Innovations in Condition Monitoring – Generator Rotor Shorted Turns Detection using Rotor Flux Probe


Peter Burnell
Electrical Engineer
AGL Torrens Island Power Station

In 2018 AGL Torrens commenced a strategy to install rotor flux probes into its B Station 200MW steam driven turbo generators. The aim of this project is to monitor the rotor turn insulation in service and to detect conditions such as rotor turn shorts. Historically rotor turn insulation problems were detected using traditional methods such as Recurrent Surge Oscillography (RSO), however such tests can only be done with the rotor stationary and therefore can’t detect the presence of on line faults that can develop under centrifugal forces. The following items will be discussed in this presentation:

  • Safety moment encountered during the project

  • Brief discussion about the theory of operation of the flux probe and how it can detect turn shorts in the rotor

  • The selection process used to choose a suitable probe and online monitor to meet the requirements of the station

  • The benefits of continuous online monitoring versus periodic data measurements

  • Installation process, considerations and difficulties encountered during equipment installation

  • Initial findings and interpretation of rotor flux probe data

  • Subsequent findings discovered once similar generators where fitted with flux probes

  • Lessons learnt and what we would do different next time

Peter Burnell is a Chartered Professional Electrical Engineer with ten years of power industry experience. He holds a first-class honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Adelaide. Peter has a broad range of skills and experiences which he has obtained from working on a range of projects and companies. He has also developed specialist skills in the area of power system protection, induction motors and synchronous generators. More recently Peter has become a power station electrical engineer and is responsible for running projects to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the power station.