Turbine to Gearbox Alignment Drifts Caused Pump Transfers Problems

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) related to the pumps’ turbine to gearbox alignment drifts caused pump transfers upset operations.

Article Type:Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
Equipment Type:Miscellaneous Rotating Machine Problems
Author:S. Raghava Chari

Note: This root cause analysis (RCA) is from real-time scenarios that happened in industries during the tenure of two or three decades ago. These articles will help you to improve your troubleshooting skills and knowledge.

Turbine to Gearbox Alignment Drifts Problem

Even after eliminating the gearbox (GB) failures, frequent turbine driven Cooling Water pump changeovers problems and associated problems discussed in earlier Problem persistently plagued the plant.

On enquiring, the crew said that is from day-1 problem with the indigenous steam turbines, which even the US rotating machine crew could not solve!

Author Root Cause Analysis

The turbine’s unfamiliar looking spring support puzzled the author. The crew informed that it was the US Rotating Machine Technician’s brain child as he thought the indigenous turbine’s support was inadequate!

The author knew of same vendor’s several turbines doing fine with the original support.  

Final Solution

The turbine vendor installed their standard supports one at a time to each of the two turbines eliminated alignment drift problem forever and the turbine driven pumps attained near 100% availabilities.

Benefits Realized

Benefits realized are:

  1. 10% production increase from uninterrupted cooling water pump runs and consequent smooth plant runs
  2. Vanished total plant shutdown threats during plant load adjustments to suit cooling water availabilities during GB caused pump outages
  3. Operation and maintenance crew morale increase from freed repeat works drudgery
  4. 1.8 bars lube oil pressure eliminated (Journal Bearing) JB failures totally and the 65o C gearbox oil temperature instead of the former 115o C the rapid gear teeth wear and consequent too frequent gearbox change threats

Author: S. Raghava Chari

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About the author

Retired | + posts

The author shared the problems developed during commissioning and the author’s 17 years’ service in a South Indian Ammonia, Urea, and NPK complex fertilizers plant.

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