An independent power producer experienced a catastrophic failure of one of its turbine/generator units. The 12" diameter turbine shaft completely parted due to overheating from lack of lubrication at the bearings. The root cause of the failure was not determined by the owners.
Our investigation defined a complex, improbable sequence of multiple events and coincident operating conditions that ultimately led to the devastating failure of the unit. Once the chain of events was identified, we recommended proper measures to assure that this mode of failure would not again occur.