HTR helium fan motor passes acceptance tests

05 April 2016

Factory acceptance tests for the main motor of the helium fan for use in China's HTR-PM high-temperature gas-cooled reactor has been successfully completed, Harbin Electric Corporation announced. Separately, the company has also developed a 300 MW reactor coolant pump.

Harbin said the vertical HTR helium compressor motor - with a rated power of 4500 kW and a rated speed of 4000 rpm - completed factory acceptance tests by Tsinghua University on 21 March. As part of these, the motor was operated at the maximum speed of 4200 rpm and was tested for noise and vibration.

HTR blower motor passes factory acceptance - 250 (Harbin)
The HTR helium fan motor (Image: Harbin Electric)

According to Harbin, "The main performance indicators show the helium fan motor can be manufactured to completely meet the technical specifications and design requirements."

The purpose of the helium fan can be compared to that of the main circulation pump in a pressurized water reactor: to provide sufficient flow of coolant during the reactor's start-up, operation and shut down to take away the heat generated by the reactor core. The HTR-PM features pebble bed fuel and helium coolant.

Tsinghua University developed electromagnetic bearings for use in the helium fan. These bearings use magnets to 'levitate' the fan's rotor, which weighs some four tonnes. As the rotor operates without any contact with other parts, its operation is wear-free and there is no need for a lubricating oil system. The university said that this marks the first use of electromagnetic bearings in a nuclear reactor application.

Work began on two demonstration HTR-PM units at China Huaneng Group's Shidaowan site in December 2012. China Huaneng is the lead organization in the consortium to build the demonstration units together with China Nuclear Engineering Corporation (CNEC) and Tsinghua University's Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology (INET), which is the research and development leader. Chinergy, a joint venture of Tsinghua and CNEC, is the main contractor for the nuclear island.

The demonstration plant's twin HTR-PM units will drive a single 210 MWe turbine. It is expected to begin operating around 2017.

Coolant pump

Meanwhile, Harbin has announced the development of China's first 300 MW nuclear reactor coolant pump.

The company said that the pump - which took six years to develop - completed flow assessment test in April 2015 and completed hot function tests on 8 March. The pump passed state appraisal by the China Machinery Industry Federation on 30 March.

Harbin says it is ready to start full production of the pump.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News