No matter the method of power generation – whether from coal, gas, wind or nuclear – efficiency and safety are always key drivers and oxygen and moisture measurements play an important role.
Coal or gas power stations burn fuel in oxygen to produce heat that is then converted to energy. Combustion control analyzers allow this process to be more accurately controlled, reducing fuel usage and emissions.
Within the power generation industry, it is common practice to use hydrogen as a direct coolant for the generator stator windings. Hydrogen is used because it has an extremely high heat transfer capacity -it is much more efficient at transferring heat than any other medium. The re-circulating hydrogen removes heat from the generator, transferring it, via a heat exchanger, into a secondary cooling circuit which uses de-mineralized water. Often this de-mineralized water is then cooled either by sea water or river water, dependent upon the location of the power station.
Hydrogen is often used as a coolant for generator stator windings because of its high heat-transfer capacity. As the hydrogen circulates, it is water-cooled via a heat exchanger. It is not possible to hermetically seal the generator set casings there is the risk of moisture ingress from the surrounding air, as well as from the heat exchanger as the components become more porous with age.
The presence of moisture in the highly flammable hydrogen in the presence of electricity poses a risk of explosion or flashover should the moisture condense. To avoid this, the dew-point of the hydrogen gas leaving the generator is kept at a safe level below the minimum casing temperature.
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