Casing Geometry

Fertilizer Focus: Expedited Sourcing for Replacement Casing

A Midwest US fertilizer plant had a boiler feed pump whose casing suffered from significant erosion damage at the packing gland location. The damage to the casing was severe enough that it was unusable. The delivery time and cost for a new pump both exceeded what the plant felt comfortable with, so they looked for alternative means to return the pump to reliable operation.

To provide a solution that reduced cost and lead time, Hydro’s Chicago service center explored various outlets for a used casing that could be refurbished for the service. Fortunately, a casing that matched the original boiler feed pump’s size and number of stages was found and procured.

Understanding the importance of casing geometry for hydraulic and mechanical performance, Hydro’s engineering team performed an extensive analysis of the two cases to verify geometric equivalency. After the engineering analysis concluded that the used case would meet the required hydraulic performance, it was refurbished and brought up to best-in-class tolerances.

Boiler feed pump casing

As a final check to ensure that the refurbished case would operate smoothly and achieve the desired performance, the newly assembled pump was tested at Hydro’s performance test lab. The test lab generated a full performance curve that verified that the pump met the design operating flow and head. Mechanical performance was also assessed to ensure that vibration was acceptable throughout the operating range.

By reusing an old casing instead of purchasing a new pump, the site was able to reduce the cost of the repair. More importantly, the repair was completed in a much shorter timeframe than it would have taken to source a new pump. This greatly reduced the risk to plant production of not having a spare pump available on-site.

 

Field Testing Assesses Risk of Reducing Minimum Unit Load

With changes in the energy landscape, many older plants need to adapt to more flexible operation to fluctuating needs of the grid and remain economically viable.  This flexibility often includes operation outside of the original design of the plant and its equipment.

A Midwest coal-fired power plant recently found themselves in this position. The plant had been designed for a minimum commercial load of 350MW, but they were considering reducing the load to 300MW. Plant engineering wanted to understand what risk operation at this low capacity posed to equipment reliability operation and life. The power producer contacted Hydro Reliability Services to develop an on-site test plan for their condensate, boiler feed booster, and boiler feed pumps to better understand how this operation would impact these critical pumps. Continue reading

a man wearing a blue hat

Centaur Condition Monitoring Early Detection Saves Over $200,000

As part of Hydro’s support of a Midwest steel mill’s descaling pumps, the Centaur condition monitoring service has been installed on five of their pumps machine trains. Using wireless sensors, Hydro has been continuously collecting real-time vibration and surface temperature levels on the pump, gearbox, and motor. The goal of this monitoring service is to work directly with the end-user to improve rotating equipment maintenance strategies through better, more frequent data collection and Hydro’s subject matter expertise in rotating equipment.

Read More