August 2017

Special Focus: Fluid Flow and Rotating Equipment

Analyzing axial cooling fans’ high noise, vibration and failures

Shipping pumps with 1,800 hp are equipped with five cooling fans that cool the oil going to the lube oil pumps to lubricate the bearings.

Allah, W. K., Saudi Aramco

Shipping pumps with 1,800 hp are equipped with five cooling fans (FIG. 1) that cool the oil going to the lube oil pumps to lubricate the bearings. Each shipping pump is equipped with a single lube oil cooler, with two fans per bay. Each fan is capable of 100% of the duty requirement. After commissioning, high noise and vibration were noticed on the cooler units. FIG. 1. Cooling fan. Several reasons exist for the high vibration and noise of the cooler fans: The misalignment of the shafts and the coupling have resulted in a significant out-of-balance force. This was not noticed during the original startup. Long-term and vendor storage p

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