TG327 – Steam Turbine Operation Practices & Alarm Response

TG327 – Steam Turbine Operation Practices & Alarm Response

4.5 days - 32 PDH Credits Awarded



When things go wrong, with respect to steam turbine operations, they go wrong quickly!
  • Packing rubs can occur for what might appear to be, no apparent reason. Your gut reaction on what to do, when a packing rub occurs, can be seriously wrong!  Learn the concepts here and be prepared.
  • One moment all is fine, and the next moment the alarms are dancing off the wall (or CRT). Could it be a water induction incident?  The next few minutes of decision making and operator action is critical!  Learn how the turbine is impacted and what one should or should not do.
  • We often hear that there are two lines of defense against overspeed. Learn, exactly what they are and what they are not!
  • Haven’t seen that vibration trend before. What does it mean?  Learn what data needs to be collected to answer this question and how to come to an answer as well.
  • The lube oil temperature is 110oF while on turning gear. So what?  Learn why this can be an issue.
  • ….. and the list of issues go on.
This course is intended to have a positive impact upon steam turbine operator decision-making.  The course specifically targets Control Room Operators, wannabe CRO, and Shift Supervisors.  Engineers can benefit as well.  It has been HPC’s experience that all too often that the procedures for starting up and loading a steam turbine are based upon hand-me-down communications.  Too often, equipment has been improved but procedures have not.  Too often, equipment has been replaced, but the procedures have not been altered.  This course is not intended to develop or discuss procedures, but is, instead, directed toward development, in the operational personnel, a thorough “understanding” of what considerations the ideal procedures are based upon.  HPC believes that if personnel thoroughly understand the operating concepts the result will be less forced outages, improved efficiency and improved availability. Emphasis is on those steam turbines driving large generators.  HPC’s “Steam Turbine Operating Practices & Alarm Response” course is instructed by experienced OEM engineers.  A topical outline includes:  Review of Steam Turbine Operating Theory, a Review of Steam Turbine Components, Auxiliary Systems, Thermal Stress, Turbine Supervisory Instrumentation, Steam Turbine Control Concepts, Normal Operation, Failure Modes, and Abnormal Operations.  The discussion on Normal Operation is to include Methods of Prewarming, Starting and Loading Instructions, Load Change Considerations, and Normal Shutdowns.  The discussion on Abnormal Operation is to include:  Eccentricity Issues, Packing Rubs, Effect of Synchronizing Errors, Lube Oil Problems during Startup, Water Induction (an in-depth discussion), Overspeed (Normal, Emergency and Destructive), Vibration Trends as a Telltale of Operational Problems, Differential Expansion Issues, Effects of Frequency Deviation, Vacuum Breaking, High Exhaust Hood Temperatures, Over Pressure/Temperature at Inlet, and Feedwater Heater Removal.

Course Dates / Location / Fee

See for detail on the course dates / locations / and registration fees. HPC’s 3-4-2 policy applies:  Sign up 3 for the same course/date, pay in advance, and pay for only 2 (the 3rd participant is free)! HPC Technical Services reserves the right to cancel any course/seminar within 10-working days of the scheduled date.  Fees are 100% refunded or credited to another Seminar (clients' choice) if HPC should cancel any Seminar.  HPC is not responsible for non-refundable airline tickets or other travel expenses under any circumstance.

What you will receive

  1. One copy of HPC Technical Services' textbook, Steam Turbine Operation Practices & Alarm Response, a $249 value, as written by Harold Parker.
  2. A Certificate of Completion with 31 PDH awarded.


Upon completion of this course the participants will be able to:
  1. Describe those steam turbine components that are susceptible to damage in abnormal operating conditions.
  2. Describe performance issues that may develop relevant to the condition of the turbine steam path.
  3. List and describe those actions that can be taken by operations to minimize efficiency losses.
  4. Describe in detail the function of the turbine support systems, procedural issues, “typical” abnormal conditions, and operator corrective action.
  5. List those turbine supervisory instruments typically found on a steam turbine application and describe the intended function of each instrument.
  6. Draw a simple block - diagram that describes all the elements of steam turbine controls: speed, load, and pressure control, the generation of a servomechanism signal, feedback and regulation.
  7. Describe the function of each of the block diagram elements drawn.
  8. Describe normal steam turbine start-up and shutdown procedures.
  9. Describe each of those operating parameters monitored by turbine supervisory instruments, instrument function, and interpretation: eccentricity, shell expansion, differential expansion, vibration, axial position, temperatures.
  10. Demonstrate understanding of the risk / benefits associated with the defeat of any OEM recommended trip.
  11. List abnormal conditions often experienced in operating steam turbines, and for each abnormal condition discussed:
    1. Describe any operational symptoms.
    2. Describe how the steam turbine is at risk.
    3. Describe typical controls’ automatic response.
    4. Describe required (recommended) operator response.
  12. Describe protection of the steam turbine from system related events: stability issues, loss of synchronism, synchronizing errors, motoring, power / load unbalance, overspeed.
  13. List those common tests performed on steam turbines and for each item listed explain the purpose of the test and important procedural items relevant to that test.

Course Outline


  • Steam Turbine Fundamental Review: Fundamental Theory of Operation, Component Descriptions, Efficiency Issues
  • Turbine Systems: Lubricating Oil Systems, Gland Steam and Water Seal Systems and Hydraulic Power Unit (where applicable).  Emphasis is on a review of normal operations, and more detailed discussion of abnormal operations.
  • Turbine Supervisory Instrument Location & Function: Eccentricity, Speed Detection, Valve Position, Vibration, Shell Expansion, Differential Expansion, Axial Position, Metal and Exhaust Temperatures


  • Steam Turbine Control Concepts: Purpose, Speed Control, Load Control, Inlet Pressure Control, Load and Pressure Limiters, Flow Control (Valve Positioning), Start Up (Traditional and Reverse Flow) Overspeed and Reset System, Overspeed Trip


  • Turbine Normal Operations: Thorough Examination of the Cause and Effect of Thermal Stress, Starting and Loading Procedures (including what the OEM didn’t tell you), Reverse Flow Start Up, Auxiliary Valve Systems, Drains, Pre-warming Procedures, Normal Operations, Load Changes, Cascading Bypass System Operation, Shutdown


  • Turbine Supervisory Instrument Alarm & Trips: ;Thrust Bearing Failure Alarm/Trips, Differential Expansion Alarm/Trips, Abnormal Eccentricity, Vibration Analysis as an Indicator of Abnormal Operating Conditions(Oil Whip, Bowed Rotors, Low Speed and High Speed Packing Rubs, Mechanical Unbalance, Resonant Vibration, Coupling Unbalance, Cracked Rotors.
  • Abnormal Conditions: Detection, Potential Results and Operator Action to Prevent Loss: Loss of Turning Gear, Extended Turning Gear Operation, Inability to Stay on Turning Gear during Prewarm, Abnormal Cooler Discharge Oil Temperatures, Bearing Wipes, Water Induction, Excessive Differential Expansion, Axial Rubs, Low Speed Operation, Sling-Shot Starts, Low Frequency Operation, High Exhaust Hood Temperatures, Vacuum Breaking, Over Pressure, Over Temperature (including cooling steam), Valve Oscillation, Full-Load Rejection, Hot Restarts


  • Steam Turbine Protection: Stability Issues, Loss of Synchronism, Synchronizing Errors, Motoring, Power/Load Unbalance, Overspeed.
  • Periodic Tests:  On-Line Overspeed Testing, Off-Line Overspeed Testing, MSV/CV Testing, RHSV/IV Testing

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will HPC Technical Services bring this course to our location for our personnel only? YES, call or email Stephen Parker, for a price quotation.
  • Will HPC Technical Services customize the presentation at our site to suit our particular needs?
  • Is HPC Technical Services' textbook available for purchase as a reference document?   $249 + S&H.
  • What is the cost for HPC Technical Service to deliver this course at our location? Well, of course that can vary, but generally speaking, if you're planning on having 6+ attend, when considering your T&L, it is to your advantage to perform the course at your plant (office).  You gain from the customization and price.
  • Can HPC Technical Services perform an audit of our operating procedures, or an In-Service Inspection? Yes we can.  Call or contact Stephen Parker, for our rate sheets and any further information required.

Steam Turbine Generator Operations Certification

Those who attend this course are automatically qualified to take HPC Technical Services' Certification Examination.  This examination is offered at no additional expense to the participant.  An 80% passing grade is required.  The examination length will not exceed 2-hours.  Those who complete this examination will receive a revised "certificate of completion" that recognizes this accomplishment along with two-copies of a "To Whom It May Concern" letter that states their accomplishment.  (Two copies are provided, one for the participants' employer and one for the participants' personal file.) Consult HPC's website,, for detail on this certification program.