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At the heart of Itaipu: initial machine setup
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What would become of a fire without the initial sparks? The same question can be asked in relation to energy production in Itaipu: what would become of the generator without the first excitation? As well as playing the role of the 'spark’, an excitation system maintains the constant flow of the current fundamental to the generation of energy in each unit.


The generator unit's excitation occurs when the turbine achieves gyration of 90%. With this ‘spark’, a magnetic field is created between the rotor and the stator, enabling the machine to generate energy.  Without it, it is as though the unit remains in a constant state of ‘empty gyration’.  The excitation system control panel, located on elevation 98, underwent general inspection, during the work done in U07. 


“All of the electronic components were removed and cleaned”, said technician Oscar Villalba, from the Electronic Maintenance Division (SMME.DT).


“This is preventative maintenance in order to avoid future problems.” After this complete clean, the system is tested with simulations, in order to check the responses.


An excitation system port panel needs constant cooling.  The job is carried out by three sets of radiators and fans, one kept in reserve, placed laterally to the panels.   The mechanics staff removed, broke down and cleaned each fan. Every three years the bearings are changed.