Safety Critical: Testing Turbine Vibration Shutdown Alarms
Shaker Table Vibration Simulation Helps LG Protect Clients
The Modal Shop’s Portable Vibration Calibrator is considered “a real workhorse” by Dan Lincoln, Technician at LG Fuel Cells. “We’re really happy with it – a good investment.”
LG Fuel Cell Systems is developing reliable, durable fuel cells with low environmental impact, compact size, and minimal cost. These cells can be distributed near the point of load, reducing loss as compared to central power generation. Cells can be used in the auto industry, healthcare applications, water treatment, lighting, solar, and more. “We are building a fuel cell power plant. Part of that is reusing the energy in the heat to spin a turbo to get more power.” The Modal Shop’s Portable Vibration Calibrator is a critical tool in monitoring the safety of their system.
The Modal Shop’s Portable Vibration Calibrator was initially purchased by LG Fuel Cell Systems to verify accelerometers on their generators. They loved the ease of use and portability of the calibrator. Says Dan Lincoln, “We would take it out in the field and verify that … the entire system was correct all the way back to the data storage,” very quickly verifying “the entire system in one shot.”
As the group’s needs evolved, the calibrator was used in new ways. By consulting The Modal Shop’s excellent library of online video tutorials, the team found that set up for their new system was straightforward. LG Fuel Cell Systems now has confidence in their new air bearing turbo generators.
According to Lincoln, “[The new generator] does not have accelerometers. It does have proximity probes. It’s great because you have the adaptor kit [Proximity Probe Adaptor Kit Model 9100- PPA01]. We used that to verify the signal integrity from the prox probe all the way back again to the data storage.” Adapting to the new demands was easy because of the superior support from The Modal Shop. Setting up the calibrator to test his new Bently Nevada 200 mV/mil 330171 proximity probes went smoothly thanks to the video vault at www.modalshop.com/videos. There, he found clear and concise instructions on proximity probe calibration. “The online video tutorial was excellent. It made perfect sense and worked perfectly. That gave a lot of confidence in the measurements; this was a brand new thing we were setting up. It really has worked out well for us. “
The proximity probes provide a critical measurement. Proximity probe accuracy is essential to the safety of the plant. “We buy the assembly already built - already mounted on the housing. We can’t take them off, so we want to make sure the amount of movement in the real world correlates correctly back to the control room. To be able to go with the portable calibrator, we can emulate the movement in reality. We understand that what we see in the control room is real. It’s a safety thing. That’s your only feedback that the rotor is spinning where it should be spinning.” The calibrator makes these critical vibration field tests possible.
Overall, Lincoln is pleased with both the calibrator and the support from The Modal Shop. “You guys are great. I like working with you, and the online videos are very nice.” Now Lincoln’s group can rest assured that their customers can depend on their Fuel Cells.