In hydropower plants of any type, e.g. run-of-river power stations, storage power stations or wave power plants, the energy generation is implemented by means of special water turbines, e.g. constant-pressure turbines and reaction turbines. The motion energy of the water is converted into rotational energy by means of the water turbine, which effects the rotation of the turbine shaft which, in turn, actuates a generator that generates power. Irrespective of the type of power plant or turbine you’re dealing with: Establishing an optimum connection between the turbine and the generator shaft is crucial to the function of a hydropower plant and is therefore of utmost importance. This is why users all around the world for example rely on vibration-damping shaft couplings that compensate misalignments as well as powerful and low-maintenance locking devices designed by RINGFEDER®. Our premium-quality standard and special solutions are always individually tailored to the specific demands of the application and in this way substantially provide for efficient and trouble-free power plant operation.
The so-called Kaplan turbines are reaction-type turbines that are axially streamed by water, featuring adjustable rotor blades, which are mainly used for energy conversion in run-of-river power stations. Top-quality RINGFEDER® locking assemblies, specifically designed for the respective application, are used for this type of turbine to effectively and reliably connect the shaft of the impeller blade to the hydraulic adjustment mechanism. Reliable overload safety devices are an essential part of the design specification for applications of this type: When a specific torque is reached, the RINGFEDER® locking device slips through on the shaft and in this way protects the impeller from costly damage involving complex repair work.
Francis turbines which are part of the family of constant-pressure turbines are the most common turbine type in the field of hydropower today, not least because of their universal applicability in storage power stations and run-of-river power stations. They are mostly designed as spiral or shaft turbines, the water entering tangentially into the turbine runner and exiting it in axial direction. For the frictional connection of the runner and the generator shaft, for instance, numerous users all around the world rely on premium-quality RINGFEDER® locking assemblies, in particular due to their consistent performance and because of the simplified and quick way they can be installed. If maintenance and repair work have to be performed, RINGFEDER® locking devices can be easily and quickly dismounted and replaced – and in this way prevent long and costly downtimes on the part of the power plant operator.
So-called Turgo turbines are impulse turbines, i.e. the water pressure is not subjected to a change while the water passes through the turbine blades. They are mainly suitable for applications with a small to medium delivery head and are characterised by a high functional efficiency with lower costs compared to Kaplan turbines. In practice, torsionally flexible jaw couplings of the RINGFEDER® TNM series have proven to be an especially suitable coupling solution for the connection of the turbine and generator shaft: Their capacity for effectively compensating misalignments, excellent damping properties, their huge compactness and optimum investment and operating costs are only some of the advantages to be named which users from the sector of hydropower benefit from.
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