An electrical generator is one of the most efficient large-scale machines. It converts mechanical to electrical energy with an efficiency coefficient of approximately 99%. The remaining 1% can mainly be contributed to heat losses. Direct cooling is only necessary for larger turbogenerators with more than 250 MVA where the cooling media is introduced via hollow conductors within the stator bars. Turbogenerators of approximately up to 700 MVA nowadays use exclusively hydrogen (H2) gas as a cooling media. Even larger turbogenerators have to introduce direct water cooling.
The water chemistry of the stator cooling water is typically of neutral pH and has a conductivity of less than 0.1 μS/cm. Two zones of the oxygen (O2) concentration have been established through the last 50 years, one at low dissolved O2 concentration with less than 20 ppb, the other with high concentrations of more than 2 ppm. The latter has to continuously inject CO2 free air to ensure to always keep the oxygen concentration above 2 ppm.
The first part of this publication shows several incidents with the air injection system in different Nuclear Power Plants in the US, resulting in unfavorable stator cooling water chemistry. This led to a reduced cooling efficiency, resulting in several chemical online cleanings being necessary.
The second part of this work presents a technical solution to overcome the issues associated with the reduced stator cooling. It continuously injects and monitors the air injected into the system. Additionally, it also measures the hydrogen leakage rate.