RESEARCH PAPERS: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

Aerodynamically Induced Radial Forces in a Centrifugal Gas Compressor: Part 1—Experimental Measurement

[+] Author and Article Information
J. J. Moore, M. B. Flathers

Solar Turbines Inc., San Diego, CA 92123

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 120(2), 383-390 (Apr 01, 1998) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2818134 History: Received February 01, 1996; Online November 19, 2007


Net radial loading arising from asymmetric pressure fields in the volutes of centrifugal pumps during off-design operation is well known and has been studied extensively. In order to achieve a marked improvement in overall efficiency in centrifugal gas compressors, vaneless volute diffusers are matched to specific impellers to yield improved performance over a wide application envelope. As observed in centrifugal pumps, nonuniform pressure distributions that develop during operation above and below the design flow create static radial loads on the rotor. In order to characterize these radial forces, a novel experimental measurement and post-processing techniquesis employed that yields both the magnitude and direction of the load by measuring the shaft centerline locus in the tilt-pad bearings. The method is applicable to any turbomachinery operating on fluid film radial bearings equipped with proximity probes. The forces are found to be a maximum near surge and increase with higher pressures and speeds. The results are nondimensionalized, allowing the radial loading for different operating conditions to be predicted.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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