Advanced condition monitoring of hydropower plants
Hydropower is a very critical component for the renewable energy systems of the future. Hydropower provides the stability and continuity which other renewable energy sources (wind, waves, sun) are missing. This means that hydropower must produce electricity when other energy sources are not able to. Consequently, the start and stop of hydropower turbines becomes more frequent. Start and stop introduces transient loading situations which increase the stresses on the hydropower turbine. Increased wear in tribological contacts, e.g. bearings, are consequently likely to occur. It is therefore important to predict how these changed operating conditions affect the service life of critical components like bearings. The goal is therefore to develop condition monitoring models which can be used to determine the remaining useful life of a hydropower turbine.
The research is conducted in collaboration with the Swedish Hydropower Centre-SVC. The Swedish Hydropower Centre is a centre for education and research within both hydropower and mining dams.
Sustainable performance of wet clutch systems
In the automotive industry, there is always a need for components to be smaller, lighter, more efficient, have a higher power density, cost less and have a longer life. Components should at the same time become "smarter" i.e. be able to adjust themselves to the prevailing operating conditions and provide information on the existence of any urgent service needs. This is of course also applicable to wet clutches that transmit torque through a friction interface to various parts of the vehicle’s transmission. One area of application is in all wheel drive systems for cars, where a wet clutch is used to control the torque to the rear wheels. The friction behavior in the clutch is changing with time as the friction disc surfaces wear and the lubricant’s additives are consumed/transformed. Research conducted in this research project has aimed to investigate how a clutch system is aging, how the ageing can be delayed, corrected and/or predicted. The research has been carried out in co-operation with Borgwarner TorqTransfer Systems and Statoil Fuel and Retail.
When wet clutches age, the frictional behavior is changing, which can lead to failure of other mechanical components in the powertrain or noise generation due to drivetrain vibrations. In this research project a test rig has been designed for aging of wet clutches. The test rig is equipped with different types of sensors to measure the system's state, for example, temperature, torque, force, pressure, oil parameters such as viscosity and density. Furthermore, also parameters which affect the ageing and/or are indicators of the ageing has been identified. With the help of an ageing model developed in this project can now compensate for the control electronics for changes in friction and thus avoid costly breakdowns or unwanted behavior of the drivetrain. The aging model can also be used in the development process by modeling the dynamics of the car's powertrain for different ageing of the wet cluch. In this way you can predict what kinds of operating conditions which can lead to problems with vibrations and noise.