Alstom Hydro relaunches global R&D centre

19 May 2008 - Alstom Hydro has relaunched its research and development centre in France by doubling testing capacity, as it gears up for a global boom in demand for hydropower.

The French company's upgraded Global Technology Centre, located at Alstom Hydro's headquarters in Grenoble, was officially opened by the head of Alstom Power, Philippe Joubert. By doubling its test capacity for turbines, including pumped storage turbines, Alstom Hydro expect to slash overall testing times and lead times.

Alstom Hydro will also be able to expand its research capacity at Grenoble, with the centre acting as a forum for research and technology developments with its operations in fast-growing regions such as China, India, Brazil and Canada.

The extended scale model test laboratory is the piece de resistance of the expanded centre. It is equipped with six test-rigs capable of simulating conditions in a hydro plant, with the most recent addition being a second pump turbine test-rig.

Three types of pump turbine scale models (single, double and multiple) can be tested in both pumping and turbining mode on the vertical shaft rig. The rig can test for a power capacity up to 450 kW, speeds up to 2400 rpm and a maximum test head of 140m.

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