2024 Experience Power Conference

Join Hydro at the 2024 Experience Power conference in Orlando, FL. Visit us at Booth 208 to learn about how we have been working with our utility partners to increase pump reliability, reduce operating costs, and achieve more efficient, sustainable operation.

Learn more about the conference here.

Navigating Resonance Challenges

A Case Study in Diagnostic Testing and Innovative Solutions

Some services are inherently difficult due to factors such as fluid quality or multiple disparate operating points.  These factors are an inherent part of the process and cannot be changed to improve reliability. Harsh applications can be a costly prospect, both in overhaul costs and in the time and labor required for frequent servicing. Many times we become caught in the perception that there is no improvement to be had for these services. A short mean-time-between-failures (MTBF) becomes routine and expected, and maintenance activities and parts procurement are built around this expectation.  

When equipment is sent out for refurbishment, the expectation is that mechanical and hydraulic performance upon reinstallation will be better than what was experienced in the worn condition. This assumption holds true in most cases; however, sometimes unexpected behavior can occur after a pump is remanufactured and reinstalled. While it is easy to jump to the conclusion that these performance changes were caused by errors made during the repair or installation of the equipment, sometimes the problem is more complex and related to latent weaknesses in the design that had lain dormant until refurbishment.

This scenario was experienced by a power utility in the Southeastern US when they ran into significant vibration increases after one of their boiler feed pumps was refurbished by a local repair shop. Concerned by the level of vibration, the utility reached out to Hydro South, who have extensive experience in this application and model. From there, Hydro Reliability Services was called on to collect data on the problematic equipment and use advanced modeling tools to understand the nature of the vibration. The field testing and analysis revealed that pump had been operating with a very small margin between a structural resonance and one of the pump forcing frequencies. Armed with this information, solutions were developed to increase this margin and return to stable operation.

Read the full case study in Pumps & Systems March 2024 edition.

Learn more about Hydro Reliability Services and how they support field testing, vibration troubleshooting, and advanced system studies.

PowerGen International

Join Hydro at the PowerGen International conference in New Orleans and learn what new solutions we have been providing to the power industry to support increased reliability and efficiency.

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How do you measure axial thrust?

Innovations in Thrust Measurement

Thrust is an important factor in vertical turbine pumps because it directly affects the performance and reliability of the pump. Excessive axial thrust can cause the motor thrust bearing to wear faster, run at a higher temperature, and/or fail if overloaded. This results in a higher total cost of ownership by reducing equipment operating life, forcing unexpected downtime, and requiring costly emergency work.

Historically, thrust has been a calculated value based on the impeller design and other pump parameters; this calculation is an approximation and has a margin of error. Axial thrust can be more accurately assessed through testing, but direct measurement of the thrust across the profile of a pump performance curve is not typically performed by OEMs.

In support of a customers’ request to better understand the repeated failure of a vertical turbine pump, Hydro’s Test Lab and S. Himmelstein and company developed a thrustmeter that provides users with an accurate and reliable measurement of thrust across the tested performance curve. This measurement was not only more accurate than the calculated thrust values, it provided insight beyond a single operating point.

By monitoring critical pump and motor data, the end user was empowered to make the best possible decision for their equipment and plant.

Read more about this innovation in our joint white paper, published with Pumps & Systems magazine.

Learn more about how Hydro’s Certified Performance Test Lab and how Hydro can support you in better understanding and optimizing the performance of your equipment.


EPIC Conference

Join Hydro at Booth 517 at the Energy Progress & Innovation Conference in Bismarck, ND!