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AMB technology helps pushing the economy of scaleTurboPowerSystems UK wanted to equip their motors for a Compressor System with magnetic bearings to increase efficiency and speed. There are 17 different impeller types to be combined with 2 types of motors (M1 @ 500kW and M2 @ 1MW). Some rotors will have one impeller only; others will have two identical impellers on either end. Operation of all motors is continuous; they cycle through a speed range of approx. 25% to 100% speed, with up to 2,000,000 cycles per year.

The goal of this application was to define the setup of an AMB system to fulfil the requests of speedload and torque transmission under the condition that the systems will run subcritical in all load points. It was desired that only one set of bearings can be used for all 17 types. This includes radial and thrust magnetic bearings, sensor units and touchdown bearings.

Normally, each impeller design would require a specific motor and AMB design to optimize performance. This would result in a variety of AMB and motor combinations and would significantly increase production cost and, thus, the investment for the end customer. With the design by MECOS in cooperation with TPS, it is possible to reduce the number of AMB combinations from 17 to only 1 single design for both motor configurations. This gives the customer a tremendous advantage with the economy of scale for these applications due to the reduction in parts. Thus, the supply chain, material handling, sales and service process will benefit from the design.

Two of 17 possible configurations (left with M1, right with M2)
Turbo compressor with AMB system
Left motor M1 @ 500kW, right motor M2 @ 1MW, both with 98% efficiency

One AMB set fits all:

  • Reduced overall cost (handling, storage and ware house, etc.) through reduced part count
  • Reduced engineering cost to maintain the product family
  • Better economy for OEM and AMB supplier