the bidders list to replace it in the near future.
Carl and CJ are both passionate about what they do and have always worked with us to help find a solution to our demands and are available 24x7x365. Thank you INTEREP for your help over the years.
M.K. – Combustion Turbine Manager: Regional Power Cooperative
INTEREP has helped us on numerous occasions to devise innovative solutions and quick turnarounds for our unique problems. Working with INTEREP is easy and their business integrity makes working with them stress free.
K.D. – Senior Engineer: 1500MW Thermal Generating Station
Our major shutdown got moved-up by 3 months and we had 1.3MM in open purchase orders to INTEREP, I was concerned they wouldn’t be able to deliver on time and that our plant start-up would be delayed because of INTEREP’s delivery schedule. They sent people to our site for the duration of the shutdown in order to work with our expeditors & maintenance personnel, find alternate options, coordinate rush shipments, and finish up their work-scope just as our boiler was heating up! Regardless of what we spent with INTEREP, we saved far more by starting up on time.
J.M. – Maintenance Planner: Metals & Mining
Our scrubber vessel was lined with Stebbins PI-50 SEMPLATE, all of the trays and misters inside caught fire and burned up. The intense heat completely destroyed the SEMPLATE system, and we needed to get back online in weeks, not months. INTEREP claimed they had a solution that was trowel-applied and in stock in the USA; I wasn’t totally convinced that it would work, but based on their reputation I trusted them. INTEREP supplied us with their Tufchem-II membrane system, got us back online, and 24 years later the same lining system is still holding up! INTEREP doesn’t just sell quick fixes, they sell permanent solutions.
A.B. – Plant Engineer: 847MW Thermal Generating Station
Due to contractor miscommunication, a critical fabric expansion joint on our furnace was removed with a plasma cutter, right at the beginning of our 4 week shutdown. New parts had been ordered from Europe, but they didn’t fit our equipment, and were below our quality standard. We called INTEREP, since they’d done a good job with expansion joints for us in the past. They offered to pair their field-service crew up with our preferred contractor and modify the steel frames that we had in stock in order to make them fit our application. That sounded nice, but I needed something that would be as good as the original, not a band-aid solution. After a meeting with INTEREP & our contractor, we decided it was our best option at the time. They helped our contractor cut and modify our steel, provided their own fabric gas-seal expansion joint, and moved my project out of the critical path so I could worry about other things. I haven’t worried about that expansion joint since.
A.N. – Metallurgical Engineer: Metals and Mining
I knew INTEREP had done several FCCU turnarounds for us in the past, but I didn’t know if they worked on other expansion joints outside of the cat cracker. When we performed a major overhaul on our LJUNGSTRÖM air preheater & our ESP, the ducting around them had many fabric expansion joints. Our maintenance contractor was sure that they could install and splice/vulcanize them, but after seeing them start, I wasn’t so confident. INTEREP mobilized a supervisory crew for us last-minute, and stayed on-site for 3 weeks in order to ensure that everything was gas-tight and properly installed so we could run safely into the next turnaround. When INTEREP deals with our expansion joints, I sleep better.
S.D. – Turnaround Planner: Oil Refining
Our FCCU expansion joints were old and we didn’t have any historical data to tell us how much longer they would last. INTEREP said they could come out and perform an online inspection in order to provide us with lifespan estimates, but I was skeptical that it’d be much more than a guess. They sent out a crew who was able to find hidden leaks in our cat cracker EJs, and put a complete report with isometrics together for us, so we could see exactly what the issue was. Better yet, they told us which EJs we didn’t need to replace, instead of just selling us on the whole lot. INTEREP will be the first ones I call next time I run into expansion joint questions.
J.A. – Plant Engineer: Oil Refining
Our acid plant has used an OEM expansion joint design for a long time, and they’ve always caused us reliability issues due to our variable sulfur concentration. Many manufacturers promised us a better design, including INTEREP, but only INTEREP sat down with us on-site and walked us through why their design was tailored to work with our unique process. They built us new expansion joints that were easier to maintain, replace, and non-destructive test. Less time shutting down to change expansion joints means our plant makes more money.
J.C. – Maintenance Manager: Sulfuric Acid (Tail Gas Incineration)