Testing of a 3 MW high speed generator and turbine drive for a hybrid vehicle propulsion system

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Thelen, R.F.
Herbst, J.D.
Wardell, D.
Murphy, B.T.
Canilang, B.D.

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American Society of Mechanical Engineers


The need for increased design flexibility and reduced weight and volume for electric power generation infrastructure has driven an increased interest in the use of high speed generators directly driven by gas turbine prime movers for both military and commercial power generation applications. This transition has been facilitated by the use of dc distribution and recent advances in the performance of solid state power conversion equipment, enabling designers to decouple the power generation frequency from typical 60 Hz ac loads. Operation of the generator at the turbine output speed eliminates the need for a speed reduction gearbox and can significantly increase the volumetric and gravimetric power density of the power generation system. This is particularly true for turbines in the 3 to 10 MW power range which typically operate with power turbine speeds of 7,000 to 16,000 rpm. The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Electromechanics (UT-CEM) is currently developing a 3 MW high speed generator and turbine drive system for a hybrid vehicle propulsion system as a part of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Advanced Locomotive Propulsion System (ALPS) Program. The ALPS system consists of a 3 MW turbine/alternator prime mover coupled with a 480 MJ, 2 MW flywheel energy storage system. Although designed as the prime mover for a high speed passenger locomotive, the compact turbine/alternator package is well suited for use in marine applications as an auxiliary turbine generator set or as the primary propulsion system for smaller vessels. The ALPS 3 MW high speed generator and turbine drive system were originally presented at the ASME Turbo Expo 2005 [1]. This follow-on paper presents the results of mechanical spin testing and No-Load electrical testing of the high speed generator and the Static Load testing of the generator and turbine drive system at NAVSEA (Philadelphia, PA) with a fixed resistive load. The generator has been tested to a 1.5 MW power level in the Static Load procedures and is being prepared for the final test phase to include dynamic power exchange with the flywheel.


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R.F. Thelen, J.D. Herbst, D. Wardell, B.T. Murphy, B.D. Canilang, “Testing of a 3 MW high speed generator and turbine drive for a hybrid vehicle propulsion system”, ASME Turbo Expo 2007, Palais De Congres, Montreal, Canada, May 14-17, 2007, WITHDRAWN.