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ACAD BASIC CURRICULUM

MECHANICAL SCIENCE
CHAPTER 10
STEAM TURBINES
SHROUD

NOZZLE
BLADES (OR
BUCKETS)

RO

TA

TI

WHEEL

STATIONARY
DIAPHRAGM

STUDENT TEXT
REV 2
2003 General Physics Corporation, Elkridge, Maryland
TM

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by
any means, without permission in writing from General Physics Corporation.

KFS10Sr02_Steam Turbines 09Nov11.doc

KFS10Sr02_Steam Turbines 09Nov11.doc

TABLE OF CONTENTS
FIGURES AND TABLES .......................................................................................................... iii
OBJECTIVES .............................................................................................................................. v
INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 1
STEAM TURBINES ................................................................................................................... 1
Impulse Turbines ...................................................................................................................... 2
Reaction Turbines..................................................................................................................... 3
TURBINE STAGING AND COMPOUNDING ......................................................................... 5
Impulse Turbine Stage.............................................................................................................. 5
Reaction Turbine Stage ............................................................................................................ 6
Compounding ........................................................................................................................... 8
Velocity-Compounded Impulse Turbine .................................................................................. 9
Pressure-Compounded Impulse Turbine .................................................................................. 9
Pressure-Velocity-Compounded Impulse Turbine ................................................................... 9
Pressure-Compounded Reaction Turbine ............................................................................... 11
Impulse and Reaction Combination Turbine.......................................................................... 11
TURBINE GENERAL EQUATION ......................................................................................... 12
STEAM FLOW ......................................................................................................................... 14
Axial Flow .............................................................................................................................. 14
Helical Flow ........................................................................................................................... 14
Radial Flow ............................................................................................................................ 14
Steam Flow Path ..................................................................................................................... 14
BEARINGS AND GLANDS .................................................................................................... 15
Bearings .................................................................................................................................. 15
Radial Bearings ...................................................................................................................... 15
Thrust Bearings ...................................................................................................................... 16
TURBINE SUPPORT SYSTEMS ............................................................................................ 17
Lube Oil System ..................................................................................................................... 18
Hydraulic Control System ...................................................................................................... 19
Shaft-Packing Glands ............................................................................................................. 19
Steam Seal and Water Seal Systems ...................................................................................... 20
Exhaust Hood Cooling System............................................................................................... 21
Turning Gear .......................................................................................................................... 22
Bearing Lift Pumps ................................................................................................................ 22
Shaft Grounding Brushes ....................................................................................................... 23

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Failure Mechanisms ............................................................................................................... 23
SUMMARY ............................................................................................................................... 24
PRACTICE EXERCISES .......................................................................................................... 26
GLOSSARY .............................................................................................................................. 27
PRACTICE EXERCISE ANSWERS ........................................................................................ 28

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FIGURES AND TABLES


Figure 10-1 Work in a Turbine Visualized ............................................................................... 1
Figure 10-2 Main Turbine Unit Arrangement (not to scale) ..................................................... 1
Figure 10-3 Simplified Impulse Turbine ................................................................................... 2
Figure 10-4 Pressure-Velocity Diagram for a Turbine Nozzle ................................................. 2
Figure 10-5 Impulse Turbine Nozzle-Blade Arrangement........................................................ 2
Figure 10-6 Pressure-Velocity Diagram for a Moving Impulse Blade ..................................... 3
Figure 10-7 Pressure-Velocity Diagram for a Fixed Impulse Blade ......................................... 3
Figure 10-8 Reaction Turbine Principle .................................................................................... 3
Figure 10-9 Pressure-Velocity Diagram for a Fixed Reaction Blade ....................................... 4
Figure 10-10 Pressure-Velocity Diagram for a Moving Reaction Blade .................................. 4
Figure 10-11 Impulse Turbine Stage - Nozzle and Moving Blade ........................................... 5
Figure 10-12 Impulse Turbine Stage - Fixed Blade and Moving Blade ................................... 5
Figure 10-13 Impulse Turbine Staging ..................................................................................... 6
Figure 10-14 Reaction Turbine Stage - Nozzle and Moving Blades ......................................... 6
Figure 10-15 Reaction Turbine Stage Fixed Blade and Moving Blade ................................. 7
Figure 10-16 Reaction Turbine Staging .................................................................................... 7
Figure 10-17 Pressure Compounded Impulse Turbine.............................................................. 8
Figure 10-18 Velocity Compounded Impulse Turbine ............................................................. 8
Figure 10-19 Velocity Compounded Impulse Turbine ............................................................. 9
Figure 10-20 Pressure Compounded Impulse Turbine.............................................................. 9
Figure 10-21 Pressure-Velocity Compounded Impulse Turbine .............................................. 9
Figure 10-22 Pressure-Velocity-Compounded Impulse Turbine Curtis and Rateau Staging Turbine
.......................................................................................................................................... 10
Figure 10-23 Pressure Compounded Reaction Turbine .......................................................... 11
Figure 10-24 Pressure-Velocity Compounded Impulse & Reaction Turbine ......................... 11
Figure 10-25 Ideal vs. Real Low Pressure Turbine Processes ................................................ 12
Figure 10-26 Axial Flow Turbine ........................................................................................... 14
Figure 10-27 Double Axial Flow Turbine ............................................................................... 14
Figure 10-28 Journal Bearing Lubrication .............................................................................. 15
Figure 10-29 Thrust Bearings.................................................................................................. 16
Figure 10-30 Tapered-Land Thrust Bearing ........................................................................... 16
Figure 10-31 Typical Lube Oil System ................................................................................... 18
Figure 10-32 Labyrinth Packing Glands ................................................................................. 19
Figure 10-33 Carbon Packing Glands ..................................................................................... 20
Figure 10-34 Typical Turbine Exhaust Hood Cooling System Schematic ............................. 21

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FIGURES AND TABLES


No Tables

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OBJECTIVES
Upon completion of this chapter, the student will be able to perform the following
objectives at a minimum proficiency level of 80%, unless otherwise stated, on an oral
or written exam.
1.

DESCRIBE the process for converting heat energy to rotational energy in turbines.

2.

DESCRIBE the components that comprise a turbine.

3.

DESCRIBE reaction and impulse turbine blading.

4.

DESCRIBE the function of a nozzle in turbine blading.

5.

EXPLAIN the concept of turbine staging.

6.

DEFINE turbine efficiency.

7.

DESCRIBE the steam flow path through a turbine.

8.

DESCRIBE accessories and support systems associated with turbines.

9.

DESCRIBE failure mechanisms and symptoms associated with turbines.

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STEAM TURBINES

INTRODUCTION

A steam turbine is a heat engine in which the


thermal energy in steam is converted to kinetic
energy and then to work (see Figure 10-1). In
the turbine, the steam velocity is increased as it
passes through a nozzle. This converts thermal
energy of the steam to kinetic energy by
expanding the steam from a higher pressure to a
lower pressure. The push (impulse) of the steam
is directed via the nozzle to blades attached to a
rotating wheel (rotor) and forces the rotor to
rotate.

This chapter describes the components and basic


operation of steam turbines. This knowledge is
necessary to understand the design and operation
of turbine-driven, electrical generating systems.

Large commercial turbines used in power plants


are generally divided into smaller components.
One high pressure turbine mounted on the same
shaft with two or three low pressure turbines is a
common configuration. The term tandem is used
to denote that high and low pressure turbines are
mounted on the same shaft (see Figure 10-2). The
electrical generator is mounted at the end of the
shaft.
The electrical generator converts the
rotational energy of the turbine to electrical energy.
Figure 10-1 Work in a Turbine Visualized

Figure 10-2 Main Turbine Unit Arrangement (not to scale)

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There are two basic types of turbines, impulse


turbines and reaction turbines. Impulse turbines
require high velocity steam for efficient
operation. However, reaction turbines are more
efficient when using a low velocity steam.

PRESSURE
ENTRANCE
HIGH THERMAL ENERGY
HIGH PRESSURE
LOW VELOCITY
STEAM INLET

EXIT
LOW THERMAL ENERGY
LOW PRESSURE
HIGH VELOCITY
STEAM EXHAUST

VELOCITY

IMPULSE TURBINES

CONVERGENT NOZZLE

The high pressure turbine, low pressure turbines,


and steam-driven feed pump turbines are mostly
impulse turbines with some reaction turbine
characteristics. The name is derived from the
fact that high velocity steam striking the turbine
blading (an impulse) causes the rotor to turn.

Figure 10-4 Pressure-Velocity Diagram for a


Turbine Nozzle
Throttle valves are used to control how much
steam is admitted to the nozzles. A stationary
diaphragm holds the stationary blading (nozzle).
See Figure 10-5.
SHROUD

ROTOR

NOZZLE
BLADES (OR
BUCKETS)

NOZZLE

RO
TA
TI
O
N

WHEEL

STEAM
CHEST
STATIONARY
DIAPHRAGM

Figure 10-5 Impulse Turbine Nozzle-Blade


Arrangement

Figure 10-3 Simplified Impulse Turbine


Figure 10-3 shows a simplified version of the
basic components of an impulse turbine. Steam
enters the turbine at the steam chest. From there,
the steam expands through nozzles into the first
set of blading. Figure 10-4 shows the changes to
the properties of the steam as it flows through
the nozzles, the velocity increases and the
pressure drops.

Impulse turbines have dished blades or buckets


as shown in Figure 10-6 and Figure 10-7. The
convergent nozzles in the turbine casing
accelerate and direct the steam into these blades
causing the blades to move.

As the area in the nozzle gets smaller, the


velocity of steam flowing through the nozzle
goes up. The energy to increase the velocity of
the steam has to come from somewhere. The
source of the energy is the pressure, so pressure
of the steam must decrease.

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The high velocity steam exiting the nozzle is


directed into a set of moving dished impulse
blades (Figure 10-6). As the steam strikes the
dished impulse blade, the steam pushes and
moves the blade. This results in a decrease in the
velocity of the steam. The velocity is not affected
by the constant the area between the fixed
impulse blades; therefore the pressure does not
change.

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The force of the steam impacting on the movable


blades causes the movement of the impulse
blades. The energy conversion occurring across
a set of movable impulse blades results in the
movement of the moving impulse blades and a
decrease in the velocity of the steam. The steam
pressure is unchanged. Here and in some later
drawings, the small arrow by the blade indicates
the blade is a moving blade.
DIRECTION OF SPIN

The steam exiting the fixed impulse blade is then


directed to enter the next row of moving blades
and the process is repeated.
As the steam velocity decreases across each row
of moving impulse blades, the force of the steam
against the blade also decreases. To get the same
amount of work from each stage, the area of the
successive rows of moving blades must increase
to generate the same amount of force against the
blades. This requires each successive stage of
blades in a turbine to get larger. This is done to
accommodate the greater specific volume of the
steam that results as the pressure is dropped.

REPRESENTS MOVING
IMPULSE BLADES

PRESSURE
TURBINE
SHAFT

REACTION TURBINES

EXIT
LOW VELOCITY
STEAM EXHAUST

ENTRANCE
HIGH VELOCITY
STEAM INLET

VELOCITY

Figure 10-6 Pressure-Velocity Diagram for a


Moving Impulse Blade
The steam exiting the moving impulse blades is
directed into a set of fixed blades (Figure 10-7).
The fixed blades in an impulse turbine do
nothing more than redirect the steam flow from
one row of moving blades to the next row of
moving blades. The area between the fixed
impulse blades remains constant so the velocity
does not change, therefore the pressure does not
change. No energy conversion occurs, so the
velocity and pressure remain constant in a set of
fixed impulse blades. Here and in some later
drawings, the small plus sign by the blade
indicates the blade is a fixed blade.
FIXED BLADES
NO MOVEMENT

Reaction turbines utilize a different principle of


operation.
Figure 10-8 shows a simplified
diagram of a reaction turbine. Here movement of
the rotor is accomplished as a result of the force
created by the jet action of steam leaving the
nozzles in the end of the rotors.
ROTOR

STEAM CHEST

REPRESENTS NON-MOVING
IMPULSE BLADES

Figure 10-8 Reaction Turbine Principle


Fixed reaction blades and moving reaction blades
both act as nozzles. The blades are shaped like
tear drops (see Figure 10-9 and Figure 10-10)
with the area between the blades getting smaller
from the entrance to the exit of the reaction
blades. The most important motive force in a
reaction turbine is the jet-like thrust that results
when the steam expands through the tail of the
tear drop-shaped moving blades.

PRESSURE
ENTRANCE
STEAM INLET

EXIT
STEAM EXHAUST

VELOCITY
NOTE: PRESSURE AND VELOCITY OF STEAM
DO NOT CHANGE ACROSS FIXED
IMPULSE BLADE. IT IS USED ONLY
FOR DIRECTIONAL FLOW CONTROL.

Figure 10-7 Pressure-Velocity Diagram for a


Fixed Impulse Blade

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In construction, the reaction turbine differs from


an impulse turbine in that the casing no longer has
nozzles between successive sets of blades. The
turbine has fixed (immovable) reaction blades
similar to the moveable reaction blades on the
rotor. The fixed reaction blades serve to redirect
steam as well as increase its velocity.
The pressure-velocity profile of steam passing
through a moving reaction blade and a fixed
reaction blade are shown in Figure 10-9 and
Figure 10-10. In both sets of reaction blading
(fixed and moving) the pressure drops. In the
fixed blades the pressure drop is converted to
kinetic energy (velocity increase). In the moving
blades the pressure drop is converted to
movement of the turbine blades.
Like the impulse turbine stage, the first pressure
drop in a reaction turbine occurs across the
nozzle. In the nozzle as the area in the nozzle
gets smaller, the velocity of the steam goes up,
this energy has to come from somewhere. The
source is the pressure, so the pressure of the
steam must decrease.

REPRESENTS NON-MOVING
REACTION BLADES

PRESSURE
ENTRANCE
HIGH PRESSURE
LOW VELOCITY
STEAM INLET

EXIT
LOW PRESSURE
HIGH VELOCITY
STEAM EXHAUST

The lower pressure, higher velocity steam exiting


a nozzle (or a fixed reaction blade) enters the
area between the moving tear drop-shaped
reaction blades (Figure 10-10). As before, the
area between the reaction blades (moving or
fixed) gets smaller. However instead of seeing
an increase in velocity of the steam like in the
fixed reaction blades, the velocity of the steam
decreases, similar to process in the moving
impulse blades.
The energy conversion that occurs is movement
of the reaction blade resulting in a decrease in
steam pressure and a decrease in steam velocity.
The movement of the moving reaction blades is
caused by the energy that previously increased
the velocity of the steam in the fixed reaction
blade process. The pressure drops occurs, again,
because of the shape of the blading and the
reduction in area between the blades. So in the
moving reaction blades the pressure and velocity
of the steam both go down. Again here the small
arrow by the blade indicates the blade is a
moving blade.

Although the first set of blades following the


nozzle in a turbine is a set of moving reaction
blades, lets look at the process occurring across
the fixed reaction blades. Again here the small
plus sign by the blade indicates the blade is a
fixed blade.
FIXED BLADES
NO MOTION

area between the fixed reaction blades gets


smaller as the steam flows between the blades.
As the area between the reaction blades is
reduced, the velocity of the steam through the
blades goes up. The energy to increase the
velocity has to come from somewhere. The
source of the energy is the pressure, so the
pressure of the steam must decrease. This is the
same energy conversion that takes place in a
nozzle.

DIRECTION OF SPIN

REPRESENTS MOVING
REACTION BLADES

VELOCITY

PRESSURE
TURBINE
SHAFT

NOTE: A FIXED REACTION BLADE


IS ESSENTIALLY A NOZZLE

ENTRANCE
HIGH PRESSURE
HIGH VELOCITY
STEAM INLET

Figure 10-9 Pressure-Velocity Diagram for a


Fixed Reaction Blade
Looking at the fixed reaction blades first, shows
a different process occurring across the fixed
reaction blades (Figure 10-9) compared to the
process that occurs in fixed impulse blades. The
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EXIT
LOW PRESSURE
LOW VELOCITY
STEAM EXHAUST

VELOCITY

Figure 10-10 Pressure-Velocity Diagram for a


Moving Reaction Blade

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The energy conversion across the nozzle is an


increase in the velocity of the steam and an
accompanying decrease in steam pressure.

TURBINE STAGING AND


COMPOUNDING
Staging and compounding of impulse turbines
are methods of removing a greater fraction of the
energy stored in the inlet steam. A turbine stage
is defined as a nozzle followed by one or more
sets of moving blades.
In an impulse turbine with multiple stages, the
set of moving blades can be followed by either a
set of fixed impulse blades to redirect the steam
or nozzles to reduce the pressure.
In a reaction turbine with multiple stages, each
stage is followed by a set of fixed reaction blades
to increase the velocity of the steam and to
redirect the steam and a set of moving reaction
blades to get work out of the steam.

The energy conversion across a set of moving


impulse blades is movement of the movable
impulse blades and a decrease in the velocity of
the steam, accompanied by a constant steam
pressure.
Overall the energy conversion across one stage
of an impulse turbine stage, consisting of nozzles
and moving impulse blades, is movement of the
movable impulse blades and a decrease in steam
pressure, accompanied by a steam velocity at the
exit of the stage equal to the steam velocity at the
inlet to the stage.
A simple impulse stage (one set of nozzles and
one row of moving blades) is commonly referred
to as a Rateau stage.

IMPULSE TURBINE STAGE

FIXED
BLADE

An impulse turbine stage is one set of nozzles


and the succeeding row of moving impulse
blades OR one set of fixed impulse blades and
one set of impulse moving blades. (Figure 10-11
and Figure 10-12).

+
PRESSURE

An impulse stage only has a pressure drop across


a nozzle.
NOZZLE

MOVING
BLADE

VELOCITY

MOVING
BLADE

Figure 10-12 Impulse Turbine Stage - Fixed


Blade and Moving Blade
The second type of impulse turbine stage
consists of a set of fixed impulse blades and a set
of moving impulse blades (Figure 10-12).

PRESSURE

Recalling the fixed blades in an impulse turbine


do nothing more than redirect the steam flow
from one row of moving blades to the next.

VELOCITY

There is no energy conversion across a set of


fixed blades. There is a constant steam pressure
and a constant steam velocity.

Figure 10-11 Impulse Turbine Stage - Nozzle


and Moving Blade
One type of impulse turbine stage consists of a
nozzle and a set of moving impulse blades
(Figure 10-11).
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The energy conversion across a set of moving


impulse blades is movement of the movable
impulse blades and a decrease in the velocity of
the steam accompanied by a constant steam
pressure.

REACTION TURBINE STAGE

Overall the energy conversion across one stage


of an impulse turbine, consisting of fixed
impulse blades and moving impulse blades, is
movement of the movable impulse blades and a
decrease of the steam velocity, accompanied by a
constant steam pressure.

A reaction turbine stage is one set of nozzles and


a succeeding row of moving reaction blades OR
one set of fixed reaction blades and one set of
moving reaction blades (Figure 10-14 and
Figure 10-15).
Unlike an impulse turbine stage that has a single
pressure drop (only when the steam travels
through a nozzle), a reaction stage has two
pressure drops in each stage.

Note: the results of both types of impulse stage


do NOT have the same results.

NOZZLE

MOVING
BLADE

Now with an understanding of the processes that


occur in the impulse turbine it is possible to
begin to combine stages together. (Figure 10-13)
NOZZLE

MOVING
BLADE

FIXED
BLADE

PRESSURE

MOVING
BLADE

VELOCITY

Figure 10-14 Reaction Turbine Stage - Nozzle


and Moving Blades

PRESSURE
ONE STAGE
NOZZLE & MOVING
BLADE

ONE STAGE
FIXED & MOVING
BLADE

One type of reaction turbine stage consists of a


set of nozzles and a set of moving reaction
blades. ( Figure 10-14 )

VELOCITY

Figure 10-13 Impulse Turbine Staging

The energy conversion across the nozzle is an


increase in the velocity of the steam and an
accompanying decrease in the steam pressure.

This will be discussed in greater detail in the


section on Compounding, following the
discussion of stages in a reaction turbine.

The energy conversion across the set of moving


reaction blades is movement of the movable
reaction blades, a decrease in the velocity of the
steam, and a decrease in the steam pressure.
Figure 10-14 shows the energy conversion across
one stage of a reaction turbine stage, consisting
of a nozzle and a set of moving reaction blades,
is motion of the movable reaction blades and a
decrease in steam pressure, accompanied by a
steam velocity at the exit of the stage equal to the
steam velocity at the inlet to the stage.

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FIXED
BLADE

Now with an understanding of the processes that


occur in the reaction turbine, it is possible to
begin to combine stages together. (Figure 10-16)

MOVING
BLADE

NOZZLE

MOVING
BLADE

FIXED
BLADE

MOVING
BLADE

PRESSURE

PRESSURE

VELOCITY

ONE STAGE
NOZZLE & MOVING BLADE

Figure 10-15 Reaction Turbine Stage Fixed


Blade and Moving Blade

ONE STAGE
FIXED & MOVING BLADE

VELOCITY

The second type of reaction turbine stage


consists of a set of fixed reaction blades and a set
of moving reaction blades (Figure 10-15)

Figure 10-16 Reaction Turbine Staging

The energy conversion across the set of fixed


reaction blades is an increase in the velocity of
the steam and an accompanying decrease in
steam pressure.
The energy conversion across a set of moving
reaction blades is motion of the movable reaction
blades, a decrease in the velocity of the steam,
and a decrease in the steam pressure.
Figure 10-15 shows the energy conversion across
one stage of a reaction turbine, consisting of a set
of fixed reaction blades and a set of moving
reaction blades, is motion of the movable
reaction blades, a decrease in the steam pressure,
accompanied by a steam velocity at the exit of
the stage equal to the steam velocity at the inlet
to the stage.
Note, in a reaction turbine both stages have the
same result; a motion of the movable reaction
blades and a decrease in the steam pressure,
accompanied by a steam velocity at the exit of
the stage equal to the steam velocity at the inlet
to the stage.

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COMPOUNDING
To efficiently utilize the energy of steam, a
turbine must normally have an arrangement of
nozzles and blading that will cause more than
one pressure drop or more than one velocity drop
as the steam passes through the turbine. This
process is called compounding. A turbine that
has more than one pressure drop is classified as
pressure-compounded. A turbine that has more
than one velocity drop is classified as velocitycompounded. A combination of pressure drops
and velocity drops is called pressure-velocity
compounding.

If successive velocity decreases are used, the


turbine is said to be velocity-compounded (see
Figure 10-18). This is accomplished here by
having multiple impulse stages. The first stage
consists of a nozzle and a set of moving impulse
blades followed by two successive impulse
stages, made up of a set of fixed impulse blades
followed by a set of movable impulse blades.

The term compounding, as it applies to a single


turbine, refers to the specific method of energy
extraction. A turbine can either extract energy
by:

Successive pressure drops

Figure 10-18 Velocity Compounded


Impulse Turbine

-OR

Since pressure decreases occur only through


nozzles, a pressure-compounded turbine must
consist of two or more stages. However, a
velocity-compounded turbine, also called a
Curtis stage, may consist of only one stage:

Successive velocity decreases

If successive pressure drops are used, the turbine


is said to be pressure-compounded (see
Figure 10-17). This is accomplished here by
having multiple impulse stages. The first impulse
stage consists of a nozzle and a set of moving
impulse blades followed by three successive
impulse stages, made up of a set of nozzles
followed by a set of movable impulse blades.

a nozzle followed by:

a set of moving impulse blades,

a set of fixed impulse blades, and

another set of moving impulse blades.

An impulse stage may be velocity-compounded


but never pressure-compounded. A reaction
stage is always pressure-compounded but never
velocity-compounded. This applies only to
stages and not to the turbines. Turbines may be
designed and constructed to incorporate
practically any combination of stages and,
therefore, may be compounded in any manner
desired.
Figure 10-17 Pressure Compounded
Impulse Turbine

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VELOCITY-COMPOUNDED
IMPULSE TURBINE

PRESSURE-COMPOUNDED
IMPULSE TURBINE

A velocity drop in an impulse turbine occurs


only in the moving blades. To obtain more than
one velocity drop across an impulse turbine,
there must be more than one row of moving
blades.
Velocity-compounding can also be
achieved when only one row of moving blades is
used and the steam is directed such that it passes
through the blades more than once. A velocitycompounded impulse turbine with two rows of
moving blades is called a Curtis stage (see
Figure 10-19). The Curtis stage has two velocity
reductions.

Another method of increasing the efficiency of


an impulse turbine is to put two or more Rateau
stages in a row. This combination produces a
pressure-compounded impulse turbine that has as
many pressure drops as it has stages (see
Figure 10-20).
NOZZLE

MOVING
BLADE

NOZZLE

MOVING
BLADE

PRESSURE
NOZZLE

MOVING
BLADE

FIXED
BLADE

1ST STAGE
NOZZLE & MOVING
BLADE

MOVING
BLADE

2ND STAGE
NOZZLE & MOVING
BLADE

VELOCITY

Figure 10-20 Pressure Compounded


Impulse Turbine

PRESSURE
1ST STAGE
NOZZLE & MOVING
BLADE

2ND STAGE
FIXED & MOVING
BLADE

PRESSURE-VELOCITYCOMPOUNDED IMPULSE TURBINE

VELOCITY

A turbine that has one Curtis stage followed by a


series of Rateau stages is a pressure-velocitycompounded turbine (see Figure 10-21 and
Figure 10-22).

Figure 10-19 Velocity Compounded


Impulse Turbine

CURTIS STAGE
NOZZLE, MOVING BLADE,
FIXED BLADE, AND MOVING BLADE
NOZZLE MOVING
BLADE

FIXED
BLADE

MOVING
BLADE

RATEAU STAGE
NOZZLE & MOVING
BLADE
NOZZLE MOVING
BLADE

PRESSURE
VELOCITY

Figure 10-21 Pressure-Velocity Compounded


Impulse Turbine

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Figure 10-22 Pressure-Velocity-Compounded Impulse Turbine


Curtis and Rateau Staging Turbine

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IMPULSE AND REACTION


COMBINATION TURBINE

PRESSURE-COMPOUNDED
REACTION TURBINE
All reaction turbines are pressure-compounded.
They are arranged so the pressure drop across the
turbine from inlet to exhaust is divided into
many steps by means of alternate rows of fixed
and moving blades (see Figure 10-23).
NOZZLE

MOVING
BLADE

FIXED
BLADE

MOVING
BLADE

PRESSURE

Another type of turbine is a combination impulse


and reaction (see Figure 10-24). This type of
turbine design uses a Curtis stage at the highpressure end of the turbine followed by reaction
blading. The impulse blading causes a large
pressure and temperature drop at the beginning,
using a large amount of thermal energy. The
reaction part of the turbine is more efficient at
the lower steam pressure existing at the lowpressure end of the turbine.
For certain
applications this would be a highly efficient
machine with the advantages of both impulse
and reaction blading.

1ST STAGE
2ND STAGE
NOZZLE & MOVING BLADE FIXED & MOVING BLADE

CURTIS STAGE
NOZZLE, MOVING BLADE,
FIXED BLADE, AND MOVING BLADE
NOZZLE MOVING FIXED MOVING
BLADE
BLADE BLADE

VELOCITY

2ND STAGE
REACTION FIXED
& MOVING BLADE
FIXED
MOVING
BLADE
BLADE

Figure 10-23 Pressure Compounded Reaction


Turbine

PRESSURE
VELOCITY

Figure 10-24 Pressure-Velocity Compounded


Impulse & Reaction Turbine

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P1
SPECIFIC ENTHALPY (Btu/lbm)

TURBINE GENERAL
EQUATION
In determining the General Energy Equation for
a turbine, the potential energy terms can be
neglected. This is possible because of the small
difference in elevation between the entrance and
exhaust of the turbine. The kinetic energy may
also be neglected, as the change in velocity from
the inlet to the outlet is minor in comparison to
the other terms. There is heat loss to the
surroundings, but because most turbines are
heavily insulated it is very small in comparison
to the work output. Making these simplifications
to the General Energy Equation we obtain:

h1

h2
h2

2'

s
SPECIFIC ENTROPY (Btu/lbm R)

(a)

h-s DIAGRAM

CRITICAL POINT

SATURATION
VAPOR
P1
LINE

TEMPERATURE ( F)

Equation 10-1

& ) = (m
& )(h in h out )
w t (m

P2

CRITICAL POINT

w t = h in h out
To obtain the total rate of work, multiply both
sides by the mass flow rate but leave the
enthalpy terms as specific by not multiplying
through yet.

SATURATION
VAPOR
LINE

T1
P2

WET STEAM

T2 & T2

& =m
& (h in h out )
W
t
s

Equation 10-2

SPECIFIC ENTROPY (Btu/lbm R)

Figure 10-25 shows the representation of a low


pressure turbine without superheat process on
enthalpy-entropy (h-s) and temperature-entropy
(T-s) diagrams. The solid line, from point 1 to
point 2, corresponds to the ideal process in
which steam is isentropically expanded through
the turbine rotors. The dashed line, from point 1
to point 2', corresponds to the real irreversible
process. Figure 10-25 clearly shows that the
actual exhaust enthalpy of the steam (at point 2')
is greater than the ideal exhaust enthalpy (at
point 2). This demonstrates that the work output
of a real turbine is less than that of an ideal
turbine.

(b)

T-s DIAGRAM

Figure 10-25 Ideal vs. Real Low Pressure


Turbine Processes
Turbine efficiency (t) is the ratio of work done
by a real turbine to the work done by an ideal
turbine in accomplishing the same gas
expansion.

t =

&
& ( h in h out ,real )
m
W
real
=
&
& (h in h out ,ideal )
m
W
ideal
t =

(h in h out ,real )
(h in h out ,ideal )

Equation 10-3
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If the enthalpies of the ideal process and the


turbine efficiency are known, the equation can be
rearranged to solve for turbine work.

&
&
W
t , real = t ( m )(h in h out ,ideal )
Equation 10-4
The analysis of turbine performance is very
complex. Pressure drops across the turbine
throttle, mechanical windage losses, and other
energy losses all have an effect on turbine
performance. The simplifications that are used
here are useful in the analysis of simple power
cycles.

The enthalpy of the steam entering a turbine is


1,200 Btu/lbm and the ideal exit enthalpy of the
exhaust steam is 780 Btu/lbm. The steam flow
rate is 1 106 lbm/hr. The turbine efficiency is
90%.
1 HP = 2.54 103 Btu/hr
Calculate the shaft horsepower and ideal work
produced by the turbine.

&
&
W
t ,ideal = m (h in h out ,ideal )
Btu

6 lb m
&
W
(1,200 780)
t , ideal = 1 10
hr
lb m

8 Btu
&
W
t , ideal = 4.2 10
hr

Using the conversion factor:

&
W
t , ideal

Btu
1 Hp

= 4.2 108

hr 2.54 103 Btu

hr

5
&
W
t ,ideal = 1.65 10 Hp

Calculate the real work if = 90%.

&
&
W
t , real = t Wt ,ideal
5
&
W
t , real = (.90)(1.65 10 Hp)
5
&
W
t , real = 1.49 10 Hp

Example 10-1

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RADIAL FLOW

STEAM FLOW
There are three different ways in which steam
can flow through a turbine:

In the radial flow turbine, the flow of steam is


directed either toward or away from the rotor.
This type turbine may be used for driving some
small auxiliary equipment.

Axial flow,

Helical flow, and

STEAM FLOW PATH

Radial flow.

Most turbines are of the single-entry type since


the steam only passes once through the blades.
All multistage turbines are of the single-entry
type. However, in some turbines, such as the
reentry type, the steam passes more than once
through the blades.

AXIAL FLOW
Most turbines are of the axial flow type, which
means the flow of steam is in the direction that is
almost parallel to the axis of the turbine shaft
(see Figure 10-26).
Steam
Inlet

If the steam in a turbine flows in only one


direction, it is classified as a single-flow unit. A
single-flow type turbine develops considerable
axial thrust due to the pressure drop(s) across the
moving blades.
Another commonly used method is the doubleflow design. Steam from the high-pressure
turbine enters at the center of the low-pressure
turbine and flows outward in both directions
through two identical sets of turbine staging.
The double-flow turbine has very little, if any,
axial thrust and is quite a bit smaller than a
single-flow turbine designed for the same
capacity and low-exhaust pressure (see
Figure 10-27).

Steam
Exhaust

Figure 10-26 Axial Flow Turbine

HELICAL FLOW

Steam
Inlet

The steam in a helical flow turbine flows at an


angle to the rotor. This flow is directed into
buckets fixed onto the turbine wheel and then
back out of the buckets into stationary reversing
chambers to be directed back into the buckets.
This type of turbine may be used for driving
pumps and forced draft blowers. The helical
flow turbine is efficient for use in application
where a wide speed range is required.

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Steam
Exhaust

Steam
Exhaust

Figure 10-27 Double Axial Flow Turbine

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BEARINGS AND GLANDS


BEARINGS
The rotor of every turbine must be positioned
radially and axially by bearings. Radial bearings
carry the weight of the rotor and maintain the
correct radial clearance between the rotor and the
casing.
Thrust bearings limit the axial
movement of the rotor.
Some small auxiliary turbines use antifriction
bearings, including ball and roller bearings. This
discussion will be limited to friction-type
bearings whose dissimilar metallic surfaces are
separated by, and depend on, an intervening oil
film for lubrication and cooling.
The effectiveness of fluid oil-film lubrication
depends on a number of factors:

the lubricant's properties of cohesion,


adhesion, and viscosity;

its temperature;

its cleanliness;

the clearance, alignment, and surface


condition of the bearing and journal;

load; and

speed.

RADIAL BEARINGS
Most turbines, including all main turbines, have
a radial bearing at each end of the rotor. These
bearings are generally known as journal
bearings, and may be either sleeve type or tiltingpad type. Each type may be either cylindricalseated or spherical-seated.
Except for
momentary metal-to-metal contact when the
turbine starts, a thin film of oil constantly
separates the two metallic surfaces of the journal
and bearing. Refer to Figure 10-28.

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Shaft at Rest

Rotation Starts

Thin Pad of Oil Formed

Oil Wedge Supports the Shaft

Figure 10-28 Journal Bearing Lubrication


A typical cylindrical-seated bearing has a shell
lined with babbitt metal. Babbitt material is a
composition of tin, lead, and antimony. A
cylindrical-seated bearing quickly disposes of the
friction heat by transferring it to the lubricating
oil passing through the bearing. A dowel keeps
the sleeve from turning. The bearing cap, or
upper half of the bearing housing, is bolted
securely to the lower half of the bearing housing.
An adjustable, spherical-seated, self-aligning
bearing is used in most main turbines. The shell
assembly consists of upper and lower cylindrical
shells.
Adjusting keys, or bushings, with
spherical-shaped outer surfaces or seats are fitted
around the shells. The male spherical seat fits
into a similarly shaped female seat in the bearing
housing. The spherical shape permits a small
amount of shell movement to compensate for
minor misalignments of the shaft.
In some designs of the self-aligning bearing,
radial adjustment of the bearing is accomplished
either by:

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Varying the thickness of the adjusting


seats or

Placing shims between the adjusting seats


and the shells.

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In other designs adjustment is initially set by the


manufacturer and cannot be changed. This
eliminates misadjustment in service. Since the
bearings are located close to the shaft glands, oil
deflector rings are fitted to the housing. This
prevents gland-sealing steam from leaking into
the journal and contaminating the lubricating oil.
The oil deflector rings prevent oil from leaking
into the steam side of the turbine that would
result in oil contamination of the condensate
system.

THRUST BEARINGS
In addition to the radial bearings that serve to
support and hold the rotor in correct radial
position relative to the casing, a turbine has an
axial, or thrust bearing, that limits the fore-andaft travel of the rotor, thereby maintaining the
necessary clearance between moving and
stationary parts within the turbine.
In some auxiliary turbines, thrust bearings of the
ball or roller type are used. In others, the radial
bearing is designed with a small thrust bearing
surface, along with the radial bearing surface;
this type of bearing is actually a combination
radial and thrust bearing.

In a small thrust bearing, the babbitt-faced thrust


plate is rigidly attached to the bearing housing.
To facilitate the entry of lubricating oil to the
running surface, the babbitt-faced surface is
usually provided with radial grooves. This type
of bearing works satisfactorily for light loads and
slow shaft speeds. However, in a thrust bearing
of a large, high-speed turbine or propeller shaft,
a rigidly mounted thrust plate, even though
grooved, will not maintain an adequate oil film
between the thrust face of the bearing and the
thrust face of the collar (see Figure 10-29).
To overcome this difficulty, main turbine and
propeller shafts are equipped with a pivoted
shoe-type (Kingsbury) thrust bearing. In this
type of bearing the thrust plate (instead of being
a single rigidly mounted, babbitt-faced piece)
consists of a number of babbitt-faced segments,
or shoes, that are free to assume a slight tilt.
This freedom to assume a tilt aids in maintaining
an adequate oil film between the shoe faces and
the thrust collar.
SHAFT
BEARING
SEGMENTS

OIL

BABBIT

THRUST
COLLAR

OIL
WEDGE

COLLAR
ROTATION

Figure 10-30 Tapered-Land Thrust Bearing


The Kingsbury-type thrust bearing shoes pivot
on the upper leveling plates in such a way that
they may be tilted very slightly (approximately
0.001 to 0.002 inches). Because the entire
assembly is submerged in oil, the pivoting
arrangement allows a continuous wedge-shaped
oil film to form between the shoes and thrust
collar (see Figure 10-30).

Figure 10-29 Thrust Bearings


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Whenever the shaft rotates, oil is dragged in


(between the collar and each shoe) at the leading
edge of the shoe, which is beveled to allow the
oil to enter. The thrust on the shaft or collar has
a tendency to squeeze the oil out again. Since
the oil streams in at the edge and goes out at the
sides and at the trailing edge, the oil film under
the leading edge of the shoe is thicker than at the
trailing edge. In other words, as long as the shaft
is rotating, each of the shoes is riding on a
hydrodynamic wedge of oil.

TURBINE SUPPORT
SYSTEMS
The turbine, like most large pieces of equipment,
often requires support from a number of
subsystems or support systems for operation.
Turbine support systems for a large turbine
typically include:

Turbine thrust is usually in one direction.


However, most pivoted-shoe thrust bearings
have shoes on both sides of the collar to take
care of axial thrust in either direction. In some
turbines, where the rotor thrust is always in one
direction, or only very slight in the other
direction, pivoted shoes may be used on the
thrust-absorbing side only; the non-thrust side
may have three shoes, or a smaller diameter
thrust bearing.

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Lube oil system

Hydraulic control system

Shaft packing glands

Steam or water seal system

Exhaust hood cooling system

Turning gear

Bearing lift pumps

Shaft grounding brushes

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LUBE OIL SYSTEM


A turbine lube oil subsystem is comprised of a
storage tank, reservoir, pumps, piping, and
coolers. Oil from the storage tank is supplied to
the reservoir. Lube oil is pumped from the
reservoir to various bearings and is returned to
the reservoir. Figure 10-31 is an example of a
typical lube oil system.
For main turbines, the lube oil system typically
provides lubricant to the main turbine thrust and
radial bearings and to generator and exciter
bearings as well. The lube oil system also
provides makeup to generators that have a
hydrogen seal oil system.
Oil that is provided to bearings must be clean
and at the proper temperature. Dirty oil is the
most frequent cause of bearing damage. Oil is
kept clean by:

Avoiding introduction of dirt into the


system,

Operation of a lube oil filtering system,


and

Maintaining the minimum required vacuum in


the lube oil tank can minimize introduction of
dirt into the system.
Oil that is too hot can be too thin to prevent
metal-to-metal contact. Oil that is too cold can
be too thick and cause excessive vibration (oil
whip). A control valve that admits water to the
lube coolers controls temperature.
Cooling is another important function of a lube
oil system. Bearings will warp if they become
too hot. Damage to bearings can be detected by
unusually high vibration and high bearing
temperature.
In addition to the lubrication to the main turbine
bearings provided, the lube oil system also
provides a supply of oil to the following:

Bearing lift pumps

Thrust bearing wear detector

Turbine overspeed switch

Turbine low speed switch

Seal oil vacuum tank

Keeping lube oil strainers and screens


clean.

Figure 10-31 Typical Lube Oil System


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SHAFT-PACKING GLANDS

HYDRAULIC CONTROL SYSTEM


A hydraulic system is used to position main
steam valves. Main steam valves regulate steam
flow to the turbine. Hydraulic systems use a
fluid that is toxic, will dissolve paint, and is fire
resistant.

Shaft packing glands:

The most common type of hydraulic control


system is the electrohydraulic control (EHC)
system. An EHC system consists of:

A hydraulic pumping unit (HPU),

Piping from the HPU to the components


that use the fluid,

Prevent the escape of steam between the


shaft and casing when the pressure inside
the turbine casing is greater than
atmospheric pressure.

Prevent air from entering the turbine


when the pressure within the casing drops
below atmospheric pressure.

In general, three types of shaft glands are used


on turbines:

Labyrinth packing glands,

Main steam valve actuators, and

Carbon packing glands, or

A trip system.

A combination of both labyrinth and


carbon packing glands.

In normal operation, the EHC system requires


little direct operator action but does require close
surveillance. The system has many components
with tiny fluid passages and very close fitting
parts. The system must be kept very clean to
avoid clogging the small passages. An EHC
system must be protected from water, chemicals,
and dirt.
Contamination can be indicated by:

Hydraulic fluid sampling program

Slowly increasing fluid pump motor


running current, and

Slow moving main steam valves.

Labyrinth packing is most common at


commercial power plants. Labyrinth packing is
used in the glands and interstages of steam
turbines.
Labyrinth packing consists of
machined packing strips or fins mounted on the
casing that surround the shaft. The strips have
very sharp teeth on the inside diameter that run
very close to the sealing surface on the rotor (see
Figure 10-32).

EHC systems are operated at a very high


pressure. Accumulators can maintain system
pressure at dangerously high levels long after the
pumps have been shutdown.

Figure 10-32 Labyrinth Packing Glands


The teeth or fins make a very small clearance
between the shaft and the strip for steam to
escape. The principle of labyrinth packing seals
is that as steam leaks through the very narrow
spaces between the packing strips and the shaft,
the steam pressure drops. As the steam passes
from one packing strip to the next, its pressure is
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gradually reduced and any velocity that it might


gain through nozzling effect is lost by the action
of the steam as it ricochets back and forth in the
gland.
Carbon packing glands are used in smaller and
older units. Carbon packing consists of strips of
carbon mounted on the casing. The strips
surround the shaft to make a very small
clearance between the shaft and the strip (see
Figure 10-33).

The steam seal system commonly requires little


attention once placed in operation. The areas in
which it can be a concern are water induction
and temperature mismatch. Water induction is
prevented by using care to ensure that the system
is well drained at all times. This is most often a
problem when the source of sealing steam is
changed. The drain valve upstream of the block
valve for the new steam source must be open and
the line drained of any condensate before the
block valve is opened. Another source of water
is steam that is too close to the saturation point.
It is generally recommended that the steam
source for sealing steam have no less than 25F
of superheat.

Figure 10-33 Carbon Packing Glands

STEAM SEAL AND WATER SEAL


SYSTEMS
Steam seal and water seal systems function to:

Prevent steam from leaking out of the


turbine and main steam valves and

Prevent air from leaking into the turbine


and main steam valves.

Water seals are used in older design


turbines. Water seals are typically used
in conjunction with steam seals.

A typical steam seal system consists of the


following components:

Turbine seals at the shaft penetrations


through the turbine shell casings

Steam seal regulator and piping

Steam seal exhauster

In normal operation at full load, steam will leak


outward, its pressure falling steadily as it leaks

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past each ring of packing. Steam which leaks


outward from the steam seal header chamber
leaks into the steam seal condenser chamber
which is held at a constant pressure slightly less
than atmospheric (about 3-5 inches of water
vacuum). This chamber draws a small amount of
air in from the outside so steam never leaks out
into the turbine hall. Note that in normal
operation steam leaks into the steam seal header.
Before the turbine is started up, however, there is
a vacuum in the turbine.

The second area of concern, that of temperature


mismatch, is also most likely to be a problem
when the source of sealing steam is changed
during startup. The temperatures that are of
concern are the temperature of the turbine rotors
and the sealing system. If there is a large
mismatch, there will be considerable thermal
stress. The maximum allowable temperature
differential is generally about 300F. On some
units, there is a desuper-heating spray, which can
be adjusted to control the temperature of the
steam in the steam seal header. However, many
units have no such control. For the units without
temperature control, the temperature of the steam
must be controlled before it is admitted to the
steam seal system.
A final area of concern in operations is shutting
the steam seal system down. The system should
never be shut down until after vacuum has been

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broken. If the steam seal system is shut down


with a vacuum in the turbine, cold air will be
drawn in along the turbine rotors. This will
cause high thermal stresses.

EXHAUST HOOD COOLING


SYSTEM
The exhaust hood cooling system generally
consists of the following components:

The low pressure turbine casing

The exhaust hood sprays

The exhaust hood spray valve and piping

The exhaust hood temperature


transmitter(s) and thermostats

The tips of turbine blades travel at high


velocities. The velocity of the longer buckets,
which are found in the low pressure turbine, is
greater than that of shorter buckets. The last
stage buckets may have a tip velocity of as much
as 1,200 miles per hour.
Whenever an object travels through a gas, such
as air or steam, at such high velocities, the object
is heated by aerodynamic heating. The friction
of gas molecules causes aerodynamic heating as
they pass over an object similar to that caused by
solid surfaces rubbing together. If buckets are
heated too much, their temperature becomes so
high that the metal strength is lowered and
damage occurs.

A typical exhaust hood cooling system is shown


in Figure 10-34.

Figure 10-34 Typical Turbine Exhaust Hood Cooling System Schematic

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Another factor unrelated to aerodynamic heating


can aggravate the tendency for the low pressure
turbine to be overheated at low loads, such as
when the reheat temperatures are relatively high
at low loads.
This tends to increase the
temperature of the steam in the low pressure
turbine. Because the low pressure turbine last
stage buckets are longest, they travel at the
highest speeds, and they become hotter faster
than the shorter buckets in the turbine. Although
bucket temperature should be monitored, there is
no satisfactory way to directly measure the
temperature of buckets.
However, when the buckets become hot they
heat the exhausting steam and the exhaust hood.
This heating is the major reason that exhaust
hood temperature is monitored. When exhaust
hood temperature rises above acceptable limits, it
is a good indication that the buckets are too hot.
The blades of the low pressure turbine are cooled
when necessary by spraying cool water through
nozzles, which resemble shower heads, near the
last stage blades. There are usually four to six
nozzles mounted on the low pressure inner
casing.
The temperature of the exhaust hood is usually
monitored by thermocouples for indication in the
control room. There are usually thermostats that
provide an alarm (usually set about 175F) if the
exhaust hood temperature exceeds recommended
limits and a turbine trip at a set point above that
(usually about 225F). Pneumatic temperature
transmitters provide an air pressure signal
proportional to exhaust hood temperature to a
pneumatic controller that positions a spray valve
that in turn controls the flow of water to the
spray nozzles.

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TURNING GEAR
The turning gear turns the turbine rotor slowly,
about 3-7 rpm, during shutdown, prior to starting
the turbine, or when the turbine is hot. Turning
the rotor slowly ensures that it is heated or
cooled evenly. If the rotor is allowed to come to
a rest when hot, temporary bowing and excessive
vibration can result. Distortion of the turbine
casing also results because the hotter steam rises
to the top of the casing.
The turning gear consists of an electric motor
driving a speed reducing gear train. The gear
train drives a large clash pinion or pinion gear
as it is often called, that can swing toward or
away from the turbine rotor. A bull gear is
usually mounted on the outside diameter of the
coupling between the turbine and generator.

BEARING LIFT PUMPS


On some units, the turbine rotors are so large that
the bearings are very heavily loaded. At the low
speed of turning gear operation, an oil film
cannot build up between the rotor journal and
bearing, and friction is so great that the turning
gear cannot turn the shaft. For such units,
bearing lift pumps are used. Lift pumps are
small volume, high pressure (3000-5000 psig)
pumps. Their discharge is piped to a small hole
in the bottom centerline of the bearing. The high
pressure oil enters the bearing and forms a
pocket of very high pressure oil that actually lifts
the rotor up off of the bearing a small (0.002 to
0.003 inch) distance. This oil film greatly
reduces the friction and enables the turning gear
to rotate the shaft. The lift pumps are positive
displacement AC motor driven pumps that take
suction from the main lube oil header. On some
units all of the lift pumps are mounted remotely
from the turbine, however a more common
arrangement is to install the pumps in boxes next
to the bearing standard. The pumps are normally
shut down after the unit reaches rated speed, and
they are restarted before tripping the turbine
when removing the unit from service.

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SHAFT GROUNDING BRUSHES


A static charge can build up on the turbine rotor
due to the flow of steam over the buckets. This
affect is somewhat similar to the accumulation of
static charge in clouds that result in lightning.
Voltages on the turbine rotor can also result from
currents in the generator rotor and/or the exciter.
If there were no shaft grounding brushes, there
would be electrical discharges from the shaft
through the bearings.
When the voltage
difference between the rotor and bearing became
large enough, the current will jump across the
oil film in the bearing. The high voltage
discharges (up to 150 volts) would damage the
bearings. The shaft grounding brushes provide a
low resistance current path from the rotor to
ground.
This prevents high voltages from
developing and so prevents bearing damage.

FAILURE MECHANISMS
The primary failure mechanism for the main
turbine is water impingement on the main blades.
Excessive moisture will erode the blades causing
an imbalance leading to a vibration problem.
Protective setpoints are established to ensure that
excessive moisture called carryover does not
occur in the main turbine during normal
operation.
Another failure would be a failure of the lube oil
system. The turbine is such a large mass rotating
at 1,800 rpm; a loss of lube oil could be
catastrophic. By the time the turbine and
generator came to rest, significant and costly
damage could occur. To reduce the probability
of a lube oil failure, a DC powered emergency
bearing oil pump is installed to provide oil to the
bearings on a low pressure condition of the lube
oil system.

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Turbine Staging

SUMMARY
Components that Comprise a Turbine
Large commercial turbines used in power plants
are generally divided into smaller components.
One high pressure turbine mounted on the same
shaft with two or three low pressure turbines is a
common configuration. The electrical generator is
mounted at the end of the shaft. The electrical
generator converts the rotational energy of the
turbine to electrical energy.

Converting Heat Energy to Rotational Energy


in Turbines
A steam turbine is a heat engine in which the
thermal energy in steam is converted to kinetic
energy and then to work. In the turbine, the
steam velocity is increased as it passes through a
nozzle. This converts the steam thermal energy
to kinetic energy by expanding the steam from a
higher to a lower pressure. The push (impulse)
of the steam is directed via the nozzle to blades
attached to a rotating wheel (rotor) and forces the
rotor to rotate.

Nozzles
Nozzles direct the steam flow in a turbine. The
nozzles decrease the steam pressure and increase
the velocity of the steam.

A turbine stage is defined as a nozzle followed


by one or more sets of moving blades. When
more than one set of moving blades follows,
fixed impulse blades are located between the
moving blades to redirect the steam.
An impulse turbine stage is one set of nozzles
and the succeeding row or rows of either moving
or fixed blades. An impulse stage has only one
pressure drop since a pressure drop will occur
only in a nozzle. Fixed blades in an impulse
turbine do nothing more than redirect the steam
flow from one row of moving blades to the next.
A simple impulse stage (one set of nozzles and
one row of moving blades) is commonly referred
to as a Rateau stage.
A reaction turbine stage is one row of fixed
blades and a succeeding row of moving blades.
In a reaction stage there are two pressure drops.
One pressure drop occurs in the fixed blading as
velocity increases. The second pressure drop
occurs in the moving blading, due to work being
done on the turbine.

Turbine Efficiency
Turbine efficiency (t) is the ratio of work done
by a real turbine to the work done by an ideal
turbine in accomplishing the same gas
expansion.

Impulse and Reaction Turbine Blading


Impulse turbines require high velocity steam for
efficient operation. However, reaction turbines
are more efficient when using a slow speed
steam.

t =

(h in h out , real )
(h in h out ,ideal )

In impulse turbines the high velocity steam


strikes the turbine blading (an impulse) causing
the rotor to turn.
Reaction turbines use tear drops shaped reaction
blades. The fixed and moving reaction blades are
nozzles. The motive force in a reaction turbine is
the jet-like thrust that results when the steam
expands through the tail of the tear drop-shaped
moving blades.

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Steam Flow Path through a Turbine

Steam
Inlet

There are three different ways in which steam


can flow through a turbine:

Axial flow,

Helical flow, and

Radial flow.

Steam
Exhaust

In an axial flow type, the flow of steam is


parallel to the axis of the turbine shaft.
Steam
Inlet

Steam
Exhaust

Turbines Accessories And Support Systems


Radial bearings carry the weight of the rotor and
maintain the correct radial clearance between the
rotor and the casing. Thrust bearings limit the
axial movement of the rotor.
Shaft packing glands prevent the escape of steam
between the shaft and casing and prevent air
from entering the turbine.
Support
include:

Steam
Exhaust

systems

associated

with

Lube oil system

In a helical flow turbine the steam flows at an


angle to the rotor.

Hydraulic control system

Steam or water seal system

In a radial flow turbine the flow of steam is


directed either toward or away from the rotor.

Exhaust hood cooling system

Turning gear

Bearing lift pumps

Shaft grounding brushes

In the double-flow turbine steam from the highpressure turbine enters at the center of the lowpressure turbine and flows outward in both
directions through two identical sets of turbine
staging.

turbines

Turbines Failure Mechanisms and Symptoms


The primary failure mechanism for the main
turbine is water impingement on the main blades.
Excessive moisture will erode the blades causing
an imbalance leading to a vibration problem.
Another failure would be a failure of the lube oil
system.

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PRACTICE EXERCISES
1. Where in a turbine does the conversion from
heat energy to kinetic energy occur?

5. High and low pressure turbine units that are


mounted on the same shaft are called
a(n)__________.
a. Axial flow
b. Curtis stage

a. Impulse turbine blades.

c. Tandem

b. Intermediate throttle.

d. Turbine stage

c. Turbine nozzles.
d. Turbine throttle valve.
2. Impulse turbines function on what basic
premise?

6. Flow of steam is in the direction that is


almost parallel to the axis of the turbine shaft
is called a(n)__________.
a. Axial flow

a. High velocity steam impacting the


turbine blades

b. Helical flow

b. Expansion of the steam as it exits the


tear-drop shaped blades

d. Radial flow

c. Increased pressure rotates the turbine


blades

c. Tandem flow
7. The classification for a turbine that has more
than one velocity drop is __________.
a. Axial flow turbine

d. Low velocity steam impacts the turbine


blades

b. Tandem turbine

3. Which of the following describes a reaction


turbine?
a. Contains moving and fixed blading
b. Contains moving nozzles and fixed
blading

c. Radial flow turbine


d. Velocity-compounded turbine
8. The flow of steam is directed either toward
or away from the rotor in a __________.

c. Contains moving nozzles and moving


blading
d. Contains nozzles between successive
sets of blades

a. Axial flow turbine


b. Helical flow turbine
c. Radial flow turbine
d. Velocity-compounded turbine

4. A velocity-compounded impulse turbine with


two rows of moving blades is called
a(n)__________.
a. Rateau stage
b. Curtis stage
c. Tandem
d. Turbine stage

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GLOSSARY
Axial flow turbine

Flow of steam is in the direction that is almost parallel to the axis of the
turbine shaft.

Curtis stage

A velocity-compounded impulse turbine with two rows of moving blades.

Double-flow unit

Steam from the high-pressure turbine enters at the center of the lowpressure turbine and flows outward in both directions through two identical
sets of turbine staging.

Helical flow turbine

Flow of steam is at an angle to the rotor. The flow is directed into buckets
fixed onto the turbine wheel and then back out of the buckets into stationary
reversing chambers to be directed back into the buckets.

Pressurecompounded turbine

Classification for a turbine that has more than one pressure drop.

Pressure-velocity
compounded turbine

Classification for a turbine that has combination of pressure and velocity


drops.

Radial flow turbine

The flow of steam is directed either toward or away from the rotor. This type
turbine may be used for driving some small auxiliary equipment.

Rateau stage

A simple impulse stage having one set of nozzles and one row of moving
blades.

Single-flow unit

Steam in a turbine flows in only one direction.

Steam turbine

A heat engine in which the thermal energy in steam is converted to kinetic


energy and then to work.

Tandem

Components (i.e., high and low pressure turbine units, steam turbine and main
generator) mounted on the same shaft.

Turbine stage

A nozzle followed by one or more sets of moving blades in the same section
of a turbine (i.e., high pressure, low pressure).

Velocitycompounded turbine

Classification for a turbine that has more than one velocity drop.

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