Performance services

Contractual Acceptance



McHale Performance Services specializes in providing turnkey performance, availability, startup, reliability, sound emissions, and stack emissions testing services to demonstrate the compliance of new or retrofit plant systems and components with contractual acceptance guarantees.  We deliver project experience and impartial results that provide our clients with superior risk management.

McHale’s highly qualified test engineers are experienced in testing the overall performance of all conventional types of plants including fossil-fired steam turbine plants, simple cycle gas turbine or combustion turbine plants, combined cycle plants, cogeneration plants, nuclear plants, and marine plants.


We are experienced in contractual acceptance testing the performance of virtually all major balance of plant components including:

  • Combustion Turbine or Gas Turbine Generators
  • Steam Turbine Generators
  • Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG)
  • Fossil-Fired Boilers (Coal, Natural Gas, Biomass, etc.)
  • Recovery Boilers
  • Waste-to-Energy Boilers
  • Air Quality Control (AQC) Systems
  • Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Systems
  • Selective Noncatalytic Reduction (SNCR) Systems
  • Low NOx Burners
  • Moisture Separators
  • Cooling Towers
  • Evaporators
  • Drift Eliminators
  • Air Heaters
  • Air Cooled Condensers
  • Water Cooled Condensers
  • Demineralized Water System
  • Evaporative Coolers
  • Service Water Cooled Heat Exchangers
  • Air Cooled Heat Exchangers
  • Spray Ponds
  • Chillers
  • Pumps
  • Fans
  • Compressors
  • Feed Water Heaters
  • Deaerators
  • Waste Fuel Incinerators

Our staff has an unparalleled level of technical expertise in the performance engineering industry through technical expertise with numerous codes, standards and guidelines including those from ASME, ISO, IEC, IEEE, CTI, ASTM, and BS.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Performance Test Codes (PTC)

Cooling Technology Institute (CTI)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)

Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA)

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

American Gas Association (AGA)


A partial listing of the various technical committees and codes on which McHale maintains active participation is shown below:

    • ASME – Performance Test Codes Standards Committee, Former Chair
    • ASME PTC 1 – General Instructions, Former Chair
    • ASME PTC 4.4 – Gas Turbine Heat Recovery Steam Generators*
    • ASME PTC 6 – Steam Turbines
    • ASME PTC 6.2 – Steam Turbines in Combined Cycles, Former Chair*
    • ASME PTC 19.1 – Test Uncertainty*
    • ASME PTC 19.5 – Flow Measurement*
    • ASME PTC 19.6 – Electrical Power Measurements*
    • ASME PTC 22 – Gas Turbines, Former Chair*
    • ASME PTC 40 – Flue Gas Desulfurization Units
    • ASME PTC 46 – Overall Plant Performance, Chair*
    • ASME PTC 47 – Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Power Generation Plants
    • ASME PTC 51 – Combustion Turbine Inlet Air Conditioning Equipment, Former Chair*
    • ASME PTC 52 – Concentrating Solar Power Plants
    • ASME PTC 100 – Power Plant Performance O&M Activities
    • CTI – Performance & Technology Committee
    • CTI – Technology Review Committee
    • CTI ATC 105 – Rewrite of Acceptance Test Code for Water Cooling Towers
    • CTI ATC 140 – Rewrite of Acceptance Test Code for Isokinetic Drift
    • CTI ATC 150 – Acceptance Test Code for Wet‐Dry Plume Abatement Cooling Towers
    • CTI Standing Committee STD 201 – Standard for the Certification of Water-Cooling Tower Thermal Performance
    • CTI Development Committee STD 202 – Standard for Publication of Custom Cooling Tower Thermal Performance Test Result

* McHale’s ASME PTC Membership of these key committees provides the project with unique and valuable testing experience that can be leveraged for the success of the project.

McHale routinely assesses the performance of power plants in comparison to contractual guarantees.  In many cases, if the plant does not meet guarantees, there is a desire to know which of the components was responsible for the shortfall.  McHale has conducted component testing on over 35 plants over the past 5 years that did not achieve guarantee level performance based on initial plant testing results to identify performance shortfalls of the components. Our extensive experience with performance testing allows us to quickly identify which components or subsystems to investigate or to troubleshoot further and thus clearly identify which party of responsibility should address the shortfall.  We look at the identified issues while keeping in mind that measurement errors may be contributors to false indications.  In some instances, we are engaged by counsel to serve as industrial experts on arbitration/legal cases to find root causes of mal-performance.

Typical turnkey contractual acceptance testing services include:

  • Reviewing and providing guidance in contracts between the owner, the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) firm, and the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to ensure that our client’s interests are properly secured in the contractual guarantees, terms, and conditions related to the performance of new or retrofit plant equipment
  • Orchestration of pre-test meetings to ensure alignment between all parties to the test
  • Preparation of site-specific test protocols and test procedures to guide the conduct of the test and the analysis of the test results
  • Reviewing the Owner, EPC, or OEM provided test procedures to ensure that the test will be conducted in accordance with contractual specifications and not in a manner that will bias the results against our clients
  • Generation of performance models, correction curves, and analysis tools to confidently analyze test results
  • Reviewing the Owner, EPC, or OEM provided performance models or performance correction curves to ensure that the performance of the equipment will be analyzed properly
  • Generation of a pre-test uncertainty analysis to guide the selection of test methods and test instrumentation so to ensure compliance with contract and test code requirements
  • Preparation, calibration, and rental of all required temporary test instrumentation
  • Installation, configuration, and checkout of all temporary test instrumentation
  • Reviewing test instrumentation specifications and calibration records to ensure that the instruments used will meet the requirements of applicable codes and standards and the assumptions of the pre-test uncertainty analysis
  • Overseeing all test preparations to ensure that the test instrumentation is installed properly, that the plant control system is configured properly, and that the plant equipment is properly prepared for testing
  • Overseeing the conduct of the test to ensure that test data are collected properly, that the unit is operated within proper design limits for the test, and that all test and environmental conditions meet the requirements of applicable codes and standards for stability and allowable variation from guarantee conditions
  • Removal of all temporary test instrumentation and presentation of preliminary results on site
  • Generation of test reports documenting the conduct of the test, the analysis of the test results, and the post-test uncertainty that ensures that suitable data was selected for analysis, that proper analysis techniques were applied correctly, that the post-test uncertainty analysis was conducted in accordance with applicable codes and standards, and that test results were properly compared to contractual guarantees
  • Supporting our clients in any meetings with the parties and/or regulators regarding the disposition of the test and the performance of plant equipment to aid in the quick acceptance of the results
  • In the rare event it becomes necessary, supporting our client’s in any arbitration or litigation regarding the disposition of the test and the performance of plant equipment

On many of our performance tests, McHale is contracted to review the plant lineup and control settings along with the startup team to make adjustments based on data collection/analysis evaluations to determine, then set, and finally, confirm that the plant has been set to achieve its peak performance prior to testing. We successfully support commissioning teams in the functional tests required for initial start-up and tuning of new installations.