LEG bearings arrive in China

Kingsbury, based in the United States, is supplying 55-inch diameter leading edge groove (LEG) bearings to the Gaotan Hydro power plant in the Hunan Province of China.

Each unit consists of two 55-inch, 10-shoe, tilting pad bearings, one with high pressure lift, plus one 31.5-inch by 20-inch nested journal shell. The horizontal hydro turbine project is managed by Sulzer Escher Wyss. Each bulb turbine unit will generate 22.5 MW when it comes on line in July 1995.

The LEG technology, pioneered by Kingsbury in 1983, reduces operating temperatures, increases load capacity and decreases power loss. With more than a decade of documented studies, the technology is now available for thrust or journal designs.

The LEG design uses an oil feed groove on the upstream edge of each bearing pad to insulate the pads from hot oil carryover and reduce pad temperature and oil flow.