Borneo LNG site incorporates vertically mounted generators

The successful installation and startup of eight vertically mounted and enclosed electric generators at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Borneo, East Malaysia, depended on new thrust and guide bearings from Kingsbury Inc. of the United States.

The 800-kW, 6,600-V generators are a joint venture between M.W. Kellog and Japan Gas Co. They were engineered by Reliance de Mexico S.A. and designed by BW/IP. The generators provide a realistic means of recovering and reusing waste energy. The generators are expected to produce (US)$500,000 annually in electric savings and more than (US)$6 million in gasification savings.

The units are designed to operate at 3,000 rpm under normal conditions, but actual operation can exceed 8,000 rpm. The Kingsbury bearings can safely accommodate overspeeds and corresponding thermal expansion. Tight clearances must be maintained at nominal speeds because there is little load on the guide bearings. The guide bearing clearance increases as higher temperatures spur thermal growth in the machine`s hollow shaft, preventing damage to the bearings.