Safe and Efficient Operation of Power Generator Requires Specialized Monitoring Systems

The overwhelming majority of the world’s electric power is created by turbine-driven generators. Large scale generators typically range from 500 Megawatts to 1.5 Gigawatts and are designed for continuous uninterrupted operation. Inevitably, generators must be brought offline during planned inspections and maintenance or forced offline for immediate repair, with significant revenue losses for the power producer.

By combining state-of-the-art sensing techniques with predictive data analytics, Condition-Based Maintenance can be highly effective.

Benefits of the FBG Technology

Fiber Optic technologies, specifically Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) based, have been selected by manufacturers as the preferred solution for power generators monitoring.

Due to all the constraints and limitations associated to power generators monitoring, a fiber optic solution is an ideal choice for these machines as the optical signals carried by the fibers are immune to EMI/RFI and passive, reducing the hazards of operating in a hydrogen-cooled application.

HBM FiberSensing and Siemens

Over the past few years, HBM FiberSensing has been producing and delivering complete monitoring systems based on FBG technology, specifically developed for Siemens power generators, on an OEM basis.


The OEM supply contract between HBM FiberSensing and Siemens includes the development and production of fiber optic vibration monitoring (FOVM) and fiber optic temperature monitoring (FOTM) systems for large scale power generators.


These monitoring solutions allow real time measurement of vibration, temperature and strain used for Condition-Based Maintenance of Power Generators.

 

10 k Samples/second (FOVM)


+650 Installed Vibration Sensors


+50 Delivered FO Systems


16 Vibration Sensors measured simultaneously

Fiber Optic Vibration Monitoring

The FOVM system consists of:

1 Optical Interrogator

  • Adapted to be integrated in the power plant control room
  • Real-time operating system
  • High-sensitivity (high SNR in FFT)
  • Analog outputs for all sensors (0-10 V)
  • Alarm relays

2 Pressure Seal Feedthroughs

  • Compatible with hydrogen or air cooling
  • Direct thread on generator wall

16 Fiber Optic Vibration Sensors

  • Frequency range up to 400 Hz
  • High sensitivity
  • Dielectric housing and cabling

2 Optical Multiplexers

  • Low loss (DWDM technology)
  • Compact

Fiber Optic Temperature Monitoring

The FOTM System is composed by:

1 Optical Interrogator

  • Adapted to be integrated in the power plant control room
  • Real-time operating system (measurement)
  • Simultaneous monitoring of all sensors
  • Analog outputs for all sensors (4-20 mA)
  • Alarm relays

32 Fiber Optic Temperature Sensors

  • Calibrated operation up to 200ºC
  • High accuracy
  • Dielectric housing and cabling

4 Pressure Seal Feedthroughs

  • Compatible with hydrogen or air cooling
  • Direct thread on generator wall
     

4 Optical Splitters

  • Low loss (DWDM technology)
  • Compact

HBM FiberSensing has been supplying both systems since 2008 to Siemens, with +50 systems already delivered.

The new generation of the FOVM system is being currently developed and the company has good expectations for the coming years as the demand of new monitoring solutions for the high power generators market is increasing.

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