Abstract

A 300 kW integrated and fully sealed turboexpander-generator for natural gas pressure letdown (PLD) was developed by Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), in conjunction with Calnetix Technologies. This paper describes the design and analysis of the generator, magnetic bearings, and touchdown bearings, with a focus on the dynamic performance and key characteristics of the machine. The permanent magnet (PM) synchronous generator is supported by PM-biased, homopolar magnetic bearings and has a maximum continuous operating speed (MCOS) of 31.5 krpm. A touchdown bearing system is implemented using rolling element bearings with soft mount supports. Also described is a thrust load balancing scheme that uses the thrust bearing coil current for reference. A time transient simulation showing the effect of process conditions on the AMB dynamics is shown. Preliminary data from the prototype mechanical run test are shown, including transfer functions measured using the magnetic bearings, Campbell diagram, and touchdown bearing drop test results.

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