Use of remote cameras sparks safety best practice innovation

PSEG Power operates one of the most balanced portfolios in the country – both in terms of fuel mix and market segment (baseload units, load-following units and peaking units). PSEG Power operates a fuel-diverse fleet consisting mainly of nuclear and natural gas plants, with a growing renewable portfolio. Our plants are located in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

PSEG Fossil, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PSEG Power, includes a “peaking” team that operates a fleet of simple-cycle combustion turbines throughout New Jersey. These units run in response to peak demand periods as part of PSEG Power’s diverse portfolio. Several of these gas turbines are available on both fuel oil and natural gas to ensure system reliability in the event there is a shortage of natural gas supplies.

The ongoing efforts of PSEG Fossil’s peaking team to strive toward a safer work environment have resulted in new procedures at our generating station located in Kearny, New Jersey, which makes performing work tasks safer and more efficient. The team has introduced an innovative use of GoPro cameras to put “eyes” inside the engine package. For those not familiar, GoPro is a compact camera system that enables one to capture photos and video under extreme conditions.

The engine package – a soundproof enclosure around the combustion turbine – is a hot and loud compartment with exposed moving parts and surface temperatures that can reach up to several hundred degrees. During the post-maintenance testing or oil commissioning of our peaking units, leak checks are a routine task. The ability to safely look for leaks has been greatly improved with the use of this camera system that was developed in-house by our peaking team.

The GoPro cameras are seated on remote mounts, giving our operator the ability to pan and tilt the camera. The cameras can capture a live feed and send it to the combustion turbine operator, who is standing outside of the engine package in a safe environment. The GoPro camera’s mobility enables the operator to conduct a full set of leak checks without entering the package. This has significantly improved the safety of those who perform this work and has reaffirmed our continued focus on two of PSEG’s core commitments: safety and continuous improvement. Check out this process in action …

While other peaking plants around the U.S. with LM6000 gas turbines use high-cost stationary cameras for leak detection, our team took it to the next level by using GoPro cameras and the pan/tilt mounts for greater flexibility at a lesser cost.

The peaking team at Kearny Generating Station has received accolades from our business’ senior leadership team for its innovative thinking. The result is finding yet another new way to perform tasks, using technology, with the goal of keeping those who operate our plants away from potential hazardous situations.

Peter Van Den Houten, Peaking Plant Manager - PSEG Fossil

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