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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Steam Valves

Various types of valves are used in conjunction withsteam turbines to control or regulate the flow of steam
to and from the unit. Figure 1 shows a typical valvearrangement schematically. In general, these valvesare
either speed or pressure responsive. Their specificfunctions, however, result in a wide variety of forms,shapes
and control requirements.

In thinking of the principal valves used in turbines, itwill be helpful to group those having a common purpose.
For example, the main stop valve, controlvalves, intercept valve, reheat valve, and admission/extraction valves
admit steam to the turbine for operation or interrupt the steam when overspeedprotection is needed. These
valves are also interrelated to perform the other essential functions of starting and controlling speed and load.

Other pressure and temperature sensing valves maybe grouped by system, such as those in the steam seal,
lube oil and hydraulic fluid systems. Still anothergroup might include individual single function devices such as
the packing blowdown valve, ventilatorvalve, and the diverter valves.

Valves in the "systems" grouping are described in thediscussions dealing with the particular system of interest.
The rest of the valves are described in the paragraphs which follow, beginning with those thatcontrol the flow of
steam to the turbine. (It will also behelpful to consult a typical turbine control system diagram in conjunction
with this discussion, if one isavailable.)
Fig. 1 Typical Turbine Valve Line-up

While the basic function of steam turbine valves is toregulate the flow of steam to and from the turbine,highly
responsive control valves such as the inlet andextraction configurations as shown in Figure 2 are required to
control steam flow inside the turbine. Sincethe main stop valve that admits steam to these controlvalves
(Figure 1) functions primarily to protect theunit from the steam energy in the boiler in emergencies, it is
described later with the emergency valves.For our purposes here, it is sufficient to say that themain stop valve
also regulates steam flow duringwarm-up by means of an inner bypass arrangement, and when the unit is
ready for loading it opens wide totransfer control of the steam to the control valves. Inan emergency, however,
the stop valve will slam shutin response to the release of oil (or hydraulic fluid) from its operating cylinder,
shutting off all steam flowfrom the boiler.

Figure 1 shows a typical steam path schematically, beginning at the boiler and moving through the mainstop
valve into the high pressure turbine, under control of the inlet control valves and extraction valves.Both the inlet
control and extraction valves, Figure 2, are tied together, so to speak, by means of the controlsystem, such
that a change in one during operationwill cause compensating changes in the other(s).

Inlet control valves are used to regulate the flow ofsteam into the steam turbine in a very accurate andprecise
manner. The valves are positioned in responseto signals from the control system so that the steamflow
through the turbine will produce exactly theright amount of power to just match the turbine load atthe desired
frequency or speed. Control valves must,therefore, be able to operate at large or small pressuredrops, over a
range of openings from just cracking towide open and be stable so as not to chatter and wearor cause
instability in the control system.

Extraction valves are sometimes called "spillover"valves because of the manner in which they function.Each
extraction valve, by controlling the amount ofsteam that passes through it (or "spills over") intosucceeding
stages downstream, indirectly controls the amount of steam being extracted at the stage immediately in back of
it on the upstream side. That is,instead of allowing all the steam to travel freelythrough the turbine wheels, an
extraction valve allows only a portion of the flow to pass, thus forcingthe "bottled up" portion immediately
upstream toleave through the extraction openings, as shown inFigure 2. Thus, the amount of steam being
extractedfor processing purposes depends indirectly, but surely, on the rate of flow permitted by the extraction

To maintain efficiency, it is important to be able tocontrol the turbine steam flow with a minimum pressure drop
through the control valves. Multiple controlvalves and nozzle sections are used to achieve this.Four to eight
valves are normally used in modern turbines. The cross-sectional view of Figure 2, for example, shows a single
inlet control valve, whileactually there will be from four to eight of thesevalves at this location, with each
feeding a segment ofthe same nozzle plate as shown in Figure 3. Extraction valves, too, are similarly arranged.

A brief review of the valve types and valve gear arrangement commonly employed in the control ofsteam
turbines will be beneficial here.

Mechanical design considerations of the turbine,steam pressure, steam flow, and manufacturing cost
considerations have resulted in a number of differentvalve designs. Many of these designs fall into the
following general group:

1. Venturi valves

2. Poppet valves

3. Double lift valves

4. Balanced valves

5. Spool type valves

6. Grid type valves

Each of these basic valve types has certain characteristics which suit it better than the other types for specific

Fig. 2 Double Automatic Extraction Turbine Inlet and Extraction Control Valves

Fig. 3 Typical Multiple Control Valve Arrangement

Venturi valves, Figure 4, are popular for single valveor multiple valve application because the venturi seathas
a low pressure drop and a high flow coefficient, which permits using the smallest possible valve sizes to pass a
given flow of steam. That is, the shape of thisvalve is such that the steam loses very little pressure (or power)
in passing through it. The valve disk isnormally a ball or sphere arranged to be stablethrough its effective lift to
minimize or eliminatevalve chatter and vibration. The seat usually has ashort, conical, contact surface so that
the sphericalball will seat in the cone, forming a line contact fortight seating. A ball valve also has the ability to
maintain a tight contact with its seat even though the valvedisk may be tipped somewhat. Formerly, venturi
valves and seats were quite expensive compared topoppet valves, but modern manufacturing techniqueshave
substantially reduced these differences.
Poppet valves come in a variety of shapes, but basically they have matching conical surfaces on thevalve and
valve seats or in some cases a radius on thevalve (but not a spherical surface). The valve seats aresimple
and relatively inexpensive as can be deducedfrom Figure 5. Since this type of valve is not able toseat tightly
in a tipped position, it must be accurately

Fig. 4 Venturi Valve Fig. 5 Poppet Valve

positioned for tight seating. The flow coefficient of apoppet valve seat is somewhat less than for a venturiseat,
so a larger diameter poppet valve must be used toobtain a given effective valve area. This means a larger
contact diameter and higher lifting force are required for a given steam pressure unbalancecompared to a
venturi valve of equal effective area.The poppet type valve is often used on smaller turbines where valve lifting
force is not critical.. In general, poppet valves are not as stable as venturi valvesand they have a tendency to
chatter when applied insizes over four inches and in areas experiencing over600 PSIG. Almost all new
turbines larger than 5000kW have venturi type valves rather than poppetvalves.

Balanced valves are used for larger valves (from 4inch to 20 inch sizes) which must open against fullsteam
pressure unbalance. The upper portion of thevalve disk fits into a balance chamber to form a piston. The
advantage here is that the valve actuator hasto overcome only about 25 percent of the force whichwould be
required if the valve were not balanced. Thediameter of the piston and chamber is usually madesmaller than
the valve disk contact diameter to createa differential area which provides a stabilizing forceon the disk and
stem. A pilot valve either inside thevalve disk or outside the valve body permits the steamin the balance
chamber to flow to the downstreamside of the valve disk and equalize or balance the pressure in the balance
chamber with respect to the downstream steam pressure. This pilot valve is also calledan equalizer valve,
bypass valve, or internal pilotvalve. These valves are relatively expensive, but again their cost is justified by
virtue of the reducedvalve operating forces attained. Also, stable operation depends largely on provision of the
proper unbalance forces. Alignment of the parts is critical to tightseating and quiet, satisfactory operation..

Spool type valves, Figure 6, are a special form of balanced valves. Two valve disks are welded to a tubular
stem and two valve seats are mounted in a commonbody to provide a balancing effect. Spool valves areused
for high flow, low pressure, and control valve applications. The valves are usually mounted on theface of a
control stage nozzle diaphragm rather than ina steam chest. Up to eight valves are spaced around apitch
circle on the diaphragm to permit supplyingsteam to a full 360 degrees of nozzle arc, as comparedto many of
the arrangements which supply steam toonly 180 degrees of nozzle arc (reference Fig. 7). Further, this type of
valve will not usually seal quite tightly enough to prevent some degree of leakage.Comparatively, these valves
are also more expensivethan poppet or venturi valves, but they are capable ofhandling a much greater
volume flow capacity than

Fig. 6 Spool-Type Valve

Fig. 7 Typical Spool-Type Valve

the other valve types. The spool valve gears are eithercam lift or bar lift, depending on the required accuracy
and linearity of the valve flow lift characteristic

Grid valves, one of the oldest valve designs in existence, operate much like the air damper in old cast-iron
stoves. The diaphragm and grid ring are flat ontheir contacting faces and have sequentially overlapping ports
as shown in Figure 8. As the grid ring is rotated relative to the stationary diaphragm, the ports inthe diaphragm
are uncovered sequentially and steamcan flow through it to the nozzles. A grid valve requires less axial space
in the turbine casing than doesa spool valve assembly, and its cost is comparativelyless. However, it has the
drawback of requiring largeoperating forces to slide one ring relative to the otherbecause of the friction
between them: this resultsfrom the steam pressure unbalance forcing the two plates together. Present day
turbines usually do notuse grid valves except for very special cases becausethe operating forces are so high
that 400 or 600 PSIGsteam is generally used to operate thegrid.

Fig. 8 Grid-Type Valve

Thus, the turbine designer has several possibilities tokeep in mind when he is choosing the turbine valvesand
valve actuators or operators. Economicalconstruction requirements make the pilot poppet ordouble lift valves
attractive on small turbines becausethe operating forces are smaller with this type valve, and will not require
excessive pump capacity or largehydraulic cylinders. Very large, high pressure turbines use balanced type
control valves to reduce thevalve operating forces to a level which can be handledby reasonably sized
hydraulic cylinders, utilizinghigh pressure oil or hydraulic fluid.


Now that we have covered some of the design considerations for valves, it will be interesting to see how the
mechanical parts make up the different types of valvegear.

Cam Lift Valve Gear

The cam lift valve gear has broad application over awide range of steam pressures, turbine ratings, and
designs. Figure 9 presents a typical cam lift gearfound on a large number of medium steam turbines.The
valve stem is guided in a stem bushing, and thesmall clearance between them acts as a labyrinthpacking to
minimize the leakage of steam. Both thestem and bushing surfaces are treated to achieve ahigh resistance to
wear, erosion, corrosion, and scoring by foreign material such as scale and boiler compound. The valve disk
is pinned to the stem by a pinfitted tightly in the disk and loosely in the stem. Thisclearance between the pin
and the stem permits thevalve disk to remain seated even though the stem andvalve seat alignment may vary
due to thermal expansion, pressure loading, or mechanical misalignment.

The valve stem's upper extremity is typicallythreaded into a lever which has a fulcrum on one endand a cam
roller on the other, as shown in Figure 9.Each cam roller, in turn, is in contact with a cammounted
independently on a common camshaftwhere shown. To turn the camshaft, a pinion and gear arrangement is
generally employed. Typically, a pinion mounted on the end of the camshaft is driven by arack or segmental
type gear, which is linked by meansof a rod directly to the operating cylinder.

Usually, the cam is shaped to produce a governingpoint lift of the valve in 15 to 40 degrees of cam rotation.
The typical cam lift valve gear utilizes springforce on the valve stem plus the valve disk steam loadto close the
valves. The spring force is sufficient tocounteract the valve stem steam unbalance force plusup to several
hundred additional pounds bias at thevalve cracking point lift. Cracking point adjustmentsfor the arrangement
shown in Figure 9 are made byturning the upper collar and nut to raise or lower thestem relative to the lever.
Such adjustments will vary,of course, depending on the design of the linkage utilized in any given application .

Depending upon the application, steam turbines control valves will admit steam to the upper half shell,only,
however, many designs also incorporate a similar arrangement in the lower half to feed the bottom180 degrees
of nozzle arc. This lower half arrangement is essentially an upside down version of the upper arrangement. The
use of control valves in thelower half casing is necessitated by first stage bucketand nozzle design
considerations and introducessomewhat more complex valve gears. In these cases,the upper and lower valve
gear camshafts are actuatedsimultaneously by a common hydraulic servomotor.Typically, mechanical linkage
between the two valvegears maintains the relative timing of the valves.Linkage adjustments are also provided
for adjustingthe relationship between the hydraulic piston and thetwo valve gears.

Bar Lift Valve Gear

Simple in concept, this type of valve gear features alifting beam, or bar, to manipulate the control valves.Lift
rods raise or lower the lifting beam in response tosignals from the control system. As the lifting beam israised,
the valves are lifted one at a time in a sequencerelated to the lengths of their stems. That is, the valvewith the
shortest valve stem will be lifted by the beamfirst.
Fig. 9 Control Valve Assembly

Close fitting bushings minimize the amount of steamthat can leak along the lift rods, with any leakage being
routed to a leakoff chamber away from the operating room. Cracking point adjustments are simple onthe direct
lift valve gear where the lift rods are machined to finite lengths so that the beams will alwayslift in a horizontal
position. The lever operated bar liftgear requires more care in that each lift rod can beturned in its threaded
clevis to raise or lower ends ofthe beam. It is important that both lift rods be adjustedso that the beam will
maintain its horizontal positionas it passes through the effective valve lift for all ofthe control valves.

Spool Valves

Spool valves permit high volume steam flows andefficient method of full arc control in extractionapplications.
As described earlier, they are double-seated valves mounted in separate bodies. Thebodies, in turn, are
mounted in a circular arrangementaround the diaphragm. A major advantage of this typeof construction is that
steam is supplied essentiallyaround a full 360 degree arc, thus resulting in moreuniform heating and less

As shown, spool valves are mounted two to a stem,and they lift sequentially, the lower one first. In mostcases,
a cam type valve gear is used for purposes oflinearity, and, once again, control system signals aretypically
transmitted to a camshaft by means of a hydraulic servomotor and a pinion-gear arrangement.The double
seated design provides pressure balancing of each valve, thus reducing the force needed foropening and

Valve lift is usually determined by machining spacerpieces for the inner two pairs of valves and by machining
the length of the spool valve itself on the outertwo pairs. In practice, these valves are not expected tobe
absolutely tight, but they can be made essentiallytight with negligible leakage by lapping to produce
simultaneous contact on the upper and lower contactsurfaces for each spool valve. Although the mechanical
construction of the spool valve assemblies mayalso seem somewhat limber, this facilitates assembling the
parts as well as minimizing any binding effects that the spool valve assembly might experienceover its range of

This type of valve gear was developed primarily to replace the grid type valve gear discussed next. Although this
spool valve arrangement has traditionallybeen used in extraction applications, it is also beingused for inlet
control purposes in cases where the effective valve area requirements exceed those available using poppet or
venturi type valves.

Grid Valves

Although this type of valve gear is not, in most cases, being applied to newer units, many of them still existin
the field, making a few words appropriate.

The grid valve is essentially two rings which slide, one relative to the other, in a rotary fashion. Eachplate has
a series of ports, usually six or eight, whichare arranged so that as one plate rotates relative to theother, the
effective areas which permit steam to flowthrough the ports are essentially linear with angulardegrees of
rotation. The ports connect to sectionalnozzle-arc chambers in the diaphragm to provide theflow path for the

While this type of valve takes up very little space ascompared to the spool valve arrangement, its limiting
factor is the amount of force required to rotate thevariable plate. Because of the high frictional forcesinvolved,
steam operated actuators are often used inplace of hydraulic cylinders. Rotation of the variableplate is
accomplished through a ring and gear mechanism mounted on the top of the assembly.

In addition to the safety aspects, controlling the degree of overspeed in a turbine is also very important in
maintaining reasonable design margins. That is, turbine machinery is limited to a specific amount of safe
overspeed operation consistent with a balance between economical turbine parts and good thermal efficiency.
Fig. 10 Main Stop Valve Assembly

The main stop valve's primary function is toprovide a second line of defense (or back up protection)
against the energy from the boiler in the eventthat the inlet control valves fail. Moreover, the mainstop
valve also closes upon routine shutdown or byoperation of certain boiler trips and other turbine devices that
actuate the emergency trip system. Thisvalve, Figure 10, has been designed to provide extremely reliable
control of the steam, under both routine and emergency conditions.

Actually, the main stop valve (or valves) can be considered part of the emergency trip system. Its primary
function is to shut off, as quickly as possible, the flowof admission steam to the turbine in case of an abnormal
operating condition. The valve, therefore, is ofthe quick closing type and can be tripped by means ofthe
mechanical trip on the turbine front standard, bythe action of the overspeed governor during an overspeed
condition, by energizing a trip solenoid (whichreacts to such abnormal operating conditions as lowvacuum or
low bearing oil pressure), or by any othermechanism included for that purpose in the trip circuit.

Except for a warm-up provision, the main stop valveis not used as a throttle valve and has only two positions,
wide open or fully closed. It cannot ordinarily beopened unless the turbine control valves are closed.However,
a limited amount of throttling is accomplished by means of the stop valve in full-arc startingunits to facilitate
warm-up and initial loading, as willbe discussed.

Referring to Figure 10, it can be seen that the valvebody contains the steam inlet and outlet openings, the
above and below seat drains, the valve seat for themain valve disk, a valve stem leakoff, and the valvestem
bushing assembly. A removable cylindricalsteam strainer with its temporary fine mesh screensurrounds the
stop valve assembly to prevent boilerand steam line contaminants from entering the turbine.

The main valve disk is mounted on the valve stem andcontains a steam pilot valve. This pilot valve whenopen
allows steam to flow through the orifices in the main valve disk into the lower chamber of the valvebody. By
building pressure beneath the disk in thisway, differential pressure across the disk is reduced, making it easier
to open.

Located in the base of the valve body just below thevalve seat is the valve stem bushing assembly, which
prevents steam leakage and resultant boiler depositsalong the valve stem during operation and providesan
intermediate stem seal leakoff. In the upper portion, opposite the steam inlet connection is a verticalbaffle
which blocks off the annual space between theoutside of the steam strainer and the valve body. This
minimizes the effect of steam eddy flow or swirlingwhich is detrimental to the flow characteristic of thevalve
and can unnecessarily increase pressure drop.The baffle also stops solid particles such as dirt, metalchips,
shot blast, and welding bead which may be carried into the valve by the steam flow. Particles whichare too
large to pass through the steam strainer are deflected around the outside of the strainer where theypass into
the annular space to the baffle. Having beenstopped by the baffle, they drop to the bottom of thevalve body
on the above seat side. This section of thevalve should be inspected and any accumulation removed whenever
the valve itself is opened for inspection or maintenance work.

The hydraulic cylinder that moves the valve stem upand down is shown coupled beneath it in Figure 12.Both
the valve stem and the cylinder piston are springloaded in the closing direction. Figure 11 illustratesthis
section of the assembly for a MHC controlled unit - EHC units will utilize a somewhat similar construction with
the dump valve contained within the actuator housing. Note that a manifold directs hydraulicfluid between the
hydraulic cylinder and dump valve.During normal operation, hydraulic fluid from thetrip header flows through a
passage in the dump valvebody and through the manifold to the underside of thehydraulic cylinder piston:
During a trip condition, fluid drains from under the hydraulic cylinder pistonthrough the dump valve, from
which it returns to thehydraulic cylinder head and finally back into the cylinder above the piston. The dump
valve, which makesit possible for the stop valve to trip closed during anemergency condition, contains a
piston and spring loaded spool. After the trip condition has been corrected, the incoming fluid is again directed
through anorifice in the dump valve head where shown and continues through the manifold to the underside of
thehydraulic cylinder piston. As the piston is forced upward it lifts the main valve disk off its seat, returning it
once again to the open position.

Fig. 11 Hydraulic Cylinder and Dump Valve

Typically, the stop valve is designed as a 100 percentunbalanced type, i.e., it cannot be opened againstrated
steam pressure. To open the valve against full rated steam pressure, the control valves must first beclosed and
the emergency trip system reset to route oilto the hydraulic cylinder. As pressure under the hydraulic cylinder
piston forces the piston to move inthe opening direction, the steam pilot valve begins toraise. Raising the pilot
valve allows steam flowthrough the orifices of the main valve disk into thelower valve chamber, thus building
pressure underthe disk. When the differential pressure across thedisk drops to approximately 13 to 18 percent
of ratedsteam pressure, the main disk opens automatically Figure 12 also illustrates schematically the
arrangement of the position signal switches that are used toindicate when the stop valve is open, closed or at
thetest position. The circuit breaker switch is also used tosense that the stop valve is closed before the
generatorcircuit breaker is opened to disconnect the generatorfrom its load bus and the inherent speed
limiting feature of the AC distribution system.

Turbines placed in service at different times in thepast will also incorporate slightly different hydraulic
mechanism designs, since this hydraulic relay hasgone through several stages of evolution.

Early valves were tripped directly by the overspeedtrigger and required all of the oil flow to pass from the
hydraulic piston through the dump valve of the emergency trip. Later designs employ a trip relay and bypass so
that the emergency trip is only required to passthe relay piston-oil displacement, and the dumpvalve bypasses
most of the main cylinder oil to the upper side of the stop valve cylinder. This type valvealso incorporates a test
function to permit partial closing of the valve with the turbine under load so that thevalve action can be checked
to determine whether ornot it will close when required. Another design employs a test function so that two stop
valves can beused in parallel, and each valve can be closed completely during the testing cycle.

Many turbines now utilize a full arc starting stopvalve which employs a remotely operated valve positioner and
a steam-pilot valve with sufficient bypasscapacity to permit warming, synchronizing, and partial loading of the
turbine. Full arc starting, in simpleterms, means that the incoming steam passes throughall 360 degrees of the
turbine nozzle plate or box during starting, to promote even heating and reducestresses in the heavy, high
pressure shell cavities.When used, the full arc admission feature of the valvemakes it possible to control
(throttle) the flow of inletsteam to the turbine during starting and initial loading. To do this, a bypass valve inside
the main valvedisk is used to pass a portion of full throttle flow (up to40 percent) with the turbine control
valves wide open.During full arc operation, steam flow is uniform andvelocities relatively low through critical
shell passages. Heat transfer coefficients are small and, sincemetal temperatures do not change rapidly,
thermalstresses are reduced.


A number of modern, medium sized steam turbinesare now utilizing a combined stop and control valve, that
is, the control valve and stop valve are both contained in the same casing similar to the constructionfound in
combined reheat/intercept valves (Ref. Figure 13). The advantage of this configuration is obvious - cost of the
valve casings is reduced andpiping is simplified. Currently, depending on the rating of the machine, one
combined valve is used ortwo valves may be combined in parallel. Note thatwith this valve configuration,
operation in partial arcsteam admission is not possible since only one (ortwo) valve(s) actually controls steam
admission tothe 1st stage nozzle area.


In the foregoing paragraphs, the role of the main stopvalve in protecting the unit from the steam energy inthe
main boiler was discussed. Reheat turbines alsoincorporate a reheat boiler, or reheater, in addition tothe main
boiler. Since this reheater, too, is a powerfulsource of steam energy, additional protective valvingis necessary
in such units. Reheat stop valves and intercept valves are commonly used for this purpose.

In the event of a sudden drop in generator load, thesteam flowing from the reheater and associated piping
could drive the turbine to a dangerous overspeedlevel. The intercept valve offers normal, or pre-emergency,
protection against this by shutting off thesteam flow with the reheat stop valve acting as a backup or second
line of defense in case the normal or pre-emergency control devices fail.

The intercept valve is usually controlled by a pre-emergency speed governor which typically goes into action
when turbine speed increases to about 101 percent or more of rated speed.
Fig.13 Combined Stop and Control Valve
Fig. 14 Combined Reheat Stop Valve and Intercept Valve

(However, the interceptvalve can also be tripped closed upon actuation of theemergency trip system.) If
speed continues to increase, typically between 110 and 112 percent ofrated speed the emergency speed
governor will actthrough the emergency trip system to close the reheatstop valve. This valve will also close
upon a routineshutdown or by operation of certain boiler and electrical trips that actuate the emergency trip

In terms of evolution, the intercept valve was originally located in the hot reheat steam line remote fromthe
turbine. Later, it was mounted on top of the turbineshell in some units; still later, it was preceded by a reheat
stop valve. More recently, the reheat stop and intercept valves have been integrated into a single valve casing,
Figure 14, attached directly to the turbineshell. By arranging this assembly in the hot reheatlines, as close as
feasible to the turbine inlet openings, the entrained steam volume is reduced, thus limitingpotential overspeed.

Although a common valve casing is utilized for thesecombined valves, the reheat stop valve and intercept
valve provide different functions and have separateoperating mechanisms and control. Steam from thereheat
boiler enters the single inlet of each valve casing, passes through a strainer, continues through theintercept
valve and reheat stop valve disks, and discharges from a single outlet connected directly to thereheat turbine

The intercept valve, which is cylindrical, is locatedabove the reheat stop valve disk with its stem extending
through the upper head. The reheat stop valvestem extends vertically downward through the belowseat
portion of the casing. Both valves share a common seat, however, the intercept valve is designed tooperate
independently regardless of reheat stop valveposition, and vice versa.

The intercept valves operate fully open for full arc admission starting, and remain fully open during thetransfer
of steam flow control to the inlet controlvalves and for all other periods of normal operation.Upon deceleration
of the turbine after a load rejection, the intercept valves are automatically positionedto control speed during
blowdown of the reheater before the control valve is reopened by means of thespeed governor. After being
tripped closed, the intercept valves will reopen automatically when the emergency trip system is reset. The
reheat stop valves alsoopen fully upon resetting the emergency trip system, and they remain fully open for all
normal and pre-emergency operation.

Details of the hydraulic operating cylinders that movethe valve stems up and down can be seen in Figure 14.
Although the reheat stop and intercept valves share acommon seat, as indicated, each is actuated
independently by its own operating cylinder as shown. Inunits having two combined valves, however, the
intercept valves will usually be operated in a master-slave relationship, with the operating cylinder of the
"master" intercept valve taking primary control; the reheat stop valves will continue to operate independently.
The combined valves are also equipped with solenoidoperated test devices which permit closing of the reheat
stop and intercept valves to ensure that they arefree to close in the event of a trip signal. When two combined
valves are used, the electrical test logic prevents one combined valve from being tested when theother is in the
test mode.

This valve also incorporates a steam strainer to prevent foreign material from being carried through thevalve to
the turbine. The strainer consists of a heavywalled cylinder, over which is fastened two layers ofheavy wire
mesh screen. The inner layer is a permanent coarse mesh screen which is always in place, while the outer
layer is a temporary fine mesh screenwhich is used to trap small shot and other fine particles from being
carried into the turbine at initialstartup or after boiler tube repairs.


The extraction non-return valves are also known byseveral other names such as non-return valves, bleeder-
check valves or swing-check valves. Figure 15shows a typical power actuated non-return valve. Basically, they
are free-swing or air-operated checkvalves. In general, the valve consists of a disk whichfloats on the steam
flow and is pivoted about a hingesystem in the upper part of the valve body. On largeror power operated
valves, the pivot or rockshaftpasses through a bushing so that the disk can be counterbalanced by an external
weight. The rock shaft isalso linked as shown to the power actuated cylinder totransmit a closing force to the
valve disk.

The location of the non-return valves is very important in limiting the amount of entrained steam energy
contained between the valves and the turbine casing.If this entrained energy is too great, the turbine can be
subjected to dangerous overspeeding even though allthe valves work properly.

Fig. 15 Extraction Non-Return Valve

The power actuated cylinder is normally designed forair operation and is controlled by the turbine emergency
trip system through an oil-air relay. The aircylinders are also generally equipped with a hand operated test
valve so that operation of the piston androck-shaft can be observed periodically to assure thatit is capable of
operating satisfactory in an emergency. Further, they may be sensor controlled to closeshould a feedwater
heater become flooded, to preventwater induction into the turbine with the possibility offorced outages, severe
damage, or shortened life ofthe various turbine parts. The power-actuated cylinder does not have sufficient
force to close the valvedisk against more than a fraction of rated pressure; itis only intended to supply enough
closing force toswing the valve closed if the steam flow approacheszero or changes to a back flow.

Even though construction of the non-return valve isquite simple, they are still subject to some of the problems
experienced with any valve, particularly because the disk "rides" the steam flow and is subjectedto constant
buffeting by steam turbulence. In practically every incidence of a malfunctioning non-returnvalve, the dangers
of uncontrolled overspeed couldhave been avoided by periodic inspection, maintenance, and testing to assure
that they were in reliableoperating condition.


Many turbines, such as the opposed flow reheat unitrepresented in Figure 1, require automatically operated
valves to divert or dispose of packing leakagesteam. For example, when a reheat turbine is trippedout while
carrying load, the closing of the main control valves and intercept valves bottles up a large volume of high
pressure steam in between them,particularly in the reheat boiler. With vacuum existing in the intermediate and
low pressure sections ofthe turbine, the high pressure steam will be invited tothrottle directly through the shaft
packings betweenthe high and intermediate pressure sections, in the manner of a "short circuit," so to speak. If
these packings are worn, it is possible that there may be sufficient steam flow leakage to drive the unit to
overspeed. To prevent this, an air operated blowdownvalve opens (at the same time the intercept valves
close) to divert most of the steam leakage from theleakoff annulus of the shaft packing directly to the

The valve stem is guided in two bushings which provide high and low pressure stem leakoffs that arepiped to
drain. A small bypass valve is loosely attached near the bottom of the valve stem by a pin thattravels in
keyways in the main valve disk to preventany rotation of the bypass valve relative to the mainvalve disk. As
shown, the main valve guide bushingguides the travel of the main valve disk, which has aspacer and two
piston rings to restrict steam flowwhen the valve, is being opened. Both the main valvedisk and the bypass
valve have inserted valve seats, and all contact seating surfaces of the valves and theirseats have been

In operation, air pressure above the power pistonoverpowers the piston spring and holds the mainvalve disk
closed against the valve seat. With thevalve in the closed position, steam from the inlet sidewill leak past the
piston rings of the valve disk and establish full steam pressure on the top of both the mainvalve and small
bypass valve. Large drilled holes inthe valve cap help establish steam pressure above thesmall bypass valve.
When air pressure is removed, the small bypass valve initially travels about 3/8 inch,thereby blowing
downstream pressure from the top ofthe main valve disk in order to establish pressure onboth the bottom and
top of the main valve disk. Thispermits the valve to open and blowdown the highpressure steam to condenser


In the event of a load rejection, or following a trip after carrying load, the high pressure section of an opposed
flow turbine such as that shown in Figure 1 mayoverheat due to windage losses: such losses can occuras a
result of being allowed to spin in the high pressure, high temperature steam, bottled up between the main stop
valve and the reheat stop valve.

Fig. 16 Effects of Ventilator Valve on High

Pressure Turbine Flow and Temperature
(upon loss of Load and Trip)

As the turbine increases speed above the rated value in this highdensity steam, rotational losses quickly raise
the temperature of the buckets and related parts. The combination of overspeed (higher stress levels) and
increased temperature (lower strength) may causedamage to these parts.

The design stress capability of materials typicallyused for buckets and covers can decrease as much as50
percent or more with a temperature increase from700F to only 1000F. It is therefore apparent that in a very
short time many parts and thin sections in the turbine could be experiencing some degree of distress ifthere
were no provision for ventilation.

To alleviate this problem, a ventilator valve is incorporated in the turbine piping arrangement, as shown
schematically in Figure 1. When the ventilator valveis automatically opened following a trip out, the high
pressure steam trapped in the reheater and high pressure turbine flows in a reverse direction through the
turbine to the condenser in response to the large pressure differential. When this happens, it is the relatively
cooler steam from the reheater system thatmaintains the high pressure turbine parts at reasonable

The ventilator valve is of balanced design to allow theuse of a small operating mechanism. Once again, the
operator is an air piston which gets its signal from anair valve on the speed relay. Thus, when the control
valves close, the ventilating valve opens, allowingsteam to flow to the condenser.

Figure 16 illustrates what happens to the flows andtemperatures in a high pressure turbine when the ventilator
valve opens. Upon loss of load and trip out, thetrapped steam would be quickly heated to excessive
temperature if there were no ventilator valve. However, with a quick opening ventilator valve, the reverseflow
keeps the high pressure turbine last stage at essentially normal exhaust temperature. As frictionlosses
increase the temperature of the steam as itprogresses toward the first stage, protection is provided against
both excessive heating and abnormalcooling.

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