What to Look for When Buying Used Complete Power Plant Equipment

by | Dec 18, 2018 | Energy Feature

Despite the new trend of low emission – energy saving plants, some people still use power plants. These new forms of highly efficient energy plants are usually costly to install which is not the case with used power plants. Some advantages of used power plants include:

  • The cost of the entire project is cheaper than other energy sources.
  • The fuel needed to run the power plant is cheap and readily available.
  • With the right equipment, an industry can have a captive power plant.
  • This type of energy generating plants can are common in areas with little to no environmental regulations.
  • It has a quick gestation period as opposed to other energy generating methods.

The diesel generator has a KW range capacity while the gas turbine and the complete power plant set can produce electricity in the MW range. It is entirely up to you and your need when it comes to choosing the right used power plant equipment.

Below are some factors to consider when buying used power plant equipment.

Government codes and regulations

Depending on where you intend to use the power plants, there are strict codes placed on the design and operation of steam power plants. The government through the state energy regulatory bodies will need you to provide: drawings, calculations, material certificates, and manufacturing data for all power plant equipment especially boilers. Ensure you have original documentation and a professional to make your life a little bit easier. Since you are buying used materials, remember to check the emission requirements and environmental regulations before the buy. Factor in work that may need to be done on the equipment to meet all regulations.

Consider your needs

Before purchasing any equipment, the buyer should look at the equipment they already have and find machinery that matches their needs. Check the output capacity, voltage, and frequency of the used equipment and compare it to your own. The cooling system and the type of fuel the used equipment uses should be the same as the one you have. If your goal is to save some money, then, it will be wrong to buy something that needs additional equipment to suit your equipment. This should be your last resort after looking everywhere and comparing your additional cost to purchasing new machines.

Check the physical condition of the used equipment

All the necessary documentation has to be in order. Some documentation to look for include: O&M manuals, drawings, original drawings, design calculations, details of components, history of replacements, data on failures, and a spare parts list. Inspect the equipment thoroughly to determine the condition of the machine. Check for internal and external corrosion, pitting, erosion, damages and missing parts. Check the condition of boiler tubes and turbine rotors because they can be faulty. Investigate the storage facility to see if the equipment was well preserved.


The machine may be too large to carry and may require dismantling for easier transportation. The dismantling process should be done by professionals who will ensure every single component is present. The process should be done well to ensure that no harm comes to the machine. This can also present an excellent opportunity to see if the internal parts are not damaged. The people handling this delicate process should use the proper packing materials to prevent damage during transit. They should remember to label the packaging to ensure assembly is easy.

Installation and support

Using the documentation and measurements provides, every component should be put back in its original position. The only parts that might need to change are the instrument tubing and fittings, electric cables, trays, and conduits. They may have been old and needed replacing anyway. You may not have the support you require for your used equipment; therefore, you will require the manual and any relevant documentation when questions arise. Research on the availability of parts or salvage parts from old machines. Consider that the original manufacturer may have discontinued the model, but they may still be able to help when the machine breaks done. Some skilled specialists can help with repairs reducing your dependency on the manufacturer.

When you need complete plants for sale, you will need to research online for traders that deal with used equipment. It is vital to remember that you will have to assume some risk as there may not be any support through warranty when the equipment breaks down. That doesn’t mean that used equipment is not of good quality.


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