Using an electric power generator tends to produce massive amounts of heat. That excessive heat can affect the generator’s performance, thereby affecting its efficiency. To ensure that it’ll work well for years, establishments find a way to remove the heat from the machine.
There are many ways to keep the electrical power generator’s temperature in check. Some establishments use, air, oil, and water to prevent it from getting hot. But hydrogen’s low density makes it a superior choice for this application. However, working with hydrogen is potentially dangerous.
Power Engineering says that in its free state, a simple mixture of hydrogen and air can cause it to explode. But why do companies prefer to use it? Why hydrogen is the top choice for most electrical generators.
Aside from its abundance and cost-effective price, most people choose hydrogen as a coolant because of its properties. More than 70 percent of companies globally use hydrogen cooling as their top choice for their electrical generators.
Using hydrogen cooling also reduces the noise that the alternator generates because of its lighter mass. Additionally, hydrogen tends to create lesser friction compared to other cooling products. The reliability of the insulation increases when using hydrogen cooling, too.
Since there’s no way for the insulation to oxidize, it doesn’t accumulate as much dust and moisture. Thus, reducing the maintenance of the generators and prolonging its life span.
How hydrogen cooling works
Same with how motor rewinding shops use hydrogen gas, establishments use it in larger generators to remove the heat from the system. The hydrogen takes the heat from the rotor and then goes back to the hydrogen coolers.
For the system to keep it in room temperature, the hydrogen cooler transfers the heat to the water. The cooled hydrogen then goes back to the rotor frame via the centrifugal fans.
The cycle goes on to assure that the generators are at its stable condition. Meanwhile, hydrogen gas dryer eliminates the additional moisture in the cooled gas before it goes back to the rotor frame.
How to keep things safe
To ensure its safety, power plants maintain hydrogen purity in the generator casing. Moreover, they also keep the pressure in the generator in check to maintain its efficiency.
Power plants also watch their generators to keep them under control. They also use certified equipment for handling hazardous materials to ensure everyone’s safety.
Since the molecules are too small, sealing hydrogen is a difficult task. So, there’s a high chance that you’ll experience a few leaks. But since the hydrogen molecules are light, it evaporates. In most cases, hydrogen leakage only rises without living any stains.
But one thing that you need to watch out for is the area under the generator’s floor. If there are any leaks, then hydrogen may have formed in there for a specified period. Any hydrogen builds up can be dangerous, especially when mixed with oil.
Hydrogen cooling is an ideal way to maintain generators. But to ensure that it’ll work at its best, you need to seal it to prevent any leakage. When exposed to air or oil, hydrogen build up can become explosive, which can put everyone at risk.