R&D for Power Generators
To build and operate modern, highly utilized power plant generators a profound understanding of combined multi-physical effects is essential.
The major challenge is to optimize electromagnetics, high voltage, thermal and mechanical stresses as well as and ventilation & cooling, all in consideration of economic and health, safety and environmental requirements.
In the field of electromagnetics, the focus lies on a highly precise prediction of the electromagnetic, electrical and thermal performance in order to optimize the operating parameters of the generator including efficiency and size.
R&D on insulation technology concentrates on higher nominal voltage levels > 20kV, on an improved heat transfer between winding and stator core and on ensuring a long life time under normal operation as well as fault conditions.
Cooling optimization focuses on precise ventilation design tools, including heat transfer calculations with modern CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and CHT (conjugate heat transfer) methods, all validated to real operation.
Bearing loads of up to 1000 tons require proven concepts with combined investigations of thermal, mechanical and oil flow influences using latest FSI (fluid structure interaction) methods. In our internal laboratory, such concepts can be verified on a bearing test rig facility.
As regards mechanics, R&D concentrates on new and improved design concepts, on precise vibration and noise analysis, on highly sophisticated rotor dynamics, as well as on thermo-mechanical effects considering the huge generator dimensions and tremendous centrifugal forces. Fatigue & start-stop topics caused mainly by the additional renewables in the grids are analyzed in detail.
The actual and future market demands require highly dynamic generators for energy storage and grid stabilization. Specific concepts are hence under development such as variable speed motor generators for highly flexible pumped storage applications.
Beside generators for hydro power plants, the R&D effort for turbo generators for gas and thermal power plant applications lies on special mechanical requirements due to their high rotor speed, their rotor dynamics and cooling demands. Please also refer to the “Technical Publications”.