Whitecastle Engineering Plant Performance, Condition Monitoring, Energy Efficiency, and Machinery Expertise
Whitecastle Engineering provides specialist consulting and engineering solutions for the power industry. Our main focus is on efficiency and performance of power plants and machinery from design and operational perspectives.
The company’s expertise includes performance testing of power plants, condition monitoring, machinery maintenance strategy, plant performance simulation, energy audits, and integrity inspections. Services also cover legacy equipment and spare management.
Performance testing of power plants
Whitecastle provides performance testing services for conventional power plants, whether in the high-pressure environment of contractual acceptance tests or during a routine benchmark exercise.
We identify deviations in best and standard practices during testing to eliminate or reduce the technical and financial risks associated with a false-positive test, in other words, incorrectly accepting an asset that will bring financial losses to the operator.
Services carried out by Whitecastle include:
- Contractual acceptance tests for large combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants and large thermo coal-fired steam turbine facilities in Europe, Mexico, and Chile.
- Performance testing services of small-sized power generators inside oil and gas processing plants for clients in Colombia, Peru, and Argentina.
- Benchmark performance tests have been conducted as part of our customers’ energy efficiency and performance monitoring strategies.
Plant performance condition monitoring for energy companies
Whitecastle engineers have relevant experience in designing, configuring and commissioning bespoke power plant performance monitoring systems, including preparatory instrumentation assessment, plant energy audit analysis, and subsequent personnel training.
The structure of the performance monitoring systems contains a number of graphical user interface (GUI) modules displaying key performance indicators (KPI) of critical equipment in CCGT and coal-fired power plants calculated from real-time field data.
A comparison between the field-data-based calculations and results from a previously tuned thermodynamic model allows identification of the specific areas or equipment presenting efficiency losses. These losses can then be used to estimate the economic impact on the operations.
A preliminary assessment of the existing instrumentation is carried out to determine the expected uncertainty of the calculations to be obtained from field data. Results are conveyed to the customer to support their maintenance and improvement strategy, as well as budget allocation for plant instrumentation optimisation.
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Energy audits: a first step towards improving energy efficiency
Operators need to assess the use of the input energy against production and operating costs to improve the energy efficiency of a power plant.
Whitecastle Engineering provides engineering solutions to its clients to enable correct quantification of energy losses and the financial impact these have on their operations.
We provide impartial and independent recommendations for the optimisation of plant energy efficiency, while helping our customers to execute and deliver such improvements, if required.
An energy audit is a field / desktop engineering exercise using design characteristics of the equipment, field data and thermodynamic principles to estimate the current performance of individual equipment and the plant as a whole.
To estimate the equipment key performance indicators, the engineer uses values for temperature, pressure and flow (volume) at critical points across the plant from where the thermodynamic properties of the medium are calculated.
Machinery expertise for maintenance improvement
Energy efficiency, plant performance and reliability are all key attributes affected by equipment maintenance.
Insufficient maintenance can lead to a short run-time depending on the nature of the item or component that is subject to a ‘breakdown maintenance’ approach.
Whitecastle helps customers gain peace of mind and avoid costly wholesale replacement parts, while we fully understand the equipment and have in-depth knowledge of what to replace, overhaul or exchange for a reconditioned part.
The company delivers real value for money without compromising reliability, performance or efficiency.
Legacy equipment expertise
Significant cost savings can be achieved by consulting with experienced engineers. Whitecastle engineers have many years of experience and knowledge of a wide variety of plant and equipment with a particular understanding of what is now known as legacy equipment.
Legacy equipment is the term given to old machinery that is no longer manufactured but is still very capable of delivering high-quality results. The manufacturer may have closed or been taken over by another company that may not agree with keeping the equipment operational.
New owners may try to persuade operators to replace machinery with a newer version from their current product range. In some cases, this is advantageous for the operator, but it is not always the best option.
Installing newer systems may involve additional costs as they will have to be designed according to new and likely more stringent regulations, whereas the existing plant can continue in accordance with existing regulations just as it was at the point of installation.
Whitecastle Engineering specialises in keeping older legacy equipment in service for as long as is reasonably possible and practical.
Please get in touch to find out more about our solutions.
About Whitecastle Engineering
Whitecastle is a truly independent consultancy firm, which allows us to work with all parties across the energy sector, including original equipment manufacturer (OEMs), Engineering Procurement Construction (EPCs), insurance firms, operators, loss adjustors, and governments, without compromising the integrity of our advice and value of results.
We deliver valuable and comprehensive solutions for every project, using decades of experience working for OEMs and independent niche technical consultancies. We have the correct balance of practical and analytical capabilities that give us a competitive edge in the industry.