Can a Hydrogen-Cooled Generator Run on Air Instead?

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In summary: All these make hydrogen a very good choice for cooling things down - e.g. electric motors, computer chips, solar panels, etc.There are a few potential drawbacks though. For one, you need to make sure your generator can handle the extra power and vibration. Second, while hydrogen is a gas, it's not the easiest thing to store and transport. You also need to make sure there's a reliable way to generate and store it - e.g. a hydrogen gas plant.All in all, I think it makes sense to explore the possibility of using hydrogen instead of air in your generator. Just be aware of the potential drawbacks and make sure you can address them.
  • #1
IF007
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Hi,

Can someone help me in this matter:



I would like to know if it is possible to use air instead of hydrogen in a hydrogen-cooled generator. If it is possible, what would be the conditions to do it. If not please justify your answer (e.g. safety reasons, efficiency, what can go wrong, etc.)



Thanks
 
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  • #2
I believe the following three items are important considerations in using hydrogen vs. air in cooling generator armatures:

1) The air gap between the armature and stator is minimized, limited by mechanical tolerances, in order to minimize the generator power factor. This is because the magnetic energy storage in the gap is much higher than in iron.

2) Hydrogen gas has less than half the viscosity of air (important for small air gap). Air viscosity between moving surfaces creates friction.

Use viscosity calculator in http://www.lmnoeng.com/Flow/GasViscosity.htm

3) Hydrogen has a much higher specific heat than air. This means hydrogen can store more heat than air.

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/spesific-heat-capacity-gases-d_159.html

Bob S
 
  • #3
My knowledge of this is limited to what I've just read from a internet search. It looks like the main reason for using hydrogen is it's 7-10 times better coolant than air due to it's low density, high specific heat, and high thermal conductivity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen-cooled_turbogenerator"

I would think the biggest danger would be destroying your generator.

Edit: Bob beat me posting. Besides, his answer is more complete.
 
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  • #4
We operate a 140 MVA synchronous condenser which is also able to work in air with a 90 MVA limit on output. Therefore it should be possible to use the generator in air IF the manufacturer permits it.

Aside from the lower MVA rating the machine also vibrates a lot more when running in air.

mvh Martin
 
  • #5
IF007 said:
Hi,

Can someone help me in this matter:



I would like to know if it is possible to use air instead of hydrogen in a hydrogen-cooled generator. If it is possible, what would be the conditions to do it. If not please justify your answer (e.g. safety reasons, efficiency, what can go wrong, etc.)



Thanks

Could you please inform of any positve results, did you get any help/input converting H2 cooled to air cooled generators?.An article from GE a GER 4203 mentions the unit has to be 30% larger. We are also very interested in this matter please advise to << personal e-mail address removed by Moderators >>
 
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  • #6
You guessed it, people care to use hydrogen because they have excellent reasons for it.

Its heat capacity per volume unit matches air (both are stiff diatomic molecules) but its heat conductiivity is MUCH bigger and also its inertia (and viscosity, less important) is much smaller.
 

1. What is a hydrogen-cooled generator?

A hydrogen-cooled generator is a type of electrical generator that uses hydrogen gas as a coolant. It is typically used in large power plants to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.

2. How does a hydrogen-cooled generator work?

In a hydrogen-cooled generator, the hydrogen gas is used to cool the generator's stator and rotor windings. This helps to prevent overheating and ensures the generator operates efficiently. The hydrogen gas is circulated through the generator using a hydrogen seal system.

3. What are the benefits of using hydrogen as a coolant in a generator?

Hydrogen is an excellent coolant for generators because it has a high thermal conductivity, meaning it can quickly absorb and dissipate heat. It is also non-corrosive and non-toxic, making it a safe option for use in generators. Additionally, hydrogen is a renewable resource, making it a more environmentally friendly choice compared to other coolants.

4. What are the potential risks associated with a hydrogen-cooled generator?

One of the main risks associated with a hydrogen-cooled generator is the potential for hydrogen leaks. While hydrogen is non-toxic, it is highly flammable and can be dangerous if not handled properly. To mitigate this risk, hydrogen-cooled generators have safety systems in place to detect and manage any leaks.

5. What maintenance is required for a hydrogen-cooled generator?

Regular maintenance is crucial for the proper functioning of a hydrogen-cooled generator. This includes monitoring and replacing the hydrogen gas, as well as conducting regular inspections and tests to ensure the generator is operating efficiently and safely. It is also important to follow proper safety protocols when handling hydrogen gas to prevent accidents.

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