however.Barry Nurcombe.nurcombe@ge. does not always exist with end users. focusing on retrofit considerations and recommendations. This is with good reason: they supply such systems with their new machines and can often assist in retrofitting existing machines in the field. The article also summarizes the economic implications. This article is written primarily for the benefit of end users and acts as a tutorial on basic overspeed concepts. The same level of understanding. and industry trends that are leading many end users to replace mechanical overspeed detection apparatus with electronic Introduction Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are generally well-versed in the ramifications of overspeed as well as the numerous considerations inherent in a properly engineered overspeed protection system. safety considerations. [Vol.Eng. Engineer. the article provides a number of practical observations made by the author over the last 15 years during projects applying and installing such systems that will assist users who are in the midst of – or considering – an upgrade to their older overspeed systems. C. Finally.1 2005] ORBIT 17 . Sr.25 No. Bently Nevada® Applications Design barry.

” Yield speed is the speed at which rotor components will be deformed or compromised through excessive stress induced by the overspeed condition. windings. meaning changes in speed have a magnified effect in the forces generated (e. these forces will exceed the limits of the rotor’s design. allowing it to be safely restarted if overspeed does occur. The manufacturer will generally have data for “yield speed” and “burst speed. but also steam and other process fluids. A mechanical or control system failure resulting in an overspeed condition.25 No. Consequently. In some circumstances. It is assumed by the manufacturer that the machine will not operate above the rated maximum except under two conditions: 1. high-energy projectiles. As a machine and its components wear. and other components from “breaking free” while they rotate. while the centripetal forces are the equal and opposite restraining forces provided by the rotor that keep blades. By spinning a rotor faster. Clearly. allowing the release of not only high-velocity. a 50% increase in speed results in a 225% increase in force). if a machine ever exceeds the yield speed. A “peak hold” mechanism for capturing the maximum speed achieved during an overspeed event is very helpful in this regard and.1 2005] . an inspection is in order. rather than necessitating an inspection. and the corresponding centripetal “restoring” forces increase in an equal and opposite fashion. The severity of economic and safety consequences arising from such failures are obvious. A simplified equation for this force. Deliberate testing of the machine’s speed control and overspeed protection systems. Yield points of materials will be reached and the rotor will be damaged. While machines are engineered with a safety margin that allows them to tolerate brief excursions above the rated maximum operating speed. the centrifugal forces generated by these masses will continue to increase. these speeds may change.. the maximum speed achieved by the machine must be constrained and the duration of the elevated speed kept relatively short. Even during these conditions. 2. Figure 1 – Centrifugal and centripetal forces on a rotating mass in equilibrium ω r Fcp m F cf Fcf = Fcp = mrω2 WHERE Fcf = centrifugal force Fcp = centripetal force m r = mass of rotating object = radius of mass m from center (axis) of rotation = rotative speed ω 18 ORBIT [Vol.g. these forces increase with the square of the rotative speed. At some point. It may even fail entirely. Additionally. Burst speed is the speed at which the machine is expected to fail catastrophically. As can be seen from the equation in Figure 1. potentially with catastrophic results.A P P L I C A T I O N S What is overspeed? Some of the strongest forces acting on most turbomachinery are the centrifugal forces exerted when masses are set into rotational motion. is a standard feature on Bently Nevada overspeed detection tachometers. overspeed protection systems should be set to keep the machine from exceeding its yield speed. is shown in Figure 1. an overspeed event in a machine will cause blades – and even the entire rotor – to exit the machine casing. assuming a constant speed of rotation. a machine should never be allowed to approach its theoretical burst speed. they are not designed for sustained operation at such speeds and overspeed protection systems are supplied for this reason. The centrifugal forces are the outward-directed forces caused by spinning the rotating masses that comprise the rotor. for this reason.

g. which then removes energy from the machine and brings it to a safe halt. t The Overspeed Map The time required to detect an overspeed condition and then shut the machine down must be factored into the design of the OPS. the maximum speed ever reached by the machine is Nos. consider a steam turbine driving a generator whose breakers suddenly open: the turbine will see an instantaneous loss of load. The ODS supplies this signal in the form of activation of one or more electrical relays. it is more common for overspeed to occur very quickly (just a few hundred milliseconds) because the forces acting on a machine can change very quickly. As shown in Figure 2. As another example. The actual value may be higher or lower than 120% and must be established by consulting the manufacturer along with pertinent industry machinery standards (e. t An Overspeed Protection System (OPS) is the complete electro-mechanical system (hydromechanical or electro-pneumatic) that senses the onset of an overspeed condition and automatically shuts the unit down by closing (or opening) valves. Although overspeed can occur gradually (such as when a speed control system fails and the speed slowly creeps upward). Speed control systems may not react to these kinds of sudden overspeed conditions. and in understanding the scope of responsibility assumed by the suppliers of each system. API 612) that the user may wish to apply. consider a gas turbine driving a pipeline compressor whose coupling suddenly shears: this turbine will likewise see an instantaneous loss of load.. An Overspeed Detection System (ODS) is one part of the larger OPS. and other devices necessary to bring the unit to a safe halt.25 No. accelerating it within a fraction of a second to 120% overspeed.1 2005] ORBIT 19 Terminology The words “detection” and “protection” are not used interchangeably in this article with respect to overspeed systems. For example. the overspeed protection system must instead be relied upon to trip the unit. To account for the time to [Vol. this speed must be less than the yield speed of the machine and should be determined through consultation with the machine OEM and consideration of relevant industry standards. solenoids. For reasons previously discussed. It is responsible only for sensing the onset of overspeed and providing a signal suitable for triggering the rest of the OPS. most overspeed protection systems are set to keep the machine from ever exceeding approximately 120% of the rated maximum operating speed. each system.A P P L I C A T I O N S Figure 2 – Overspeed shutdown map Not To Scale Maximum Temporary Overshoot Speed Nos MACHINE SPEED Overspeed Trip Speed Nost Maximum Continuous Operating Speed Nmc OVERSPEED SHUTDOWN DETECTION OVERSPEED SHUTDOWN EXECUTION ∆tod ∆toe ∆top Overspeed Detection Response Time Overspeed Execution Response Time Total Overspeed Protection System Response Time ∆tod ∆top ∆toe TIME As a rough rule-of-thumb. The distinction is important both in terms of understanding the primary purpose and function of . the Maximum Temporary Overshoot Speed.

Through Reaction Times It is useful to think of the total time ∆top required for the overspeed protection system to act as being composed of two parts: The detection time ∆tod and the execution time ∆toe where ∆top = ∆tod + ∆toe. fewer process interruptions and enhanced safety are not mutually exclusive. but without being set so low that normal speed fluctuations about the machine’s maximum continuous operating speed N mc will trigger a false overspeed alarm and shutdown. Table 1 summarizes typical values for ∆top. Thus. As will be discussed next. an overspeed protection system designed to comply with API 612 must begin to act when turbine speed reaches 110% of maximum continuous operating speed and keep the machine from ever exceeding 121% of maximum continuous operating speed. The Economics of Overspeed Shutdown Events With many operators striving to achieve an absolute minimum of process interruptions. As shown in the table.e. and ∆toe along with some of the items that would normally contribute to these latencies in a typical system consisting of a fully electronic overspeed detection system and an electro-hydraulic shutdown system. whether caused by machinery failures or any other factors. the Overspeed Trip Speed (Nost) is set at a lower level than Nos.25 No. traditional overhaul and maintenance intervals are being extended whenever possible. it is never advisable to delay routine maintenance and inspections of safety-related systems. As an example. Nost is generally set as low as possible to provide maximum time for the overspeed protection system to respond. Table 1 – Overspeed protection system response times and factors TOTA L OV E R S P E E D P R OT E C T I O N R E S P O N S E T I M E ( ∆ t o p ) OV E R S P E E D D E T E C T I O N RESPONSE TIME (∆tod) ( TY P I C A L LY 4 0 . the execution time is the latency for the remainder of the overspeed protection system to act on this signal. ODS response time will generally be 50 ms or less (API 670 requires that ODS tachometers be capable of responding within 40 ms when an input signal of 300 Hz or greater is present). ∆tod. The detection time is the latency for the overspeed detection system to detect the onset of overspeed and generate a shutdown signal. such as overspeed protection.5 0 m s ) Time for multi-tooth speed wheel to generate sufficient pulses to measure speed change accurately Time to compare speed inputs against alarm setpoints Time to vote multiple channels against one another in 2-out-of-3 system Time for alarm signal to be transmitted to relay contact circuitry “Bounce” time for relay contacts to settle fully opened or closed ( TY P I C A L LY 1 4 0 – 2 5 0 m s ) OV E R S P E E D E X E C U T I O N ( TY P I C A L LY 10 0 – 2 0 0 m s ) RESPONSE TIME (∆toe) Input scan times for logic solvers or other safety instrumented systems Hydraulic system latencies Solenoid actuation latencies Valve latencies Time for entrained energy downstream of trip valve to fully discharge through machine Interposing relay latencies and “bounce” time for contacts to settle fully open or closed 20 ORBIT [Vol. 21% above Nmc).. a typical application will require a total OPS response time of between 140 and 250 ms. American Petroleum Institute Standard 612 (pertains to Special-Purpose Steam Turbines) uses the following values: t t Nost is 10% above Nmc Nos is 10% above Nost (i. While this is being achieved successfully for many machines through appropriate condition monitoring and asset management strategies.1 2005] .A P P L I C A T I O N S detect an overspeed condition and then execute the various steps necessary to trip the unit.

These bolts or rings are fixed to the rotor and rotate with it. although industrial insurers generally require operators to test their overspeed systems at regular intervals. utilize moving parts. Unfortunately. the machine must be physically oversped. such testing can be potentially dangerous and is frequently very expensive for the following reasons: 1. However. To test the system. such as trip bolts or trip rings (which contain internal trip bolts).25 No. Such testing generally requires an interruption of the production process – exactly the opposite of the aforementioned goals to extend intervals between outages and production interruptions. Ironically. it may be difficult to manually react in time to prevent unconstrained overspeed and ensuing results. it is necessary to carry out an overspeed test at regular intervals.A P P L I C A T I O N S Figure 3 . it is precisely during these tests that many Mechanical Overspeed Devices Mechanical overspeed devices. these levers are connected to valves and linkages that commence the unit shutdown process. At a pre-designed speed. These levers are normally latched in place.1 2005] ORBIT 21 . In turn. this gives rise [Vol. In other cases. to a delay in the instigation of the overspeed shutdown process. At minimum. far enough to strike trip levers. Figure 3 shows a typical trip ring from a steam turbine. If the bolt fails to operate during the test.A typical trip ring relying on a spring-loaded bolt the use of electronic overspeed detection systems. these interruptions are measured in millions of dollars per day due to the expensive processes of which the turbomachinery is a part. To help ensure such systems continue to work properly. 2. but are released by the impact of the trip bolt/ring striking the trip lever surface. Often. these mechanical trip bolts can become stuck by the ‘gelling’ or ‘lacquering’ of the surrounding lubricating oil. Under an overspeed condition. rather than older mechanical “trip bolts. the centrifugal force of the rotating bolt causes it to move radially outward against preset spring forces. the bolt is designed to overcome these spring forces and pop outward. the shutdown system will completely fail to act.” reliability and safety can be significantly enhanced while eliminating the need for costly process interruptions required to test and verify the overspeed detection circuity.

switching from mechanically instigated overspeed shutdown to electronic systems instead. Electronic Overspeed Detection An electronic overspeed detection system does not rely on mechanical parts or actuation. whereby three separate sensors are used as inputs to three separate tachometers. These tachometers then use logic to provide 2-out-of3 voting (only when any two sensors/tachometers detect an overspeed condition will the system initiate a shutdown). This rotor is from a steam turbine that was completely destroyed with serious consequences due to an overspeed situation when its mechanical bolt did not function properly. and the system energized by fully redundant power supplies.The user had stopped testing the system due to significant problems with getting the machine out of overspeed during previous tests. A properly designed overspeed detection system must minimize both false trips and missed trips. and test the system without physically placing the machine into an overspeed condition. These systems will generally pay for themselves immediately because testing their proper operation does not require the machine to be physically oversped or production to be interrupted. Instead. Even when an OPS uses fully electronic ODS technology. there will generally be mechanical/hydraulic 22 ORBIT [Vol. speed sensors observe a rotating toothed wheel on the machine. When the sensors detect excessive rotative speed. a relay is actuated which causes the remainder of the overspeed system to trip the unit.1 2005] . For this reason.25 No. as already mentioned. Electronic overspeed detection systems avoid such scenarios by allowing functional testing without the need to change a machine’s speed. simulate suitable speed inputs. a triple modular redundant (TMR) approach is used. Instrumentation with single-point failure modes cannot achieve the reliability and availability required by such applications. A Migration The above benefits have resulted in a strong migration of users (and manufacturers). Missed trips represent potentially very serious safety and economic consequences arising from catastrophic machinery failure. It is our recommendation that all customers relying on a mechanical bolt or ring consider replacing these systems with an electronic detection system. It also allows users to isolate the individual channels. This design ensures that a failure of a single sensor or tachometer will not cause a shutdown to be missed or initiated.A P P L I C A T I O N S To test or not to test… machines suffer overspeed damage because the bolt fails to act properly and the machine enters a runaway overspeed condition. False trips represent expensive process interruptions. a number of industry standards (such as those from the American Petroleum Institute and ISO) have undergone revision to reflect electronic protection systems rather than mechanical bolts. In addition.

25 No. It has been specifically designed to comply with the guidelines of relevant functional safety standards such as IEC 61508. and ANSI/ISA-84. designating the system as suitable for Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3 applications. If it does not. The proper operation of these non-electronic devices must also be assessed at regular intervals. The ODS solutions delivered today are based on the Bently Nevada® 3500/53 overspeed detection tachometer modules. ODS Application Audits An ODS must properly initiate the auto-shutdown sequence of a machine within the maximum allowable time delay. unconstrained overspeed.01-1996. the Bently Nevada team works cooperatively with the customer’s choice of provider which may be an OEM. It is only by Scope The scope assumed by the Bently Nevada team in any overspeed-related project is confined to the Overspeed Shutdown Detection region of Figure 2. the end user’s own engineering personnel. Figure 4 shows a 2-out-of-3 arrangement for hydraulic solenoid valves and the corresponding manifold.A P P L I C A T I O N S Figure 4 Figure 5 i Control cabinet showing 2-out-of-3 hydraulic solenoid valves and manifold used as part of overspeed protection system i A turbine rotor undergoing retrofit for an electronic overspeed protection system. Such a design enhances safety and reliability while simultaneously allowing easier testing of this critical component within the shutdown system. the Bently Nevada team must always conduct a mandator y application review of the elements affecting the response time and integrity of the ODS.” tractor with overall OPS responsibility. Note mechanical bolt on left.1 2005] ORBIT 23 . and existing castellated nut on right which was chosen as the speed sensing surface. or a third-party selected by the customer. devices within the overall shutdown loop. Regardless of where responsibility for the overall OPS lies. IEC 61511. and they subcontract the ODS portion to the Bently Nevada team. The 3500 system employs a TMR configuration utilizing 2-outof-3 voting. so can other parts of the OPS benefit from redundancy. Just as the detection portion of an overspeed system can employ triple modular redundancy to allow isolation and testing of circuits without the need for a process interruption. as discussed next. When a project’s scope includes retrofit of the entire OPS. the result may be catastrophic. In other instances. In these instances. There are many application variables that must be understood and addressed for an ODS to perform properly and with the necessary response time. and may be ordered with optional TÜV certification. the GE Energy Control Solutions team acts as lead con- [Vol. customers may want full scope to be assumed by GE Energy. Many users now consider such designs to be “best practice.

2. ODS Sensor MUST be on the driver unit to properly protect against overspeed in the event of a coupling failure.g. Provide wheel dimensions using figures below.25 No.e. Differing media have different stored energy release capability. If fitted (e. it is designed to turn another gear)… O/Dia. Case One: the observed wheel is a true gear (i. 3...1 2005] . 4.Partial list of ODS audit points Audit point Machine type Manufacturer Driven machine Stored energy 1 S/D System S/D Valve Bypass valve Speeds Sensor location 3 Sensor type Governor sensor Speed wheel Events/Rev 4 2 Remarks / Options Steam turbine Name __________________ Compressor Steam liquid gas Gas turbine Model # _____________ Generator Pressure ____________ Control oil Fast Fast Max continuous _____ On driven shaft Magnetic pick-up Separate from ODS Pole wheel # of Holes ___________ Profile/Dimensions a___ b___ c___ d___ Turbo expander Power _____________ Other ______________ Volume ____________ Mechanical Slow Slow Overspeed trip______ Other shaft _________ Electronic/electric Instantaneous Instantaneous Operational _____________ On driver shaft Proximity probe Shared with ODS True Gear type # of Teeth _______________ Notes: 1.A P P L I C A T I O N S Figure 6 .e.. it is a toothed wheel designed for a magnetic pickup or proximity probe)… O/Dia. = _______ A = ___________ B = ___________ C = ___________ D = ___________ 24 ORBIT [Vol. A sensor observing a gear immediately driven from the main shaft may be acceptable. expanders). = _______ A = ___________ B = ___________ C = ___________ D = ___________ Case Two: the observed wheel is not a true gear (i.

respond properly.1 2005] ORBIT 25 . However. allowing them to observe the turbine shaft directly rather than the governor shaft. Testing and maintenance of the new system was recommended at much more frequent intervals. isolating the speed sensing surface from the actual machine speed. It takes 40 ms for the machine to complete one revolution. A new high-speed.A P P L I C A T I O N S reviewing each application carefully and collecting necessary details such as geometries and location of the speed sensing surface (see Figure 5) that the proper operation of the ODS can be determined. In no circumstances does Bently Nevada assume responsibility for the Overspeed Shutdown Execution portion of the system. the speed sensing surface would be totally insufficient. For example. Clearly. the additional scope covered by this review is intended merely to supplement – not replace – the review conducted by those responsible for OPS supply and installation. On rare occasions. “speed wheel”) for an ODS on one machine had been designed for use with a magnetic pick-up. If the gearbox or its couplings broke. Below are examples of typical actions required as a result of ODS audit findings. t t A process train in a chemical plant had existing speed control system sensors observing a portion of the turbine governor shaft which was coupled to the main turbine shaft by means of an intervening gearbox. Supplemental Findings In addition to the mandatory ODS audit conducted. a speed sensing surface must provide an adequate number of pulses per shaft revolution to allow the ODS tachometers to detect speed changes rapidly enough. and has been performed in numerous instances. the remainder of the system contained latencies of up to one second (the logic solver into which the ODS would be fed was not t The existing speed sensing surface (i. To guard against such a failure mode. A review of an OPS project at a large North American petrochemical facility revealed that while the proposed ODS solution had been engineered to respond within 50 ms.e. resulting in incorrect and/or intermittent speed measurements. a Bently Nevada® ODS cannot be supplied since the ability to confirm the suitability of input signals is no longer within our control. ensuring that this energy could be quickly released during a trip rather than expanding through the turbine. a customer will not permit an application audit to be performed. One facility had not tested the existing OPS on their steam turbine for five years. high-efficiency turbine at a European facility incorporated several meters of steam piping between the emergency stop valve and the turbine. a different location was chosen for the ODS sensors. In these cases. the governor shaft (but not the actual turbine) would begin to decelerate. Consider a 1500 rpm machine with a single Keyphasor® mark. The governor would respond by speeding up the turbine to compensate for the falling speed observed by the transducers. While the plant was taking measures to install a better OPS solution. and multiple revolutions would be required to sense a change in speed. this interval between tests is considered totally unacceptable regardless of what type of system is installed – electronic or mechanical. customers sometimes request that the Bently Nevada team review the broader OPS rather than confining the audit to only the ODS. The customer wanted to retrofit proximity probes in place of the magnetic pickups. this length of piping was found to contain sufficient volume of pressurized steam to accelerate the turbine beyond Nos (refer to Figure 2) even after the emergency stop valve was closed. As another example. While it can be provided upon request.25 No. or will refuse to implement aspects of the audit that ensure the ODS will t t [Vol. This scope falls outside the Overspeed Shutdown Detection region in Figure 2. This allowed a sufficient reduction in the overall response time ∆top to meet the application’s requirements. A modification to install a rapid-opening vent valve and duct was recommended. The examples below illustrate typical supplemental findings. The application audit revealed that a modified speed wheel would be required because use of the existing wheel would have caused the probes to detect three teeth at a time instead of each individual tooth. the speed sensing surface should never be located on an auxiliary shaft where there is an intervening gearbox or coupling that could potentially fail.. Figure 6 shows a portion of the checklist used when conducting a Bently Nevada ODS application audit. if this machine required the ODS to respond within 50 ms.

the pressure inlet duct can be on the order of one meter in diameter (or greater). they can 26 ORBIT [Vol. leads to rapid acceleration in the case of an inlet duct failure. Large expander units likewise represent special concerns.1 2005] . Relays The relays provided from Bently Nevada overspeed detection systems are generally limited to 5A of current. or other machines. This is the same rationale employed in standards such as API 612 that call for segregating the overspeed protection system from the machine control system. Protection systems for these units are required to operate with extremely fast reaction times to prevent serious mechanical damage. a better approach is generally to replace the shutdown relay altogether. independent protection systems that are not affected by process control failures are essential. This was far in excess of the application’s requirement for ∆t op ≤ 250 ms and would require extensive changes to the instrumentation downstream of the ODS. the process pressures can be significant. not as part of an ODS) and high-speed tachometer modules (intended for use as part of an ODS) are both available as part of the Bently Nevada product line. A Word About Tachometers Standard tachometer modules (intended for indication only. there is a strong case for installing a small diameter bypass duct with rapid-action valves. it is typical to find that the ODS drives a shutdown relay with significant current draw. For the reasons discussed above. Expanders can also be employed to re-use the energy contained in the process to drive compressors. Special Concerns for Turbo Expanders Turbo expanders represent special consideration when reviewing and specifying an OPS. coupled with a low rotor inertia. Customers with limited knowledge of overspeed and its consequences will sometimes propose as a cost-saving measure the use of standard indicator tachometer modules. This reduces the inlet pressure. Rather than using interposing relays. it also provides an option for a 2-out-of-3 system. substituting a newer unit that has less current draw. and this. They are designed for use only as part of a redundant voting configuration. In addition. On these machines. We strongly recommend that customers choose the 2-out-of-3 option due to the critical nature of the measurement and the consequences of failure. These machines are used when the process stream pressure must be reduced prior to its introduction to another process stage. numerous pertinent industry standards. However. standard indicator tachometers do not provide the response times necessary for use in an ODS. and the associated control valves will be slow to operate. to help prevent misapplication by customers. Second. such as American Petroleum Institute RP 554 (section 3. There are several reasons why we cannot supply our products for such applications.5) and ANSI/ISA SP84. such as overspeed protection. recognize that the very conditions for which safetyrelated shutdown systems are installed can be caused by a failure of the basic process control system. these modules are “simplex” and are not designed to be configured for the modular redundant voting warranted by the critical nature of overspeed applications. pumps.A P P L I C A T I O N S programmed to scan its inputs more than once per second). these modules have been designed so that their alarm time delays can be set no faster than one second – far slower than required by overspeed applications. and generally accepted engineering practice. specifically advise against such practices by calling for a segregation of basic process control systems from safety-related shutdown systems. allowing more rapid shutdown in the event of overspeed. These newer relays generally have much faster switching times.01. When designing an OPS for this type of unit. Another cost-saving measure that is sometimes proposed is to use the process control system as part of the overspeed protection loop. On smaller turbo expander/compressor units. When replacing an older overspeed detection system. Bently Nevada tachometers may not be used in a simplex configuration for any ODS applications.25 No. While API 617 (a widely used industry standard pertaining to these machines) permits a single-channel overspeed detection system. Leaving the old shutdown relay in place requires the use of interposing relays with higher current-carrying capacity than the 5A limit of the Bently Nevada ODS. These standards. Indeed. As such. First. The high-speed 3500/53 overspeed tachometer modules are specifically designed for ODS applications and can respond to an overspeed event within 40-50 milliseconds when properly applied and configured.

Table 2 – Advantages of proximity probes over magnetic speed pick-ups* Uniform. Customers sometimes propose to use a Keyphasor® mark (one-event-per-revolution discontinuity on the shaft) for the ODS. after replacement of the mechanical trip system of Figure 1. This led to intermittent false trips and costly loss of production. we can recommend suitable magnetic sensors to meet the requirements of our system as well as SIL requirements. A better alternative for most ODS applications is to use proximity probes as they offer the advantages summarized in Table 2. Depending on machine speed and ODS response times required.A P P L I C A T I O N S eliminate the need for interposing relays. which introduce their own latencies and add to the overall system response time. This increased range also offers a better physical “buffer” between the sensor tip and the rotating gear teeth. but also for enhanced transducer and wiring fault diagnostics. useful not only for establishing proper physical gap from the speed wheel. a single event per revolution may or may not be adequate. Speed Sensing Surfaces An overspeed detection system relies on transducers that observe a multi-toothed wheel (speed sensing surface). This toothed wheel is one of the most important aspects of the ODS and must be engineered properly for the Figure 7 system to detect speed changes with adequate resolution and response time. our design requirements for the toothed wheel were – unbeknownst to us – not implemented by the customer. The required number of events per revolution is carefully reviewed as part of the application audit.25 No. as previously discussed. Less susceptibility to EMI (electromagnetic interference). The 80 mil effective linear range of a standard eddy current transducer is far greater than the typical 30 mil nonlinear range of magnetic pickups. and no further incidents have occurred. but fortunately not a missed trip.1 2005] ORBIT 27 . [Vol. For machines with over 5 mils of mechanical runout or vibration. multiple events per revolution are required. 7). Greater bandwidth when using longer cable lengths. DC gap voltage output. and Keyphasor® transducers used elsewhere on the machine. Much longer linear range. position. maintaining proper clearance can be a problem if magnetic pickups are used. i View of a new speed wheel installed on the end of a steam turbine overspeed stub. and have historically also been used for the electronic overspeed detection system as well. The customer has since replaced the wheel with one conforming to our recommendations. Most commonly. Magnetic pick-ups are often used for the basic speed control system. Other important considerations include the geometry and location of this speed sensing surface. * Where the existing magnetic pick-up must be replaced with a similar device due to mechanical or cabling constraints. During one recent ODS project. Speed Sensors Another important consideration is the type of speed sensor. Interchangeability with vibration. reducing spare part requirements. necessitating the use of a toothed wheel (Fig. speed-independent response to zero speed.

In this example.C. (2000) “Petroleum. Fourth Edition.25 No. Washington. Systems. noting common pitfalls that can be encountered and 28 ORBIT [Vol. and Natural Gas Industries – Steam Turbines – Special-purpose Applications. (2002) “Electronic Overspeed Detection Systems. First Edition.01-1996.” ANSI/ISA-84.” API Standard 670. International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). “Functional Safety: Safety Instrumented Systems for the Process Sector. Washington. Switzerland (2003). Switzerland (1998). There are also significant considerations that must always be addressed to ensure that both the overspeed detection system and the larger overspeed protection system will work properly and within the maximum allowable response time if an overspeed event occurs. American Petroleum Institute. Seventh Edition. frequency response. Vol. “Process Instrumentation and Control. if slow-roll output is used to set monitor triggering. running speed waveform will result in incorrect triggering.” IEC 61511. D. Washington. Geneva.” API Standard 617. the output amplitude may drop enough to result in an incorrect number of teeth being detected. special attention must be paid to signal characteristics at operating speeds. Geneva. References “Application of Safety Instrumented Systems for the Process Industries. 44-45 “Functional Safety of Electrical/Electronic/Programmable Electronic Safety-Related Systems.” API Recommended Practice 554.” IEC 61508. When using proximity probes for speed measurement. This audit addresses only the ODS portion of the total overspeed protection system. since these are the speeds at which protective functions must actuate.1 2005] . it is essential that they also trigger properly at operating speeds. Users must also exercise good engineering judgement and practices in the remainder of the OPS. D. In extreme cases. First Edition. which is outside the scope addressed by a Bently Nevada overspeed detection solution. 20 No. (2003) Summary There are significant advantages to the use of electronic overspeed detection systems when compared to mechanical systems relying on trip bolts. Washington.C.A P P L I C A T I O N S Figure 8 i Output from proximity probe observing a toothed wheel at slow-roll speed (top) and running speed (bottom). While the tachometers may trigger properly at slow-roll speeds. the output at slow-roll conditions may not always match the output at operating speeds.C. American Petroleum Institute. and Automation Society. Petrochemical. The peak-to-peak value of the waveform may decrease at operating speeds – a function of transducer slew rate. American Petroleum Institute. The Instrumentation. explaining the necessity of an application audit prior to supplying an ODS. Second/Third Quarters 1999. International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). American Petroleum Institute. Fifth Edition. D.” ORBIT magazine. and other characteristics. unless the proper threshold/ hysteresis adjustments are made. This article has summarized several of those considerations. pp. NC (1996) “Axial and Centrifugal Compressors and Expander-compressors for Petroleum. Chemical and Gas Industry Services. not slow-roll speed. (1995) “Machinery Protection Systems. 2.” API Standard 612. First Edition. D. Research Triangle Park.C. First Edition. As shown in Figure 8.

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