25th Three Gorges turbine comes online

BEIJING, CHINA - Generator Unit 23 of China's Three Gorges Project finished its 72-hour trial run and went into commercial operation recently, marking the 25th 700-megawatt (MW) water turbine generator unit of the project to come online.

The generator is the eighth generator manufactured in China that has been installed at the Three Gorges Project. It has a rated capacity of 777.8 MW and a maximum capacity of 840 MW, with the designed water head at 85 meters.

The generator unit is located on the right bank of Three Gorges Dam. Harbin Electric Incorporated designed and manufactured the generator unit. The installation was commissioned by the China Gezhouba Group Machinery & Electric Company.

Water turbine generators produced by Harbin compose half of the total installed capacity generated by all made-in-China water turbine generators. Steam turbine generators produced by Harbin account for half of the total installed capacity generated by all Chinese-manufactured steam turbine generators.

In August 1997, Harbin made alliances with French company Alstom S.A., Swiss company ABB Limited and Norwegian company Kvaerner and won the bid to provide eight sets of water turbine generator units to China's Three Gorges Project.

The Three Gorges Project is set to accommodate 32 700-MW generator units, which would be the largest generating facility in the world. Of these units, 14 will be located on the left bank of the project, 12 on the right bank, and six sets will be underground.

So far, all 14 generating units on the left bank and 11 sets on the right bank have come online. The rest are scheduled to be in place and linked to the state power grid by the end of this year.

Water head in the Three Gorges Dam is expected to rise from the current 156 meters to 175 meters after the flood season.


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