Facing escalating costs for new generating facilities and regulatory and economic uncertainties, electric utilities are increasingly postponing construction of new power plants and are instead exploring ways to extend the life of the older plants well beyond their intended design life. Much work has been performed on a worldwide basis in recent years to develop analytical and experimental methods to determine the remaining life of boiler components. The diversity of the methods developed and their relative merits leaves practicing engineers with an unclear definition of a practical approach to life evaluation, especially for high-temperature components. This paper presents a practical strategy for boiler life evaluation and extension using proven techniques. While not losing sight of recent developments, the emphasis is on using methods that are inexpensive, fast, and proven. The approach is currently in use on a commercial basis and is continually being updated to reflect new information as it becomes available.

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