CTG: CTG-owned Baihetan dam hoists rotor of world’s first 1 GW hydraulic generator

Baihetan hydropower plant, owned and operated by China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG), announced that it has hoisted the 1 GW hydraulic generator’s rotor on August 18, a major milestone as the dam, which upon completion will be the world’s second-largest power station after the Three Gorges Dam, accelerates towards the plant’s scheduled completion in 2022.

On the afternoon of August 18, the rotor on the left bank at Baihetan was slowly lifted under the traction of two 1300-ton parallel cranes, kickstarting the hoisting of the 1 GW hydraulic generator’s rotor. After traveling a distance of about 300 meters horizontally, the rotor was safely hoisted into the pit of the No. 1 unit, precisely docking with the shaft in the generator.

The rotor creates a rotating magnetic field that cuts across the stator windings, thus generating electromagnetic induction and outputting electricity. With a maximum outer diameter of 16.2 meters, a maximum height of 4.1 meters and a weight of 2,100 tons, Baihetan’s rotor is one of the heaviest and most important components of the plant’s turbine generator.

The No. 1 unit’s rotor consists of a core, a fan frame, an erection bar, a magnetic yoke and a pole. The rotor’s core arrived at the site as the assembly operation began on September 30, 2019. After a series of closely connected processes such as bracket assembly welding, erection bar processing, magnetic yoke stacking, and magnetic yoke hot padding, CTG completed the magnetic pole hanging on July 22, 2020. Shortly afterwards, the rotor passed pressure resistance testing in the early morning of August 5 was ready for hoisting.

The installation of the rotor plays a critical role in the long-term safe and stable operation of the unit. To ensure the rotor meets the 1 GW generator’s various quality requirements, CTG has worked with generator manufacturers as well as construction and supervisory teams. Through their continuous innovation and extensive application of new technologies materials, they have greatly improved the assembly quality and processing accuracy of installation technology.

“CTG has collaborated with leading Chinese design institutes, hydropower equipment manufacturers and hydropower construction enterprises to achieve incredible innovation in the design, R&D, and construction of the 1 GW generator unit, developing a slew of core proprietary technologies,” said an onsite manager of Three Gorges Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Co., Ltd.

“We are carefully implementing the important instructions made by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, regarding the commissioning of the first units of the Wudongde hydropower plant and ensure the 1 GW generator unit of Baihetan hydropower plant is put into operation on schedule.”

Featuring eight generators, each with a capacity of 1 GW on the left and right banks, the plant will have a total installed capacity of 16 GW. Upon completion, Baihetan hydropower plant will top the global hydropower industry in terms of the installed capacity of a single unit. It is scheduled to commission the first batch of units by July 2021 and all units by July 2022. It will be first time that China has mastered the technology of a 1 GW hydraulic generator.