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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 5 (1999), Issue 3, Pages 219-230

Mechanical Behavior of an Industrial Gas Turbine under Fault Conditions, a Case History

1ABB Power Generation, Baden CH-5401, Switzerland
2Kentucky Utilities Company, E.W. Brown Generation Construction, Burgin, KY 40301, USA
3Bently Nevada Machinery Diagnostic Services, Baton Rouge, LA 70817, USA

Received 24 April 1998; Revised 7 July 1998

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The resolve of journal bearing field problems and the full vibrational assessment of an industrial gas turbine, simple cycle rotor train, ABB’s GTllN2 is presented. Three units experienced several times damage of the journal bearings on the compressor end. The analysis of the damage, including tests, indicated that insufficient jacking oil flow was the cause. The jacking concept was corrected and starting history has proven reliable operation, resulting in not one additional failure.

During the same period, two last stage blades failed in one of the units damaging neighboring blades additionally. The machine tripped under the unbalance. Some auxiliary piping and the babbitt of the journal bearing was damaged. However, the rotor came to a safe stop with only some rubbing, and the turbine casing fulfilled its containment function perfectly.

In order to better understand the dynamic behavior of the train, an extensive vibration measurement program was decided between Kentucky Utilities and ABB, and executed by Bently Nevada. The results proved excellent rotor balance, verified original design parameters, and no fluid induced instabilities were found. This joint effort allowed to fully assess and prove the rotor dynamic integrity of the gas turbine.