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Preparing for the unexpected: Outage planning for steam turbines

Whether you’re looking for parts, dealing with a large-component repair, or just want to make sure your next outage is smoother and more predictable, GE is a full life cycle provider that can make sure your steam turbines operate reliably over the long haul. Our experts can answer your questions because we’ve seen it all.

Why GE?

The OEM experts


Key benefits

As the OEM for your steam turbine, we are the only ones who have:

  • the IP and configuration history for your specific equipment
  • an analytics package that allows us to examine how your unit is currently operating and make customized recommendations for services
  • the engineering support to help you return to service 

This puts us in a unique position to work with you on a strategic plan based on fleet history that will help improve the performance of your steam turbine well beyond the scope of the outage.


Key benefits

  • Reduced risk of unplanned outages and major emergent repairs during planned outages that are both costly and extend outage duration
  • Increased steam turbine output based on recovery of aging losses and improved technology
  • Enables combined cycle plant upgrades that increase steam flow
  • Improves combined cycle heat rate

Planning ahead

Save time and money with proactive steam turbine maintenance!

The average age of GE's combined cycle steam turbine fleet is 21 years, so you're likely to be experiencing hardware issues like shell creep, shell cracking, or rotor bow bending. Get ahead of potential problems by planning your steam turbine maintenance in advance.


Plan ahead and see the benefits

  • Avoid substantial lost generation costs by planning for specific emergent work issues based on your unit’s history
  • Work with GE’s team to develop your outage scope with fleet-specific risks in mind 
  • Avoid up to 14 days of outage extension time to address emergent findings

Related services

Browse all our steam turbine offerings


Commonly asked questions

In a combined cycle plant, how does frequent cycling impact the steam turbine and what is the role in outage planning?

Increased cycling of a steam turbine can create conditions that compromise the dryness of steam, leading to the formation of water droplets. When these water droplets migrate to sections of the turbine where they are not intended to be, like the rotor blades or other components, it can cause premature erosion.  Outage planning tailored to start profiles is crucial. Consult with our team early to develop an outage strategy that addresses these challenges.  

What options or upgrades are available to extend the life of your steam turbine?

Steam turbines generally have a working life of 30+ years. When your steam turbine components will reach end of life depends on its operational history. Upgrade options like advanced steam path replacements and enhanced shells and casings can extend the turbine's life beyond 30 years. Explore upgrade possibilities for sustained performance.

What are common and uncommon findings in combined cycle steam turbines?

Common combined cycle steam turbine findings include valve failures, issues related to water induction or foreign object introduction into the steam path, and failures in the lube oil bearing train. Loss of power leading to a loss of lubricating oil can result in unit shutdown. Additionally, steam path blades and seals may fail due to unexpected events or normal wear and tear.

Uncommon failures involve steam leakage through bolted joints, valve couplings, or actuated valves, as well as liberation of rotating parts and cracks in casings. Proper inspections targeting known failure modes are crucial for risk mitigation.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for issues that can happen over time, like indications of cracking and creep. If you see any of those signs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

What emergency spare parts are essential for steam turbines, and what inventory does GE Vernova keep in stock?

Essential emergency spare parts for steam turbines include critical components like bolting hardware and valve internals. While GE Vernova maintains a stock of common components such as front and last stage blades, inventory availability may vary. Planning for known issues and specific plant requirements ensures effective outage management by having the right spare parts on hand when needed.

What is the recommended approach for repairing steam joint leaks at the HP and IP sections of the steam turbine?

Addressing steam joint leaks is crucial due to the potential danger posed to personnel, and it requires a system-level strategy. This includes diagnosing the root cause, implementing robust repair solutions like bolting upgrades, steam dams, sealants, or even half-pipe repairs, and consider bolting upgrades. Solutions like half pipe repairs may be needed. Quick and reliable repairs are essential, considering the serious impact of steam leaks into the atmosphere. The expertise lies in systematic diagnosis, mapping of flange surfaces, and utilizing field personnel experienced in these operations. Sharing past mitigation experiences enhances the planning for future events, ensuring a more informed approach to complex situations.


Featured videos

Diaphragm repair expertise

From small rotor diaphragms used in industrial steam turbines to massive naval ships and submarines, the Bangor repair shop can handle all diaphragm repair needs.

Rotor repair expertise

At the rotor repair facility in Bangor, Maine, GE Vernova experts manufacture new rotors as well as provide services for rotors needing repairs.

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