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REPORT ON HYDROGEN LEAKAGE & GENERATOR ROTOR EARTH FAULT

IN UNIT # 13 OBRA, B TPS


The Undersigned reached Obra B TPS Unit # 13 on 1st December 2014 for inspection and investigation for
hydrogen leakage & Generator rotor earth fault.
Our observations & recommendations for future course of action are as follows.
OBSERVATION DURING LEAKAGE AS REPORTED BY UPRVUNL OBRA SITE ENGINEERS

The machine had been debarred due to BTL and was put on bar on 3oth November
A earth fault was persisting on the generator rotor reportedly for last 3 months.
The machine was running on load at 110 MW on 1st Dec .
Thrust oil pressure and DPR started hunting and hydrogen leakage was observed on both ends.
The seal oil drain line was found very hot on turbine as well as temperature of hydraulic seal oil tank
found high.
Machine was debarred hydrogen gas removed and seal system was tried to be normalized through
bypass but seal did not hold pressure.
Heavy oil ingress was found in the generator casing, the quantity of oil removed from generator
casing was to the tune of 25-30 drums.

OBSERVATION MADE BY BHEL

Hunting in Thrust oil pressure was observed whenever the seal oil was charged and the pressure was
tried to be stabilized with the by pass valve at 2 kg/cm2 .The thrust oil pressure again dropped
whenever machine was run on barring gear and by pass had to be readjusted for maintaining the
pressure.
The MOT level had fallen below the lower limit.
Oil ingress into the generator was found whenever seal system was charged.
Presence of Babbitt material in pre chamber of seal oil drains Turbine side.
Oil was found sludgy. It indicated presence of impurities & moisture.
Magnetization was found on generator shaft exciter side. Turbine side could not be analyzed due to
lack of exposed surface.
Single earth fault as reported persisted on the rotor and confirmed by voltage divider test.

ACTION AND ANALYSES

The pre chamber of turbine side seal oil drain was opened and inspected for the presence of babbit
material. Many small specks of Babbitt were found collected in the chamber indicating abnormal
wear out of liner Babbitt. The seal liner Babbitt seems to be worn out & damaged due to oil
starvation. In case of oil starvation, film would not be adequate and hydrogen will come out from the
seals and the same had happened as reported.
o REMEDIAL ACTION AND RECOMMENDATION

The centering of seal body with respect to shaft and axial run out of seal collar and
float of seal liner has to be rechecked and corrected.
Taper lands of seal liner have to be corrected, thrust oil pressure to be reduced
The size uniformity quality and compression of silicon rubber have to be reinsured.
Quality of oil has to be ensured.
The seal liner has to be replaced or revisioned taking into account the extent of
damage. But as the Babbitt material has been found so most likely it is to be replaced.
Magnetization on turbine side rotor collar to be checked and demagnetized if any.

The hunting of thrust oil pressure, DPR and requirement of bypass for maintaining thrust oil pressure
was analyzed. The thrust oil upper chamber was opened and oil along with heavy sludge was
observed. There was no movement of piston. The POR was dismantled and the condition of plunger
as well as bush was found worn out with scratches.
o REMEDIAL ACTION AND RECOMMENDATION
Radial clearance between plunger and cylinder is to be ensured in both POR &DPR.
Plunger movement both Up and down has to be ensured and repeated at least in four
quadrants.
By pass valve seat checking is to be done.
Quality of oil has to be ensured.

Oil Ingress into the generator


o REMEDIAL ACTION AND RECOMMENDATION
Revisioning of inner oil catcher of both sides.
The stator is to be thoroughly cleaned and IR to be ensured.
As oil ingress was found there is chances of bushing rubber seals be exposed to oil
and impurities and hence the bushing are to be thoroughly cleaned and rubber gaskets
be replaced for preventing future failure of rubber gaskets in bushing.

The rotor earth fault as reported by UPRVUNL was confirmed through voltage divider test. The
earth fault is suspected to be in the overhang portion under the retaining ring at Turbine End.
o REMEDIAL ACTION AND RECOMMENDATION
Repair of earth fault by removal of retaining ring and re-insulation of the fault area.
But due to shortage of time and consumable, it is better to replace the rotor and
bring back the machine. In the mean time the fault will be more clearly analyzed
after rotor removal and its repair work be done and the rotor be kept ready and
intact for future use. The replacement of rotor will save unnecessary delay and
help in bringing the machine on bar early besides it will give enough time for
arrangement of spares, fixtures etc for repair work of the faulty rotor.
Shobhan Kumar Malana
Sr. Engineer, BHEL RSC Varanasi