Energies, Vol. 16, Pages 6072: Fatigue Strength Analysis of a Prototype Francis Turbine in a Multilevel Lifetime Assessment Procedure Part III: Instrumentation and Prototype Site Measurement (Energies)
Part I of this series of publications addressed the background and fundamentals of the lifetime assessment of prototype Francis turbines. Part II concentrated on the developed methods of numerical calculation and assessment procedures. The present contribution (Part III) deals with the instrumentation and the metrological range of the assessment procedure. The most important sensors, measurement tools, and data acquisition units are presented (background). The instrumentation of the prototype Francis turbine is used, on the one hand, for machine unit monitoring and plant operating and, on the other hand, for generating measurement data to validate and adjust/correct the numerical simulations. Measurement data form the basis for further evaluations at various levels. A wide variety of measured variables are required to carry out the remaining lifetime of a component using fatigue analysis. Those variables include pressure and acceleration signals, vibration monitoring, and strain gauge applications for mechanical stress analysis. The available measurement signals are divided into groups based on the developed method. Thus, already-available data from the control room are compared with machine monitoring and temporarily measured data. The correlation of all available data is essential today to determine an exact idea of the occurring flow phenomena and their effects on the mechanical stresses on the component. This interaction of the different data sources and, subsequently, the use of selected quantities for the numerical calculation are part of the newly developed concept for fatigue strength analysis of mechanical components of a turbine unit (methods). The results of this journal article are divided into the discussion of the necessary instrumentation and mounting of the sensors and into the evaluation, presentation, and interpretation of the measurement data. In addition, a fatigue strength assessment is made at the position of the strain gauges. These results serve as a basis for validating the numerical stress calculation. It is worth mentioning that the validation of the numerical results and the discussion of the deviations and error consideration is carried out in Part IV of this publication series (results). This journal article of the series on condition assessment of prototype Francis turbines ends with a discussion of the results and conclusions for further data processing (conclusion).