Power Generation Bearings are the specific types of bearings used in applications which produce electric power. Magnetic, hydrodynamic and rolling bearings are the three basic types of thrust bearings applied in power generation machinery. Typical rolling element thrust bearings are specified in smaller generators and wind turbines. The use of magnetic bearings are used in special applications such as the SKF magnetic bearings used in a heat and power generation plant.
SKF magnetic bearings are found in light and heavy rotating machines like water turbines, turbo gensets, and microturbines.
Hydrodynamic bearings are generally in use in almost all power generation whether it be through gas or steam generators and or water turbines. A water turbine has a rotary motion and converts kinetic energy into mechanical work. Initially water turbines were widely used for industrial power before electrical grids but are still used for electric power generation today. It is common to see water turbines used in Dams to generate power
SKF magnetic bearings operate with no surface contact and are essentially frictionless. Magnetic bearings are free from wear as compared to typical rolling bearings. Using electromagnets cause forces that are generated for both radial and axial movements and are used to levitate the shaft. In applications utilizing Magnetic bearings a control system is employed for maintaining the electric current in the electromagnets for shaft positioning.
Benefits to using Magnetic bearings
Benefits to using Magnetic bearings over rolling bearings are better reliability and zero maintenance. Magnetic bearings do not require oil and have no maintenance . Magnetic bearings can operate in a vacuum environment and in process gas applications.
SKF MAGNETIC BEARING
Bearing Companies like SKF offer over 130,000 magnetic bearings and high speed electric motor references in numerous countries. SKF Magnetic bearings are highly specified in applications where low vibration and high speeds are required.
Hydrodynamic fluid film bearings and magnetic bearings systems are found in many applications including fossil-fuel and nuclear applications. Other applications include reactor coolant pumps, boiler feedwater pumps, nuclear ancillary blowers,combustion turbines, steam turbines, and turbo-generators. In use for these applications are electromagnetic Journal bearings with custom tilt pad and fixed profiles. Pacific International Bearing can provide expert application help for any custom designs. Proper design of features ensures the electromagnetic journal bearings transfer radial loads with very little power loss and optimize dynamic operation.
Electromagnetic fixed profile thrust bearings are used for lightly loaded applications. Tilt pad designs with advanced tilting pad solutions are for more difficult operating conditions especially with axial vibration.
Some manufacturers offer Electromagnetic bearings offer Polymer Bearing Surfaces
High-performance polymer materials, combined with an optimized bearing design, can allow continuous operation under high loads and temperatures, low-viscosity fluids and adverse conditions. Polymer materials have operating temperature capabilities of up to 250°C (482°F), compared to 130°C (266°F) for babbitt.
Waukesha video on how magnetic bearings operate.
Contact us for further discussion and assistance for magnetic bearings.