Dresser-Rand developed the VECTRA-40 power turbine specifically for the LM2500+ gas generator. This “clean sheet of paper” design uses some of the best features from both aeroderivative and heavy duty gas turbines. After the design phase was complete, an extensive development program was undertaken to confirm that both the mechanical and aerodynamic design objectives were met. Two units were built, instrumented, and tested to full load. In addition, several components were rig tested to verify stiffness, natural frequency, or operating characteristics. Finally, some events that could not be physically tested, such as blade out response, were tested virtually.

During development testing, the power turbine was extensively instrumented with state-of-the-art sensors to verify the mechanical design and aerodynamic performance of the VECTRA. A PC based data acquisition system (DAQ) was constructed to simultaneously acquire and record over 1000 individual channels of data. Instrumentation was installed to record the mechanical responses and operating temperatures of all rotating components, as well as critical stationary components. Other groups of instrumentation were used to verify flowpath performance, cooling air distribution, and lubrication system operation. The physical devices connected to the DAQ system ranged from industrial transducers and signal conditioners to an innovative external telemetry system for rotating thermocouples and dynamic strain gages.

The VECTRA is a high speed power turbine that was initially designed for mechanical drive applications. However recent component testing and full load testing of two units in generator drive packages have demonstrated that it is also well suited for power generation applications.

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