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 nuclear utility had been observing axial shuttling on their three single stage, double suction Condensate Booster pumps. To better understand the circumstances driving this phenomenon, they asked Hydro Reliability Services to provide in-depth field testing of the equipment at different operating loads. Continue reading →
What happens when an alarm is signaled from our Condition Monitoring System? Is the software customizable to customers’ needs? Glad you asked.
It all starts in the home of our Centaur engineers – the Monitoring and Diagnostic Center, where dedicated personnel are checking the status of monitored equipment 24/7. These vibration and pump subject matter experts keep an eye on concerning trends and use the digital twin interface to identify areas of concern. Continue reading →
A major pipeline transmission company found itself reconsidering the effectiveness of its maintenance strategy. The company faced a challenge: optimizing asset visibility and implementing remote condition monitoring of equipment health while avoiding a high-cost investment and installation disruptions.
This particular pipeline transfers a variety of products, ranging from gasoline to jet fuel, serving customers via pump stations and storage tanks across the United States. For this customer, it is imperative to ensure that pumping assets are efficient, reliable and safely maintained consistently. The pipeline supports the needs of more than 50 cities, thus making the pumping assets critical to the availability and overall operation.
Technology plays a vital role in day-to-day operations in supporting end user activities, ensuring strict safety regulations, optimizing maintenance and providing data on equipment health. In this case, the pipeline company wanted to significantly improve and innovate upon its current maintenance approach in two ways: by monitoring asset visibility in real-time and trending data for their critical pumping equipment.
The phenomenon occurs when a system experiences extreme vibration caused by excessive pump pressure and pulsation.
Written by: Greg Matteson & Jeff Johnson Published by: Pumps & Systems
A North American natural gas liquids pipeline company was experiencing an acoustic resonance issue that cost up to $35,000 a month in maintenance and repair. A six-week project resulted in rerating three American Petroleum Institute (API) designation between-bearing (BB3) horizontal multistage split-case mainline pumps and performing extensive and specific vibration analyses to identify the problem. The project involved designing and manufacturing new impellers using exclusive milled vane technology, conducting API hydraulic performance tests, and returning the pumps into service.
This midcontinent pipeline gathers, processes, stores and transports natural gas—in this case, propane. Because of its geographic location, extreme temperatures and conditions are a factor in the selection of major equipment and components. The pumps operate at 2,917 gallons per minute with 2,926 feet at 1,500 horsepower and 3,560 revolutions per minute (rpm).
The pipeline company was experiencing an acoustic resonance vibration problem at the pump crossover, causing major maintenance and repair issues. Acoustic resonance occurs when a system experiences extreme vibration due to excessive pump pressure and pulsation, with frequencies loud enough for humans to hear. This can happen with the use of variable speed drives.
The pulsations are caused by a non-uniform flow from turbulence, sudden change of flow structure, direction or cross-section.
The acoustic resonance had existed since the pumps were installed more than five years ago. Rather than repairing or replacing them, the company performed continuous unscheduled maintenance that cost as much as $35,000 in a single month.
Join instructor, Robert Piotrowski of Turvac, Inc., as he discusses the key ingredients to successfully align machinery, the symptoms you will see if machinery is subjected to run under a misalignment condition, and more.