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A large gas turbine-compressor system experienced high vibration when load approached 92%. Customer demanded the promised 98% from the manufacturer. These compressors are used along a gas pipeline that moves natural gas from Texas to South Florida.
LUDECA was contracted to determine the stability (or lack thereof) of the turbine structure at 16 different locations on the turbine. 16 PERMALIGN triple prisms capable of simultaneously detecting vertical and horizontal displacement were affixed to strategic locations on the turbine (see Figures 1 and 2.)

Permalign Monitors Gas Turbine

Fig 1: PERMALIGN Triple Prisms Mounted on Gas Turbine

Permalign Triple Prisms Gas Turbine

Fig 2: Close-Up of PERMALIGN Triple Prisms Mounted on Gas Turbine

The absolute move of these locations was recorded by 16 separate PERMALIGN monitors mounted on sturdy pedestals rigidly affixed to the floor (see Figure 3.) One monitor was used per triple prism.
Permalign Mounted Sturdy Columns

Fig. 3: PERMALIGN Monitors Affixed to Sturdy Column Pedestals

After continuous monitoring and measurement over several hours,  it was found that the front turbine supports were not stable when the extra load was demanded.
Based on the findings, the manufacturer re-designed the front supports of the turbine to withstand the increase in loads.
With the successful solution obtained with the help of the exact positional change information supplied by the PERMALIGN system, the manufacturer was able to secure an order for several of these turbine-compressor systems.

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by Pedro Casanova CRL