Hydropower stations (HPS) are faced with a consistent and even constant problem – vibrating equipment. It can produce catastrophic results. This issue can and has been addressed in a number of ways. The intent is to prevent equipment failure, disastrous consequences, and the resulting generator rotor removal and installation system.
Major Types and Causal Factors of Vibration
Vibration is categorized into three different types. They are:
- Electrical vibrations
- Mechanical vibrations e.g., imbalance, misalignments, defective bearings, looseness
- Hydraulic vibrations
The reasons for occurrences are varied but include both forced vibrations e.g., mechanic and electric unbalance and resonances. Another type is bearing instabilities. It must be noted that vibrations occur on both rotating e.g., rotors and motors, and non-rotating equipment. The causal factors are essentially the same in both instances, but variations do occur. Non-rotating equipment may have an issue with seals, while rotating equipment may have aerodynamic problems resulting from ventilation fans.
Preventing Vibration-Related Breakdowns
In order to reduce the instances of breakdowns related to vibration, hydroelectric companies install specialized equipment. This monitors the vibration of the equipment. Known as vibration condition monitoring (VCM), it enhances the overall ability of those employed by the company to reduce the risk of breakdowns in the equipment by minimizing the potential for damage. VCM allows the equipment such as rotors, to operate effectively for an extended period, therefore also reducing the costs associated with equipment repair, removal and/or replacement.
Generator Rotor Removal
In the production of hydroelectricity, HPS rely on their generators. However, the excessive and constant vibration of the equipment can produce massive failures. This can result in power outages. As well, it may be necessary to call in a company to carry out a generator rotor removal. To avoid such consequences, it is essential companies work with those who supply, install, and maintain their equipment at decreasing the degree of vibration.