Lab Services I Alabama Power | Alabama Power

 

Lab Services

Providing you timely, accurate and defensible data

Time is money. You don’t want to waste either, which is why it’s critical you know what you’re paying for when it comes to the fuels and materials you are using at your facility. Our team of lab experts can help. Alabama Power’s General Test Lab was established in 1975. Since then, we have recruited experts with over 400 years of combined experience in the analysis of transformer oils, coal products and byproducts, petroleum, limestone, gypsum and water. The data we provide can be used for regulatory compliance, contract specification verification, asset protection and operational support.

Transformer Oil Analyses

Diagnostic testing of transformer oil enables you to make informed decisions regarding the condition of your transformer and its insulating fluid. The tests we perform are part of routine preventative maintenance and can indicate trouble within the transformer before a major problem occurs. If left untested, you could experience power outages and loss of expensive equipment. 

 

Analyses routinely performed:

Test Name

Method Reference

Dissolved Gases

ASTM D3612

Color

ASTM D1500

Moisture

ASTM D1533

 

Analyses performed, as requested:

Test Name

Method Reference

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB)

EPA 600/4-81

Neutralization Number

ASTM D974

Power Factor

ASTM D924

Dielectric Breakdown Voltage

ASTM D877

Interfacial Tension

ASTM D971

Dielectric Breakdown Voltage

ASTM D1816

 

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Petroleum Analyses

Contaminated petroleum products can result in equipment damage or equipment not operating properly. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that fuel oils, turbine oils and lubricating oils meet specific chemical and physical properties. Oil system contamination may include dirt, rust, water, debris and by-products of the oil degradation process.  Regularly scheduled oil analysis can prevent equipment damage and provide trending programs of oil health to prolong the life of equipment.

 

Routine analyses include:

Test Name

Method Reference

Cloudpoint

ASTM D2500

Water and Sediment

ASTM D2709

Water Content

ASTM D6304

Viscosity

ASTM D445

Copper Corrosion

ASTM D130

Color

ASTM D1500

Flashpoint

ASTM D93

Heat of Combustion

ASTM D240

Density

ASTM D4052

Acid Number

ASTM D974

Wear Metals

ASTM D5185

ISO Cleanliness

ISO 4406

 

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Fuels and Materials Analyses

Monitoring the efficiency of your power plants comes down to ensuring the quality of fuels and materials being used. It’s important to know those fuels and materials are still in the same condition when you first received them. The testing we do on coal, ash, biomass, activated carbon, limestone and gypsum can help you determine how efficiently your plant is operating and anticipate major problems in your equipment. Historical trending is also used to monitor the quality of each sampling location with our data system. 

 

Coal, Ash and Alternative Fuel tests include:

Test Name

Method Reference

Ash Fusion

ASTM D1857

Ash

ASTM D7582

BTU

ASTM D5865

CH&N

ASTM D5373

Fluorine in Coal by Combustion IC

ASTM D5987

Grindability (Hardgrove) of Coal

ASTM D409

Halogens in Alternate Fuels

ASTM D7359M

LOI (Loss on Ignition)

ASTM D7582

Mercury in Solids

ASTM D6722

Moisture

ASTM D7582

Particle Sizing Dimensions

ASTM D4464M

Short Proximate

ASTM D3302/D5865/D7582/D4239

Sieve Analysis of Coal

ASTM D197/D4749

Sulfur

ASTM D4239

Trace Elements by ICPMS (As, Be, Cd, Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, V, Zn, Se, Sr)

ASTM D6357

Volatiles

ASTM D7582

XRF Ash Minerals (Al, Ba, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Na, P, Si, S, Sr, Ti)

ASTM D4326

XRF Halogens (Br, Cl, Se)

In House

 

Limestone and Gypsum tests include:

Test Name

Method Reference

Bond Working Index for Limestone

EPRI B-6

Foaming Characteristics of Limestone

Mitsubishi

Limestone Wet Sieves

EPRI G-1

Mercury in Solids

ASTM D6722

Moisture Content

ASTM C25/C471

Particle Sizing Dimensions

ASTM D4464M

Reactivity of Limestone

Mitsubishi

Sulfur

ASTM D4239

Trace Elements by ICPMS (As, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, V, Zn, Se, Sr)

ASTM D6357

XRF Analysis (Al, Ca, Cl, Fe, Mg, Mn, Si)

ASTM C1271

 

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Water Chemistry Analyses

Testing the quality of water at your facility helps in keeping your operation running smoothly and is also necessary for NPDES permit requirements. Our lab performs various analyses for regulated and non-regulated water samples. Results are used to ensure your assets are protected by maintaining optimum water chemistry. 

 

 

Routing analyses include:

Test Name

Method Reference

Anions

EPA 300.0

BOD

SM 5210B

Mercury

EPA 245.1 and EPA 245.7

Metals

EPA 200.7 and EPA 200.8

Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN)

EPA 351.2

Nitrate/Nitrite

EPA 353.2

Ammonia

EPA 350.1

Phosphorus

SM 4500

Oil and Grease

EPA 1664B

Solids

SM 2540B, SM 2540C and SM 2540D

Low Level and High Level TOC

SM 5310A&B / SM 5310C

 

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The Competitive Advantage

Our experience and expertise are key reasons why customers call on us, but it’s our personal service that’s unmatched.

 

Experience

Our team employs about 70 staff members who are recognized leaders in environmental field support and analytical testing. They have diverse backgrounds as chemists, biologists, engineers, environmental scientists and electronic and data specialists.

 

Expertise

As subject matter experts in both technical and industrial processes, we have the credentials to back up our experience in all facets of our business:

Laboratory is ISO 17025 compliant and most of the methods used in the water chemistry section are accredited through the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP, Certification ID E571114).

Water Field group is ISO 17025 compliant and a TNI (The NELAC Institute) accredited Field Sampling and Measurement Organization (FSMO) through the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA, certificate #4117.01).

The Alabama Power Company Air Field Services team participates in a number of quality management programs including the stationary source audit sample program for Part 60 and Part 63 test programs as well as ASTM D7036 for Part 75 programs.

Service

Our customers are at the center of everything we do. We place a priority on building relationships with each customer and making ourselves easily accessible and available for emergency analytical needs, including after hours and weekends if necessary. It’s that drive that’s earned us a reputation for quick turnaround times and one reason why we continue to receive outstanding customer satisfaction ratings on annual independent surveys.