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Improved Competitiveness for Conventional Coal & Gas-fired Power Plants

A Justification for Re-evaluating Maintenance and Upgrade Policies.

For Many 1960-1970 Vintage Plants, Efficiencies can be Improved up to 15% (or more) and Operating Ranges can be Widened.

With the new administration in Washington, we have already seen a difference in the regulatory philosophy being exhibited. A new attitude has appeared which strives to greatly reduce regulations on electricity generators and at the same time protect the environment in a more reasonable manner.

Under the prior regulatory regime, the regulations were so onerous that many conventional coal-fired and gas-fired generating stations were either (a) planned for permanent shut-down because the regulations were making them unprofitable, (b) the regulations would force installation of very expensive emission controls, or (c) the stations would run with minimal maintenance until they were no longer operable, and then close. 

With the new attitude in Washington, this is an opportune time to re-evaluate all maintenance and upgrade policies...to improve efficiency, performance, availability and reliability.

Many Generation Stations are Excellent Candidates for Upgrades with Substantial Efficiency Improvements:

Candidate Plants: Prior to the 1990s, utilities enjoyed a constantly growing demand for electricity. Most generating stations of the era were designed as base-load power generators operating at or near max generation. Equipment was selected for quick delivery and not necessarily sized to optimize the efficiency of the generating unit. With the range of options available today, efficiency and performance optimizations for these older plants can be achieved.    

Today the question before us is this: Are these older plants valuable or are we better off just shutting them down? Consider this: As each new solar or wind project comes on line, the need for stand-by power increases. The renewable source generators provide intermittent power. Stand-by generating stations are required in periods of reduced solar and wind generation. Due to the need to have back-up power plants and to pay for the capital to build new plants, the levelized cost of solar and wind is very high—3-5 times the cost of electricity from existing coal fired powered plants. However, these older plants have been PAID FOR. Only the upgrades have to be paid for, making these plants highly desirable.

Existing generating stations that can turn down to low generation and then can come up to full power in a short period of time can help to alleviate the problems caused by intermittent sources. Due to the nature of the steam cycle, sub-critical steam plants that are retrofitted with known upgrade technologies are better suited to run down to 10% of maximum capacity. Such plants can provide this much-needed stand-by capacity, and with lower heat rates, they can compete with other generating stations.

Effective Upgrades to Achieve Substantial Efficiency, Availability, Reliability, and Operability Improvements of Rotating Machinery:

The major technologies that can be implemented for the turbine-generators and the associated auxiliary rotating equipment that can significantly improve the efficiency, availability, reliability and operability of power plants are these:

  1. Retrofitting 3-D steam path technology can often improve efficiency by 6-10%.
  2. Optimizing the size of high power Boiler Feed Pumps, Induced Draft Fans and Forced Draft Fans, as well as introducing Variable Speed Fluid Drives where possible can improve the efficiency from 2% to 4% for each function.

For conventional coal-fired and natural gas-fired large steam turbine-generator units, a good starting point is this:

  1. Select expected operational functionality, depending in part on boiler design:
    • To operate on constant throttle pressure over the entire load range, using partial arc control valve methodology, or
    • To operate on "Sliding Pressure" over all or a portion of the load range.
    • Determine desired minimum stable generation as a percentage of full load rating.
  2. Implement an upgraded steam path using available 3-D steam flow design techniques and control valve operation to achieve the operation method selected above. HP, IP, and LP turbine sections are all candidates for upgrades by the major turbine manufacturers. TRI Align-A-Pad® tilting pad bearings have been designed to suit the particular characteristics of upgraded turbine and nozzle block designs, permitting even greater improvements in MW generation and efficiency than can be achieved with standard OEM bearings. With the resulting redesigned new rotor and bearing system, greater availability, reliability, and operability can be expected. Improved reliability leads to fewer starts and stops and reduces associated costs.
  3. Optimize sizing and powering of large auxiliary equipment, primarily boiler feed pumps and fans:

Most BFPs and Fans are NOT optimized to support the existing turbine steam path, and more importantly at this time, they are NOT optimized for any upgraded turbine steam path. Furthermore, it is very UNLIKELY that they are designed for operating over a wide operating generation range including stable operation at a new minimum of approximately 10% of maximum generation. Such low generation conditions that are stable can be and have been achieved using Variable Speed Fluid Drives to power BFPs and Fans.

Regarding BFPs, the impellers and stationary parts can be redesigned and manufactured to optimize stable feed water flow conditions and power consumption for the revised turbine operating conditions.

It is advantageous to drive the BFPs by Variable Speed Fluid Drives (VSFDs) that are in turn driven by either an induction motor or the end of the turbine-generator shaft. TRI designs these VSFDs and the associated auxiliary equipment to be able to operate anywhere in the head-capacity chart for the BFP that suits the turbine. It is interesting to note that a BFP driven from a VSFD powered by the main turbine shaft is an extremely efficient method for powering boiler feed pumps, as compared to mechanical drive steam turbines because the steam stays in the main turbine which has much higher efficiency.

Regarding fans, fixed geometry fans, especially centrifugal fans, are simple devices and require relatively low maintenance as is necessary to achieve maximum availability and reliability. Fans can be designed or modified to suit the optimum air flow needs. The air flow controls can be modified to be primarily speed controlled and depend less on either outlet damper or inlet vane control. This is a critical point for improved efficiency over the entire load range, especially when low power for overnight operation is required.

Variable Speed Fluid Drives can be sized and manufactured to match the optimized fans, regarding fan speed range and absorbed power.

Electric Motors of sufficient power are used to drive the Variable Speed Fluid Drives. An advantage to the use of VSFDs is that the motors have only the input sections of the attached VSFDs to drive, and therefore, a 6000 hp, 600 rpm motor can rapidly accelerate to reach design speed in only a few seconds, perhaps 3 to 5 seconds. Much shorter than 45 to 60 seconds required to start when the motor is directly coupled to a heavy ID fan. This definitely minimizes the period of high inrush current, and therefore, minimizes the duty experienced by the motors. After reaching full speed, the VSFD is loaded.

Calculations for New Operating Conditions:

To determine the overall system efficiency improvements obtained by using the upgraded components described above, a computer program such as PEPSE can be used. PEPSE is a steady-state energy balance software program that calculates the performance of electric generating plants. It is supported by Curtiss-Wright.

While the efficiency improvements are dependent upon the circumstances for each generating unit, the clear consequence is that very substantial efficiency improvements can be made when all of the individual contributions are added up. This applies throughout the entire generation range as will be needed in the future, not just the maximum generation point typically used as the only evaluation point in the past.

TRI's History over the past 50 Years:

TRI has been in the business of solving rotor vibration, bearing damage issues, and other rotating machinery matters for over fifty years. This includes engineering analysis, design, manufacturing and installation of many retrofits and upgrades to improve operability and efficiency of power plants.

Dr. Mel with a large fixed bore bearingIn this Evaluation Process, Please Consider What TRI can do for your Equipment:

  • Babbitted Bearings: Fixed bore and tilting pad
  • Basic replacement and repair.  Most repairs are completed in a few days.   Simple upgrades using a different bearing bore geometry are completed in the same time period as machining the original bore geometry.  Our time schedule and pricing beats most OEMs.  TRI bearings have proven to be the best for reliability and for resolving "problem" bearings.   New fixed bore replacement bearings are manufactured in 4 to 6 weeks after receiving the steel forgings.
  • New sophisticated tilting-pad bearing upgrades (TRI Align-A-Pad®) control difficult rotor vibration and bearing damage issues. TRI can provide the engineering analysis of the equipment problems and can make these bearings in 4 to 8 weeks after receiving the specified steel.
  • A very common use of TRI Align-A-Pad® Bearings is in HP or HP-IP Steam Turbines of all sizes. These bearings are capable of controlling rotor vibrations due to unbalance over the entire load range for partial-arc operation, or to eliminate sub-synchronous rotor vibrations, including eliminating "steam whirl" when the bearings are lightly loaded.
  • "Lift oil" (jacking oil) mods to existing (or new) bearings reduce bearing wear, thereby reducing maintenance, and/or reducing turning gear motor amps.

Vibration Analysis and Diagnostics:

Today, there are many power plants and other companies that perform analyses and diagnostics of rotor vibration data taken from rotating machinery. TRI has been performing this service since 1971. This activity provides information that can be helpful in selecting what bearing designs would improve the vibration control or reduce bearing damage. Historically, based on this type of diagnostic activity, TRI expanded into the more complex business of making and installing bearings to resolve the identified problems. TRI continues to offer vibration analysis and diagnostic services today, as desired by power plant personnel.

Variable Speed Fluid Drives (Hydraulic Couplings) for Boiler Feed Pumps:Size 270 Single Circuit Fluid Drive for a boiler feed pump

  • Large Boiler Feed Pumps are driven by Variable Speed Fluid Drives, Variable Speed Steam Turbines, or by Variable Frequency Electrical/Electronic Motors.
  • The most robust and reliable method, as well as the lowest cost alternative particularly when long term maintenance is considered, is the use of large variable speed fluid drives driven by the main steam turbine-generators or by induction motors. Many years ago, TRI developed upgraded designs for a major group of these Fluid Drives, that when incorporated, typically permit 10 to 12 years of operation between inspections.

Variable Speed (Mechanical Drive) steam turbines typically require maintenance on the valves and turbine steam path every 2 to 6 years, which affects availability and reliability and increases maintenance costs.

Motors using variable frequency electronic drives are built on solid state electronics. As such, they can suffer an instantaneous shutdown from loss of a solid-state component, and they tend to become obsolete in a few years.

For Variable Speed Fluid Drives, TRI provides these products and services:

  • Remanufacture rotating elements to TRI standards.
  • Remanufacture Complete Fluid Drives to TRI standards.
  • Manufacture new spare parts.
  • Field Service for inspection, repair, and refurbishment.
  • Manufacture complete new Fluid Drives for almost any application up to 40,000 hp.

Lube Oil and Lift Oil Systems:

  • TRI designs and manufactures lube oil systems in a full-size range for normal operation.
  • For emergency lube oil supply, TRI offers and has developed a system that is an AC-DC hybrid. The motor, switchgear and Variable Frequency Drive are all standard AC. A conventional UPS package contains adequate batteries to supply the DC power required by the UPS inverter to provide AC power for the specified period of time. This eliminates all DC power apparatus, other than the internals of the UPS.
  • TRI designs and manufactures Lift Oil Pumping systems for turbine and generator bearings.

Lift oil skid for heavy rotors

Hydrogen Seals for GE Style Generators:

Most GE style generators in service today still use Hydrogen seal rings that are made of Bronze and are segmented into 4 quadrants. While these are reasonably effective, many have higher hydrogen gas loss than desired, sometimes due to vibration that displaces the seal quadrants. These original seal rings are somewhat difficult to assemble, to install, and to maintain. A very skilled technician is required, one who has considerable experience and attention to detail.

TRI Hydrogen Seals for GE GeneratorsTRI manufactures a newer version of these Hydrogen seals that use steel rings with Babbitted bores. Each ring is split into two parts which are bolted and doweled at the joints permitting a rounder and flatter seal ring and a more effective shaft seal. The clearances between the journal and these steel seal rings when set cold are intentionally larger than those for bronze seal rings when cold due to the difference in thermal expansion coefficients. Note that at operating temperature, the design clearances for the bronze and steel rings are intentionally identical.

With improved shaft seals, there is less gas leakage, so higher gas pressures can be used providing improved cooling. The operating results are that higher MW and MVars can be obtained with less overall generator maintenance.

A critically important feature of the TRI hydrogen seal design is that the housing has a removable outer top half that permits much easier installation, removal, and maintenance of the seal rings and associated garter springs.

The TRI Hydrogen Seal housing and ring assemblies replace existing Hydrogen seal assemblies - as complete assemblies. The TRI Hydrogen Seal housings at both ends of the generator are insulated from the frame.

Conclusion:

For help with upgrades, modifications, or simple repairs that you are pursuing today, please let us work with you to optimize the solutions to your equipment issues. With the administration change and a new attitude in Washington, let’s start making the upgrades.

 


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Technical Notes from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President March 30, 1998

 Significantly Increase Power Efficiency

Variable speed transmissions offer substantial power savings over constant speed and compressors with flow control devices.

Examine the chart to the right. The difference between the power consumption curves represents the power saved using a TRI fluid drive transmission. Additional savings are possible as a result of needing a smaller driving motor.

Fluid Drives 
   versus Solid State VFDs

Once the decision to control flow by variable speed has been made, one more question remains. Should the speed be controlled by a fluid drive or a solid state VFD? Maybe you are using a solid state VFD. If you are, then ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your VFD trip out during power fluctuations?
  • Does your VFD cog at low speed?
  • Does your VFD or motor overheat?
  • Do you require a specialized technician?
  • Do you have difficulty locating spare parts?
  • DO you want higher efficiency?


Are you using the most efficient means of process control?

 

TRI Builds Four new Fluid Drives Transmissions for natural gas handling platform. The TRI Model RAH fluid drives transmit power from gas turbines to generators. The turbines operate from 1900 rpm to 3000 rpm. The 4-pole synchronous generators are driven at a constant 1800 rpm and provide electrical power for other equipment on the platform

New Literature on the advantages of variable speed fluid drive transmissions is available. TRI offers two lines. Model RAH fluid drives operate from 50 to 4,000 hp and up to 3,600 rpm. Model FH fluid drives operate up to 40,000 hp and 15,000 rpm.

TRI designs and manufactures variable speed fluid drives transmissions

emphasizing small size, few parts, high reliability and low capital costs

 Tel: 610-363-8570 or 800-363-8571     Fax: 610-524-6326     EMail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    www.turboresearch.com

TRI Answers phone calls, returns e-mails and responds to fax inquiries

 

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Technical Notes from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President 

August 18, 1998

 $7,000 Per Megawatt-Hour ($7.00 per kwh) !!

June 25,26, 1998

 Before deregulation, bulk electricity genearlly cost $12 -$55 per MWH (1.2¢ to 5.5¢ per kwh). The most inefficient gas turbine or diesel cost $100/MWH (10¢ per kwh). Those prices were considered "too high". "Become competitive" was the call! Deregulation pressures brought severe cuts; eliminating spare parts, people, plants, marginal equipment. Very little new capacity was added.

The intent of deregulation was to reduce the price of electrical power to the customer. June 1998 was a wake-up call. Electric power can be vary valuable on the "free market". In June the price peaked at over 100 times the regulated price, even though actual generation costs now are slight reduced. Electricity via utilities has been considered a necessity for all. Will it remain that way?

With these high prices to buy or sell power now a reality from time to time, it is important that Generating Stations first must be available and reliable, and second, generation costs should be as low as reasonably possible.

TRI can help Utilities meet these Objectives to increase availability, reliability,
and cost effectiveness, and to minimize construction of new generation facilities.
 Utility Objective
   TRI Products and Services
 Tilt pad & Ellip
Turb & Gen
Bearings
Variable Speed
Fluid Drives
(Many Models) 
 Synchronous
Condenser
Packages
 
 - Reduce fuel consumed by 1% to 3% on average   × ×
 - Reduce CO2 and related greenhouse gases, to help meet objectives of Kyoto treaty    ×  ×
 - Operate on Sliding Pressure  ×  ×  ×

- Reduce Min./Increase Max. Generation Load × × ×
- Maintain minimum seal clearance in turbines  ×    
 - Minimize vibration over entire load range. ×    
       
- Operate longer between outages × × ×
- Control System Voltage and Power Factor × × ×
- Increase Max. Transmission & Distribution Load     ×

Contact TRI for more information about TRI's Products and Services, to schedule a visit or seminar in your plant

Upgraded Bearings: TRI Align-A-Pad Bearings® or Elliptical Bearings to 24" bore, that eliminate generation load restrictions.

Quality Spare Parts for Fluid Drives and Turbine or Generator Bearings

Variable Speed Fluid Drives (all new equipment) for Large Pumps, Fans, Compressors: to 40,000 hp or to 15,000 rpm.

Your Equipment Rebuilt Carefully and Completely

Synchronous Condensers, 30-1000 MVA, turnkey, includes starting equipment, for existing generators or new locations

Outage Maintenance Services


Please visit us at these Exhibitions this Fall:

ASME Int'l Joint Power Gen Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD Aug 24,25, 1998, Booth 310

27th Turbomachinery Symposium, Texas A&M, Brown Conv Ctr, Houston, TX Sept 22,23,24, Booth 360

Power  Generation International Conference, Orlando, FL December 9,10,11,1998, Booth 1425

Please help us update our database: If the addressee has moved, should be deleted, or others should be added, please advice. Thank you.

Tel: 610-363-8570 or 800-363-8571     Fax: 610-524-6326  

 

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Technical Notes from Dr. Mel Giberson, PH.D., P.E.  -  TRI President 

December 1, 1998

“It is cheaper to buy power than to make it” is being re-evaluated by electric utilities across the U.S.

Last summer showed that utilities purchased power at over 100 times normal generation costs.

TRI Resolution of Turbine High Amplitude Rotor Vibration Problem

Problem and Solution:

A utility has several identical 190 MW, 3600 RPM large steam turbine-generators with excellent heat rates and a vibration problem at certain loads (certain control valve positions). With the original bearings, it is not possible to balance the turbine rotors at all loads. The typical solution has been to operate the units at fixed loads near maximum generation. Because other units have to be turned down further or shut off at night, the resulting system costs are relatively higher. In 1995, TRI designed, built and installed a set of TRI Align-A-Pad® tilting pad bearings for the HP and IP turbines of one of these units. The rotorbearing dynamic characteristics were changed so that the turbines can now be balanced at all MW loads. The new system exhibits lower vibration and reduced turbine losses. The system is now run by the Automatic Generation Control (AGC) and the overall average generation cost for the system has been reduced.

As this electric utility re-evalulates power sourcing and costs, units are being retrofitted with TRI AlignA-Pad bearings. Contact TRI with a description of your turbinegenerator rotor vibration or bearing problems, and TRI will be pleased to provide you with a proposal for resolution. TRI offers performance warranties in most cases.

 

TRI Replacement of Older Fluid Drive Impellers and Runners Damaged by High Cycle Fatigue

Problem and Solution:

Most fluid drives installed in the U.S. were put into service in the 1960s. With increasing service life, fluid drive impellers/runners are beginning to fail via endurance limit problems. Also known as High Cycle Fatigue (HCF), an impeller/runner blade fails due to blade passing excitation frequencies that match the blade natural frequencies. The problem arises more when units are used in sliding pressure applications because the output shaft speed varies widely. Flaws in the material or other manufacturing defects can exacerbate HCF problems.

TRI has solved the HCF problem by manufacturing new impellers and runners using improved blade shapes, materials, and manufacturing techniques. With increasing probability of HCF failure of older units due to extended time in service, and because impellers and runners have long lead times, TRI recommends a spare rotating element or a complete spare fluid drive for critical service applications. If not possible, TRI recommends purchasing spare impellers and runners. Such spares permit a fluid drive assembly to be rebuilt quickly, minimizing the time that a utility is exposed to the prospect of purchased power at exorbitant rates.

For the most demanding applications, TRI manufactures impellers and runner with integral reinforcing rings, US patent 5,331,811.

 

 

  • Contact TRI for a review of your existing, proposed or conceptual fluid drive applications. 
  • Contact TRI for spare parts, repowering/upgrading, new fluid drives to improve efficiency of fans or BFPs. 
  • Contact TRI for replacement of electronic variable frequency drives with more reliable fluid drives.

Updated and expanded catalogs of TRI products and services are now available.


Please visit us at these Exhibitions:
Power Generation International Conference Orlando,  FL December   9, 10, 11, 1998
Energy Generation Conference Bismarck ND January 26, 27, 28, 1999
Electric Power ’99 Exhibition Baltimore, MD April 20, 21, 22, 1999

 

Please help us update our database: If the addressee has moved, should be deleted, or others should be added, please advise.  Thank you 

 

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September 1995                     


Technical Notes from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President


MORE PATENTS for TRI: Advancement in Design & Manufacture of Impellers from Forgings.

Pat. 5,133,811: Fluid Drive Impellers and Runners are now made with Integral Reinforcing Rings.
This patent permits improved designs that are much stronger, more hydraulically efficient, and have higher vane passing frequency: Long, Long Life. As the older fluid drive impellers and runners develope cracks in the vanes, often attributable to either cyclic operation or sliding pressure service, the new TRI Impellers and Runners should be used, as they are designed to survive in the rough service applications.

Pat. 5,438,755: Shrouded MONOLITHIC Impellers such as Boiler Feedpump Impellers. The new TRI procedure permits impellers to be made from solid forgings. It is particularly applicable for larger impellers with passageways having long, curved arcs from the inlet to outlet. This new TRI process eliminates casting and/or welding, typical of conventional impellers.

Personnel Announcement: Mr. Richard S. Gregory has joined Turbo Research Inc. as Vice President - Marketing and Sales. Mr. Gregory brings many valuable talent and skills to TRI. He was Vice President and General Manager of Kingsbury, Inc. for many years. He obtained his Masters of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the university of Pennsylvania, where his studies included film bearing design. In addition to marketing and sales responsibilities, Rich coordinated many of TRI’s production functions. You will find Rich to be a valuable resource at your service. We are delighted to have Rich join TRI.

Plans for Outages: Reduce Vibration, Upgrade Bearings, Inspect Fluid Drives.

Does your equipment need Babbitted oil-film Bearings that will permit extended operating times between outages? TRI solves difficult bearing and vibration prblems with bearings that can tolerate more unbalance, higher temperatures, wider load ranges (unloaded to high load). TRI manufactures "State of the Art" Babbitted Film Bearings for Steam or Hydro turbines, Generators, Fluid Drives, Motors, Pumps, Gearboxes, Fans and Compressors. TRI Bearings include: self-aligning tilting pad journal bearings, elliptical/fixed bore journal bearings, load-equalizing thrust bearings.

Fluid Drives: Inspections, Upgrades, Repairs, New Parts, Oil Systems, Filters, Field Service, and New Applications.

TRI performs all functions for fluid drives: TRI rebuilds American Blower, American Standard, Voith fluid drives, with new TRI parts. TRI solves vibration problems that are related to load, speed, or scoop tube position. TRI replaces CUNO strainers with real duplex oil filters designed to fit. TRI manufactures New Fluid Drives to optimize variable speed applications to 40,000+hp. The lost heat can be fully recovered in many applications.

Please contact TRI to describe "PROBLEMS ON YOUR MAINTENANCE LIST" for which you WANT SOLUTIONS, or to request TRI Product and Service information:

  • TRI Consulting Engineering - to solve problems and design upgrades
  • Rotor-bearing performance analysis - by TRI proprietary computer simulation
  • Seminars on Bearings Designed and Fluid Drives
    •      designed: related to performance of power generation equipment
    •      drives: design, operation, maintenance
    •      content and dates arranged to suit needs of your power plant.
  • Arrange a visit of TRI’s new Product and Service Display Van

Please advise us of any changes, additions or deletions in FAX numbers or mailing addresses for you or your associates by calling (800) 363-8571. We thank you for you help in updating our data.

Over 15,000 MW of Electrical Generation Depend Upon TRI Bearings

 
 

Phone: (610) 363-8570           TRI E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Fax: (610) 524-6326           TRI Web Site: http://www.turboresearch.com

 

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August 1996                     


Technical Note from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President


Reduced Reliability of the AC Power Grid
          The summer of 1996 has already seen three major power outages          

 

Although deregulating power has reduced generating costs, the recent major power outages in North America confirms that the power grid reliability has been compromised. In response, generating plants should be:

  1. Implementing measures to protect against damage during such an outage
  2. Re-engineering for faster restarts with less complications

Turbo Research, Inc. offers proven solutions for increasing the ability of power generation equipment to survive outages and stabilize distribution systems.

  • "State of the Art" Emergency Lube Oil Systems for all types of rotating machinery

  • Journal and thrust bearings that are more resistant to short term interruption of the lube oil supply

  • Motor driven boiler feed pumps with variable speed geared fluid drives

  • Synchronous condensers converted from existing generators (all sizes) with independent starting capability

 

          Don’t wait for problems          

 

Call TRI for information about consulting services and proven TRI manufactured components and systems.

TRI does answer phone calls and returns Fax Messages
Over 15,000 MW of Electrical Generation Depend Upon TRI Bearings
 
 
Phone: (610) 363-8570           TRI E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Fax: (610) 524-6326           TRI Web Site: http://www.turboresearch.com

 

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August 1997                    


Technical Note from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President


 

Extension Shaft Vibration

Large turbine and generator rotors are frequently designed with large bearings and small extension shaft. Many extension shafts have high amplitude vibrations causing damage to the steady rest bearings.

TRI can answer questions and provide solutions. Using computer models, TRI analyzes bearing performance and vibration characteristics for turbine-generator-extension shafts

 

Bearings, Shafts & Pedestals
Contact TRI for a source with proven design and fabrication experience.

Questions
» Should the design incorporate steady rest bearings?
» How much "lift" is appropriate for a steady bearing?
» How much "lift" will cause fatigue and failure?
» How will the critical speed be affected?
» If required, what is the best type of coupling?

 

Variable Speed Drives

Look to fluid drive technology for increased reliability, efficiency and noise reduction.

Variable speed power above 400 HP is delivered most reliable with fluid drive technology. With TRI's latest advances, fluid drives can be designed more efficiently than either electronic variable frequency drives or mechanical drive steam turbines. By introducing a second element in a surprisingly simple package, the new TRI design has dramatically increased efficiency at lower speeds.

for Fans, Pumps & Compressors

TRI provides variable speed power systems up to 40,000 HP for horizontal or vertical applications, new or retro-fit, and direct or geared systems.

Over 15,000 MW of Electrical Generation Depend Upon TRI Bearings

 
 

Phone: (610) 363-8570            Contact Us Fax: (610) 524-6326           TRI Web Site: http://www.turboresearch.com

 

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August 1994                     


Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President Announces Recent US Patents Issued to TRI


These are the result of TRI's extensive and intensive efforts over the past 20 years to improve the efficiency and reliability of high power fluid drive, typical of Boiler Feed Pump and Fan applications. Many are also useful when upgrading existing fluid drives for sliding pressure applications and/or high turn-down ratio applications.

5,331,881 Fluid Drive Impellers and Runners machined via 3-D CAM/CNC from alloy steel forgings with integral reinforcing ring and improved vane edge shapes. Increased power and efficiency result from the optimized cavity shapes and stronger vane structure. The multi-axis CAM/CNC machining provides the necessary flexibility to precisely configure the rotating element size to the power requirement.
5,315,825 Fluid Drive Oil System incorporating a circuit oil temperature control valve and separate oil reservoir. This system improves efficiency and reduces oil leakage, foaming, and disposal. 
5,303,801 Fluid Drive Brake System. Large calipers on fold-back/removable arms provide greater breaking power, improve reliability, and simplify maintenance. The conventional master cylinder is replaced by a hydraulic intensifier and oil reservoir allowing the system to work. 
5,207,903  Filter Stand Assembly for the support of conventional filters and double circuit valves incorporating trays for draining used filter elements, and an environmentally friendly pan underneath to contain oil drips and leaks. 
5,188,170  Rocker Connection for Heat Exchangers and Pipes that permits rolling, and not the typical sliding support action. No restraint along the axis of the heat exchanger, and almost rigid support in both transverse directions. 

Contact TRI regarding the availability of site licenses for the above patents.

Call, fax or write for inormation on how these TRI patents can solve the problems on you maintenance list.

TRI offers the following products and services:

  • Align-A-Pad Journal Bearings
  • Seals: Floating Ring, Labryinths
  • Oils Systems: New & Upgrades
  • Fluid Drives: Renewal Parts Rebuilds & Upgrades - All Sizes & Models
  • Thrust Brearings: Equalizing & Non-Equalizing, Tilting Pad, Fixed Geometry
  • Components and Impellers made by multi-axis CNC milling machines
  • Consulting services addressing all rotating machinery, emphasizing control of rotor vibration and performance of journal and thrust bearings.

TRI will be exhibiting at the 23rd Turbomachinery Symposium in Dallas from September 13th to the 15th
Our booth is number 122 - Call for Free Exhibit Area Passes and STOP and SAY HELLO

 

TRI does answer phone calls and returns Fax Messages

Over 15,000 MW of Electrical Generation Depend Upon TRI Bearings

 
 

Phone: (610) 363-8570            Contact Us Fax: (610) 524-6326           TRI Web Site: http://www.turboresearch.com

 

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July 18, 1996                     


Technical Notes from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President


The 750 MW Westinghouse Turbine-Generator Improved

by TRI Manufactured Products and Services consisted of an HP, IP and two LP turbines, a generator and an exiciter.1 All of the original turbine bearings were the OEM’s standard 4-pad design.

Alignment Vibration
Maintenance Instrumentation

Problems

  • The entire machine had to be aligned to bearing No.1. This bearing had no provision for making bearing alignment moves.
  • Overall HP rotor vibration.
  • The original design did not provide an easy method of flushing the lube oil supply and drain pipes.
  • No provision was made for blocking the lube oil flow to specific bearings for maintenance.
  • Only one vertical vibration proximity sensor for each bearing. It was located in the pedestal oil seal where seal tooth scratches on the shaft would negatively affect the indicated vibration, providing uncertain balance data.

 

Solutions

  • Two TRI Align-A-Pad bearings replaced the original No.1 and No.2 bearings in the HP turbine. Now the No.1 bearing can be aligned independently. Alignment moves can now be made with high reliability and maintain almost 100% contact to the pedestal bore without hand-working the alignment pads.
  • Using proprietary software, TRI tilting pad bearings were designed to minimize rotor vibratory amplitudes. TRI’s bearing design has more tilting pads than the original bearing, and these TRI pads self-align to the shaft under all conditions; even at operating speed. Therefore, no twist and tilt checks are necessary during installation.
  • The thin sheet metal pedestal cover was modified in the TRI shop to provide for rigid external mounting of the "dual vibration probes". These probes read journal motion relative to the bearing and bearing (not pedestal cover) seismic motion. The vibration since start-up has been approximately 1 mil throughout the load range.
  • TRI manufactured "flush cock valves" for 3", 4" and 5" pipe sizes. These valves control the lube oil supply. Each plug has three clearly marked positions: Run, Flush and Block. It is not possible to change the valve position while the lube oil is on.
Contact TRI for detailed information concerning this project or other TRI solutions.

We focus on bearings, rotor-bearing assemblies, rotor vibration control, fluid drives and oil systems. TRI manufactured products provide years of trouble free operation. TRI analyzes, designs, manufactures and installs this equipment.Please advise TRI of any changes of your fax/phone numbers. If you want to receive future issues of TRI Personalized Fax Mail or other TRI communications by Email, drop us a note at E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TRI answers phone calls, e-mail and fax messages
Over 15,000 MW of Electrical Generation Depend Upon TRI Bearings

 
 

Phone: (610) 363-8570            Contact Us Fax: (610) 524-6326           TRI Web Site: http://www.turboresearch.com

 

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June 1, 1996                     


Technical Notes from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President


The facts about Babbitt Bearings:

  • Babbitted bearings are expected to serve for years and years without significant problems

In contrast, rolling element bearings have expected lifetime usually requiring continued replacement.

  • Rotor Vibration: Bearing design usually has a significant influence on rotor vibration.

To change rotor vibration characteristics, consider changing bearing design. A good bearing design can solve problems caused by an unbalanced rotor, sub-synchronous rotor vibration, critical speeds, or vibration problems during start up.

 

If you are continually servicing your babbitted or rolling element bearings, it’s time to consider the cost. Your cost effective solution is right here. Contact TRI for a bearing design evaluation.

Thousand of megawatts use TRI bearings and related products

Recent TRI Project Achievements: Rotor vibrations of 200 MW GE Turbine-Generator are tamed!!!

The problem: A series of 200 MW GE steam turbine-generators has had rotor vibration problems for years. The HP turbine rotor vibration was particularly susceptible to changes of load, steam conditions and valve position.

The solution: TRI evaluated the problem using TRI proprietary software. The software analyzed the rotor-bearing dynamics. The analysis showed that rotor vibrations were a result of changes in bearing film stiffness during operation. It also indicated that three bearings were most influential.

A new design using three TRI Align-A-Pad bearings in place of the existing tilting pad bearing and two elliptical bearings was implemented. The new bearings were specifically designed with the proper film stiffness.

The result: Low amplitude and steady vibrations over the entire load range

  • TRI Consulting Engineering Services - to solve vibration and bearing problems and to design upgrade
  • Rotor-bearing performance analysis by computer simulation
  • Babbitted journal bearings
  • Align-A-Pad bearings
  • Fluid drives: 1,000 to 30,000+ hp.
  • Full machine shop with 5-Axis CNC capabilities
  • Oil systems for fluid drives, turbines and related equipment
  • Seminars on bearing design and fluid drives
  • Arrange a visit to your plant of TRI’s new Product and Service Display Van
TRI answers phone calls, e-mail and fax messages
Over 15,000 MW of Electrical Generation Depend Upon TRI Bearings

 
 

Phone: (610) 363-8570            Contact Us Fax: (610) 524-6326           TRI Web Site: http://www.turboresearch.com

 

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April 1995                     


Technical Notes from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President


Examples of New Solutions for Old Problems. Some may apply to your equipment needs

  • Redesign and Manufacture an Up-rated Vertical Thrust Bearing for a Hydro-electric Generator in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The original thrust bearing with Jack Screw loading feature was put into service in 1913.

    The TRI design of a Self-Equalizing Tilting Pad Thrust Bearing replaces the failed Jack-Screw thrust bearing arrangement. The existing base is modified to accept the new thrust self-equalizing bearing assembly, and a new forged alloy-steel split thrust collar was provided. TRI's cost effective concept cuts days from the installation procedure by eliminating the need to individually "load" each thrust bearing pad. The new design also provides a greater load capacity. The self-equalizing feature accommodates alignment changes due to continued growth and shifting of the dam.

  • Redesign and Manufacture Monolithic Generator Fans to replace Fans of Welded Design for a Mid-west OEM manufacturer of Generators. Each new TRI monolithic fan is made from a single forging without welding.

    TRI performs in-depth Finite Element Analyses for new Fan configurations to determine stress distributions, blade natural frequencies, mode shapes, and endurance limit characteristics. The Fan geometry are modified in response to the FEA results. Alloy steel forging chemical and mechanical properties are selected to suit the environmental conditions. TRI makes the 3-D CAM programs for manufacturing the final products using 5-axis CNC milling machines in our facilities.

     

  • Redesign and Manufacture Bearing Assemblies for Motors for Boiler Feed Pump Service. New elliptical bore designs significantly reduce vibrations. TRI design features simplify installation and maintenance: have self-aligning capability, accommodate undersize journals (no plating), and avoid babbitt scraping.

  • Remanufacture 15,000 HP Fluid Drives to TRI's latest Heavy Duty design specifications for Boiler Feed Pump Service in sliding pressure service.

    These fluid drives incorporate all tilting pad bearings and new shafting arrangements to minimize shaft vibrations at any operating condition, including start-up. Patented and Proprietary designs, methods, and procedures are employed.


    Technical Seminars in June-July 1995
        Offered Locally in Four Regions of the U.S.
        • Fluid Drives: Design, Operation, Maintenance, Specifying for New Applications, Re-rating Existing Units, Comparison to other Variable Speed Drives. (Mon-Tue)
        • Journal Bearing Design and its influence on performance of rotating machinery in electircal generation plants. (Wed-Thur)
        • Open Forum: Discussion of topics brought to seminar by attendees (Evening & Fri).
        • Details to be provided in TRI's May 95 Personalized Fax Letter.
          Seminar Abstract available upon request.

    These are a sampling of projects which TRI performs for our customers throughout the US and abroad. TRI's approach is to provide services and products that improve the operating reliability and availability of our clients' production facilities in a cost-effective manner. Please contact TRI for innovative solutions to meet your rotating equipment needs.

    Please advise us of changes, additions, or deletions in Fax numbers or mailing addresses for you or your associates by calling 800-363-8570. We thank you for your help in updating our data.

    Call, Fax, or Write for information on how TRI can Help Solve Problems on Your Maintenance List.

    Over 15,000 MW of Electrical Generation Depend Upon TRI Bearings
         

         

    Phone: (610) 363-8570            Contact Us Fax: (610) 524-6326           TRI Web Site: http://www.turboresearch.com

 

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January 1996                     


Technical Notes from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President


TRI's IMPROVEMENTS PROVEN TO MAXIMIZE RELIABILITY OF FLUID DRIVES:

Factor influencing Fluid Drive Reliability are:

  • Suitability to the application: size, speed, power, turndown ratio.
  • Component design features, materials and details
  • The vibration and temperature monitoring instrumentation
  • Foundation, sole plate, grout and alignment retention
  • Associated equipment: drivers, gears, flexible couplings and loads.
  • Operation practices
  • Rebuild and maintenance practices
  • Scoop tube actuator
  • Oil conditioning system
  • Speed/power control system

TRI has PROVEN SOLUTIONS for:

  • High vibration in certain load range(s)
  • Sensitivity to misalignment to adjacent equipment
  • Broken vanes in the impeller, runner or vaneplate
  • Poor control of output shaft speed in certain load ranges(s)
  • Oil leakage or oil vapor leakage out of shaft seals or vent
  • Removal of "pilot" bearing, replaced by additional bearing on the output shaft
  • Damaged/worn scoop tubes, scoop tube linkage, slide plates, brackets, etc.
  • Problems with AC/DC oil pump controls, during operation and/or unit trips
  • Repeated damage of journal bearings(s). Need for bearings with undersized bores.
  • Updated and simplified installation, operation and maintenance manuals, in English
  • Vibration and/or temperature sensing/ monitoring/ diagnostic system(s) or current design
  • Replacing an air operated scoop tube actuator with an electrically operated one.
  • Brakes requiring frequent attention. Brakes that will positively stop the fluid drive output shaft.
  • Adaptation of fluid drive instrumentation and controls to the Distributed Control System for the entire unit.
  • Automatic maximum (or minimum) output shaft speed or power required by the existing application, or for a new/revised application.
  • Spare parts problems: Obtaining desired parts that fit properly with acceptable surface finishes; obtaining modified parts made of proper materials to suit your particular application
  • Worn/damaged flexible coupling on input or output end, including the large diaphragm couplings typically used on Westinghouse turbines.

Turbo Research, Inc. has successfully addressed these issues for fluid drives in almost all applications for approximately 25 years. TRI has developed understandings and solutions for these Fluid Drive concerns for all applications, sizes power ratings, speeds and manufacturers, as evidenced by 6 recent U.S. Patents issued to TRI, the leader in Fluid Drive Technology in the U.S. today.

New Fluid Drive Systems for NEW or EXISTING applications designed and built by TRI:

Turbo Research, Inc. designs and manufactures New or Rebuilt FLUID DRIVE SYSTEMS addressing the above concerns so as to be TROUBLE FREE form the INITIAL Start-up. TRI’s facilities are located in Lionville, PA.

New U.S. Patent to be Issued to TRI:

A new U.S. Patent will be issued to TRI for a design of a QUICK DISCONNECT flexible coupling for this application: A rigidly mounted fluid drive which is driven by a flexible coupling connected to an extension shaft mounted in a sliding housing, such as the front end of a GE Large Steam Turbine-Generator. The existing flexible coupling which is located in the nose section of the turbine front standard is removed and the nose is modified slightly. A new disconnect coupling with hydraulic actuating arrangement is installed. This arrangement can operate while the standard slides back and forth as a function of turbine temperature.

Upcoming Exhibition of TRI Engineering Services and Products: The 17th Energy Generation Conference will be held in Bismark, North Dakota on January 16-18, 1996 at the Civic Center. Stop by our Booth #111 and say hello.

Over 15,000 MW of Electrical Generation Depend Upon TRI Bearings

 
 

Phone: (610) 363-8570            Contact Us Fax: (610) 524-6326           TRI Web Site: http://www.turboresearch.com

December 1994                    

Turbo Research Inc. Logo

 


Looking Forward to 1995. A Note from Dr. Mel Giberson, P.E. - TRI President


          TRI's Mission: Past, Present and Future

  • To control the vibrations of rotating machinery via suitably designed products and/or services: Babbitted journal and thrust bearings; CAM/CNC products such as impellers and fans; new, rebuilt and upgraded assemblies such as fluid drives.

  • To improve the customer’s process operating efficiency, availability, and reliability.

  • To work with our customers to "remove problems for their maintenance lists."

  • To use highly skilled engineers and technical personnel, and only the best materials and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, tooling and equipment.

  • To develop new products and services to meet the changing needs of our customers.

  • To operate TRI with an Engineering "bottom line."

  • To offer reasonable pricing for the high quality standards of TRI’s products and services which our customers know, respect, expect and deserve.

OBJECTIVES of TRI’S personalized Fax Letters
  • To provide insight into technical problems or subjects of braod interest to the Rotating Machinery Industry today.

  • To discuss symptoms of and concerns about the problem, as well as the causes and cures.

  • To provide a "clearinghouse" for information to assure users/owners/operator that a specific vibration problem, bearing damage problem, or difficult operating characteristic is not likely to be unique to their equipment. Others, almost always, are experiencing/have experience the same problem. In addition, proven solutions are presented and discussed.

          Past Copies of the TRI personalized Fax Letters are available

    June - Steam Turbine Journal Bearings
    July - Does you Rotating Equipment Eat Bearings
    August - TRI Recent Patents
    September - Sliding Pressure Operation
    October - A Reality Check for the Rotating Machinery Industry Today
    November - Bearing Designed for Large Vertical Misalignment Conditions.

If you would like a copy of any or all of these, please let us know. Call us as (800) 363-8571.
Future editions will address case histories, upgrades, retrofits, and new technologies to solve existing problems.
We would like to update your Fax Number and Mailing Address in our records.
Please advise us of any change in Fax Number of Mailing Address for you and your associates.

Seasons Greetings to All of Our Customers. Thank you for your business.

Over 15,000 MW of Electrical Generation Depend Upon TRI Bearings

 
 

Phone: (610) 363-8570           TRI E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Fax: (610) 524-6326           TRI Web Site: http://www.turboresearch.com

Improved Journal Bearings for Nuclear Powered Turbine-Generators.

Controlling Sub-Synchronous Vibration

TRI Journal Bearings use upgraded designs and materials to improve rotor vibration control, bearing performance, and bearing life for large, heavily loaded journal bearings in nuclear powered 1800 rpm turbine-generators, as well as in large fossil powered units.

TRI uses computer simulations to evaluate the parameters of heavy loaded bearings often found in nuclear powered turbine-generators. A vertically integrated process that goes from analysis and design to manufacturing and installation has resulted in an enviable experience record for both fixed bore bearings and tilt pad bearings. In the design process, TRI uses its proprietary computer programs to adjust the design in order to optimize oil film thicknesses, film pressures, bearing metal temperatures, and power losses, and at the same time, to suppress sub-synchronous rotor vibrations over the load range of the bearing application.  For bearings from other manufacturers  that have been damaged in service and are being repaired at TRI, we  often propose design adjustments based on the results of TRI’s computer simulations.

 

Read more ...

New Technology System: Emergency Lube Oil Pump Systems based on AC / UPS / VFD Technology and Other Commercially Available Components

Historically, almost all emergency lube oil pumps for Steam Turbine-Generators, Compressors and Pumps, and other rotating machinery have been based on either DC battery power or on auxiliary steam power. These usually work, but do have drawbacks.

TRI Transmission & Bearing Corporation has a new generation emergency lube oil pumping system that addresses these drawbacks.

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The speed of almost every variable speed fluid drive is controlled by a moving scoop tube, the heart of a fluid drive. When the fluid element rotates, a torus of oil forms within the rotating shell that surrounds the impeller and runner. The diameter of the inside surface of this torus of oil is controlled by a “scoop tube” that scoops oil from the surface and discharges it outside of the shell so that it can recirculate. In almost all fluid drives, the flow rate of circuit oil (working oil) through the fluid drive element is constant, driven by positive displacement pumps. The scoop tube does not change the amount of oil flowing through the element, it simply changes the inside radius of the torus of circuit oil in the fluid drive element.

Read more ...