TVA Employees Honored for Research Project
March 17, 2011
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Two project managers with the Tennessee Valley Authority have been honored for research on a new way to identify potential problems in steam boiler units at fossil power plants.
Steam boiler units burn coal to heat water and create steam to drive turbines that generate electricity.
David Nesbitt and Jesse Johnston received the 2010 Generation Technology Transfer Award from the Electric Power Research Institute during ceremonies in New Orleans for their work on a project funded by TVA Technology Innovation and Allen Fossil Plant in partnership with EPRI.
Under Nesbitt and Johnston, temperature sensors were installed in a steam drum, part of the boiler where steam is collected, inside a unit at the Allen plant near Memphis. The sensors measured temperature and surface stress at the point where water is added, something that had never been done before. Even a slight change in temperature can cause the drum to crack. Data from the study, completed in 2009, showed how such monitors can identify problems as they happen.
"This research was the first of its kind at the time and is expected to help operators avoid conditions that could damage a steam drum," said Steve Halcomb, TVA project manager for Clean and Renewable Energy Technologies. Halcomb nominated Nesbitt and Johnston for the award. Both men are based in Chattanooga.
EPRI annually recognizes industry professionals who have led technology efforts on behalf of companies like TVA. After an extensive review, the TVA project was selected as one of 12 winners of the 2010 award.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 36,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA's service territory are below the national average.
Scott Brooks, Knoxville, (865) 632-8031
Media Relations, Knoxville (865) 632-6000