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Untitled This paper deals with the current trends in system design and technologies for electrical systems

of large thermal power plants. Various new systems and technologies which bring about a marked increase in reliability and maintainability of the electrical systems are presented. Increase in main power plant capacity requires correspondingly larger and more sophisticated auxiliaries / sub-systems. The electrical systems of such large modern power stations have to possess a high level of reliability for satisfactory operation, under both normal and abnormal operating conditions. Emphasis on need for minimum maintenance arises from the necessity of minimizing downtime. While inclination is always there to use only proven products, total insistence on not using new products and systems would be illogical since rapid growth in technology and knowledge are making new, reliable and efficient products and systems available to designers. However, the stakes involved necessitate a careful evaluation of the new products and new systems to be in introduced, in order to ensure an increase in reliability and maintainability of the electrical systems. This paper presents the trends in systems design and application of new technologies in the major electrical areas of large thermal power plants. GENERATOR MAIN CONNECTION SYSTEMS Application of Generator Circuit Breaker The recent trends in thermal power stations having large generating units is to introduce the generator circuit breaker in the generator main connection, in place of conventional unit connections with separate start-up transformers. The advancement in circuit breaker technology using SF 6 has recently made available circuit breakers of higher current and fault level ratings, suitable for application as generator circuit breaker at lower costs. Utility Thermal Power Plant In a unit connected utility thermal power plant, application of a generator circuit breaker results in many advantages. GCB scheme eliminates station transformers and associated switchyard equipment, reduces a number of auxiliary buses and interconnection, and simplifies interlock system Simplifies operations as switching of power supply from Station to unit source during start up and in reverse during shut down are no more needed As it is dealing with only one voltage system, motors are not subjected to stresses during bus transfer.In a scheme without generator circuit breaker, the transformer faults continue to be fed by the generator until the magnetic field decreases with the de-excitation, which may last upto 20s depending on the excitation system and fault location. A generator circuit breaker will interrupt the current within less than 100ms, thus preventing possibility of heavy damages and reduction in lifetime of the transformers. Layout Aspects Tubular enclosure for generator circuit breaker matching with the isolated phase busduct run is already in vogue. Presently integrated version of GCBs are available wherein in addition to the basic Circuit Breaker, all other components of Generator. Combined Cycle Power Plant Page 1

Untitled Combined Cycle Power Plants ( CCPPs), having combination of gas turbine and steam turbine, benefit from the introduction of generator circuit breaker. Generator circuit breaker helps in eliminating the unit auxiliary transformer and station transformer for the steam turbo-generator, besides offering the other advantages discussed above. Generator Circuit Breaker also facilitates the starting of the gas turbine generator by using Static Frequency Converter (SFC). When the gas-turbine is started , the generator circuit breaker is kept open initially , and the static frequency converter is connected to generator busduct. Then the frequency converter together with the static excitation is Switched ON. When the turbine has reached approximately 70 % of its synchronous speed, the SFC and the static excitation are switched off and the turbine accelerate itself to the synchronous speed. Above 90% of the rated speed, the no-load excitation is released. Multi-Unit Cogeneration Power Plant In industries cogeneration method is employed to meet the power as well as steam requirements for various processes. To have highly reliable and continuous supply, a multi unit system with provision for parallel operation of source is adopted. The use of generator circuit breaker in the generator main connection, alongwith similar circuit breakers, as bus couplers and transformers incomers, provides considerable flexibility and reliability if operation. Cubicle type version of GCB are now available to meet the industrial needs. Economic Considerations While comparing the costs of the start-up Transformers scheme with the generator circuit breaker scheme, a number of factors are to be considered: EHV switchyard, startup transformer, stand by source, increase in the rating of the UAT, generators circuit breaker , auto changeover scheme, erection and commissioning etc. The introduction of this scheme in power station in India is only a very recent phenomenon, on account of the economic consideration . For large sets of 500 MW rating and above, the application of generator circuit breaker is preferably in view of the many advantages discussed above. The availability of the generator circuit breaker with SF6 technology for lower rating could make the scheme cost-effective for power units of 100 to 210 MW ratings as well. GENERATOR BUS DUCT Generator main connections with isolated phase Busducts is a standard practice for unit sizes of 60 MW and above. The practice differs, however, in methods of maintaining insulation resistance value in the busducts. Hot air blowing system for smaller ratings and pressurization of Busducts for higher size (210 MW and above) are almost uniformly accepted practice in India now. In pressurized Busducts, dry and clean air is maintained at a slight over-pressure above atmosphere (25 to 40 mm of water column) inside the busduct during normal operation of generator. To allow for inevitable leakage of air through joints, inspection cover etc, pressure switches to automatically open and close the air supply, are provided. For 500 MW generators, natural cooled busducts have been used in India while in some of the countries, forced air cooled busducts have been used. However , for still higher ratings , forced air cooled busduct, are inevitable. Forced air cooled busduct do not need a separate equipment for maintaining the insulation resistance value. Experience in power stations in India shows that pressurized Busducts have been quite successful. PROTECTION SCHEME Generator Protection scheme In order to achieve maximum utilization of the installed capacity, the generator Page 2

Untitled circuit protection should be designed in such a way that damage, when fault occurs, is kept to a minimum, and that machine is not subjected to abnormal conditions which may be hazardous. At the same time, it is important not to overprotect the machine and cause avoidable outage. Principle of Duplication The present trend in respect of protection of philosophy for large-size units (500 MW and above) is to adopt the principle of duplication, employing duplicate protection . Numerical protections are now preferred. It is necessary to have independent cabling, auxiliary supplies, breaker trip coils for these two groups. Thus, more or less 100% redundancy is built into the protection system thereby achieving a higher level of reliability. It may be noted that when one group is out of commissioning for any reason whatsoever (like maintenance / servicing defects, non-availability of auxiliary supply, testing) the other group would be in circuit and the system would still be protected. Automatic Testing Facility Automatic testing has been increasingly used in place of manual secondary injection testing for relays for protection of large generators, in many parts of the world. The automatic testing facility tests all the relays of a group in sequence without requiring any attention from operators, and relays need not be withdrawn. The testing unit measures the pick-up values and the time delays, and compares them with stored values of the relay settings. Any values outside the programmed permissible tolerances result in an alarm signal and indication on the paper print-out of the test results. With the aid of the additional devices , it is also possible to transmit the test results over a telephone or telex line to be recorded or entered into a computer system at some remote point. The testing programs can be initiated by manual local command or by remote signal or by programming the built-in digital lock. If testing is started by the clock, it is repeated at a set interval, the two groups of relays being tested alternatively. The main advantages of automatic testing, thus are : Testing can be carried out while the relays are in services; Periodicity of testing can be increased without affecting overall availability. Microprocessor-Based Protective Relaying A significant factor in realizing a computer-based protection system was the introduction of microprocessor in the early 1970s. Conventional static relays have excellent track record as far as reliability and operating times are concerned. Microprocessors have several inherent advantages like computing capability, programmability, small size, high reliability, improved maintenance and low cost. Apart from the above advantages, other functions of importance to the user are accuracy, selectivity, flexibility and userfriendliness. Self-monitoring is another important new functions which allows one to extend the intervals between manual functional checking. In a microprocessor based motor protection relay, a single relay protects the motor against abnormalities like thermal overload, short circuit, earth fault, negative sequence and locked rotor. All current measurement is RMS-based and , hence, take harmonics into consideration. The overload protection prevents overheating of the motor while running. To achieve this function, the relay characteristics is made to be a replica of the thermal model of the motor. The thermal characteristics of the relay can be programmed to match the motor thermal characteristics. This means that a single relay can be interchangeably used between different motors. Thus, no longer one needs to stock one relay for Page 3

Untitled every motor as a spare. A substantial reduction in inventory is foreseeing as a big advantage. Advancement in microprocessor technology has led to the evolution of Numerical protection. The protection and control functions are integrated in these relays. Further communication ports are inbuilt to effectively integrate with the plant control system architecture. GENERATOR EXCITATION SYSTEM The present trend is to use static as well as brushless excitation systems for all utility thermal sets of ratings 30 MW and above. With design of large-sized generating units having lower inertia and higher per unit reactance, the job of a designing a reliable and stable power system becomes more difficult . Various methods, including generator excitation parameter control, have been adopted by system engineers to improve system reliability and operation. System studies are carried out to verify the suitability of the excitation system parameters which are significant for power stations, like responses time, ceiling voltage , loop gain and power system stabilizer parameters. The optimum choice of the type and parameters of the excitation system of a new generating unit/ proposed addition to an existing power station is absolutely necessary to ensure its satisfactory performance under normal and abnormal conditions of the system. Computer programs are available to study the excitation system parameters, using load flow studies, steady state stability and transient state stability studies. For the above studies, the whole system (grid) needs to be represented in full details, and the study is carried out for the computer grid. The computational requirements would be enormously high if the entire system is to be represented in all its details. Further, it calls for obtaining and processing the complete data of the grid. Currently, reduced order representation of the external system using model analysis, such as coherency grouping of generators, is being used in which the proposed generating station and all other generating stations in the vicinity of it are represented individually in detail alongwith their excitation systems. The rest of the generating station systems are grouped into one or two equivalent machines. Importance of such studies is being increasingly, and it is expected that in future it will be become a standard practice to carry out these studies at the time of planning the power plant, or at least prior to ordering out the TG units. AC AUXILIARY SYSTEM Main components of AC Auxiliary Systems are MV Switchgear, LV Switchgear and auxiliary service transformers. AC auxiliary design has been given a new dimension by development and acceptance of generator circuit breaker and variable speed drive systems. Use of start-up transformers has been in vogue for many decades, but the concept of start-up transformers is changing with the introduction of generator circuit breaker. Three winding transformer are being increasingly employed to reduce fault level. Two level voltage system is standard for units upto 210 /250 MW and 500 MW ratings with turbine driven boiler feed pumps. Three-level voltage system is being adopted for 500 MW and higher sets, where the boiler feed pumps are motor-driven and of high ratings. Medium Voltage (MV) Circuit Breaker Steady progress in equipment design and technology has resulted in evolution of circuit breakers having superior performance, compact size and reliability . For medium voltage (3-36kV) systems, the recently reported statistics indicate that, world over, the conventional types like oil and air circuit breakers are totally replaced by the two well established technologies i.e. vacuum and SF6. Initial apprehensions user had on these two technologies are no more there. Development has also taken place in the field of switchgear with vacuum bottles in SF6 insulated metal-clad enclosures. Such switchgears are now increasingly used in other countries. Page 4

Untitled Dry-Type Transformers In the case of service transformers for stepping down from 11kV or 6.6 kV to 415 V, the recent trend is to specify indoor, dry type design, as this results in compact layout, avoid length cabling and eliminates fire hazards. Dry-type transformers arrangement is also comparable in cost, as the higher cost of this type of transformer is offset by reduced length of cabling from / to HT LT switchboards. The conventional oilfilled transformers must be located outdoors, in transformer yard or at the end of the HT/LT switchgear room with attendant problems of providing adequate fire protection system and routing the cables/busducts. Dry type transformers, on the other hand, can be located right by side of HT/LT switchboards, resulting in a neater layout. Cast resin dry type transformers are becoming popular and are replacing the conventional resin-impregnated dry-type transformers due to major advantages such moisture-proofness, as the primary and secondary weldings are totally encapsulated in epoxy resin, improved impulse voltage withstand capability, elimination of predrying requirement, freedom from partial discharges, zero maintenance and compact design. Variable Speed Drive Application A significant challenge facing the electric utility industry today is to generate electricity in a highly reliable, cost-effective and efficient manner. Recent trend in thermal power stations is towards introduction of variable-speed drives for speed control of fan and boiler feed pump. In the existing practice, speed control of electrically driven boiler feed pumps and fans is achieved with the use of hydraulic coupling. The scheme uses the principle of slip regulation, resulting in coupling losses which are removed by a heat exchanger. Additionally, gear boxes are required in the case of boiler feed pumps designated for super synchronous speed. The static speed control methods (variable-speed drives) for such large ratings employ a converter-fed synchronous motor. The scheme basically comprises two converters: one on the line side and another on the machine side. The converter on the line side functions as rectifier and that on the machine side as an inverter feeding the synchronous motor with variable voltage and variable frequency, thereby controlling the speed. The high speed motor design involves special features to match the static control system; hence, the motor may get considered more as a part of the total regulator package than as an associate of the driven equipment. Variable speed drivers are getting introduced due to several advantages they have over the currently prevailing technology of hydraulic coupling and fixed speed motor drives: such as smooth control of air and water flow over a wider range and absence of limitation on the number of starts, elimination of voltage dips in the system due to direct on-line starting of large-size machines, increased efficiency over the wide operating speed range, increased life of motor due to softstart, very neat arrangement without any necessity for large cooling equipment for hydraulic coupling, reduction in size of unit/station transformer rating, reduction in switchgear fault level, reduction in the cable size, elimination of requirement of heavy foundation, totally static (hence less maintenance ) and possibility of integration into total automation of power plant. With the variable speed drives, it is possible to maintain the efficiency above 90% for a wide range. As the drive rating is decided by test block conditions (normally 10 to 15% higher than test block rating is selected). It turns out that the MCR point in most of the cases lies at around 60% of the drive rating. The operating point varies, depending on the loading of the boiler, however, experience tells that most of the time the drive has to operate at around 90% of the MCR point. In comparison, at this operating point, the conventional system using squirrel cage motor and hydraulic coupling offers an Page 5

Untitled efficiency around 67 to 70%. Thus, huge amount of energy saving accrues, and consequently the pay back periods are very short , in the case of variable-speed drives. A techno-economic study based on field measurement for a BHEL 210 MW unit ID fan installation reveals that with the use of variable speed drives, energy saving to the extent of 4 million units per boiler can be achieved in a year. In India, the trends is to use variable-speed drives for ID fan applications for 210 MW and 500 MW sets. It is expected that variable-speed drives for boiler feed pump applications will also be widely adopted in the next 3 to 4 years. Due to energy saving considerations, the replacement of the existing hydraulic controls by variable speed drives is envisaged as a future trend. Microprocessor Based Contactor Control Units for LV Switchgear Recently, microprocessor-based contactor control units are also being introduced in the motor control centres. In the existing practices, individual motor control centres are equipped with a multitude of different function-oriented units to be selected on the basis of each drive rating and characteristics, resulting in considerable amount of wiring and inventories. In comparison, the microprocessor based contactor control unit provides a multi purpose unit independent of the drive rating and characteristics. The unit has also self-diagnostic capability integrated within. It is expected that microprocessor based contactor control unit will be replacing the conventional system in the nineties. Moulded Case Circuit Breaker The rapid technological advances being made in the design of low voltage switchgear indicate that the moulded case circuit breaker (MCCB) in the primary circuit design is going to be a future trend. This could ultimately replace not only the fuses in feeder and motor starter but also the air circuit breaker for all applications including incomers and high capacity low voltage motors. MCCB for motor application may replace the contactor and bimetal relay. High Speed Bus Transfer Scheme Bus transfer scheme is employed for the purpose of changeover of supplies to auxiliaries from station transformer to unit transformer during start up and vice versa during shut down. The large number of auxiliaries with high rating requires a high speed of changeover to ensure continued boiler operation. Such momentary changeovers could harm the drive motors if the resultant voltage between the two systems at the point of changeover is not kept within limits. Now, schemes are available wherein the phase angle between the bus voltage and the incoming supply is continuously monitored and if the angle exceeds a set limit the transfer is blocked, thereby preventing excessive voltage and torque on the motor and winding. The scheme involves a check synchronizing phase comparison relay and could effect transfer within 4-6 cycles. This scheme is mostly used for transfer of supplies between unit and station busbars However, it could be very well used for changeover of supplies between the station buses as well, thereby avoiding the paralleling of the high capacity transformers. ELECTRICAL SYSTEM INTERFACE DESIGN WITH DISTRIBUTED DIGITAL CONTROL (DDC) SYSTEM Where distributed digital controls are engineered in the electrical switchgear of a power station, layout schemes and cabling are required to be very closely coordinated. Control interface such as drive level cards and the associated motor control centres are to be located adjacent to each other, to the maximum extent possible if the cabling is to be reduced to the minimum. The scheme related to motor control centers are to be engineered to derive the maximum benefits of DDC features, such as system testing Page 6

Untitled discrepancy indication in the control room for local intervention. Since the DDC system operates on 24 V d.c. suitable interposing relays are to be used in the motor control centre with terminals separately identified. With the DDC system, it is also possible to integrate such function as restarting of essential motors following momentary supply failure. By coordinated design of the electrical system with the DDC system, it is possible to re-start motors in a sequence to avoid heavy inrush currents. With the availability of data acquisition system, it is now desirable to reduce, to a minimum , the annunciation facias and recorders required for electrical system monitoring, such as transformers and switchgear status and fault conditions, in the control panels as the operator gets the same information through periodic logs and alarms on CRT. Only a single feedback for drive status from the motor control centre is required to achieve both control and monitoring functions, thereby reducing the cabling. D C SYSTEM The DC system provides reliable supply for emergency drives, controls, lighting communication etc. It is the ultimate source of power supply for the controls, under both normal and abnormal conditions. Because of utmost importance of the DC system, adequate redundancy is still maintained while designing this system despite the tremendous technological improvement effected in battery and charger components over the past decade. Battery, as a product, has undergone many changes. Lead-acid batteries (both plante and tubular type) of conventional design have been generally used in power plants in India. The latest trend is now to go in for maintenance-free type sealed lead-acid batteries because of many advantages offered by such a design. While the conventional vented type stationary batteries require water replenishment due to water decomposition during charging, the newer type incorporates maintenance free design which eliminates such troublesome \maintenance as electrolyte-level check, water topping-up, specific gravity measurement and equalizing charge. The other features include absence of gas emission under normal floating operation, excellent high rate discharge performance, low self discharge, easy handling and compactness in size. The present trend is also to use NickelCadmium batteries for power plant application. The inherent characteristics of the nickel-cadmium couple, using alkaline electrolyte, result in specific advantages such as high reliability, exceptionally long life, excellent high rate performance, simple maintenance, wider operating temperature range, high rate charge acceptance, low installation costs and all-steel plate construction. These batteries are resistant to mechanical and electrical abuse. However, for the same ampere-hour rating, the new types of batteries definitely do not compare well with the conventional lead-acid batteries cost-wise. But for a given duty cycle, capacity requirement of nickelcadmium batteries and maintenance free lead-acid batteries are lower, and considering the many other advantages these batteries offer, they are becoming increasingly popular amongst power plant owners. PLANT COMMUNICATION SYSTEM The present practice is to equip the plant with distributed type of Public Address (PA) System and Electronic Private Branch Exchange. The latest trend is to use microprocessor based electronic telephonic exchanges which improves the performance and reliability of the communication system. Another trend which is catching up fast, is microprocessor-based communication system which integrates the functions of both PA system and telephone exchange besides offering many other innovative facilities made possible by this sophisticated technology. Radio paging system may become a trend in the future in power plants in India. CABLES / CABLING SYSTEM Cables The performance of electrical cables in fire situations is becoming more important considering the loss incurring due to cable Page 7

Untitled fires in large thermal power stations. Investigations and studies done by various consultants and users reveal that fire rarely starts from cables due to internal overheating, as adequate design margins are provided. But the cable insulation and sheath help in propagating the fire particularly at places where cable density is high and also generate high corrosive and toxic gases leading to wide-spread damage. With the development of new insulating compounds with superior flame retardant and low smoke generation properties, the following two type of cables are now being used in thermal power stations in India I. Flame retardant lowsmoke (FRLS) cables. ii. Fire survival (FS) cables rated for 750 Deg C and 3 hours. The economic constraints restrict the use of FS cables to only certain vital applications such as DC system, essential tripping circuits and emergency circuits. For all other areas, FRLS cables are used. Fire Stop/ Fire Seal system In order to control the propagation of fire and spread of toxic smoke, various cable penetrations need to be sealed by fire seal systems/fire stops. The desirable characteristics of a firestop/ fire seal system are : Flameproof property ( shall have at least two hours fire rating) Retention of stability and integrity after application of water jet on the exposed side in order to extinguish fire ; No effect on the current carrying capacity of the cables passing through the penetration seal. Providing firm grip on the outer surface if the cables, in the event of fire, and making the system smoke and gas-tight and free from shrinkage or cracking.; Easy to install and mechanically strong Anti-rodent properties Excellent dielectric and weather resistant properties Types of Fire Sealing System CHARACTERISTICS OF VIBRATION Vibration is simply defined as "the cyclic or oscillating motion of a machine or machine component from its position of rest or its 'neutral' position." Whenever vibration occurs, there are actually four (4) forces involved that determine the characteristics of the vibration. These forces are: l. The exciting force, such as unbalance or misalignment. 2. The mass of the vibrating system, denoted by the symbol (M). 3. The stiffness of the vibrating system, denoted by the symbol (K). 4. The damping characteristics of the vibrating system, denoted by the symbol (C). The exciting force is trying to cause vibration, whereas the stiffness, mass and damping forces are trying to oppose the exciting force and control or minimize the vibration. Perhaps the simplest and easiest way to demonstrate and explain vibration and its measurable characteristics is to follow the motion of a weight suspended by a spring. This is a valid analogy since all machines and their components have weight (mass), spring-like properties (stiffness) and damping. The motion of the mass from top to bottom range and back to the initial starting position in the vertical direction is referred to as one cycle, and it has all the characteristics needed to define the vibration. Continued motion of the spring-mass system will simply be repeating these measurable characteristics. page 9 The characteristics needed to define the vibration include: Frequency Page 8

Untitled Displacement Velocity Acceleration Phase Vibration Frequency The amount of time required to complete one full cycle of the vibration is called the period of the vibration. If, for example, the machine completes one full cycle of vibration in 1/60th of a second, the period of vibration is said to be 1/60th of a second. Although the period of the vibration is a simple and meaningful characteristic, a characteristic of equal simplicity but more meaningful is the vibration frequency. Vibration frequency is simply a measure of the number of complete cycles that occur in a specified period of time such as "cycles-per-second" (CPS) or "cycles-per-minute" (CPM). Frequency is related to the period of vibration by this simple formula: Frequency = 1/Period In other words, the frequency of a vibration is simply the "inverse" of the period of the vibration. Thus, if the period or time required to complete once cycle is 1/60th of a second, then the frequency of the vibration would be 60 cycles-per-second or 60 CPS. In the real world of vibration detection and analysis, it is not necessary to determine the frequency of vibration by observing the vibration time waveform, noting the period of the vibration and then taking and calculating the inverse of the period to find the frequency - although this can be done. Nearly all modernday data collector instruments and vibration analyzers provide a direct readout of the vibration frequencies being generated by the machine. Although vibration frequency may be expressed in cycles per second or CPS, the common practice is to use the term Hertz (abbreviated Hz) in lieu of CPS. This is in honor of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, a 19th century German physicist who is credited with discovering electromagnetic radiation. Thus, a vibration with a frequency of 60 CPS would actually be expressed as 60 Hz. Although vibration frequency can be measured and expressed in Hertz (Hz), for most machinery vibration work, vibration frequency is measured in cycles-per-minute, abbreviated CPM. Expressing vibration frequency in terms of CPM makes it much easier to relate this characteristic to the rotational speed of the machine that is normally expressed in revolutions- per-minute or RPM. Thus, if a machine operates at 3600 RPM, it is much more meaningful to know that a vibration occurs at 3600 CPM (1 x RPM) than 60 Hz. page 10 Of course CPM and Hz can be easily converted to one another as follows: Given a frequency expressed in Hz, you can convert it to CPM: CPM = Hertz x 60 Seconds/Minute Given a frequency expressed in CPM, you can convert it to Hz: Hertz = CPM/60 Seconds/Minute Significance of Vibration Frequency There are literally hundreds of specific mechanical and operational problems that can cause a machine to exhibit excessive vibration. Obviously, when a vibration problem exists, a detailed analysis of the vibration should be performed to identify or pinpoint the specific cause. This is Page 9

Untitled where knowing the frequency of vibration is most important. Vibration frequency is a very valuable analysis or diagnostic tool. The forces that cause vibration are usually generated through the rotating motion of the machine's parts. Because these forces change in direction or amplitude according to the rotational speed (RPM) of the machine components, it follows that most vibration problems will have frequencies that are directly related to the rotational speeds. To illustrate the importance of vibration frequency, assume that a machine, consisting of a fan operating at 2400 RPM and belt driven by a motor operating at 3600 RPM, is vibrating excessively at a measured frequency of 2400 CPM (1 x fan RPM), this clearly indicates that the fan is the source of the vibration and not the motor or belts. Knowing this simple fact has eliminated literally hundreds of other possible causes of vibration. Typical 1 x RPM vibration can be attributed to: Unbalance Eccentric Pulley Misalignment Bent shaft Looseness Distortion - soft feet or piping strain Bad Belts - if belt RPM Resonance Reciprocating forces Electrical problems Determining that the frequency of excessive vibration is 2400 CPM (1 x fan RPM) has reduced the number of possible causes from literally hundreds to only ten (10) possible causes. A little common sense can reduce this number of possible causes even further. First, since the vibration frequency is NOT related to the rotating speed (RPM) of the drive belts, belt problems can be eliminated as a possible cause. Secondly, since this is not a reciprocating machine such as reciprocating compressor or engine, the possibility of reciprocating forces can be eliminated from the remaining list. Finally, since the frequency is not related to the drive motor in any way, the possibility of electrical problems can be eliminated. Now, the number of possible causes of excessive vibration has been reduced to only seven (7) by simply knowing that the vibration frequency is 1 x RPM of the fan. page 11 Vibration analysis is truly a process of elimination. Additional tests and measurements can be taken to further reduce the number of possible causes of a vibration problem. However, it should be obvious that knowing the frequency of vibration and how the frequency relates to the rotating speed of the machine components is truly the first step in the analysis process. Of course, not all machinery problems will generate vibration at a frequency equal to the rotating speed (1 x RPM) of the machine. Some problems such as looseness, misalignment, resonance and reciprocating forces can often generate vibration at frequencies of 2x, 3x and sometimes higher multiples of RPM. Problems with gears usually result in vibration at frequencies related to the "gear mesh" frequency or the product of the number of teeth on the gear multiplied by the gear RPM. Aerodynamic Page 10

Untitled and hydraulic problems with fans and pumps will normally show vibration frequencies that are the product of the machine RPM times the number of fan blades or impeller vanes. In addition, not all problems will result in vibration frequencies that are directly related to the rotating speed of the machine. The vibration frequencies generated due to flaws or defects in rolling-element bearings is a good example. In summary, it is important to realize that different machinery problems cause different frequencies of vibration and that is the significance of knowing the frequency of vibration Vibration Amplitude As mentioned earlier, vibration frequency is a diagnostic tool, needed to help identify or pinpoint specific mechanical or operational problems. Whether or not a vibration frequency analysis is necessary, depends on how "rough" the machine is shaking. If the machine is operating smoothly, knowing the frequency or frequencies of vibration present is not important. The magnitude of vibration or how rough or smooth the machine vibration is, is expressed by its vibration amplitude. Vibration amplitude can be measured and expressed as: Displacement Velocity Acceleration The following paragraphs describe each of these units of vibration amplitude, their significance and applications. Vibration Displacement The vibration displacement is simply the total distance traveled by the vibrating part from one extreme limit of travel to the other extreme limit of travel. This distance is also called the "peak-to-peak displacement". Peak-to-peak vibration displacement is normally measured in units called mils, where one mil equals onethousandth of an inch (1 mil = 0.001 inch). A measured vibration amplitude of 10 mils simply means that the machine is vibrating a total distance of 0.010 inches peak-to-peak. In Metric units, the peak-to-peak vibration displacement is expressed in micrometers (sometimes called microns), where one micrometer equals one-thousandth of a millimeter (1 micrometer = 0.001 millimeter). page 12 Electronic instruments for measuring vibration on industrial rotating machinery did not become readily available until the late 1940's and early 1950's, although the significance and importance of measuring vibration as an indicator of machinery condition had been well known for decades. Until the introduction of electronic instruments, instruments used to physically measure a machine's vibration were mechanical devices such as seismically-mounted dial indicators, light-beam vibrometers and mechanical linkage devices that magnified the relatively small amplitudes of machinery vibration to levels that could be visually observed. Obviously, with these mechanical devices, the only parameter of vibration that could be measured was the peak-to-peak displacement. As a result, the first guidelines and acceptance standards for machinery vibration were given in units of vibration displacement. A vibration Page 11

Untitled severity chart based on displacement first appeared in an article by Mr. T. C. Rathbone entitled "Vibration Tolerances" in the November 1939 issue of Power Plant Engineering. While the chart was the first of its kind, it was limited in its consideration of frequency of vibration. The fact that the severity of a vibration depends not only on displacement but frequency as well is understandable when one realizes that the vast majority of machinery failures caused by problems that generate vibration are FATIGUE problems. To illustrate, consider what happens when a piece of wire is repeatedly bent back and forth. This repeated bending eventually causes the wire to break due to fatigue in the area of the bend. In many respects, this is exactly the way a machine component fails - from the repeated cycles of flexing caused by excessive vibratory forces. Considering the example of repeatedly bending a piece of wire, there are two ways to reduce the amount of time required to achieve fatigue failure. One is to increase the distance (displacement) that the wire is bent. The farther the wire is bent each time, the less time it will take to reach fatigue. The other is to increase the number of times per minute or second (frequency) the wire is bent. The more times per minute the wire is flexed, the less time it will take to reach fatigue failure. Thus, the severity of vibration is dependent on both vibration displacement and frequency. The Problem With Displacement Although measurements of vibration displacement have been used for many years to evaluate machinery condition, the fact that it is necessary to know the frequency as well, makes the use of displacement somewhat cumbersome when dealing with a vibration predictive maintenance program that may include virtually hundreds of machines and literally thousands of measurements.. In addition, it has already been shown that machinery vibration is not always simple or occurring at only one frequency. In many cases, machinery vibration will be complex, consisting of many frequencies. In such cases, it is nearly impossible to use vibration displacement to judge the "overall" condition of a machine. It must be remembered that each source of vibration contributes to the ultimate fatigue of machine components, and the "overall" condition of the machine can only be determined by an overall measurement of vibration that takes into account all frequencies of vibration. This is accomplished by measuring VIBRATION VELOCITY

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