Motor Condition Monitoring – Advanced at the Zolling power plant

Increasing supply security through continuous monitoring

Bayer MaterialScience, ein führender Hersteller von hochwertigen Werkstoffen wie Polycarbonat und Polyethan

GDF SUEZ Energie Deutschland AG
Power plant in Zolling, Germany

Monitoring the main coolant pump drive

Implementation period:
May 2012 to February 2013

Scope of goods and services:
Implementation of the motor condition monitoring box
Online condition monitoring of the main coolant pump

The challenge

The state-of-the-art coal-fired power plant in Zolling, in the Freising District of Upper Bavaria, operates at a capacity of 472 MW, supplying electricity to about 1.7 million people on average every year. Since 1988, generating unit 5 has also been able to supply district heating from combined heat and power (CHP) to up to 20,000 four-person homes in the Freising region every year. With an efficiency of 43.3 percent, the site is one of Europes most efficient coal-fired power plants, with some of the worlds lowest CO2 emissions. Reliability and supply security are especially important to plant operator GDF SUEZ Energie Deutschland AG, which it has been making ongoing investments in the maintenance of the plant and its equipment.

GDF SUEZ was searching for an appropriate solution for two medium-voltage motors, each with a 1,600-kW capacity, which play a crucial role in supplying the main coolant. Because strong vibrations have been occurring on the NDE side in one of the motors ever since its commissioning, the bearings in both motors have been periodically replaced as a precaution in order to avoid unscheduled downtimes.

  • Monitor the main coolant pump drive

  • Complete solution from a single source to determine the condition of motors and analyze the acquired data

Lothar Schreiber, power plant manager with GDF SUEZ Energie Deutschland AG

The solution

With Motor Condition Monitoring Advanced, Siemens offers a unique solution for monitoring the condition of motors. GDF SUEZs motors were each provided with a condition monitoring box, which measure rotational speed as well as vibrations in the DE and NDE bearings during operation. The boxes make it possible to monitor all critical parameters, and the measured values are available for trend analyses and other evaluations.

After a long period of undisturbed operation, the documented trend curves show significant changes due to wear or other damage-related causes so foreseeable problems can be corrected as they arise and before severe damage or even a plant shutdown occurs.

If one of the parameters increases, maintenance employees are automatically alerted. The measured and recorded data make it possible to assess the bearings condition and therefore to determine the maintenance interval in keeping with actual requirements.

  • Field trial to verify the practical feasibility using the Motor Condition Monitoring Box (adaptation to the existing ICT infrastructure, product adaptations)

  • Online condition monitoring of two motor bearings each

The benefits

By installing and operating the motor condition monitoring box, GDF SUEZ was able to significantly lower its service and maintenance costs for the two drives. At the same time, it maximized system availability and reliability, which had a positive impact on the availability of the entire power plant. By scheduling condition- related maintenance work, the operator was also able to prevent unscheduled outages, which benefited the environment. After all, not only does every power plant startup cost money, but the plant also operates relatively inefficiently during the startup phase, and the resulting combustion gases pollute the environment.

  • Fewer power plant disruptions

  • Planned shutdowns instead of unscheduled downtimes

  • Condition-based maintenance intervals instead of preventative annual bearing replacement