Thrust load determination for the high pressure turbo unit of the pebble bed micro model / Jacobus Janse van Rensburg
Janse van Rensburg, Jacobus
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Commercial turbochargers used on earth-moving equipment, were used as the turbo machinery for the Pebble Bed Micro Model (PBMM) instead of custom-built turbo units. A premature thrust bearing failure occurred on the High Pressure Turbo Unit (HPTU) of the PBMM during a test. Due to the closed Brayton cycle operation of the PBMM, it might have been possible to exert larger thrust loads on the thrust bearing of the HPTU than normally present in the turbo diesel engine application. A detailed study was performed on theoretical thrust calculations as applied to turbo machinery. In the literature study, five different thrust calculation methodologies were found. These are the methods of Lobanoff & Ross, Stepanoff, Gulich, Japikse and Liebner. These methodologies were applied to make a theoretical prediction of the thrust of the HPTU. Experimental thrust measurement were performed on the HPTU, by implementing a metal foil strain gauge thrust measurement system. Thrust load measurements on the HPTU and process parameters, required for the calculation of the thrust, were recorded during a test run of the PBMM. The experimentally measured thrust was compared with the theoretical thrust calculations. It was found that the methodologies of Gulich, Lobanoff & Ross and Stepanoff correlated best with the experimental thrust measurements. Furthermore, calculations have shown that the thrust exerted on the thrust bearing of the HPTU in the PBMM application, is approximately 1,4 times larger than in a normal turbo diesel engine application.
- ETD@PUK