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4 July 2012

Condition monitoring specialists SENSONICS are enjoying continued success both at home and in Asia with new contracts for their innovative Sentry G3, high performance machine protection system. In addition to a number of successful installations at power plants in China is another project in Vietnam at the PhaLai Thermal Power Plant.

In conjunction with local agents AKA Vietnam, Sensonics supplied transducers and a Sentry G3 Turbine Monitoring / protection system for the 110MW Russian built turbine operating at the PhaLai Power Plant. These were for a wide range of applications including; shaft position, high & low pressure cylinder expansion, turbine block expansion, shaft vibration, eccentricity and speed. The PhaLai site has two power plants, an older facility with eight boilers and four 110MW turbines, all Russian built and a newer facility with two boilers and two Japanese manufactured 300MW turbines.

The ‘retrofit’ project was fairly complex and included a number of measurement modes that the Sentry G3 system was required to monitor. For example, Shaft position measurement and protection; where the relative position of the turbine shaft is monitored within the bearings. The system automatically shuts down the turbine if the relative position moves outside a pre-set window. For the 110MW machine, this occurs should the shaft move towards the generator side by more than 1.2mm or when the shaft moves towards the turbine side by more than 1.7mm (-1.7mm to + 1,2mm allowable movement).
The measurement was implemented on the turbine utilising proximity sensors mounted opposite a collar machined as part of the shaft. A similar technique was also utilised for both the HP (high pressure) and LP (low pressure) cylinder expansion channels.

A Sentry G3 module is capable of implementing a range of measurement algorithms, for the PhaLai project one module hardware type was used to cover all channels (24 channels in a 3U x 19” footprint) drastically simplifying the customer spares holding. Another example of the system flexibility is the HP eccentricity interlock, the algorithm was loaded in to the module and configured to measure true peak to peak shaft eccentricity between speeds of 3RPM and 300RPM. The algorithm processes the signal with a 50-pole digital tracking filter when in this speed window to eliminate the effects caused by shaft imperfections. Above 300RPM a standard RMS technique is utilised up to the running speed of 3000RPM, similar to the standard shaft vibration measurement utilised on the other rotor sections, where the radial movement is monitored within the bearings.

A speed algorithm was loaded into the last channel to cover the measurement range of 0-4000 rpm, providing 2 alarms for over-speed of 10% and 16% in comparison with the rated speed; in addition this channel provides a phase marker output for harmonic analysis of the vibration signals.

Following the installation of the Sensonics system on the older Russian built turbine, engineers at the PhaLai plant have been very satisfied with the performance and as a result are keen to use Sensonics monitoring systems again in the future on other machines.

The completion of the retrofit at the Pha Lai Thermal Power Plant project in Vietnam is another example of continued success for Sensonics and underlines their commitment to developing the most effective solutions for vibration, position and speed monitoring for critical machine condition monitoring applications around the world.

Further details are available from: Jason Kingdom:

Sensonics Ltd
, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1442 876833. Fax: +44 (0) 1442 876477 Email: are not responsible for the content of submitted or externally produced articles and images.
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