Support the Energy Transition – Monitoring Hydro Turbines

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Motivation and Value

Hydroelectric power generation plays an important role in the energy transition of the electric grid. The renewable resource can be controlled quickly, for balancing the supply and demand of electricity. Not only do hydroelectric power plants generate renewable electricity. In combination with pumped storage, hydroelectric plants can serve as “batteries”, stabilizing the grid by storing superfluous wind and solar energy for later use.

IfTA Monitoring Systems Help to Make Hydroelectric Plants More Efficient

To establish nominal operation of hydroelectric plants, the turbines, pumps and generators/motors are monitored by several sensors, measuring operating conditions and machine vibrations for all possible control parameters. IfTA’s monitoring and protection systems are used to acquire and process the dynamic data, to assure the machines operate within their nominal envelopes.

Do You Want to Contribute to the Reliability of Renewable Energy?

The task in this project is to reduce potential downtime of the hydroelectric plant, through early detection of abnormal dynamic behavior of the machines. To this end the information contained in the data is exploited, by the application of machine learning models. Small changes of vibration levels can point to developing degradation and damage, such as turbine blade wear and the development of rotor unbalance. Early detection of anomalies will prevent unplanned down-time of this critical machinery, therefore increasing the utilization of renewable energy.

Potential algorithms for this task include Recurrent Neural Networks, to predict operating parameters for given machine vibration fingerprints. Clustering may be helpful to detect patterns for different operating modes, operating points etc. of the turbine. Run-up and run-down events (i.e. starts and stops) may have to be analyzed with different tools than the steady state operation.

About IfTA

IfTA GmbH is a leading company in the field of measurement technology for monitoring and analyzing vibrations. Our high-performance and flexible products are used in industry and power generation in a wide range of applications. In the energy sector, our systems have been increasing efficiency, availability and durability worldwide for decades.

Important notice

Accepted students to this project should attend online workshops at the LRZ in April 2023 before the semester starts, unless they have proven knowledge. More information will be provided to students accepted to this project.