Because of changes in the Italian electricity market, consequence of the liberalization process, new management strategies of power plants and electricity generation systems have been applied, from a basic use towards flexibilization to cover daily and weekly variations. This operation mode leads to higher profits in the short term, but tends to cause lifetime reduction of critical components, due to creep damage and thermomechanical fatigue.
This paper evaluates the residual life of critical equipment for steam power plants. The effects of rapid and frequent changes in both temperature and pressure in these
components will be evaluated in economic terms too.
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