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Why do hydroelectric generators use fiber optic temperature measurement systems

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The single unit capacity of hydroelectric units is increasing, and their importance in the system is also becoming increasingly prominent. The operating temperature of the unit is an important indicator of the operation of the hydroelectric generator, especially the temperature of the stator bars and the busbar. At present, the temperature measurement methods used for hydroelectric generators include thermal resistance temperature measurement, thermocouple temperature measurement, and infrared temperature measurement. Both thermistors and thermocouples require metal wires to transmit signals, which cannot guarantee stable insulation performance. Therefore, it is not possible to directly measure the temperature of stator bars and copper in the busbar. Infrared temperature measurement is a non-contact temperature measurement method that can only measure the surface temperature of the equipment. It is susceptible to interference from environmental temperature and surrounding electromagnetic fields and requires manual operation, making it impossible to achieve online measurement. In addition, the space inside the hydroelectric generator is very narrow, making it impossible to install infrared temperature measurement probes. With the development of fiber optic temperature measurement technology, it has become possible to use fiber optic temperature measurement for temperature detection in hydroelectric generators.

The large capacity of water turbine units in hydropower stations has a significant impact on the safe operation of the system. The operating temperature of a generator set is an important indicator of its operation, and temperature monitoring can timely detect problems that exist during the operation of the generator set, thereby ensuring the safe operation of the generator set. At present, the power station mainly uses resistance temperature detectors for temperature measurement. During operation, it was found that resistance temperature detectors are prone to damage, and the insulation of their lead wires is prone to fall off, resulting in a decrease in insulation resistance, which affects temperature measurement and the safe operation of the generator. Fiber optic temperature measurement has advantages such as resistance to electromagnetic interference, high voltage, chemical corrosion, earthquake resistance, and moisture resistance, making it suitable for the complex operating environment of power plant units. Therefore, the practical application of fiber optic temperature measurement systems is very valuable. Fiber optic temperature sensors are not affected by electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference, and have characteristics such as high and low temperature resistance, high pressure resistance, chemical corrosion resistance, earthquake resistance, and moisture resistance. The power plant units are located in complex environments such as strong electric fields, strong magnetic fields, and strong vibrations. Fiber optic temperature measurement systems are more suitable, but some problems may be encountered in practical applications and installation processes. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct application research on the fiber optic temperature measurement system before implementing the transformation of the fiber optic temperature measurement system. By installing a fiber optic temperature measurement device in the unit’s manifold for testing, the results show that the fiber optic temperature measurement system is accurate in temperature measurement, has high stability, and can adapt to the on-site environment and operational requirements. Systematic analysis shows that the fiber optic temperature measurement device has complete functions such as alarm, fault detection, functional settings, data storage, and data copying, meeting the requirements of online monitoring systems.

Fiber optic temperature measurement meets the temperature measurement requirements of power plant units and can be officially installed. The stator copper ring temperature measurement system of the three units adopts a fiber optic temperature measurement device. According to the characteristics of the stator structure, each unit is equipped with multiple temperature measurement points. The transformation of the temperature measurement system for the generator stator is difficult and requires comprehensive consideration of the operating conditions of the unit. The hydropower plant will further renovate the temperature measurement system of the power station units based on the operational effectiveness of the underground power station fiber optic temperature measurement system and the degree of damage to the traditional temperature measurement resistors of the power station units.

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