The oil system is an integral element of the turbine unit, which largely determines its reliability and trouble-free operation. The main purpose of the turbine lubricating oil system is to provide fluid friction in the bearings of turbines, generators, feed pumps, and gearboxes.
An oil system should provide:
– continuous supply of the required amount of oil in all modes of operation of the turbine unit, which guarantees:
– prevention of wear on friction surfaces;
– reduction of friction power losses;
– removal of heat released during friction and transmitted from the hot parts of the turbine
– maintaining the required temperature of the oil in the system; and
– cleaning the oil from contamination.
At the same time, the necessary qualities of the lubricating oil system are reliability, safety of operation, ease of maintenance.
The pressure and the temperature of the oil should be constantly monitored during operation of the turbine unit. Specifically, the lube oil temperature after the bearings requires special attention. Overheating of the bearing leads to wear of the working parts and changes in the properties of the lubricant itself. The quality of the lube oil is controlled by physicochemical characteristics such as density and viscosity. The system leaks must be stopped quickly and oil replenished on time. These factors will significantly extend the service life of the steam turbine.
Nowadays, computer simulation is a very powerful and useful tool. It helps you predict the processes occurring in the bearing chambers, and determine the flow of the working fluid when the operating modes change, all without installing expensive experimental equipment.
We suggest using the 1D-Analysis AxSTREAM NET™ tool to simulate the lubrication system. This software product allows you to quite simply, clearly and quickly build the desired model. It provides a flexible method to represent fluid path as a set of 1D elements, which easily can be connected to each other to form a thermal-fluid network. The program calculates fluid flow parameters for inlet and outlet of each element. There are many different components that allow you to simulate stationary and non-stationary modes. Also there is a convenient library of fluids. It is also possible for a user to add fluids of their choice.
The example of modeling in AxSTREAM NET™ is the system of oil supply for the K-500-240 turbine. This turbine is quite massive with bearing loads of up to 450 kN. The schematic diagram of the oil supply K-500-240-2 is shown in Figure 1.
Axial fans have become indispensable in everyday applications starting from ceiling fans to industrial applications and aerospace fans. The fan has become a part of every application where ventilation and cooling is required, like in a condenser, radiator, electronics etc., and they are available in the wide range of sizes from few millimeters to several meters. Fans generate pressure to move air/gases against the resistance caused by ducts, dampers, or other components in a fan system. Axial-flow fans are better suited for low-resistance, high-flow applications and can have widely varied operating characteristics depending on blade width and shape, number of blades, and tip speed.
The major types of axial flow fans are: propeller, tube axial, and vane axial.
– Propellers usually run at low speeds and handle large volumes of gas at low pressure. Often used as exhaust fans these have an efficiency of around 50% or less.
– Tube-axial fans turn faster than propeller fans, enabling operation under high-pressures 2500 – 4000 Pa with an efficiency of up to 65%.
– Vane-axial fans have guide vanes that improve the efficiency and operate at pressures up to 5000 Pa. Efficiency is up to 85%.
Aerodynamic Design of an Axial Fan
The aerodynamic design of an axial fan depends on its applications. For example, axial fans for industrial cooling applications operate at low speeds and require simple profile shapes. When it comes to aircraft applications however, the fan must operate at very high speeds, and the aerodynamic design requirements become significantly different from more traditional fan designs. Read More
Waste heat boilers are a sophisticated piece of equipment important for recovering heat and in turn protecting the environment. Waste heat boilers are needed during the operation of facilities in the energy sector such as gas turbine plants and diesel engines, as well as in metallurgy and other industries where excessive heat of high temperature up to 1,000 degrees form during the technological processes. Waste heat boilers are used to recover excess heat energy, as well as to increase the overall efficiency of the cycle. Another feature of waste-heat boilers used at these installations is to protect the environment – by disposing of harmful emissions.
This article discusses the accurate modeling of these sophisticated waste heat boilers. We will consider the simulation of a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG), which is used in a combined steam-gas cycle for utilizing the outgoing heat from a gas turbine plant and generating superheated steam, using the programs thermal-fluid network approach and complexes of optimization.
The HRSG has four main heat exchangers: cast-iron economizer, boiling type steel economizer, evaporator with separator, and superheater.
On the one side of the HRSG, feed water is supplied from the cycle, and on another side, hot gas is supplied from the gas turbine in the process of operation. The water is preheated and goes to the steel economizer where the boiling process begins in the tubes. After the process in the economizers, the water goes to the shell side of the evaporator, where its active boiling occurs. In the separator, the steam-water mixture is divided into saturated steam and overflow. Saturated steam is sent to the superheater, where superheated steam is formed and goes to the steam turbine cylinder. Overflow water returns to the steam formation. An induced-draft fan is used for gas circulation and removal in the HRSG. The HRSG model also has a spray attemperator for steam cooling. The operation principle of desuperheater is the following: feed water is taken from the economizer and goes to the superheater section, passes to superheated steam flow through nozzles, finely divided water droplets mix, heat up and evaporate and as a result, the steam is cooled.
One of the challenges of maintaining infrastructure is deciding how best to keep the operational costs in check while delivering the highest amount of service. This is especially true for aging equipment. One option is to replace the equipment with a newer version entirely, continue to maintain the existing machine, or a third option, retrofit the current machine with updated features.
Retrofitting is a term used in the manufacturing industry to describe how new or updated parts are fitted to old or outdated assemblies to improve function, efficiency or additional features unavailable in the earlier versions.
Retrofitting, like any investment of capital requires careful thought. SoftInWay’s Manage ring Director, Abdul Nassar has put together a simple list of questions to ask yourself before committing to a retrofit project. Answering these seven questions before you start can save you considerable time and effort. Read More
Reverse Engineering, or back engineering, is a term used for the process of examining an object to see how it works in order to duplicate or enhance the object when you don’t have the original drawings/models or manufacturing information about an object.
There are two major reasons reverse engineering is used:
create replacement parts to maintain the function of older machines;
improve the function of existing machines while meeting all existing constraints.
Reverse engineering is extremely important in turbomachinery for replacement parts in turbines or compressors which have been operating for many years. Documentation, reports and drawings for a significant amount of these machines is not available due to a variety of reasons, therefore keeping these important machines running is a challenge. One of the options to deal with this issue is to buy the modern analogue of the machine, which is not always feasible due to economic constraints or that there is no replacement available. Reverse engineering of the worn out parts might be the best option in the majority of cases.
In any case, the process to recovery original geometry of the object is the first and major step for all reverse engineering projects, whether you want just replacing/replicate parts or proceed with an upgrade to the machine.
Basic Steps to Any Reverse Engineering Project
Any reverse engineering process consist of the following phases:
Data collection: The object needs to be taken apart and studied. Starting in ancient times, items were disassembles and careful hand measurements were taken to replicate items. Today, we employ advanced laser scanning tool and 3D modeling techniques to record the required information in addition to any existing documentation, drawings or reports which exists.
Data processing: Once you have the data, it needs to be converted to useful information. Computers are essential for this stage as it can involve the processing of billions of coordinates of data converting this information into 2D drawings or 3D models by utilizing CAD systems.
Data modeling: This step was not available in beginning of reverse engineering. People just tried to replicate and manufacture a similar object based on the available data. Nowadays, engineers can utilize digital modelling, which represents all details of the geometrical and operational conditions of the object through a range of operation regimes. Typically, performance analysis and structural evaluation are done at this stage, by utilizing thermo/aerodynamic analytical tool, including 3D CFD and FEA approaches.
Improvement/redesign of the object: If required, this is the step where innovations can be created to improve the effectiveness of the object based on the collected data about the object’s geometry and operation.
Manufacturing: After the part is been modeled and meets the design requirements, the object can be manufactured to replace a worn out part, or to provide increased functionality.
Reverse Engineering in Today’s World
It very common to find the situations where reverse engineering is necessary for parts replacement, particularly with turbomachinery – steam or gas turbines, compressors and pumps. Many of these machines have been in operation for many years and experienced damaging effects of use over that time – like water droplets and solid particles erosion, corrosion, foreign objects, and unexpected operating conditions. Besides these expected needed repairs, some other reasons for reverse engineering might arise from a components part failure, as well as part alterations needed due to previous overhauls and re-rates.
All the conditions mentioned above require not only recovering the original geometry but also an understanding of the unit’s history, material properties and current operating conditions.
This article focuses on reverse engineering objects which have experienced significant change in their geometry due to the challenges of long term operation and their shape could not be directly recovered by traditional methods – like direct measurement or laser scanning. Pictures below are examples of such objects – steam turbines blading with significant damage of the airfoils with different causes such as mechanical, water/solid particle erosion, and deposit.
In the situations shown above, recovering the original geometry may be impossible if an engineer only has the undamaged portion of original part to work with. Which means that relying on undamaged portion of an original part it may be impossible to recover the needed portion due to significant level of damage.
Looking at the eroded turbine blading in Figure 1, recovering these airfoils with sufficient accuracy based on only a scan of the original part, would be very difficult, if not impossible, considering that 1/3 to ½ of the needed profile is wiped out by erosion.
In order to recover the full airfoil shape for turbines / compressors / or pumps blading, the information about flow conditions – angles, velocities, pressure, temperature – is required to recreate the airfoils profiles and a complete 3D blade.
In many cases with significant blading damage, the information obtained from aero/thermodynamic analysis is the only source of the information available for a designer and the only possible way to recover turbomachinery blading. In fact, in such a situation, the new variant of the airfoils is developed based on aero/thermodynamic information and by considering the remaining portion of the part, which would be the most accurate representation of the original variant. A structural evaluation should also be performed for any recovered part to ensure blading structural reliability in addition to the aero/thermodynamic study.
All of these engineering steps require employment of dedicated engineering design and analysis tools, which can perform:
– Accurate modelling of the turbo machinery flow path,
– 1D/2D aero/thermodynamic analysis and in some cases 3D CFD,
– Profiling and 3D staking of the blading,
– Structural evaluation, including 3D FEA tools.
SoftInWay’s team offers a comprehensive set of turbomachinery design and analysis tools within the integrated AxSTREAM® platform, which covers many steps, required for reverse engineering activities.
In Figure 6 below, a process diagram shows how AxSTREAM® products are used for reverse engineering.
After data collection, most of the geometry recovering steps are processed by AxSTREAM® modules:
– AxSLICE™ to process original geometry data, available from the scanned cloud of points.
– AxSTREAM® solver to perform 1D/2D aero/thermodynamic
– AxSTREAM® profiler to recover profile shape and 3D airfoil stacking.
– AxSTRESS™ for structural evaluation and 3D design.
– AxCFD™ for detailed aerodynamic analysis and performance evaluation.
Geometry recovered in this way is now ready to be used to develop detailed 3D CAD models and 2D drawings for further technological and/or manufacturing processing.
As an example of such capabilities, Figure 7 demonstrates the reverse engineering process for the 1000 mm last stage of 200 MW steam turbine with significantly damaged blades due to water erosion.
It is possible to recognize and extract the profile angles with a specialized tool – AxSLICE™, obtain slices on the desired number of sections and insert the extracted geometric data to an AxSTREAM® project.
The AxSTREAM® platform can provide seamless reverse engineering process for all components of complex turbomachinery.
Meet an Expert!
Dr. Boris Frolov is the Director of Engineering at SoftInWay, Inc. and manages all of the turbomachinery consulting activities. He has over 35 years of experience in steam/gas turbines design, analysis and testing.
Earning his PhD in turbine stages optimization with controlled reaction, he is an expert in steam turbines aerodynamics and long buckets aeromechanics. Dr. Frolov has over 50 publications and 7 registered patents and he shares this vast knowledge as a lecturer in steam turbines, gas dynamics and thermodynamics for students studying power engineering sciences. Prior to joining SoftInWay, he was the engineering manager at GE Steam Turbines.
This is an excerpt from a technical paper, presented at the ASME Power & Energy Conference in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania USA and written by Oleksii Rudenko, Leonid Moroz, and Maksym Burlaka. Follow the link at the end of the post to read the full study!
Supercritical CO2 operating in a closed-loop recompression Brayton cycle has the potential of equivalent or higher cycle efficiency versus supercritical or superheated steam cycles at similar temperatures . The current applications of the supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle are intended for the electricity production only and the questions which are related to the building of CHP plants based on Supercritical CO2 technology were not considered yet.
CHP is the concurrent production of electricity or mechanical power and useful thermal energy (heating and/or cooling) from a single source of energy. CHP is a type of distributed generation, which, unlike central station generation, is located at located at or near the point of consumption. Instead of purchasing electricity from a local utility and then burning fuel in a furnace or boiler to produce thermal energy, consumers use CHP to improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For optimal efficiency, CHP systems typically are designed and sized to meet the users’ thermal base load demand. CHP is not a single technology but a suite of technologies that can use a variety of fuels to generate electricity or power at the point of use, allowing the heat that would normally be lost in the power generation process to be recovered to provide needed heating and/or cooling. This allows for much greater improvement in overall fuel efficiency, therefore resulting in lower costs and CO2 emissions. CHP’s potential for energy saving is vast.
It should be noted that CHP may not be widely recognized outside industrial, commercial, institutional, and utility circles, but it has quietly been providing highly efficient electricity and process heat to some of the most vital industries, largest employers, urban centers, and campuses. While the traditional method of separately producing useful heat and power has a typical combined efficiency of 45 %, CHP systems can operate at efficiency levels as high as 80 % (Figure 1) .
Taking into consideration the high efficiency of fuel energy utilization of CHP plants and the high potential of the supercritical CO2 technology, the latter should be also considered as the base of future CHP plants. The comparison with traditional Steam based CHP plants also should be performed.
The study of CHP plant concepts were performed with the use of the heat balance calculation tool AxCYCLE™ .
Radial turbines are quite popular for turbochargers and micro-gas turbines. They can also be found in compact power sources like in auxiliary power units of aircrafts. In short, they are suitable in power generation applications where expansion ratios are high and mass flow rates are relatively small. In a radial turbine, the flow enters radially and exits either axially or radially depending on whether it is an inflow or outflow type radial turbine. The most commonly used type of radial turbine is a radial-inflow turbine, in which the working fluid flows from a larger radius to a smaller radius. A centripetal turbine is very similar in appearance to the centrifugal compressor, but the flow direction is reverse. Figure 1 shows the radial-inflow turbine on the left and radial-outflow turbine on the right.
Nowadays, the popularity of radial-outflow turbines, in which the flow moves in the opposite direction (from the center to the periphery), is growing. With recent advancement in waste heat recovery applications, there has been a renewed interest in this type of turbines. These radial-outflow turbines are most commonly used in applications based on organic Rankine cycles (ORC).
The radial-outflow turbine design was first invented by the Ljungström brothers in 1912, however it was rarely used for a number of reasons. One of which was related to the decrease of turbine-specific work due to the increase of the peripheral velocity from inlet to outlet while expanding the vapor. Another reason was the usage of steam as a working fluid. It is known from thermodynamics that the expansion of steam is characterized by high enthalpy drops, high volumetric flows and high volumetric ratios. Thus, a significant number of stages are needed to convert the enthalpy drop of the fluid into mechanical energy.
This is an excerpt from a technical paper, presented at the ASME Turbo Expo 2018 Conference in Oslo, Norway and written by Leonid Moroz, Leonid Romanenko, Roman Kochurov, and Evgen Kashtanov. Follow the link at the end of the post to read the full study!
High-performance rotating machines usually operate at a high rotational speed and produce significant static and dynamic loads that act on the bearings. Fluid film journal bearings play a significant role in machine overall reliability and rotor-bearing system vibration and performance characteristics. The increase of bearings complexity along with their applications severity make it challenging for the engineers to develop a reliable design. Bearing modeling should be based on accurate physical effects simulation. To ensure bearing reliable operation, the design should be performed based not only on simulation results for the hydrodynamic bearing itself but also, taking into the account rotor dynamics results for the particular rotor-bearing system, because bearing characteristics significantly influence the rotor vibration response.
Numbers of scientists and engineers have been involved in a journal bearing optimal design generation. A brief review of works dedicated to various aspects of bearing optimization is presented in . Based on the review it can be concluded, that the performance of isolated hydrodynamic bearing can be optimized by proper selection of the length, clearance, and lubricant viscosity. Another conclusion is that the genetic algorithms and particle swarm optimization can be successfully applied to optimize the bearing design. Journal bearings optimizations based on genetic algorithms are also considered in [2-5]. The studies show the effectiveness of the genetic algorithms. At the same time, the disadvantages of the approach are high complexity and a greater number of function evaluations in comparison with numerical methods, which require significantly higher computational efforts and time for the optimization. A numerical evolutionary strategy and an experimental optimization on a lab test rig were applied to get the optimal design of a tilting pad journal bearing for an integrally geared compressor in . The final result of numerical and experimental optimizations was tested in the field and showed that the bearing pad temperature could be significantly decreased. Optimal journal bearing design selection procedure for a large turbocharger is described in . In this study power loss, rotor dynamics instability, manufacturing, and economic restrictions are analyzed. To optimize the oil film thickness by satisfying the condition of maximizing the pressure in a three lobe bearing, the multi-objective genetic algorithm was used in . In the reviewed studies the optimization has been performed for ‘isolated’ bearing and influence on rotor dynamics response was not considered.
For higher reliability and longer life of rotating mechanical equipment, the vibration of the rotor-bearing system and of the entire drivetrain should be as low as possible. A good practice
for safe rotor design typically involves the avoidance of any resonance situation at operating speeds with some margins. One common method of designing low vibration equipment is to have a separation margin between the critical natural frequencies and operating speed, as required by API standard . The bearing design and parameters significantly influence rotor-bearing system critical speeds. Thus, to guarantee low rotor vibrations, the critical speeds separation margins should be ensured at rotor-bearing system design/optimization stage
Conjugated optimization for the entire rotor-bearing system is a challenging task due to various conflicting design requirements, which should be fulfilled. In  parameters of
rotor-bearing systems are optimized simultaneously. The design objective was the minimization of power loss in bearings with constraints on system stability, unbalance sensitivities, and
bearing temperatures. Two heuristic optimization algorithms, genetic and particle-swarm optimizations were employed in the automatic design process.
There are several objective functions that are considered by researchers to optimize bearing geometry, such as:
– Optimum load carrying capacity ;
– Minimum oil film thickness and bearing clearance optimization [1, 6, 8];
– Power losses minimization [6, 7];
– Rotor dynamics restrictions;
– Manufacturing, reliability and economics restrictions 
The most common design variables which are considered in reviewed works are clearance, bearing length, diameter, oil viscosity, and oil supply pressure.
Finding the minimum power loss or optimal load carrying capacity together with the entire rotor-bearing system dynamics restrictions, require to employ optimization techniques, because accounting the effects from all considered parameters significantly enlarge the analysis process. Several numerical methods, such as FDM and FEM are usually employed to solve this complex problem and calculation process can sometimes be time-consuming and takes a large amount of computing capacity. To leverage this optimization tasks, efficient algorithms are needed.
In the current study, the optimization approach, which is based on DOE and best sequences method (BSM) [11, 12] and allows to generate journal bearings with improved characteristics was developed and applied to 13.5 MW induction motor application. The approach is based on coupled analysis of bearing and entire rotor-bearing system dynamics to satisfy API standard requirements.
Problem Formulation and Analysis Methods Description
The goal of the work is to increase reliability and efficiency for the 13.5 MW induction motor prototype (Fig. 1) by oil hydrodynamic journal bearings optimization.
The motor operating parameters and rotor characteristics are presented below:
– Rated speed rpm: 1750
– Minimum operating speed rpm: 1750
– Maximum operating speed rpm: 1750
– Mass of the rotor kg: 6509
– Length of the rotor mm: 3500
Initially, for the motor application, plain cylindrical journal bearings were chosen to support the rotor. The scheme of the DE (drive end) and NDE (non-drive end) baseline bearings designs
is presented in Fig. 2. For baseline designs, bearing loads were 35 kN for DE and 28 kN for NDE bearing.
The methodology for the bearing characteristics simulation is based on the mass-conserving mathematical model, proposed by Elrod & Adams , which is by now well-established as the
accurate tool for simulation in hydrodynamic lubrication including cavitation.
Gas turbine (GT) engines are the primary engines of modern aviation. They are also widely used as power propulsion engines for power stations. The specificity of these engines implies they frequently work at off-design/part load modes that occur with:
Different modes of aircrafts:
Ground idle mode
Maximum continuous mode
Different ambient conditions
Grid demands (for power generation engines and gas pumping (compressor) stations)
Due to the off-design/part load operating conditions, the parameters of the engines might change significantly, which influences not only the engine efficiency, but also the reliable work of the turbine (high temperature at turbine inlet) and compressor (surge zone) at joint operational points. This is why accurate predictions of the gas generator parameters are crucial at every off-design mode.
To define the joint operational point, the compressor and turbine maps which are created for specified ambient conditions can be used. For example, pressure equal 101.3kPa, temperature – 288.15K. Maps method is widely used, relatively simple and allows you to find the needed engine parameters in the shortest time. However, when cooling is present, engine operation at low power modes (ground idle) impede the accurate determination of joint operational conditions based on maps. The significant drawback to the maps based approach is that it does not give the full picture of the physical processes in turbomachine flow paths which is critical for off-design calculations.
Utilization of the digital twin concept allows significant increase of the off-design performance calculation accuracy. Use of the digital equivalent of object was introduced in 2003 . Despite this, less 1% of machines that are in use today are modeled with digital twin technology . Utilization of digital twin leads to a significant decrease in time and cost for developing and optimization of an object.
Centrifugal Pumps are the most popular and commonly used type of pump for the transfer of any type of fluid. The volumetric flow rate range of centrifugal pumps can vary from several tens of ml/hour to one hundred thousand m3/hour , while the pressure can be normal pressure to nearly 20MPa; and the liquid temperature can be as low as -200℃ or as high as 800℃. The fluid being transferred can be water (clean or sewage), oil, acid or alkali, suspension or liquid metal, etc. Therefore, centrifugal pumps are used across numerous industries:
In the oil and gas or chemical industries, converting crude oil to products requires a complex process. Pumps play an important role in transferring these liquids, providing the required pressure and flow rate for chemical reactions. Sometimes, pumps are used to adjust temperature in certain parts of the system.
In agriculture, centrifugal pumps are used in the majority of irrigation machinery. Agriculture pumps make up half of the total amount of centrifugal pumps being used today.
In mining and metallurgy industries, centrifugal pumps are the most widely used equipment, for draining, and cooling of water supplies, etc.
For power generation, the nuclear power plants need large amounts of primary, and secondary system pumps, while the thermal power plants also need boiler feed pumps, condensate pumps, loop pumps and as well as ash pumps.
In military applications, the adjusting of airplane wings and rudders, turning of turret on ships and tanks, the up and down of submarines, all rely on pumps for hydraulic fluids.
In shipbuilding, there are more than 100 different types of pumps in one typical ocean ship.
Other applications include municipal water supplies and drainage; water supplies of locomotives; lubricating and cooling of machining equipment; bleach and dye transfer of textile industry; and milk and beverage pumping and sugar refining in the food industry.
Centrifugal pumps can be classified based on the number of impellers in the pump:
A single-stage pump, with only one impeller, is commonly used for high flow and low to moderate total dynamic head, as in Figure 1.
A multi-stage pump has two or more impellers working in a series to achieve higher total dynamic head. Read More