L.A. Turbine Newsletter – June 2019

L.A. Turbine Engineers to Present 2019 TPS Paper 

It’s official! Engineers Tadeh Avetian, P.E. and Luis E. Rodriguez from L.A. Turbine (LAT) along with Junyoung Park, Ph.d from Samsung Engineering Company will present their paper, Addressing High Sub-Synchronous Vibrations on a Turboexpander Equipped with Active Magnetic Bearings during the 2019 Turbomachinery and Pump Symposia (TPS), September 10-12. The presentation date and time will be released late June. LAT will also participate as a TPS exhibitor in Booth 2420.

Tadeh Avetian
L.A. Turbine

Luis E. Rodriguez
L.A. Turbine

Junyoung Park Ph.d
Samsung Engineering Co.

Read the Abstract

The Turbomachinery & Pump Symposia paper for 2019 discusses the authors’ experience with a turboexpander (TEX) equipped with active magnetic bearings (AMBs) in a natural gas processing facility. The TEX was unable to achieve design performance due to high sub-synchronous vibration since its commissioning. Rotordynamic simulations revealed that the most likely root-cause of the high vibration was the excitation of an unstable rigid body mode of the rotor-bearing system due to high cross-coupled stiffness effects. Read the abstract.

New Equipment

LAT Ships ARES AMB Turboexpander-Compressor to North Dakota Plant

L.A. Turbine (LAT) shipped its first ARES Active Magnetic Bearing (AMB) Turboexpander-Compressor in March to a new gas processing plant located in the Bakken Shale Play of North Dakota. The ARES AMB Turboexpander-Compressor is designed for a plant flow rate of 200MMSCFD and will be used for natural gas liquid (NGL) processing. Installation and commissioning are scheduled for third quarter, 2019.

ARES AMB Turboexpander-Compressor Tour

Take a video, virtual tour of the ARES AMB Turboexpander-Compressor now!


Designed, engineered and built in the USA, the ARES AMB Turboexpander-Compressor features L.A. Turbine’s exclusive skid-mounted AMB control system and programmable logic control (PLC) panel, made possible with a partnership between L.A. Turbine and Waukesha Magnetic Bearings®. Until now, AMB controllers required installation in a building away from the skid installation site. The new on-skid configuration gives equipment, procurement and construction (EPC) companies greater flexibility with the plant site layout, accelerates the design to delivery timeframe, and provides an industry-first AMB design technology at a price on par with standard oil bearing turboexpander units. The simplicity of design, ease of machine operation, and advanced magnetic bearing technology also translates to operational and financial benefits for end users. Less time and labor are required for the installation and commissioning of the unit and AMB machines require less ongoing maintenance. If an issue is reported, troubleshooting can begin immediately via the remote access capability of the controller.

Learn more about LAT’s complete line of turboexpander-compressors for hydrocarbon processing, geothermal power generation, cryogenic, industrial gas and power-recovery applications.

LNG Industry Explores AMB Turboexpander Innovations
Pushing the Envelope, LAT Discusses CAPEX, OPEX and Technical Benefits of a Skid-Mounted AMB Controller for Turbomachinery

The May 2019 issue of LNG Industry features a discussion by L.A. Turbine engineers, Tadeh Avetian and Luis E. Rodriguez, on how recent breakthroughs in turboexpanders promise to make the utilization of active magnetic bearings (AMBs) even more widespread across all gas-related industries and will allow end-users and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies the opportunity to benefit from the competitive advantages AMBs offer. Read the article in its entirety.

Aftermarket News

Case Study: Oil Type and Vibration Cause Turboexpander Problems

What happens when hydraulic oil is mistakenly used versus turbine oil in an oil bearing turboexpander-compressor and occasional vibration issues occur yet continuously increase overtime?

The mechanical center section (MCS) is impacted and the turboexpander must be pulled out of commission.

A non-LAT oil bearing turboexpander used for natural gas processing was experiencing significant vibration issues when ambient temperatures were high. Due to the plant location, high temperatures were infrequent as was the vibration until 2018 when vibration levels began reaching 1.5 mils. The end-user contacted LAT for help over the course of these occurrences because five years prior, LAT rebuilt and refurbished the skid to the original non-LAT OEM specifications and completed a performance upgrade to the spare MCS.

Fact Finding:
During recent troubleshooting conversations with the client, Chad Maccanelli, LAT’s Customer Service and Experience Manager, suggested checking the machine’s oil type and viscosity. LAT’s sample analysis revealed that hydraulic oil versus turbine oil was being used to operate the machine. Oil characteristics vary and in the case of this turboexpander, when high ambient temperatures occurred, the oil viscosity changed. The hydraulic oil viscosity changes negatively impacted the performance of the MCS internals which resulted in vibration and, at its peak, the vibration measured 1.5 mils (typically a machine trip level).

Corrective Action & Outcome:
LAT’s field service removed the MCS and installed the end user’s spare MCS. The hydraulic oil was flushed from the system and replaced with turbine oil, and the unit recommissioned. Since recommissioning, the oil-bearing turboexpander is performing to the new design specifications and there is minimal vibration (0.2 mil).

David Bloss (L) & Chad Maccanelli (R)

Turboexpander Problems? Solve Them Using LAT’s 16+ Years of Aftermarket Service Expertise

For 16+ years, L.A. Turbine has serviced all makes and models of turboexpander-compressors, generators, dyno-brake and active magnetic bearing units installed around the world. When problems surface with your turboexpander unit, LAT’s international field service FX-TURBO team is ready to help. For emergencies or turboexpander troubleshooting 24/7/365, call +1 855 FX TURBO (+1 855 398 8726) and speak with one of our first responders, Chad Maccanelli or David Bloss.

LAT Holds On-Site Training: How to Switch Out a Mechanical Center Section (MCS)

LAT’s Chief Field Service Technician Michael Beneteau and Customer Service and Experience Manager Chad Maccanelli recently conducted a training session for operations personnel at an end-user’s plant site. Attendees performed hands-on training utilizing their newly aquired L.A. Turbine L3000 Turboexpander-Compressor. Participants learned how to remove and replace the turboexpander’s mechanical center section (MCS) and learned about the overall turboexpander functions and operation.

Increase Turboexpander I.Q. with Training

Ensure plant operations team members are at the top of their turboexpander game by offering onsite training on topics including Turboexpander 101 Basics and How to Perform an MCS Switch Out. With training, operations personnel are safer and perform better, operational failures are minimized, and overall plant productivity and profitability increase. L.A. Turbine training sessions can be held at LAT Headquarters in Valencia, CA or our training team will visit your company or plant location. Contact Chad Maccanelli to learn more about LAT’s training topics, sessions and pricing.

LAT in the News

Turbomachinery International: Industry News Turboexpander Shipment

In addition to Turbomachinery International publicizing news about the recent ARES Active Magnetic Bearing (AMB) Turboexpander-Compressor shipment, other industry-leading media also covered the news event including CompressorTech2, Gas World, Hart Energy, Hydrocarbon Engineering and LNG Industry to name a few. Read the news.

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