Since the 1960’s the maintenance concepts of gas turbines have remarkably changed. Nowadays, condition monitoring systems supervise modern gas turbines. These systems are capable of avoiding failures that are developing slowly. The actual enhancement of early fault detection is predictive maintenance where big data from different sources is used to predict the behavior of gas turbines.
In this paper eight different actual gas turbine failures are presented, beginning with the damage event and the root cause and followed by a discussion, whether the failure could have been avoided by predictive maintenance. In some cases, e.g. during commissioning, a successful early fault detection with predictive maintenance cannot be achieved, since the failure often occurs suddenly and is unforeseen. In others cases, especially during operation, the failure could have been prevented by predictive maintenance. However, it has to be stated, in all these cases significantly more measuring devices would have been necessary.
The potential exists that more failures can be avoided by predictive maintenance in the future. However, there are also damage scenarios that cannot be prevented by any early fault detection system. Thus, the Possible Maximum Loss, an important figure for technical insurances, remains unchanged independent of the application of predictive maintenance.