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Fatigue life in the Kaplan runner regulating mechanism, Thesis

Företag Vattenfall AB


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Fatigue life in the Kaplan runner regulating mechanism, Thesis

Power Climate Smarter living – that’s our purpose. We are looking for the brightest students to make this happen. Together you will contribute to a fossil free future. You will have a unique position to contribute to our purpose. All we ask from you is to use your Superpowers and share your energy to help us achieve our goal.
Hydro power have a relatively small impact on the climate and contributes to almost half of Sweden’s electricity production. Vattenfall own and operate roughly 125 big scale hydro power units of which about half utilizes a turbine type called Kaplan where the runner blade angle can be adjusted to obtain the highest possible efficiency depending on water flow rate and water head. This means that the mechanism regulating the runner blade angle is exposed to cyclic load which can lead to fatigue damage. Historically, the runners have been refurbished based on how long they have been in operation, but with the ambition to make the maintenance of the units more efficient the decision regarding refurbishment shall be condition based in the future.
The goal of this thesis work is to develop a tool to assess the loads and fatigue damage of critical components of the regulating mechanism in Kaplan runners. Inputs such as; dimensions, angles and radius shall be used to calculate stresses depending on different loads. The input data should be easy to adapt for every different hydropower units unique design. With the calculated stress the remaining life, or probability of failure, shall be evaluated depending on operational patterns. Furthermore the tool shall be validated using FEM analysis and the uncertainties in the methodology shall evaluated.

Literature study regarding:

• Design, function and operation of Kaplan runners.

• Existing measurement methods.

• Fatigue strength (loads, material etc.)

• Methodology for assessing fatigue life.
Interviews with Vattenfall’s technical experts within this area to understand what requirements the tool need to full fill.
Develop a parameterized tool to assess loads and fatigue in critical parts of the regulating mechanism.
Using measurements on existing units, evaluate different load cases the mechanism is exposed to and how these affect the technical life of the system.

Validate the tool using FEM and evaluate the uncertainties in the methodology.
Study how additional parameters can affect the life time of the mechanism during regulation, ex. wear and tear in bearings and seals.

Write the report.
About the thesis

• This assignment is for 1 student.

• The work is conducted under the RnD program, Hydro Power Machines, a part of the Machinery laboratory department at Vattenfall Research and Development.
Your profile

We are looking for a student to join our journey towards a fossil free future. You are soon to be graduated from your academic studies. You also identify yourself with our principles: active, open, positive and safe.

• Master thesis student focusing on solid mechanics.

• Master thesis, 30 HP

• Swedish and English.
More information

• Start of assignment: 2022-01-14 or by agreement

• Location: Vattenfall office in Älvkarleby or Solna.

• Application – a combined document with your CV and cover letter, and grades are to be submitted in the application.

• Deadline for application is 2021-12-10.

• Contact person and supervisor at Vattenfall is: Erik Isaksson, erik.isaksson@vattenfall.com, 070 388 10 67
Diversity & inclusion – in everything we do

At Vattenfall we build on the fact that diverse teams can outperform homogeneous teams. But we can only unleash and leverage the power of diversity, if we make everybody feel included. Read more about our important work on diversity & inclusion https://careers.vattenfall.com/about-us/diversity-and-inclusion/
About Vattenfall

We have been electrifying industries, powering homes and transforming life through innovation and collaboration for more than 100 years. Empowered by our goal, we are determined to enable fossil free living within one generation. To succeed we, as one of Europe’s leading energy companies, must be fossil-free ourselves. 
But that’s not enough. That’s why we are looking beyond our own industry, to see where we can really make a difference.

Join us in our journey towards a fossil-free life within one generation.
Want to learn more about what we do? Visit www.vattenfall.com.
Since Vattenfall is a part of the Swedish critical infrastructure, many of our services are security classed. If this position is security classed the final candidates might be subjected to a security vetting process, according to the Swedish legislation.


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Fatigue life in the Kaplan runner regulating mechanism, Thesis

Vattenfall AB