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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 276796, 8 pages
Research Article

Monitoring of Rotor-Stator Interaction in Pump-Turbine Using Vibrations Measured with On-Board Sensors Rotating with Shaft

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Concepcion, Edmundo Larenas 270 Interior, 4070409 Concepcion, Chile
2Centre of Industrial Diagnostics and Fluid Dynamics (CDIF), Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Av. Diagonal 647, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

Received 10 April 2013; Accepted 24 May 2013; Published 12 February 2014

Academic Editor: Valder Steffen

Copyright © 2014 Cristian G. Rodriguez et al. 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.


Current trends in design of pump-turbines have led into higher rotor-stator interaction (RSI) loads over impeller-runner. These dynamic loads are of special interest having produced catastrophic failures in pump-turbines. Determining RSI characteristics facilitates the proposal of actions that will prevent these failures. Pressure measurements all around the perimeter of the impeller-runner are appropriate to monitor and detect RSI characteristics. Unfortunately most installed pump-turbines are not manufactured with in-built pressure sensors in appropriate positions to monitor RSI. For this reason, vibration measurements are the preferred method to monitor RSI in industry. Usually vibrations are measured in two perpendicular radial directions in bearings where valuable information could be lost due to bearing response. In this work, in order to avoid the effect of bearing response on measurement, two vibration sensors are installed rotating with the shaft. The RSI characteristics obtained with pressure measurements were compared to those determined using vibration measurements. The RSI characteristics obtained with pressure measurements were also determined using vibrations measured rotating with shaft. These RSI characteristics were not possible to be determined using the vibrations measured in guide bearing. Finally, it is recommended to measure vibrations rotating with shaft to detect RSI characteristics in installed pump-turbines as a more practical and reliable method to monitor RSI characteristics.