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MULTISTAGE HORIZONTAL BOILER FEED PUMPS: ROTOR DYNAMIC AND STRUCTURAL ADVANTAGES OF THE OPPOSITE VERSUS EQUIDIRECTIONAL IMPELLERS

CONFIGURATION G. Agrati and A. Piva Weir Gabbioneta, Sesto S. Giovanni, Italy 1. ABSTRACT

Multistage horizontal boiler feed pumps are designed and built in two different configurations: with equidirectional or with opposite impellers. Advantages and disadvantages of the two design criteria are hereto analysed and described. The study is carried out from hydraulic and structural point of view. A particular attention is addressed to the axial load balance and to the lateral dynamic analysis, with new and worn clearance conditions. A complete calculation of rotor dynamic behaviour in both configurations has been performed using the finite element method. The model of the shaft has been meshed using beam elements, while linearised coefficients have been evaluated in order to simulate stiffness and damping of sleeve bearings, impeller wear rings, balancing drums and interstage seals. Undamped critical speed map, damped mode shapes and Campbell diagrams are presented and discussed. Calculation results are confirmed by experimental measurements carried out on an opposite impeller multistage pump, where non contacting probes have been installed nearby sleeve bearings locations, and order tracking method has been applied during start-up and coast-down transients. 2. INTRODUCTION

Centrifugal boiler feed water pumps are used in steam power plants. They are used for feeding water to the boiler, where heat energy will be supplied and feedwater will be changed in steam under pressure. A steam turbine will then transform part of this energy into mechanical energy to do useful work. Boiler feed water pumps failures are a major cause of power plant unavailability. The operation of these machines often requires a large number of hours during which they operate at reduced load. This undoubtedly represents a potential source of failures, due to the presence of the onset recirculation flow. Besides they are also required of frequent load transients and fast emergency shutdown. For all these reasons they must be capable to operate quietly running through their critical speeds, during the usual start-up and coast-down transient, as well as during the continuous operation at reduced flows. The reliability improvement on boiler feed water pumps requires a deep analysis to a better definition of their hydraulic, mechanical and dynamic behaviours. Both above described design criteria have several applications, and no one of the two corresponding design philosophies has ever been considered as winner. And

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even, when one of the two has been chosen, the choice has often been determined by historical or traditional reasons, rather than by real and proven advantages. Advantages and disadvantages present on both configurations are hereto discussed, considering pumps having the same impeller size, the same number of stages and the same conditions of service. Performance curves of examined pumps are therefore strictly similar. 3. OPPOSITE AND EQUIDIRECTIONAL IMPELLERS CONFIGURATION

The typical cross sections of opposite impellers configuration pump (AHPB line) and equidirectional impellers configuration pump (UHP line) are depicted respectively in figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1 Cross section of opposite impeller centrifugal pump

Figure 2 - Cross section of equidirectional impeller centrifugal pump

First of all we can observe that from hydraulic and mechanical point of view the UHP solution is simpler, more compact and it apparently seems more efficient. In fact, the flow leaving the impeller outlet is conveyed into the diffuser vanes and than to the eye of the subsequent impeller. On the contrary, in the AHPB pump, after the first group of stages (half of the total if even, half of the total minus one if odd) the flow is conveyed via two crossover channels to the next impeller that lies at the opposite location of the pump. During this crossing the flow necessarily is subjected to a non-negligible pressure drop. The hydraulic efficiency of the pump, and as a consequence the global efficiency, is affected by this reduction in performances. On the other hand, the UHP configuration brings to a very high axial thrust, due to the sum of the axial thrusts of every impeller. A balancing drum is necessary to balance the thrust and to reduce the load acting on the thrust bearing. The AHPB
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pumps, on the contrary, are always well balanced (especially when the number of stages is even) and the balancing drum is less critical. This fact is particularly crucial when, after several hours of operation, all the clearances begin to increase. It can be calculated that, supposing an uniform wear of all seals and rings, when clearances are doubled with respect to design ones, the AHPB is still well balanced while the UHP axial load increases from 2000 N (design thrust at rated flow) up to 20000 N. Moreover, it must be taken into account the different flow leakage existing on drums for both pump configurations. The UHP balancing drum is subjected to a total differential pressure due to all stages, while on AHPB the total differential pressure is subdivided in two balancing drums (central and side). Furthermore, the UHP drum diameter and clearances are greater because of higher axial load to be balanced. For these reasons the balancing drum total leakage is greater for UHP than for AHPB. It has been calculated in fact that, for pumps operating at 3000 rpm with flow of 370 m3/h delivered at a total differential head of 1000 m, the leakage at design clearances respectively is 11 m3/h for the AHPB and 14 m3/h for the UHP. With worn clearances (twice design clearances) the leakage gets to 29 against 40 m3/h. The effects on the volumetric efficiency must not be obviously disregarded. Once again the global pump efficiency is influenced and the reduction in performances will increase with wear. From a rotor-dynamic point of view we can suppose that, due to the presence of central balancing drum, the critical speeds of the opposite impellers configuration will be higher than the equidirectional impeller configuration ones. Aim of the following of this job is to examine closely the dynamic behaviour of equivalent pumps related to the two design criteria, and to verify the above exposed hypothesis. 4. ROTOR MODELING

The method used for this analysis is the Finite Element Method. The shaft is modelled using linear 1D (beam) elements; mass and inertia of impellers, bearings, coupling and all rotating components are simulated with rigid body elements, the journal bearings and seals effect is taken into account using linearised connectors, with Cartesian coefficients of stiffness and damping. The support bearing structure and baseplate impedance is disregarded. The reason of this assumption lies in the fact that our aim is to compare the dynamic behaviour of the rotor in two different configurations, but we suppose that the support structure is very similar in the two cases. In this way we intend to separate the dynamic behaviour of the rotor from the dynamic behaviour of the structure in order to facilitate the interpretation of results. On the other hand, during the experimental validation of the analysis method, the pump under test was supported by a special very rigid structure whose stiffness was more than two magnitudes greater than the bearing stiffness and whose natural frequencies were far from operating speed range (Bolleter, Frei, Florjancic, 1984). 5. MODEL EXPERIMENTAL VALIDATION

A multistage opposite impellers horizontal pump, AHP 300/200-7 seven stages, has been tested in our test shop. Two vibration proximity probes (eddy current probes) have been installed in radial X and Y directions, nearby journal bearing, in both drive end and non-drive end locations.
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The electric signals, converted by a modulator-demodulator device, were analysed by a signal dynamic analyser (see figures 3 and 4).

Figure 3 Signal Dynamic Analyser

Figure 4 Pump equipped with proximity probes

Order tracking method was used during start-up and coast-down ramping to investigate the rotor dynamic behaviour at any speed ranging from 600 to 2980 rpm (rated speed). The below listed speed orders were analysed, recorded and plotted. First order, corresponding to mass unbalance frequency excitation, second order, in relation with shaft misalignment, and seventh order, corresponding to impeller blade passing frequency. First order tracks show that the rotor does not pass through any critical speed during the ramping. The amplitude vibration level, in fact, gradually increases with speed, with a very regular trend (see figures 5 and 6), which means that no system natural frequency is encountered, or, more likely, its damping ratio is relatively high.
180 90 0 -90 -180
5 4 3 2 1 0 0 500 1000 1500
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Figure 5 Start-up order 1

Figure 6 Coast-down order 1

Second order, on the contrary, displays a vibration peak at about 1700 rpm, in both start-up and coast-down transients (see figures 7 and 8).
360 0 -360 -720

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Figure 7 Start-up order 2

Figure 8 Coast-down order 2

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This means that while the rotor is rotating at 1700 rpm the amplitude vibration spectrum shows a high level peak at 2 x 1700 = 3400 cycles per minute, i.e. at a frequency of about 57 Hz. On the other hand, the phase shows, crossing the same speed, a shift of about 180. The above shown results let us suppose that, when the pump is running at 1700 rpm, the dynamic system characterised by bearings and seals stiffness and damping of that speed, has a natural frequency at about twice that speed. Even a light excitation level has its effects amplified by resonance and the increase in vibration is well noticeable. Hydraulic excitation level at blade passing frequency was negligible; no useful information may be got from experimental 7th order tracking. We must clarify that, from technical point of view, with critical speed we intend not only the coincidence between rotor natural frequency and rotor operating speed, but also when this coincidence involves not negligible effects on vibration levels. As an example, for the latest API 610 Standards a critical speed is associated to a Damping Factor lower than limit values correlated to different Frequency Ratio, e.g. DF = 0.15 for synchronous frequency. Likewise, on the Amplitude Speed Plot, a critical speed showing an Amplification Factor lower than 2.5 may be disregarded. Standing that, a rotor dynamic analysis at these conditions has been performed. Natural frequencies and corresponding damping ratio are listed below:
Mode Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 Damped Natural Frequency [Hz] 24.8 33.6 34.4 62.4 99.3 112.0 Damped Natural Frequency [cpm] 1488 2016 2064 3744 5958 6720 Damping Factor 0.807 0.831 0.546 0.450 0.067 0.322

The nearest resonant frequency is 3744 cpm corresponding to 4th mode (figure 9). Looking at 4th mode shape, or more precisely at three-dimensional deflected shape corresponding to 4th damped natural frequency, it can be noticed that the normalised displacement in correspondence of sleeve is large, and therefore its contribution to vibration may be consistent; furthermore its th Figure 9 4 mode shape damping factor is relatively low. Response transfer function of the displacement of the drive-end bearing node due to a force located at the coupling node (figure 10) has been evaluated, including in the dynamic model the contribution of all the calculated mode shapes (up to 150 Hz). A peak of the transfer function for both X and Y radial direction is located around 58 - 60 Hz, in good accordance with the measured data.
Figure 10 Response Transfer Function

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6.

UNDAMPED ANALYSIS CRITICAL SPEED MAP

After the validation of the mathematical model we proceeded to the comparison between the two configurations. The two analysed pumps are the AHPB 300/200-10 for the opposite impeller configuration and the UHP 300/200-10 for the equidirectional impeller configuration. Corresponding rotors are depicted respectively in figures 11 and 12.

Figure 11 Rotor of opposite impellers pump

Figure 12 Rotor of equidirectional impellers pump

The first step was the dry undamped analysis. Natural frequencies of both rotors, supported only at the bearings, were calculated and corresponding mode shapes were plotted. Calculation was performed with different bearing stiffnesses and results are used to plot the Critical Speed Maps (see figure 13). According to what suggested by Corbo and 10000 Malanosky in their tutorial (Corbo, 3rd natural frequency 2nd natural frequency Malanosky, 1998), reference bearing stiffness is drive end one, 1000 1st natural frequency while non drive end bearing is Kxx Kyy assumed with a stiffness in constant ratio. Vertical and 100 horizontal stiffnesses are 1.0E+06 1.0E+07 1.0E+08 1.0E+09 1.0E+10 considered as equal. Actual drive Bearing Stiffness [N/m] end bearing stiffness curves are Figure 13 Critical speed map then superimposed. Critical speed maps are very similar for the two configurations. In fact, bearing span, shaft diameter and mass distribution (Leader, 1984) are almost the same. Calculated bearing stiffness is cross-plotted on the critical speed map to help identify rotor dynamic characteristics of the actual rotor-bearing system. We can deduce that it lies in the region of flexible rotor modes. This means that for the undamped dry analysis the considered rotors are low sensitive to variation of bearing system characteristics. 7. DAMPED ANALYSIS

The second step was a complete wet damped analysis. The model was refined with cross stiffness coefficients and with direct and cross damping coefficients for bearings, impellers wear rings, central and lateral balancing drum. Numerical results, as natural frequencies in cpm and Damping Factors, are reported in following tables. Modes 1 and 2 correspond to high relative displacement of bearings. They are not sensitive to impellers configuration and therefore they are not interesting for the aim of this analysis.
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Modes 3 and 4 correspond to a mode shape where displacement is higher in the central zone of the shaft (see figure 16). Campbell Diagrams relative to these two natural frequencies are shown in figures 14 and 15. Speed line is superimposed in order to identify any interference with fundamental excitation frequency. UHP results are as expected. The natural frequencies lower considerably with wearing of bushings, drums and impeller rings. Damping factors are low and their values become critical with twice design clearances. On the other hand the situation is not so clear regarding the corresponding natural frequencies of the AHPB. The effect of wearing is less evident, and at low speeds they will even increase with wearing.
AHPB 300/200-10 opposite impellers configuration 2235 rpm 2980 rpm 3725 rpm 4470 rpm Design Clearances Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF 1266 / 0.883 1960 / 0.802 2758 / 0.787 4282 / 0.712 4666 / 0.661 2285 / 0.828 4120 / 0.263 4125 / 0.200 4154 / 0.137 4178 / 0.099 1683 / 0.861 2753 / 0.889 3968 / 0.892 5380 / 0.907 7268 / 0.386 1856 / 0.587 2474 / 0.598 3231 / 0.595 4082 / 0.588 4892 / 0.573 5021 / 0.192 5464 / 0.123 5642 / 0.134 5801 / 0.129 5909 / 0.119 Twice Design (worn) Clearances Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF 1280 / 0.881 2008 / 0.792 2943 / 0.768 4446 / 0.685 5000 / 0.601 1920 / 0.836 4101 / 0.298 4105 / 0.214 4127 / 0.138 4163 / 0.098 2048 / 0.347 2629 / 0.361 3285 / 0.362 3943 / 0.362 4589 / 0.353 2084 / 0.620 2706 / 0.697 3440 / 0.727 4515 / 0.735 5411 / 0.735 5291 / 0.062 5336 / 0.090 5396 / 0.113 5464 / 0.126 5524 / 0.133 1490 rpm UHP 300/200-10 equidirectional impellers configuration 1490 rpm 2235 rpm 2980 rpm 3725 rpm 4470 rpm Design Clearances Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF 1249 / 0.844 1738 / 0.841 2194 / 0.818 2695 / 0.829 3196 / 0.839 1849 / 0.846 3909 / 0.285 3920 / 0.210 4094 / 0.133 4178 / 0.098 2278 / 0.417 3067 / 0.331 3826 / 0.310 4354 / 0.298 5000 / 0.276 2967 / 0.494 3474 / 0.499 4006 / 0.525 4686 / 0.548 5399 / 0.576 4785 / 0.387 6500 / 0.114 6444 / 0.123 6341 / 0.135 6211 / 0.144 Twice Design (worn) Clearances Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF Freq. / DF 1255 / 0.863 1760 / 0.874 2359 / 0.826 3112 / 0.827 4242 / 0.806 1864 / 0.846 4013 / 0.297 4073 / 0.239 4126 / 0.170 4171 / 0.141 1981 / 0.253 2476 / 0.224 2938 / 0.201 3344 / 0.170 3748 / 0.143 2162 / 0.469 2774 / 0.467 3214 / 0.492 3637 / 0.495 4063 / 0.519 5021 / 0.265 6384 / 0.147 6384 / 0.122 6358 / 0.119 6313 / 0.123
7000 6000 5000 4000 3000
1 x speed design clearances 2 x design clearances design clearances

5215 rpm Freq. / DF 5660 / 0.539 4187 / 0.078 7756 / 0.341 5710 / 0.633 5973 / 0.111 Freq. / DF 5916 / 0.341 4176 / 0.077 5008 / 0.287 5999 / 0.709 5536 / 0.127

Mode 1 2 3 4 5 Mode 1 2 3 4 5

5215 rpm Freq. / DF 3834 / 0.823 4224 / 0.073 5796 / 0.264 6060 / 0.607 6000 / 0.146 Freq. / DF 4980 / 0.759 4068 / 0.085 4272 / 0.160 4506 / 0.544 6240 / 0.128

Mode 1 2 3 4 5 Mode 1 2 3 4 5
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Figure 14 AHPB 300/200-10 Campbell Diagram Figure 15 UHP 300/200-10 Campbell Diagram

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Reversed considerations can be applied to the fifth natural frequency, whose mode shape is similar to typical shaft second bending mode, showing two half waves. Its value is higher for the UHP than for the AHPB, and, with clearances increment, it slightly increases at higher operational speeds for UHP, and it naturally decreases for the AHPB. This unexpected behaviour may be explained considering the position of the central balancing drum. The role of this element is crucial especially for first bending mode (figure 16), as its central position, just where the modal displacement is greater, will emphasise the effectiveness of its damping and stiffness. The wear reduces all bushing coefficients. But if a lower stiffness leads to a lower Figure 16 First bending mode natural frequency, to a lower damping it corresponds a higher damped natural frequency. These effects are opposed and the final result will depend on the balance of all coefficients. Any way, comparing results of the two configurations we can notice that the equidirectional impellers rotor is stiffer at design clearances. Its examined natural frequency is higher than the one of the other rotor. This fact may be attributed once again to the very stiff balancing drum. The UHP is more sensitive to seal wear and its natural frequency will match the running speed after several hours of working, while the AHPB will operate below it. Furthermore damping factors are considerably higher for the AHPB. The presence of a central balancing drum is able to keep the rotor stiff enough and to give a higher damping content to the system. Even in the eventuality of a critical speed, the rotor will be able to avoid excessive displacement amplitudes and consequent rubbing with stationary parts. 8. CONCLUSIONS

The comparison above described between the two possible boiler feed pump configurations points out the following. Opposite impellers configuration has the hydraulic and technological drawback of the crossover channel, necessary to convey the flow from the first group to the second group of impellers. On the other hand it seems more advantageous for the balancing of axial load and for the volumetric efficiency, mostly in worn clearances conditions. The dynamic analysis indicates that this design criterion leads to a rotor whose behaviour is less sensitive to increase of clearances, and whose damping factor keeps always considerably high. We can conclude that the opposite impeller design philosophy demonstrates to increase the reliability of multistage boiler feed water pumps. 9. REFERENCES

American Petroleum Institute, 1995, Lateral Analysis, Centrifugal Pumps for Petroleum, Heavy Duty Chemical, and Gas Industry Services, API Standard 610, Eighth Edition, Appendix I, pages I-1, I-5 American Petroleum Institute, 1996, Rotor Dynamics: Lateral Critical Analysis, Tutorial on the API Standard Paragraphs Covering Rotor Dynamics and Balancing:

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An Introduction to Lateral Analysis and Train Torsional Analysis and Rotor Balancing, API Standard 684, First Edition, Section 1, pages 1-70 K.E. Atkins, J.D. Tison, J.C. Wachel, 1985, Critical Speed Analysis of An EightStage Centrifugal Pump, Proceedings of the Second International Pump Symposium U.Bolleter, A. Frey, D. Florjancic, 1984, Predicting and Improving the Dynamic Behavior of Multistage High Performance Pumps, Proceedings of the First International Pump Symposium M.A. Corbo, S.B. Malanoski, 1998, Pump Rotordynamics Made Simple, Proceedings of the 15th International Pump Symposium M. Falco, G. Mimmi, B. Pizzigoni, G. Marenco, 1984, Plain Seal Dynamic Behaviour Experimental and Analytical Results, ImechE 1984, C303/84, pages 151-158 M. Falco, G. Mimmi, G. Marenco, 1986, Effects of seals on Rotor Dynamics, International Conference on Rotordynamics, pages 655-661 M.E. Leader, 1984, Introduction to Rotordynamics of Pumps without Fluid Forces, Proceedings of the First International Pump Symposium G. Marenco, 1988, Wet Critical Speeds of Boiler Feed Water Pump beyond the Pump Operational Range, 4th International Conference on Vibrations in Rotating Machinery

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