Institution news

60 seconds with...Steam Turbine and Generator engineers

Institution News Team

Speakers at this year's Steam Turbine and Generator User Group put their fingers on the pulse of this industry and provide a preview of the topics they are looking forward to covering.

For further details and to book your place at this year's User Group, please visit the event website.

Please briefly explain your role, involvement, and experience in regard to the Steam Turbine and Generator User Group.

Howard Sedding (HS): I have contributed to the STGUG, as a presenter or co-author, at each event since 2017.

Zamir Malik (ZM): I have many years of experience of condition monitoring and analysis of steam turbines and generators; however, I am new to this user group. I will be presenting first time here.

Richard London (RL): Throughout my career I have always been involved with power generation both in the UK and abroad and I am a committee member and help to prepare for the event.

What would you say is the top challenge facing your industry at present?

HS: The increasing penetration of renewables, including the radical changes in grid codes, that have had significant downsides for generator OEMs and utilities.

ZM: I understand that building a new power station is our top challenge. We are building Hinkley Point C. The other challenge is the safe and reliable operation our existing fleet of stations.

RL: Currently there are many changing global drivers that are influencing the energy market. This is driving uncertainty for investment, but at the same time driving a number of diverse solutions. Ensuring that the UK has the right skills for the future is our generations challenge.

How would you say your industry has evolved over the past two years?

HS: Due to Covid there has been an increase in providing remote support and the increase in renewables has lead to an increase in business in synchronous compensators. The need to stabilize the power system in an era of increasing use of solar and wind generation has resulted in many OEMs focusing on development of synchronous compensators as well as converting existing generators to synchronous compensators.

ZM: One of the significant change introduced after Covid is the flexibility of working from home. It has its own merits and demerits.

RL: Despite the market influences the need for energy is a constant and will increase as result of the electrification of cars. This means power generation products need to be reliable with reduced maintenance periods.

What will you be presenting at the Steam Turbine and Generator User Group and how will this benefit participants?

HS: My presentation is on the evolution of international standards on rotating machines and how these standards are changing to reflect the changes in the industry.

ZM: I will present a case study regarding a 660 MW steam turbine fault diagnosis. My presentation will summarise how we have used technical rigor and a structured methodology to diagnose a fault condition where the initial observations were confusing and were presenting conflicting symptoms. This resulted in diagnosing the problem swiftly and prompt identification of the location for intrusive work with high confidence.

Which other speakers and presentations are you looking forward to hearing at the forthcoming seminar?

HS: The presentations on synchronous compensators, generators for use with SMRs and experience with rotor winding fault detection and endwinding vibration.

ZM: In fact, I am looking forward to hear from all speakers. It is very difficult to pin point one or two speakers. However, I can mention a few of them: Alastair Miller from EDF Energy, Tristian Vye from Frazer-Nash Consultancy and Luca Corsa from Ansaldo Energia.

RL: It's always good to hear how others have solved similar problems. I also enjoy a look into the innovations that support the industry.

Why is it important for engineers and industry to come together at this event and share best practice?

HS: This is one of the few events in this industry where there is a good balance of OEMs, end users and service providers and that the presentations tend to be technical and non-commercial.

ZM: Obviously, these kind of events can enhance knowledge base of every participants. People can learn from other people’s experience and can share the best practices they are using.

RL: Networking is a big part of this event. Forming new contacts and sharing experience is quite motivational. It is often difficult to quantify the benefit of that snippet of information or that contact made but it is always worthwhile.

The Steam Turbine and Generator User Group 2023 will take place on 15-16 March 2023 in Manchester.

Featuring a busy two-day agenda of technical presentations, panel discussions, keynote addresses and dedicated networking opportunities, this annual User Group remains THE technical forum for OEMs, designers, operators, service providers and experts to convene, share their expertise and make valuable new connections in this industry.

For further details and to book your place at this year's User Group, please visit the event website.


Read more related articles

Professional Engineering magazine

Professional Engineering app

  • Industry features and content
  • Engineering and Institution news
  • News and features exclusive to app users

Download our Professional Engineering app

Professional Engineering newsletter

A weekly round-up of the most popular and topical stories featured on our website, so you won't miss anything

Subscribe to Professional Engineering newsletter

Opt into your industry sector newsletter

Related articles