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Forced Draft and Induced Draft Fan

Maintenance Guide

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Technical Report
Forced Draft and Induced Draft
Fan Maintenance Guide
1009651

Final Report, December 2004

EPRI Project Manager


M. Pugh

EPRI • 3412 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, California 94304 • PO Box 10412, Palo Alto, California 94303 • USA
800.313.3774 • 650.855.2121 • askepri@epri.com • www.epri.com
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITIES
THIS DOCUMENT WAS PREPARED BY THE ORGANIZATION(S) NAMED BELOW AS AN
ACCOUNT OF WORK SPONSORED OR COSPONSORED BY ELECTRICITY INNOVATION
INSTITUTE NEITHER ELECTRICITY INNOVATION INSTITUTE, ANY MEMBER OF ELECTRICITY
INNOVATION INSTITUTE, ANY COSPONSOR, THE ORGANIZATION(S) BELOW, NOR ANY
PERSON ACTING ON BEHALF OF ANY OF THEM:

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EPRI

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Copyright © 2004 Electricity Innovation Institute. All rights reserved.


CITATIONS

This report was prepared by

EPRI Fossil Maintenance Applications Center (FMAC)


1300 W.T. Harris Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28262

This report describes research sponsored by EPRI.

The report is a corporate document that should be cited in the literature in the following manner:

Forced Draft and Induced Draft Fan Maintenance Guide, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 2004. 1009651.

iii
REPORT SUMMARY

A continuous flow of air and combustible gases in fossil power plants is required to supply the
correct amount of combustion air and to remove the gaseous combustion products. This flow,
which passes through ducts, the boiler, heat exchangers, and flues and stacks, is created and
sustained by stacks and/or fans. In fossil stations, supply air fans are often referred to as forced
draft (FD) fans and are used to push air through the combustion air supply system into the
furnace. Some stations also use fans to move the gaseous combustion products through heat
exchanger surfaces to the stack. These are often referred to as induced draft (ID) fans.

Background
Reliability of this equipment is important to plant efficiency and availability, and maintenance of
these components becomes an important task for plant personnel. This issue ranked Number 1 in
the 2003 FMAC Maintenance Issues Survey and, because of this, FMAC plans to begin a project
to produce a guide that will address many of the common problems that members are facing with
this equipment. Maintenance issues that are most often cited include bearing and alignment
problems, lubrication, vibration problems (resulting from improper balancing or buildup of
deposits), and erosion and wear of blades from entrained particles. Also reported are problems
with dampers, particularly on flow control dampers.

Objectives
• To provide information on axial and centrifugal fans used for boiler draft service
• To assist fossil power plant maintenance personnel in troubleshooting and maintaining fans
• To provide routine and preventive maintenance guidance to assist in improving the reliability
of fans

Approach
In cooperation with interested FMAC members, a task group of utility engineers, equipment
suppliers, and industry experts was formed. This group identified key design and maintenance
issues facing plant personnel and provided input that was used in the preparation of the guidance
set forth in this report. Experience-proven practices and techniques were identified during this
effort and are summarized here for use by all power plant personnel.

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Results
This guide provides the user with an understanding of FD and ID fans, including elemental
component descriptions, common materials of construction, and typical applications. The scope
of the guide includes common applications and criteria for selection, failure modes and
troubleshooting guidance, condition monitoring and predictive maintenance techniques,
preventive maintenance strategies, recommendations on fan repair and inspection techniques,
and good installation practices, including “how to” information on important steps.

EPRI Perspective
The information contained in this guide represents a significant collection of technical
information, including techniques and good practices, related to the maintenance, monitoring,
and troubleshooting of this important piece of plant equipment. Industry knowledge from recent
experiences and improvements has been included in this report. Assembly of this information
provides a single point of reference for power plant personnel, both now and in the future.
Through the use of this guide, EPRI members should be able to significantly improve and
optimize their existing plant predictive, preventive, and corrective maintenance programs related
to this equipment. This will help members achieve increased reliability and availability at a
decreased cost.

Keywords
Plant maintenance
Plant operations
FD and ID fans
Fossil

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

FMAC would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their contributions during the
development of this report.

Mark Litzenger AmerenUE


Alan Parkinson AmerenUE
Arnold Van Geuns ESKOM
Scott Hall Salt River Project
Edward Weeks Salt River Project
Michael Stewart AmerenUE
Herman Kleynhans ESKOM
Ken Leung Hong Kong Electric
Imraan Dindar ESKOM
Travis Houn Great River Energy
Christopher Rauch AmerenUE
Ray Henry Sargent and Lundy
Petrus Kruger ESKOM
Robert Vihnicka Sargent and Lundy
Bala Gogineni Sargent and Lundy
Alan Grunsky EPRI

FMAC also acknowledges the following organizations for permitting the generous use of figures
and various materials from their literature and in-house resources and for reviewing and
providing valuable comments on this document.

Howden Buffalo – John Magill and Robin Flemming


Flatwoods – Jim Greenzweigs

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CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................1-1
1.1 Purpose ...........................................................................................................................1-1
1.2 Organization ....................................................................................................................1-1
1.3 Key Points .......................................................................................................................1-2

2 GLOSSARY OF TERMS ........................................................................................................2-1


2.1 Terms and Acronyms ......................................................................................................2-1
2.2 Conversions for Units Used in This Report .....................................................................2-3

3 TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION..................................................................................................3-1
3.1 Introduction .....................................................................................................................3-1
3.2 Fan Applications..............................................................................................................3-3
3.2.1 Induced Draft Fans ..................................................................................................3-3
3.2.2 Forced Draft Fans....................................................................................................3-3
3.2.3 Balanced Draft.........................................................................................................3-4
3.2.4 Cold Primary Air Fans .............................................................................................3-5
3.2.5 Hot Primary Air Fans ...............................................................................................3-5
3.2.6 Gas Recirculation Fans ...........................................................................................3-6
3.2.7 Number of Fans.......................................................................................................3-6
3.3 Fan Types .......................................................................................................................3-7
3.3.1 Centrifugal Fans ......................................................................................................3-7
3.3.2 Axial Fans..............................................................................................................3-13
3.4 Fan Drives .....................................................................................................................3-15
3.5 Fan Controls..................................................................................................................3-16
3.5.1 Centrifugal Fan Controls........................................................................................3-16
3.5.1.1 Inlet Vanes .....................................................................................................3-16
3.5.1.2 Inlet Dampers ................................................................................................3-17
3.5.1.3 Two-Speed Motors.........................................................................................3-18

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3.5.1.4 Fluid Drive......................................................................................................3-18


3.5.1.5 Variable-Speed Motors ..................................................................................3-19
3.5.1.6 Turbine-Driven Fans ......................................................................................3-19
3.5.2 Axial Fan Control ...................................................................................................3-20
3.5.2.1 Variable-Pitch Blades.....................................................................................3-20
3.5.2.2 Variable-Speed Drives ...................................................................................3-21
3.5.2.3 Variable Inlet Vanes.......................................................................................3-22
3.5.2.4 Cooling Fans..................................................................................................3-22
3.6 Other Components ........................................................................................................3-22
3.6.1 Bearings ................................................................................................................3-22
3.6.2 Lubrication Systems ..............................................................................................3-23
3.6.3 Turning Gear .........................................................................................................3-24
3.7 Fan Performance...........................................................................................................3-24
3.7.1 Axial Fan Performance ..........................................................................................3-28
3.7.2 Fan Pressure Definition .........................................................................................3-29
3.8 Selection of Fan Type ...................................................................................................3-32
3.9 Fan Requirements.........................................................................................................3-33
3.10 Fan Testing .................................................................................................................3-33
3.11 Operation ....................................................................................................................3-34
3.11.1 Prestart Checks ...................................................................................................3-34
3.11.2 Startup Procedures..............................................................................................3-34
3.11.2.2 Sequence of Steps for Startup.....................................................................3-35
3.11.3 Alarm Conditions to Monitor ................................................................................3-35
3.11.4 Operating Parameters to Monitor ........................................................................3-35
3.11.5 Emergency Actions..............................................................................................3-36
3.11.6 Fan Control..........................................................................................................3-36
3.11.6.1 Electric Motor Restrictions ...........................................................................3-37
3.11.7 Control of Vanes and Dampers ...........................................................................3-38
3.11.8 Fan Outlet Dampers ............................................................................................3-38
3.11.9 Stall Prevention for Axial Fans ............................................................................3-39
3.11.10 Draft Fan Shutdown...........................................................................................3-39
3.11.10.1 Controlled Shutdown..................................................................................3-40
3.11.10.2 Uncontrolled Shutdown..............................................................................3-40
3.11.11 Parallel Fan Operation.......................................................................................3-41

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3.12 National Standards......................................................................................................3-42

4 FAILURE MODES AND EFFECTS ANALYSIS .....................................................................4-1


4.1 Blades .............................................................................................................................4-6
4.2 Bearings ..........................................................................................................................4-7
4.3 Foundations ....................................................................................................................4-8
4.4 Inlet Vanes ......................................................................................................................4-9
4.5 Couplings ......................................................................................................................4-10
4.6 Hydraulic Actuating Mechanism ....................................................................................4-10
4.7 Electric Motors...............................................................................................................4-10
4.8 Hubs ..............................................................................................................................4-11
4.9 Housing .........................................................................................................................4-11
4.10 Turning Gears .............................................................................................................4-12
4.11 Shaft ............................................................................................................................4-12
4.12 Center Plate ................................................................................................................4-13
4.13 Inlet Dampers ..............................................................................................................4-13
4.14 Isolating Dampers .......................................................................................................4-13
4.15 Variable-Speed Drive ..................................................................................................4-14
4.16 Controls .......................................................................................................................4-14
4.17 Ductwork .....................................................................................................................4-14

5 TROUBLESHOOTING ...........................................................................................................5-1

6 CONDITION MONITORING ...................................................................................................6-1


6.1 Vibration Monitoring ........................................................................................................6-1
6.1.1 Parameters ..............................................................................................................6-1
6.1.1.1 Amplitude .........................................................................................................6-2
6.1.1.2 Frequency ........................................................................................................6-2
6.1.1.3 Phase Angle ....................................................................................................6-2
6.1.1.4 Vibration Form .................................................................................................6-2
6.1.1.5 Vibration Mode Shape .....................................................................................6-3
6.1.2 Vibration Analysis ....................................................................................................6-3
6.1.2.1 Amplitude Versus Frequency Analysis ............................................................6-3
6.1.2.2 Real-Time Spectrum Analysis..........................................................................6-4
6.1.2.3 Time Waveform Analysis .................................................................................6-4

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6.1.3 Proximity Probes .....................................................................................................6-5


6.1.4 Velocity Probes........................................................................................................6-6
6.1.5 Accelerometer Probes .............................................................................................6-7
6.1.6 Data Acquisition.......................................................................................................6-8
6.1.6.1 Machine Diagram.............................................................................................6-8
6.1.6.2 Tri-Axial Readings ...........................................................................................6-9
6.2 Oil Analysis ...................................................................................................................6-10
6.3 Nondestructive Examination..........................................................................................6-11
6.4 Infrared Thermography..................................................................................................6-11
6.5 Motor Current Analysis..................................................................................................6-11

7 MAINTENANCE .....................................................................................................................7-1
7.1 Developing a Preventive Maintenance Program .............................................................7-2
7.2 Basic Rules for Conducting Maintenance .......................................................................7-3
7.3 Periodic Maintenance Recommendations.......................................................................7-3
7.4 Component Maintenance ................................................................................................7-5
7.4.1 Bearings ..................................................................................................................7-6
7.4.1.2 Routine Maintenance Recommendations ........................................................7-7
7.4.1.2 Bearing Overhaul .............................................................................................7-8
7.4.2 Lubrication System ................................................................................................7-10
7.4.2.1 Routine Maintenance .....................................................................................7-10
7.4.2.2 Circulating Lube Oil System Overhaul ...........................................................7-10
7.4.3 Couplings...............................................................................................................7-12
7.4.3.1 Routine Maintenance Recommendations ......................................................7-12
7.4.3.2 Coupling Overhaul .........................................................................................7-13
7.4.3.3 Coupling Alignment........................................................................................7-14
7.4.4 Variable Inlet Vanes and Control Dampers ...........................................................7-15
7.4.4.1 Routine Maintenance .....................................................................................7-15
7.4.4.2 Inlet Vane Overhaul .......................................................................................7-15
7.4.5 Centrifugal Fan Wheels .........................................................................................7-16
7.4.5.1 Centrifugal Fan Wheel NDE...........................................................................7-18
7.4.5.2 Blades ............................................................................................................7-18
7.4.5.3 Center Plate/Side Plate .................................................................................7-21
7.4.6 Shaft ......................................................................................................................7-21
7.4.7 Hubs ......................................................................................................................7-22

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7.4.8 Structural Support System.....................................................................................7-22


7.4.8.1 Concrete Foundation .....................................................................................7-22
7.4.8.2 Repairing Concrete Foundations ...................................................................7-22
7.4.8.3 Surface Cleaning ...........................................................................................7-23
7.4.8.4 Crack Repair ..................................................................................................7-23
7.4.8.5 Anchor Bolts...................................................................................................7-24
7.4.8.5.1 Forces Affecting Anchor Bolts................................................................7-24
7.4.8.5.2 Proper Installation ..................................................................................7-24
7.4.9 Housing .................................................................................................................7-25
7.4.9.1 Housing..........................................................................................................7-25
7.4.9.2 Inlet Cones.....................................................................................................7-26
7.4.9.3 Fan Wheel Clearance ....................................................................................7-26
7.4.9.4 Access Plates/Doors......................................................................................7-28
7.4.10 Expansion Joints .................................................................................................7-28
7.4.11 Electric Motors.....................................................................................................7-29
7.4.11.1 Dirt ...............................................................................................................7-29
7.4.11.2 Moisture .......................................................................................................7-30
7.4.11.3 Friction .........................................................................................................7-30
7.4.11.4 Vibration.......................................................................................................7-30
7.4.11.5 Rotor Shaft End Play ...................................................................................7-31
7.4.12 Fluid Drives..........................................................................................................7-32
7.4.12.1 Routine Maintenance ...................................................................................7-32
7.4.12.2 Overhaul Fluid Drive ....................................................................................7-33
7.4.13 Turning Gear .......................................................................................................7-34
7.4.14 Hydraulic Supply System.....................................................................................7-35
7.4.15 Axial Fan Blade Adjustment System ...................................................................7-35
7.4.16 Axial Fan Blade Bearings ....................................................................................7-35
7.4.17 Axial Flow Fan Rotor Overhaul............................................................................7-36
7.5 Fan Wheel Balancing ....................................................................................................7-36
7.5.1 Size of the Balance Weight ...................................................................................7-38
7.5.2 Location of the Balance Weight.............................................................................7-38
7.5.3 Vibration Sensitivity ...............................................................................................7-38

8 SPECIAL MAINTENANCE TASKS........................................................................................8-1


8.1 Extended Shutdown ........................................................................................................8-1

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9 FAN UPGRADE OPTIONS ....................................................................................................9-1


9.1 Reasons for Fan Upgrade ...............................................................................................9-1
9.2 Tipping ............................................................................................................................9-1
9.3 Wheel Replacement ........................................................................................................9-2
9.4 Housing Modifications .....................................................................................................9-3
9.5 Coatings ..........................................................................................................................9-3

10 SAFETY..............................................................................................................................10-1
10.1 Rotating Equipment.....................................................................................................10-1
10.2 Confined Space...........................................................................................................10-1
10.3 Burn Hazards ..............................................................................................................10-1
10.4 Electrical......................................................................................................................10-1
10.5 Operation Testing........................................................................................................10-2
10.6 Cleaning Operations....................................................................................................10-2
10.7 Fan Movement ............................................................................................................10-2

11 TRAINING...........................................................................................................................11-1

12 REFERENCES ...................................................................................................................12-1

A CENTRIFUGAL FAN WHEEL INSPECTION AND REPAIR ................................................ A-1

B KEY POINT SUMMARY ....................................................................................................... B-2

C TRANSLATED TABLE OF CONTENTS .............................................................................. C-1


Français (French) ................................................................................................................. C-2

日本語 (Japanese) ............................................................................................................. C-12


Español (Spanish) ............................................................................................................. C-24

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 3-1 Boiler Air Flow Schematic.........................................................................................3-2


Figure 3-2 Section of a Centrifugal Fan .....................................................................................3-8
Figure 3-3 Cross-Section View of a Centrifugal Fan..................................................................3-9
Figure 3-4 Centrifugal Fan Components and Accessories ......................................................3-10
Figure 3-5 Typical Rotor with Forward Curved Blades for a Centrifugal Fan...........................3-11
Figure 3-6 Wheel Blade Types and Rotation (Viewed from the Drive End) .............................3-12
Figure 3-7 Centrifugal Fan Rotor Components ........................................................................3-13
Figure 3-8 Two-Stage Axial Fan Assembly..............................................................................3-14
Figure 3-9 Two-Stage Axial Fan Impeller ................................................................................3-14
Figure 3-10 Inlet Vane Control Assembly ................................................................................3-17
Figure 3-11 Variable-Pitch Axial Fan Components ..................................................................3-20
Figure 3-12 Sleeve Bearing Components................................................................................3-23
Figure 3-13 Typical Centrifugal Fan with Variable Inlet Vanes ................................................3-26
Figure 3-14 Typical Centrifugal Fan with Variable Inlet Vanes and Showing System
Curve................................................................................................................................3-27
Figure 3-15 Typical Centrifugal Fan with Speed Control .........................................................3-28
Figure 3-16 Performance Field for Variable-Pitch Axial Flow Fan ...........................................3-29
Figure 3-17 Fan Pressure Definitions ......................................................................................3-30
Figure 3-18 Fan Correction for Inlet Density ............................................................................3-31
Figure 4-1 Centrifugal Fan Housing Components ...................................................................4-12
Figure 7-1 Centrifugal Fan Wheel............................................................................................7-17
Figure 7-2 Wear and Erosion Protective Accessories .............................................................7-20
Figure 7-3 Cross-Section View of a Fan Illustrating Clearance Requirements Between
the Wheel Inlet and the Inlet Bell .....................................................................................7-26
Figure 7-4 Enlarged View of Figure 7-3 ...................................................................................7-27
Figure 7-5 Basic Block Diagram of a Hydraulic Regulating System ........................................7-32
Figure 9-1 Airfoil Blade with the Blade Tipped...........................................................................9-2
Figure A-1 Blade Map Example ................................................................................................ A-6
Figure A-2 Blade Map Example ................................................................................................ A-7
Figure A-3 Blade Map Example ................................................................................................ A-8
Figure A-4 Example of Undercut and Overlap ........................................................................ A-11
Figure A-5 Hand-Held Yoke Probe with Articulated Legs ....................................................... A-15

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Figure A-6 Orientation of an Articulated Yoke Probe to Produce Flux Lines at Right
Angles ............................................................................................................................. A-16
Figure A-7 Indications Are Consecutively Numbered and Circled .......................................... A-19
Figure A-8 Marking Multiple Indications.................................................................................. A-19

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LIST OF TABLES

Table 4-1 Summary of Centrifugal Fan Problem Areas .............................................................4-2


Table 4-2 Summary of Axial Fan Problem Areas.......................................................................4-3
Table 4-3 FD Fan Failure Data for U.S. Fossil Plants from 1982 Through 1995
(NERC/GADS Data) ...........................................................................................................4-4
Table 5-1 Fan Troubleshooting..................................................................................................5-1
Table 5-2 Bearing Troubleshooting............................................................................................5-3
Table 5-3 Lubrication System Troubleshooting .........................................................................5-4
Table 5-4 Hydraulic System Troubleshooting ............................................................................5-5
Table 5-5 Troubleshooting Noise Level .....................................................................................5-6
Table 5-6 Troubleshooting Fluid Drive.......................................................................................5-7
Table 5-7 Fan Performance Troubleshooting ............................................................................5-9
Table 7-1 Surveillance and Preventive Maintenance Frequencies ............................................7-3
Table A-1 Summary of Inspection Practices for Centrifugal Fan Wheels ................................. A-3
Table A-2 Percent of Fans Undergoing NDE .......................................................................... A-13
Table A-3 Typical Materials in Power Plant Fans ................................................................... A-25

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1
INTRODUCTION

Fired steam generators (that is, boilers) require large draft fans to move air into the furnace and
to remove the combustion products. Draft fans are primary auxiliaries that support boiler
operation for all types of fuel and firing methods. Draft fans are typically used in four principal
applications: forced draft (FD), primary air (PA), induced draft (ID), and gas recirculation (GR).
Other applications include booster fans and mill exhausters. This guide addresses FD and ID
fans, which are the largest and most common applications. The maintenance recommendations
for these fans are easily adapted for most other draft fan applications.

1.1 Purpose

This FD and ID fan maintenance guide provides information on axial and centrifugal fans used
for boiler draft service and is intended to assist fossil power plant maintenance personnel in
troubleshooting and maintaining fans. A discussion of fan characteristics and components that
serves as a reference for understanding the basics of fan performance and mechanical
construction is provided. Routine and preventive maintenance guidance is provided to aid in
improving the reliability of fans. A troubleshooting guide assists in diagnosing problems that
have been encountered in various fan failure reports. Data for this guide were obtained from
direct experience in fossil plants, industry surveys on failure reports, vendor input, and reviews
of plant literature and industry documentation.

1.2 Organization

The organization of this guide is as follows:

Section 1 is an introduction and discussion of the guide’s purpose and organization.

Section 2 is a glossary of items, definitions, and acronyms used in this guide.

Section 3 provides technical description, basic discussion of fan performance characteristics, and
the mechanical components.

Section 4 provides an analysis of failure modes and effects as well as failure data.

Section 5 provides guidance for troubleshooting and corrective actions.

Section 6 is a discussion of condition monitoring.

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Introduction

Section 7 provides guidance for preventive maintenance.

Section 8 includes recommendations for special maintenance tasks.

Section 9 presents upgrade options.

Section 10 provides recommendations for safety.

Section 11 provides training recommendations.

Section 11 is a list of references.

Appendix A discusses centrifugal fan wheel inspection and repair.

Appendix B provides a list of all the key points indicated in the guide.

1.3 Key Points

Throughout this guide, key information is summarized in “Key Points.” Key Points are bold-
lettered boxes that succinctly restate information covered in detail in the surrounding text,
making the key points easier to locate.

The primary intent of a Key Point is to emphasize information that will allow individuals to take
action for the benefit of their plant. The information included in these Key Points was selected
by Fossil Maintenance Applications Center (FMAC) personnel, the consultants, and utility
personnel that prepared this guide.

The Key Points are organized according to three categories: Operation and Maintenance (O&M)
Costs, Technical, and Human Performance. Each category has an identifying icon, as shown
below, to draw attention to it when quickly reviewing the guide.

Appendix B contains a listing of all of the key points in each category. The listing restates each
key point and provides reference to its location in the body of the report. By reviewing this
listing, users of this guide can determine whether they have taken advantage of key information
that the writers of the guide believe would benefit their plants.

Key O&M Cost Point


Emphasizes information that will result in reduced purchase, operating, or
maintenance costs.

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Introduction

Key Technical Point


Targets information that will lead to improved equipment reliability.

Key Human Performance Point


Denotes information that requires personnel action or consideration in order to
prevent injury or damage or ease completion of the task.

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2
GLOSSARY OF TERMS

2.1 Terms and Acronyms

ABMA American Boiler Manufacturers Association

acfm actual cubic feet per minute

AMCA Air Movement and Control Association, Inc.

ASM American Society for Metals

ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials

AWS American Welding Society

BTS Blade tip speed

cfm cubic feet per minute

EPRI Electric Power Research Institute

FD Forced draft

FMAC Fossil Maintenance Applications Center

fpm feet per minute

FSP Fan static pressure

FTP Fan total pressure

FVP Fan velocity pressure

GADS Generating Availability Data System

GR Gas recirculating

HAZ Heat-affected zone

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Glossary of Terms

hp Horsepower

ID Induced draft

ksi kips per square inch

MT Magnetic particle testing

MTBF Mean time between failures

NDE Nondestructive examination

NEMA National Electrical Manufacturers Association

NERC North American Electric Reliability Council

NFPA National Fire Protection Association

O&M Operation and maintenance

PA Primary air

PM Preventive maintenance

psi pound(s) per square inch

psig pound(s) per square inch, gauge

PWHT Post-weld heat treatment

SCR Selective catalytic reduction

SMAW Shielded metal arc welding

SPR Static pressure rise

SSS Structural support system

UT Ultrasonic test

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Glossary of Terms

VT Visual test

WG Water gauge

WMP Wet fluorescent magnetic particle (test)

WR2 Moment of inertia

2.2 Conversions for Units Used in This Report

°C = (°F – 32) x 5/9

1 hp = 746 W

1 lb = 0.45 kg

1 lb/ft3 = 16 kg/m3

1 psi(g)= 6.9 kPa

1 in. = 25.4 mm

1 fpm = 0.30 mpm

1 ft = 0.3 m

1 in2 = 6.45 cm2

1 ft-lb = 1.35 joules

1 ksi = 6.9 MPa

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3
TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION

3.1 Introduction

A fan is a device that produces a flow of gas by the movement of a surface. As used in this
guide, a fan is defined as a turbo machine with a rotating impeller enclosed in a casing.

Fans are similar to compressors; the difference is that fans create a flow of gas whereas
compressors increase the pressure of the gas. To increase a flow, fans must increase the pressure
of the gas and compressors must create a flow. In the past, there were specific criteria defining
the difference between fans and compressors. For example, the 1946 edition of ASME PTC-11,
“Performance Test Code for Fans,” defines a fan as providing a compression ratio of 1.1 or a
density change of 7%. ISO 5801 defines the upper limit of fans as a pressure increase of 120
inches Wg (30 kPa). ASME PTC-10, “Performance Test Code on Compressors and Exhausters,”
states that compressors are usually intended to produce considerable density change. The choice
of whether a device is a fan or a compressor is not regulated or standardized.

Draft fans provide one or a combination of the following functions in a boiler:


• Supply air required for combustion
• Remove products of combustion
• Deliver fuel to the burners
• Circulate the gases for better heat transfer

In addition, the fan selected must be adequate for the required duty with regard to air volume,
static pressure, horsepower, and noise. Discussion of these topics follows.

Figure 3-1 is a typical schematic of air and gas flow through a boiler.

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Figure 3-1
Boiler Air Flow Schematic

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3.2 Fan Applications

3.2.1 Induced Draft Fans

ID fans move the combustion flue gas through the boiler, air heater, and precipitator or the
baghouse, scrubber, and chimney to the atmosphere. They are a major component of a fossil-
fired plant and typically consume approximately 2% of the gross electrical output.

ID fans have the largest design margins of any major equipment in a fossil-fueled power plant.
The margins are typically 15% on flow, 30% on head, and 25°F on temperature. The large
margins are intended to allow for the following:
• Uncertainty in determining system requirements
• Allowance for wear
• Operating flexibility
• Allowance for pluggage and leakage
• Air infiltration

Even with these large margins, it is not uncommon for the ID fans to be the limiting factor on the
output of a coal-fired unit. ID fans are included in the top 25 causes of fossil plant outages and
are responsible for approximately 2% of the total outages of fossil-fired units.

The temperature of gas to be handled by the ID fan is based on the calculated unit performance at
maximum boiler load. Temperature affects fan performance, and thus, a margin on temperature
should be included to allow for variations in operation.

Key Technical Point


Temperature affects fan performance, and thus, a margin on temperature should
be included to allow for variations in operation.

3.2.2 Forced Draft Fans

FD fans provide combustion air for boilers. The FD fan inlet is open to the atmosphere and
discharges through air preheating coils, an air heater into the boiler windbox, and finally through
the burners into the furnace.

In pulverized coal-fired boilers, approximately one-third of the combustion air is PA that is used
to transport the pulverized coal to the burners. Some boiler designs use PA fans, which may take
suction from the atmosphere and operate in parallel with the FD fans or may take suction from
the FD fan discharge and operate in series with the FD fans. The PA fan application is similar to
the FD fan; therefore, the description, problem area, and maintenance requirements described for

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FD fans are essentially the same for PA fans. Other boiler designs use mill exhausters that take
the air and pulverized coal mixture from the mill outlet and transport the mixture to the burners.
Because of the erosive nature of the pulverizer coal-air mixture, mill exhausters have a very
different application than the FD, ID, or PA fans and are not addressed in this guide.

For pressurized units without ID fans, the FD fan is sized for the entire system to the stack or to
the pollution control system.

FD fans for coal-fired plants rank close behind ID fans as the cause of outages. The causes of FD
fan failures are similar to those for ID fans. The FD fans for a coal-fired plant consume
approximately 0.7% of the gross electrical output.

The design margins on FD fans are typically smaller than the margins on ID fans but still larger
than on other major equipment. Margins of 15% on flow and 30% on head at the maximum
expected ambient temperature are common.

FD fans are normally equipped with sound trunks (inlet boxes) for noise attenuation. When
specifying FD fans, pressure loss through the silencers (if they are provided) must be taken into
consideration. An alternative method of noise attenuation is using a fan room. This involves the
use of open inlet FD fans located in a specially designed room with acoustical baffles for air
entry.

Key Technical Point


When specifying FD fans, pressure loss through the silencers (if they are
provided) must be taken into consideration.

3.2.3 Balanced Draft

The balanced draft system uses both an FD fan system and an ID fan system to move air through
the boiler.

FD fans on a balanced draft boiler must have the necessary volume output of air required for
combustion, plus air heater losses and discharge pressure high enough to equal the total
resistance of air ducts, air heater, burners, and any other resistance between fan discharge and the
furnace.

ID fans in a balanced draft boiler move the gaseous products of combustion over convection
heating surfaces, pollution control system(s), plus the gas passages between the furnace and
stack.

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The weight of gas to be handled by the ID fan is the sum of the following:
• Theoretical air for combustion
• Excess air required at burner
• Infiltration
• Leakage air-to-gas through the air heater

The draft to be provided by the fan is determined by losses through the following boiler
components:
• Furnace
• Boiler and superheater
• Economizer
• Selective catalytic reduction (SCR)
• Air heater
• Precipitator or baghouse
• Ductwork
• Flue gas desulfurization system (scrubber)
• Stack

For fan design, safety margins are added to the net weight requirement, net draft requirement,
and gas temperature.

3.2.4 Cold Primary Air Fans

Cold primary air fans take ambient air and discharge it through the air heater, where the air is
heated up to 650ºF (the actual temperature depends on the moisture content of the coal), and then
into the pulverizers—where it is used to dry, heat, and convey the pulverized coal to the burners.
This system is used on large boilers where fans are installed in parallel in order to service a bank
of pulverizers.

3.2.5 Hot Primary Air Fans


Hot primary air fans take heated air from the air heater and blow it into the pulverizers where it
is used to dry, heat, and convey the pulverized coal to the burners.

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3.2.6 Gas Recirculation Fans

A gas recirculation system performs either or both of the following functions:


• Controls steam temperature over a wide boiler load range. To accomplish steam temperature
control, a portion of the flue gas from the economizer outlet is introduced in the lower part of
the furnace by means of a suitable fan and ducts. This is known as gas recirculation.
• Controls furnace gas temperature when a portion of the flue gas from the economizer outlet
is recirculated to the furnace outlet. This is called gas tempering and may be used to control
NOX.

The volume requirements of the gas recirculating fan are determined by the amount of
recirculation necessary to obtain the required steam temperature. Maximum flow can occur at
either full boiler load or some reduced boiler load point, depending on boiler design. The gas
recirculation fan must be sized so its pressure capability will always exceed the pressure
differential developed by the boiler; otherwise, backflow of high-temperature furnace gas will
result through the fan, with serious consequences.

Radial tip blade fans (see Figure 3-6) can be applied for gas recirculation duty, but the straight
blade fan may be needed where high concentrations of fly ash will be encountered, depending on
the ash properties. Inlet dampers are the principal means of accomplishing volume control.

3.2.7 Number of Fans

One of the major design decisions for a fan system is the number of fans. The factors to be
considered in selecting the number of fans are initial cost, operation and maintenance (O&M)
costs, flexibility of operation, and reliability.

When evaluating initial cost, the cost of motors, ductwork, insulation, control equipment,
electrical equipment, and foundations must be considered in addition to the cost of the fans. The
fewest number of fans usually results in the lowest initial cost.

Key O&M Cost Point


The fewest number of fans usually results in the lowest initial cost.

Operating cost usually decreases as the number of fans increases. Fans usually have their highest
efficiency near their design points. At lower loads, some of the fans can be shut off in a system
with more fans. The remaining fans will then operate closer to their design points and, therefore,
more efficiently. An important parameter for evaluating operating cost is the projected loading
schedule for the generating unit. The variation in operating cost with the number of fans will be
less for a unit that operates at or near full load most of the time than for a unit that operates at
lower loads. Maintenance cost increases as the number of fans increases.

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It is difficult to assign cost values to the differences in reliability and flexibility of operation with
different numbers of fans. It is also difficult to assign a cost value to plant arrangement. Plant
arrangements can be improved by reducing the number of fans. For these reasons, the selection
of the number of fans is not a straightforward economic evaluation.

In addition to the factors discussed above, practical aspects should also be considered. For
centrifugal fans, because of fan size limitations, the maximum unit size for which two ID fans
can be used is approximately 700 MW. The same number of FD and ID fans is usually selected
to simplify operation of the fans.

The trend in the power industry has been to use two FD and two ID fans up to approximately 700
MW. Above this size, it is not practical to build ID fans that are large enough to use two fans. In
recent years, this concept has been challenged, and units with one FD and one ID fan have been
built up to a limit of 500 MW. Obviously, the cost for one fan and motor is less than for two, but
the bulk of the savings comes from the reduced number of ducts as well as capital costs.

The number of ID fans can have an effect on unit availability. Many owners believe that two fans
will provide better availability than one. However, with two fans, the probability of a fan failure
is roughly twice that for one fan, but the impact of a failure is approximately one-half. Thus, the
equivalent availability is about the same. There is not a large enough database of boilers with
single FD and ID fans to verify this probability, but statistical studies (using the NERC-GADS
database) of boiler feed pumps verify this theory. A boiler with one full-size boiler feed pump
has more full forced outages than units with two 50% capacity pumps but fewer forced deratings.
The overall equivalent availability of one full-size feed pump is slightly higher than two half-size
pumps.

On large units with four ID fans, the unit will probably be capable of operating at full load with
three fans under normal operating conditions. Thus, the unit will essentially have an installed
spare, which should result in improved availability.

3.3 Fan Types


Fans are a type of turbo machinery that transfers energy to air in order to increase pressure to
induce flow. They are usually classified by the direction of flow through the impeller. The two
types used in boiler draft applications are centrifugal fans, where the flow is radially outward,
and axial fans, where the flow is axial along the fan shaft. Centrifugal fans are sometimes
referred to as radial fans.

3.3.1 Centrifugal Fans


The centrifugal fan produces movement by throwing air off the blades in a radial direction by
means of centrifugal force. The air or gas enters the inlet boxes and travels through the inlet
vanes into the spinning fan wheel and then discharges through the scroll outlet, which is
perpendicular to the fan shaft. Centrifugal fans are available with and without inlet boxes and
with single or double inlets. The flow through the fan is controlled with inlet dampers or
variable-pitch inlet vanes. Figure 3-2 is a photograph of a cut-out section of a centrifugal fan.

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Figure 3-2
Section of a Centrifugal Fan
(Courtesy of Howden Buffalo, Inc.)

Figures 3-3 and 3-4 illustrate the cross-sectional view of various parts of a typical centrifugal
fan.

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Figure 3-3
Cross-Section View of a Centrifugal Fan

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Figure 3-4
Centrifugal Fan Components and Accessories
(Courtesy of Howden Buffalo, Inc.)

A typical rotor for a centrifugal fan is shown in Figure 3-5.

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Figure 3-5
Typical Rotor with Forward Curved Blades for a Centrifugal Fan
(Courtesy of Howden Buffalo, Inc.)

Centrifugal fans are available with the following various blade profiles, as shown in Figure 3-6:
• Airfoil backward inclined
• Flat bladed backward inclined
• Radial tip
• Straight radial
• Forward curved

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Figure 3-6
Wheel Blade Types and Rotation (Viewed from the Drive End)

In most power plant applications where the fans will handle clean air or clean gas, the highly
efficient backward inclined airfoils are the preferred design. In an application where the fan is
subject to erosion due to heavy dust loading, a straight radial type fan provides erosion
resistance, but at the expense of efficiency.

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The airfoil centrifugal fan is the most frequently applied fan for forced draft duty because of its
inherently high efficiency, low noise, stable performance, and steep rising pressure curve. These
features ensure good operation, particularly when fans are operating in parallel. Forced draft
service tends to be a good application for axial fans. The parts of a typical centrifugal fan rotor
are shown in Figure 3-7.

Figure 3-7
Centrifugal Fan Rotor Components

3.3.2 Axial Fans

Axial fans produce movement of air along their axis or in an axial direction. Axial fans are
offered in single- and two-stage models. They are available with fixed-pitch and variable-pitch
blading. The variable-pitch fan is more sophisticated and efficient than the fixed-pitch fan.

Figures 3-8 and 3-9 illustrate sectional views through a two-stage axial fan. Air or gas enters
through a single inlet box where it makes a 90-degree turn through straightening vanes, passes
through the impellers, and exits through the diffuser section.

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Figure 3-8
Two-Stage Axial Fan Assembly

Figure 3-9
Two-Stage Axial Fan Impeller

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Where higher pressures are necessary, two-stage fans may be required. Two-stage fans are
offered for large-capacity induced draft service. A brief description of each of the main
components of the axial fan follows.

Rotor Hub. The rotor hub is the major component of an axial fan. The hub serves as the
retaining ring for the blades and their bearings and as the housing and protective cover for the
blade-actuating mechanism.

Blade Shaft Bearings. Blade shaft bearings are used to transfer the centrifugal force from the
blades to the fan hub.

Main Shaft and Main Shaft Bearings. In the axial fan, the main shaft does not carry large loads
over long spans between bearings as in a centrifugal fan. The rotating masses are low, and the
bearings are located close to the rotor. The shafts, therefore, are small in diameter and relatively
inexpensive in comparison to the large-diameter, long, forged steel shafts required for centrifugal
fans.

Blades. Various materials are used for axial fan blades. For forced draft service, relatively
inexpensive cast aluminum blades are generally used. For induced draft service, where high wear
resistance is required, ductile iron, cast steel, cast steel with hardened surfaces, or forged
aluminum blades with stainless steel inserts are available. Blade material selection is influenced
by the blade velocity and the size and hardness of the dust particles.

In induced draft service, if the fans are operated for long periods with precipitators performing at
low efficiencies, excessive blade wear will occur no matter what blade material is used. This is
true for either type of fan. In the axial fan, however, a worn set of blades can be replaced in a few
shifts. In the centrifugal fan, days of welding and balancing may be required to repair the fan.

Axial flow fans are more complicated than centrifugal fans but have the advantage, in most
cases, of higher efficiency over a wider load range.

3.4 Fan Drives

Electric motors are normally used for fan drives because they are less expensive and more
efficient than any other type of drive. For fans of more than a few horsepower, squirrel-cage
induction motors are more widely used. This type of motor is relatively inexpensive, reliable,
and highly efficient over a wide load range. It is frequently used in large sizes with a hydraulic
coupling for variable-speed installations.

Two-speed ac electric motors can be used in conjunction with inlet vanes to obtain slightly
higher efficiencies at lower loads. This arrangement has a higher initial cost and is less reliable
than a single-speed motor and inlet vanes. Variable-speed motors are the optimum type of drive

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for centrifugal fans. They allow the fan to operate near its peak efficiency over the entire load
range; controllability is good, and fan erosion is substantially reduced at lower speeds. Recent
developments in variable-speed motors make them an excellent choice for centrifugal fans,
although the high initial cost of variable-speed motors is not justified in all applications.

Steam turbines have higher initial and maintenance costs and are less reliable but do provide a
variable-speed drive. Steam turbines are not competitive with electric motors for fan drives.

3.5 Fan Controls

3.5.1 Centrifugal Fan Controls

As the load on a boiler varies, the pressure and flow requirements from the fans in the system
vary. The most widely used methods to control centrifugal fans are by means of inlet vanes and
variable-speed drives.

3.5.1.1 Inlet Vanes

Inlet vanes introduce a swirl to the flow entering a fan. This changes the angle of attack between
the flow and the fan blade and effectively changes the fan characteristics. Inlet vane control has a
low initial cost, is a simple method of control, and is very common for ID fans. Figure 3-10 is an
illustration of an inlet vane control assembly. The major disadvantage of inlet vanes is poor
efficiency at lower loads. Inlet vanes are subject to erosion if ash concentrations are high. The
vane linkage and bearings can bind or become damaged if they are located in the gas stream.
Therefore, these components should be located outside the fan inlet housing, where inspection
and maintenance can be performed without entering the fan. The duct connections at the fan inlet
or outlet should be flexible to isolate the fan from duct expansion and vibration. The duct should
be separately anchored and not supported by the fan.

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Figure 3-10
Inlet Vane Control Assembly

Inlet vane control is more efficient than inlet damper control because inlet vanes use part of the
pressure head loss to accelerate the incoming gas in the direction of wheel rotation.

To optimize system performance, an operator should perform the following:


• Operate with all dampers fully open in order to limit pressure head losses. (Vane position
should be set based on the load requirement.)
• Watch for control or mechanical problems that will cause vane flutter.
• Manually position the inlet vane control during initial startup to avoid pressure excursions.
• Ensure that shut-off dampers are closed tightly to provide air/gas seal before startup; this
limits the inertia acceleration load on the motor.

3.5.1.2 Inlet Dampers

Inlet dampers control air flow by introducing a swirl in the flow and pressure drop. Inlet dampers
have a low initial cost, are simple, and are not as prone to erosion as inlet vanes. The control
linkage on inlet dampers is simpler than that for inlet vanes and can be located completely
outside the duct. However, system pressure pulsations are more common with inlet dampers than
inlet vanes. Inlet dampers can create vortices in the inlet boxes or around the fan shaft. The
biggest disadvantage of inlet dampers is their low efficiency at low loads.

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3.5.1.3 Two-Speed Motors

The fan selection with two-speed motors is the same as with inlet vane control or inlet damper
control. The fans for two-speed motors are often sized so that the fan can operate on low speed at
full load and at normal operating temperature. The high speed provides the design margin.

Operators at some plants with two-speed ID fan motors do not change the motor speed while the
unit is operating. This is usually based on their past experience, when the unit has tripped
because of furnace pressure excursions that occur when speeds are changed. This problem can be
overcome by a careful design of the control system and requires a review of the damper or vane
control response, the allowable furnace pressure limits, and the time it takes for the motor to
change speed.

3.5.1.4 Fluid Drive

Fluid drive is a method of varying the fan speed for flow control. The fan selection is essentially
the same as the inlet damper alternative, except that a fluid drive is located between the motor
and the fan to control the fan speed. Inlet dampers are typically used in addition to the fluid drive
to increase the speed of response to avoid furnace pressure excursions during transients. The use
of the dampers for control during normal operation is typical but can be eliminated in most
installations. Using speed control with the dampers full open can result in a significant power
savings (200 hp on a 6000-hp fan) with only minor modifications.

Speed control allows the fan to operate near peak efficiency over the entire load range. However,
the fluid drive has a maximum efficiency of approximately 95%, and it decreases at lower
speeds. The combined efficiency of the fan and fluid drive is slightly lower than inlet vane
control at full load, but it is higher at lower loads. The major disadvantage of a fluid drive is the
high initial cost, which is approximately the same as that of the fan.

Fluid drive control provides better overall efficiency than inlet vane configuration. To optimize
system performance for a fluid drive system, the operator should perform the following:
1. Start the motor under a no-load condition (that is, ensure that the fluid coupling is empty and
the inlet vane or damper is closed). This will limit the inertia acceleration load on the motor
by accelerating the inertia of the fan to its running speed at a controllable rate.
2. Verify that all shut-off dampers (that is, non-control dampers) are fully open before startup to
prevent pressure head losses.
3. Do not use louver dampers or inlet vanes as flow control devices to throttle the fan output
volume in a system that was backfitted with a fluid drive. This will cause energy losses. The
control system should be tuned to allow a variable-speed drive to have control with the
dampers in the fully open position for a given flow range.
4. Watch for control or mechanical problems that could cause the system to hunt from one point
to another.

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3.5.1.5 Variable-Speed Motors

Variable-speed motors are directly connected to the fan. The speed of the motor is continuously
variable from approximately 10% up to the full speed. Synchronous or induction motors can be
used with variable frequency drives, and the frequency of the power to the motor is controlled by
an electronic system. The incoming ac power is converted to adjustable voltage dc power by a
thyristor. The adjustable dc power is connected to an inverter, which converts it to an adjustable
ac power output.

Speed control is the optimum method of controlling centrifugal fans. The system resistance for
ID service, and most FD fan service, is essentially a square curve. Because fan efficiency is
essentially constant over similar flow-head squared curves, a variable-speed fan can operate near
its best efficiency over the entire load range. Also, the control is stable down to essentially zero
flow. Fans with variable-speed motors do not require a turning gear because the main motor can
operate at the turning gear speed for extended periods.

3.5.1.6 Turbine-Driven Fans

Turbine-driven ID fans have been studied by architect-engineers and turbine manufacturers, but
very few have been installed. The advantage of turbine-driven fans is the improved plant heat
rate. Based on previous studies, the capital cost of turbine-driven fans is considerably more than
the cost for centrifugal fans with variable-speed motors.

In most cases, turbine-driven ID fans do not result in a fuel cost savings over ID fans with
variable-speed motors. The efficiency of a turbine drive is typically 81%, which is less than the
main turbine efficiency of 88%. For a motor-driven fan, the efficiencies of the main generator
(98%), transmission (98%), and motor (95%) result in an overall efficiency approximately the
same as that of turbine-driven fans.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for explosion prevention require that
a master fuel trip shall not trip the fans. To meet this requirement, an auxiliary steam source,
such as a cross connection to a second unit or an auxiliary boiler on continuous standby, would
be required with turbine-driven fans. The costs for this auxiliary source would have to be added
to the estimated costs above.

Turbine drives are less reliable than motor drives. Because the availability of variable-speed
motors—including the associated electrical equipment—is higher than that of turbine drives,
turbine drives are not recommended for ID fans.

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3.5.2 Axial Fan Control

Axial flow fans can be controlled by using variable-pitch blades, inlet vanes, or variable-speed
drives.

In a variable-pitch axial fan, blade adjustment levers are located within the hub and are actuated
hydraulically. Variable-pitch axial fans respond quickly and smoothly to system demand
changes. Variable-speed axial fans are not normally used because variable-pitch axial fans are
lower in cost and achieve similar efficiency.

3.5.2.1 Variable-Pitch Blades

Axial fans can be controlled by varying the blade pitch or speed or by using variable inlet vanes.
Either varying the blade pitch or using variable inlet vanes controls the flow by operating on the
same principle as do variable inlet vanes on a centrifugal fan. Varying the blade pitch is more
efficient than using variable inlet vanes because the flow resistance of the vanes is absent.
Variable-pitch blades can provide efficiency as high as that of variable-speed control over most
of the load range for a lower initial cost. Variable-pitch blades are the most common method of
control; variable inlet vanes are used occasionally, and variable-speed control is rare. Figure 3-11
shows the components of a variable-pitch axial fan.

Figure 3-11
Variable-Pitch Axial Fan Components

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The most common blade actuation system for variable-pitch axial fans is a hydraulic system with
a rotating union between the rotating and stationary parts. A critical design area of variable-pitch
axial fans is the blade thrust bearings. These bearings experience very little movement and loads
in excess of 100,000 pounds. Also, the shaft rotation acts as a centrifuge that separates particles
out of the bearing lubricant and separates the lubricant if it is a mixture of elements of different
densities. Ball bearings are accepted as the best type of bearing for this application.

The impeller blade adjustment system is made up of a stationary servomechanism, rotating seal,
and rotating piston rod. Alignment between the servomechanism and rotating piston rod is
maintained by antifriction-type bearings. This unit provides a transition between the non-rotating
regulating levers and the rotating piston rod; and the servomechanism’s pilot valve transforms a
mechanical input signal from the regulating lever to a hydraulic signal. This hydraulic signal, in
turn, is received by the hydraulic cylinder in the rotor assembly.

The impeller blade adjustment system provides interface between the lever assembly and the
rotor assembly. The impeller blade adjustment system receives its input signals from the boiler
control system through an electric actuator (located outside the axial fan housing) and the
hydraulic supply system. A clevis arm provides a mechanical link between the lever and the
servo. Lever motion is translated into the clevis arm moving axially. The clevis arm’s motion
causes three oil ports inside the servo to close or open in a specific sequence in order to allow oil
to flow to or from the hydraulic supply system. Oil movement determines which side of the
hydraulic cylinder is under pressure, ultimately resulting in movement of the blades to an
ordered position.

In some applications, a combined lube oil/hydraulic supply system is used to provide oil that
both lubricates main fan bearings and provides pressurized hydraulic oil to serve as the working
medium to vary the blade pitch.

Basic components of the hydraulic oil system include primary and secondary pumps, heat
exchangers (either air- or water-cooled type), reservoir, instrumentation (such as pressure
switches, temperature switches, gauges, and alarms), supportive piping, and isolation valves.

3.5.2.2 Variable-Speed Drives

It is possible to have fixed pitch blades with an axial fan and control the fan using a variable-
speed drive. Although the arrangement would be slightly more efficient at low flow rates than a
variable-pitch blade axial flow fan, the cost would be higher. Variable-speed axial flow fans are
therefore rarely used in boiler draft applications.

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3.5.2.3 Variable Inlet Vanes

This alternative has fixed blades and variable inlet vanes. The inlet vanes change the angle of
attachment between the flow and the blades, similar to the effect of inlet vanes on a centrifugal
fan. The design is less complicated than the variable-pitch blade design but is also considerably
less efficient. Fixed blade axial fans have most of the disadvantages of variable-pitch blade axial
fans without the advantage of high efficiency.

3.5.2.4 Cooling Fans

All the bearings (that is, main shaft bearings and blade bearings) in an axial flow fan are inside a
fairing inside the fan. For an ID fan or any other hot air or gas service, an external cooling fan is
used to provide cool, clean air to pressurize and cool the main shaft bearings and vibration
probes.

3.6 Other Components

3.6.1 Bearings

Two general types of bearings used in draft fan applications are rolling contact and sliding
contact. Both types, depending on the application, can be designed to support axial or radial
loads.

Both centrifugal and axial fans can use either ball or roller bearings; however, ball and roller
bearings are more common on axial fans. Sliding contact bearings are more common on
centrifugal fans. Ball and roller bearings consist of four major components:
• Outer race
• Inner race
• Rolling elements
• Spacer for the rolling elements

A sliding contact type bearing known as a journal or sleeve bearing is used extensively on
centrifugal draft fans and some axial fans. This type of bearing is made up of four parts: journal,
upper and lower sleeves, and (where required) thrust collars and oil rings. A journal bearing can
be further categorized as a fixed or floating type, depending on whether the axial movement of
the shaft is allowed. Fixed bearings can have either one or two thrust collars. Floating-type
bearings are used to allow for thermal growth in center-hung fans and are installed at the
opposite end of the fan motor. A typical sleeve bearing is shown in Figure 3-12.

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Figure 3-12
Sleeve Bearing Components

3.6.2 Lubrication Systems

Various techniques are used to provide oil to fan and motor bearings. Static lubrication in which
each bearing has a fixed supply of oil in their sumps is very common. This method is simple and
very cost-effective; however, it relies on operator vigilance to detect low oil levels or poor oil
quality. Use of temperature sensors to provide remote warning to the control room operators, in
case of a hot bearing, offers added protection for this method. A gear pump attached to the input
shaft of the driver is a second method used to provide lube oil to fan and motor bearings. A third
method, the use of fluid drives to supply oil to the bearings, is also used on some fans. A fourth
method involves the use of a dedicated circulating lube oil system.

Two variations of this system involve the use of a forced lubricating oil system in which oil is
supplied to the bearings under pressure. The second variation involves the use of a circulating oil
system, which supplies oil to the bearing sump; oil rings then move the oil to the bearing surface.
The latter variation is the one used most often.

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3.6.3 Turning Gear

Turning gears are sometimes installed with ID or gas recirculating fans where exposure to high-
temperature flue gas (while the fan is idle) could result in warping or thermal growth of fan
internals. Once a fan is stopped and the inlet and outlet dampers are closed, a fixed volume of hot
flue gases remains inside the fan housing. As these hot gases cool down, a natural temperature
gradient forms. Consequently, the fan rotor cools unevenly. The result is thermal distortion,
which causes the fan shaft to bow upwards in the center. It is interesting to note that many
mistakenly believe that the shaft sags under the weight of the wheel.

A thermally distorted fan wheel will cause vibration when the fan is restarted because the fan is
out of balance due to the distortion. Power stations may choose any one of three solutions to
resolve vibration caused by thermal growth. One approach involves starting the fan and
accepting the accompanying vibrations. Over a period of time, the fan rotor geometry is restored
as a consequence of the rotor becoming evenly heated once again. The second approach involves
the operator’s initiating a series of start-stop cycles to allow the fan wheel temperature to balance
out. As with the first approach, high vibration becomes an accepted condition. This, however, in
addition to exposing the fans to low cycle stresses, makes this option even less attractive. The
third approach involves the installation of a turning gear. A turning gear consists of a small
motor, a reduction gear, and an overrunning clutch. The turning gear is used to keep the fan rotor
turning at a slow speed (approximately 60 to 90 rpm) when the fan is hot but not operating. This
provides an optimum solution to prevent thermal distortion.

The design speed of the turning gear is critical. Most centrifugal fans have sleeve bearings that
have a minimum speed. Below the minimum speed, the oil film between the journal and the
sleeve is not adequate to prevent metal-to-metal contact, and the bearing will be damaged. The
turning gear should be designed to operate above the minimum bearing speed (usually 60 to 90
rpm). The bearing manufacturer should be consulted to determine the minimum speed.

Key Technical Point


The design speed of the turning gear is critical. Most centrifugal fans have sleeve
bearings that have a minimum speed. Below the minimum speed, the oil film
between the journal and the sleeve is not adequate to prevent metal-to-metal
contact, and the bearing will be damaged.

3.7 Fan Performance

Because boiler draft fans are among the highest auxiliary power consumers in the plant, the
performance of the fans is important for efficient plant performance. Deficiencies in fan
performance can cause a load limitation on plant output. In many coal-fired plants, the ID fans
are the limiting factor on plant electrical output. Although the ID fans may be the apparent cause
of a load limit, in many cases the root cause is high air heater leakage, air heater pluggage, high
gas temperatures, precipitator infiltration, or something similar.

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Key Technical Point


In many coal-fired plants, the ID fans are the limiting factor on plant electrical
output. Although the ID fans may be the apparent cause of a load limit, in many
cases the root cause is high air heater leakage, air heater pluggage, high gas
temperatures, precipitator infiltration, or something similar.

As with most other turbo machinery, the performance of fans is best illustrated by a curve of
pressure versus flow. Fan curves are usually plotted as pressure in inches of water gauge ("Wg)
versus volumetric flow in actual cubic feet per minute (acfm). Note that most curves are labeled
as cfm, where it is understood that cfm is acfm. Because fan performance depends on inlet
density, the fan curve should specify the density. Some European fan suppliers plot curves in
head—in feet (meters) of fluid (rather than pressure, in inches of water)—versus volumetric
flow. These curves are essentially independent of inlet density, similar to a centrifugal pump
curve that is plotted as head versus volumetric flow.

Key Technical Point


Note that most curves are labeled as cfm, where it is understood that cfm is acfm.
Because fan performance depends on inlet density, the fan curve should specify
the density.

Figure 3-13 charts the performance field for a typical centrifugal fan with inlet vane control. It is
a customary design practice to specify a test block condition (which contains flow) and head
margin above the expected operating requirements at full unit load. Both centrifugal and axial
fans must be capable of meeting conditions well beyond the expected conditions at full plant
operating load.

When using these curves, care must be taken not to confuse inlet vane position in degrees and
percent open. Fan manufacturers usually present their curves in terms of vane angle, with 90
degrees being the full open position. Many boiler controls identify inlet vane position in terms of
percent open, with 100% being full open. Because control room and actuator position indicators
may not accurately indicate actual vane positions, the actual vane position should be verified.

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Figure 3-13
Typical Centrifugal Fan with Variable Inlet Vanes

Key Technical Point


Fan manufacturers usually present their curves in terms of vane angle, with 90
degrees being the full open position. Many boiler controls identify inlet vane
position in terms of percent open, with 100% being full open.
Figure 3-14 is the same fan curve as Figure 3-13 with the system curve superimposed.

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Figure 3-14
Typical Centrifugal Fan with Variable Inlet Vanes and Showing System Curve

Note that at the minimum flow (25% per NFPA), the inlet vanes would need to be less than 15
degrees. The inlet vanes are designed for flow control and not to isolate the fan, and—with the
vanes fully closed—the performance will be approximately the same as with the vanes 15
degrees open. Thus, controllability at this low vane opening may be a problem. Most large
boilers have two 50% capacity FD and ID fans; single-fan operation at low flow rates usually
provides better controllability.

Key Technical Point


The inlet vanes are designed for flow control and not to isolate the fan, and—with
the vanes fully closed—the performance will be approximately the same as with
the vanes 15 degrees open. Thus, controllability at this low vane opening may be
a problem.

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Figure 3-15 is a typical curve for a centrifugal fan with speed control (applicable to a fluid drive
or a variable frequency drive). The system curve is also shown in this figure. The minimum flow
(25%) is achieved at 200 rpm. A stable speed of 200 rpm could be a problem with a fluid drive
that has a maximum speed of 900 rpm. With variable frequency drives, a minimum speed of 200
rpm should not be a problem.

Figure 3-15
Typical Centrifugal Fan with Speed Control

A centrifugal fan’s most efficient area of operation is near the full-load condition in the test
block area. Because the lines of constant efficiency run approximately perpendicular to the
system resistance line, as load drops, the efficiency of a centrifugal fan also drops rapidly. A
centrifugal fan sized for a test block condition will not operate in its most efficient region under
normal conditions. For a typical centrifugal fan using inlet vane control, efficiency at the test
block condition may be as high as 88% but will be only 70–75% at the 100% unit load condition.
At 50% unit load, fan efficiency may be as low as 25%. A centrifugal fan with a variable-speed
drive operates near its peak efficiency at all loads.

3.7.1 Axial Fan Performance

A typical performance field for a variable-pitch axial fan is shown in Figure 3-16. The boiler
resistance curve and test block condition are the same as those used in the previous example for a
centrifugal fan. For axial flow fans, maximum operating efficiencies occur below the stall line,
which represents the maximum capability of the fan. This makes it possible to select a fan that
operates near its optimal efficiency at the expected full-load condition.

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Figure 3-16
Performance Field for Variable-Pitch Axial Flow Fan

Furthermore, for axial fans, the areas of constant efficiency run approximately parallel to the
boiler resistance line. As load decreases, efficiency does not drop off as drastically as it does
with a centrifugal fan. Thus, at 50% load, efficiency may remain as high as 65%—more than
double the efficiency of a centrifugal fan with inlet vane control.

Higher operating efficiencies and the resulting fuel savings are the most significant factors
favoring axial fans.

3.7.2 Fan Pressure Definition

The fan pressure should be defined on the fan curve. Possible definitions are fan static pressure
(FSP), static pressure rise (SPR), or fan total pressure (FTP). These are defined as follows:
• FSP = SP2 – TP1
• SPR = SP2 – SP1
• FTP = TP2 – TP1

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Where the subscripts 1 and 2 refer to the fan inlet and outlet, SP is static pressure, and TP is total
pressure. Note that fan static pressure is not the same as static pressure rise. These definitions are
illustrated in Figure 3-17.

Key Technical Point


Note that fan static pressure is not the same as static pressure rise.

Figure 3-17
Fan Pressure Definitions

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Fan curves are useful in evaluating actual fan performance, which is usually measured in terms
of pressure rise across the fan and volumetric flow rate. The measured volumetric flow can be
applied directly to the fan curve (assuming that the units are the same). The pressure rise across
the fan must be converted to the density on the fan curve.

Key Technical Point


The pressure rise across the fan must be converted to the density on the fan curve.

Figure 3-18 is an example of correcting the fan performance to the operating conditions. It shows
a typical fan curve based on an inlet density of 0.075 lb/ft3. It also shows an operating point
based on measured data. Due to a temperature difference, the density at the measured point is
0.0696 lb/ft3. Comparing the operating point to the fan curve appears to show that the fan is not
performing as designed. However, correcting the fan curve to the actual density at the operating
point shows that the fan is actually performing better than design.

Figure 3-18
Fan Correction for Inlet Density

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The procedure for correcting a fan curve to the operating density is to correct the fan head as
follows:

ρ2
H 2 = H1 Eq. 3-1
ρ1

Where:

H2 = fan pressure at density 2, "Wg

H1 = fan pressure at density 1, "Wg

ρ1 = density 1, lb/ft3

ρ2 = density 2, lb/ft3

To convert the fan curve, use Equation 3-1 at several flow rates and plot the new curve. Note that
the volumetric flow rate (cfm) for point 1 and point 2 is the same. A fan is a constant-volume
machine, regardless of density.

3.8 Selection of Fan Type


The following are some of the considerations in selecting the type of fan to be used:

• Volume/Pressure Characteristics. As the flow through an axial fan decreases, the output
pressure decreases. The characteristic curve for a centrifugal fan shows an increase in static
pressure as flow decreases. This feature results in the maximum pressure capability of a
centrifugal fan that is substantially higher than that required to satisfy the test block
condition. This higher maximum pressure capability can affect the design pressure of
ductwork, precipitators, and other components in the draft system.
• Erosion/Corrosion. In general, a centrifugal fan has much greater capability to withstand
erosion than axial fans. Protective liners and nose and tip plates are easily applied. Protective
nose pieces and coatings are available for axial fan blades, but generally, axial fans are best
suited for air or clean gas applications.
• Mass and WR2 (moment of inertia). Axial fans weigh less than centrifugal fans and have
fewer massive rotating elements, which reduces foundation mass requirements. The lower
weight results in a lower WR2, which tends to reduce the cost of the drive motor.
• Evaluation. If a decision is made to consider axial fans, bids should be taken for both
centrifugal and axial fans. The final decision can then be based on the results of a
comprehensive economic evaluation.

The costs are lowest for fans with variable-speed motors because inlet vanes are not required.
Axial fans have a higher initial cost. Two-speed and variable-speed motors are considerably
more expensive than constant-speed motors. Axial fans allow a simpler duct arrangement, have

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more moving parts, and require more maintenance than centrifugal fans. Variable-speed
centrifugal fans are the most efficient arrangement, resulting in the lowest auxiliary power
consumption and, therefore, the lowest fuel cost. The appropriate fans should be included based
on an evaluation of the economic parameters. Note that the selection can be affected by the plant
arrangement.

3.9 Fan Requirements

A fan specification should give the fan bidders all of the pertinent information regarding
performance, service, arrangement, and basis of evaluation when required, so that the bidders
can offer the proper fan for the service. The fan’s capability must be specified and must include
rate of mass flow, temperature, elevation, density, pressure at inlet, and pressure at discharge.
Fan capacity is usually rated as a volume rate of flow and is specified in cfm at inlet conditions.
It should be noted that fan performance is based on conditions at the inlet.

Key Technical Point


Fan performance is based on conditions at the inlet.

The fan must provide the air or gas with sufficient energy to overcome the losses encountered
through the system. The usual method of specifying this energy requirement is to stipulate the
static pressure of the fan in inches of water at a certain volumetric requirement. If fan total
pressure is specified, a clear statement of the fact should also be given to avoid giving the
impression that total static pressure is being specified. In either case, the distribution of pressure
between the inlet and outlet should also be specified.

The fan static pressure is expressed in terms of the sum of the total pressure losses of the system,
the difference between the total pressure at the system exit and the system entrance, and the fan
velocity pressure. Fan velocity pressure (FVP) is defined as the velocity pressure corresponding
to the average velocity through the fan outlet (see Figure 3-17).

Many times, the fan velocity pressure is unknown because the fan has not been selected.
Ignoring FVP builds a margin of safety into the stated pressure requirement.

3.10 Fan Testing

A good fan test requires test instrumentation and controlled conditions. Data collected from
existing plant instrumentation can be used to identify possible problems but cannot be used to
quantify the magnitude of a performance problem. Plant instrumentation is not accurate enough
to conduct a good fan test.

The codes and standards that specify field performance testing of fans are ASME PTC-11, Fans;
AMCA 203, Field Performance Tests; and AMCA 803, Site Performance Test Standard. These
codes provide guidance on the instruments and methods used to conduct high-quality field
performance tests on fans.

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The actual operating point can be determined from measurements of static pressure at the fan
inlet and outlet and the calculated air or gas flow. The air or gas flow can be calculated from
measurements of oxygen and boiler load. Although these calculations are only approximate, they
are usually adequate for identifying fan performance problems.

Before the actual operating point is compared to the fan design performance, adjustments to
actual operating conditions must be made. Fan performance is affected by inlet vane position
(blade position for variable-pitch axial fans), fan speed, and fan inlet density.

3.11 Operation

A well-operated system improves efficiency and reduces auxiliary power consumption. To


optimize draft fan system performance, operators must thoroughly understand the capabilities
and limitations of their specific fan system.

The startup of any piece of major equipment requires following specific steps, which can be
divided into two phases:
1. Prestart checks
2. Startup procedures

3.11.1 Prestart Checks

Prestart checks involve a detailed system walk through to verify that the fan will operate safely.
During prestart checks, the operator should perform the following tasks:

Verify that supportive auxiliary systems and monitoring equipment are operating correctly. For
example, check for adequate lube oil and cooling water, proper temperature range of the lube oil
and cooling water, and proper damper position.

Perform safety-related checks to verify that all DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION, and
DO NOT OPERATE tags have been properly cleared; all safety-related interlocks, alarms, and
similar operational interlocks have been cleared; and all personnel have been cleared from the
fan and ductwork.

3.11.2 Startup Procedures

Startup procedures should consist of a well-defined sequence of steps that ensure fan safety and
that prevent boiler explosions and implosions. In writing the startup procedures for a draft fan,
the operating engineer should take into account the station’s practices and regulations, the level
of automation, the number of personnel on the shift, and the manufacturer’s recommendations.
The startup procedures, in addition to the controls and interlocks, should follow the requirements
of the current version of NFPA 85 [1].

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Key Human Performance Point


The startup procedures, in addition to the controls and interlocks, should follow
the requirements of the current version of NFPA 85.

3.11.2.2 Sequence of Steps for Startup

The procedure for starting up a draft fan should include the following:
• Sequence of all operator actions required for startup
• Alarm conditions to monitor
• Operating parameters to monitor
• Emergency actions
• Fan control requirements
• Electric motor restrictions
• Requirement for the control of inlet vanes
• Fan outlet dampers requirements
• Individual responsibilities
• Procedures to prevent a stall

3.11.3 Alarm Conditions to Monitor

Draft fan alarms are either executive or advisory. Executive alarms give operating personnel
audible and visual warnings of a dangerous condition, such as excessive vibration, loss of lube
oil, or a hot bearing. Through safety interlocks, an executive alarm condition may initiate a
shutdown of a fan. The automatic boiler control system would then respond to maintain a safe
condition in the furnace.

Advisory alarms are similar to executive alarms except that operating personnel must initiate the
corrective action. A high differential pressure on the discharge filter of a circulating lube oil
system is an example of an advisory alarm.

3.11.4 Operating Parameters to Monitor

The operating parameters that affect the safety of the equipment and personnel should be
monitored.

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Recommended parameters to monitor for operation include the following:


• Motor winding temperature
• Bearing oil temperature
• Bearing temperature
• Motor amperes
• Damper position
• Fan vibration levels
• Flue gas temperature (if applicable)

Additional parameters and analysis are discussed in the section on condition based monitoring.

3.11.5 Emergency Actions

The startup procedures should contain cautions and warnings to remind operators of problems
that could develop. In draft fan emergencies where personnel or equipment safety are in danger,
shutting down the fan should be a standard operating procedure.

Examples of such circumstances include the following:


• High vibration levels or excursions
• Temperature excursions
• Electrical fires and oil leaks
• Hot bearings and loss of fan control
• Fan stall
• Loss of damper or vane control
• Major flow unbalance on double inlet fans

3.11.6 Fan Control

Before placing control of the fan in the furnace automatic combustion control system, prestart
checks verifying positive control of the fan should be complete. These checks include the
following:
• Verifying that the control damper/inlet guide vane is operating correctly and that local
position indicators agree with the remote indicators located in the control room
• Test operating the fluid drive control (if applicable)
• Verifying that the pitch control (for axial fans only) is operating correctly
• Verifying that the dampers are synchronized (for double inlet fans)

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3.11.6.1 Electric Motor Restrictions

During startup, it is important not to exceed the electric motor’s duty cycle, especially for an ID
fan being started up with cold air. Frequent starts that exceed the duty for which the motor was
designed form local hot spots or raise the operating temperature above the allowable temperature
rating for the motor insulation. Such a condition could reduce the expected operating life of the
motor or cause a premature failure of the motor’s insulation. Ensuring that the design duty cycle
of a motor is incorporated into a written procedure for starting a draft fan will help in preventing
damage to the motor.

The criteria used to establish the minimum number of starts for a large motor (that is, 500 hp and
greater) are provided in NEMA Standard MG-l, section 20.43:
• Two starts in succession, coasting to rest between starts, with the motor initially at ambient
temperature.
• One start with the motor initially at a temperature not exceeding its rated load operating
temperature.

Specific manufacturer’s requirements for starting operations after a motor has undergone a cycle
of two cold starts and one hot start can be found in the manufacturer’s operating instruction
manual or on the motor’s starting plate. Requirements that should be incorporated include the
following:
• Minimum time the motor must run before it is shut down
• Length of time the motor must be at a standstill before additional starts are attempted
• Maximum operating temperature of the motor windings
• Number of total starts per day that should not be exceeded

Another consideration involves operating the draft fan at or above the motor’s maximum rated
current level. A loss in fan efficiency could cause the motor to be operated above its rating.
According to NEMA Standard MG-l, motors are to be designed to run at a maximum horsepower
and full-load current without exceeding a specified temperature rise. It is normal design practice
for a utility power plant motor to have a design margin of 15% for horsepower for the following
reasons:
• To allow margin for a demand increase from the driven equipment under unusual or
infrequent operating conditions
• To prolong the operating life of the motor in the event of unusual or infrequent operating
conditions

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The life of a motor is originally determined by the effective life of its insulation. The numbers of
starts and operating temperature of the motor directly influence a motor’s operational life. By
operating the motor under normal conditions at less than rated horsepower (and therefore less
than rated maximum current), the motor operating temperature is kept below its maximum
operating temperature.

3.11.7 Control of Vanes and Dampers

The startup procedures should specify the position of the inlet and outlet dampers and vanes
during startup. The degree of automation will determine what the operator should do and how the
control system performs. For systems that require the operator to initiate all actions, startup
procedures should address the sequence of opening and closing the dampers and vanes, the time
limits between each step, the requirements for a visual verification of the damper position, and
indications that a vane or damper has failed to open.

3.11.8 Fan Outlet Dampers

Most fan manufacturers recommend starting constant-speed fans with the outlet dampers closed.
A closed outlet damper reduces the starting time and load on the motor. The torque required at
any given speed can be three to four times higher with an open versus closed outlet damper.

Some plants have found that the required torque and startup time for a draft fan system
configured with both inlet vanes and dampers and outlet dampers may not differ significantly if
the outlet dampers are kept open and the inlet control devices are closed. Outlet dampers are
typically high maintenance items—especially on ID fans—and may be required only for startup
and fan isolation during maintenance. Some stations have found outlet dampers unnecessary, but
this depends on the fan design, the motor capabilities, and the design and condition of the inlet
vanes or inlet dampers.

The best practice is to follow the fan manufacturer’s recommendation. If a change in damper
operation is desired, data on startup times and motor current should be collected and discussed
with the fan and motor suppliers.

Key O&M Cost Point


The best practice is to follow the fan manufacturer’s recommendation. If a change
in damper operation is desired, data on startup times and motor current should be
collected and discussed with the suppliers of the fan and motor.

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3.11.9 Stall Prevention for Axial Fans

The aerodynamic term stall is often used to describe a phenomenon that can occur in an axial
flow fan. Under certain pressure and flow combinations, the gas flow cannot accommodate the
guiding surface of the fan blade, and flow separation occurs. Pronounced separation results in
circulator flow within the fan and a significant reduction in flow through the fan as well as
pressure rise across the fan. An abrupt change in flow and pressure will have an adverse effect on
boiler operation and can cause a unit trip. In addition, stall can damage fan blades.

To prevent a fan stall, operators must understand the fan curves of the fans they are operating.
The startup procedures should describe how to prevent fan stalls. Operators must understand how
they can prevent fan stalls by monitoring the operating values of static pressure, airflow, and
blade position on axial fans. The procedures should show the fan curves and identify points on
the curve that, if exceeded, will stall the fan. The procedures should also describe the following
indications of a fan stall:
• Abnormal flow volume (pulsations) and power consumption (motor amps displaying
abnormal fluctuations)
• High vibration levels
• Failure of the variable-pitch blades to move on command
• Loud, abnormal noise levels

The stall line is usually identified on the performance curve (head versus flow) for axial fans.
The fan control system should monitor the head and flow and give the operator a stall warning so
that the operator can take action before a stall occurs.

Key Human Performance Point


The fan control system should monitor the head and flow and give the operator a
stall warning so that the operator can take action before a stall occurs.

3.11.10 Draft Fan Shutdown

The draft fan shutdown procedure should be developed around the safety of personnel and
equipment. There are two types of draft fan shutdown, referred to here as a controlled and
uncontrolled shutdown.

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3.11.10.1 Controlled Shutdown

A controlled shutdown of a fan occurs in a logical and orderly manner. During shutdown,
operators will perform the following:
• Reduce firing rate demands
• Stop the associated fan(s)
• Perform fan post-shutdown-related checks

Written procedures for a controlled shutdown consist of the following:


• Sequence of steps required to safely shut down the draft fan
• Post-shutdown checks

3.11.10.2 Uncontrolled Shutdown

An uncontrolled shutdown is characterized by a loss of one or more draft fans. An operator error
or a problem that went undetected by the monitoring system could result in an uncontrolled
shutdown. The following conditions could cause an uncontrolled shutdown:
• Control system upsets and/or failures
• High vibration level
• Uncontrolled hot bearing
• Loss of lube oil
• Electrical fire at the motor controller or fan motor
• Fires in ductwork and/or fan housing (GR or PA fan)
• Loss of electrical power

Direct consequences of an unexpected loss of a draft fan include the following:


• Reduced unit load capability
• Loss of a draft fan cascading into a boiler explosion or implosion (this occurs if boiler
controls do not function properly)
• Loss of a unit in case its pair of ID or FD fans is shut down unexpectedly

A written procedure for an uncontrolled shutdown of a draft fan should incorporate adequate
measures to ensure boiler safety.

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Boiler safety is addressed through a system of mandatory safety interlocks that protect against an
unstable operating condition. As with any mechanical or electrical system, this safety interlock
system can provide only a limited level of assurance in preventing conditions that might lead to a
boiler explosion or implosion. Two critical factors must be recognized about the reliability of
automatic safety systems:
• The effectiveness of the system depends on how well it is maintained.
• No safety system is 100% reliable.

Written procedures and training on the system requirements and operator responsibilities in the
event of a fan loss provide an additional margin of safety. NFPA 85 [1] discusses conditions
resulting from the loss of a draft fan that may lead to a boiler explosion or implosion. The
following summarizes the required safety system interlock responses from NFPA 85 [1] in the
event of an uncontrolled shutdown of draft fan(s):
• Response to the loss of one draft fan (either one ID or one FD)
– Close dampers of the affected fan unless it is the last FD or ID fan in service.
– If the unit’s automatic safety interlock system is designed to start, stop, or trip ID and FD
fans in pairs, trip the corresponding paired fan; close dampers of these fans unless they
are the last ones in service.
• Response to the loss of all FD or all ID fans:

– Trip the corresponding ID or FD fans.


– Close dampers of all fans (to avoid any pressure excursion during fans coasting down).
– Open all dampers after the required time delay (to provide appropriate natural ventilation
of the boiler).

3.11.11 Parallel Fan Operation

When two or more fans are brought into parallel operation, the operator must ensure that the
airflow from the fans is balanced. An improper fan paralleling operation can lead to serious
consequences, such as the following:
• High vibration levels, stalled fan(s), airflow pulsations in the ductwork, pressure excursions
to the boiler, or damage to the electric motor.
• Potential for losing both fans. This is particularly serious if the unit loses all of its FD or ID
fans because this may lead to furnace damage and will trip the master fuel valve, resulting in
the loss of the unit.

When paralleling two fans, the operator should observe the following:
• Verify that the second fan to be brought on-line is mechanically ready.
• In the case of axial fans, bring the on-line fan to a pressure below the fan’s stall point; this
often requires backing down the unit.

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• Bring the second fan up to speed.


• Adjust flow control devices of the second fan to match those of the on-line fan.
• Confirm that the load of the on-line fan decreases accordingly as the second fan is brought
on-line.
• Place the second fan in automatic and confirm that the system balances both fans.

An on-line monitoring program should be designed to do the following:


• Recognize a change in the equipment’s normal operating conditions or parameters.
• Provide a method to warn operators when changes in the operating conditions and parameters
have exceeded safe limits.
The following are the primary objectives of an on-line monitoring program:
• Reliably assesses the fan’s mechanical condition and displays the results in a format that is
user-friendly to O&M personnel.
• Quickly and accurately recognizes any changes in the fan’s operating parameters and the
significance of the changes.
• Assesses and displays the severity of a problem in a user-friendly format that requires no
additional interpretation.
• Provides a means to initiate a shutdown of the fan in the event that the problem is determined
to be severe.
• Maintains data files for long-term trending and machinery history.

3.12 National Standards


The Air Moving and Conditioning Association, Inc. (AMCA) has developed a standard for
laboratory testing of fans: AMCA 210. This standard provides rules for testing fans under
laboratory conditions to provide rating information.

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4
FAILURE MODES AND EFFECTS ANALYSIS

A failure modes and failure causes review is discussed in this section. The data presented here
were obtained from NERC/GADS and other sources. The failure data presented here were
supplemented with information obtained in a survey on FD/ID fans sent to select fossil plants
and with information obtained in follow-up interviews from those surveys.

The most common problem areas for centrifugal ID fans are blades, bearings, and foundations,
which account for over 50% of all problems. Other problem areas include inlet vanes, motors,
dampers, hubs, shafts, and controls. The most common direct causes of these problems are
erosion and vibration. Bearing problems can be caused by either a design problem or improper
maintenance and operation. The major cause of foundation problems is improper design, and the
impact is high fan vibration.

Over 50% of the problems with axial ID fans were with blades, shaft bearings, and blade thrust
bearings. Other problem areas include the hydraulic supply unit, blade adjusting mechanism, and
the shaft. As with centrifugal fans, axial fans have problems with erosion of blades and the main
shaft bearings. However, the biggest problem area with axial fans is related to the variable-pitch
blades: 33% of the problems were due to either the hydraulic supply unit, blade thrust bearings,
regulating arm, or blade adjusting mechanism.

Axial fans have less massive rotors and shorter bearing spans than centrifugal fans. Therefore,
the bearing loads are less, which should increase availability. However, axial fans have much
higher loads on the thrust bearings.

The major difference between axial and centrifugal fans that can affect availability is the control
mechanism. The control mechanism for centrifugal fans—whether it is inlet vanes, inlet
dampers, or fluid drives—is much less complicated than the blade adjusting mechanism for axial
fans. There were nearly twice as many problems with blade positioning systems in axial fans.

EPRI report CS-1693, Failure Cause Analysis – Fans, documents the results of the survey
performed in 1981 on the causes of fan failures in fossil plants. The data in Tables 4-1 and 4-2
were taken from this report and show the failure causes and the failure rates of the FD and ID
fans. The failure data shown in Tables 4-3 and 4-4 for 1982 through 1995 were taken from
NERC/GADS.

The failure mechanisms of the individual components are discussed next.

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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

Table 4-1
Summary of Centrifugal Fan Problem Areas

Problem Area ID Fan % FD Fan %

Foundation 9.3 0.1

Pedestals 1.7 0.6

Bearings 9.4 11.3


Shaft 1.6 0.1

Hub 2.4 0.9

Center plate/side plate 2.1 1.6


Blades 13.3 1.7

Housing/boxes 4.9 0.9

Inlet dampers 2.0 0.3

Inlet vanes 4.6 0.4

Dampers (isolation) 0.6 1.6

Coupling 0.6 0.4


Variable-speed drive 1.9 2.0
Motor/turbine 2.4 2.3

Turning gear 0.9 0

Controls 1.6 0.9

Ductwork 3.6 1.4

No problems 9.6 16.8

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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

Table 4-2
Summary of Axial Fan Problem Areas

Problem Area ID Fan % FD Fan %

Foundation 0 0

Internal bearing supports 4.8 0

Shaft bearings 19 0
Shaft 7.1 0

Hub 0 0

Hydraulic actuator 0 4.8


Blade adjustment mechanism 4.8 4.8

Regulating arm 4.8 0

Blade shaft 0 0

Blades 19 0

Hydraulic supply unit 9.5 4.8

No problems 2.4 4.8

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EPRI Licensed Material

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

Table 4-3
FD Fan Failure Data for U.S. Fossil Plants from 1982 Through 1995 (NERC/GADS Data)

FD Fans
Number of Units: 1343

Description Total No. of Forced Outages No. of Forced Forced Outage Equivalent Actual No of Parallel Mean Time Mean
Occurrences Forced – Outage per Forced Deratings, Hours Lost per Derated Derated Components Between Down
Outages Unit Year Deratings Occurrence Occurrence Hours Lost Hours Lost Failures (hrs) Time
per per per (hrs)
Unit Year Occurrence Occurrence

FD fans 4798 355 0.0213 4443 0.2667 23.707 9.30 18.60 2 40,000 18.97

FD fan lubrication 674 57 0.0034 617 0.0370 16.233 4.921 9.84 2 287,000 10.38
system

FD fan motors 1732 139 0.0083 1593 0.0956 59.037 25.043 50.09 2 112,000 50.80

FD fan motors – 177 43 0.0026 134 0.0080 8.852 9.592 19.18 2 1,095,000 16.67
variable-speed

FD fan drives 323 34 0.0020 289 0.0173 13.462 7.25 14.50 2 600,000 14.39
(other than motor)

FD fan controls 1622 357 0.0214 1265 0.0759 6.613 3.04 6.08 2 119,000 6.20

Other FD fan problems 2189 222 0.0133 1967 0.1181 9.776 6.426 12.85 2 89,000 12.54

Total 11515 1207 0.0725 10308 0.6188 18.987 20.199 17,000 20.1

4-4
EPRI Licensed Material

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

ID Fans
Number of Units: 872

Description Total No. of Forced No. of Forced Forced Outage Equivalent Actual No of Parallel Mean Time Mean
Occurrences Forced Outages – Forced Deratings, Hours Lost per Derated Derated Components Between Down
Outages Outage per Deratings Occurence Occurence Hours Lost Hours Lost Failures Time
Unit Year per per per (hrs) (hrs)
Unit Year Occurrence Occurrence

ID fans 6600 359 0.0341 6241 0.5934 19.6 7.50 14.99 2 18,000 15.24

ID fan lubrication 479 45 0.0043 434 0.0413 7.61 5.429 10.86 2 254,000 10.55
systems

ID fan fouling 492 21 0.0020 471 0.0448 21.511 5.918 11.84 2 247,000 12.25

ID fan motors and 2263 236 0.0224 2027 0.1927 39.077 18.04 36.09 2 54,000 36.40
drives

ID fan motors – 302 56 0.0053 246 0.0234 7.268 8.27 16.54 2 402,000 14.82
variable-speed

Induced draft fan 2269 676 0.0643 1593 0.1515 7.715 3.83 7.66 2 54,000 7.68
controls

Other ID fan 4325 402 0.0382 3923 0.3730 20.033 6.94 13.88 2 28,000 14.45
problems

Total 16730 1795 0.1707 14935 1.4199 17.119 16.585 7,000 16.6

4-5
EPRI Licensed Material

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

4.1 Blades

Blade erosion is a significant failure mechanism for both centrifugal and axial fans. While
erosion of ID fans is the major problem, erosion has also been reported on FD fans.

Key Human Performance Point


Erosion is a significant failure mechanism for both centrifugal and axial fans.
While erosion of ID fans is the major problem, erosion has also been reported on
FD fans.

The following primary factors affect erosion from fly ash:


• Fly ash concentration
• Ash particle size
• Fan tip speed
• Fan type
• Blade type

The ID fan erosion rate is determined by a number of variables, including the following:
• The fuel ash content and the ash constituents. The chemical composition of the ash and the
size of the particles affect the rate, type, and location of the erosion.
• The fuel firing rate. A low Btu fuel requires a higher firing rate with consequent higher ash
flow to the fans.
• The actual efficiency of the ash-collection equipment ahead of the fan. Deterioration of this
equipment with age along with overloading due to the use of higher-ash coal has a significant
effect on fan erosion.
• Distribution of the ash in the gas stream as it enters the fan. The duct configuration leading
up to the fan may tend to concentrate the ash on one side of the fan or at one side of the inlet
boxes.
• The action of the flow profile through the fan, which may further concentrate the ash.
• The blade shape, which may present a profile that is more susceptible to erosion effects, for
example, blade tips that create a strong turning effect on the gas flow.
• Blade velocity relative to the ash/gas velocity. Assuming the same total flow, a smaller,
higher-speed rotor will erode faster than a larger, lower-speed rotor.
• Blade material. Common blade materials have a small impact on erosion, but erosion liners
have a large impact.

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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

Continual surveillance of vibration, inspection (when indicated), and good maintenance or repair
have the best chance to succeed. The personnel accountable for a fan outage should be
responsible for proper surveillance, inspection, cleaning, and repair.

The best method for preventing ID fan erosion is to collect the fly ash before it reaches the fan.
Erosion rates are directly proportional to fly ash concentrations. Stratification of ash due to
gravity or duct configuration can create high, localized concentration and localized erosion and
should be considered in addition to average concentrations. Baghouses have higher collection
efficiencies and are less likely to experience excursions than electrostatic precipitators; therefore,
they reduce the erosion potential for ID fans.

The primary erosion area for airfoil centrifugal fans and axial fans is the leading edge of the
blades. The gas flow in a centrifugal fan must make a 90° turn inside the fan. Because the inertia
of the ash particles prevents them from turning as quickly as the gas, the particles and erosion
will be concentrated at the junction of the blades and the fan center plate. As the size of the ash
particles increases, this effect will increase; thus, center plate erosion will increase as will
erosion of the trailing edge of the blade.

The erosion rate varies approximately with the cube (or higher) of the velocity of impact. Thus,
fan tip speed relative to the gas speed is a significant factor. A direct comparison between the tip
speeds of axial and centrifugal fans is not valid. The leading edge of centrifugal fan blades is
toward the inside diameter and has a lower velocity than the periphery of the wheel, whereas the
leading edge of an axial fan blade extends to the periphery.

Reduced erosion rates are a significant benefit of variable-speed fans (because erosion rates will
vary approximately with the cube of fan speed). Variable-speed fans are generally capable of
meeting the full-load system requirements at 90% speed, considering the design margins used.
Therefore, at full load, the fan erosion rate of variable-speed fans should be only 73% as great as
the erosion rate of constant-speed fans. The difference is even larger at lower loads. At 50%
load, the erosion rate of a variable-speed fan should be only 12% of that of a constant-speed fan.

If high particle loading is expected, a single-thickness-blade centrifugal fan is the best choice.
Properly protected hollow airfoil blades have a relatively high resistance to erosion. However,
erosion of hollow airflow blades can cause a hole in a blade and fill the interior of the blade with
fly ash. This can cause fan imbalance and vibration problems.

A related failure mechanism is the buildup of particle on fan blades. This causes fan imbalance
and vibration and may require the fan to be shut down for repair and cleaning.

4.2 Bearings

According to two EPRI reports, Failure Cause Analysis – Fans, CS-1693 [2] and Electric Motor
Predictive and Preventive Maintenance Guide, NP-7502 [3], bearing failures are a major
contributing factor to fan outages. Main shaft bearings are a leading cause of centrifugal fan
problems and are prominent in the list of axial fan problems. Nearly all centrifugal fans use
sleeve bearings, while axial fans are typically supplied with ball/roller types.

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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

The main shaft bearings support not only the static load of the rotor, but also the dynamic load
due to vibration. Prolonged operation at high vibration levels puts a severe strain on the bearings,
mostly due to manufacturing and maintenance deficiencies. Most bearing failures are a result of
loss of oil, contaminated oil, loss of cooling, high level vibration, or maintenance deficiencies.

The failure modes include the following:


• Loss of oil
• Insufficient oil flow
• Loss of cooling
• Loose thrust collars
• Incorrect clearance
• Contaminated oil
• Oil leakage

Bearing failure can lead to high vibration, which can result in the damage of various
subcomponents such as blades, rotors, shafts, fan housings, ductwork, and flexible couplings.
Successful bearing maintenance includes proper lubrication and lube oil quality, correct
alignment of rotating elements, trend analysis, and adherence to regular inspection intervals.
Section 5 of this report addresses troubleshooting procedures.

Anti-friction ball bearings or roller bearings are used for the main shaft bearing on axial fans.
When used, sleeve bearings are similar to those for centrifugal fans except that they are built to
have greater capability to sustain thrust.

4.3 Foundations

Larger fans require more substantial foundations. These foundations should be level, rigid, and
of sufficient mass for the equipment. The supports must be rigid enough to ensure permanent
alignment and to prevent excessive vibrations. The minimum frequency of any foundation part
should be 25–50% higher than the fan speed. When the fan is mounted on the foundation, the fan
shaft should be level at the coupling end, and shims should be used as support points before the
bolts are tightened. To obtain a level shaft at the coupling end, it may be necessary to raise the
outboard end of the shaft end due to the sag in the shaft. This procedure will prevent any
distortion or twisting of equipment and any possible rubbing of rotating parts [4].

The three principal causes of crack development in concrete machinery foundations are improper
foundation design, poor construction practices, and poor operating conditions. This section
addresses the latter two causes.

There are two types of foundation cracking, and the first type occurs during the curing process.
As concrete cures, it normally shrinks between 0.02% and 0.03%. The interaction of the
reinforcing steel with the concrete during shrinkage produces tension forces in the concrete and

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EPRI Licensed Material

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

compression forces in the steel. As a result of this reaction, cracking (referred to as curing
cracks) develop in the concrete. Although these cracks are not considered detrimental to the
structural integrity of the foundation, if left unchecked, they can provide “avenues” for oil and
water to penetrate into the concrete foundation. Water can expand and contract during
temperature changes, causing further crack damage. Oil penetration may, over time, cause
degradation of the concrete and introduce a degree of difficulty in the repair process.

The second type of cracking affects the structural integrity of the fan foundation. This cracking is
caused by dynamic forces such as those produced by excess fan vibration. Two possible
conditions may appear with this form of cracking: first, the cracking progresses throughout the
concrete block, producing segments of various sizes; second, the segments may move. This
movement may cause further crack progression, potentially leading to structural failure of the
foundation and the potential for serious damage to the fan.

4.4 Inlet Vanes

The inlet vane assembly includes sleeves, rods, shafts, center ring, operating levers and linkage,
gears, and tabs. The failure modes for inlet vanes include the following:
• Binding
• Wear of control linkage
• Vane bearing failure
• Breakage of vanes
• Wear of control gears, levers, and bearings
• Erosion
• Insufficient clearance to fan inlet cone to allow maintenance and lubrication
• Weak control arms and linkage

In addition, breakage of dampers results in the loss of fans when broken parts are drawn into the
rotor.

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EPRI Licensed Material

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

4.5 Couplings

Coupling problems usually result from insufficient or loss of lubrication and improper alignment.
Coupling/shaft interaction produces tortional vibration problems. The failure modes for
couplings include the following:
• Seizing
• Sheared stub shaft
• Broken flexible element or gear teeth

More details are provided in Flexible Shaft Couplings Maintenance Guide, EPRI report
1007910 [5].

4.6 Hydraulic Actuating Mechanism

The hydraulic actuating mechanism on axial flow fans is the system that is used to vary the blade
angle and the control mechanism for the fan. The following failure modes apply to this
mechanism:
• Oil leaks
• Contaminated oil
• Failure of the servomechanism

4.7 Electric Motors

Ninety percent of motor failures and problems are the result of four basic causes: dirt, moisture,
vibration, and friction. The primary damage includes the following:
• Overheating due to undersizing
• Damage to the insulation, resulting in its inability to hold the voltage
• Moisture intrusion combined with dirt, causing a sticky mass to form inside the motor
• Loose connections
• Wires or winding shorting
• Loose windings
• Insulation breakdown
• Bearing failure
• Breakage of hold-down pads
• Misalignment

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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

More details can be found in Electric Motor Predictive and Preventive Maintenance Guide,
EPRI report NP-7502 [3].

4.8 Hubs

Examples of problems reported include the following:


• Loose fit on shaft
• Failure of rivets or bolts that connect the hub to center plate
• Cracks or inclusions on faulty castings
• Insufficient stiffness
• Erosion
• Differential thermal expansion of hub and shaft, which allows hub to loosen

4.9 Housing

Examples of problems that a housing subsystem may be subject to include the following:
• Cracking and breakage due to insufficient bracing and/or welding
• Bolt failures due to high vibration levels
• Inlet cones having erosion, corrosion, cracking, or breaking
• Improper clearance between the fan wheel and housing
• Improperly maintained access doors and/or plates
• Damaged slide plates
• Seal rubs as a result of misalignment or improper setting
• Rubber liner that came loose
• Liner pieces that broke off and fell into the rotor
• Corrosion or erosion

Recognition of the cause of the trouble, problem, or failure will usually be a major step toward
solving it. Corrective measures may include alteration to the system, modifications to the fan
outlet and/or inlet connections, or adjustments to the fan. Excessive speed beyond manufacturer
recommendations may cause catastrophic impeller failure. Identification of a problem associated
directly with the fan may require the assistance of the fan manufacturer. Figure 4-1 illustrates
centrifugal fan housing components.

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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

Figure 4-1
Centrifugal Fan Housing Components

4.10 Turning Gears

Problems with turning gears may result from insufficient capacity to maintain proper speed to
provide lubrication.

4.11 Shaft

The shaft problems include the following:


• Cracks at change of section
• Incorrect machining, which causes stress-raisers and subsequent cracking
• Natural frequency too close to running frequency
• Improper welding or metal buildup, resulting in cracks or failure
• Out-of-round at bearing journals
• Diameter too small, causing bowing and tortional problems
• Shaft dropped and damaged during transit

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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

4.12 Center Plate

Center plate problems include the following:


• Cracks
• Oversize holes, which result in loose rivets or bolts
• Weld flaws and cracks
• Insufficient weld penetration
• High stress levels
• Thin material, resulting in flexing and cracking
• Erosion

4.13 Inlet Dampers

Inlet damper problems include the following:


• Cracking
• Breaking
• Binding
• Leaves loosened on shaft, resulting in insufficient control
• Insufficient clearance to discharge duct to allow maintenance and lubrication
• Weak control arms and linkage
• Breakage of dampers, resulting in loss of fan when parts were drawn into the rotor

4.14 Isolating Dampers

Isolating damper problems include the following:


• Binding
• Breaking
• Cracking
• Insufficient sealing
• Leaves loose on shaft
• Bearing failures

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Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

4.15 Variable-Speed Drive

Hydraulic couplings are subject to instability, which results in fan speed surging.

4.16 Controls

Problems with controls subsystems include the following:


• Frozen air lines
• Vanes that opened too quickly
• Lack of bearing-temperature sensors
• Vibration sensors mounted vertically rather than horizontally
• Proximity vibration sensors that are found unreliable
• Failure of damper torque operator

4.17 Ductwork

Problems with ductwork include the following:


• Insufficient bracing
• Uneven distribution of fly ash and/or gas to the fans
• Excessive system resistance
• Insufficient bracing of stationary vanes
• Ductwork misalignment with housing
• Corrosion
• Expansion joint failure

4-14
EPRI Licensed Material

5
TROUBLESHOOTING

Troubleshooting and industry experience help identify probable causes and provide suitable
corrective actions. Tables 5-1 through 5-7 provide potential problems, possible causes, and
corrective actions. Many of these problems apply to both centrifugal and axial flow fans.
Problems that are unique to one type of fan have been identified, but virtually all of the potential
problems apply to both FD and ID fans.

Table 5-1
Fan Troubleshooting

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

High vibration Deposits on blades Clean the entire rotor.

Cracked blade welds Repair the welds (see Appendix B).

Missing balance weights Rebalance the fan.

Ash inside hollow blades Cut openings in blades, remove ash,


and repair holes.

Loose bearing or pedestal bolts Check the torque of bolts.

Loose foundation bolts Check the torque of bolts.

Cracked pedestal welds Inspect and repair the welds.

Coupling/shaft misalignment Check alignment.


(typical symptom is a vibration
that is 2x running speed)

Damaged bearing(s) Check oil for contamination, water,


and particles; inspect bearings;
check bearing alignment; and check
bearing temperatures.

Damaged thrust collars Inspect thrust collars and alignment.

Fan wheel moving on shaft Inspect hub bolts and hub-to-shaft fit.

Foundation problems Inspect the foundation for cracks;


inspect grout.

5-1
EPRI Licensed Material

Troubleshooting

Table 5-1
Fan Troubleshooting (continued)

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

High vibration (cont.) Fan wheel distortion Verify whether the fan has
experienced extreme temperature
transient; inspect the wheel for
distortion.

Imbalance in inlet vanes Verify that the inlet vanes at both


inlets are synchronized.

Seal wear (seals that have Motor problem Check motor vibration, check motor
excessive wear permit bearings, verify that the motor is
air/gas stream leakage) running within its magnetic center,
and check motor bearing
temperatures.

Unknown Balance the fan.

Air/gas distribution: ducts, Excessive wear; improper Reinstall the seal according to the
fan housing, expansion joint installation proper procedure.
leaks (increase the hp
required)

Variable-speed drive Leakage Repair leaks.


concerns

Sensors/instrumentation Improper operation Verify that the variable-speed drive


reading has been tuned to deliver the
ordered input.

Electric motor alignment Incorrect readings Recalibrate sensors.


(increases the hp required)

Fan wheel clearance Dirty filters, inadequate lubrication Check and realign the motor.
(excessive clearance will of bearings
cause recirculation to
develop)

Shaft Excessive clearance between the Check clearances between the fan
inlet ring of the fan wheel and the and the housing.
housing inlet cone

Horsepower too high Bent, undersized Verify and replace the shaft.

Fan size or type not the best for Check the fan type and design.
the application

Low density Verify air or gas temperature.

Point of operation on curve Determine the actual fan operating


point.

Check fan assembly and adjustment,


including inlet vanes and inlet cones.

5-2
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Troubleshooting

Table 5-1
Fan Troubleshooting (continued)

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

Horsepower too high (cont.) Incorrect motor selection Verify motor selection/size per
application.
Fan will not start Blown fuses Inspect fuses.
Impeller touching housing Inspect and verify access.
Wrong voltage Verify voltage for application.
Air volume too small Wrong fan rotation Check blade angles in relation to fan
rotation.
Inlet or outlet obstructions Remove obstructions.

Table 5-2
Bearing Troubleshooting

Problem Possible Cause Correction Action

High bearing temperature Inadequate cooling Verify water flow and temperature
(self-contained bearing cooling).

Verify oil flow and temperature


(circulating lube oil system); verify
that pumps are operating and that
filters are not blocked.

Erroneous data Verify that thermocouple/RTO is


operating correctly; a portable
thermometer may often be used to
check the bearing operating
temperature against fixed sensor.

Lube oil contaminated Verify that the lube oil is clean and of
sufficient amount.

Oil ring damage Verify that the oil ring is operating


correctly.

Heat flingers damaged Confirm that heat flingers (if


applicable) are not damaged or dirty.

Bearing alignment Check bearing alignment.

Bearing damage Open and inspect the bearing:


1. Check for excessive or insufficient
clearance.

2. Wipe the bearing surfaces.

5-3
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Troubleshooting

Table 5-2
Bearing Troubleshooting (continued)

Problem Possible Cause Correction Action

High bearing temperature Fan shaft alignment Verify that the fan shaft is not
(cont.) distorted or misaligned.

Cooling fan problem (axial flow Verify that the cooling fan is
fan) operating properly.

External heat source Verify that no externally applied heat


source is present, such as high
ambient temperature.

High vibration See guidance on high vibration


previously in this table.

Table 5-3
Lubrication System Troubleshooting

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

No lube oil flow Low oil level Add oil.

Pumps not operating Repair pumps.

Dirty filter Clean or replace the filter.

Incorrect system lineup Review the valve lineup.

Heat exchanger pluggage Inspect the heat exchanger.

Low oil pressure Dirty filter Clean or replace the filter.

Pump capacity Examine pumps.

Incorrect line Verify proper valve positions.

Oil viscosity Check oil temperature and type.

Pressure switches Verify set points and operation.

Relief valve Verify set points and position.

Flow orifice Verify size of the flow orifice.

Noise/vibration Pump operation Check the pump alignment for


damage.

Relief valve Verify position of the relief valve.

Cooling fan Examine operation of the cooling fan.

Oil viscosity Check temperature and oil type.

5-4
EPRI Licensed Material

Troubleshooting

Table 5-3
Lubrication System Troubleshooting (continued)

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

Oil contamination Cooling water leaks Examine and test heat exchangers.

Filter Verify the integrity of filters.

Storage tank Verify that the oil source is clean.

High oil temperature Heat exchanger Inspect heat exchangers.

Cooling fan (air cooled) Verify fan operation.

Cooling water Check temperature and flow rate of


cooling water

Heater Check set point and operating of


heaters.

High bearing temperature Inspect the bearing and bearing


clearance to identify heat generation.

Table 5-4
Hydraulic System Troubleshooting

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

Hydraulic oil leakage in the Leakage in rotating union Replace the union.
fan diffuser
section (axial flow fan) Leakage in oil line Replace the line.

Leakage in hydraulic cylinder Replace the cylinder.

Hydraulic oil leakage in Cooling air fan stopped Start the fan.
intermediate section (axial
flow fan) Cooling air duct blocked Clear the duct.

5-5
EPRI Licensed Material

Troubleshooting

Table 5-5
Troubleshooting Noise Level

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

Noise Insufficient bearing clearance Adjust or replace the bearing.

Damaged bearing surface Replace the bearing or liner.

Inadequate lubrication Add oil or check the lube oil system.

Worn or damage coupling Replace the coupling.

Coupling alignment; poor wheel Realign the coupling; balance the


balance wheel.

Damper or inlet vanes failed close Inspect and repair the dampers or
vanes.

Stall Review the fan operating point.

Fan wheel rub Inspect clearance between the wheel


and housing.

Motor noise See Electric Motor Predictive and


Preventive Maintenance Guide [3]

Impeller hitting inlet Realign the impeller.

Loose motor bolts Tighten the bolts.

Wrong pulley size Replace the pulley.

Defective bearings Replace the bearings.

Bent or undersized shaft Replace the shaft.

5-6
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Troubleshooting

Table 5-6
Troubleshooting Fluid Drive

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

High fluid drive oil Inadequate cooling 1. Verify that the ambient
temperature temperature of the cooling water is
within design limits.

2. Verify that there are no restrictions


in the water lines: check drain points
to confirm water supply to various
points.

3. Verify that the water side of the


heat exchanger is clean and
unobstructed.

4. Vent the cooler of any air pockets


that may have formed if the system
was disassembled for maintenance.

5. Verify that cooling system is


properly aligned; confirm that all
valves are functioning properly.

6. Check system strainers/filters for


dirt or debris buildup.

7. Vent system lines to remove any


air pockets.

8. Conduct a visual inspection of the


quality of hydraulic oil; check for
water or dirt contamination.

9. Inspect the cooling water system


for proper pressure.

5-7
EPRI Licensed Material

Troubleshooting

Table 5-6
Troubleshooting Fluid Drive (continued)

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

High fluid drive oil Poor oil circulation 1. Check filters: shift or clean as
temperature (cont.) required.
2. Verify that the hydraulic oil system
is aligned for operation.
3. Inspect all piping, valves, and filter
assemblies for leakage.
4. Verify that all designated valves
are opened correctly, and inspect oil
side of the heat exchanger for clogs
or buildup of dirt. Restrictions at the
pump suction point may indicate a
buildup of sludge in the oil reservoir.
5. Inspect pumps for proper
operation; low discharge pressure
may indicate a worn impeller. Check
for dirty suction strainers.
6. Verify that relief valves are
properly set and not opening
prematurely.
7. Vent oil side to remove any air
pockets that may have formed if the
system was opened.

Incorrect oil viscosity or Verify that the proper oil is used, and
contamination analyze oil quality.

Oil heaters operating Shut off heaters.

Low oil level Verify oil level.

Bearing damage or wear Inspect bearings.

Low fluid drive oil pressure High oil temperature See corrective actions for high oil
temperature in Table 5-3.

Plugged strainers Clean strainers.

Damaged oil pumps Inspect the pump for damage or


internal debris.

Relief valves open Verify that relief valves are


functioning properly.

5-8
EPRI Licensed Material

Troubleshooting

Table 5-6
Troubleshooting Fluid Drive (continued)

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

High fluid drive vibration Loose bolts Verify that all foundation and
machinery hold-down bolts are
properly tightened; inspect for
cracked bolt heads. Ensure that
fasteners on the steel housing are
properly tightened. Inspect all
peripheral connections and
equipment for damaged or loose
fittings.

Alignment Check the alignment between the


motor and fluid drive and between
the fluid drive and fan.

Bearing damage Inspect fluid drive bearings.

Fluid drive oil leaks Labyrinth seal Inspect seals for damage.

Piping and valves Check for leaks.

Input/output shafts Check for scoring on the shafts.

Table 5-7
Fan Performance Troubleshooting

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

Poor fan performance Inlet vanes Verify that inlet vanes are responding
to the controls. Verify that the inlet
vanes on double-inlet fans are
synchronized.

Fan speed control Verify that speed control (if


equipped) is responding properly.

Uneven air flow For double-inlet fans, verify that the


flow is even on both inlets (within
5%).

System conditions Evaluate that the actual fan


performance correct for actual
conditions.

Wheel to housing clearance Verify that the clearance between the


wheel and housing is within
recommended limits.

Fan damage Inspect fan blades for damage.

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Table 5-7
Fan Performance Troubleshooting (continued)

Problem Possible Cause Corrective Action

Turning gear high oil Oil contaminated Analyze oil, and check viscosity.
temperature

Turning gear high vibration Alignment Check alignment between fan and
turning gear.

Balance Check the balance of the coupling


and clutch.

Loose bolts Check torque of hold-down bolts.

Pressure pulsations Fan surge If fan is operating with inlet vanes


(centrifugal) less than 30% open, the fan may be
in an unstable range. Changes in the
system or operation may be the
easiest solution. Fans with inlet box
dampers may become unstable
when the dampers are less than 50%
open.

Parallel operation Multiple fans operating in parallel can


be unstable, depending on the shape
of the system curve and the fan
curves.

Operating point Measure the fan flow and head, and


plot the operating point to verify that
the fan is not operating in the
unstable region.

Pressure pulsations (axial) Stall Verify the actual operating point of


the fan versus the stall line.

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6
CONDITION MONITORING

Condition monitoring is the use of advanced technologies to determine equipment condition and,
potentially, predict failure. It includes technologies such as the following:
• Vibration measurement and analysis
• Oil analysis
• Nondestructive examination (NDE)
• Infrared thermography
• Motor current analysis

The goal of condition monitoring is to identify changes in the condition of the fan, motor, or
auxiliary that could indicate some potential failure. Physical characteristics are measured,
recorded, and analyzed so that trends can be identified.

Key Technical Point


The goal of condition monitoring is to identify changes in the condition of the
fan, motor, or auxiliary that could indicate some potential failure.

6.1 Vibration Monitoring

Vibration monitoring consists of acquiring and analyzing specific machine operating parameters.

6.1.1 Parameters

The following parameters can be used to form a database for draft fans:
• Amplitude
• Frequency
• Phase angle
• Vibration form
• Vibration mode shape

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6.1.1.1 Amplitude

Amplitude can be expressed in terms of displacement, velocity, or acceleration and provides an


indication of severity by measuring how smooth or rough the draft fan is operating. Equipment
that is operating within the manufacturer’s recommended limits will have a stable amplitude
reading. A change in this reading indicates a change in the condition of the machine; this change
indicates a need for further investigation.

6.1.1.2 Frequency

The frequency of vibration is expressed in either cycles-per-second, cycles-per-minute, or as


multiples of the rpm. Examples of these multiples include the following:
• 1 x rpm: vibration frequency is the same as the machine’s rpm
• 1/2 x rpm: vibration frequency is one-half the machine’s rpm
• 0.43 x rpm: vibration frequency is 43% of the machine’s rpm

Vibrations occurring at frequencies that are a direct multiple (for example, lx, 2x, 4x) of the
machine’s rpm are termed synchronous or harmonic. Vibrations occurring at frequencies that are
an integer fraction (for example, l/2X, 1/3X) of the machine’s rpm are termed subsynchronous.
Nonsynchronous vibrations occur at frequencies other than direct multiples of the machine’s
speed.

Machine problems will most often occur at low vibration frequencies, typically less than 4 times
(4X) the running speed. Frequency should not be used as a measure of the problem’s severity,
unless roller and ball bearings are involved. Although, in certain cases, specific frequencies can
be linked to specific problems (for example, unbalance and misalignment), this does not mean
that there is a direct correlation between problems and vibration frequencies.

6.1.1.3 Phase Angle

The phase angle provides a reference measure of movement of a specific point on the shaft or
rotor. This point can be a high spot located on a shaft or a concentration of uneven weight that
may have collected on the fan rotor. The measurement is taken relative to either another moving
point or to a fixed point such as a transducer. The phase measurement or angle is expressed in
degrees. Accurate phase angle measurement plays an important role in balancing fan rotors and
in analyzing the mode shape of the vibration.

6.1.1.4 Vibration Form

Vibration form is the actual vibration displayed as a wave pattern. The wave pattern generated
will represent shaft motion. Short-lived, transient types of vibrations are best analyzed through
observing their wave form characteristics (such as shape, amplitude, and pattern) on an
oscilloscope. This provides the ability to “see” what the fan is doing at any moment.

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Vibration form can be displayed as a time-based presentation or as an orbital presentation (which


is seldom used in draft fan applications). Time-base presentation uses inputs from a displacement
transducer displayed on an oscilloscope in the time-base mode. An orbital presentation uses the
input from two probes spaced 90° apart from each other in the X-Y mode of an oscilloscope.
This latter method allows operating engineers to observe the centerline motion of the shaft. As an
example, if the probes were mounted on a bearing housing, the display would show the
movement of the shaft centerline relative to the bearing.

6.1.1.5 Vibration Mode Shape

Vibration mode shape is obtained by recording vibration amplitude and phase values at many
points on the structure of the entire machine, including fan bearings, driver, and foundation. The
vibration mode of a draft fan provides a means of confirming resonance conditions, locating
nodal points (that is, points of minimum amplitude), and identifying points of structural
weakness. By conducting casing measurements along a drive train, problems such as pipe
resonance, structural resonance, or loose/cracked foundations can be determined.

6.1.2 Vibration Analysis

Vibration analysis can be accomplished through a variety of available techniques. These


techniques offer methods to obtain and display vibration data:
• Amplitude versus frequency
• Real-time spectrum analysis
• Time waveform

6.1.2.1 Amplitude Versus Frequency Analysis

The vibration amplitude-versus-frequency analysis method is considered to be the most useful.


Over 85% of mechanical problems occurring on rotating equipment can be identified using this
method. This technique has applications for both continuous monitoring/machinery protection
and for equipment diagnostic checks.

Key Technical Point


The vibration amplitude-versus-frequency analysis method is considered to be the
most useful. Over 85% of mechanical problems occurring on rotating equipment
can be identified using this method.

Primary equipment needed to conduct this test includes a vibration-pickup (probe) and vibration
analyzer. Use of an X-Y recorder provides the added feature of automatically producing a plot of
frequency-versus-vibration amplitude. An additional option available on some vibration
analyzers is an automatic frequency tuner, which eliminates the need for operators to manually

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tune through the frequency spectrum. Using an automatic frequency tuner also provides extended
troubleshooting capability. It reduces the element of human error by eliminating the chance of
missing significant vibration frequencies, and it reduces the actual analysis time by eliminating
time spent on fine-tuning each significant frequency.

The following are additional recommendations to follow when using the amplitude-versus-
frequency technique:
• Take vibration readings along the horizontal, vertical, and axial directions at each bearing.
• Select an amplitude range setting on the vibration analyzer sufficient for the maximum
vibration signature in order to obtain data that are plotted on the same range.
• Select a single amplitude range setting sufficient for the entire analysis.
• Obtain an overall “filter out” reading (in each of the three positions) at each bearing.

6.1.2.2 Real-Time Spectrum Analysis

This method is most effective when the vibration is not steady state or transient. Use of a real-
time spectrum analyzer allows O&M personnel to “capture” and analyze vibration signatures.
Two features available with real-time analyzers are the “hold” and “peak hold.” The “hold”
control is operator-initiated when the transient frequency reaches its maximum amplitude. This
action stores the transient signal into the analyzer’s memory for future analysis. The “hold”
feature provides a means for manually capturing the transient signal. This method will work if
the following conditions are met:
• The operator is fully aware of when the transient signal will occur.
• The transient signal occurs slowly enough for the operator to depress the “hold” button.

The “peak hold” feature provides a method to capture and store a transient signal in situations
that do not meet the above two conditions. If this feature is used, the operator must set the trigger
level, which specifies the percentage of the signal’s amplitude used to begin the process. For
example, if the operator chooses 50%, detection circuits will look for an amplitude level
exceeding this value from incoming signals. Once this 50% criterion is met, the circuit will
trigger and automatically capture an incoming transient signal.

6.1.2.3 Time Waveform Analysis

Time waveform analysis uses an oscilloscope to provide a time display of vibration amplitude.
The oscilloscope can be set up to receive an input vibration signal either directly from the
transducer or from a real-time spectrum analyzer. Either method allows operators to analyze
vibration quickly and easily. Data obtained are not filtered, thereby providing a true measure of
maximum amplitude present. Using an oscilloscope can also provide an excellent means for
observing and evaluating transient vibration signals that may be present because of fan
pulsations or control problems.

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Essential to any on-line monitoring system is the choice of sensors (that is, transducers) to be
used. For vibration measurement, there are three types of transducers available: proximity
(noncontact), velocity, and accelerometer probes.

6.1.3 Proximity Probes

A proximity probe is a transducer used for vibration and position measurement. Physical contact
with the object being measured (for example, the shaft) for vibration or position is not required.
Proximity probes are used to measure the relative movement between the shaft and bearing or
bearing housing. Principal components include the probe, pickup, connecting cable, and driver.
Inside the probe is a coil that receives high-frequency current from the driver. As this current
passes through the coil, a magnetic field is established. Conductive material, such as a steel shaft,
brought in proximity to the coil due to vibration or axial motion will “cut” the lines of the
magnetic flux, thereby setting up eddy currents on the conductive material’s surface. Stronger
eddy currents are established as the shaft gets closer to the probe and weakens the magnetic field
around it.

The strength of the magnetic field is directly related to the level of equipment vibration. In
practice, the field strength is monitored by detection circuitry located in the driver. Output from
the driver is either in the form of a dc signal or a combination of a dc and ac signal. When no
vibration is present, a dc voltage directly proportional to the distance (that is, gap) between the
shaft and probe is transmitted from the driver. As vibration levels develop, a dc signal
proportional to the average gap and an ac signal proportional to vibration amplitude are
generated.

There are three applications for systems using proximity probes:


• Radial vibration
• Axial position, phase reference
• Rotating speed reference

A proximity probe offers the following advantages:


• Measures the motion of the shaft (which is the primary source of machine vibrations) in
terms of displacement
• Makes no contact with the shaft
• Has no moving parts and is small
• Has an excellent frequency response
• Is easily calibrated
• Provides accurate low-frequency amplitude and phase angle information

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A proximity probe has the following disadvantages:


• Requires an external power source
• Is sensitive to certain shaft materials
• Is sensitive to shaft mechanical and electrical run out
• May not detect looseness in support components
• Provides no useful information for fans with heavy rotors

6.1.4 Velocity Probes

Operation of a velocity probe is based on the movement of a conductor (in this case, the coil)
through a magnetic field. The amount of voltage that is induced in the coil will be proportional to
the relative velocity between it and the magnetic field. Unlike a displacement probe, a velocity
probe requires no external power source to operate.

A velocity pickup consists of six principal parts: pickup case, wire coil, damper, mass, springs,
and permanent magnet.

The pickup case provides a structure to house the remaining components. The wire coil is
wrapped around the mass that in turn is suspended between the permanent magnet by the springs
and damper. The permanent magnet is attached to the pickup case and provides a magnetic field
around the suspended coil.

In certain applications, velocity probes and their cables can be susceptible to magnetic
interference. The magnetic interference may be caused by the alternating magnetic field that is
generated around large ac motors. Without proper shielding, these fields can induce a voltage in
the pickup or cable; consequently, an erroneous vibration signal is generated.

If this condition is suspected, the magnetic field’s intensity and presence can be determined. To
perform this test, personnel will need a vibration analyzer connected to a portable velocity probe.
The probe should be held steady by its cable near the permanently installed velocity probe, and
the suspended probe should not come in contact with the operating equipment. During draft fan
operation, a reading on the analyzer indicates that a strong magnetic field is causing interference.
To alleviate this problem, a magnetic shield should be installed around the fixed velocity probe.

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A velocity probe offers the following advantages:


• The probe is mounted on the external housing of the machine component; it gives a strong
signal in mid-frequency ranges.
• No external power supply is required.
• The signal can be electronically integrated to provide a displacement signal.

A velocity probe has the following disadvantages:


• The probe is relatively large and heavy.
• The probe is difficult to calibrate and requires a shaker table.
• The probe has mechanical moving parts that can be expected to wear out.
• The probe may pick up outside magnetic interference.
• The probe measures only dynamic motion.
• The probe has a narrow frequency response; amplitude and phase errors can be generated at
low frequencies.
• Because the probe is manufactured as a unit, a fault in any of the components will require
replacement of the entire unit.
• The probe is susceptible to cross-axis sensitivity at high vibration amplitudes.

6.1.5 Accelerometer Probes

The internals of an accelerometer probe are made up of four components: mounting stud, frame,
piezoelectric disks, and mass.

The mounting stud provides a means for attaching the probe assembly to the equipment being
monitored. The frame assembly houses the mass and the piezoelectric disks; these last two
components form the heart of an accelerometer probe.

Piezoelectric material can generate an electric charge when it undergoes mechanical stress,
which can be compressive or tensile. Disks of piezoelectric material are rigidly “sandwiched”
between the frame and the mass. In the event of vibration, these disks undergo a series of
compressive and tensile reactions. These in turn produce an electric signal proportional to the
magnitude of the force imparted to the mass. Because the amount of mass is known, the signal
generated represents the acceleration of the mass.

Accelerometers are small, lightweight, and rugged. A principal advantage of this type of probe is
its ability to operate over a wide frequency range. This capability makes an accelerometer well
suited for monitoring high-frequency vibration that can develop in anti-friction bearings or gears.

Accelerometers are unaffected by magnetic fields that may originate from nearby electric
machinery. They require no special shielding or other provisions.

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Accelerometer probes offer the following advantages:


• Easy to install
• Useful for high-frequency measurements above 2 kHz, highly reliable, no moving parts, and
relatively lightweight
• Available for high-temperature applications

Accelerometer probes have the following disadvantages:


• Can be influenced by vibration transmitted to the fan housing by the surrounding
environment.
• Transducer fault will require replacement of the entire unit.
• Difficult to calibrate, poor signal-to-noise ratio, double integration to displacement is
susceptible to noise problems, requires external power source, and usually requires filtering
in the monitor.

6.1.6 Data Acquisition

Accurate data acquisition is the basis for a successful vibration-monitoring program. It is


essential to adopt a systematic approach in obtaining and recording the data for use in the
analysis process.

For draft fans equipped with installed vibration sensors, obtaining data means monitoring and
recording vibration levels displayed on the gages or output devices provided. Monitoring
programs using portable equipment either to supplement existing installed vibration sensors or to
check equipment not outfitted with an installed monitoring system will require personnel to
identify specific locations on which to place the probe. These locations should be identified both
on the equipment or component and on the forms used to record the data. This procedure will
help ensure that consistent and reliable information is obtained. Use of color-coded marks (such
as “red dots”) provides operators with an easily seen reference point from which to take vibration
readings. Stenciling the equipment with identification marks such as “FD 1 EAST” to distinguish
between the various fans at the site will also help prevent confusion—a prime consideration
because introducing incorrect data into trending and equipment history files will produce
erroneous results.

6.1.6.1 Machine Diagram

An important part of the data acquisition process is the machine diagram. A diagram of this type
forms a link between the actual physical location on the equipment or component and the record
used to log the results. To be effective, the diagram should show all the essential elements. For a
draft fan, these elements should include the driver (motor), driven unit (fan), bearings, coupling

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fluid drive (if applicable), and installed vibration sensors. Additional information such as motor
rpm, type of bearings (sleeve or antifriction), pickup points, date, name of persons performing
the check, and space to enter vibration amplitudes and frequencies should also be incorporated
into the form.

6.1.6.2 Tri-Axial Readings

Recommended practice indicates that readings should be taken in the horizontal, vertical, and
axial directions at each bearing housing. The three-axis approach can assist the maintenance
organization in distinguishing between various mechanical problems such as imbalance and
misalignment. For example, both of these problems are manifested as an increase in vibration.
The frequency of this vibration level is typically lx rpm for both misalignment and imbalance.
With the exception of overhung rotors, an out-of-balance fan will have high vibration levels in
the radial directions (that is, horizontal and vertical); vibration levels observed in the axial
direction would be significantly less. Misalignment, however, typically produces high vibration
levels in all three directions.

Analyzing horizontal and vertical readings can also provide insight into the condition of the
equipment. For horizontally mounted draft fans with a floating outboard bearing, the vibration
levels in the horizontal direction will be higher than those in the vertical direction. This
difference is considered normal for rigidly mounted fans where the vertical stiffness is greater
than the horizontal stiffness. A deviation from this condition may indicate loose equipment hold-
down bolts, damaged grout layers and/or foundation, wiped bearings, or excessive bearing
clearance.

The basic parameters that will be monitored are bearing temperature, vibration level, flue gas
temperature, and motor amperage. This system package can be used as a guideline for
determining the amount of protection needed. Primary features of this system include the
following:
• A remote monitoring capability that allows control room operators to monitor equipment
operating parameters.
• A configuration with safety interlocks that provides audible and visual indications to
operators if an operating parameter has exceeded a defined safe limit.
• A safety interlock system that can initiate a shutdown of a draft fan if a condition develops
that is dangerous to equipment or personnel.

Additional parameters and/or features such as lube oil flow and gas stream temperatures (for
inside a duct) may also be added if the system configuration requires it. The decision of whether
to elect a continuous demand display or an operator demand display setup should be based on the
type of fan. For example, fans subjected to blade erosion or buildup are suggested candidates for
a system that can be continuously monitored. Fans operating in a clean gas stream are less likely
to develop damage from erosion; therefore, they require less stringent monitoring.

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The following additional procedures could complement the monitoring system:


• Regularly scheduled operational checks of the equipment, including monthly vibration
checks using portable equipment that can provide a check on the installed transducers.
• Accurate equipment operating logs that can be used for data trending.

6.2 Oil Analysis

Oil samples taken for oil analysis purposes are also appropriate for out-of-service checks. A
basic spectro-chemical analysis can provide maintenance personnel with the following
information:
• Particle count
• Viscosity
• Total acid/base measure
• Condition of oil additives

This information can be used to determine whether it is necessary to open and inspect a bearing
for wear and damage as well as provide a “snapshot” picture of the lube oil’s quality. However,
because there are not any recognized industry standards for what is acceptable in lubricating oil,
the oil analysis should be used to identify changes and trends. Oil analysis tests are often offered
free or for a nominal charge by the lubricant supplier as part of the overall service provided. If
the physical design of the fan prevents ready access to the bearings, the pre-startup checks should
be accomplished during the out-of-service maintenance period before “closing up” the fan for
operation.

Key O&M Cost Point


Oil analysis tests are often offered free or for a nominal charge by the lubricant
supplier as part of the overall service provided.

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6.3 Nondestructive Examination

Nondestructive examination of the rotating components of large fans is important to identify


problem before catastrophic failures occur. Details are provided in Appendix B.

6.4 Infrared Thermography

Infrared thermography is typically used to identify problems with electric motor leads. It is not
used on the fans.

6.5 Motor Current Analysis

Condition monitoring of the electric motors is addressed in EPRI report NP-7502, Electric Motor
Predictive and Preventive Maintenance Guide [3].

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7
MAINTENANCE

Fans require periodic inspection and maintenance to ensure their mechanical and aerodynamic
integrity for reliable operation. This section identifies the recommended maintenance tasks and
their frequencies. Because each application could be different, the experience at a given plant
should be reviewed and these frequencies adjusted.

The major maintenance areas for centrifugal fans are the blade liners, main shaft bearings, and
inlet vane or inlet damper linkages. Repair or replacement of the blade liners requires the most
specialized labor. The liners can often be repaired by welding instead of being replaced. Either
case requires balancing the fan wheel. The main shaft bearing requires the same type of
maintenance as that required for the bearings for most other large rotating equipment.
Maintenance of inlet vane or control damper linkage presents no special problems if the linkage
is properly designed.

Key Technical Point


The major maintenance areas for centrifugal fans are the blade liners, main shaft
bearings, and inlet vane or inlet damper linkages.

Axial fans require considerably more maintenance than centrifugal fans. The maintenance areas
include blade bearings, main shaft bearings, the hydraulic blade positioning system, and blade
replacement. The blade bearings are subjected to high loads and require frequent maintenance.
Hydraulic blade positioners have been a source of problems for some axial fan installations.
Some utilities send the hydraulic actuators back to the manufacturer for rebuilding rather than
repairing them. Blades on axial fans are designed to be replaced.

Key Technical Point


Axial fans require considerably more maintenance than centrifugal fans.

Previous surveys and studies indicated that some plants have had availability problems with axial
flow fans—and the availability has a strong correlation with maintenance practices. Stations that
follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and rebuilt the axial fan rotors have high
availability; those that do not have had problems. It was found that the units that follow the
recommended maintenance had axial fan availability similar to that for centrifugal fans.

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Maintenance

Actual maintenance will depend on the design of the fans, actual operating conditions, and the
owner’s philosophy on preventive maintenance.

Maintenance inspections at specified frequencies must be performed on draft fans and on their
supportive auxiliaries in order to maintain a high standard of safe and reliable operation. This
section provides checks for specific fan components. Recommendations are provided for routine
maintenance and for overhauls. The frequency of the activities varies with the application, and
suggested frequencies are provided for some activities.

7.1 Developing a Preventive Maintenance Program

The evolution from a fix-when-fail philosophy to a preventive maintenance (PM) philosophy


begins with developing a list of maintenance checks for each fan and its supportive auxiliary
systems. This list of checks is based on manufacturer’s recommendations, operational
experience, and the power plant’s trained manpower assets. Knowing the capabilities of the
maintenance department helps determine which maintenance checks can be accomplished by in-
house staff and which must be contracted out. Recommendations from the manufacturer and
operational experience can provide valuable insight in determining not only what checks should
be done, but also how often they should be done. Conversely, inspection intervals should be
increased for equipment for which maintenance checks show no signs of wear.

Key O&M Cost Point


Recommendations from the manufacturer and operational experience can provide
valuable insight in determining not only what checks should be done, but also
how often they should be done.

Warning signs, such as excessive equipment failure after maintenance has been completed, could
be indications of inadequately trained personnel and/or poor quality control standards. The
philosophy of “if it works, don’t fix it” should be considered in any maintenance program.
Opening and inspecting components such as bearings or actuators can lead to additional
problems and equipment downtime. A balance must be attained by performing PM but avoiding
opening and inspecting equipment if no problems (such as high temperature or pressure) are
present. This balance is achieved by carefully determining an adequate time period (that is,
frequency) between checks. Note that this does not in any way suggest that basic sound operating
engineering practices—such as ensuring adequate lubrication, clean lubrication, daily visual
inspection of the equipment, and clean equipment—should be ignored.

Key O&M Cost Point


A balance must be attained by performing PM but avoiding opening and
inspecting equipment if no problems (such as high temperature or pressure) are
present.

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Once this list of checks is finalized, the next step is to develop written formatted PM tasks. Each
PM task should provide an itemized listing of what is required to accomplish the specific
maintenance action. Actual procedures to conduct a specific maintenance action may also be
incorporated on this PM task sheet. For example, a well-thought-out PM task should include
information such as the trades involved in the check; related additional checks that could be
accomplished simultaneously, special tools required to accomplish the job, person-hours
required, technical manuals and drawings required, and data readings to be taken. A database
incorporated into a PM task can provide a ready reference for personnel to use during equipment
maintenance periods. In certain cases, a “pictorial map” could also be attached to a task sheet to
provide standard locations to take measurements.

7.2 Basic Rules for Conducting Maintenance

To avoid unnecessary injury to personnel or damage to the equipment, sound basic maintenance
rules should be practiced at all times:
• Keep the area around the disassembled equipment clean.
• Take inventory of the tools brought in and out of a job.
• Use the correct tool for the job specified.
• Do not take shortcuts when safety is involved.
• Follow proper tag-out and valve-out procedures.
• Keep the shop supervisor informed of the progress and any problems encountered.
• For PM actions, verify that the required parts are available before starting the job.

7.3 Periodic Maintenance Recommendations

Table 7-1 presents typical surveillance and PM frequencies. The actual tasks and frequencies for
a specific plant should be reviewed based on the plant-specific experience.

Table 7-1
Surveillance and Preventive Maintenance Frequencies

Task Operator Six Annual Four Years


Rounds Month (minor (major overhaul)
(each shift) overhaul)

Check bearing oil temperature X

Check bearing oil levels X

Check bearing oil pressure X

Inspect bearing lube oil and cooling X


system

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Table 7-1
Surveillance and Preventive Maintenance Frequencies (continued)

Task Operator Six Annual Four Years


Rounds Month (minor (major overhaul)
(each shift) overhaul)

Check hydraulic oil unit, flue gas X


fan, and cooling air fan

Inspect lube oil and hydraulic lines X


for leakage

Check fan bearing temperature X

Analyze vibration X
Inspect and overhaul main shaft X
bearings
Inspect and overhaul coupling X

Lubricate impeller blade bearings to X


ensure that the same amount of
grease is injected into all blade
bearings to avoid unbalance

Replace filters on hydraulic unit X


Check lube oil quality, and change Visual Lab
oil if required (change at least every analysis
two years)

Check hydraulic oil quality, and Axial with


change oil if required (change at variable-
least every two years) pitch
blades
Check all instrumentation on X
hydraulic unit
Check all instruments for X
temperature and vibration
monitoring

Check pitch control system Axial with


variable-
pitch
blades
Check fan for wear and erosion X

Inspect and lubricate variable inlet X


vanes

Perform visual inspections of wheel Centrifugal


for cracks (see
Appendix
B)

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Table 7-1
Surveillance and Preventive Maintenance Frequencies (continued)

Task Operator Six Annual Four Years


Rounds Month (minor (major overhaul)
(each shift) overhaul)

Inspect housing and wheel-to-inlet- X


cone clearances

Inspect foundation, pedestals, and X


anchor bolts

Inspect expansion joints X

Inspect turning gear X


Inspect main drive motor X

Inspect fluid drive X


Replace blade bearings Axial with variable-
pitch blades

Replace control studs Axial with variable-


pitch blades

Replace slide bearings Axial with variable-


pitch blades

Replace rotating union Axial with variable-


pitch blades

Replace shaft bearings Roller bearings


only

Rebuild variable inlet vanes X

For extended shutdowns (shutdowns greater than one month), the following maintenance tasks
should be performed:
• Start hydraulic unit once every two weeks, and run it for 30 minutes.
• Inspect and clean flue gas fan, and check for wear of impeller blades.

7.4 Component Maintenance

The following subsections describe the maintenance tasks for the components and accessories of
centrifugal and axial fans.

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7.4.1 Bearings

Ensuring that the lubricant is at the correct level, clean, and of good quality is essential to
prolonging the operational life of a bearing. An inadequate amount of oil being supplied to a
bearing will result in its operating at higher-than-normal temperatures. High-temperature
conditions can cause the oil to break down and the bearing to be damaged by excessive friction
levels. Similarly, excessive amounts of oil or grease can cause the bearing to overheat as well.
Levels recommended by the manufacturer should be adhered to.

Static lubricating oil systems offer a particular challenge to a maintenance department. If a low-
level condition is discovered during operation, personnel should proceed with caution when
adding oil to the affected bearing while the fan is in operation. Relatively colder oil that is added
while the shaft is rotating can disrupt the oil film that has been formed. If this condition occurs,
metal-to-metal contact can be expected, with resulting damage to the bearing.

Key Technical Point


If oil in a self-contained sump is below the normal level, adding relatively cold
oil may disrupt the oil film. Shut down the fan before adding oil.

The quality of the oil being used is best determined by taking an oil sample. Visual inspections
taken before fan startup can assure operators that the oil quality is satisfactory. Periodic oil
samples taken while the fan is in operation are recommended for bearings lubricated by a
circulating oil system. Taking an oil sample on a static system during fan operation is not
recommended. Use of a drain valve installed in place of a drain plug can provide some measure
of control if personnel consider it necessary to sample oil during fan operation. If a drain valve is
used, it is good practice to install a cup or plug to seal the discharge line from dirt and to act as a
safeguard to prevent draining of the system if the valve is accidentally opened. Two primary
concerns are that the oil film may be disrupted as the oil is being replenished with colder oil and
that the sump may run dry while the fan is in operation.
Do not mix oils in the lubrication system or bearing housing. Chemical additives in different oils
can cause a breakdown in the viscosity, cooling, or bearing lubrication.

Key Technical Point


Do not mix oils in the lubrication system or bearing housing. Chemical additives
in different oils can cause a breakdown in the viscosity, cooling, or bearing
lubrication.

There are four general indicators for impending bearing failure: vibration, excessive noise,
steady increase in bearing operating temperature over time, and/or a lube oil sample
contaminated with babbitt or water.

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Maintenance

7.4.1.2 Routine Maintenance Recommendations

Routine maintenance should include the following:


• Verifying that oil is at the proper level
• Visually inspecting the seals for leakage
• Checking the bearing temperature and ensuring that heaters (if installed) are placed in
operation
• Adjusting the cooling water flow to maintain correct temperature

It should be noted that the recommended minimum temperature varies for each manufacturer.
For bearings cooled by a circulating oil system, the following tasks should be performed:
• For bearing fitted with inspection covers, verify lube oil flow through the bearings, check for
proper operation of oil rings, and visually observe oil circulation.
• Wipe the inspection cover thoroughly before opening to prevent any dirt or debris from
entering the bearing system. Bleed any air pockets from the system by “cracking open” a
vent valve.
• Inspecting the bearing cooling systems:
– Verify alignment and start the system.
– Inspect for leaks.
– Verify that flow has been established.
– For a closed system, bleed any air pockets from the system by cracking open a system
vent valve.
• Drawing an oil sample and conduct a visual inspection for the following:
– Water contamination
– Particulate contamination (for example, dirt or metallic)

Note: When drawing an oil sample, ensure that the sample bottle is clean and dry; if not, it
should be wiped with a lint-free rag.
• Ensure that the area around the sample petcock/sample plug is clean before opening.
• For systems having sample lines, adequately flush the line to remove any dirt or
condensation that may have collected inside the line.

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Maintenance

7.4.1.2 Bearing Overhaul

Worn components should be replaced as required. The replacement criteria are directly related to
physical damage caused by cuts, heat, corrosion, or other factors.

The following provides a list of components most susceptible to wear:


• Gaskets
• Packing rings
• Seals (including any auxiliary seals)
• Seal springs
• Laminated shims
• Garter springs
• Wave springs

An inspection should be made of the babbitt surface for surface scoring or wiping (axial scoring
is unacceptable; circumferential scoring is not to exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations),
noting the following:
• Fatigue cracking
• Corrosion
• “Black scab” or “wire wool” damage
• Pitting due to electrical discharge
• Overheating
• Uneven wear
• Fretting
• Inadequate lubrication

During normal open and inspect periods, maintenance personnel can check tightness by applying
hand pressure at the ends and horizontal joint of the babbitt. If oil is observed to permeate out,
then the babbitt is loose. A dye penetrant test could also be used.

The sleeve bore inner diameter should be checked. If bearing sleeves must be replaced, the rust
preservative used on the new sleeves must be verified as being compatible with the lubricating
oil. If it is not, then any rust preservative applied to the new sleeves must be thoroughly removed
with a manufacturer-approved solvent.

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An inspection should be made of the shaft journal for ridges, grooves, and/or sharp edges, and, if
they are present, they should be removed with an approved abrasive cloth. The shaft journal
should have a finish range specified by the manufacturer.

Thrust collars should be inspected for axial and radial run out. On a thrust bearing, the face-to-
face dimension is critical. A check should be made that the passes are perpendicular to the face.

Clearance checks should be made to verify the following:


• Total indicated run out clearance between the sleeve thrust face and the thrust collar
• Distance from the shaft to the bearing housing seal groove/recess
• Clearance between outer diameter of the seal and inner diameter of the bearing housing
• Clearance between the inner face of the oil conveyor disk and the orifice partition
• Clearance between the scoop and guide assembly

Some bearings require a specific housing-to-bearing clearance, which must be set.

The following alignment checks should be performed:


• Inspect shaft journal, sleeves, thrust collars, and interior of bearing housings for corrosion
and dirt. Clean surfaces with an approved cleaning solvent, such as mineral spirits or
kerosene.
• Inspect water cavities and oil cavities for dirt and corrosion; clean as required.
• Inspect oil rings and oil conveyor for damage or looseness.
• Inspect threads of various bolts and pipe nipples for burrs and corrosion.
• Inspect sensor cavities for dirt and corrosion.
• Replenish oil to the bearing sump
• Enter accomplished maintenance actions on equipment PM records.

Maintenance will vary with the complexity of this system. Specific components requiring
various degrees of maintenance include the following:
• Pumps and motors
• Gauges, pressure relief valves, pressure switches, temperature switches, and motor
controllers
• Piping and valves
• Heat exchanger
• Cooling fan
• Sump

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Maintenance

7.4.2 Lubrication System

7.4.2.1 Routine Maintenance

Some routine maintenance tasks should be completed to verify that the lube oil is at the proper
level in the sump and at the required temperature. To control the temperature through the heaters
or cooling system (which is either air or water), it should be verified that the cooling fans are
running (if installed). The cooling water flow should be checked, and correct heater operation
should be verified.

Discharge filters and pump suction strainers should be cleaned and inspected. In addition, all
electrical connections (such as cables for pumps, sensors, and so on) should be checked for
cracks or looseness, and all control panel access doors should be checked to verify that they are
closed and properly secured.

External fasteners should be checked for the pumps, fan motor, heat exchanger (air/water cooled
type), and pressure switches.

In the event of a low-pressure alarm, it should be verified that the standby pump will start by
checking for signs of leaks in the following:
• Supply/return piping and flexible hoses
• Filter and strainer assemblies
• Pump suction and discharge liner
• Inlet/outlet of heat exchangers (if installed), including both water and oil sides
• Valves and sight glasses

Any unusual conditions of noise or vibration should be noted. The differential pressure across
filter elements should be checked—and shifted, inspected, and cleaned as required.

7.4.2.2 Circulating Lube Oil System Overhaul

The calibration and inspection of all system instrumentation and sensors should include the
following:
• Pressure switches
• Thermostats
• Relief valves
• Liquid-level switches

Pump operation and alarms at given system test pressures should be verified.

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The inspection of a water-cooled heat exchanger should include the following:


• Open and inspect heat exchanger interior; remove sludge and scale deposits.
• If leakage is suspected, check for tube leakage (cracked tubes, damaged tube joints).

In the event of low-discharge pressure, the pump should be opened and the impeller surfaces and
wear ring, as well as the foot valve, should be inspected.

When poor oil quality is suspected, the sump should be drained and cleaned; all door gaskets
should be inspected and replaced as necessary. Before re-closing the sump, it is important to
ensure that all rags have been removed.

In the maintenance of all electrical components, the following tasks should be performed:
• Conduct continuity checks on electric motors and heater coils.
• Inspect all cables for cracking or other damage.
• Open, inspect, and clean all control and relay boxes.
• Verify that all electric motors have been connected properly by checking component rotation.

All exterior surfaces should be inspected and cleaned; all corrosion should be removed; and
priming and painting should be performed, as required.

An inspection and cleaning of cooling fan blades and air-cooled heat exchanger surfaces should
also be performed.

All filters and strainers should be inspected and cleaned. The location of filters is very important.
Filters installed only at the suction side of the oil pump do well in protecting the pump.
However, pump wear or damage can pass to the bearings if oil is not final-filtered before it enters
the bearing. The optimum system has both suction filters and final filters. These final filters
should be installed as close to the bearings as possible.

All system components and lines should be primed and vented.

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Maintenance

7.4.3 Couplings

Couplings provide a means of connecting the prime mover (that is, electric motor or steam
turbine) to the designated load—the draft fan rotor. There are two types of couplings: flexible
and rigid. Flexible couplings are used extensively in draft fan service.

Depending on the design and service requirements, flexible couplings can provide the following
benefits:
• Provide protection for slight misalignment caused by thermal expansion and contraction
between the prime mover and its load
• Lessen vibrational torque to reduce noise and absorb any torsional oscillation that may be
generated during a transient condition (startup, shutdown, and speed changes associated with
a variable-speed motor).

There are four types of flexible couplings used with draft fans: grid, gear, elastomeric sleeve and
elements, and disk. These couplings can be divided into two broad categories:
• Sealed lubricated (grid and gear types)
• Non-lubricated (rubber sleeve, rubber elements, and disk)

Gear and grid type couplings are designed with limited end float to prevent motor rotor axial
movement that can cause damage to the motor.

Coupling maintenance is discussed in more detail in EPRI report 1007910, Flexible Shaft
Couplings Maintenance Guide [5].

7.4.3.1 Routine Maintenance Recommendations

Some routine maintenance recommendations include the following:


• Verifying that the coupling has the correct type and amount of grease (grease-lubricated
couplings only)
• Ensuring that the fasteners and grease fittings are properly tightened
• Visually inspecting the area around the coupling for:
– Leaks
– Rags or other obstructions
• Ensuring that the coupling guard is installed

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These checks are performed on fans having couplings that are readily accessible for a pre-start
inspection.
• Inspecting for cracked disks (disk-type coupling)
• Visually inspecting for unusual noise or vibration
• Visually checking for collection of rubber-like dust directly below the coupling (elastomeric
sleeve/element type only)

7.4.3.2 Coupling Overhaul

For a gear-type coupling, an overhaul would include the following tasks:


• Disassembling and inspecting the coupling in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines
• Thoroughly removing and cleaning old grease from the coupling and inspecting the
following areas for signs of wear or fatigue cracks:
– Teeth
– Grid
– Fasteners
– O-rings, gaskets, and grease seals
• Obtaining a sample of the grease for testing
• Reassembling the unit

Key Technical Point


Verify that components used to restrict motor shaft movement are installed.

• Replenishing grease
• Performing alignment checks:
– Parallel alignment
– Angular alignment

Note that the gap spacer is in place and correctly installed (for limited end float coupling
designs).

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For a disk-type coupling, an overhaul would include the following tasks:


• Conducting a visual inspection for cracks developing in the disk(s).
• Disassembling the coupling, checking the extent of the disk cracks; and replacing any
damaged disk.

Note: The order or number of the shims in a disk pack coupling must not be changed.
• Replacing the fasteners if the locking feature is in doubt.

Note: The locking feature of these fasteners becomes compromised when they are removed and
reinstalled a certain number of times. As an example, Rexnord recommends replacing the
fasteners after they have been removed and reinstalled between 7 and 10 times.

Key Human Performance Point


The locking feature of these fasteners becomes compromised when they are
removed and reinstalled a certain number of times.

• Performing alignment checks:


– Parallel alignment
– Angular alignment

7.4.3.3 Coupling Alignment

Misalignment can result in high fan vibrations. For fan installations that have high vibration
sensitivity, the coupling can be aligned to a tighter tolerance, which reduces vibration. A tighter
tolerance on coupling alignment can be achieved by using a computerized alignment device.

It is important to verify that the thrust load of the fan is not imposed on the motor thrust bearing.
This requires knowledge of the magnetic center of the motor.

For more detailed information on alignment, refer to EPRI report TR-112449, Shaft Alignment
Guide [6].

Key Human Performance Point


It is important to verify that the thrust load of the fan is not imposed on the motor
thrust bearing. This requires knowledge of the magnetic center of the motor.

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7.4.4 Variable Inlet Vanes and Control Dampers

On centrifugal fans, the variable inlet vanes require the most maintenance.

7.4.4.1 Routine Maintenance

Some routine maintenance recommendations include the following:


• Inspection of the linkage/lever assembly.
• Inspection of the fittings and locking bolts for signs of wear.
• For double inlet configuration, verification that the dampers are synchronized. (This is
accomplished by establishing a reference dimension, actuating the vanes, and comparing the
two sides for balance.)
• Checking the hub linkage pins for wear.
– Remove dirt-infested grease from the area around the grease fittings, and lubricate the
grease fittings.
– Ensure that lubrication intervals are not longer than one year.
– Note that some vane designs have more than one grease fitting per vane, and some vane
designs are lubricant-free with self-lubricant bushings.

7.4.4.2 Inlet Vane Overhaul

To overhaul the inlet vane, the following tasks should be performed:


1. Remove old grease and dirt from the linkage assembly; replenish the grease.
2. Consult the manufacturer for an approved cleaning method before conducting this step.
Steam clean, water wash, and sandblast the blades to remove any dirt buildup.
3. Conduct a visual inspection of the following items, checking for corrosion, erosion, and
cracking:
– Blades
– Damper seals
– Frame assembly
– Actuator
– Linkage assembly

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4. Disassemble the damper bearings and inspect and clean the roller bearings, paying particular
attention to the following items:
– Broken or cracked rings
– Dented shields and seals
– Cracked or broken separators
– Broken or cracked balls or rollers
– Flaked or spalled areas on balls, rollers, or raceways
– Brownish-blue or blue-black discoloration caused by overheating
– Indented, brinelled, or etched raceways

If any of these conditions exist, the bearing should be replaced.


5. Inspect the blade shafts:
– Clean and inspect bearing mounting points; remove any dirt, burrs, or other extraneous
items.
– Check for bowed shaft.
6. Reassemble the components in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions:
– Ensure that all fasteners are in good condition; check for damaged threads.
– Replace packing/seals.
7. Manually cycle the dampers; observe operation of the linkage and blades. Note any binding
or noise.
8. Verify that dampers are synchronized. Establish a reference dimension, actuate the vanes,
and compare the two sides for balance.
9. Set mechanical and electrical limits.

7.4.5 Centrifugal Fan Wheels

The fan wheel is the most critical area of the fan in terms of structural reliability. Inspections
should be conducted at regularly scheduled intervals and whenever the opportunities arise
(termed inspections of opportunity). A more detailed description of fan wheel inspection and
weld repair is provided in Appendix A. However, as an overview of recommended maintenance,
particular attention is suggested for the structural welds that connect the blades, center plate, and
side plates as a functional unit.

The integrity of these welds is critical. Damage (manifested in the form of cracking or corrosive
wear) can be partial or total. Unchecked damage may result in an increase in vibration levels
with additional wheel damage, which, subsequently, may increase in severity to catastrophic
failure with a serious potential for injury to personnel.

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Key Human Performance Point


Damage (manifested in the form of cracking or corrosive wear) can be partial or
total. Unchecked damage may result in an increase in vibration levels with
additional wheel damage, which subsequently may increase in severity to
catastrophic failure with a serious potential for injury to personnel.

A typical centrifugal fan rotor (wheel) is shown in Figure 7-1 and comprises the following
components:
• Blade
• Center plate
• Side plate
• Shaft
• Hub

The fan wheel consists of the blades, center plate, and side plates.

The primary goal of the maintenance program is to maintain a high state of material upkeep and
availability of these components.

Figure 7-1
Centrifugal Fan Wheel

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Maintenance

7.4.5.1 Centrifugal Fan Wheel NDE

Large centrifugal fan wheels are highly stressed rotating equipment. The design stress may be as
high as 80% of yield, and the material may be a quenched and tempered high-strength material
such as ASTM A514 or A517, with a yield strength of 100,000 psi. Many large centrifugal fans
have had cracks, and there have been a few mechanical failures. It is important to periodically
conduct NDE (such as wet fluorescent magnetic particle) of welds and to properly repair any
cracks. The techniques for examining and repairing welds are covered in Appendix A.

Key Human Performance Point


Large centrifugal fan wheels are highly stressed rotating equipment. The design
stress may be as high as 80% of yield, and the material may be a quenched and
tempered high-strength material such as ASTM A514 or A517, with a yield
strength of 100,000 psi. Many large centrifugal fans have had cracks, and there
have been a few mechanical failures.

7.4.5.2 Blades

Several problem areas associated with centrifugal fan blades include the following:
• Erosion with subsequent imbalance
• Loss or deterioration of blade liners due to erosion
• Failed bolts or poor or failed welds
• Cracking
• Buildup of fly ash inside airfoil blades

These problems can be readily detected and corrected in their early stages if proper cleaning and
inspection (both visual and nondestructive methods) are conducted regularly.

Regular cleaning of fan wheel blades subjected to erosive or corrosive environments is highly
recommended to avoid fly ash or corrosion buildup. Successful cleaning methods include steam
cleaning, high-pressure water, or abrasive blast cleaning. Blasting with frozen CO2 pellets has
been used for cleaning, with the benefit of eliminating the need to remove the blast medium from
the fan. Care should be exercised when cleaning the blades with either steam or high-pressure
water. To prevent thermal shock to the blades, personnel should defer cleaning until the fan
blades have adequately cooled. The temperature difference between the blades and the cleaning
medium should not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations. A second consideration
concerning all three techniques deals with “filling” the hollow sections of the airfoil blades with

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either water or grit or sand, thereby causing imbalance. To avoid this situation, a visual
inspection is recommended before any cleaning is undertaken. Direct impingement of areas
noted to have large cracks or surface separation should be avoided. Cleaning should be done
using wire brushes or scrapers to minimize particles from entering the blade interior.

Key O&M Cost Point


Blasting with frozen CO2 pellets has been used for cleaning, with the benefit of
eliminating the need to remove the blast medium from the fan.

Buildup of fly ash inside airfoil blades is caused by erosive wear providing a path for the gas
stream to enter the blade interior. Correction of this situation (should it occur) involves two
steps:
1. Confirming that the cause of the vibration is from fly ash buildup inside the blades
2. Removing the fly ash from the blade interior

The first step involves the detection of a high vibration level followed by pinpointing which
blades are affected. High vibration can be detected through daily monitoring and trending of the
vibration levels. Once a high vibration condition is reached, diagnostic equipment allows
maintenance personnel to determine the exact cause and location.

Once the blade(s) has been identified, the next step is to remove the fly ash. This step will
require a section of the blade skin to be removed to allow personnel to access the blade interior.
If this is required, reviewing technical data—such as drawings that show how the blade is
constructed and the applicable welding procedure used to determine blade material—is
recommended before any work is begun. After the section(s) has been removed, maintenance
personnel may be required to use a metal rod to mechanically dislodge fly ash that has hardened.
This material should be “broken up” as best as possible and removed with a vacuum. Some
utilities recommend using a high-pressure water jet to fully remove fly ash in difficult-to-reach
places. Rotating the blade 180° will allow for the water to adequately drain out. Using high-
pressure air to remove remaining pockets of water should also be considered.

Any holes due to erosion or made to remove ash from hollow blades should be repaired. The fan
manufacturer should be consulted for recommendations for cutting holes and repairing holes.

One method of protecting centrifugal ID fan blades from erosion is to use protective liners and
solid nose pieces, as shown in Figure 7-2. The liner should cover the nose of the blade and the
full length of the blade adjacent to the center plate. Liners should not be added without
evaluating the impact of the additional weight on the stresses in the fan wheel and the additional
starting load on the motor. The fan manufacturer should be consulted to evaluate the effect of
liners on the stresses on the fan.

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Figure 7-2
Wear and Erosion Protective Accessories

Liners can create a problem with NDE of the fan welds. Also, cracks in liners can propagate into
the blade material. The capability to perform NDE should be considered when the material of the
liners is selected. Using the same material as the fan blades may not provide the same erosion
resistance as a hardened material but will avoid the NDE and crack propagation problems.

Many plants have had success with flame spray coatings (usually with 45% chrome) on ID fans
and gas recirculation fans.

Coating fan blades to improve erosion resistance has met with varying degrees of success.
Coatings can affect the physical properties of the base materials of the fan. Cracks in coatings
can propagate into the fan members. Tests using proposed coatings and fan structural material
should be performed and evaluated before the coatings are actually used.

Key Technical Point


Coatings can affect the physical properties of the base materials of the fan.
Cracks in coatings can propagate into the fan members. Tests using proposed
coatings and fan structural material should be performed and evaluated before the
coatings are actually used.

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Coatings create a problem with NDE of the fan welds. The coating in the area of the welds may
need to be removed for NDE.

7.4.5.3 Center Plate/Side Plate

Principal problems associated with these components include the following:


• Erosion
• Weld flaws and cracks
• Insufficient weld penetration
• Loose rivets or bolts caused by oversized holes (found on older fans)

An inspection program that encompasses both visual (VT) and nondestructive evaluation (NDE)
inspections will greatly assist maintenance personnel in detecting these problems. Consideration
should be given to increasing the frequency of the inspection and performing a detailed NDE
inspection for fans that exhibit cracking problems that continue to increase in severity.

If replacement wheels are being considered, acceptability standards for the welds should be
given a high priority before being written into the specifications. A standard that requires no
linear indications and welds that are contour ground will lessen problems associated with
interpretation and subjectivity during future inspections. For older fans where insufficient weld
penetration is suspected, an ultrasonic test could be used to identify problem areas.

7.4.6 Shaft

Results from previous EPRI reports [2, 3] as well as surveys conducted in support of this project
indicate that shafts continue to have limited problems. Operationally induced problems range
from bowing to scored journal surfaces. Cracking may sometimes develop at the step change of a
section as well. If cracking is suspected, either from surface indications noted during a visual
inspection or from an increase in vibration levels, follow-up NDE inspections are recommended
to confirm or eliminate the possibility of cracks at the step.

Technology exists to determine the presence of cracks elsewhere on the shaft. The practicality
and economics involved in work of this scope together with low stress levels placed on a fan
shaft and few, if any, incidents of cracked shafts being reported make this maintenance action
difficult to justify. A cracked shaft may develop as a second-order vibration. Unfortunately, this
condition may also indicate a bowed shaft, misalignment, or looseness. However, inspection of
cracks on a fan shaft is recommended in the case of catastrophic wheel failure or serious
misalignment or imbalance.

An additional consideration in shaft maintenance involves the presence of corrosion in areas


outside the gas stream. This condition may develop typically with ID or GR fans in the event of
leaks around the shaft/housing seal. Replacement of the seal, along with removal of the
corrosion, is advised when practical.

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7.4.7 Hubs

Although feedback from the surveys for this project indicated no problems with this component,
a regular visual inspection of hubs is recommended to examine for erosion or damaged fasteners.
This inspection could easily be incorporated into the maintenance program for the entire wheel.
An ultrasonic test (UT) can effectively be used to supplement a VT inspection, checking a hub
for cracks, inclusions, cracked fasteners, and erosive wear. A UT examination of the hub should
be a low priority, however, and is recommended only once every 10 years unless a problem is
suspected or the VT identifies potential problems.

7.4.8 Structural Support System

The structural support system (SSS) is a five-component system comprising a concrete


foundation, a grout layer, anchor bolts, pedestal, and sole plate/base plate. Maintenance of these
components is often nonexistent. However, the SSS is no different from any other supportive
auxiliary system and should therefore be incorporated into a PM program.

7.4.8.1 Concrete Foundation

An annual visual inspection of the foundation is recommended.

7.4.8.2 Repairing Concrete Foundations

Assuming that the soil base has been properly stabilized, the repair of concrete foundations
encompasses two areas:
• Surface cleaning
• Crack repair

To gain maximum effectiveness, each of these maintenance actions should include both
prevention and detection. Prevention is a two-tiered process. Early detection through regular
inspections will provide a decisive step toward prevention of major problems and the major
repairs that follow. Investigating and determining the cause of the casualty is the second part of a
PM action. Maintenance personnel should avoid hasty repairs without first addressing the
question: “What caused this problem?” This is especially true in the case of concrete foundation
repair. If the foundation continues to crack, hidden problems such as voids in a concrete
foundation or an unstable soil base should be considered for investigation.

The correction or repair of a concrete foundation involves the choice between a permanent fix
(which may require the erection of a new foundation) and a semi-permanent fix used as a “stop
gap measure” to keep the fan on-line until a scheduled outage or until the needed logistics are
brought together to effect more permanent repairs.

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7.4.8.3 Surface Cleaning

Over time, oil may degrade the structural integrity of concrete by causing a physical breakdown
in the matrix structure of the concrete. This breakdown process is not immediate and may take
years to develop into a serious problem; however, it is one problem that can certainly be
prevented and corrected.

Steam cleaning provides one possible solution for concrete surfaces that have been subjected to
oil spillage over a period of years.

7.4.8.4 Crack Repair

Curing cracks do not have any appreciable depth or pattern; structural cracks, however, are large
and deep. If structural cracks are not addressed, they may continue to develop in severity. As the
foundation continues to degrade, operators and maintenance personnel can expect equipment
misalignment, bearing problems, and an increase in vibration amplitude. Early detection is
critical to limiting damage to both the foundation and the draft fan.

Because anchor bolts are stress risers, structural cracks will appear most often in the immediate
vicinity of these bolts. Proper installation of these anchor bolts and correction of equipment
vibration offer the best courses of action to take in avoiding this problem.

Before actual repairs can begin, several factors, primarily the following, should be considered:
• Choice of the correct grout
• Severity of the damage
• Urgency to bring the fan back on line
• Access to the damaged area

The effectiveness of a grout is based on its ability to act as an adhesive and to bond the damaged
area into a structurally sound joint. Determining which grout resin system to use is an important
factor in the repair process. Variables such as pot life (curing time), non-shrink capability, ability
to bond through oil films, viscosity, and wetability all factor into the effectiveness of the grout to
penetrate the crack and bond the two cracked segments into a cohesive unit.

The extent of damage is the final determining factor in deciding whether a foundation can be
repaired. Experienced personnel in the field of concrete foundation repair should be consulted to
assist in the decision process. Once it has been determined that the foundation can be repaired,
the need for the draft fan provides an important input into the decision to conduct temporary
repairs or defer the maintenance action until a scheduled outage.

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7.4.8.5 Anchor Bolts

An anchor bolt functions as a clamp to provide a secure means for holding the base plate to the
concrete foundation. This clamping effect is accomplished through a spring-type action between
the anchor bolts and the concrete foundation/grout layer system. As the bolt nuts are tightened,
the bolt itself begins to stretch. This stretching phenomenon plays an important part in the
successful application and performance of the anchor bolt. As each anchor bolt is tightened, the
bolts become a system of springs that will collectively apply a clamping or compressive effect
around the entire base plate. The net effect achieved is a secure base on which the draft fan can
operate.

7.4.8.5.1 Forces Affecting Anchor Bolts

During the operational life of the draft fan, anchor bolts will be subjected to three loading
conditions:
• Initial preload: Load developed when the anchor bolt is first tightened.
• Residual preload: The load remaining after all anchor bolts have been properly tightened.
• Working load: The load to which the anchor bolt is subjected while the draft fan is in
operation.

If properly installed and tightened, the residual pre-load on the bolts should be less than any load
caused by operation.

7.4.8.5.2 Proper Installation

Critical to achieving a good installation is the need to properly isolate the anchor bolt, and there
are two areas that require special attention to ensure anchor bolt isolation. First, foam insulation
in the area around the grout where the bolt penetrates can provide adequate isolation. Failure to
accomplish this allows the grout to bond to the bolt. Should this occur, the bolt would be limited
to stretch in a short section. Two consequences of this condition are the following:
• Loose bolts after fan startup with subsequent cracking of the grout around the bolt.
• Inability of the anchor bolt to flex in case the base plate moves laterally.

Second, the area between the sleeve and the anchor bolt requires isolation. AMCA 202, “Fan
Application Manual” [7], suggests filling the sleeve with a pliable material such as silicone
rubber. If the sleeve is filled with grout or other rigid material, extremely high stresses can
develop in the foundation by preventing the anchor bolts from developing the spring action. As a
direct consequence, cracking can occur in the foundation in the area around the affected anchor
bolt(s).

There are three principal checks associated with these components. Maintenance is based on
“good housekeeping” practices and consists of surface cleaning, corrosion prevention, and
inspecting hold-down bolts for proper tightness.

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An oil-soaked surface can easily mask small leaks and provides a slip hazard to personnel
required to work in the affected area. It also provides a mechanism for oil to migrate down to the
grout and the concrete foundation, encourages an attitude that accepts leaks or standing oil as
normal station procedure, and presents a potential fire hazard. Conversely, a clean surface
provides a visual baseline for personnel to quickly detect leaks, prevents oil from reaching the
grout and concrete, and allows inspections of bearing housings or hold-down bolts to be
accomplished without danger of injury to personnel due to a slip hazard or a hand injury
resulting from a wrench slipping off the bolt head.

Corrosion prevention begins with the initial installation. Surfaces that will be in contact with the
grout layer should be coated with a primer that is compatible with the grout being used. Base
metal, blisters, rusted surfaces, and oil- or grease-soaked surfaces are all unacceptable. Failure to
heed this precaution will prevent adequate bonding between the base plate/sole plate and the
layer of grout, which will lead to the grout cracking over time.

Inadequate corrosion prevention and unchecked corrosion can have serious consequences to
machinery using cementatious grout with metallic filings. If corrosion develops at the metal-
grout interface, it will continue and spread to the metallic filings. The pressure caused by the
corrosive forces can be of such magnitude as to cause misalignment of the machinery and
cracking of the concrete foundation.

7.4.9 Housing

Housing problems can be detected in their early development stages through a regular visual
inspection program. A visual inspection will be the primary element of a maintenance program
supporting this subsystem. Additional recommended maintenance actions include cleaning and
repair.

Frequently, the need for proper maintenance of the fan housing is either deferred or not fully
understood by station personnel. If these components do not receive adequate care, station
personnel can expect minor problems to escalate into major problems, requiring additional
capital and person-hours to correct.

If the fan housing cracks either at the welds or at various points, the following actions are
recommended:
• Check the quality of the original welds through a visual and NDE inspection.
• Check the quality of the weld repair procedure that was used.

7.4.9.1 Housing

Housing may undergo erosion due to ash in the flue gas. The erosion can be controlled by liner
plates welded to the housing.

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Corrosion can result from air leakage around shaft seals; corrosion of the housing from the
outside can be a problem if the insulation and lagging allow rain to penetrate and collect next to
the housing.

7.4.9.2 Inlet Cones

Inlet cones that operate in an erosive environment can erode or crack. Use of protective coatings
or hard-surfacing techniques offers protection, but these are susceptible to wear as well.

7.4.9.3 Fan Wheel Clearance

Although this particular topic is covered in more detail in the fan wheel maintenance section, it is
important to understand the effects of each part on the whole system. Improper fan wheel
clearance, for example, can have a negative impact on overall fan performance (see Figures 7-3
and 7-4). A simple adjustment of the fan-wheel-to-inlet-cone clearance can affect fan
performance by 5% or more.

Figure 7-3
Cross-Section View of a Fan Illustrating Clearance Requirements Between the Wheel Inlet
and the Inlet Bell

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Figure 7-4
Enlarged View of Figure 7-3

Key O&M Cost Point


A simple adjustment of the fan-wheel-to-inlet-cone clearance can affect fan
performance by 5% or more.

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7.4.9.4 Access Plates/Doors

Specific maintenance actions are required to ensure that the access plate can be used when
needed and to prevent the door from acting as a large crack or leak. This condition can cause the
following:
• Escape of corrosive or erosive gases into the environment.
• Negative effect on fan performance by not providing a gas-tight surface.
• Escape of corrosive gases that “attack” the surrounding lagging.
• Leakage of air on the ID and GR fan inlet, causing reduced capacity and corrosion.

To prevent these conditions from occurring, the following maintenance actions are
recommended:
• Proper securing of the hold-down bolts.
• Replacement of missing or damaged hold-down bolts.
• Inspection and replacement of door gaskets.
• Reinstallation of insulation covers over the access plates at the completion of the work.
(Failure to reinstall an insulation cover will cause cold air to condense and initiate a corrosive
attack in the immediate area.)

7.4.10 Expansion Joints

Although expansion joints are not a direct fan component, they are a relatively high-maintenance
component related to fans. The routine maintenance recommendations for expansion joints
consist of the following:
• Inspect joints for cracks and holes.
• Check for fly ash buildup in the folds of the expansion joints.
• Verify that the dust shields are in place and that the space behind the shields is not filled with
ash.
• Visually check expansion joints for uneven expansion or contraction.
• Conduct cold checks to verify proper alignment between the fan housing and joints.

Note: If painting is in progress, ensure that painters do not paint fabric expansion joints.

The overhaul of expansion joints consists of replacement. Expansion joints typically last 15–20
years.

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7.4.11 Electric Motors

Problems with motors can be identified early and corrected through a maintenance program that
is structured around motor cleanliness, lubrication, and routine inspections. These three elements
will form the necessary foundation for an effective electric motor maintenance program that will
lead to dependable and economical operation.

7.4.11.1 Dirt

Dirt is a common element in any generating station. Controlling this problem is a 24-hour a day
job. Electric motor ventilating spaces will be restricted over time if dirt is allowed to build up.
This problem will directly impact the ability of the motor to cool itself, and consequences of this
problem (if it is allowed to go unchecked) include the following:
• Breakdown of motor insulation
• Increase in auxiliary power consumption
• Potential for abrasion and wear of motor internal components

An effective cleaning program requires regularly cleaning the exterior of the electric motor,
regularly cleaning the motor’s filter assemblies, and cleaning the motor internals. Components
such as access panels and covers also play an important role in keeping dirt outside. Verifying
that gasket material and dust seals are in good condition, together with properly installing the
access panels, will pay valuable “maintenance dividends” in the battle to keep dirt out. Use of a
pre-filter assembly has an added advantage of allowing personnel to clean the filters without
requiring the motor to be shut down. Cleaning should be performed during every scheduled
boiler shutdown.

Use of clean, dry, compressed air is effective in removing dry, loose dust and particles. Air
pressure at 30 psig can be effective in blowing out a motor. Considerations when using
compressed air include the following:
• Blow out any accumulation of water in the air line and hose before using it.
• Consult the manufacturer on recommended air pressure; pressure exceeding the
recommended value can drive abrasive particles into the insulation and puncture it.
• Use recommended safety equipment when blowing out the motor; safety goggles, respirators,
and hearing protection are highly recommended.
• Install a suction blower or similar device at the opposite end to remove dirt-laden air.

Additional options for removing dirt include the use of clean lint-free rags and vacuum cleaners.
Lint will adhere to the insulation, resulting in an increase in dirt collection. Lint is also
particularly damaging on high-voltage insulation because it causes corona discharge to
concentrate in one area.

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7.4.11.2 Moisture

In all of these cases, simple anti-moisture precautions such as the following can be taken to avoid
motor damage:
• Protecting motors opened for maintenance against moisture by using space heaters,
coverings, and, when feasible, reinstalling access panels.
• Identifying and removing sources of moisture in and around the motor:
– Verify that all piping is properly insulated.
– Correct all leaks.
– Install protective coverings over motors when required; ensure that these coverings do
not restrict air movement.

7.4.11.3 Friction

To avoid damage caused by friction, the motor manufacturer’s lubricating instructions should be
followed, and the proper type of lubricant in the proper quantities and intervals suggested should
be used. Verifying the proper quantity of lubricant is vital. Excess amounts of lubricant can be
just as damaging as insufficient lubricant. Too much grease can promote friction and heat and
can leak onto stationary windings and rotating elements. This, in turn, can cause overheating and
deterioration of the insulation, resulting in eventual grounds and shorts.

7.4.11.4 Vibration

Excessive vibration can damage electrical connections, loosen fasteners, promote frictional wear,
and cause portions of the metallic structure to develop cracks. Checks to avoid vibration damage
include the following:
• Verifying correct alignment between the motor and fan.
• Inspecting the foundation for cracks.
• Opening and inspecting bearings when heavy wear or damage is suspected.
• Verifying that machinery hold-down bolts are installed and properly torqued.
• Inspecting the motor bearings at regular intervals during operation; personnel should check
for signs of rapid heating and unusual noise.

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7.4.11.5 Rotor Shaft End Play

The rotor shaft assembly of induction motors will have a certain amount of end play designed
into it. End play refers to the axial distance through which the motor’s shaft is free to move when
it is uncoupled from the load. This freedom of movement occurs because of tolerances that
inevitably occur in the design and manufacturing process. These tolerances include machining
variations, bearing design requirements to prevent binding, and allowances for any thermal
growth of the rotor shaft assembly during motor operation.

Induction motors designed with sleeve bearings have a larger end play than those that use roller
bearings. Typical values given for large motors with sleeve bearings are 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Motors
outfitted with roller bearings may have an end play range from 1/32 to 1/8 inch. If a bearing
locking arrangement is used, this range will be even smaller. Because induction motors with

sleeve bearings do not have any locking arrangement, the rotor shaft assembly is free to “float.”
This does not become a problem while the motor is in operation and is not subjected to any
external forces. Under these conditions, the rotor shaft assembly will align itself to the magnetic
center of the applied field.

Endwise restraint that limits the movement of the rotor shaft is achieved through one of the thrust
bearings. The forces of these bearings are designed to withstand momentary thrust that may
develop during the starting or stopping of the motor. Damage from continuous thrust occurs
when external forces are applied that prevent the rotor shaft from seeking its magnetic center.
External forces can result from coupling misalignment or locking. When a coupling is
misaligned, asymmetrical forces between the hubs develop. This imbalance may cause the load
and motor coupling halves to move apart. This separation is limited by the thrust bearings on the
load and motor. Continuous thrust resulting in damage to the motor bearing thrust faces is likely
to occur. Limited end float couplings will prevent motor damage to the motor journal bearings by
excessive axial movement of the motor rotor.

External forces may also develop from a coupling locking. If a coupling is worn or poorly
lubricated, torque transmission through the coupling gear teeth sets up high friction, which
resists endwise movement (in and out or side-to-side movement of the coupling gear teeth or
grids). This condition could prevent the motor shaft from seeking its magnetic center and could
subject the thrust faces of the motor bearings to continuous thrust.

Figure 7-5 provides a basic block diagram of a hydraulic regulating system used with variable-
pitch axial draft fans. Note that the boiler combustion control system and rotor assembly are
added to provide an overview of the system. This auxiliary system provides a means to adjust the
blade pitch upon demand for an increase or decrease in airflow from the boiler’s combustion
control system. The following three major subsystems make up a hydraulic regulating system:
• Hydraulic supply system
• Impeller blade adjustment system
• Regulating lever assembly

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Figure 7-5
Basic Block Diagram of a Hydraulic Regulating System

7.4.12 Fluid Drives

The maintenance recommendations for fluid drives are similar to those for the circulating lube
oil system. In addition to controlling the fan by varying the speed, the fluid drive may also
provide cooling for the oil for the fan bearings.

7.4.12.1 Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance for fluid drives consists of the following tasks:


1. Inspect filters and strainers for cleanliness.
2. Draw an oil sample and conduct a visual inspection, following the same procedure as that
used for fan bearings.
3. Annually, conduct a lab analysis of the oil.
4. Verify that the system has the proper oil level.

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5. Inspect for leaks, and wipe up standing oil.


6. Verify that the hydraulic oil is at the specified operating temperature.
7. Inspect the foundation fasteners for proper torque setting.
8. For fluid drives equipped with electric pumps, check for proper operation.
9. Inspect for unusual noise and vibration.
10. Conduct vibration monitoring.

7.4.12.2 Overhaul Fluid Drive

Fluid drives are specialized rotating equipment. The manufacturer or other specialists should be
used for an overhaul that includes disassembly of the fluid drive. The scope of a typical overhaul
includes the following:
1. Disassemble the fluid drive unit and check for wear or damage on the following components:
– Impeller and runner
– Pillow blocks
– Journal bearings
– Thrust bearings
– Scoop tube and scoop slide to guide
– Control rod mechanism
– Labyrinth seals
2. Replace gaskets.
3. Clean out hydraulic oil sump.
4. Conduct a dye penetrant test on the impeller and runner.
5. Inspect valves, fittings, flexible hoses, and piping (including supports) for wear or damage.
6. Inspect the relief valve for proper operation.
7. Inspect internal fasteners for damage or wear and proper torque value.
8. Overhaul the oil supply pump:
– Disassemble the pump; inspect gears and bearings for signs of wear or damage.
– Check alignment of the drive shaft and pump shaft.
– Check the condition of all fasteners.
– Open and inspect the filters and strainers, and clean or replace as required.
9. Check the condition of the foundation; inspect for signs of corrosion, excessive cracking, and
deterioration.

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10. Check alignment of fluid drive shafts with fan rotor and motor shafts.
11. Inspect and clean flexible couplings (see Section 7.4.3, “Couplings”).
12. Calibrate vibration and temperature sensors if installed.
13. Flush oil lines with clean hydraulic oil.

7.4.13 Turning Gear

The maintenance recommendation for a turning gear consists of the following:


1. Observe for any unusual noise, vibration, odor, or arcing.
2. Inspect electric conduit connections for wear, damage, or looseness.
3. Inspect the following components for signs of leaking lubricant:
– Worm gear reducer
– Clutch
– Flexible coupling
4. Draw an oil sample from the worm gear reducer and conduct a visual inspection, similar to
the one for fan bearings.
5. If the worm gear is to be idle for an extended time, do the following:
– Flush the housing with oil containing a vapor phase corrosion inhibitor.
– Replace the breather cap with a pipe plug.
– Ensure that the breather cap is attached to the unit by means of a chain for reinstallation
when required.

The scope of an overhaul typically includes the following:

1. Worm gear:
– Clean and inspect the shaft bearings
– Clean and inspect the motor couplings
– Measure the axial play of the worm shaft
– Replace the oil seal
– Check contact of the gear teeth
– Clean all disassembled parts, and protect them from dirt and moisture
– Replace all seals, shims, and gaskets

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2. Overrunning clutch:
– Thoroughly drain and clean internal parts
– nspect the primary pawls and primary pawl springs for signs of wear
– Inspect ball and roller bearing surfaces and sliding surfaces for signs of wear
– Inspect oil seals for signs of wear

Note: When required, ensure correct angular position of internal components.


– Inspect profile and bore of bearing surfaces
– Inspect stop pins
3. Coupling: The maintenance for the coupling between the fan shaft and the turning gear is
similar to that for the coupling between the fan and main motor drive.

7.4.14 Hydraulic Supply System

Specific maintenance for this system has the same requirements as a circulating lube oil system.
The hydraulic oil system should be inspected similar to the lube oil system (that is, for oil level,
temperature, and pressure). As with the lube oil, the hydraulic oil should be analyzed by a
laboratory.

7.4.15 Axial Fan Blade Adjustment System

The blade adjustment system on an axial fan consists of a hydraulic servo and linkage within the
fan rotor. These parts should be inspected and overhauled during every minor outage. The servo
is one of the highest maintenance items on an axial fan.

7.4.16 Axial Fan Blade Bearings

The blades on an axial fan with variable-pitch blades have bearings that allow the blades to rotate
along the blade axis and take the thrust due to the centrifugal load of the blade. These are
typically grease-lubricated ball bearings. These bearings should be lubricated using the
manufacturer’s recommended grease, and manufacturers typically recommend lubrication at
least once a year.

Note: The same amount of lubricant should be added to each blade bearing to prevent impeller
imbalance. A special injector may be required to add a measured amount of lubricant to each
blade bearing.

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7.4.17 Axial Flow Fan Rotor Overhaul

Axial fan rotor overhaul is important to maintain high reliability of the fans. Previous studies
have shown that there is a significant difference in reliability if the overhauls are not performed.
The overhaul should be performed according to the manufacturer’s recommendation, which is
typically every four to five years. Some plants ship a spare rotor to the manufacturer’s shop for
overhaul; other plants overhaul spare rotors on site. If the overhaul is performed on site, the
manufacturer’s service technician should be consulted.

The scope of the overhaul usually includes the following:


• Replace the blade bearings
• Replace the blade positioning arms
• Replace the main shaft bearings
• Replace the rotating union
• Inspect and test the blade positioning control system
• Inspect all parts for wear, corrosion, and erosion

Axial fan blades are more prone to erosion than centrifugal fan blades. Some studies indicate that
hollow-blade airfoil centrifugal fans can tolerate three times the particle loading that an axial fan
can tolerate. However, the axial fan blades are easier to replace. Axial fan blades should be
designed to be relatively insensitive to erosion with respect to performance deterioration and
structural integrity.

7.5 Fan Wheel Balancing

Fan wheel imbalance is cited as the most common cause of vibration; however, this should not
deter station personnel from conducting additional checks. Troubleshooting a high-vibration
condition can be a complicated process that involves eliminating one possibility at a time.
Prematurely deciding that wheel imbalance is the source of a fan’s high vibration may
temporarily eliminate the vibration. However, the vibration will resurface (after a period of time
depending on its severity) with damage to the affected component (such as bearing or coupling)
having subsequently increased.

Once it has been determined that the wheel is out-of-balance, the next step is to undertake
corrective action. The first step is to clean the entire wheel in an effort to determine whether that
will eliminate the imbalance condition. If the imbalance condition persists, the wheel should be
balanced by adding weights at the appropriate spots. Adding weights can be necessary in cases
where erosive wear of the wheel surfaces has taken place.

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Cleaning the entire wheel is recommended to eliminate an out-of-balance condition. The major
advantage of this procedure over spot cleaning is that welding a balance weight on the wheel
may not be required. In fact, stringent welding procedures and welding-induced cracking and
errors can be avoided altogether. Arbitrarily adding weights without first completely cleaning the
wheel can result in a fan wheel that is “covered” with balance weights. This added weight may
induce stresses for which the wheel was not originally designed.

Based on the operating environment, ID or GR fans are considered more susceptible to wheel
imbalance than “clean air” fans. An imbalance condition on an ID fan could be caused by any of
the following conditions:
• Fly ash buildup on the blade surface and/or blade interior
• Cracked blades
• Loss of balance weight(s)
• Loose rivets on blades
• Erosion/corrosion of wheel surfaces
• Partial loss of the erosion liner

To avoid vibration problems, it is important to perform vibration trending. Vibration levels taken
once every eight hours and trended over time will assist personnel in identifying an imbalance
condition in its early stages.

Both amplitude and phase measurements are required to balance a draft fan in the field. A variety
of instrumentation exists to obtain these two parameters. Automatic balancers are available that
provide step-by-step visual instructions to guide the maintenance team through the balancing
procedure. This equipment can indicate the amount and location of the correction weight to be
added, thus eliminating the need for manual vector diagrams. If an automatic balance is not
available, use of a vibration analyzer together with either an oscilloscope or phase meter is
suggested.

Balancing a fan wheel in the field should be approached in a methodical manner. It is not simply
a matter of stopping the fan and attaching a weight. The following steps are presented for use as
a check list before actually balancing a fan wheel:
1. Verify that the fan and motor alignments are within recommended tolerances.
2. Ensure that all hold-down bolts are securely tightened.
3. Remove any accumulated buildup that is present on the fan wheel.
4. Verify that all instrumentation (for example, balances, vibration analyzers, and probes) is
calibrated and functioning correctly.
5. Conduct a visual inspection of the fan wheel for indications of cracks developing.

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A balancing procedure consists of four steps:


1. Determine the size of the balance weight.
2. Establish the location of the balance weight.
3. Establish a correct welding procedure.
4. Conduct a nondestructive examination of the welds.

In all four steps, it is recommended that the fan manufacturer’s requirements and
recommendations be thoroughly reviewed and understood.

7.5.1 Size of the Balance Weight

The dimensions of a balance weight may have specific limitations and restrictions. The thickness
of the balance weight should be equal to or less than the thickness of the side plate, and the
balance weight should be rectangular. Consult the manufacturer about any specific length-to-
width ratios that may apply.

7.5.2 Location of the Balance Weight

The optimum position for balance weights is centered between the blades. Manufacturers may
specify minimum distance from blades and the outside diameter of the impeller. Welding a
balance weight in an area over the top edge of the blade is not recommended because doing so
may result in serious damage to the structural welds that join a side plate and blade. Consult the
manufacturer for any restrictions on the minimum separation distance between balance weights.

It is important to follow the proper weld procedure, including heat treating, for attaching balance
weights to the wheel. Improper welding of balance weights can cause cracks in the attachment
weld that can propagate into the base metal of the fan.

Key Technical Point


Improper welding of balance weights can cause cracks in the attachment weld
that can propagate into the base metal of the fan.

7.5.3 Vibration Sensitivity

When fans are balanced, the change in vibration and the balance weights added should be
recorded. The vibration sensitivity of the fan should also be calculated and recorded. Vibration
sensitivity is usually defined in ounces/mil, which is the balance weight in ounces, added at the
wheel outer diameter to change the vibration by one mil. The range of typical sensitivity is 8–12
oz/mil. A value less than 8 oz/mil indicates the fan has a high vibration sensitivity and will
probably require frequent balancing.

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SPECIAL MAINTENANCE TASKS

8.1 Extended Shutdown

During extended shutdown of the fan, the lube oil and hydraulic oil systems should be started at
least once every two weeks to maintain an oil film on all surfaces. For axial fans, the impeller
should be rotated a few turns to ensure proper lubrication of the bearings. If the fan is shut down
for a short time (that is, less than a few weeks), it is better to keep the lube oil and hydraulic oil
systems in operation.

8.2 Weld Nondestructive Examination

Failures of centrifugal fans, including catastrophic failures as well as cracking problems that
have required replacement, have been a chronic industry problem over the past 20 years. The
problem is now under control but still requires a significant effort on the part of owners to
maintain their fans. NDE of the fans’ welds is a time consuming and expensive process, and the
proper inspection including documentation is important. This subject is covered in detail in
Appendix B.

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FAN UPGRADE OPTIONS

9.1 Reasons for Fan Upgrade

ID and FD fans are often cited as the load-limiting factor on fossil-fired units. In some cases, the
fan performance may be poorer than design because of wear, housing clearances, or other
problems as described in Section 5, “Troubleshooting.” However, the root cause may be due to
poor performance of other equipment such as air heater leakage or pluggage, higher-than-design
excess air, or higher-than-design flue gas temperatures. Although the fan may not be the root
cause of the problem, upgrading the fans may be the most practical solution.

In addition to performance problems, fan capacity may need to be increased due to plant
modification such as the addition of new pollution control equipment.

If additional fan capacity is needed, there are fan upgrades that can be implemented that require
only a fraction of the cost and outage time of complete new fans.

Key O&M Cost Point


If additional fan capacity is needed, there are fan upgrades that can be
implemented that require only a fraction of the cost and outage time of complete
new fans.

9.2 Tipping

The capacity of centrifugal fans with airfoil blades can be increased by tipping the blades.
Tipping refers to extending the trailing edge of the fan blades, either with a straight extension or
an angle. (Figure 9-1 is a sketch of tipping a fan blade.) As a general rule, tipping will increase
the fan head by 10%, the flow by 5%, and the horsepower requirement by 15%. The performance
improvement is a “rule of thumb”; actual performance will depend on the fan and is best
determined by the fan manufacturer. The cost of tipping is approximately $10,000 per fan.

Note that the existing motors may not have the capability to support the required increase in
power or inertia.

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Figure 9-1
Airfoil Blade with the Blade Tipped

Replacing the blades with blades with a longer cord can sometimes increase the performance of
axial flow fans. The manufacturer would need to review the rotor design to determine whether
this alteration is practical.

Blade tipping of centrifugal fans or blade replacement of axial flow fans should be investigated if
a small increase in fan performance is needed.

9.3 Wheel Replacement

The replacement of the wheel in an existing centrifugal fan housing with either a larger diameter
wheel or a wheel operating at a higher speed can be a cost-effective alternative to replacing the
entire fan or adding booster fans. In most cases, this will require a new motor. A similar type of
modification can be made to an axial flow fan by replacing the blades.

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9.4 Housing Modifications

In some cases, the housing of a centrifugal fan with airfoil blades can be modified to
accommodate a larger wheel or improve performance. One of the critical dimensions is the
distance between the wheel and the cutoff. This dimension should be approximately 10% of the
wheel diameter.

In some cases, the housing has been modified to increase the dimension (when it was less than
10%), resulting in a slight increase in fan performance and a decrease in fan noise.

Any housing modifications should be verified with the manufacturer and may require a model
study to quantify the impact.

9.5 Coatings

Erosion of ID fan blades is a major issue that causes unscheduled downtime as the fly ash
constantly bombards the hollow airfoil of the ID fan blades, eventually blowing holes in the
blades. The erosion may be caused by burning lower grade coal and/or burning at a reduced
temperature.

The blades may be coated with a hard surface coating, one of which available in the market is
tungsten carbide.

There is a conflict between erosion protection and weld inspection. Coatings can be effective in
erosion protection but inhibit NDE of fan welds. The coating has to be removed in order to
conduct effective magnetic particle examination of the welds.

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SAFETY

Operating, inspecting, and maintaining fans and accessories exposes personnel to various safety
hazards. Many of the safety hazards associated with fans are present elsewhere in the plant and
are therefore not addressed in this guide. All personnel that operate, inspect, or maintain fans
should be trained in the plant safety procedures.

10.1 Rotating Equipment

Fans are rotating equipment, and appropriate tag-out procedures should be followed before any
inspection or maintenance is started.

Key Human Performance Point


All personnel that operate, inspect, or maintain fans should be trained in the plant
safety procedures.

10.2 Confined Space

Fan housings are confined spaces that may be filled with harmful gases. Confined space entry
procedures, including air checks, should be followed before entry.

10.3 Burn Hazards

The lubrication oil of all fans and motors provides lubrication and cooling of the bearings, and
the temperature of the oil may be high enough to present a burn hazard. ID fans and GR fans
operate at elevated temperatures and may retain heat for a long period after being shut down.

10.4 Electrical

The fan motor and fan auxiliaries are electrical and therefore present the risk of electrical shock.
Before work on any electrical equipment is performed, the equipment should be de-energized
and properly tagged out.

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10.5 Operation Testing

Some testing and inspection, such as vibration and performance testing, require the fans to be
running during the tests. Special precautions must be observed while performing these tests.

10.6 Cleaning Operations

Respiratory health is the primary concern when personnel are involved in abrasive blast cleaning
operations. Use of sand abrasives carries with it a specific health hazard termed silicosis.
Silicosis is a disease of the lungs resulting from prolonged breathing of very fine particles of
silica. The effects of this disease can be permanently disabling or fatal. While the use of grit
abrasives does not carry a risk for a specific disease, it nonetheless exposes an individual to some
risk. A correct and fully functioning air supply and hood are essential and must be used at all
times by personnel engaged in this operation; heavy duty gloves, a helmet or hood, and upper
body covering should be standard items as well.

A nozzle equipped with a “dead-man” feature should also be included in any type of blast
cleaning operations. An air nozzle operating at 100 psi that gets away from an operator could
cause serious injury to personnel as well as damage to fan internals. Additional safety-related
equipment includes a replacement hood lens (because they tend to become frosted after a period
of time) and an ample supply of filters for air supply systems that are outfitted with them.

Fans can suck in loose material and discharge it as dangerous projectiles. Large fans can also be
dangerous to personnel. Access doors should never be opened with the fan running. On the
downstream side, releasing the door may result in explosive opening. On the upstream side, the
inflow may be sufficient to suck in materials such as tools and clothing.

Key Human Performance Point


Fans can suck in loose material and discharge it as dangerous projectiles. Large
fans can also be dangerous to personnel.

10.7 Fan Movement

Even when a fan is locked out electrically, it may be subject to “windmilling.” Therefore, the
impeller should be secured to physically restrict rotational movement. When personnel need to
climb on the wheel to perform work or an inspection, the wheel should be mechanically secured.

Key Human Performance Point


Even when a fan is locked out electrically, it may be subject to “windmilling.”

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Safety

Fans contain various rotating components such as fan wheels, shafts, couplings, and shaft
coupling wheels—all of which are potential hazards. Therefore, guards should be provided at
exposed fan inlets and outlets as well as over the couplings and other equipment.

Fans should not be operated above their recommended speeds. Excessive speed may result in
catastrophic impeller failure.

Impeller rotation should be verified to be correct and not installed backwards.

Before a fan is started, it should be ensured that all personnel have exited the fan housing, inlet
boxes, inlets, and discharge ductwork. In addition, all material and tools should be removed from
the housing.

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11
TRAINING

Formal training programs on boiler draft fans are not readily available. The best source of
training is documents on fans.

This document provides basic information on the design and operation of fans. More detailed
information on fans and their applications can be found in other references.

The most comprehensive book on fans is Fan Engineering. The first edition was published by
the Buffalo Forge Company in 1914. The ninth edition is available in hard copy or on CD from
Howden Buffalo. Fan Engineering covers all types and sizes of fans, including HVAC fans, as
well as boiler draft fans.

Steam, Its Generation, and Use (first edition published in 1879; 40th edition available from
Babcock and Wilcox) includes a section on fans related to boilers.

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REFERENCES

1. NFPA 85, Boiler and Combustion System Hazard Code, 2004.


2. Failure Cause Analysis – Fans. EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 1981. CS-1693.
3. Electric Motor Predictive and Preventive Maintenance Guide. EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 1992.
NP-7502.
4. AMCA 803, Site Performance Test Standard.
5. Flexible Shaft Couplings Maintenance Guide. EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 2003. 1007910.
6. Shaft Alignment Guide. EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 1999. TR-112449.
7. AMCA 202, Fan Application Manual.
8. AMCA 203, Field Performance Measurements.
9. Frank P. Bleier, Fan Handbook: Selection, Application, and Design. TWI Press, Terra Haute,
IN 1997.

General Reference
Operation and Maintenance Guidelines for Draft Fans, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 1993. TR-101698.

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A
CENTRIFUGAL FAN WHEEL INSPECTION AND REPAIR

Introduction

This section provides guidelines for conducting field inspections of centrifugal fan wheels. An
inspection program for fan wheels is a logical extension of any preventive maintenance strategy
for a draft fan. A maintenance department can realize two benefits from a well-designed and
properly implemented fan inspection program. First, it offers personnel a way to identify
cracking or erosion problems for early corrective action, before the damage escalates into major
problems with a potential for catastrophic failure. Second, it can help in establishing a database
for either a newly installed wheel or one that has been in operation. A database is a good starting
point for maintenance personnel before they begin inspecting or conducting repairs. Well-
documented records along with blade maps and photographs can help a station’s maintenance
department begin a material history file on the fan wheel. A material history file provides the
following:
• A training tool for new personnel to use as a guideline.
• A consistent and reliable way to track surface irregularities that have not been designated as
cracks but should be monitored for indications of growth.
• A central listing of information such as chemical composition, hardness, and heat treatment
of the metals used to construct the fan wheel; engineering drawing numbers and their
locations; electrodes and rods used in the original fabrication and/or repair; modifications
made to the fan during its operational life; and contractors used at various times (for
example, to clean, repair, and inspect).
• A record of cracking and erosion problems that can easily be adapted to a trend analysis
program. A trend analysis program can serve the following functions:
– A form of input into the procurement of new fan wheels and blades
– A way to identify unique problem areas associated with the fan wheel
– A way to assist in establishing an accurate cycle for fan wheel inspections

There are specific maintenance actions that should encompass a fan wheel inspection. For
example, before repairs can begin, it is important to know the exact chemical makeup of the
material used in constructing the particular fan wheel component. This particular check need
only be done once during the operational life of the fan.

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Inspection Areas

Before beginning an inspection, maintenance personnel should consult and review the fan
manufacturer’s recommendations on areas to inspect, records of how the fan was constructed,
and records of previous fan wheel inspections. Review of previous blade maps in particular will
provide invaluable information on alerting personnel to potential problem areas identified by
crack patterns reappearing.

Recommended areas to be inspected during visual and magnetic particle examinations include
the following:
• The entire length of every weld joining the fan blades to the center plate and side plate.
• Splice welds on the side and center plates.
• Welds attaching stiffeners to center plates, hubs, and/or shafts.
• Welds in fabricated hubs.
• Welds attaching balance weights to the side plates or center plate.
• Pad welds used in place of balance weights.
• Seal welds of bolted-on erosion liners. These welds are not structural; however, cracks
beginning in these seal welds may propagate into the structural weld or component. These
cracks may also form an area on which erosive gas streams may concentrate.
• Cracks in erosion liners made of some hardened material are common but are normally not
considered to be detrimental to the fan operation.

Survey Results

Survey results involving 256 fans from participating utilities provided information on inspection
practices currently being used. Table A-1 provides a summary of the survey results and key
points noted.

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Table A-1
Summary of Inspection Practices for Centrifugal Fan Wheels

Visual inspections (VT)


• 75% of the fans undergo a visual inspection.
• 37% of the total 256 fans have annually scheduled visual inspections.

Nondestructive examinations (NDE)


• 65.6% of the fans undergo an NDE inspection.
• 41.8% have scheduled annual NDE inspections.
• 32.0% undergo a wet-magnetic particle inspection.

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Blade tip speed (BTS) greater than 25,000 fpm


• 18.7% of the fans were reported having a BTS greater than 25,000 fpm.
• 89.5% of the total 48 fans in this category undergo visual inspections.
• 39.5% of the visual inspections are conducted annually.
• 79.2% have scheduled NDE inspections.
• 29.2% of the NDE inspections are conducted annually.

Number of start/stop cycles greater than 100


• 5.8% of the fans were reported having start/stop cycles greater than 100 per year.
• 26% of the fans having start/stop cycles greater than 100 also have a BTS greater than 25,000
fpm.
• Only four fans (two FD and two ID) were reported having both a start/stop cycle greater than
100 per year and a BTS greater than 25,000 fpm. The ID fans undergo a 6-month inspection
frequency (visual and wet-magnetic particle) while the two FD fans fall under a 24-month
inspection cycle.

Scheduled Inspection

An average of 70% of the 256 fans receives a regularly scheduled fan wheel inspection of some
type.

Inspection Techniques

VT and wet-magnetic particle are the two most common types of inspection techniques utilized.

Inspection Cycle
A 12-month period is the most common cycle employed in fan wheel inspections.
Other Inspections

An average of 50% of the fans that undergo a wheel inspection receives both an annual VT and
magnetic particle inspection.

Component Marking Procedures


Procedures must be established to identify specific blades and/or specific areas of a hub, center
plate, and side plates. Identification will allow personnel to document and track crack
propagation and to establish a permanent means for component identification. The standard
should be consistent with the fan manufacturer’s numbering system, if one exists. Implementing
this type of standard will allow for consistency in documentation. It is suggested that each utility,
rather than each station, develop a single-unified identification standard for all of their fans.

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It is recommended that the permanent identification marks be centered on the trailing edge of
each blade. This area is readily accessible, allowing marks to be easily identified for future
inspections. Care should be exercised to avoid creating a stress concentration when marking the
blades.

The numbering direction could coincide with the fan’s rotation. Top/front and bottom/back of a
blade should be identified as an individual observes a fan blade moving toward him. The surface
seen first should be the top/front of the blade. Letter identifiers such as “T” for top could be
included with the number to further clarify blade identification.

Various methods may be used to individually mark blades, such as using a low impact punch to
stamp a number on the blade (or other designated location) or using the hub-to-shaft keyway as a
standard reference mark. With this technique, the nose of the blade that is closest to the key is
always blade Number 1. Blade numbers could increase against fan rotation. Paint or other such
markers will eventually wear off during operation or during abrasive blast cleaning operations.

Mapping Procedures

Mapping all inspection areas is recommended. Diagrams for a blade and center plate are shown
in Figures A-1 through A-3. Note that the diagrams do not have to be complex in order to be
effective. Accuracy in indicating crack location is essential. Note that Figure A-3 has a grid
superimposed that could easily be adapted for pinpoint cracks. A pattern of cracks that continues
to repeat itself in a specific area would be cause for concern.

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Figure A-1
Blade Map Example

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Figure A-2
Blade Map Example

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Figure A-3
Blade Map Example

Health Hazards and Safety

The fan casing is normally the barrier between the work area and the outside environment. The
casing must have adequate dust-tight lighting and ventilation to control the level of dust
generation. Ventilation hoses can be placed above or directly across from the area being worked
on in order to move the dust away from maintenance personnel. Refer to Section 10 for
additional information.

Surface Cleaning

Surface cleaning is one of the prerequisites for an accurate magnetic particle test. Cleaning
provides a surface that is free of dirt, fly ash deposits, and rust, thereby preventing any cracks
from being masked. Two methods used in surface cleaning are water blasting and dry blasting.

Dry blasting appears to be the most prevalent method used for surface cleaning. One California
utility reports successful results using water blasting. Fans are cleaned using glass beads
entrained in a 30,000-psi water stream. Reduction in potential respiratory hazards and easy
disposal of the residual are two reported benefits of this method.

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Dry blast cleaning is one method used to prepare fan internals for both magnetic and visual
inspections. This technique employs several different types of abrasive materials, of which grit
and sand are the two most common. No matter what type of abrasive material is used, the
principle behind dry blast cleaning remains the same: propel abrasive material in a well-defined
stream with sufficient force to dislodge any buildup on the fan surfaces.

Grit abrasive material consists of angular metallic particles, such as cast steel, that have been
crushed and hardened. This type of material offers several advantages over traditional sand
abrasives:
• Less time to clean a fan wheel
• Less breakdown of the abrasive
• Less dust abrasives
• Recycling of grit abrasives (in most cases, they can be “recycled” for reuse 200 times more
than conventional sand abrasives)

The disadvantage of using this type of material is that it can remove a layer of material from the
fan component.

Sand abrasive is a term used to cover a wide spectrum of nonmetallic abrasives as well as
ordinary silica sand. Both natural (for example, flint quartz, silica, slag, and garnet) and man-
made (aluminum oxide and silicon carbide) nonmetallic abrasives exist. As would be expected,
natural abrasives have the lowest initial cost, followed by man-made abrasives, which are less
costly than metallic abrasives. Because sand abrasives are susceptible to breakdown, it is
recommended that they be used only once. Reuse of an abrasive that has broken down can result
in the material becoming lodged or embedded into crevices that may already exist in the weld,
increasing the potential for masking any problem areas.

The key to good results is the type of blast nozzle used. According to the American Society for
Metals (ASM), the principal materials used in manufacturing a blast nozzle are hard iron, boron
carbide, aluminum oxide, and tungsten carbide. ASM recommends purchasing a nozzle with a
boron carbide liner encased in a steel jacket. This type of nozzle provides the longest wear per
dollar of initial cost. The operational life of a boron carbide nozzle is much longer because of its
ability to retain its internal contour. As a result, less air is consumed and a more uniform abrasive
velocity and stream contour are maintained. A nozzle should be replaced when its outlet has
worn to 1.5 times its original size.

There are two abrasive blast techniques that can be used by a cleaning crew. Brush blasting
refers to a relatively quick cleaning operation in which the nozzle tip is held between 3 and 4 feet
away from the work surface. Brush blasting can be used for rapidly cleaning areas not having a
build up of deposits and on surfaces having a protective coating. In the latter case, before any

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abrasive surface cleaning can take place, the personnel actually doing the work should clearly
understand where the coating has been applied and what type of surface finish they will see on
the coating after applying the abrasives. Extreme care should be exercised by the crews to avoid
“blasting away” the protective coating. As a second recommendation, blade maps should have
these coated areas clearly marked to avoid any confusion.

The second cleaning technique is often referred to as strip blasting. With this method, personnel
should maintain a distance of 9 to 10 inches from the nozzle tip to the work surface. Increasing
this distance will reduce the abrasive effect of the material.

A shorter distance tends to produce more dust when nonmetallic abrasives are used and tends to
cause impact damage and layer removal to the work surface when metallic abrasives are used.
This technique is used to clean down to a white metal finish in preparation for conducting NDE
tests on welds.

When cleaning fans with hollow airfoil blades, crews should avoid directing the abrasive stream
on suspected crack areas. There is a potential for “filling” the blade with abrasive material,
causing an imbalance condition. To avoid this problem, these suspect areas should be cleaned by
hand with a wire brush.

When carrying out abrasive cleaning operations, special care must be given to fan internals that
could easily be damaged from high-velocity particles impacting them. Heat fingers and shaft
seals can be protected by securely wrapping them in a rubber or urethane cover. Operators
should exercise caution when working around these components.

Surface preparation consists of two parts: maintaining a clean surface once it has been
sandblasted and eliminating any surface discontinuities (such as undercutting, overlap, and lack
of fusion) that may mask or give false indications.

Coordination between the abrasive cleaning team and the station’s NDE inspectors is a must in a
geographical area or seasonal period where there is a high level of moisture in the air. This
condition will cause corrosion to develop on freshly cleaned fan internals. The time lag between
cleaning and inspecting should be kept to a minimum.

Better coordination between the abrasive cleaning team and NDE inspectors and the use of
electric space heaters inside the fan casing will help reduce moisture and dampness levels.
Closing access doors and dampers will also aid in reducing the flow of moisture-laden air into
the fan.

Visual Inspection

Qualified personnel classified as Level II or higher (or Level I personnel under the direct
supervision of Level II or III personnel) should conduct the visual inspection of the rotating
elements, weld joints, blade surfaces, and hubs. A visual inspection should check for visible
cracks and surface discontinuities. It is recommended that any surface discontinuities be
removed before conducting a magnetic particle test because these areas can produce false

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indications. Often, experienced personnel can successfully excavate the area in question without
disturbing the surface to the point where a weld repair would be required. One utility reported
that an overlap condition obscured serious underbead cracking. Specific surface discontinuities
that should be removed include undercut and overlap (see Figure A-4) and erosion cutting.

Figure A-4
Example of Undercut and Overlap

If both manpower and funding are available, consideration should be given to blend or contour
grinding the weld joints. Blend grinding involves the use of a rotary file to remove surface
irregularities. One utility takes this process a step further by requiring fan welds to be contour
ground. This technique requires the weld to be ground down to a concave shape. Contour
grinding, while time consuming and costly, can improve the fatigue strength of the weld by
providing a surface that is free from discontinuities. Implementing contour grinding into a fan
maintenance program can be accomplished in one of four ways:
• Establish a general policy that all welds on existing fans shall be contour ground.
• Require future fan wheel specifications to include contour grinding all welds.
• Contour grind welds that have been repaired during an outage period.
• Phase-in contour grinding requirements over a period of years by reworking a fixed amount
of fan wheels per year.

Both blend and contour grinding require the use of a rotary file with a grinding surface
attachment. Improper use of this tool can result in undersizing the welds, cutting into the base
metal, and creating sharp notches in the weld, which will lead to cracking and induce heat cracks
in the weld joint. Heat cracks can be avoided by not using excessive pressure (that is, attempting
to remove too much material too quickly). Carbide blades will change to a red-hot color if
excessive pressure is applied. After blend grinding, scratches can be removed using a belt sander.

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Although this process is time consuming, it will eliminate false indications of cracks and will
result in a higher confidence in the examination.

A second option is to use a flapper wheel of emery paper. This generates less heat, making it less
likely to produce cracking. Using this tool, however, is extremely time consuming when
compared to using a grinder.

Once the grinding procedure has been completed, the area to be inspected is wiped down with a
lint-free rag. Residual dust and particles from abrasives and grinding operations should be
removed before conducting a magnetic particle test. Inspection for any missed problem areas
also takes place at this time.

A different approach involves the use of experienced NDE personnel to determine whether the
indication is a crack or a surface discontinuity based on NDE results. If it is determined to be a
potential crack, it is then documented on a map. If subsequent inspections indicate no growth, the
indication is downgraded to a surface discontinuity, and no further action is taken unless the test
group recommends that the discontinuity be removed. The following points should be noted:
• Consistent and accurate mapping techniques should be used to make this procedure effective.
• Even with experienced personnel, there is an element of subjectivity that becomes difficult to
control unless an acceptance standard is developed and adhered to.
• Certain surface discontinuities can lead to cracks.

Chemical Analysis Test

The first step in implementing a fan inspection program is verifying the chemistries and heat
treatment process applied to the materials used in the construction of the fan wheel components.
Although this may appear to be an unnecessary recommendation, experience has shown it to be
important on older fans. Several utilities that have analyzed their fans have found the materials to
fall outside the ASTM limits. Some catastrophic failures have been attributed at least in part to
materials outside the specified limits. An accurate record of the fan wheel’s metallurgical
properties can provide the following:
• Verification that the actual material, hardness, and heat treatment concur with those specified
in the original design.
• Identification of potential problems that may develop with respect to the conditions (such as
temperature or weather) under which the fan operates.
• Verification that current weld repair procedures are correct.

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Developing this database for each installed fan at any given power station can be a difficult and
costly task. One utility has taken two paths to chemical verification:
• For existing fans without reliable documentation on file, the utility initiated its own
independent chemical analysis testing program. This was a one-time test requirement to
obtain a database for each fan, and material samples were taken during normal scheduled
outage periods.
• For new fan wheels being constructed, a quality assurance program was organized to monitor
and verify the materials specified. A certified material test report was required from the fan
wheel manufacturer for records purposes.

If the utility elects to conduct a chemical analysis test, care should be exercised as to where the
samples are taken. Consulting the fan wheel manufacturer before taking any samples is highly
recommended to avoid inadvertently damaging the wheel.

Portable equipment is now available that allows the chemical analysis of fan components without
the removal of material samples. Equipment cost is expensive; however, fan repair is minimized
because no samples need to be removed.

Magnetic Particle Testing

Magnetic particle testing is an effective method for conducting a nondestructive examination to


detect cracks on the surface of ferromagnetic materials. The two types of magnetic particle
testing are wet particle and dry particle. Input received from the surveys provides the following
breakdown (see Table A-2):

Table A-2
Percent of Fans Undergoing NDE

Method % Stations Using the Method

Wet Magnetic particle 32%


Dry magnetic particle 13.7%

Dye penetrant 19.9%

Note that the figures above are straight percentages and do not reflect draft fans that are
inspected using two or more of the above methods. Of the 256 draft fans involved in the survey,
45.7% of them received a magnetic particle examination. The wet-magnetic method is more
sensitive to fine surface defects than the dry method, making it the preferred method when
inspecting for surface cracks. The dry magnetic particle method, however, is considered more
sensitive for the detection of subsurface discontinuities.

Use of a yoke probe with ac/pulsating dc capability in conjunction with a wet fluorescent
magnetic particle (WMP) test offers the best capability to utilities for examining fan wheels for
cracks. The WMP medium is available in either a prepared or mixed bath. Prepared baths are

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available in aerosol cans. Mixed baths must be prepared by station personnel before use and are
considerably less expensive than prepared baths. Additional equipment requirements include a
Pie gage to check the magnetic field strength, a black light, and a black light meter.

Specific reasons for choosing a wet fluorescent magnetic particle system and yoke probes are
listed below:
• A WMP test is more sensitive and produces more rapid results than a dry particle test.
• While prods can develop a stronger field, yoke probes will not produce arc burns on the
working surface.
• A yoke probe having both ac and pulsed dc options gives the station more capability. A
magnetic field set up with dc power can detect cracks below the surface; this becomes
especially useful when inspecting fan hubs for cracks or cracks starting at the roots of the
welds.

Pre-Examination Requirements

There are several requirements that must be satisfied before conducting a magnetic particle
examination:
• The surface to be examined must be adequately cleaned.
• When using wet fluorescent particles, the examination must be performed in a darkened area.
• Designated personnel responsible for carrying out the test must have their eyes adjusted to
the dark. This can normally be accomplished by being inside the darkened area for at least
five minutes before conducting the test.
• The black light should be warmed for a minimum of five minutes before use.
• The intensity of the black light should be measured using a black light meter. A minimum of
800 microwatts/cm2 on the surface being checked is recommended for best results.
• The black light intensity should be measured at least once every eight hours and whenever
shifting to a different fan.
• The yoke must be calibrated annually.
• Each ac electromagnetic yoke must have a lifting power of 10 lb at the maximum pole
spacing that will be used.
• Each dc electromagnetic yoke must have lifting power of at least 40 lb at the maximum pole
spacing that will be used.
• Before using a weight for the first time, it must be verified that it has been checked with an
accurate scale.
• A grid must be laid out on the areas to be inspected. The size of the grid should be less than
the maximum spacing of the articulated arm to ensure that the entire area is inspected. Chalk
or paint markers are typically used to mark the grid spacing on the work.

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Examination Procedure

This procedure describes the necessary steps to conduct a magnetic particle examination using a
yoke with articulated legs (see Figure A-5). This type of yoke provides the inspector with the
flexibility needed to accommodate surfaces offset from one another because of curvature or
orientation. In addition to being articulated, the legs are also adjustable. The maximum spacing
between the legs is 8 inches. Exceeding this limit will result in a weakened magnetic field.

Figure A-5
Hand-Held Yoke Probe with Articulated Legs

After the area to be inspected has been cleaned and prepared, a final check for any residual dust
should be conducted before applying the wet fluorescent particle medium to the surface. Once
this has been accomplished, the strength and direction of the magnetic field should be verified. A
yoke within its calibration period is not a guarantee that sufficient field strength is being
generated.

The magnetic particle indicator will provide the inspector with a simple indication of direction
and sufficient or insufficient field strength. An indicator should be used once per fan to check for
proper field strength. Suitable field strength is indicated by a clearly defined line of magnetic
particles forming across the copper face of the indicator while the magnetizing force is applied.

The direction of the field coincides with the orientation of the formed line. Field direction plays
an important role in detecting the presence of cracks. Because of this, it is necessary to examine
each area at least twice. As a rule of thumb, the lines of flux in each check should be
perpendicular to one another. The weld line can easily be used as a reference to achieve this

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condition. For example, with the weld line shown in Figure A-6, orienting the yoke to first
straddle the line and then placing both yoke legs on the weld will produce flux lines at right
angles. In this case, surface cracks that develop parallel or perpendicular (longitudinal or cross
cracks) to the weld can be detected by experienced personnel.

Figure A-6
Orientation of an Articulated Yoke Probe to Produce Flux Lines at Right Angles

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Additional recommendations concerning this technique include the following:


• The base of the legs should be flush to the surface of the material.
• When “straddling” the weld line, ensure that the centerline of the yoke coincides with the
weld.
• Each check should have sufficient overlap from the previous check to ensure 100% coverage
of the area. Moving the yoke 3 inches to either side of the original position will provide
adequate coverage.

The procedure described above uses what is known as the “continuous” method. This method
requires inspectors to apply the wet fluorescent medium while the magnetic field is being
applied.

Follow-Up Examinations

A follow-up examination is recommended to include two additional wet-magnetic particle


inspections. The purpose of each of these exams is to act as a quality check on accomplished
maintenance action. Specifically, a follow-up exam is suggested after the removal of a crack or
surface discontinuity to verify that the entire damaged area has in fact been removed before
beginning weld repairs.

The second time a follow-up exam should be done is after completion of the field weld repairs.
Care should be taken by the individuals conducting this examination to ensure that the proper
waiting period between completion of the repair and actual inspection is adhered to. Failure to
follow the required waiting period can lead to false results. ASTM A514 steels, for example,
require a 48-hour waiting period before conducting a final wet magnetic particle examination
(and visual examination).

DC Coil Wraps
This technique was reported in use by one California utility. It consists of wrapping the fan
wheel with coils of wire that are energized with dc current. The utility reports that this method
provides a significant time savings when compared to using a yoke and results in no loss in
sensitivity when used in conjunction with a wet florescent magnetic particle inspection.
Wrapping the fan shaft will produce a field in only one direction. A comprehensive examination
using this technique would require placing a coil in several positions on the wheel.
Marking Indications

A standardized marking procedure for fan wheel inspections provides an efficient way for station
personnel and contractors involved in the work to communicate. A standardized marking
procedure is particularly important when plant maintenance engineers and NDE personnel are
assigned to different shifts.

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Simplicity and consistency are the key features of a well-thought-out marking system. Simplicity
is vital to ensure that personnel spend minimal time and effort when working with the system.
Consistency implies standardization; once a system is developed, it should be followed. Use of
unauthorized modifications will only cause unnecessary confusion and lost time.

The following recommended practices were observed to work effectively in the field (see
Figures A-7 and A-8).
• Use a yellow crayon or grease pencil to mark indications.
• Number indications consecutively, and circle each number.
• Annotate multiple indications within a 6-in2 area with a single number and the letters MULT
(for multiple indications); place this annotation underneath the corresponding number.
• Write a red letter “W” to indicate that the indication has been ground and cleared and is
ready to be welded.
• Use the red letters “OK” to show that the indication cleared with minor grinding and that
welding is not required.
• Place a yellow check (“√”) at an indication where the cracks have been ground out to indicate
that the area is ready for inspection.
• Write a red letter “R” to indicate that the completed weld repair has failed the NDE
inspection and must be ground out for re-inspection.
• Write a red letter “P” to indicate that the completed weld repair has passed the NDE
inspection.

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Figure A-7
Indications Are Consecutively Numbered and Circled

Figure A-8
Marking Multiple Indications

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Interpreting the Indications

Wet fluorescent magnetic particle inspection offers the maintenance department a highly
effective method of detecting potential problems on a fan wheel. The following points should be
noted:
• The training and experience level of the individuals conducting the test are absolutely
critical. AMCA 803, Site Performance Test Standard [4] lists the personnel qualifications
needed to conduct and interpret test results.
• A written and approved fan inspection guideline must be developed for use by the individuals
conducting the WMP inspection. If current, these guidelines can provide consistency by
defining the acceptance standards to be used during the inspection.
• As a minimum, utilities are recommended to adapt acceptance standards from American
Welding Society (AWS) standard D 14.6-81, “Specification for Welding of Rotating
Elements of Equipment,” for magnetic particle inspection of welds, which states the
following:
– Cracks, laps, and fissures are not acceptable.
– Indications in excess of 0.25 inches (regardless of direction) are unacceptable.
– Indications less than 0.015635 (1/64) inches in length are considered non-relevant.

Note: The acceptance criteria listed above are recommended for fans currently in service. For
new fans, several utilities have specified that they are to be constructed with a more stringent
requirement of zero linear indications.

Ultrasonic Testing

From the surveys received, ultrasonic testing (UT) is not widely used. Detection of cracks or
voids below the surface is one advantage of UT inspections. Visual or magnetic particle tests
offer no real capability in this area. Fan Handbook: Selection, Application, and Design [9]
provides current standards and practices for UT inspections. Utilities that employed this
technique used it primarily for thickness measurements of fan surfaces (including housings) that
operate in an erosive environment. A second application involved the use of UT to inspect for
voids in fan hubs manufactured from cast iron or cast steel. This second application was a one-
time test.

Inspection Frequency

The final step in implementing an inspection program is to determine the interval for conducting
visual and nondestructive examinations. Careful analysis in deciding this inspection interval is
essential. If the time period between inspections is excessive, undetected cracking or erosion
could increase in severity.

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If cracks are allowed to go undetected, the potential for serious and costly damage to the fan
wheel is clear. The key is early detection. Uncorrected damage can escalate into a catastrophic
failure of the fan with the overall operational availability of the unit being jeopardized as well.
Early detection is achieved by conducting regular inspections and by carefully noting any
upward swings or trends in vibration levels while the draft fan is in operation.

Vibration monitoring plays an important role in the process of determining an adequate


inspection interval. While high vibration levels can have other causes (such as misalignment or
an imbalance condition), vibration due to cracking on the wheel is possible and should not be
overlooked. Only through a process of elimination can the cause of vibration be identified and
corrected. Therefore, in cases where high vibration levels persist after repeated attempts and after
the alignment and wheel balance have been checked, it is advisable to conduct an NDE
inspection of the fan wheel.

Developing an accurate assessment of the inspection frequency needed requires the maintenance
department to collect and analyze the key factors that have an effect on the operational health of
the fan wheel. The following factors need to be considered:
• What does the manufacturer of the fan wheel recommend?
• What were the results from the previous inspections?
• What is the operating environment of the fan?
• Are there sufficient funds in the maintenance budget to support an inspection program?
• How often has the fan wheel been repaired?
• Has the fan wheel ever undergone an NDE or VT inspection?
• What is the inspection cycle currently in use? Is it effective?
• Who will conduct the inspection? Does the power station have its own manpower assets
sufficient to conduct an inspection of the fan wheel?

Manufacturer’s Input

Both the manufacturer’s own suggested inspection frequency as well as the feedback it can
provide to the utility on current inspection practices are extremely valuable. An exchange of
information can be beneficial to both groups.

Previous Inspection Results

Reviewing blade maps and other related maintenance records from previous inspections provides
a mechanism to check for trends. Specific trends that should be cause for concern include the
following:
• Cracks that redeveloped in the same location, suggesting a high-fatigue area or a poor weld
repair.
• Cracks that are increasing in size and/or number.

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In either of the above cases, it is strongly recommended that the time between inspections be
reduced and that the fan wheel be replaced.

Operating Equipment

The operating environment of a draft fan is probably the most important factor to consider. The
following are specific operating conditions that could lead to fatigue cracks:
• Start/stop cycles greater than 100 per year.
• Blade tip speed greater than 25,000 fpm.
• Temporary excursions by the fan.

Responses to the following questions may also indicate conditions that could lead to fatigue
cracks:
• How well do the isolation dampers and sealing air systems work to protect the fan?
• Are thermocouples installed to warn operators of a temperature excursion (and are they
accurate)?
• Is there erosion wear caused by fly ash?
• How well do the precipitators operate? How well are they maintained?
• Is the surface hardening system in good condition? Are the wear plates in good condition?
• Is there vibration?
• Has the fan been operated for long periods with inlet vanes or dampers closed?

Repairs

As the number of weld repairs to a fan wheel increases, the fatigue life remaining on the wheel
decreases. Because of the lead time involved in manufacturing a new wheel (unless a spare
wheel is kept on hand), it is important to take into account the amount of repair work that should
be done, to consider reducing the number of start/stop cycles that the wheel currently undergoes,
and to reduce the inspection interval to allow for more inspections with subsequent repair work.

Initial Inspection

If the fan wheel has never undergone an NDE or VT inspection, one should be scheduled as soon
as possible. The condition of the fan wheel will determine the schedule of the next inspection.

Available Manpower Assets

It is easier to schedule inspections when an inspection team is always available. Coordination


becomes slightly more difficult when a private contractor or a team that is rotated between
stations within the utility’s network is used.

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Determining a Cycle for NDE Inspections

Input was received from private contractors specializing in NDE inspections, fan manufacturers,
and participating utilities. The fan manufacturers and NDE specialists contacted favored annual
NDE inspections. Feedback from utilities indicated a wide variety of inspection cycles currently
in use. Of particular interest is the group of utilities employing inspection cycles that ranged
from 18 to 60 months. These included inspection of fans with blade tip speeds both above and
below 25,000 fpm. Generating stations using these extended intervals reported successful results
(that is, low incidence of cracks). This indicates that, for given situations, NDE inspection cycles
may be extended beyond a one-year period. The following were common features of fans having
NDE inspection intervals greater than 12 months:
• Low number of annual start/stop cycles (typically less than 20 per year).
• Most fans were monitored for high-vibration levels (vibration monitoring ranged from
continuous to every six months).
• New fan wheels with proper design, low hydrogen weld rod, and proper heat treatment.

For fans meeting the conditions listed above, a 48-month interval is recommended for an NDE
inspection cycle. This time period was chosen based on successful results reported by several
utilities. An NDE inspection conducted every 12 months or less is recommended for the
following conditions:
• High number of annual start/stop cycles (100 or greater).
• Persistent high vibration/temperature excursions.
• Fan wheels identified by the manufacturer as having a high risk of cracking because of their
design.

Visual Inspection Cycle

A visual inspection is its own unique program and should not be viewed as an initial preparation
for a magnetic particle examination. This fact becomes especially evident when NDE inspections
extend beyond a year. Annual visual inspections are highly recommended. This interval is
chosen based on the following:
• Feedback from the utilities suggests that annual visual inspection cycles are beneficial.
• Visual inspections, while not as sensitive as magnetic particle examinations, can still provide
valuable information on the condition of the fan wheel. A well-trained individual can quickly
identify and check for erosion, gross cracking, and blade damage.

In addition to an annual VT, it is recommended that maintenance engineers conduct VT


inspections whenever opportunities arise due to an unscheduled outage. These “inspections of
opportunity” can pay large maintenance dividends to a fan wheel’s operational life span.
Constant vigilance provides an additional margin of safety to both the operators and the
equipment.

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Repairs

Before beginning repairs, maintenance personnel should be aware of four important


considerations. First, fan construction varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Different
operating environments as well as different design philosophies can result in a unique
construction for each fan.

Second, there are a variety of materials that can be used in the construction of a wheel. Table A-3
provides a sample list of various materials used in the manufacture of blades, center plates, side
plates, and hubs. The ASTM A242 material shown in Table A-3 has been used on gas
recirculation fans. When drawings show this material, repair should be approached cautiously.
This is a low alloy steel specification that does not specify the type or amount of alloy added.
The potential trouble area pertains to the high phosphorus allowed by Type 1 in this material
specification. As a rule, the high-strength/low-alloy steels have relatively poor low-temperature
impact strength. After a few years of service at temperatures above 650ºF, the high phosphorus
alloy material is very susceptible to temper brittleness. This does not affect the tensile properties
but causes a shift in the ductile-to-brittle transition curve at higher temperatures. Thus, the room
temperature impact strength can decrease to values less than 10 ft-lb. If cracks are present,
catastrophic failure can occur.

A third consideration is defective or incorrect material (see Section 5). In some cases, utilities
have discovered material that did not meet the ASTM specifications called for in the design
specifications. In other instances, materials different from those shown on the design drawings
were found to have been used. These discrepancies can include chemical specifications, Charpy
V-notch impact values, or quenching and tempering processes. If this is suspected, a sample
from the material should be chemically analyzed. The first requirement in any weld repair is to
determine the material type and grade used in the wheel’s construction. Generic terms such as
carbon steel, forged steel, or boiler plate should not be accepted as accurate information,
because fan wheels can be made of several materials. For example, the center plate could be
constructed of a low-alloy carbon steel such as A441, while the blades could be made from
A514, which is a high yield strength material.

The fourth consideration is that individuals performing the actual weld repair must be fully
qualified as required in either ASME Section IX or AWS D1.1 Section 5 parts A, B, and C.

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Table A-3
Typical Materials in Power Plant Fans

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Field Weld Repairs and Procedures

Weld repair demands attention to detail. This is especially true for high strength steels subject to
high fatigue stresses. When repair is necessary because of cracks, it is important that all cracks
are removed before repairing. There are seven fundamental rules for weld repair:
• Make sure that the electrode strength is consistent with design requirements.
• Make sure that the weld is not a source of any undue hardening or softening of the parent
metal.
• Know the material type and grade of the parent metal.
• Use the specified electrodes.
• Follow all instructions concerning preheat, interpass temperatures, and post-heat.
• Know the handling procedures of the electrodes specified for the job.
• Follow the prescribed weld procedure for the job.

Review of several repair procedures written by utilities and fan manufacturers indicates a
common ground shared by all.

Before any welding is attempted to repair a fan, the welder should be familiar with the welding
guidelines described in the following paragraphs.

Surface Preparation

Before welding, surfaces must be clean and dry. Rust is hygroscopic; its removal is an absolute
necessity—especially when welding the A514/A517 materials. Grease and oil are also sources of
hydrogen that must be removed.

The welding procedure should show a sketch of the minimum slope angles of the cavity walls
(when a deep cavity results from defect removal). If there is insufficient slope or a sharp corner
at the base of the cavity, incomplete fusion may occur.

Welding Technique

If possible, the repairs should be made in the flat position. For fillet welds, this will likely be
impossible; therefore, try to maneuver the fan wheel in such a way that the fillet weld can be
made in the horizontal position. For the A514/A517 materials, welds should be made using
stringer beads (that is, no weaving of the electrode) to minimize the heat input. One fan
manufacturer recommends 60 kilojoules-inch maximum heat input.

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Preheat

Preheat should be at least 200ºF minimum with a maximum interpass temperature of 400ºF for
the quenched and tempered materials. The reason for the higher preheat is to drive off moisture
that is likely to be present in the fan installation area. Under certain conditions, such as deep
and/or long repair welds that cannot be completed without interruption, it is recommended that
either the preheat temperature or a 300ºF post-heat temperature be maintained for about 8 hours.
After this time, the weld should be allowed to cool slowly. This can be accomplished by
resuming welding the next day and reapplying the preheat.

Shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) is the common welding process used for fan repairs. The
SMAW electrode that matches A514/A517 materials in strength is E-l 1018-M. To keep welding
current (and thus heat input low), the electrode size should not exceed 5/32 inches in diameter.
The fan manufacturer should be consulted regarding the use of electrodes lower in strength, such
as the E9018-M, which is generally used for tee or corner joints. Use of the E-7018-Al electrode
is possible when the higher strength electrode weld repairs result in cracking. The alloy pickup
from the base metal can produce welds of about 100 ksi in strength from the E7018-A1. The
E7018-A1 electrodes should be baked for 1 hour at 700–800ºF to reduce their moisture content.
Portable rod ovens should be used for all electrodes on the A514/A517 materials.

Post-Weld Heat Treatment

The vanadium containing grades of A514/A517, such as Grade F, are subject to stress relief
cracking and should not be subjected to a post-weld heat treatment (PWHT). For the other high-
strength grades, the fan manufacturer performs PWHT on the entire wheel. However, a local
PWHT may not be practical. For example, high thermal stresses may result from the temperature
gradients during PWHT. These could cause cracking problems. One method of eliminating the
hard heat-affected zone (HAZ) in all of the A514/A517 materials is to use the temper bead
method. With this method, any weld bead deposited on base metal is tempered by the deposit of
another bead on top of it that does not contact the base metal. The temper beads may even be
removed by grinding, if the contour is improved. One Midwest utility avoids PWHT but
performs contour grinding at the toes of the T-joint welds and then has the entire weld shot
peened. This is done primarily to improve the fatigue life. Another Midwest utility improves the
fatigue life by hollow grinding the T-joint fillet welds (that is, the fillet welds are ground
concave). For fans built using structural steel materials, PWHT is not performed.

Welder Qualification

A welder should be qualified in accordance with either ASME Section IX or AWS Dl. 1. The
welder must be qualified for the position(s) he will be welding and for an F-4 electrode. This
means that a welder qualified for welding carbon steels such as a A36 with an E-7018 electrode
is also qualified to weld the quenched and tempered fan materials with the E-1 1018-M, E-9018-
M, etc. However, a welder who has never welded high strength materials before could have

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problems, and it would be advisable that the individual be given some training about the
necessity of not deviating from the welding procedure or the electrode storage and handling
requirements. For example, the welder should know that even for tack welds or temporary welds,
the required preheat must be used.

Generic Problems

Certain fans have excessive stresses because of their design. Repairing fatigue cracks in such
fans will be ongoing until the wheels are replaced.

Field Welding Requirements

Feedback from several utilities indicates that major weld repairs can be accomplished in the
field. Establishing and maintaining a suitable environment is essential to the success of repairs
performed on quenched and tempered steels. To maintain a minimum ambient temperature of
50ºF during cold weather, use of portable electric heaters in conjunction with an airlock system
is recommended. Use of plastic bulkheads to seal both the inlet and discharge ducts is suggested
to reduce drafts. Erecting a temporary plywood vestibule around the opened manway will further
help control the ambient temperature inside the fan housing. Use of two doors will help seal the
fan housing from a rush of cold air as personnel enter and leave the fan housing.

Post-Weld Repair Inspection Criteria

There are two types of cracking that can occur when making weld repairs. First, cracking can
start during the repair welding process. Such cracks are discovered visually and frequently occur
in the HAZ immediately adjacent to the weld. If the welding is interrupted for a significant time,
a visual examination should be performed before welding is resumed.

Hydrogen-delayed cracking is the second type of cracking that can develop and surface after
weld repairs. The chances of hydrogen cracking can be greatly reduced by adhering to correct
electrode handling procedures, by using electrodes that have a low-hydrogen coating, and by
slowly cooling the welded area to allow hydrogen to escape into the atmosphere. However, in
view of the potential for catastrophic failure if any cracking goes undetected, a visual and
magnetic particle test should be conducted. For ASTM A514 and A517 steels, a 48-hour waiting
period is required before conducting a final VT or wet magnetic particle examination. The wet
magnetic particle test is recommended because it is more sensitive to finding very fine cracks.
Specific information and pass/fail criteria can be found in the AWS standard Dl.l-1990.

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Visual Pass/Fail Criteria

The passing criteria for a visual test are provided below:


• The weld shall have no cracks.
• Thorough fusion shall exist between adjacent layers of weld metal and between weld metal
and base metal.
• All craters shall be filled to the cross-section of the weld.
• Weld profiles shall be in accordance with AWS 14.6 or Dl.1.
• Undercut shall be no more than 0.031 inch (0.1 mm) deep.

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KEY POINT SUMMARY

Key O&M Cost Point


Emphasizes information that will result in reduced purchase, operating, or
maintenance costs.

Section Page Key O&M Cost Point

3.2.7 3-6 The fewest number of fans usually results in the lowest initial cost.
3.11.8 3-38 The best practice is to follow the fan manufacturer’s recommendation. If a change
in damper operation is desired, data on startup times and motor current should be
collected and discussed with the suppliers of the fan and motor.

6.2 6-10 Oil analysis tests are often offered free or for a nominal charge by the lubricant
supplier as part of the overall service provided.

7.1 7-2 Recommendations from the manufacturer and operational experience can provide
valuable insight in determining not only what checks should be done, but also how
often they should be done.

7.1 7-2 A balance must be attained by performing PM but avoiding opening and inspecting
equipment if no problems (such as high temperature or pressure) are present.

7.4.5.2 7-19 Blasting with frozen CO2 pellets has been used for cleaning, with the benefit of
eliminating the need to remove the blast medium from the fan.

7.4.9.3 7-27 A simple adjustment of the fan-wheel-to-inlet-cone clearance can affect fan
performance by 5% or more.

9.1 9-1 If additional fan capacity is needed, there are fan upgrades that can be
implemented that require only a fraction of the cost and outage time of complete
new fans.

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Key Point Summary

Key Technical Point


Targets information that will lead to improved equipment reliability.

Section Page Key Technical Point

3.2.1 3-3 Temperature affects fan performance, and thus, a margin on temperature is
included to allow for variations in operation.

3.2.2 3-4 When specifying FD fans, pressure loss through the silencers (if they are provided)
must be taken into consideration.

3.6.3 3-24 The design speed of the turning gear is critical. Most centrifugal fans have sleeve
bearings that have a minimum speed. Below the minimum speed, the oil film
between the journal and the sleeve is not adequate to prevent metal-to-metal
contact, and the bearing will be damaged.
3.7 3-25 In many coal-fired plants, the ID fans are the limiting factor on plant electrical
output. Although the ID fans may be the apparent cause of a load limit, in many
cases the root cause is high air heater leakage, air heater pluggage, high gas
temperatures, precipitator infiltration, or something similar.

3.7 3-25 Note that most curves are labeled as cfm, where it is understood that cfm is acfm.
Because fan performance depends on inlet density, the fan curve should specify
the density.
3.7 3-26 Fan manufacturers usually present their curves in terms of vane angle, with 90
degrees being the full open position. Many boiler controls identify inlet vane
position in terms of percent open, with 100% being full open.

3.7 3-27 The inlet vanes are designed for flow control and not to isolate the fan, and—with
the vanes fully closed—the performance will be approximately the same as with
the vanes 15 degrees open. Thus, controllability at this low vane opening may be a
problem.

3.7.2 3-30 Note that fan static pressure is not the same as static pressure rise.
3.7.2 3-31 The pressure rise across the fan must be converted to the density on the fan curve.

3.8 3-33 Fan performance is based on conditions at the inlet.

6 6-1 The goal of condition monitoring is to identify changes in the condition of the fan,
motor, or auxiliary that could indicate some potential failure.

6.1.2.1 6-3 The vibration amplitude-versus-frequency analysis method is considered to be the


most useful. Over 85% of mechanical problems occurring on rotating equipment
can be identified using this method.
7 7-1 The major maintenance areas for centrifugal fans are the blade liners, main shaft
bearings, and inlet vane or inlet damper linkages.
7 7-1 Axial fans require considerably more maintenance than centrifugal fans.

7.4.1 7-6 If oil in a self-contained sump is below the normal level, adding relatively cold oil
may disrupt the oil film. Shut down the fan before adding oil.

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Section Page Key Technical Point

7.4.1 7-6 Do not mix oils in the lubrication system or bearing housing. Chemical additives in
different oils can cause a breakdown in the viscosity, cooling, or bearing
lubrication.

7.4.3.2 7-13 Verify that components used to restrict motor shaft movement are installed.
7.4.5.2 7-20 Coatings can affect the physical properties of the base materials of the fan. Cracks
in coatings can propagate into the fan members. Tests using proposed coatings
and fan structural material should be performed and evaluated before the coatings
are actually used.

7.5.2 7-38 Improper welding of balance weights can cause cracks in the attachment weld that
can propagate into the base metal of the fan.

Key Human Performance Point


Denotes information that requires personnel action or consideration in order to
prevent injury or damage or ease completion of the task.

Section Page Key Human Performance Point

3.11.2 3-35 The startup procedures, in addition to the controls and interlocks, should follow the
requirements of the current version of NFPA 85.

3.11.9 3-39 The fan control system should monitor the head and flow and give the operator a
stall warning so that the operator can take action before a stall occurs.

4.1 4-6 Erosion is a significant failure mechanism for both centrifugal and axial fans. While
erosion of ID fans is the major problem, erosion has also been reported on FD
fans.
7.4.3.2 7-14 The locking feature of these fasteners becomes compromised when they are
removed and reinstalled a certain number of times.
7.4.3.3 7-14 It is important to verify that the thrust load of the fan is not imposed on the motor
thrust bearing. This requires knowledge of the magnetic center of the motor.
7.4.5 7-17 Damage (manifested in the form of cracking or corrosive wear) can be partial or
total. Unchecked damage may result in an increase in vibration levels with
additional wheel damage, which subsequently may increase in severity to
catastrophic failure with a serious potential for injury to personnel.

7.4.5.1 7-18 Large centrifugal fan wheels are highly stressed rotating equipment. The design
stress may be as high as 80% of yield, and the material may be a quenched and
tempered high-strength material such as ASTM A514 or A517, with a yield
strength of 100,000 psi. Many large centrifugal fans have had cracks, and there
have been a few mechanical failures.

10.1 10-1 All personnel that operate, inspect, or maintain fans should be trained in the plant
safety procedures.

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Section Page Key Human Performance Point

10.6 10-2 Fans can suck in loose material and discharge it as dangerous projectiles. Large
fans can also be dangerous to personnel.

10.7 10-2 Even when a fan is locked out electrically, it may be subject to “windmilling.”

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TRANSLATED TABLE OF CONTENTS

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITIES

THIS DOCUMENT WAS PREPARED BY THE ORGANIZATION(S) NAMED BELOW AS AN ACCOUNT OF


WORK SPONSORED OR COSPONSORED BY THE ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC. (EPRI).
NEITHER EPRI, ANY MEMBER OF EPRI, ANY COSPONSOR, THE ORGANIZATION(S) BELOW, NOR ANY
PERSON ACTING ON BEHALF OF ANY OF THEM:

(A) MAKES ANY WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION WHATSOEVER, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, (I) WITH
RESPECT TO THE USE OF ANY INFORMATION, APPARATUS, METHOD, PROCESS, OR SIMILAR ITEM
DISCLOSED IN THIS DOCUMENT, INCLUDING MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
PURPOSE, OR (II) THAT SUCH USE DOES NOT INFRINGE ON OR INTERFERE WITH PRIVATELY OWNED
RIGHTS, INCLUDING ANY PARTY'S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, OR (III) THAT THIS DOCUMENT IS
SUITABLE TO ANY PARTICULAR USER'S CIRCUMSTANCE, (IV) THAT ANY TRANSLATION FROM THE
ENGLISH-LANGUAGE ORIGINAL OF THIS DOCUMENT IS WITHOUT ERROR; OR

(B) ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY WHATSOEVER (INCLUDING
ANY CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF EPRI OR ANY EPRI REPRESENTATIVE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF
THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES) RESULTING FROM YOUR SELECTION OR USE OF THIS
DOCUMENT OR ANY INFORMATION, APPARATUS, METHOD, PROCESS, OR SIMILAR ITEM DISCLOSED IN
THIS DOCUMENT.

THE TRANSLATION OF THIS DOCUMENT FROM THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE ORIGINAL HAS BEEN PREPARED WITH
LIMITED BUDGETARY RESOURCES BY OR ON BEHALF OF EPRI. IT IS PROVIDED FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES ONLY
AND EPRI DISCLAIMS ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS ACCURACY. THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE ORIGINAL SHOULD BE
CONSULTED TO CROSS-CHECK TERMS AND STATEMENTS IN THE TRANSLATION.

ORGANIZATION(S) THAT PREPARED THIS REPORT

EPRI

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RESUME

Objectifs
• Fournir des informations sur les ventilateurs axiaux et centrifuges utilisés pour les chaudières
• Aider le personnel de maintenance des centrales thermiques dans la détection des pannes des
ventilateurs
• Fournir des conseils de maintenance courante et préventive pour améliorer la fiabilité des
ventilateurs

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TABLE DES MATIERES

1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................. 1-1


1.1 Objectifs ......................................................................................................................... 1-1
1.2 Organismes ................................................................................................................... 1-1
1.3 Points clés ..................................................................................................................... 1-2

2 GLOSSAIRE.......................................................................................................................... 2-1
2.1 Termes et acronymes .................................................................................................... 2-1
2.2 Conversions des unités utilisées ............................................................................... 2 ou 3

3 DESCRIPTION TECHNIQUE ............................................................................................... 3-1


3.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 3-1
3.2 Applications des Ventilateurs ......................................................................................... 3-3
3.2.1 Ventilateur à circulation induite............................................................................... 3-3
3.2.2 Ventilateur à circulation forcée ............................................................................... 3-3
3.2.3 Equilibre ................................................................................................................. 3-4
3.2.4 Air primaire froid ventilateur ................................................................................... 3-5
3.2.5 Air primaire chaud ventilateur ................................................................................ 3-5
3.2.6 Ventilateurs de recyclage de gaz .......................................................................... 3-6
3.2.7 Quantité deventilateurs .......................................................................................... 3-6
3.3 Types ............................................................................................................................ 3-7
3.3.1 Ventilateurs centrifuges ......................................................................................... 3-7
3.3.2 Ventilateurs axiaux .............................................................................................. 3-13
3.4 Entraînements des Ventilateurs ................................................................................... 3-15
3.5 Commande des Ventilateurs ....................................................................................... 3-16
3.5.1 Commandes centrifuge de ventilateur ................................................................. 3-16
3.5.1.1 Vanne d’admission ...................................................................................... 3-16
3.5.1.2 Amortisseurs d’admission ............................................................................. 3-17
3.5.1.3 Moteurs à deux vitesses .............................................................................. 3-18

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3.5.1.4 À couplage fluide ......................................................................................... 3-18


3.5.1.5 moteurs à Vitesse Variable ........................................................................... 3-19
3.5.1.6 Ventilateurs à Turbine................................................................................... 3-19
3.5.2 Commande axiale de ventilateur ......................................................................... 3-20
3.5.2.1 Hélice à pas variable ................................................................................... 3-20
3.5.2.2 entraînements à Vitesse Variable ................................................................. 3-21
3.5.2.3 Admission variable ....................................................................................... 3-22
3.5.2.4 Ventilateurs de refroidissemnt ..................................................................... 3-22
3.6 Autres composants ...................................................................................................... 3-22
3.6.1 Roulements ......................................................................................................... 3-22
3.6.2 Systèmes de lubrification ..................................................................................... 3-23
3.6.3 Trains de rotation ................................................................................................. 3-24
3.7 Ventilateurs, performance ........................................................................................... 3-24
3.7.1 Performance de ventilateur axial .......................................................................... 3-28
3.7.2 Définition de pression .......................................................................................... 3-29
3.8 Sélection du type de ventilateur .................................................................................. 3-32
3.9 Besoins ........................................................................................................................ 3-33
3.10 Tests .......................................................................................................................... 3-33
3.11 Fonctionnement ......................................................................................................... 3-34
3.11.1 Tests de prédémarrage ..................................................................................... 3-34
3.11.2 Procédures de démarrage ................................................................................. 3-34
3.11.2.2 Séquence des phases pour la mise en route ............................................. 3-35
3.11.3 Conditions d'alarme ............................................................................................ 3-35
3.11.4 Paramètres d'emploi .......................................................................................... 3-35
3.11.5 Mesures d'urgence ............................................................................................ 3-36
3.11.6 Commande ........................................................................................................ 3-36
3.11.6.1 Restrictions de moteur électrique .............................................................. 3-37
3.11.7 Commande d’aubes et d'amortisseurs .............................................................. 3-38
3.11.8 Amortisseurs de sortie ....................................................................................... 3-38
3.11.9 Mesure de prévention pour les ventilateurs axiaux ........................................... 3-39
3.11.10 Arrêt de ventilateur .......................................................................................... 3-39
3.11.10.1 Arrêt contrôlé ........................................................................................... 3-40
3.11.10.2 Arrêt incontrôlé ......................................................................................... 3-40
3.11.11 Fonctionnement en parallèle de ventilateur ..................................................... 3-41
3.12 Normes nationales .................................................................................................... 3-42

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4 MODES DE DEFAILLANCE ET ANALYSES D'EFFETS .................................................... 4-1


4.1 Pales .............................................................................................................................. 4-6
4.2 Roulements ....................................................................................................................4-7
4.3 Fondations .................................................................................................................... 4-8
4.4 Aubes d’admission ......................................................................................................... 4-9
4.5 Accouplements ............................................................................................................ 4-10
4.6 Méchanisme de commande hydraulique ..................................................................... 4-10
4.7 Moteurs électriques ..................................................................................................... 4-10
4.8 Pivots ...........................................................................................................................4-11
4.9 Capots .......................................................................................................................... 4-11
4.10 Axes en mouvement .................................................................................................. 4-12
4.11 Arbre ..........................................................................................................................4-12
4.12 Plaque centrale ......................................................................................................... 4-13
4.13 Amortisseurs d’entrée ............................................................................................... 4-13
4.14 Amortisseurs d’isolement ........................................................................................... 4-13
4.15 Entraînement à Variable-Vitesse................................................................................ 4-14
4.16 Commandes .............................................................................................................. 4-14
4.17 Canalisation ............................................................................................................... 4-14

5 DETECTIONS DES PANNES .............................................................................................. 5-1

6 CONTROLE DE CONDITION................................................................................................ 6-1


6.1 Contrôle de vibration ..................................................................................................... 6-1
6.1.1 Paramètres ............................................................................................................ 6-1
6.1.1.1 amplitudes ..................................................................................................... 6-2
6.1.1.2 Fréquence ...................................................................................................... 6-2
6.1.1.3 Angle de phase .............................................................................................. 6-2
6.1.1.4 Forme de vibration ......................................................................................... 6-2
6.1.1.5 Forme du mode de vibration .......................................................................... 6-3
6.1.2 Analyse de vibration .............................................................................................. 6-3
6.1.2.1 Amplitudes en fonction de l'analyse de fréquence ......................................... 6-3
6.1.2.2 Analyse du spectre du temps réel................................................................... 6-4
6.1.2.3 Analyse de la forme d'onde ............................................................................ 6-4
6.1.3 Sonde de proximité................................................................................................. 6-5
6.1.4 Sondes de vitesse ................................................................................................. 6-6

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6.1.5 Accéléromètrs ........................................................................................................ 6-7


6.1.6 Acquisition de données ......................................................................................... 6-8
6.1.6.1 Tableau de machine ...................................................................................... 6-8
6.1.6.2 Les relevés à trois axes .................................................................................. 6-9
6.2 Analyse d’huile ............................................................................................................ 6-10
6.3 Inspection non destructive ........................................................................................... 6-11
6.4 Thermographie infrarouge ........................................................................................... 6-11
6.5 Analyse du courant moteur ......................................................................................... 6-11

7 MAINTENANCE .................................................................................................................... 7-1


7.1 Développement d’un programme de maintenance préventive....................................... 7-2
7.2 Règles fondamentales pour la conduite de maintenance .............................................. 7-3
7.3 Recommandations de maintenance périodique ............................................................. 7-3
7.4 Maintenance de composants ......................................................................................... 7-5
7.4.1 Roulements ........................................................................................................... 7-6
7.4.1.2 Recommandations courantes de maintenance .............................................. 7-7
7.4.1.2 Changement de roulements............................................................................ 7-8
7.4.2 Système de lubrification ...................................................................................... 7-10
7.4.2.1 Maintenance courante ................................................................................. 7-10
7.4.2.2 Révision du système de circulation d'huile ................................................... 7-10
7.4.3 Accouplements .................................................................................................... 7-12
7.4.3.1 Recommandations courantes de maintenance ............................................ 7-12
7.4.3.2 Changement ................................................................................................ 7-13
7.4.3.3 Alignement d'accouplements ....................................................................... 7-14
7.4.4 Aubes d’admission et amortisseurs ..................................................................... 7-15
7.4.4.1 Maintenance courante ................................................................................. 7-15
7.4.4.2 Révision des aubes ..................................................................................... 7-15
7.4.5 Galets de ventilateur centrifuges ......................................................................... 7-16
7.4.5.1 Galet de ventilateur centrifuge NDE ............................................................ 7-18
7.4.5.2 aube ............................................................................................................. 7-18
7.4.5.3 Plaquecentrale/plaque latérale .................................................................... 7-21
7.4.6 Arbre .................................................................................................................... 7-21
7.4.7 Pivots ................................................................................................................... 7-22
7.4.8 Système structural de support ............................................................................. 7-22
7.4.8.1 Fondation en béton ...................................................................................... 7-22

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7.4.8.2 Réparantion des fondations en béton ........................................................... 7-22


7.4.8.3 Nettoyage extérieur ..................................................................................... 7-23
7.4.8.4 Réparation de fissures ................................................................................. 7-23
7.4.8.5 Boulons d'anchrage ..................................................................................... 7-24
7.4.8.5.1 Forces affectant des boulons d'anchrage ............................................ 7-24
7.4.8.5.2 Installation appropriée .......................................................................... 7-24
7.4.9 Capot ................................................................................................................... 7-25
7.4.9.1 Capot ........................................................................................................... 7-25
7.4.9.2 Cônes .......................................................................................................... 7-26
7.4.9.3 Jeu de galet de ventilateur ........................................................................... 7-26
7.4.9.4 Plaques/trappes d'Access ............................................................................ 7-28
7.4.10 Joints de dilatation ............................................................................................. 7-28
7.4.11 Moteurs électriques ........................................................................................... 7-29
7.4.11.1 Saletés ....................................................................................................... 7-29
7.4.11.2 Humidité ..................................................................................................... 7-30
7.4.11.3 Friction ....................................................................................................... 7-30
7.4.11.4 Vibration ..................................................................................................... 7-30
7.4.11.5 Jeu d'extrémité d'arbre de rotor ................................................................. 7-31
7.4.12 Fluide d’entraînement......................................................................................... 7-32
7.4.12.1 Maintenance courante ............................................................................... 7-32
7.4.12.2 Révision du couplage fluide ....................................................................... 7-33
7.4.13 Trains de rotation ............................................................................................... 7-34
7.4.14 Circuit d'alimentation hydraulique ...................................................................... 7-35
7.4.15 Système axial de réglage de la pale de ventilateur ........................................... 7-35
7.4.16 Roulements axiaux de la pale de ventilateur ..................................................... 7-35
7.4.17 Révision du rotor de ventilateur à écoulement axial ........................................... 7-36
7.5 Équilibrage des galets de ventilateur .......................................................................... 7-36
7.5.1 taille du contrepoids ............................................................................................. 7-38
7.5.2 Emplacement du contrepoids .............................................................................. 7-38
7.5.3 Sensibilité de vibration ......................................................................................... 7-38

8 TACHES SPECIALES DE MAINTENANCE ........................................................................ 8-1


8.1 Arrêt prolongé ................................................................................................................ 8-1
8.2 Inspection non destructive de soudure .......................................................................... 8-1

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9 OPTIONS DE MISE A NIVEAU DU VENTILATEUR ........................................................... 9-1


9.1 Raisons de mise à niveau du ventilateur ....................................................................... 9-1
9.2 Conseils ..........................................................................................................................9-1
9.3 Remontage de galet ...................................................................................................... 9-2
9.4 Modifications du logement.............................................................................................. 9-3
9.5 Revêtements .................................................................................................................. 9-3

10 SECURITE .........................................................................................................................10-1
10.1 Matériel tournant ....................................................................................................... 10-1
10.2 L'espace confiné ....................................................................................................... 10-1
10.3 Risques de brûlure .................................................................................................... 10-1
10.4 Risques électriques .................................................................................................... 10-1
10.5 Contrôle de fonctionnement ...................................................................................... 10-2
10.6 Nettoyage .................................................................................................................. 10-2
10.7 Ventilateurs en mouvement ....................................................................................... 10-2

11 FORMATION ..................................................................................................................... 11-1

12 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................. 12-1

A INSPECTION ET DEPANNAGE DES VENTILATEUR ...................................................... A-1

B RESUME DES POINTS CLES............................................................................................. B-1

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LISTE DE FIGURES

Figure 3-1 schéma de circulation d'air de chaudière ................................................................ 3-2


Figure 3-2 d'un ventilateur centrifuge ....................................................................................... 3-8
Figure 3-3 vue en coupe d'un ventilateur centrifuge ................................................................ 3-9
Figure 3-4 composants et accessoires centrifuges de ventilateur ......................................... 3-10
Figure 3-5 rotor avec pales incurvées..................................................................................... 3-11
Figure 3-6 types de pales (vues de l'extrémité d'entraînement) ............................................ 3-12
Figure3-7 composants centrifuges de rotor de ventilateur...................................................... 3-13
Figure 3-8 ventilateur axial à deux étages .............................................................................. 3-14
Figure 3-9 turbine axiale à deux étages.................................................................................. 3-14
Figure 3-10 commande de pales ............................................................................................ 3-17
Figure 3-11 Pas variable......................................................................................................... 3-20
Figure 3-12 palier à manchon ................................................................................................. 3-23
Figure 3-13 ventilateur centrifuge avec les pales variables ................................................... 3-26
Figure 3-14 ventilateur centrifuge avec les pales variables et indicateur................................ 3-27
Figure 3-15 ventilateur centrifuge avec de commande de vitesse ......................................... 3-28
Figure 3-16 Domaine de performance pour ventilateur à écoulement axial .......................... 3-29
Figure 3-17 définitions de pression de ventilateur .................................................................. 3-30
Figure 3-18 Réglage d’aubage en fonction de la densité d’admission .................................. 3-31
Figure 4-1 Composants de capot de ventilateur centrifuge ................................................... 4-12
Figure 7-1 galet de ventilateur centrifuge ............................................................................... 7-17
Figure 7-2 accessoires protecteurs d'usure et d'érosion......................................................... 7-20
Figure 7-3 vue en coupe d'un ventilateur illustrant les conditions de jeu................................ 7-26
Figure 7-4 vue agrandie du schéma précedent ..................................................................... 7-27
Figure 7-5 schéma fonctionnel fondamental d'un système de régulation hydraulique .......... 7-32
Figure 9-1 Aube à spoiler ......................................................................................................... 9-2
Figure A-1 exemple d’aube...................................................................................................... A-6
Figure A-2 exemple d’aube...................................................................................................... A-7
Figure A-3 exemple d’aube...................................................................................................... A-8
Figure A-4 exemple de dégagement et de superposition ..................................................... A-11
Figure A-5 sonde manuelle avec jambe articulée ................................................................. A-15
Figure A-6 orientation d'une sonde de chape articulée pour produire des lignes de flux
perpendiculaires..........................................................................................................… A-16

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Figure A-7 Les indications sont à la suite numérotées et entourées .................................... A-19
Figure A-8 marquage des signes multiples ........................................................................... A-19

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LISTE DE TABLEAUX

Tableaux 4-1 Résumé des domaines problématiques de ventilateurs centrifuges.................. 4-2


Tableaux 4-2 Résumé des domaines problématiques de ventilateurs axiaux .......................... 4-3
Tableaux 4-3 Caractéristiques de défaut de ventilateur pour les centrales des États-Unis
de 1982 à 1995 (NERC/VAGABONDE) ............................................................................4-4
Tableaux 51 Détection des pannes du ventilateur.................................................................... 5-1
Tableaux 5-2 Détection des pannes de roulement ................................................................... 5-3
Tableaux 5-3 Détection des pannes de système de lubrification.............................................. 5-4
Tableaux 5-4Détection des pannes du circuit hydraulique ...................................................... 5-5
Tableaux 5-5 Niveau de bruit de la détection des pannes........................................................ 5-6
Tableaux 5-6 Détection des pannes du couplage fluide .......................................................... 5-7
Tableaux 5-7 Détection des pannes de performance du ventilateur ........................................ 5-9
Tableaux 7-1 Surveillance et les fréquences préventives de maintenance ............................. 7-3
Tableaux A-1 Résumé des pratiques en matière d'inspection pour les galets de
ventilateur centrifuges ..................................................................................................... A-3
Tableaux A-2 Pourcentage des ventilateurs subissant des NDE ......................................... A-13
Tableaux A-3 Matériaux types des ventilateurs d'usine électriques ..................................... A-25

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レポートの概要

目的
• ボイラー・ドラフト・サービス(供給空気、排気空気)に使用する軸流および遠心フ
ァンに関する情報を提供すること。

• 問題解決およびファンの保全にあたる火力発電所の所員を助けること。

• 日常および予防保全のガイドをファンの信頼性の向上のため提供すること

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目次

1 はじめに................................................................................................................................. 1-1

1.1 目的 ................................................................................................................................ 1-1

1.2 構成 ................................................................................................................................ 1-1

1.3 キーポイント.................................................................................................................. 1-2

2 用語集 .................................................................................................................................... 2-1

2.1 用語および頭辞語........................................................................................................... 2-1

2.2 このレポートで使用される単位系の換算....................................................................... 2-3

3 技術的な記述 ......................................................................................................................... 3-1

3.1 はじめに ......................................................................................................................... 3-1

3.2 ファンのアプリケーション ............................................................................................ 3-3

3.2.1 吸出し送風機 .......................................................................................................... 3-3

3.2.2 押込送風機.............................................................................................................. 3-3

3.2.3 平衡通風 ................................................................................................................. 3-4

3.2.4 冷温一次空気ファン ............................................................................................... 3-5

3.2.5 高温一次空気ファン ............................................................................................... 3-5

3.2.6 ガスの再循環ファン ............................................................................................... 3-6

3.2.7 ファンの番号 .......................................................................................................... 3-6

3.3 ファンのタイプ .............................................................................................................. 3-7

3.3.1 遠心ファン.............................................................................................................. 3-7

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3.3.2 軸流ファン............................................................................................................ 3-13

3.4 ファン駆動 ................................................................................................................... 3-15

3.5 ファン制御 ................................................................................................................... 3-16

3.5.1 遠心ファン制御 .................................................................................................... 3-16

3.5.1.1 入口のベーン ................................................................................................ 3-16

3.5.1.2 入口のダンパー ............................................................................................ 3-17

3.5.1.3 二段変速式モーター ..................................................................................... 3-18

3.5.1.4 流体駆動 ....................................................................................................... 3-18

3.5.1.5 可変速度モーター ........................................................................................ 3-19

3.5.1.6 タービン駆動ファン...................................................................................... 3-19

3.5.2 軸流ファン制御 .................................................................................................... 3-20

3.5.2.1 可変ピッチブレード...................................................................................... 3-20

3.5.2.2 可変速度駆動機構 ......................................................................................... 3-21

3.5.2.3 可変入口ベーン............................................................................................. 3-22

3.5.2.4 冷却ファン .................................................................................................... 3-22

3.6 他の部品 ....................................................................................................................... 3-22

3.6.1 ベアリング............................................................................................................ 3-22

3.6.2 潤滑油システム .................................................................................................... 3-23

3.6.3 回転ギヤ ............................................................................................................... 3-24

3.7 ファンパフォーマンス ................................................................................................. 3-24

3.7.1 軸流ファンパフォーマンス .................................................................................. 3-28

3.7.2 ファン圧力の定義................................................................................................. 3-29

3.8 ファンタイプの選択 ..................................................................................................... 3-32

3.9 ファンの要求事項......................................................................................................... 3-33

3.10 ファンテスト.............................................................................................................. 3-33

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3.11 運転 ............................................................................................................................ 3-34

3.11.1 運転前チェック .................................................................................................. 3-34

3.11.2 起動手順 ............................................................................................................. 3-34

3.11.2.2 開始のためのステップのシーケンス .......................................................... 3-35

3.11.3 モニタへのアラーム条件 .................................................................................... 3-35

3.11.4 モニタへのオペレーティングパラメータ........................................................... 3-35

3.11.5 緊急アクション .................................................................................................. 3-36

3.11.6 ファン制御.......................................................................................................... 3-36

3.11.6.1 電動機の制限 .............................................................................................. 3-37

3.11.7 ベーンおよびダンパーの制御............................................................................. 3-38

3.11.8 ファン出口のダンパー ....................................................................................... 3-38

3.11.9 軸流ファンのためのストールの防止 .................................................................. 3-39

3.11.10 ドラフトファン停止 ......................................................................................... 3-39

3.11.10.1 必要とされる停止 ..................................................................................... 3-40

3.11.10.2 それ以外の停止......................................................................................... 3-40

3.11.11 並行ファン運転 ................................................................................................ 3-41

3.12 国の基準 ..................................................................................................................... 3-42

4 故障モードおよび効果の分析 ................................................................................................ 4-1

4.1 ブレード ......................................................................................................................... 4-6

4.2 ベアリング ..................................................................................................................... 4-7

4.3 基礎 ................................................................................................................................ 4-8

4.4 入口ベーン ..................................................................................................................... 4-9

4.5 カップリング................................................................................................................ 4-10

4.6 油圧作動メカニズム ..................................................................................................... 4-10

4.7 電動機 .......................................................................................................................... 4-10

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4.8 ハブ .............................................................................................................................. 4-11

4.9 ハウジング ................................................................................................................... 4-11

4.10 回転ギヤ ..................................................................................................................... 4-12

4.11 シャフト ..................................................................................................................... 4-12

4.12 センタープレート....................................................................................................... 4-13

4.13 入口のダンパー ......................................................................................................... 4-13

4.14 ダンパーの隔離 .......................................................................................................... 4-13

4.15 可変速度駆動機構....................................................................................................... 4-14

4.16 制御 ............................................................................................................................ 4-14

4.17 ダクト作業 ................................................................................................................. 4-14

5 問題解決................................................................................................................................. 5-1

6 コンディションモニター ...................................................................................................... 6-1

6.1 振動モニタリング........................................................................................................... 6-1

6.1.1 パラメータ.............................................................................................................. 6-1

6.1.1.1 振幅(アンプ).................................................................................................... 6-2

6.1.1.2 振動数 ............................................................................................................. 6-2

6.1.1.3 位相角 ............................................................................................................. 6-2

6.1.1.4 振動形式 ......................................................................................................... 6-2

6.1.1.5 振動モードの形............................................................................................... 6-3

6.1.2 振動解析 ................................................................................................................. 6-3

6.1.2.1 振幅対周波数解析 ........................................................................................... 6-3

6.1.2.2 リアルタイムのスペクトル解析...................................................................... 6-4

6.1.2.3 時間波形解析 .................................................................................................. 6-4

6.1.3 近接度のプローブ................................................................................................... 6-5

6.1.4 速度のプローブ ...................................................................................................... 6-6

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6.1.5 加速度のプローブ................................................................................................... 6-7

6.1.6 データ収集.............................................................................................................. 6-8

6.1.6.1 機械図表 ......................................................................................................... 6-8

6.1.6.2 三軸の 読み ..................................................................................................... 6-9

6.2 油の分析 ....................................................................................................................... 6-10

6.3 非破壊的な検査 ............................................................................................................ 6-11

6.4 赤外線サーモグラフィー ............................................................................................. 6-11

6.5 モーター電流の分析 ..................................................................................................... 6-11

7 保全........................................................................................................................................ 7-1

7.1 予防保全プログラムの構築 ............................................................................................ 7-2

7.2 保全を行なうための基本ルール ..................................................................................... 7-3

7.3 定期的な保全の提言 ....................................................................................................... 7-3

7.4 機器の保全 .................................................................................................................... 7-5

7.4.1 ベアリング.............................................................................................................. 7-6

7.4.1.2 日常的保全の提言 ........................................................................................... 7-7

7.4.1.2 ベアリングの分解 ........................................................................................... 7-8

7.4.2 潤滑油システム .................................................................................................... 7-10

7.4.2.1 日常的保全 ................................................................................................... 7-10

7.4.2.2 循環潤滑油システム分解 .............................................................................. 7-10

7.4.3 カップリング ........................................................................................................ 7-12

7.4.3.1 日常的保全の提言 ......................................................................................... 7-12

7.4.3.2 カップリングの分解...................................................................................... 7-13

7.4.3.3 カップリングのアラインメント.................................................................... 7-14

7.4.4 可変的な入口ベーンおよび制御ダンパー ............................................................ 7-15

7.4.4.1 日常的保全 ................................................................................................... 7-15

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7.4.4.2 入口ベーンの分解 ......................................................................................... 7-15

7.4.5 遠心ファンウィール ............................................................................................. 7-16

7.4.5.1 遠心ファンウィールのNDE ......................................................................... 7-18

7.4.5.2 ブレード ....................................................................................................... 7-18

7.4.5.3 センタープレート/サイドプレート ............................................................... 7-21

7.4.6 シャフト ............................................................................................................... 7-21

7.4.7 ハブ ...................................................................................................................... 7-22

7.4.8 構造サポートシステム.......................................................................................... 7-22

7.4.8.1 コンクリートの基礎...................................................................................... 7-22

7.4.8.2 コンクリートの基礎の修理........................................................................... 7-22

7.4.8.3 表面のクリーニング...................................................................................... 7-23

7.4.8.4 ひび修理 ....................................................................................................... 7-23

7.4.8.5 アンカー・ボルト ......................................................................................... 7-24

7.4.8.5.1 アンカー・ボルトに加わる力 ............................................................... 7-24

7.4.8.5.2 適切な据付け......................................................................................... 7-24

7.4.9 ハウジング............................................................................................................ 7-25

7.4.9.1 ハウジング .................................................................................................... 7-25

7.4.9.2 入口のコーン ................................................................................................ 7-26

7.4.9.3 ファンウィールのクリアランス.................................................................... 7-26

7.4.9.4 アクセスプレート/ドア ................................................................................. 7-28

7.4.10 伸縮継手 ............................................................................................................. 7-28

7.4.11 電動機................................................................................................................. 7-29

7.4.11.1 ほこり ......................................................................................................... 7-29

7.4.11.2 湿気............................................................................................................. 7-30

7.4.11.3 摩擦............................................................................................................. 7-30

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7.4.11.4 振動............................................................................................................. 7-30

7.4.11.5 ローターシャフトのエンドプレー ............................................................. 7-31

7.4.12 流体継手 ............................................................................................................. 7-32

7.4.12.1 日常的保全 ................................................................................................. 7-32

7.4.12.2 流体継手の分解........................................................................................... 7-33

7.4.13 ターニングギヤ .................................................................................................. 7-34

7.4.14 油圧供給方式 ...................................................................................................... 7-35

7.4.15 軸流ファン・ブレードの調節システム .............................................................. 7-35

7.4.16 軸流ファン・ブレードベアリング...................................................................... 7-35

7.4.17 軸流ファン回転子の分解 .................................................................................... 7-36

7.5 ファンウィールのバランス .......................................................................................... 7-36

7.5.1 バランス重量のサイズ.......................................................................................... 7-38

7.5.2 バランス重量の位置 ............................................................................................. 7-38

7.5.3 振動感度 ............................................................................................................... 7-38

8 特別な保全タスク .................................................................................................................. 8-1

8.1 延長された停止期間 ....................................................................................................... 8-1

8.2 溶接非破壊的試験........................................................................................................... 8-1

9 ファンアップグレードオプション ......................................................................................... 9-1

9.1 ファンアップグレードの理由......................................................................................... 9-1

9.2 ティッピング.................................................................................................................. 9-1

9.3 ウィールの取替 .............................................................................................................. 9-2

9.4 ハウジングの改造........................................................................................................... 9-3

9.5 コーティング.................................................................................................................. 9-3

10 安全................................................................................................................................ 10-1年

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10.1 回転装置 ................................................................................................................. 10-1年

10.2 閉所 ........................................................................................................................ 10-1年

10.3 火災の危険 ............................................................................................................. 10-1年

10.4 電気 ........................................................................................................................ 10-1年

10.5 運転のテスト.......................................................................................................... 10-2年

10.6 清浄作業 ................................................................................................................. 10-2年

10.7 ファンの動き.......................................................................................................... 10-2年

11トレーニング .................................................................................................................. 11-1年

12 参照................................................................................................................................ 12-1年

A 遠心ファンウィール点検および修理.................................................................................... A-1

Bキーポイントの概要 .............................................................................................................. B-1

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図のリスト

図3-1 ボイラー空気流の図........................................................................................................ 3-2

図3-2 遠心ファンの断面図........................................................................................................ 3-8

図3-3 遠心ファンの断面図........................................................................................................ 3-9

図3-4 遠心ファン機器およびアクセサリ ................................................................................ 3-10

図3-5 遠心ファンの前方に曲げられたブレードが付いた典型的な回転子 .............................. 3-11

図3-6 ウィールのブレードのタイプおよび回転(駆動端からの予想図) .................................. 3-12

図3-7 遠心ファン回転子の部品............................................................................................... 3-13

図3-8 二段式軸流ファンアセンブリ ....................................................................................... 3-14

図3-9 二段式軸流ファンインペラー ...................................................................................... 3-14

図3-10 入口ベーンの制御装置 ................................................................................................ 3-17

図3-11 可変ピッチの軸流ファン構成部品 .............................................................................. 3-20

図3-12 スリーブ軸受けの構成部品 ......................................................................................... 3-23

図3-13 可変の入口ベーンを持つ典型的な遠心ファン ............................................................ 3-26

図3-14 可変の入口ベーンおよび典型的な遠心ファンとシステムカーブ................................ 3-27

図3-15 速度制御を持つ典型的な遠心ファン........................................................................... 3-28

図3-16 可変ピッチの軸流ファンのためのヘッド-流量の図 .................................................... 3-29

図3-17 ファンの圧力定義 ....................................................................................................... 3-30

図3-18 入口流の密度に応じたファン性能の訂正 ................................................................... 3-31

図4-1 遠心ファンハウジングの構成部品 ................................................................................ 4-12

図7-1 遠心ファンウィール...................................................................................................... 7-17

図7-2 摩耗およびエロージョンの保護のアクセサリ .............................................................. 7-20

図7-3 ウィールの入口とインレットベルの間のクリアランスを示すファンの断面図 ........... 7-26

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図7-4 図7-3の拡大図 .............................................................................................7-27

図7-5 油圧調整システムのの基本的なブロックダイヤグラム ................................................ 7-32

図9-1 ティッピングされたブレードが付いている翼ブレード .................................................. 9-2

図A-1 ブレードのマップの例................................................................................................... A-6

図A-2 ブレードのマップの例................................................................................................... A-7

図A-3 ブレードのマップの例................................................................................................... A-8

図A-4 アンダーカットとオーバーラッブの例........................................................................ A-11

図A-5 連結された足を持つ手持ち型のヨークのプローブ...................................................... A-15


図A-6 フラックスラインを直角にするためのカップリングされたヨークのプローブの方向 ............… A-16

図A-7 指示は連続的に番号が付けられ、丸で囲まれている。 .............................................. A-19

図A-8 複数の指示................................................................................................................... A-19

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表のリスト

表4-1 遠心ファン問題の概要 .................................................................................................... 4-2

表4-2 軸流ファン問題の概要 .................................................................................................... 4-3

表4-3 1982年から1995年までの米国の化石プラントのFDファン不良データを集めたもの。
(NERC/GADSデータ )........................................................................................................4-4

表5-1 問題解決 ファン ........................................................................................................... 5-1

表5-2 問題解決 ベアリング .................................................................................................... 5-3

表5-3 問題解決 潤滑油システム ............................................................................................. 5-4

表5-4 問題解決 油圧装置........................................................................................................ 5-5

表5-5 問題解決 騒音レベル .................................................................................................... 5-6

表5-6 問題解決 流体駆動........................................................................................................ 5-7

表5-7 問題解決 ファンパフォーマンス .................................................................................. 5-9

表7-1 監視および予防保全の頻度 ............................................................................................. 7-3

表A-1 遠心ファンウィールの点検方法の概要.......................................................................... A-3

表A-2 NDEを受けるファンのパーセント .............................................................................. A-13

表A-3 発電所の典型的なファンの材料 .................................................................................. A-25

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RESUMEN DEL REPORTE

Objetivos
• Para ofrecer información en los ventiladores axial y centrífugos usados para servicio de
corriente de aire de caldera
• Para asistir a el personal de mantenimiento de la central eléctrica fósil en localización de
averías y mantenimiento de ventiladores
• Para ofrecer guía en mantenimiento rutinario y preventivo para asistir en mejorar la
confiabilidad de ventiladores

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CONTENIDO

1 INTRODUCCIÓN ....................................................................................................................1-1
1.1 Propósito .........................................................................................................................1-1
1.2 Organización ...................................................................................................................1-1
1.3 Puntos Claves .................................................................................................................1-2

2 GLOSARIO DE TÉRMINOS ...................................................................................................2-1


2.1 Términos y Siglas............................................................................................................2-1
2.2 Conversiones para Unidades Usadas en Este Reporte..................................................2-3

3 DESCRIPCIÓN TÉCNICA ......................................................................................................3-1


3.1 Introducción.....................................................................................................................3-1
3.2 Aplicaciones de Ventilación.............................................................................................3-3
3.2.1 Ventiladores de Corriente de Aire Inducido.............................................................3-3
3.2.2 Ventiladores de Corriente de Aire Forzado .............................................................3-3
3.2.3 Corriente de Aire Balanceada .................................................................................3-4
3.2.4 Ventiladores de Aire Primario Frió ..........................................................................3-5
3.2.5 Ventiladores de Aire Primario Caliente....................................................................3-5
3.2.6 Ventiladores de Recirculación de Gas ....................................................................3-6
3.2.7 Números de Ventiladores ........................................................................................3-6
3.3 Tipos de Ventiladores......................................................................................................3-7
3.3.1 Ventiladores Centrifugo ...........................................................................................3-7
3.3.2 Ventiladores Axiales ..............................................................................................3-13
3.4 Impulsores de Ventiladores ..........................................................................................3-15
3.5 Controles de Ventilador.................................................................................................3-16
3.5.1 Controles de Ventilador Centrifugo .......................................................................3-16
3.5.1.1 Aletas de Entrada ..........................................................................................3-16
3.5.1.2 Amortiguadores de Entrada ...........................................................................3-17
3.5.1.3 Motores de Dos-Velocidades.........................................................................3-18

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3.5.1.4 Conductor de Fluido ......................................................................................3-18


3.5.1.5 Motores de Velocidad-Variable......................................................................3-19
3.5.1.6 Ventiladores Impulsados con Turbina............................................................3-19
3.5.2 Control de Ventilador Axial ....................................................................................3-20
3.5.2.1 Alabes de Pendiente-Variable .......................................................................3-20
3.5.2.2 Conductores de Velocidad-Variables.............................................................3-21
3.5.2.3 Aletas de Entrada Variables ..........................................................................3-22
3.5.2.4 Ventiladores de Enfriamiento.........................................................................3-22
3.6 Otros Componentes ......................................................................................................3-22
3.6.1 Cojinetes................................................................................................................3-22
3.6.2 Sistemas de Lubricación .......................................................................................3-23
3.6.3 Motor de Girar ......................................................................................................3-24
3.7 Funcionamiento del Ventilador......................................................................................3-24
3.7.1 Funcionamiento del Ventilador Axial .....................................................................3-28
3.7.2 Definición de la Presión del Ventilador..................................................................3-29
3.8 Selección de Tipo de Ventilador....................................................................................3-32
3.9 Requisitos del Ventilador...............................................................................................3-33
3.10 Pruebas del Ventilador ................................................................................................3-33
3.11 Operación....................................................................................................................3-34
3.11.1 Verificaciones de Prearranque ............................................................................3-34
3.11.2 Procedimientos de Arranque ...............................................................................3-34
3.11.2.2 Secuencias de Pasos para Arranque ..........................................................3-35
3.11.3 Condiciones de Alarma para Monitor ..................................................................3-35
3.11.4 Parámetros de Operación Para Monitor..............................................................3-35
3.11.5 Acciones de Emergencia.....................................................................................3-36
3.11.6 Control del Ventilador ..........................................................................................3-36
3.11.6.1 Restricciones del Motor Eléctrico.................................................................3-37
3.11.7 Control de Aletas y Amortiguadores....................................................................3-38
3.11.8 Amortiguadores de Salida de Ventilador .............................................................3-38
3.11.9 Prevención de Ahogue para Ventilador Axial .....................................................3-39
3.11.10 Apague de Ventilador de Corriente de Aire.......................................................3-39
3.11.10.1 Parada Controlada.....................................................................................3-40
3.11.10.2 Parada Incontrolable .................................................................................3-40
3.11.11 Operación de Ventilador Paralelo......................................................................3-41
3.12 Normas Nacionales .....................................................................................................3-42

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4 MODOS DE FALLO Y ANÁLISIS DE EFECTOS .................................................................4-1


4.1 Alabes .............................................................................................................................4-6
4.2 Cojinetes .........................................................................................................................4-7
4.3 Fundaciones....................................................................................................................4-8
4.4 Aleta de Entrada..............................................................................................................4-9
4.5 Acoplamientos...............................................................................................................4-10
4.6 Mecanismo que se Actúa Hidráulico .............................................................................4-10
4.7 Motores Eléctricos.........................................................................................................4-10
4.8 Bujes .............................................................................................................................4-11
4.9 Alojamiento ...................................................................................................................4-11
4.10 Engranajes de Giro .....................................................................................................4-12
4.11 Eje ...............................................................................................................................4-12
4.12 Placa Central...............................................................................................................4-13
4.13 Amortiguadores de Entrada ........................................................................................4-13
4.14 Amortiguadores Aislados ............................................................................................4-13
4.15 Impulso de Velocidad-Variable....................................................................................4-14
4.16 Controles .....................................................................................................................4-14
4.17 Canalización................................................................................................................4-14

5 LOCALIZANDO AVERÍAS.....................................................................................................5-1

6 VIGILANCIA DE CONDICION................................................................................................6-1
6.1 Vigilancia de Vibración ....................................................................................................6-1
6.1.1 Parámetros ..............................................................................................................6-1
6.1.1.1 Amplitud...........................................................................................................6-2
6.1.1.2 Frecuencia .......................................................................................................6-2
6.1.1.3 Angulo de Fase................................................................................................6-2
6.1.1.4 Forma de Vibración..........................................................................................6-2
6.1.1.5 Forma de Modo de Vibración...........................................................................6-3
6.1.2 Análisis de Vibración ..............................................................................................6-3
6.1.2.1 Amplitudes Contra Análisis de Frecuencia ......................................................6-3
6.1.2.2 Análisis del Espectro del Tiempo Real ............................................................6-4
6.1.2.3 Análisis de Forma de Onda de Tiempo ...........................................................6-4
6.1.3 Probetas de Proximidad ..........................................................................................6-5
6.1.4 Probetas de Velocidad ............................................................................................6-6

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6.1.5 Probetas del Acelerómetro ......................................................................................6-7


6.1.6 Adquisición de Data.................................................................................................6-8
6.1.6.1 Diagrama de Maquina .....................................................................................6-8
6.1.6.2 Lecturas de Tres-Axial .....................................................................................6-9
6.2 Análisis de Aceite .........................................................................................................6-10
6.3 Examinación Indestructiva ............................................................................................6-11
6.4 Termografía Infrarrojo ...................................................................................................6-11
6.5 Análisis de Corriente de Motor ......................................................................................6-11

7 MANTENIMIENTO..................................................................................................................7-1
7.1 Desarrollando un Programa de Mantenimiento Preventivo.............................................7-2
7.2 Reglas Básicas para Mantenimiento Conductivo............................................................7-3
7.3 Recomendaciones de Mantenimiento Periódica .............................................................7-3
7.4 Mantenimiento de Componente ......................................................................................7-5
7.4.1 Cojinetes..................................................................................................................7-6
7.4.1.2 Recomendaciones de Mantenimiento Rutinario ..............................................7-7
7.4.1.2 Revisión de Cojinete ........................................................................................7-8
7.4.2 Sistema de Lubricación ........................................................................................7-10
7.4.2.1 Mantenimiento de Rutina ...............................................................................7-10
7.4.2.2 Revisión de Sistema de Aceite de Lubricación Circulando............................7-10
7.4.3 Acoplamientos .......................................................................................................7-12
7.4.3.1 Recomendaciones de Mantenimiento Rutinario ............................................7-12
7.4.3.2 Revisión de Acoplamiento .............................................................................7-13
7.4.3.3 Alineamiento de Acoplamiento ......................................................................7-14
7.4.4 Aletas de Entrada Variable y Amortiguadores de Control .....................................7-15
7.4.4.1 Mantenimiento de Rutina ...............................................................................7-15
7.4.4.2 Revisión de Aletas de Entrada.......................................................................7-15
7.4.5 Ruedas de Ventilador Centrifugo ..........................................................................7-16
7.4.5.1 Rueda de Ventilador Centrifugo NDE ............................................................7-18
7.4.5.2 Alabes ............................................................................................................7-18
7.4.5.3 Placa Central/Placa de Lado .........................................................................7-21
7.4.6 Eje .........................................................................................................................7-21
7.4.7 Buje .......................................................................................................................7-22
7.4.8 Sistema de Soporte Estructural.............................................................................7-22
7.4.8.1 Fundación de Concreto..................................................................................7-22

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7.4.8.2 Reparando Fundaciones de Concreto ...........................................................7-22


7.4.8.3 Limpieza de Superficie...................................................................................7-23
7.4.8.4 Reparación de Grieta.....................................................................................7-23
7.4.8.5 Tornillos de Anclaje .......................................................................................7-24
7.4.8.5.1 Fuerzas Afectando los Tornillos de Anclaje ...........................................7-24
7.4.8.5.2 Instalación Apropiada.............................................................................7-24
7.4.9 Alojamiento............................................................................................................7-25
7.4.9.1 Alojamiento ....................................................................................................7-25
7.4.9.2 Conos de Entrada ..........................................................................................7-26
7.4.9.3 Huelgo de Rueda de Ventilador.....................................................................7-26
7.4.9.4 Placas de Acceso/Puertas .............................................................................7-28
7.4.10 Juntas de Expansión ...........................................................................................7-28
7.4.11 Motores Eléctricos ...............................................................................................7-29
7.4.11.1 Suciedad .................................................................................................... 7-29
7.4.11.2 Humedad ................................................................................................... 7-30
7.4.11.3 Fricción ...................................................................................................... 7-30
7.4.11.4 Vibración .................................................................................................... 7-30
7.4.11.5 Juego de Extremo de la Varilla del Rotor .................................................. 7-31
7.4.12 Conductores de Fluidos.......................................................................................7-32
7.4.12.1 Mantenimiento de Rutina .............................................................................7-32
7.4.12.2 Conductores de Fluidos Revisados .............................................................7-33
7.4.13 Engranajes de Giro..............................................................................................7-34
7.4.14 Sistema de Suministro Hidráulico........................................................................7-35
7.4.15 Sistema de Ajuste de Alabe de Ventilador Axial .................................................7-35
7.4.16 Cojinete de Alabe de Ventilador Axial .................................................................7-35
7.4.17 Revisión del Rotor de Ventilador de Flujo Axial ..................................................7-36
7.5 Balanceo de Rueda de Ventilador.................................................................................7-36
7.5.1 Tamaño de el Peso Balanceado ...........................................................................7-38
7.5.2 Localización de el Peso Balanceado.....................................................................7-38
7.5.3 Sensitividad de Vibración .....................................................................................7-38

8 TAREAS DE MANTENIMIENTO ESPECIALES ....................................................................8-1


8.1 Pare Extendido................................................................................................................8-1
8.2 Examinación Indestructivas de Soldadura ......................................................................8-1

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9 OPCIONES DE MEJORA DEL VENTILADOR ......................................................................9-1


9.1 Razones de Mejora de Ventilador ..................................................................................9-1
9.2 Inclinación .......................................................................................................................9-1
9.3 Cambio de Ruedas..........................................................................................................9-2
9.4 Modificaciones de Alojamiento........................................................................................9-3
9.5 Revestimientos................................................................................................................9-3

10 SEGURIDAD ......................................................................................................................10-1
10.1 Rotación de Equipos ...................................................................................................10-1
10.2 Espacio Limitado .........................................................................................................10-1
10.3 Peligro de Quemaduras ..............................................................................................10-1
10.4 Eléctrica ......................................................................................................................10-1
10.5 Prueba de Operación ..................................................................................................10-2
10.6 Operaciones de Limpieza............................................................................................10-2
10.7 Movimientos de Ventilador .........................................................................................10-2

11 ENTRENAMIENTO.............................................................................................................11-1

12 REFERENCIAS ..................................................................................................................12-1

A INSPECCION Y REPARCIÓN DE RUEDA DE VENTILADOR CENTRIFUGO ................... A-1

B RESUMEN DE PUNTO CLAVE............................................................................................ B-1

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LISTA DE FIGURAS

Figura 3-1 Esquemática de Flujo de Aire de Caldera ................................................................3-2


Figura 3-2 Sección de el Ventilador Centrifugo .........................................................................3-8
Figura 3-3 Vista de la Sección Transversal de un Ventilador Centrífugo ..................................3-9
Figura 3-4 Componentes de Ventilador Centrífugo y Accesorios ............................................3-10
Figura 3-5 Rotor Típico con Aletas Curveadas Hacia Delante para un Ventilador
Centrifugo.........................................................................................................................3-11
Figura 3-6 Tipos de Aletas de Rueda y Rotación (Vista del Extremo de la Impulsión)............3-12
Figura 3-7 Componentes de Rotor de Ventilador Centrifugo...................................................3-13
Figura 3-8 Asamblea de Ventilador Axial de Dos-Etapas........................................................3-14
Figura 3-9 Impulsor de Ventilador Axial de Dos-Etapas ..........................................................3-14
Figura 3-10 Asamblea de Control de Aleta de Entrada ...........................................................3-17
Figura 3-11 Componentes de Ventilador Axial de Pendiente-Variable....................................3-20
Figura 3-12 Componentes de Cojinete de Manguito ...............................................................3-23
Figura 3-13 Ventiladores Centrífugo Típico con Aletas de Entrada Variable ..........................3-26
Figura 3-14 Ventiladores Centrífugo Típico con Aletas de Entrada Variable y Enseñando
Curvas de Sistema .........................................................................................................3-27
Figura 3-15 Ventiladores Centrífugo Típico con Control de Velocidad....................................3-28
Figura 3-16 Campo de Funcionamiento para Ventilador de Flujo Axial de Pendiente-
Variable ............................................................................................................................3-29
Figura 3-17 Definiciones de Presión de Ventilador..................................................................3-30
Figura 3-18 Corrección de Ventilador para Densidad de Entrada ...........................................3-31
Figura 4-1 Componentes de Alojamiento de Ventilador Centrifugo.........................................4-12
Figura 7-1 Rueda de Ventilador Centrífugo .............................................................................7-17
Figura 7-2 Accesorios de Protección de Desgaste y Erosión ..................................................7-20
Figure 7-3 Vista de la Sección Transversal de un Ventilador que Demuestra
Requerimientos de Espacio Libre En Medio de la Entrada de Rueda y Entrada de
Campana..........................................................................................................................7-26
Figura 7-4 Visión Aumentada de la Figura 7-3 ........................................................................7-27
Figura 7-5 Diagrama de Bloque Básico de un Sistema de Regulación Hidráulica ..................7-32
Figura 9-1 Paleta de Plano Aerodinámico con Paleta Inclinada................................................9-2
Figura A-1 Ejemplo de Mapa de Paleta .................................................................................... A-6
Figura A-2 Ejemplo de Mapa de Paleta .................................................................................... A-7
Figura A-3 Ejemplo de Mapa de Paleta .................................................................................... A-8

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Figura A-4 Ejemplo de Undercut y Solapar ............................................................................ A-11


Figura A-5 Probeta de Horquilla Agarrada a Mano para Piernas Articuladas ........................ A-15
Figura A-6 Orientación de un Probeta de Horquilla Articulado para Producir Flujo de
Líneas en Ángulos Derechos .......................................................................................... A-16
Figura A-7 Indicaciones Están Consecutivamente Numeradas y En circuladas .................... A-19
Figura A-8 Marcando Indicaciones Múltiples .......................................................................... A-19

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LISTA DE TABLAS

Tabla 4-1 Resumen de Áreas de Problema de Ventiladores Centrífugos .................................4-2


Tabla 4-2 Resumen de Áreas de Problemas de Ventiladores Axial ..........................................4-3
Tabla 4-3 FD Data de Falla de Ventiladores para Plantas Fósiles en los EE.UU. desde
1982 Hasta 1995 (NERC/GADS Data) ..............................................................................4-4
Tabla 5-1 Localización de Averías de Ventiladores ...................................................................5-1
Tabla 5-2 Localización de Averías de Cojinetes........................................................................5-3
Tabla 5-3 Localización de Averias de Sistemas de Lubricación................................................5-4
Tabla 5-4 Localización de Averías de Sistemas Hidráulicos .....................................................5-5
Tabla 5-5 Localización de Averías de Nivel de Sonido ............................................................5-6
Tabla 5-6 Localización de Averías de Conducto de Fluido........................................................5-7
Tabla 5-7 Localización de Averías Funcionamiento de Ventilador ............................................5-9
Tabla 7-1 Frecuencias de Vigilancia y Mantenimiento Preventivo ............................................7-3
Tabla A-1 Resumen de Practicas de Inspección para Ruedas de Ventiladores
Centrífugos........................................................................................................................ A-3
Tabla A-2 Porcentaje de Ventiladores que Experimentan NDE ............................................. A-13
Tabla A-3 Materiales Típicos en Ventiladores de Planta de Energía ..................................... A-25

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