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Project Details

Engineering and general contracting services for the installation of a 5.6 MW steam turbine generator.

Location: Lawler, IA
Project Duration: 11 months

Services

Below are some of the services we provided for this project:

  • EPC from Design to Commissioning
  • Aspen Process Modeling
  • Equipment Sizing & Specification
  • Structural Steel Design
  • Piping Stress Analysis, Structural & Thermal
  • Operator Training

Turbine Generator Addition

A steam turbine letdown generator addition allows plants to produce power from existing steam. The additional power keeps external energy costs down while creating value with another product stream. This was a “first of kind” for Nelson Engineering.  As Ken Drovdal, the Project Manager, said, “As a result of the Nelson Engineering team’s performance and resolve, we completed this project within budget as well as within the customer’s aggressive schedule!” Kevin Krehbiel, the lead Mechanical Engineer, reiterated that it was a true all-team effort and that everyone who touched the project was challenged and met the challenge.

  • This generator will produce up to 5.6 MW, depending on inlet steam conditions.
  • This addition lowers the plant’s electrical usage and demand.
  • Kevin Howes, the Plant Manager, is seeing savings around $6,000 per day, offsetting 40% of their electrical demand!  They anticipate the project having a three year payback.  He also noted that, “Nelson Engineering has not missed a start-up date or project budget to date and this project was no different.  As opportunities are discovered, Nelson takes care of them.”

Project Challenges & Nelson’s Solutions

Being a new project for Nelson, the team came in with the mindset to handle any challenge with a solid solution, not excuses and change orders. There were some challenges that were known ahead of time — for example, positioning the turbine in the building after the building was erected in an effort to commission the turbine as soon as possible after its arrival onsite. The Site Supervisor, Luke Beldin, recognized that having a solution already planned for this challenge helped things go smoothly. He also is excited for our next turbine generator addition to tweak a few structure elements preemptively.

Drovdal recalled the delivery of incorrect material and the quick action of the team to secure this critical-path piece, with no impact to the schedule. He even recounts, “After the turbine generator equipment arrived to the site on two trucks, we completed the work required to be done after delivery of such equipment, in less than half the time ordinarily seen by the manufacturer.”

Krehbiel shared that there arose a piping challenge that the engineering team was able to quickly solve with a design change and appropriate piping guides. He is excited to take the knowledge from this project and advise the next customer how to streamline the project’s startup and commissioning, in order to minimize operational fluctuations.