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L-0 Blades Failure Investigation of a 110 MW Geothermal Turbine

[+] Author Affiliations
Zdzislaw Mazur, Alejandro Hernández-Rossette, Rafael García-Illesoas

Instituto de Investigaciones Eléctricas, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México

Paper No. POWER2006-88024, pp. 281-289; 9 pages
  • ASME 2006 Power Conference
  • ASME 2006 Power Conference
  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA, May 2–4, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4205-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3776-9
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


A last stage (L-0) turbine blades failure was experienced in a 110 MW geothermal unit after one year of operation period. This unit has two tandem-compound intermediate/low-pressure turbines (turbine A and turbine B) with 23-inch/3600 rpm last-stage blades. There were flexible blades continuously coupled 360 degrees around the row by loose cover segment at the tip and loose sleeve and lug at the mid-span (pre-twist design). The failed blades were in the L-0 row of the LP turbine B connected to the generator. The visual examination indicated that the group of 12 L-0 blades of rotor B on the generator side was bent and another group of 5 blades at 140 degrees from the first damaged group was also bent. The cover segments were spread out from the damaged blades and had cracks. Laboratory evaluation of the cracking in the cover segments indicates the failure mechanism to be high cycle fatigue (HCF), initiating at the cover segment holes outer fillet radius. The L-0 blades failure investigation was carried out. The investigation included a metallographic analysis of the cracked cover segments and bent blades, Finite Element Method (FEM) stress and natural frequency analysis (of blades/cover segments), fracture mechanics and crack propagation analysis. This paper provides an overview of the L-0 blades failure investigation, which led to the identification of the blades vibrations within the range 250 Hz to 588 Hz induced due to unstable flow excitation (stall flutter) as the primary contribution to the observed failure.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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