Tilting-pad journal bearings (TPJBs) support highly loaded high speed rotors with high requirements on rotordynamic behavior. Typical applications therefore are integrally geared compressors, where the gear force of the high speed pinions (HSPs) is at least one magnitude higher than the gravity force.
A continuously rising demand for increasing the overall efficiency of integrally geared compressors leads to a necessity to expand TPJBs operation limits. Allowable limits of actual bearings often result in limitations for thermodynamical compressor design. In addition, bearings generate 20% to 40% of the mechanical power losses in integrally geared compressors. Improvements in the bearing design have to be performed in order to meet the challenges of rising loads and speeds.
This paper presents an optimization of TPJBs for integrally geared compressors to meet the further demand of higher operation limits.