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research-article

An efficient iterative model for the study of thermal instabilities

[+] Author and Article Information
Duccio Griffini

Department of Industrial Engineering (DIEF), University of Florence, via di S. Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
duccio.griffini@unifi.it

Simone Salvadori

Department of Industrial Engineering (DIEF), University of Florence, via di S. Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
simone.salvadori@unifi.it

Enrico Meli

Department of Industrial Engineering (DIEF), University of Florence, via di S. Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
enrico.meli@unifi.it

Simone Panconi

Department of Industrial Engineering (DIEF), University of Florence, via di S. Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
simone.panconi@unifi.it

Alessandro Ridolfi

Department of Industrial Engineering (DIEF), University of Florence, via di S. Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
alessandro.ridolfi@unifi.it

Andrea Rindi

Department of Industrial Engineering (DIEF), University of Florence, via di S. Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
andrea.rindi@unifi.it

Francesco Martelli

Department of Industrial Engineering (DIEF), University of Florence, via di S. Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
francesco.martelli@unifi.it

Daniele Panara

Baker Hughes, a GE Company, Florence, Italy
daniele.panara@bhge.com

Leonardo Baldassarre

Baker Hughes, a GE Company, Florence, Italy
leonardo.baldassarre@bhge.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041107 History: Received July 12, 2017; Revised July 16, 2018

Abstract

The introduction of Tilting Pad Journal Bearing technology has allowed the achievement of important goals regarding turbomachinery efficiency in terms of high peripheral speed, enhanced power density, efficiency and loads. Furthermore, this kind of bearing overcomes the typical dynamic instabilities affecting fixed geometry bearings but, in some operating conditions, they can be subjected to thermal instability phenomena, which are particularly significant at high peripheral speeds. In this work, the authors propose an innovative iterative procedure to forecast the thermal instability onset, by means of two main models: a thermo-structural one and a fluid dynamic one, properly coupled with each other. The first one calculates the vibrations and the deformations due both to the external forces and to the temperature distribution applied on the rotor. The fluid dynamic model calculates the temperature profile by using as inputs the characteristics of the rotor, the bearing and the orbits obtained through the structural code. After a general description of the iterative procedure is given, details of each component are provided. Furthermore, a validation is presented by means of comparison with available experimental and numerical data. Finally, the results of the iterative procedure are shown to prove its potential in forecasting instability thresholds. The model has shown a good trade-off between accuracy and efficiency, which is very critical when dealing with the long time windows characterizing thermal instabilities. This research activity is in cooperation with the industrial partner GE Oil & Gas, which provided the experimental data obtained thorough a dedicated experimental campaign.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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