August 2008

Special Report: Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment

Retrofitting steam turbines with wavy-face dry-running seals

The new technology improves turbine efficiency and reliability

Al Khowaiter, A. O>., Saudi Aramco, Uthmaniyah Gas Plant; Al-Otaibi, N., Saudi Aramco

Steam turbine users worldwide have one thing in common: constant steam leakage from the turbine seal gland area, and the 24-hour continuous loss of expensive steam condensate to the environment. To operators, this means that online maintenance activities are a hazard due to steam leakages, and the turbines have a long list of reliability problems due to contamination of the bearing housings with condensate. For general-purpose turbines, the standard sealing method for the past 100 years has been segmented carbon rings, with close running clearance to the shaft. This article discusses the successful  experience at a  Saudi Aramco Oil Company gas/oil processing facility, with upgr

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