Turbine Bypass Valve Challenges

Turbine bypass valves are some of the troublesome purposes in an influence plant. Keeping these valves working efficiently and avoiding surprising failures is critical for plant operation.
When engineers are requested to record the most tough control valve applications, turbine bypass valves are invariably mentioned. Frequent thermal cycles, excessive stress drops, and the need for tight shutoff push these valves to the restrict. Unfortunately, many vegetation are inclined to ignore these valves till they fail, creating unplanned outages, misplaced production, and excessive costs for reactive maintenance. This article supplies suggested methods of inspection to anticipate and mitigate points beforehand, and it provides upgrade alternate options ought to a valve must be repaired or changed.
Strictly Severe Service
Severe service management valves are utilized in essentially the most difficult installations within course of crops. These installations generally include cavitating, erosive, corrosive, noisy, excessive pressure, high temperature, high strain drop, or excessive velocity media. Turbine bypass valves are uncovered to many of those process circumstances; but, they have to respond flawlessly and remain leak free when closed.
As their name suggests, turbine bypass valves are used to bypass steam turbines during plant startup and shutdown, as well as when a turbine trips off-line (Figure 1). In normal operation the valves are utterly closed, forcing all of the steam via a turbine. During startup, bypass valves divert steam away from the turbine till the properties and conditions of the steam are acceptable for sending it to the turbine. This process happens in reverse at shutdown. Using bypass valves at startup and shutdown helps to guard the turbine by diverting potentially moist steam, and by guaranteeing solely applicable steam conditions and flows make their approach to the turbine itself.
1. Depending on the ability plant design, a quantity of turbine bypass valves could also be employed to instantly shunt steam around a turbine should it journey offline. Courtesy: Emerson
Should a turbine trip, the steam must continue flowing to avoid tools injury as a outcome of overpressure and excessive temperature, so the turbine bypass valve immediately opens to take care of flow via the system.
As it operates, a turbine makes use of steam to perform work, lowering outlet steam temperature and stress. When a turbine bypass valve opens, it’ll drop the strain, but the exit steam will remain fairly superheated, doubtlessly destroying downstream gear. To avoid that state of affairs, turbine bypass valves both incorporate a water injection system within the valve body, or employ a separate water injection desuperheater just downstream, in either case to lower the exit steam temperature.
As a outcome, turbine bypass valves face an ideal storm of extreme service conditions. While the plant is in operation, these valves must stay tightly closed to keep away from losing energy. When a turbine trip happens, the bypass valves must respond immediately, exposing them to fast temperature adjustments and requiring them to cross very high flows at excessive pressure drops, creating high noise and potentially excessive vibration.
Getting Ahead of the Game
Given the punishing service, the fact is that virtually each turbine bypass valve will finally fail ultimately. Unfortunately, many of these valves are installed in difficult-to-access places, are sometimes welded in place, and are typically heavily insulated. As a outcome, they’re usually ignored until issues begin to surface. Steam leakage through the valve is normally the first symptom seen, however much more significant and potentially harmful injury can occur.
The extreme pressure drops invariably generate excessive noise and excessive vibration. Over time these vibrations, coupled with frequent temperature adjustments, fatigue the metal in the valve, water connections, and the piping itself (Figure 2). Such steel fatigue can lead to catastrophic failure underneath pressure.
2. Over time, the high vibrations and thermal shock skilled by turbine bypass valves will fatigue the steel and create cracks in both the valve itself and the surrounding piping. Courtesy: Emerson
To keep away from this drawback, every turbine bypass valve and its related piping ought to be routinely inspected. Some kind of non-destructive examination ought to be periodically employed to detect steel fatigue issues that might be developing however usually are not but visually apparent. If a plant lacks the information or tools to carry out these inspections, the valve vendor or approved representative could also be utilized to perform turbine bypass well being verify services (Figure 3).
3. A routine turbine bypass valve well being examine and full inspection is strongly advised. Metal fatigue can develop in various welds situated on the valve itself, and within the inlet, outlet, and water supply piping (circled areas). Courtesy: Emerson
Fabrication welds on the physique and water manifold, customer connection welds, diffuser welds, and surrounding piping could be inspected to establish any growing problems before the tools is compromised. Water injection nozzles and desuperheaters should be appropriately inspected and maintained to avoid problems related to quenching and cracking.
There are also threats to trim parts, corresponding to seat surface erosion. One common expression of such erosion, specifically on the plug, is also identified as “gear toothing.” This happens more generally in circulate down valves, the place the steam accelerates via the cage holes after which strikes the trim/seat area directly, inflicting extreme wear and lowering service life. Over time, this high-velocity steam, which can comprise water during startup conditions and magnetite throughout any situation, will erode and injury the valve seat and trim (Figure 4).
4. Flow down valve body designs are susceptible to trim harm as the wet, erosive steam passes via the cage and impacts the seat. Courtesy: Emerson
Common maintenance items like gentle goods and spray nozzles can usually get replaced comparatively easily and at minimal cost. Trim elements that need to be changed due to heavy wear, corresponding to gear toothing, can be quite costly, especially if their delivery needs to be expedited. The worst-case state of affairs for a turbine bypass valve is steel fatigue developing within the valve physique or diffuser, with excessive repair procedures, or maybe a full valve substitute, required.
Upgrade Opportunities
Many of the turbine bypass valves at present in service had been put in through the heyday of combined cycle plant development from 1998 to 2004. Most of those valves and piping techniques are displaying their age and often have significant signs of metallic fatigue. Others have plenty of life left in them but may benefit from upgrades in expertise. Technology and practices have improved, and upgrading to the newest sealing know-how might inject new life into the valve.
Another instance of a know-how upgrade is when there have been repeated failures with a welded diffuser. In this instance, a detachable two-in-one seat diffuser will cut back required maintenance.
If a turbine bypass valve must be replaced, plant personnel are strongly encouraged to look past a direct replacement and evaluate potential enhancements. A notably important item to think about when taking a glance at alternative and enchancment opportunities is valve orientation.
Downward Flowing Valves with Horizontal Actuators. Historically, most turbine bypass valves employed a circulate down trim design paired with a horizontal actuator (Figure 5, left). This arrangement is ideal for locations with low overhead clearance, and it locations the actuator nearer to the deck or floor for straightforward access, but it creates a variety of long-term operational problems. Gravity tends to result in increased and uneven wear on trim elements, and the side-mounted actuator is vulnerable to response issues.
5. Downward flowing valves with horizontal actuators (left) had been the main possibility a couple of many years in the past for turbine bypass valves. New flow up valve designs (right) could also be put in without piping modifications in most situations, offering prolonged service life and improved performance. Courtesy: Emerson
Downward Flowing Valves with Vertical Actuators. A superior option for move down is vertical mounting of the actuator. This arrangement leads to lowered and extra even put on, longer runs between maintenance outages, and improved actuator response. The problem with this orientation is that replacement alternatives are typically for horizontally mounted actuators, and the two designs aren’t readily interchangeable with out significant piping modifications.
Upward Flowing Turbine Bypass Valves. When enough overhead house is out there with present horizontal actuator flow down designs, a flow up design can simply meet the present face-to-face necessities of the outdated valve, whereas decreasing a number of the put on widespread to flow down designs with a horizontal actuator, corresponding to gear toothing. Because the trim just switches from flow down to circulate up, this alteration can be made without modifications to current piping.
Flow up valves (Figure 5, right) significantly lengthen seat and trim service life as a result of the steam is moving relatively slowly because it passes over the plug and seat (Figure 6). As the steam strikes via the small holes of the cage, it accelerates considerably, however that vitality dissipates into the big body cavity of the valve as a substitute of striking the seating surface.
6. Downward flowing valves subject the seat to erosive high-velocity steam. Upward flowing steam velocities are much decrease as a outcome of they move over the seat and speed up later as the steam strikes through the small trim holes, tremendously extending trim service life. Courtesy: Emerson
Notice how the circulate up trim (Figure 7) is definitely showing erosion, however when in comparison with the circulate down trim shown above (Figure four right), the seating surface on the seat ring and plug stay relatively undamaged, permitting the valve to close off utterly, the required mode in normal operation.
7. These pictures of circulate up trim clearly show the erosive influence of high-velocity steam, but in contrast to the move down trim damage shown previously, this valve has no harm to the seating floor and might nonetheless shut off tightly. Courtesy: Emerson
The flow up valve fashion design nonetheless provides the identical control responsiveness and circulate capability, however the new move association dramatically extends the working life of the seals, seat, and valve internals.
Consult an Expert
Turbine bypass valves are extremely specialised items of engineered gear that must be rigorously specified, installed, and maintained. It is therefore clever to be proactive by reaching out to trusted specialists prior to purchase as they’ll assist with valve sizing and specifications based mostly on particular working situations.
For current installations the place unplanned turbine bypass valve failures are bedeviling your facility, or if it has been a while because the plant turbine bypass valves have been fully inspected, it will be wise to consult your turbine bypass valve vendor for help and assist.
Many of those vendors supply full inspection and health verify companies to determine areas the place steel fatigue and stress cracking are growing. Ideally pressure gauge weksler ราคา may be repaired, but when a valve alternative is warranted, the seller can also provide guidance in evaluating bypass valve design types and selecting the finest choice for the particular software.

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