A High-Speed Generator for Microturbines

Ola Aglén
Electrical Machines and Power Electronics Department of Electrical Engineering KTH, Royal Institute of Technology SE-100 44 Stockholm

Abstract: Distributed generation takes pressure off electric transmission infrastructure. For a low up-front investment the compact ABB MT100 Microturbine Combined Heat and Power unit can be installed quickly and produce power where it is needed. Low emissions, fuel flexibility and high efficiency are benefits. A permanent magnet high-speed generator is used. Keywords: High-speed generator, Permanent magnet, Microturbine, Distributed generation, Combined heat and power, CHP

• • • • •

Gas turbine engine and recuperator Electrical generator Electrical system Exhaust gas heat-exchanger Supervision and control system

The technical data of the CHP unit are presented in Table 1.

In areas where the grid has reached its power limit, in remote areas or in countries with low transmission capabilities, installing small power units where they are needed can be more cost efficient than building large power plants and power lines, at least it is much quicker. For a low up-front investment the compact ABB MT100 Microturbine Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit can offer low emissions, fuel flexibility and high efficiency. It uses a permanent magnet high-speed generator. The ABB MT100 unit is shown in Figure 1. It is natural gas operated, with the ratings of 100 kW electric and 167 kW thermal outputs. The unit is eminently well suited as a power source for facilities ranging for hospitals and hotels to shopping malls and factories. The heart of the unit is a small gas turbine which is integrated with a high-speed generator, both resulting from ABB’s and Volvo’s almost 15 years of experience in gas turbine driven hybrid electric vehicles [1, 2]. Special features of the turbine include a combustion chamber optimized for low emissions and a recuperator, a gas-to-air heat exchanger, that boosts efficiency.

Figure 1. ABB MT100 Microturbine Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit 1 Generator, 2 Gas turbine engine, 3 Recuperator, 4 Exhaustgas heat-exchanger, 5 Ventilation air outlet, 6 Exhaust outlet, 7 Water inlet, 8 Hot-water, 9 Power electronics, 10 Control system, 11 Combustion chamber, 12 Air inlet

General description
The ABB MT100 microturbine is a combined heat and power unit, which is installed in a small cabinet. In Figure 1, the installation in the cabinet is outlined. The unit produces electricity and heat and runs on natural gas. A gas compressor may be necessary depending on the natural gas pressure. The ABB MT100 is designed for indoor installation and takes air from an outside intake. Its main parts are:

Design and operation The fundamental operating principle of the microturbine is such that the turbine wheel drives an internally directly coupled compressor wheel (Figure 2). The compressor pushes the process air into the combustion chamber where fuel is added, and a continuous combustion process takes place. The hot pressurized gas stream is expanded in the turbine, causing a large part of the thermal energy to be converted into mechanical energy, which in turn drives the compressor and the mechanical load. In conventional power plants, the load is traditionally a two- or four-pole generator that is driven via a gearbox. In such applications, the generator speed

5:1. another approach is used. which allows the power to be controlled by adjusting the turbine speed in a wide range.79 kg/s 55° C 50° C 70° C 1) The performance data.main characteristics Property Dimensions Width Height Length Weight Noise level Performance 1) Net electrical output Net electrical efficiency Net thermal output (hot water) Net total efficiency Volumetric exhaust gas emissions (at 15% O2 and 100% load): NOx CO UHC Ambient inlet: Air temperature Air inlet humidity Natural gas. Combustion chamber The preheated compressed air is mixed with the natural gas. in the ABB MT100 turbine. including the natural gas compressor. which can be carefully controlled. Again. LHV Gas pressure. Recuperator The recuperator is a gas to air heat exchanger attached to the microturbine. but such a gas turbine will suffer from poor efficiency. since it is synchronized to the frequency of an electric network. The combustion chamber is of a lean pre-mix emission type. 100 kW 30% 167 kW 80% Gas turbine engine The gas turbine is a single shaft engine. The pressure ratio is about 4. Thus less fuel is required to reach . CO and unburned hydrocarbons in the exhaust gases. unless several compressor and turbine stages are added. includes power consumption and losses from all auxiliaries. which is based on ISO-conditions. heats the water in the external circuit. The emissions of a gas turbine are very low. min/max Mass flow. The engine parts and the shaft are located in the same housing. In the ABB MT100 microturbine.is fixed. Another heat exchanger.5 bar 31 Nm3 /hour 3 0°C to +40°C 80% 0. There the compressed air is preheated before it enters the combustion chamber. The frequency converter permits variable speed operation. Often a variable geometry is used in gas turbines. It increases the efficiency of the gas turbine by transferring heat from the hot exhaust gases to the compressed air fed to the combustion chamber. Compressor The ABB MT100 uses a radial centrifugal compressor to compress ambient air. Turbine The radial turbine drives the compressor and the generator at a nominal speed of 70000 rpm. This is because of the continuous combustion. Table 1 ABB MT100 CHP unit . The external combustion chamber can also be optimized for low emissions. after the recuperator. Adjustable guide vanes are normally used to control the gas flow towards the turbine and the compressor and thus the operating point of the gas turbine can be controlled. heating value. at 100 kW load (39 MJ/kg) Surrounding air: Temperature Surrounding humidity Exhaust gas flow Exhaust gas temperature Water inlet temperature Water outlet temperature Data 840 mm 1 900 mm 2 900 mm 2000 kg 70 dBA at 1 meter the desired operating temperature. The ABB MT100 microturbine overcomes this problem by recovering the exhaust heat in the recuperator. achieving low emissions of NOx. The compressor is mounted on the same shaft as the turbine and the electrical generator. During start up an electrical igniter in the combustion chamber ignites the mixture. The remaining thermal energy can be dissipated through the chimney. The main components are: • Housing • Compressor • Recuperator • Combustion chamber • Turbine Housing The electrical generator and the rotating components of the gas turbine are mounted on the same shaft. When the combustion gases leave the combustion chamber they have a temperature of approximately 950°C and a < 15 ppm v < 15 ppm v < 10 ppm v – 25°C to +40°C 0 – 100% > 30 000 kJ/Nm 6/9. the high-speed generator is directly coupled to the turbine shaft and a frequency converter adjusts the speed electronically.

ABB MT100: thermodynamic processes: 1 Generator. leading to a very small unit that can be integrated with the gas turbine. Exhaust gas heat exchanger The exhaust gas heat exchanger is of gas-water countercurrent flow type. The electrical system can be used in reverse direction to start the gas turbine. Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT’s) are efficient and can be switched at an appropriately high frequency. stop and supervise the CHP unit. State of the art in material technology includes highenergy permanent magnets and high yield-strength material. the Power Module Controller (PMC). For such an application. Electric power generation system Especially for small gas turbines. The rotor is suspended by one bearing on each side of the permanent magnet rotor and there are no additional bearings on the turbine shaft. the speed is normally above 30. 4 Air to recuperator. The gas turbine and the electrical power generation system is entirely controlled and automatically operated by the PMC. As the combustion gases expand through the turbine the pressure decreases to close to atmospheric pressure and the heat drops to approximately 650° C. these new advancements permit the development of efficient machines tailor-made for certain high-speed applications. The output frequency of . 12 Hot-water inlet An advantage of a high-speed generator is that the size of the machine decreases almost in direct proportion to the increase in speed. temperature and mass flow. which is integrated with the micro turbine (Figure 4). The use of neodymium-ironboron (NdBFe) magnets reduces the rotor losses of the generator. entering the exhaust gas exchanger. The outlet water temperature depends on the incoming water conditions.pressure of about 4. 2 Rectifier/start-up converter. These have proven to be very suitable for highspeed electrical machines. 10 Exhaust-gas outlet. compact and reliable unit. The result is a more efficient. Altogether. Figure 2. 5 Line filter. 7 Main circuit-breaker High Speed generator The electric power is generated in a HISEM 110/70 highspeed permanent magnet synchronous generator. 8 Exhaust gases.5 bar. The PMC is used to start. The PMC runs the system by using values from sensors monitoring: • • • • • • Heat demand Electric power demand Gas pressure Oil temperature Vibrations Speed Figure 3. 7 Recuperator. 9 Exhaust-gas heat-exchanger. 11 Hot-water outlet. and thus the CHP unit needs no attendance of personnel in normal use. 5 Combustion chamber. An inductor stabilizes the AC output and an EMC filter protects the grid against generated interference. 3 Compressor. A prerequisite for the direct mechanical coupling is that the necessary frequency-conversion must be very efficient. 6 Turbine. The thermal energy from the exhaust gases is transferred to the hot-water system by the exhaust gas heat exchanger. it is advantageous to omit the gearbox that normally reduces the speed of the turbine shaft to that of conventional electrical machines. 3 DC bus. The exhaust gases leave the exhaust gas heat exchanger through an exhaust pipe and the subsequent chimney. The AC of the generator is first rectified to DC and then converted to a three-phase AC.000 rpm and may exceed 100. Electrical system Before the generated power reaches the grid. 4 Converter. Supervision and control system The ABB MT100 is controlled and supervised with an automatic control system. it has to be converted to the grid frequency (Figure 3). should this be required. Schematic of the electrical power generation 1 Generator.000 rpm. 2 Inlet air. A fault code is recorded by the PMC and presented on the display of the control panel. 6 EMC filter. If a critical fault should appear in the CHP unit the PMC either initiates a normal stop or an emergency shutdown. The temperature of the exhaust gases is approximately 270° C.

the generator is high – up to 2. with respect to grid regulations. Based on the experience and on new requirements from the microturbine applications. Cooling air is pushed through the air-gap using the buffer air pump. water-cooling is used to keep the temperature low in the winding. Figure 5 Cutaway view of the HISEM 110/70 generator The electric power is generated in a HISEM 110/70 highspeed permanent magnet synchronous generator. A new control board has been developed to control the speed of the turbine and to control the start mode. major improvements have been made. The ACS 600 series converters are designed to operate in an industrial environment. the mechanical installation has been tailored for the microturbine application (Figure 6). The latter are mainly caused by stator current time harmonics. The generator also acts as an electric starter for the gas turbine to bring the CHP unit into operation. The four-pole design contributes to short end-windings that make possible a short distance between bearings. A limit for the current harmonics has been defined from the level of acceptable rotor losses. Together with vacuum pressure impregnation and thicker than standard insulation this ensures a long lifetime of the winding.4 kHz. The stator core is made with thin laminations of low-loss electrical steel and the winding is made with Litz-wire to achieve good high-frequency characteristics. Covered by a carbon-fiber bandage the magnets are retained even at 70 000 rpm. Since the carbon-fiber bandage acts like a thermal insulator. Based on the rotor radius. especially with respect to reliability and production cost. The experience of ABB Motors in high volume production has been brought into the design. Frequency converter The product cost is a very strong constraint on the design of the frequency converter so the converter was derived from the ACS 600 converter platform. The rotor consists of a magnetic steel body with surface mounted permanent magnets. An important issue is to ensure that the rotor never reaches a temperature that would de-magnetize the magnet. . Although the functional hardware is sourced from the ACS 600 series. An important characteristic is the use of water-cooling. the stator core radius and the axial length are determined in an iterative process. Extensive application programming has been made to implement the interface and control functions that are required for the microturbine application. The applications of distributed power generation is currently a “gray zone”. This is done both by reducing the rotor losses and by providing efficient cooling in the air-gap. Although the efficiency is high. Generator Figure 4. the rotor is more sensitive to current harmonics than a rotor in a conventional machine. Two main factors. but it was decided to comply with EN55011. while the requirements in the microturbine application is to meet the norms for household applications. The generator design is derived from the design of the HSG100 generator [3] that was used in the hybrid vehicle application. the speed from which the turbine is producing net power for further acceleration to the operating range of 50 000 70 000 rpm. HISEM 110/70 Generator integrated with the turbine The rotor is suspended by one bearing on each side of the permanent magnet rotor and there are no additional bearings on the turbine shaft. The rotor radius is selected from a mechanical point of view: It is a trade-off between bending stiffness and the largest magnet thickness that can be retained with a reasonably thin bandage. where the rectifier is used as an inverter to accelerate the turbine to 30 000 rpm. air friction and asynchronous mmf-waves in the air-gap cause a temperature rise in the rotor.

The ABB MT100 microturbine shows it is possible to design and manufacture an affordable. Development of a small gas turbine driven high speed permanent magnet generator. P. Change of bearings in lubrication oil pump. The frequency converter in the MT100 CHP unit. Ph. Chudi. Maintenance concept A key property of the T100 CHP unit is the low maintenance that will be required. KTH 1989. G. In order to establish a good knowledge platform. Maintenance Inspection: • General checks • • • Figure 6. Malmquist. Licentiate Thesis. Volvo Technology Report No. have been derived from vanguard ABB technologies. ABB Review 9/93. As a result of the low number of moving parts. the maintenance actions can be kept limited to the contents of Table 3. the risk for grid instability can be very pronounced. 2 1995. reliable and clean standard unit. Table 2. This model can be combined with alternative grid topologies. Its subsystems. References Type Inspection Overhaul Interval (h) 6 000 30 000 Outage (h) 24 48 [1] P. A. Thesis. Analysis of a gas turbine driven hybrid drive train for heavy vehicles. ventilation fan and buffer air pump • • • • Fuel gas compressor inspection and refill of oil and changeout of oil filter Change of air filters Cleaning of cooling water-strainer Change of lubrication oil filter Conclusion The potential market for distributed power resources is large and challenging. Malmquist.D. Malmquist. a simulation model has been established for dynamic simulations of the linked thermodynamic-mechanic-electric system of the CHP unit [4]. in order to study the grid interaction. [2] [3] [4] . oil and water refill (if necessary) General visual check Overhaul • Same procedure as in inspection • Change of the entire combustion chamber • Engine refurbishment • System analysis The typical location of a microturbine implies that the grid may be weak. The Royal Institute of Technology. Maintenance intervals. A. for example the high-speed generator. A. The Royal Institute of Technology. A hybrid drive for the car of the future. KTH 1999. Malmquist. Lagerström. In a scenario where distributed power generation units shall cooperate. Inspection of the combustion chamber and the change-out of the fuel nozzle Change of consumables. The task to control the stability is then a challenge. Advanced hybrid propulsion system for Volvo ECT. A. The preventive (scheduled) maintenance is sub-divided into inspection and overhaul and the intervals are shown in Table 2.Table 3. Chudi.

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