Case Study

Mitigating High Seasonal Winds at a 353MW Power Plant in Canada

Case Study

Mitigating High Seasonal Winds at a 353MW Power Plant in Canada

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The Challenge

The power plant was commissioned in 2019. After 6 months of operation the plant experienced failure of fan blades and during the summer months with high prevailing winds, plant performance was being impacted. Seasonal winds were as high as 19m/s compared to a design condition of 5 m/s.

Fan blade problems on the ACC and loss of thermal performance correlated with high winds. The operational reliability and ability to meet power demands of the power plant were unacceptable.

The Solution

We started with a CFD study to create a digital model of the power plant, surrounding terrain and the ACC to simulate the effects of high velocity seasonal winds. We then modelled various wind screen configurations and estimated the potential operational improvements leading to an optimal windscreen configuration. The ACC was modified to receive the windscreen system and the materials were installed. The project completed in April, 2023.

Windscreens at ACC

Canadian Powerplant

The Benefits

After operating the power plant for a year with the windscreens, data was made available to compare performance before and after the installation of the system. Although the power plant did not see the extreme wind condition recorded in the prior years, interpolation of the data shows that the windscreen system did help recover approximately 30% of the recorded performance loss. In addition, the windscreen system supports the value of VFD motor controls retrofitted to the ACC. 

The client shared that the plant maintenance have noted reduced problems with loose fan bolts. The client is installing a vibration monitoring system to better capture fan operation. We plan to review future plant performance data with high seasonal wind velocities comparable to the initial CFD model.

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