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The high level of sophistication required for the continuous monitoring of water quality in central stations follows from the need to produce ultrapure steam. Although there may not be agreement on the precise levels of contamination that are tolerable in steam, there is concensus that the levels are extremely low—so low, in fact, that it is questionable whether commercially available instrumentation has been adequate for the job.
During the past 5 years or so, the disastrous consequences of caustic and sodium chloride in steam have been emphasized over and over, yet many central stations do not take advantage of the instrumentation that is available for monitoring these contaminants.
Once the steam requirements are established, the specifications for boiler water and feedwater follow in order. This paper outlines several monitoring schemes for the complete utility plant cycle which employ the best monitoring equipment currently available and discusses some of the reasons that improved instrumentation is required.
The author points out that there are frequently alternative methods for detecting contamination in condensate and describes how the most sensitive monitoring device is selected in each case.
monitoring, steam electric power generating, power plants, condensers, contaminants, continuous sampling, corrosion fatigue, desuperheating, feedwater, steam boilers, steam turbine blades, stress-corrosion cracking, instrumentation, water quality
Manager, Industrial Consulting, Calgon Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa.