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2007 11:54 Uhr Seite 1

New Life
for an Aged Turbine
HAN HAMER Repairing and performing maintenance work on
SULZER TURBO SERVICES rotating equipment of various builds and ages
requires specific expertise, which can only be
acquired in the field. Sulzer Elbar, a company
of Sulzer Turbo Services, refurbished an
unusual set of turbines, including a radial-flow
steam turbine, in a northern European coal-
fired power station. As the power output of this
rare type of turbine is limited, it is not used in
modern steam power plants. This exacting task
required the reverse engineering and
manufacturing of many turbine parts.

The Ljungstrm steam turbine drives 2 generators or else is cou-

was developed by the pled to a subsequent gear unit.
Ljungstrm brothers from Sweden In late 2005, Sulzer Elbar was
early in the 20th century. In this tur- awarded a contract to refurbish a
bine, the steam flows in a radial di- 400-MW steam power plant in
rection, as opposed to the more Northern Europe. The 300-MW
common axial flow in other tur- medium- and low-pressure section
bines (Fig. 1). It has 2 counter-rotat- of this plant consists of 2 units of
ing rotor sections and no stationary 150 MW each. The train comprises
parts. The blades are arranged such one intermediate pressure (IP)
that the blades of the one runner act Ljungstrm turbine and 2 axial-
as guides vanes for the other. As the flow, low-pressure (LP) turbines
2 shafts rotate in opposite direc- that drive two 75-MW generators
tions, this turbomachine usually sharing one exciter (Fig. 2).


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Sulzer Elbar had just 4 months to trolytic chrome process. The

reverse engineer and manufacture HVOF process enables the use of
over 500 different parts including metallic powders with improved
1 2 3 4 5 6
consumables and major turbine metallurgical properties. As a re-
components, such as labyrinth sult, the new valve spindles per- 2 Schematic overview of the steam 1 Exciter
seals, hydraulic bolts, studs, and form better than the original ones. turbine and generator train with the 2 Generator

axial pads for the thrust bearings. The steam stop and regulation Ljungstrm turbine in the center. 3 LP turbine
4 IP turbine
A specially formed engineering valves were disassembled, in-
5 LP turbine
team completed this challenging spected, and repaired in the Sulzer The engineering department of 6 Generator
task. The experts in the Sulzer Elbar rotor shop. Of all 4 stop Sulzer Elbars new-parts manufac-
Elbar laboratory analyzed materi- valves, the pilot valves had suf- turing group and the machining
al samples taken from the original fered the highest level of erosion. department worked around the
turbine. The team prepared new The old material was removed and clock on all 4 steam chests to repair
drawings as well as manufactur- the seats were rebuilt with an and restore them to within operat-
ing process documents and select- improved hard-facing material. ing tolerances.
ed and qualified subcontractors. The valves were assembled with
All parts had to be ready before the new spindles and hardened
3 Assembly of the
on-site work began. bushes. radial turbine
before installation.
Hazardous Chrome Replaced Special Tools Designed
Overhaul of the steam stop and The realignment of the units was a
regulation valves, including re- major issue due to their unique
verse engineering of the valve characteristics, age, and state of
spindles, was a crucial part of the degradation. The alignment
order. New techniques were ap- process necessitated the design of
plied for the manufacture of these many special tools. After the align-
components. The valve spindles ment, assembly began (Fig. 3).
were coated using the high-veloci- During the assembly clearance
ty oxygen fuel (HVOF) process, checks, significant deformation of
which replaces the normal elec- the steam chests was discovered.

1 Sulzer Elbar carried out repairs on a steam turbine train containing an

New Process Provides
uncommon radial-flow steam turbine. The picture shows the rotor of this
Ljungstrm turbine in the casing.
High Quality
The refurbishment of the 4 low-
pressure double-flow rotors was
carried out in the Sulzer Elbar
workshop in Lomm. This task in-
cluded replacing the erosion
shields of 8 sets of stage-6 blades
and reducing the excessive clear-
ance in the dovetail on the same
stage. It was necessary to complete
all this work within 4 weeks. The
airfoil shop carried out the re-
placement of the erosion shields.
To process 828 blades in the re-
quired period was an extremely
difficult target to achieve. It was
accomplished thanks to a new re-


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Additional Work Carried Out plans. The Sulzer Elbar team suc-
At the customers request, Sulzer ceeded in reducing the leak rate on
Elbar manufactured new erosion both units to the original design
protection shields for the pre- criteria. The client can now oper-
heaters in the condenser within ate the generator under normal
only 5 weeks. pressure, a condition that had been
The generators are hydrogen- impossible for the last decade. Fol-
cooled units. First, Sulzer Elbar in- lowing final assembly, the unit
spected them in situ (Fig. 4). Sec- was field balanced to bring all vi-
ond, following the inspection of bration responses into specifica-
the bearings, the H2 seals had to be tion (Fig. 5).
reverse engineered and replaced.
4 Removal of the Then, comprehensive stator elec- Repair Specialists
generator rotor. pair process using an automatic trical tests were performed. The When it comes to repairing non-
laser welder. This process has wedges and, after removing the ro- standard turbomachinery, the spe-
great advantages in providing the tors, the end-bell were inspected. cialists at Sulzer Elbar can draw on
highest level of quality and consis- During operation, considerable experience from many projects.
tency for critical repairs. amounts of hydrogen leaked from They displayed engineering
To solve the dovetail clearance the generators, which had not knowledge and project manage-
problem, 2 steps were taken. Be- been operating to their design ment skills and finalized a very
tween the root of the blade and the specifications for many years. A challenging project successfully
rotor disc, a pin was inserted and main target of this outage was to despite intense time pressure and
a new tie wire was brazed through reduce the leak rate down to that significant on-site problems that
the airfoils. These actions required of the original design. A major is- required an extension of the
extreme precision by the team per- sue was to change the O-ring and agreed scope of work. The ability
forming the task to ensure the cor- the pressure ring of the vertical of Sulzer Elbar to manufacture
rect temperature and thereby min- flange between turbine casing and new parts for old machines makes
imize material degradation from generator stator, which had to be it possible to repair machines that
overheating. The tie wire replaces lifted from its foundation in order would have previously had to
the top shroud of the blades, to replace the O-ring. have been scrapped.
which was removed several years
before after a failure. These meas- Leakage Reduced
ures limit the movement of the Another challenge was to replace
blades in the dovetail when the all of the hydrogen shaft seals on
unit is running on the turning gear, the generators. The seals and cov-
and they thus reduce the wear in ers were reverse engineered and
the root. manufactured using the new

5 Overview of both
units after mechani-
cal completion. Contact
Sulzer Elbar
Han Hamer
Spikweien 36
5943 AD Lomm
The Netherlands
Phone +31 77 473 8576
Fax +31 77 473 8559