A Positive Year for the Boiler and Steam Turbine Industries

A boiler is not sensational. A steam turbine doesn’t sound revolutionary. But the duo keeps most of the industrial world ticking.

2018 will be a positive and stable year for these key industries. With strong growth will come the promise of new jobs. The anticipated turn-around of the state of manufacturing in the country may just be evinced in their numbers.

Power Plants are Driving the Turbine Demand Curve

The turbine industry in the US is valued at a whopping 17 billion dollars and the market keeps expanding by 3.4% every year.

With the question of green and clean energy receiving a lot of attention, a major reason behind the escalating turbine momentum is the eschewing of coal-based power plants. Electricity requirements are expected to peak over 2018 to 2025. But the concern for the environment means power suppliers will try to balance fossil fuel output with clean and renewable output.

Plants that run on natural gas offer a sustainable alternative.

From Disney Land to Industrial Operations, Boiler Sales Pick up “Steam”

The iconic Disney trains that circle the amusement park are driven by boilers which consume a soy-based biodiesel. And many other public attractions have been inspired by this creative effort on part of the brand.

There are hardly any factories in the US where hot water boilers do not have the responsibility of seeing operations to completion.

Even the HVAC systems in homes depend on chiller boilers to maintain desired ambient temperatures.

Thus it’s no small wonder that the global boiler market is all set to touch a record high of 11.6 billion dollars in 2018. The strictly industrial segment is smaller at $803 million, but even this niche will experience growth of 2.8% by the end of the year.

Central Metal Fabricators is a Leader Serving These Industries

Lauded as a quality manufacturer of dampers for gas turbines, boiler accessories, boiler casings, busbars, steel hoppers and dampers for turbines, the positivity that’s on the horizon for the turbine and boiler markets also promises to make 2018 significant for Central Metal Fabricators.

We’ll continue to develop our existing product catalog and invest in perfecting services like sheet metal fabrication, replacement of parts and flux core arc welding, gas metal arc welding and shielded metal arc welding services.

We’re fully equipped to be a reliable partner for the manufacturing industries doing brisk business over the next 12 months.

If you are interested in staying abreast of the trends sweeping strategic production sectors, please follow us on the blog, Twitter and LinkedIn.

You can also connect with us here for a custom quote.


How Critical it is for the U.S. Power Supply to be Reliable?

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently called for a report on the dependability of our electricity grid to ensure it continues to provide Americans with the power they’ve come to expect.

The grid is undergoing substantial changes in order to keep pace with rising energy demand — some of the most profound changes since its inception, as a matter of fact — and the study is intended to assess “how certain policies are affecting, and potentially putting at risk, energy security and reliability.”

A dependable electrical grid is essential across all industries, but especially for manufacturing and fuel production.

The significant changes in how the U.S. generates its power is greatly tied to the Marcellus shale gas boom within the past ten years. The affordable, plentiful supply of natural gas from the shale formation in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New York lessened U.S. dependence on imported gas and, in part, marginalized coal and nuclear power plants. The use of wind and solar power continues to rise, too.

The U.S. electricity system is a complex network of power plants, transmission and distribution wires, and electricity consumers, and ensuring it remains reliable will be no easy task. As we wait for the study to shed light on the grid’s dependability now — and in years to come — modernization efforts continue and integrate new technologies with the existing grid infrastructure.

Central Metal Fabricators is an industry leader in the production of silencers for exhaust stacks, inlet stacks, and enclosures. We also supply exhaust plenums, filtration systems, enclosure panels and doors, exhaust diffusers, turning vanes, vandal-rain-snow roof/guards, exhaust stack eductor assemblies, and acoustical-thermal panels, turbulators and turning vanes.

Let us help you with your gas turbine silencing needs. Contact us today, and follow our blog, as well as connecting with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


The Forecast of Global Wind & Solar by 2040

What are the future expectations of wind and solar energy for supplying global power? Here at Central Metal Fabricators, we fabricate, assemble, and install gas turbine silencing equipment and associated metal items. Our panel of industry experts delve into the matter below, and the findings might surprise you.

IEA Projections on Renewable Energy

As per data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), wind and solar power will generate more of the world’s energy by 2040 than it does today. But, while primary energy demand (TPED) renewables, which includes solar and wind, have higher usage than 1990, it likely amounts to less than you imagine.

In 2014, solar cells or photovoltaic (PV) cells and wind contributed a meager 0.6% of total global energy. Fast forward to 2040 and this number increases, but only to 2.9%. Respectively, coal, oil, and gas will continue to dominate as the top three energy power sources around the world.

Plus, the IEA prediction assumes that every country complies with the Paris Agreement on climate change. The US is currently not in the climate accord, and compliance is not likely to be gained by every other country, so the IEA’s estimate of less than 3% is likely more than it will be come 23 years from now.

Natural Gas and Nuclear Power Estimates

Natural gas will grow faster as an energy resource than any other TPED, accounting for 25 percent of global demand by 2040, based on projections by a recent ExxonMobil report. This will be less than oil, which will be the biggest resource, providing about 32% of the world’s energy, and more than nuclear power at 7%.

While renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind will grow over the next few decades, its development will be considerably slower than the rate and volume of natural gas.

Wind and Solar Pie Chart

Applying the Research

Regarding the above, you have an idea of the world’s energy picture for the near future, including only about 3% renewables. Understanding the energy supply for Central Metal Fabricators and many other industrial manufacturers is important so that we use the sources wisely to craft optimal products and plan for the future.

Internally, we manufacture an array of industrial products including dampers for gas turbines, boiler casings, steel hoppers, and busbars. Our top quality engineering design service replacement parts, gas metal arc welding, flux core arc welding, and more.

Stay on top of relevant trends by following us on our blogTwitter, and LinkedIn. Be sure to contact us to place your next industrial product order or if you have any questions.

Is Wind and Solar Energy A Dependable Energy Source?

Have you seen the environmental science education video, “Can We Rely on Wind and Solar?” It’s popular on the social media scene, with more than 644,000 views in the last few weeks. The video asks the question, “Why do solar and wind combined provide less than 2% of the world’s energy?” The video presents a case for using fossil fuels as are energy supply resource contrary to popular beliefs promoting wind and solar energy.

In the video, Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress, says, “The only way for solar and wind to be truly useful would be if we could store them so that they would be available when we need them.” But, there is no realistic way to do so.

Epstein points out that the process of generating energy for mass consumption from renewable sources is expensive. He also notes that wind energy and solar energy are “unreliable” and “intermittent,” saying, “Yes, the sun is free. Yes, wind is free. But the process of turning sunlight and wind into useable energy on a mass scale is far from free.” Epstein adds, “Compared to other sources of energy – fossil fuels, nuclear power, and hydroelectric power – solar and wind power are very expensive.”

There are other issues, too. According to Epstein, the unreliability or “intermittency problem” of wind and solar energy is the main reason why there aren’t any freestanding solar or wind power plants in the world. He says, “In the entire world, there is not one real or proposed independent, freestanding solar or wind power plant. All of them require backup. And guess what the go-to backup is: fossil fuel.”

Whether or not you’re wondering if “green” energy, specifically wind and solar energy, are the solution to our world’s climate and energy problems, you might want to take a few minutes (less than five minutes) to watch the video. Or if you’d like to explore the types of turbines and related industrial products the energy industry is using to produce power for global mass consumption, check out the Central Metal Fabricators website.

Rehabilitation of the Longview Power Plant Makes it the Most Efficient in the Country

Although we don’t hear much about construction of new coal-fired power stations but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. New plants are being built and are expected to meet up-to-date specifications and requirements. That’s what the owners of the Longview Power Plant expected when their new plant came on-line in 2011. Unfortunately, the plant had some serious design errors which needed immediate remediation.

One of the first repairs needed was the boiler tubing which was constructed from T23 and T24 materials. The boiler nose arch on the unit—a first-of-a-kind once-through BENSON low mass flux vertical tube advanced supercritical design—was a weak link. The design was unstable and the T23 material leaked. To fix it, a nose arch made from T22 with an Inconel overlay was constructed and the results were positive.

Vibration issues were also a problem. The plant was running a Siemens SST6-6000 steam turbine and an SGen6-3000W generator. While the turbine functioned flawlessly, the generator suffered vibration issues and excessive hydrogen leaking through the seals. Siemens overhauled the generator and improved the foundation which resulted in acceptable vibration readings and hydrogen leakage.

The air quality control system was sized incorrectly and not working properly to remove particulates. After modifications and additions the system began operating at 99.5%. The company also replaced the distributed control system which brought about significant improvements.

These changes have turned Longview into the most efficient coal-fired power plant in the U.S. and a model of excellence. The technology utilized at Longview may lead to a future energy plan that includes coal generation as a viable energy source.

Full details on the Longview rehabilitation project can be found here.

Understanding Gas Metal Arc Welding

Being a manufacturer of industrial products for combustion turbine units, we know a thing or two about sheet metal fabrication. In this blog we’ll go over a capability that is important for designing and manufacturing parts and components that stand up to the challenging conditions of power generation equipment.

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) is a unique welding process that is versatile, fast, and produces strong joints. It can also be called metal inert gas (MIG) or metal active gas (MAG) welding. To weld metals together a welding gun is used to create an electric arc from a consumable wire electrode and the pieces which melt and join together. What makes this welding process different than others is that a shielding gas is fed through the welding gun to protect the weld from contaminants present in the air. This serves to create a very strong bond between the two pieces of metal.

Inert gases used in GMAW include carbon dioxide, argon, helium, or a mixture of gases. The welding gun consists of an automatic feed consumable wire, the shielding gas, and a current conductor. When passed over the area to be welded, the operator just needs to guide the welding gun over the area. The automatic feed of the electrode makes this a very easy process. But, even though the tools are easy to use the skill of the operator is extremely important for proper position and orientation of the welding gun.

GMAW is very suitable for automation and this fact makes it very popular in manufacturing operations. Low temperatures are generated with GMAW and it is ideal for use on thin sheets of ferrous and non-ferrous metals including aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, and copper. At CMF we are experts at producing the equipment and components our customers need to meet their specific applications. Our capabilities, including GMAW, bring all the pieces together quickly, efficiently, and with the highest quality.

Central Metal Fabricators Offers Gas Turbine Silencer Services

As a leader in gas turbine silencing equipment for over 65 years, we are often the first call of customers looking to tackle big projects. This happened recently when we were contacted by Trans Canada and National Gridin the Northeast and Georgia Power in the Southeast for service to their gas turbine silencer systems.

CMF offers gas turbine silencer services that encompass replacement of existing systems as well as full technical support for any problems or issues. Power generation gas turbines have an expected operating life of about 40 years but the silencing systems installed with original equipment have demonstrated useful operation of less than 20. We have found that on many gas turbines the silencing systems often require a complete replacement.

CMF provides a complete site re-evaluation of the acoustical requirements to determine if refurbishment or replacement is the best option. If current acoustical performance requirements have changed, upgrading equipment may be a possible choice. Or, it might be more economical to replace older silencing systems with less, but more efficient equipment.

In the cases of Trans Canada and National Grid, and Georgia Power, we performed on-site evaluations and delivered solutions that meet current noise pollution and efficiency standards.

Our abilities to fabricate, assemble, and install gas turbine silencing equipment sets us above any others in the industry. If you have aging equipment or need stack replacements, contact us to learn more about our custom-engineered products and services.