Hydro Australia welcomes Jonathan Van Leeuwen to the Hydro team. Jon brings a vast and unique set of skills. He specializes in workshop efficiency drivers, developing training, and up-skilling programs for workshop technicians. Previously, Jon coordinated more than 150 technicians across 28 workshops in the automotive industry. Jon brings a solid and successful career in managing workshops to achieve optimal performance. Welcome to Hydro, Jon!
Operating at low flow places the machine under a great amount of duress. It is always wise to have a mental picture of what is happening within the passages of the machine to understand why this is the case.
The days have long passed where pump vibrations were viewed as a matter of mechanical balance. Now, we recognize that even if the pump had perfect mechanical balance, it would still exhibit vibrations.
The intensity of this remnant vibration turns out to be flow related with its minimum level being at or around best efficiency point (BEP).
Centrifugal pumps are sometimes used in environments where the pumped product contains suspended solids. While some pumps are specifically designed for solid handling or slurry applications, normal centrifugal pumps do not contain features to prevent performance degradation from the impact of solids.
There are a few key signs that a conventional centrifugal pump is suffering from erosive and abrasive wear. Here are assessment and mitigation strategies to be considered and applied when this occurs.
Particles are a problem in a centrifugal pump due to the way the machine adds velocity to the liquid as it passes up the impeller channels. In general, the higher the speed at the tip of the impeller, the more energy that is imparted to any particle that is suspended within the liquid. This energy can then cause damage to anything it impacts.
Efficiency and reliability are at the forefront of a successful pumping system. As such, unplanned outages can be a detrimental disturbance to the overall operation. In this case, the end user’s high pressure multistage BB5 barrel pump was experiencing severe vibration, unstable performance, and failure in the field leading to unit shutdown.
This particular unit, used in boiler feedwater operations, is critical to the plant’s uptime and throughput. Furthermore, continued failures can cause growing costs due to inevitable maintenance and repairs, often overlooking a long term solution. With each unplanned outage, the plant could face a significant loss in capital.
Previously, the pump had been running for six months before experiencing catastrophic failure, requiring a shutdown and removal for further analysis. Initially, the unit’s damaged components were repaired by welding, and the volute was reassembled and installed for use. Upon its installation, the power plant placed the unit back into service but encountered a second emergency shutdown after two months in operation.
As the nuclear industry continues to adapt to new requirements under the Nuclear Promise, it is of key importance for utilities to strengthen existing safety protocols and execute efficiency improvements in day-to-day operations and maintenance to optimize overall costs.
One such nuclear plant found themselves struggling in regards to a planned outage of a vertical service water pump, providing cooling water to safety-related heat exchangers in the power generation process. In this case, the operating pump was actively exhibiting performance issues and was reaching the end of its lifecycle, requiring their reserve unit be placed into service under expedited conditions.
The principle goal for the plant was increasing Mean Time Before Repair (MTBR) of their pump system to optimize efficiency and reduce costs. Unfortunately, upon initial review of the reserve unit, it was identified that it had a history of poor performance issues under previous use.
Authored by Faisal Salman.