Nevada power plant installs wireless vibration monitoring

Dec. 8, 2009

HOUSTON—GE Energy has announced the successful installation of its Bently Nevada Essential Insight.mesh wireless condition monitoring technology at the NV Energy Ft. Churchill Operating Station in Yerington, Nev. This new, innovative technology is helping to improve overall plant reliability and efficiency by extending condition monitoring to a broader array of essential assets that were previously underserved and/or classified as mid- to low-criticality.

“We were excited to be the first plant in NV Energy to utilize this new technology,” said Greg Bushman, plant manager at Ft. Churchill. “We have always used Bently Nevada condition monitoring for our critical assets, so it seemed like a natural fit to extend this to our essential assets as well.”

Previously, plant assets had to be monitored via walk-around programs using portable data collectors. In many cases, this made certain equipment difficult to monitor due to accessibility or logistical challenges. Wireless technology—combined with Bently Nevada expertise—changes that equation.

At Ft. Churchill, GE deployed Essential Insight.mesh wireless vibration sensors on a wide range of pumps and fans. Anomalies detected on cooling water pumps confirmed the need to plan and schedule repairs. In addition, the data from these assets is now wirelessly transmitted and fully integrated into GE’s System 1 diagnostic platform. This provides plant-wide analysis and insight to support smarter decision-making, thus reducing costs of plant operations and maintenance. These benefits are now giving NV Energy the confidence to consider expanding wireless technology to other essential applications such as remote deep-well pumps, cooling towers and beyond.

“We have worked closely with the NV Energy team for many years to ensure that their plant operations and training needs are consistently met,” said Brian Palmer, vice president of GE Energy, Optimization and Control. “GE is pleased to be partnering with our local utility in Nevada and we look forward to continuing our long working relationship with NV Energy in the future.”