Combi-bearing is a combined thrust-journal bearing design used in vertical hydropower rotors. The dynamic characteristics of this component (combi-bearing) were analytically modeled by Luneno et al. (2011, “Model Based Analysis of Coupled Vibrations Due to the Combi-Bearing in Vertical Hydroturbogenerator Rotors,” ASME J. Vib. Acoust., 133, p. 061012). This analytic model was inserted into a finite element model of a vertical rotor rig and numerically simulated. In this paper, the simulated vertical rotor-bearings system is a small-scale vertical machine constructed to validate the analytically derived combi-bearing model. Good agreement was found between the simulation and experimental results. The simulation and experimental results showed that the journal (radial) bearing's position relative to the contact point between the combi-bearing's collar and the rotor influences the rotor system's fundamental natural frequencies. Therefore, the combi-bearing model needs to be included into rotor dynamic models. Neglecting the effect of this component may cause significant errors in the predicted results.

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