Rugby, 21 February 2011 - Power conversion specialist Converteam has announced that it has successfully completed static testing of essential elements of its HYDROGENIE generator.
HYDROGENIE, thought to be the world’s first high temperature superconducting (HTS) hydro generator for a commercial installation is being manufactured by Converteam as part of a European Union (EU) part-funded project and will be installed at the Hirschaid run-of-river hydroelectric power plant in Bavaria, Germany, which is owned and operated by E.ON Wasserkraft GmbH.
The role of Zenergy Power in the project is the joint development, together with Converteam, and production of the core component, the 28 superconducting coils powering the generator. The coils have been successfully operated at a temperature of 50 K and their rated current.
Derek Grieve, Director Technology at Converteam commented about the successful tests “The recent critical milestone in the testing of HYDROGENIE was the successful passing of current (in this case 70 A) through the rotor coils when they were cooled to below the superconducting transition temperature. HYDROGENIE looks set to change the fundamental economics of the renewable energy industry. This technology could improve the viability of run-of-river hydro as a source of clean, green power as well as being transferable to the wind power industry.
”Derek Grieve, Director Technology at Converteam commented on the successful tests “The recent critical milestone in the testing of HYDROGENIE was the successful passing of current (in this case 70A) through the rotor coils when they were cooled to below the superconducting transition temperature. This was achieved with only half the defined cooling power applied to the coils, and confirms the thermal and electrical design of the coils, cooling and insulation systems. HYDROGENIE looks set to change the fundamental economics of the renewable energy industry with generator efficiency reaching up to 99%.”
Converteam’s partners in the HYDROGENIE project are E.ON Wasserkraft who are providing Hirschaid test site, Zenergy Power GmbH who manufacture the HTS coils, Stirling Cryogenics BV who supply the coolers and rotating interface. Vector Fields, Cobham Technical Services, KEMA and the Silesian University of Technology have provided analysis tools and testing support.
Final commissioning of the 1.7MW HYDROGENIE generator, in Bavaria, is scheduled for summer 2011.