Optimization of a 900 mm Tilting-Pad Journal Bearing in Large Steam Turbines by Advanced Modeling and Validation

[+] Author and Article Information
Ümit Mermertas

Siemens AG Power and Gas Division, Rheinstr. 100, 45478 Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany

Thomas Hagemann

ASME Member, Institute of Tribology and Energy Conversion Machinery, Clausthal University of Technology, Leibnizstr. 32, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany

Clément Brichart

Engie Laborelec, Rodestraat 125, 1630 Linkebeek, Belgium

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041116 History: Received July 03, 2018; Revised July 17, 2018


Modernization of steam turbine components can extend the life of a power plant, decrease maintenance costs, increase service intervals and improve operational flexibility. However, this can also lead to challenging demands for existing components such as bearings. Therefore, a careful design and evaluation process of bearings is of major importance. This paper describes the advanced modeling methods applied for the optimization of a novel 900 mm three-pad tilting pad journal bearing followed by validation results that showed a high bearing temperature sensitivity to the fresh oil supply temperature during operation. After identification of the reasons for the sensitivity, advanced modeling methods were applied to optimize the bearing. For this purpose, a more comprehensive bearing model was developed taking into account the direct lubrication at the leading edge of the pads and the thermo-mechanical pad deformation. The results of the entire analyses indicated modifications of bearing and pad clearance, pad pivot position, circumferential and axial pad length as well as pad thickness. Furthermore, the oil distribution into the pads was optimized by modifying the orifices within the bearing. The optimized bearing was then implemented on both units and proved its excellent operational behavior at increased fresh oil supply temperatures of up to 55°C. In conclusion, the application of advanced modeling methods proved to be the key success factor in the optimization of this bearing, which represents an optimal solution for large steam turbine and generator rotor train applications.

Siemens AG
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