Laser monitoring and vibration detection combined to solve a gas turbine problem

February 12, 2013
Permalign Laser monitoring and vibration detection

(Left) Permalign prisms mounted on turbine. (Right) Permalign monitors mounted on pedestal.

On a project at a gas pumping station in South Florida, thermal growth measurement was performed using the PERMALIGN laser system on a gas turbine driving a centrifugal compressor, prompted by excessive vibration that was detected when attempting to operate the system at full load. PERMALIGN technology was chosen for this task since temperature variation and vibration do not diminish its accuracy.

PERMALIGN laser monitors and triple prism reflectors were attached at sixteen different locations on the gas turbine to monitor vertical, horizontal and axial displacement at each location. After one day of monitoring the equipment under running condition, it was determined that excessive horizontal movement occurred at the turbine trunnions.

Customer redesigned the machine supports and the problem was eliminated, allowing the equipment to operate at full load.

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