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Rotordynamic Testing and Evaluation of a Large Centrifugal Compressor Using a Magnetic Bearing Exciter

[+] Author Affiliations
Thomas A. Soulas, Mark J. Kuzdzal

Dresser-Rand, Olean, NY

Paper No. GT2009-60320, pp. 1055-1062; 8 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2009: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 6: Structures and Dynamics, Parts A and B
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, June 8–12, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4887-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3849-5
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Large centrifugal compressors have at times shown to be challenging applications from a rotordynamic standpoint. Inherent rotordynamic stability and robust synchronous response to unbalance are critical for the compressor to function in the field in a reliable manner. State-of-the-art analytical prediction techniques and comprehensive test verification procedures are necessary to ensure the acceptability of the design of such machinery. A full-scale test vehicle was developed and assembled at the authors’ company’s test facility in order to duplicate the design of typical large multi-stage centrifugal compressors. The machine features a number of unique attributes that enable the comprehensive study and evaluation of its aero-thermodynamic as well as rotordynamic performance under different test conditions. In particular, a large Magnetic Bearing Exciter is mounted on one end of the compressor shaft and is used to introduce forces of varying magnitude and frequency to assess the response of the rotor system as well as its rotordynamic stability. Test data (including vibration signals recorded by proximity probes located at the mid-span of the rotor) are compared with analytical predictions for critical speed location, amplification factor and logarithmic decrement. Good correlation between measurements and calculations was achieved, as well as compliance with the standard American Petroleum Institute (API) requirements.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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