In-Lab Testing for Power Generation
Texas OilTech Laboratories provides in-lab testing to help service the power industry. Below are a list of services we are happy to provide in-house:
Gas Fuels for Power Generation
At Texas OilTech Laboratories, we provide our clients with the means necessary to stay up-to-date with current trends in power generation fuel testing. Just within the past few years, the energy production has shifted from being primarily coal-based to including markets for natural gas, biodiesel and renewable energy and most recently, shale gas. As the energy market changes to reflect new technologies and breakthroughs in power generation, Texas OilTech Laboratories mirrors these modern advancements by providing the corresponding analytical testing necessary to stay ahead of this dynamic industry.
Specifically, we are able to test the various qualities and characteristics of natural gas samples, which provides useful information in terms of power generation. We can test for a wide range of analyses including the sulfur content, the particulates and contaminants, the water content, heavier hydrocarbons, metals analysis, and the higher and lower heating values. These characteristics also help to inform combustion rates, which allow an understanding of when the turbines will turn the gas into power.
The properties of the gas sample also dictate its quality. Through our analytics, we are able to provide our clients with the various contents and components of the gas, including the methane, ethane, and butane. Understanding these components and their ratios gives our clients a better understanding into the power generation capabilities specific to the gas sampled.
Liquid Fuels for Power Generation
In addition to providing testing for gaseous fuels, we also provide our clients with testing packages for liquid fuels used in power generation. These include a range of fuels including diesel, biodiesel, gas, heavy fuel oil, and jet fuel, which are the most common fuels used in power generation.
A pre-fire quality control check of the liquid fuel is critical for the future operations of the power plant. In many instances, liquid fuel is subjected to processes that can potentially contaminate the fuel. Potential sources of fuel oil contaminants include through the refining process itself, at the transfer station and storage tanks, on fuel trucks and barges, and through any inheres dissolved particles in the fuel. At Texas OilTech Laboratories we have created special packages to determine the extent, the nature, and the source of such contaminants so that they can be eliminated.
Our analyses provide our clients with valuable information regarding their liquid fuel samples that are necessary in the generation of power. We also provide guidance and assistance in understanding these fuels’ properties, so that power can be generated in an efficient manner.
Lubricating Oil for Power Generation
As combustion turbine technology has improved over the last few decades, output has increased by roughly 10-15% by increasing the firing temperature during the power generation process. However, the thermal stress on the turbine’s internal components, including the lubricating oils, can hinder machine performance. At Texas OilTech Laboratories, we offer a package of tests to ensure that the lubricants used for power generation are operating at the optimum level of quality and performance.
The quality and performance of the lubricating oil is of the utmost importance, since the role of lubricating oils is to preserve the integrity of any turbine during the stressful power generation process including hydro and wind. The primary role of the oil is to lubricate the turbine and the generator bearings, as well as lubricating secondary components of the turbine to ensure smooth movement. In addition, the oils act as coolants, minimize friction and subsequent wear, while protecting from rust or corrosion.
Water Analysis for Power Generation
Analyzing water for power generation is an integral part of the generation process, since the quality of the water, if contaminated, can damage machinery and turbines. As a result, Texas OilTech Laboratories recommends testing boiler steam and water for potential contaminants that may lead to corrosion or erosion of the metals used in the process.
Using advanced modern technology, Texas OilTech Laboratories can detect to the parts-per-million various properties and chemicals found in the steam and water, so as to ensure that the power generation process does not lead to turbine failure. Potential contaminants include but are not limited to chloride, phosphate, dissolved oxygen, hydrazine, sodium, and perhaps most importantly, silica.
In addition, Texas OilTech Laboratories can test for Nitrogen Oxide contents. Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) are the main by-products of the combustion process and environmental issues dictate low NOx emissions. Local regulations vary but NOx are usually held to less than 15 ppm by volume. Injected water or steam can be used to control NOx and turbine manufacturers have water specifications to assure that particulate and other contaminants are not introduced into the turbine.