Flow in a Kaplan turbine
Generator designAutomation design

Research and development

Research and development is one of the key success factors of ANDRITZ and is based on customer demands for continuous further optimization of products and services

As a result of the increased share of renewable energy sources in overall electricity production, system operators are facing challenges regarding electrical system stability, reliability of energy transmission, and flexibility of generating units. In its research and development activities, ANDRITZ HYDRO therefore focuses on flexible and speed-adjustable solutions for hydraulic energy generation. In particular, the electrical and hydraulic equipment and the higher-level control systems required are undergoing further development.

As a result of the increasingly dynamic operations, developments in the fields of time-dependent  flow simulation, fluid structure interaction, and oscillation diagnosis have been intensified.

The research and development activities of ANDRITZ HYDRO are focused on:

  • turbine design
  • generator design
  • automation
  • electrical power system

Research is conducted at several levels, from the development of optimum design features for individual machines, to the basic research on materials, fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, electrical design, insulation technology and electronics.

The findings from basic research projects are incorporated quickly into product development and, at the same time, feedback from the power stations and from customers is used as input for further product development and basic research.

Major tools for research and development are numerical simulation methods as well as experimental measurements in test rigs and on site. ANDRITZ HYDRO uses high-quality equipment for measurement instrumentation and hardware, and high-end simulation techniques and software.

Due to its global presence, the R&D team of ANDRITZ HYDRO is close to the customer and has access to research communities all over the world – a network that serves the exchange of knowledge and helps to create new ideas.

International associations rely strongly on the expertise of their members. The ANDRITZ HYDRO experts participate actively in various committees, such as the IEEE and IEC technical committees contributing to international standards and guidelines.

Ongoing R&D activities

In collaboration with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, the “Hyperbole” research project has been launched and targets improved modeling of the “hydropower station – from water to wire” system. It is focused on stability and vibrations in off-design operation, and on fast and flexible operation of the entire electro-mechanical system from grid connection point to draft tube outlet.

Fatigue analysis has become a very active field of research and development in various generator and turbine components, and mainly in Francis and pump turbine runners which are to be operated very flexibly at 0 to 100% load, including frequent load changes as well as starts and stops. Such operation causes high dynamic load and sudden stress peaks. ANDRITZ HYDRO is developing advanced prediction methods based on improved modeling and careful validation of prototype measurements.

The “Generator Fit4Grid” research project targets generator design optimized for dynamic operation with frequent stops as well as variable speed operation. Mechanical aspects are considered with advanced fatigue analysis methods, and further optimization of the electro-magnetic design is pursued with the aid of advanced modeling techniques. Intensive activities are under way to prepare the high voltage stator windings for future needs.

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