Leak Detection for Power Generation
Helium mass spectrometer leak detection is preferred for detecting and mitigating leaks in steam-based power generation systems. The instrument’s sensitivity and efficiency are ideal. However, steam turbines are challenging environments for leak detection due to high temperatures and the fact that the test media is water vapor, which can easily cause significant damage to pumps and other components.
As a solution to these issues, the Agilent Harsh Environment (HE) Probe can be inserted directly into the high temperature vapor stream to enable helium mass spectrometer leak detection. Combined with an Agilent HLD leak detector, the direct measurement technique enabled by the probe gives more accurate, repeatable results while also preventing instrument damage or degradation. Equipment damage or failure due to corrosion or water in the leak detector or roughing pump is eliminated.
The HE probe does not require dryers, chillers, a secondary vacuum pump, or throttling valves in order to sample in wet, high-temperature environments. It is constructed of 316L stainless steel with a composite permeable membrane at its tip, and is able to withstand water and amines (corrosive ammonia derivatives), and operate at temperatures up to 95 °C (200 °F).
The potential return on investment on a steam turbine, regardless of size, can be significant, and in some systems the HE probe and HLD leak detector has paid for itself after a single use.
Agilent provides a range of services for the technology, including specialist training and dedicated support to help turbine operators realize the full value of their investment, and ensure the stability and performance of their equipment.