The modernised centre, located at alstom Hydro’s global R&D headquarters, was officially opened at a ceremony yesterday attended by hydro professionals throughout the world. The centre will enable Alstom to double its test capacity for turbines, including pumped storage turbines, with the aim of reducing the overall testing time and shortening delivery time. The company will also be able to expand its internal research capacity, with the centre acting as a key contact point for the sharing of research and technology with alstom-hydro‘s operations in places such as Brazil, Canada, China, India and Europe.

The extended scale model test laboratory is the centre-piece of the new global technology centre. It is equipped with six test-rigs – up from four – capable of simulating conditions in a hydro plant, with the most recent addition being a second pump turbine test-rig. Three types of pump turbine scale models (single, double and multiple) can be tested in both pumping and turbining mode on the vertical shaft rig. The rig can test for a power capacity up to 450kW, speeds up to 2400rpm and a maximum test head of 140m. The maximum runner diameter that can be tested is 450mm and the highest discharge level is 1.05m3/sec.

Test Rig

View of the pump turbine test-rig