Atlas Copco Rental helps Chinese nuclear plant optimize maintenance time for turbine cooling

Guangdong, China, January 2017: Atlas Copco Rental supplied 3 PTS to Yangjiang Nuclear Co., Ltd. in order to help them with rapid cooling of the steam turbines.

During maintenance of a nuclear plant the process of cooling down the steam turbines is one of the most time-consuming. The total maintenance time is crucial since the shorter it is, the less financial impact on the operations. Finding ways to safely cool down the turbine as fast as possible is an important success factor during a turnaround at any nuclear plant around the globe. The Yangjiang Nuclear Power Station is a nuclear power plant in Guangdong province, China. It’s one of the major energy projects of the Eleventh Five-year Plan. The station will have six 1,000 megawatt CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors (PWR). It began commercial operation in March 2014. The CPR-1000 is a design developed by China from the French Areva-designed PWRs at the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant. Yangjiang marks a step in the development of China's domestic nuclear industry. For the first turnaround in early 2016 experts from the China Guangdong nuclear group suggested that in order to get a faster cooling speed, and therefore a shorter cooling time of the steam turbines, it would be better to use compressed air. This was a big challenge because this method had never been used before. With this new method, compressed air is the key factor that affects the result of the cooling, and determines whether the project will succeed or fail. During the cooling process the compressed air flow needs to be stable, and at the same time the temperature and pressure dewpoint have to exactly match the customer’s specifications. If any of these parameters are not met, not only would the cooling rate would be very low, but also the turbine would be damaged. After several technical meetings and careful consideration, Yangjiang nuclear decided to cooperate with Atlas Copco Rental on this project. We then developed a tailor-made solution that could both fulfil the requirements and ensure the shortest possible cooling time.

Based on the customer’s input, Atlas Copco Rental offered a Total Solution comprising:

  • 3 x PTS 916 mobile diesel driven 100% oil-free compressors 
  • 3 dryers 
  • Diesel tank 
  • Aftercooler 
  • Manifold
  • Hoses and accessories

Once the installation was ready our on-site engineers thoroughly checked and tested all the equipment, including flow rates and pressure dewpoints. The customer was 100% satisfied with the supplied compressed air. The outcome of this project has been a great success: the actual cooling time was much less than what had been estimated and far exceeded our customer’s expectations. Yi Hai Wei, Project Engineer explained that, “It was such a good decision from our side to cooperate with Atlas Copco Rental. Not only the performance of the equipment was superb but also the staff were extremely professional and knowledgeable. We certainly will consider more projects together and this is the start of a long-term partnership.”

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Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2015, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 102 (BEUR 11) and more than 43 000 employees. Specialty Rental is a division within Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area. It serves customers in the industry segments around the world with temporary air and power rental solutions. The specialty rental services are offered under several brands. The divisional headquarters is located in Houston, USA.