Steam Turbines need to be manufactured in a clean and controlled environment. Usually, Steam Turbines are subjected to Mechanical Run Test (MRT) in the factory after complete assembly. MRT is carried out by rotating the Steam Turbine to rated speed using an induction Motor. This Testing simulates the actual working condition of steam turbines only in a very limited way. The Turbine is rotated at the operating speed at room temperatures in an MRT and the blades running inside the casing experience only the ambient air. This type of MRT provides very limited understanding regarding how the same Steam Turbine will work at the site under actual conditions.
Live Steam Testing (LST) of Steam Turbines is done using Steam instead of an Induction Motor. The Turbine is operated to full operating speed for about 4 hours. Various parameters such as Main Bearing Temperatures, Thrust Bearing Temperatures, Casing Temperatures, Lube Oil Inlet and Outlet Temperatures, Vibrations, etc are monitored under near real operating conditions of the steam turbine. Mechanical Overspeed settings are carried under near-real conditions. The Turbine is rotated at the operating speed at higher temperatures and the blades running inside the casing experience real steam instead of ambient air.
Live Steam Testing of Steam Turbines provides a better understanding of how the same Steam Turbine will work at site under actual conditions as compared to MRT. Live Steam Testing provides a deeper understanding. The onsite Commissioning time can be reduced to less than 50%. This saving of startup and commissioning time at site proves very valuable in Green Field Projects. Power becomes available for consumption at the site much faster thus reducing any dependency on local expensive power.
Turtle Turbines conducts Live Steam Testing of every Steam Turbine before it is dispatched to the site. Lives Steam Turbine Test Rig has been developed by Turtle Turbines. A dedicated quick startup Diesel Fired Boiler is installed in the Factory. A Microprocessor is set up to capture and log all critical data during the Live Steam Testing.
Over the past decade, it has allowed Turtle Turbines to save several start-up and commissioning days at the site and resolve several possible corrections that become necessary at site.