Xcel Energy recently was honored for its leadership role in an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) research and development (R&D) collaborative that explored new and innovative technologies that benefit the company, the industry, and the public.
Xcel Energy received an EPRI Technology Transfer Award, given annually to EPRI members who have led efforts to apply R&D on behalf of their companies and the industry at large.
DTE Energy and Xcel Energy played leading roles in an EPRI research collaborative assembled to better understand and mitigate the damaging effects of explosive cleaning techniques on boiler tubes. The findings of the research will help these utilities, and others in the industry, to reduce the risks and the potential for forced outages due to damaged boiler tubes.
Explosive cleaning damage is one of the top-ten tube failure mechanisms. DTE Energy uses explosive cleaning techniques at all six of its “Tier 1” units. “At Xcel Energy, boiler tube failures cause the majority of forced outages. “Explosive cleaning damage was the number-one mechanism for tube failures,” said Rick Hellner, Consulting Engineer, Xcel Energy. “Together with the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), we came up with a proposal for a project and a testing program. We submitted it to EPRI, which formed a member collaborative project.”
EPRI presented 2012 Generation Technology Transfer Awards to 49 representatives of 14 member companies, representing a dozen different technologies that were implemented by power plant owners/operators worldwide. The awards span a wide array of technology transfer activities, from inspection and repair tools and digital radiography to corrosion prevention in advanced mental alloys and innovative carbon capture and storage systems.
“The 2012 Technology Transfer Award winners have shown exceptional application of EPRI research and technology to solve a problem of size and significance, champion a technology both within their companies and across the industry, drive progress in the electricity sector, and provide meaningful benefits for their stakeholders and society,” said Tom Alley, Vice President of Generation at EPRI. “The commitment and collaboration demonstrated by these individuals and teams is what enables the power industry to drive continuously improve its safety, reliability, affordability, and be more environmentally responsible.”