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Comprehensive condition monitoring analysis for power plant boiler circulator pumps

Eric Bechhoefer, Ed Spence

Abstract

The boiler circulator pump (BCP) is an integral part of the power plant operations in both conventional (coal/gas fired steam plant) or nuclear plants. The BCP moves super heated water under pressure to the steam generator. These pumps are glandless, megawatt induction power pumps. If the pump fails, the power plant must be removed from service to replace the pump. In many applications, these pumps serve power plant providing the base load power requirements of a community. The failure of a pump requires the operator to buy power from other generating plants at much higher rates. Glandless BCP pose a difficult problem for automated analysis, as there is no way to introduce a tachometer to measure pump speed. Further, while a relatively simple machine, the failure modes include: out of balance/bearing wear that is best measured by vibration, and rotor bar/opens/shorts /eccentricity that is best measured by current. Further, these machines are asynchronous and typically very well balanced, so that is difficult to determine shaft RPM from vibration. This paper discusses the analysis of BCP using both vibration and current analysis methods and the processing needed to automate fault detection.

Keywords

Diagnostics and prognostics, CBM, induction motor, impact detection, rotor bar

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References

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