Here we look at how we have solved issues with power generation equipment all over the world.
Cooling Fan Gear Teeth Failures
Gear tooth failures were occurring on gearboxes used for driving large cooling fans at a major UK power station. Our investigation concluded that the fault lay with the assembly of the gearbox.
The manufacturers agreed to replace all damaged gear components and adjusted their assembly procedures in accordance with the recommendations made.
Middle East Steam Turbine Failures
Wiping failures on large steam turbines for power generation were occurring at a Middle-Eastern power plant.
Neale Consulting Engineers investigated the problem on-site and identified that the cause was misalignment caused by a combination of thermal growth and poor levelling practices. Improvements to the alignment procedures were recommended.
Middle East Steam Turbine Water Contamination
A steam turbine driven gearbox was experiencing bearing failures. Our investigation identified that the cause was due to bacterial build-up in the oil resulting from water contamination.
Following action to sterilise the system, modifications to the lubrication system to lower the water content were recommended, together with improved filtration practices.
Nuclear Power Spline Drive Wear
The gas circulator drive on a Nuclear Power station was experiencing rapid wear of its spline drive during slow speed operation. Whilst in normal operation the circulators were direct driven, during slow speed drive an external gear drive was used which engaged with splines on the drive shaft.
Our investigation identified that the cause of the rapid spline wear was eccentric movement occurring during rotation because of the operational eccentricity of the plain bearings supporting the external drive gear. A re-design was recommended using offset bearing positions which cured the problem.
Analysis of Problems With a Large Plain Bearing on a Hydro-Power Turbine
The turbine, of a new design, was giving trouble during commissioning.
Neale Consulting Engineers were asked to advise on two aspects, initially assessing some transport damage to see if it could be safely rectified on site, and secondly to advise on ways of reducing friction and excessive running temperatures.
Design of a Bearing System for a Flywheel Energy Storage Device
The flywheel bearings have to operate at very high speeds in a vacuum environment. A study was made of the various possible bearing concepts, and the two most promising concepts were evaluated and designed in detail.
Bearing Design Method
A manufacturer of large industrial fans required a method for designing plain hydrodynamic bearings which would be optimum in terms of load capacity, lubrication, stability and vibration control.
A detailed calculation procedure was produced which could readily be applied by the manufacturer’s engineers to any proposed design of fan.