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Unbalance Identification in Large Steam Turbo-Generator Unit Using a Model-Based Method

[+] Author Affiliations
Paolo Pennacchi, Andrea Vania, Steven Chatterton, Roberto Ricci, Pietro Borghesani

Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Ionel Nistor, Philippe Voinis

EDF R&D, Clamart, France

Paper No. DETC2013-13238, pp. V008T13A053; 12 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 8: 22nd Reliability, Stress Analysis, and Failure Prevention Conference; 25th Conference on Mechanical Vibration and Noise
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, August 4–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5599-7
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Fault identification in industrial machine is a topic of major importance under engineering point of view. In fact, the possibility to identify not only the type, but also the severity and the position of a fault occurred along a shaft-line allows quick maintenance and shorten the downtime. This is really important in the power generation industry where the units are often of several tenths of meters long and where the rotors are enclosed by heavy and pressure-sealed casings.

In this paper, an industrial experimental case is presented related to the identification of the unbalance on a large size steam turbine of about 1.3 GW, belonging to a nuclear power plant. The case history is analyzed by considering the vibrations measured by the condition monitoring system of the unit. A model-based method in the frequency domain, developed by the authors, is introduced in detail and it is then used to identify the position of the fault and its severity along the shaft-line. The complete model of the unit (rotor – modeled by means of finite elements, bearings – modeled by linearized damping and stiffness coefficients and foundation – modeled by means of pedestals) is analyzed and discussed before being used for the fault identification. The assessment of the actual fault was done by inspection during a scheduled maintenance and excellent correspondence was found with the identified one by means of authors’ proposed method.

Finally a complete discussion is presented about the effectiveness of the method, even in presence of a not fine tuned machine model and considering only few measuring planes for the machine vibration.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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