Performance test codes, otherwise known as PTCs, are standard documents, written and published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), that provide uniform rules and procedures for the planning, preparation, execution, and reporting of performance test results for different instruments, equipment, and facilities. When tests are conducted in accordance with a performance test code, they yield the best available indication of actual performance of the equipment tested. This is due to their basis in the highest engineering knowledge, which takes into account test costs and the value of information obtained from testing.
Performance test codes, much like other standard documents, help to increase competitiveness for both manufacturers and users of the equipment or systems specified. With a widespread uniform code for a particular test procedure, manufacturers and users can turn to the applicable document, confident that they are accessing knowledge representative of the highest level of accuracy and reliability for carrying out their duties.
The general rules for performance tests covered through the codes are covered in ASME PTC 1-2015 – General Instructions. Specifically, this document provides direction to users and code-writing committees of Performance Test Codes, stating that they should consider the code’s scope and major industry applications and provide directions for the equipment’s tests. The existence of this document assures a commonality among the different performance test codes.
However, it is only one of 48 documents. ASME’s performance test codes cover a range of industries, and are divided into four main categories of equipment and systems. These are power production, combustion and heat transfer, fluid handling, and emissions. Beyond these primary groups, there are general documents that cover analytical techniques, measurement of process parameters and associated phenomena, and guiding information.
Some performance test codes developed and published by ASME, separated by the primary categories in which they reside, include:
ASME PTC 6-2004 (R2014) – Steam Turbines
ASME PTC 46-2015 – Overall Plant Performance
ASME PTC 10-1997 (R2014) – Performance Test Code on Compressors and Exhausters (PTC 10 – 1997)
ASME PTC 19.11-2008 (R2018) – Steam and Water Sampling, Conditioning, and Analysis in the Power Cycle
Combustion and Heat Transfer
ASME PTC 30-1991 (R2021) – Air Cooled Heat Exchangers (ACHE)
ASME PTC 4.4-2008 (R2013) – Gas Turbine Heat Recovery Steam Generators – Performance Test Codes
General Document on Analytical Techniques
ASME PTC 19.1-2018 – Test Uncertainty
General Documents on Measurement of Process Parameters and Associated Phenomena
ASME PTC 19.5-2004 (R2013) – Flow Measurement
ASME PTC 19.2-2010 (R2020) – Pressure Measurement
General Documents on Guiding Information
ASME PTC 19.3 TW-2016 – Thermowells
ASME PTC 2-2001 (R2014) – Definitions and Values Code
Additional ASME performance test codes can be found by searching the ANSI Webstore.