Failure of last-stage turbine blades in a geothermal power plant
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This paper presents an investigation into causes of failure of geothermal steam turbine blades. Several L-0 blades of geothermal steam turbines of 110 MW capacity suffered failures, causing forced outages of the turbines. To assess the causes of failure, the natural frequencies of the blades installed on the rotor were measured in the laboratory. The measured frequencies were compared with the natural frequencies calculated through a finite-element analysis (FEA) of the blade. The FEA was also used to calculate the vibratory stresses on the blade numerically. Also, the investigation analyzed the operational data and the history of the blade failures on several rotors of different units from the same system. The results of previous repairs were reviewed, and metallurgical investigations were conducted to identify the mechanical and metallurgical modes of failure. The results of the investigation showed that the fracture of two blades was attributed to installation and manufacturing errors and aggravated by general deterioration of the blades. The deterioration was caused by the erosion and corrosion process that resulted from moisture condensation in the steam.
Keywordsblade fracture blade vibration corrosion erosion fatigue
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