GE-design Heavy Duty Gas Turbine Training Needs

Hello to the GE-design heavy duty gas turbine community here at

The question being posed to the community-within-a-community in this thread is:

If you were granted the ability to receive training on any three (3) specific GE-design heavy duty gas turbine-related topics, what would they be?

Mark V or Mark VI is not a specific answer; if you want to know about how to troubleshoot Diagnostic Alarms, or you want to know about how to troubleshoot a 125 VDC Battery Ground Alarm, or you want to know about everything there is to know about servo regulator outputs, or contact (discrete) inputs, or solenoid outputs, those are valid responses to the question being posed in this thread.

If you want to know how to troubleshoot exhaust temperature spreads, or wheelspace temperature alarms, or how to check Hydraulic System Pressure or how to charge the Hydraulic Accumulators, or how to calibrate IGV LVDT feedback, or a functional description of the Liquid Fuel System from the storage tank to the fuel nozzle, those are valid responses to the question being posed in this thread.

If you want to understand droop speed control, or fired shutdown sequencing, or cooldown sequencing, or VAr shedding, or Power Factor Control, or fuel transfer logic, or DLN-I sequencing, those are valid responses the question being posed in this thread.

If you want to understand mA input configuration, or RTD input configuration, or why GE uses inversion masks, or how GE motor starter logic is designed, or GE-provided fire detection systems, or the GE "protection" core philosophy, those are valid responses to the question being posed in this thread.

Please be specific and if someone has already listed one or two or all of your desires, don't be afraid to list them again. This is a poll of sorts, to get your wishes and find out what you want to get from your dream training course.

Lastly, I would like to know--without any names--if the company you work for pays for training or if you get the majority of your training on the job and from working with the field service representatives that come to your site.

If you are a supervisor who could get training for your direct reports, on the Internet at any time of the day or night, with feedback and ratings against other students, and the chance for certification at the end of a series of modules designed to leave the student with the skills and abilities to troubleshoot and maintain GE-design heavy duty gas turbines I would like to hear from you on what you need or require from training and instruction to make your charges more productive.

Thanks for your help with this project of mine! And here's hoping dreams do come true.
You have opened pandora's box.

They want all of it. Without research in manuals, without any effort. Just a simple answer from CSA.

Mark V guy retired from this forum because his company would not allow him continue to give free information.

I have a great respect for your posts, I want to help you achieve your dream.

But face it, many people on this site post a question without even trying to look at previous posts.

Never the less, if I can help you achieve your dream let me know.
This is not directly about my dream. It's about the dreams of people who want to become competent and confident in their knowledge of GE-design heavy duty gas turbine operation and Speedtronic control systems.

While there is a lot to be learned from the information available in the manuals, there is even more that's not available in the manuals.

This is about what people would want to get from formal training. Being a good technician or operator takes more than one can glean from the manuals. I want to know what people want to learn most, specifically, not generically.

It's pretty clear from the posts here on over the years that top three questions revolve around servos and LVDT calibration, and exhaust temperature spreads, and wheelspace temperature problems. While we (gratefully) haven't had any threads about droop speed control, that, too, seems to be a popular topic. Also, performance-related issues seem to be of interest, as well as liquid fuel issues.

But, that's just the questions that get asked here on I'm sure other people have more desires to know about more concepts and topics.

So, CuriousOne, did you find everything you needed to know in the manuals provided with turbine and control systems at your site? Could you use the Search feature of to find all the answers to questions not satisfied by information in the manuals?

My dream is for people to feel they have the basic knowledge and fundamentals of turbine and auxiliary operation necessary to know what should be happening and when, and to be able to use the Speedtronic to determine what might be or might not be happening when it should be to be able to correct the problem. And, to be able to understand basic maintenance procedures and practices to maintain reliable unit operation and control.

I'm just trying to find the best way to provide the most desired, useful information to help people with their needs and desires (their "dream training" as it were).

Bob Johnston

The whole subject is so correct and interesting CSA. Yes, we have all been on many control system training courses but, if it is only someone reading from the manual, it will only tell us what we can learn ourselves. If I look back over nearly 40 years starting out as a Controls Tech (MK 1) and try to see how we develop our knowledge base over the years, it comes from a lot of different sources. This forum is extremely useful for spreading that knowledge, but I'm sure that something more could be done, on a commercial basis, to train this.

One of the main changes that I see over the years, is how I&C has become very tight in it's discipline structure, and has nearly become IT services..!! To try and do what you (and I) are talking about needs a much more multi-discipline structure. My working situation in my present (and final)job is very much putting me in this situation in trying to pass this knowledge on to a multi-discipline, but very discipline specific, group. I think this one of the answers to your "dream training".

If you, CSA, would like to discuss how we could personally get together on providing some of this information, either through this forum, or in other ways, drop me an Email to [email protected]
Dear CSA,

First we have noticed you have raised new post. Thank you for your continue support. As you stated in example finding solution for 125V ground is an issue for us. What is your best practice to root cause the problem?

Like me, many of us benefited for this site and by you.

Take care
I appreciate CSA's question and his willingness to advance the knowledge of everyone on the site. Great Dream... GE has compiled a large set of knowledge solutions and articles to help operators with their controls and turbine equipment. GE requires registration on the site since operators are linked to their turbines but the website is free. Registration is relatively quick. CSA does a great job and hopefully the GE site will help provide a consolidated source for OEM information that goes beyond the manuals....although the manuals are there as well and fully searchable.

I am the Product Line Leader at GE Measurement and Controls. The GE Controls Connect portal has significant functionality to help answer your questions. In Controls Connect you can search the knowledge database for similar issues plus find manuals, GEHs, GEKs, TILs, white papers, etc or phone/email the technical support team directly. GE provides a level of complimentary phone and email support for controls customers. This is a FREE service. I hope it helps.

CONTROLS CONNECT NOTE: If you have a GE Single Sign-on Number and are a GE turbine operator, business associate or EPC firm, please send me an email with the subject "Controls Connect Access" and include your SSO#, Name and Company. Note that we do not accept generic email addresses (e.g. @yahoo, @hotmail, @gmail, etc). Company based email addresses are required for security reasons. Your registration will take approximately 3-5 days.

If you do not have a GE SSO# you can register at or just perform a Google search on "Controls Connect". Just click on the register button to start the process. When you reach the application list, select Controls Connect . It is one of the last options in the list. Registration should require less than 5 minutes to complete. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at [email protected]
bob Johnston,

Yes; it is an interesting subject, isn't it? I spend a great deal of time thinking about training, and the Speedtronic training I received over the years, and the manuals produced by the OEM--for the turbines and controls, and for the training they provide.

You are right; most of the formal training I received involved someone reading from the OEM manuals, and while there was some value in this, I didn't learn how to perform loop-checks, or how to commission the fire protection system, or how to purge and charge a hydrogen-cooled generator, or how to calibrate LVDTs, or how to perform a servo polarity check, or how droop speed control worked (and why it was important to understand how droop speed control works), or how the combustion monitor works, or how to tune NOx Water or Steam Injection, o, more importantly: how to troubleshoot Diagnostic Alarms.

I've spent some time thinking about your multidiscipline statements because at first they seemed a little contradictory. But, I would tend to agree with your assessment for the following reasons. Many sites have a reduced or non-existent "mechanical" department these days. Most of the heavy maintenance work is outsourced to contractors, and the "I&C" department has to do things like tighten valve packing and minor mechanical maintenance and repair, etc.

Further, it seems that a lot of the younger I&C technicians I am encountering don't have much formal training with controls and field devices and systems. They may have some programming experience but not much more than that. They are expected to be learning from the more experienced technicians on site, and that means "tribal knowledge" to me, and for GE-design heavy duty gas turbine control systems that's pretty suspect training.

It's an unusual environment we find ourselves in today. A lot of older controls tech's are retiring, creating a need for replacements. Some sites are recognizing this and are hiring, but some are not providing much, if anything, in the way of training, and are not requiring much, if anything, in the way of formal training for their new hires. They are expecting the new hires to learn everything they need to know from the tech's currently on site. In some cases, that works; in some, it doesn't.

What I think many people (even most people in the OEM) believe that simply learning about the Mark V or the Mark VI or the Mark VIe will make a person competent to operate, troubleshoot and maintain a GE-design heavy duty gas turbine. And that's just <b>NOT</b> true. While it helps to know how the control system works, it's most important to understand how the turbine and auxiliaries are supposed to operate to be able to determine if the control system is working correctly or not, and if the problem is in the control system or the field devices.

Turbines are not like automobiles where it's not necessary to be a mechanic to be able to drive a car (though it used to be necessary back when we were kids, eh, Bob?). Automobiles have gotten more reliable and computerized, and being a mechanic has changed. But, automobiles are much less complicated and sophisticated and nuanced then turbines.

Turbines and turbine controls aren't near the point or automobiles and automotive 'control system' yet, and it's doubtful if they ever will be at the same level. Model-based turbine control promises to further that evolution, but along with that comes a certain amount of "black-box" engineering that will have some heartburn associated with it until it gets more "wisdom."

It's a very strange world, especially when we consider that the machines these people are being entrusted to work on multimillion dollar machines that burn huge amounts of fuel and generate millions of dollars in revenue (over their life).

Recently I have been told--thrice, to be exact--that the site will not spend money on formal Speedtronic training because they feel the staff who receive the training will market the training they receive to other employers who will pay more money and so they will lose their investment in training.

Our training (yours and mine, Bob) had to come from a lot of different sources, and when we're asked to train others in this field it's very difficult to do using existing manuals and materials (what little materials there are). People just think we need to teach the Speedtronic and that's enough, when it's woefully inadequate for the technician to be competent and assist with reliability and efficiency of operation--which is what their job really is, not just responding to alarms (most training doesn't even teach how to respond to alarms very well).

I'll probably be contacting you in the not-too-distant future.

However, based on the feedback I have received so far to my question, I may have been too optimistic about people's wishes (calling them "dreams") of becoming competent and confident technicians. I guess people don't dream about being better at work when they can get their questions answered for free on GE Controls Connect.?.?.?

I did not wish to rain on your parade, just show the cloudy days.

I guess I must give information that dates me as well. I too, learned from the Mark I and the 7B turbine.
The MKI documentation was so much better than MKV documentation.

My technician training is US Navy. My BS is in Information Systems. Back in the day, one needed a chain fall to replace a hard drive in a NEC mainframe.

The training you speak of is needed, but ......

[email protected] is your initial contact if you dare to hear me rage against the machine.