Nuclear Power Plants

Operators of nuclear power plants rely on batteries to guarantee safety in the event of a malfunction.

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Nuclear power plants according to KTA, IEEE

Nuclear power plants (NPPs) produce electricity from heat and essentially consist of two parts: In the nuclear part, heat is generated by nuclear fission. In the conventional part, the heat is converted into electricity. 

The main purpose of batteries in nuclear power plants or nuclear facilities is to be able to put them into a safe state in the event of an accident. For this purpose, the batteries protect the control technology of a power plant or a facility. They supply cooling and lubrication pumps with energy so that rotating masses such as generators and pumps can continue to turn until they have reached a safe, cool temperature. This prevents the heavy rotors from bending when warm and therefore becoming unusable. Braking too quickly when warm will cause the shafts to bend and become unbalanced. 

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Turbines and generators run at very high speeds during operation and heat up considerably. Reliable cooling ensures the operation of the turbines under normal conditions. In the event of a malfunction, the stationary batteries ensure that the power electronics continue to be supplied with energy. This means that the rotating masses can be brought into a safe state and be supplied with lubricating oil until they come to a standstill. 

Batteries are also used to ensure the function of the cooling units for the fuel elements so that they do not overheat and cause a so-called MCA (maximum credible accident). 

Valves are also used to regulate the supply lines for the fuel and for the necessary ventilation and exhaust systems, which can still be opened or closed in an emergency. UPS systems equipped with stationary batteries or DC supplies ensure this.  

In the case of nuclear power plants and nuclear facilities, there is the additional factor that the areas in which radiation can occur or be caused are subject to significantly higher safety requirements compared to conventional facilities. Batteries used in nuclear facilities, like the manufacturers of these products, must be qualified according to special requirements. These requirements are specified accordingly in the KTA (Germany) or the IEEE (international). 

Within the scope of these qualifications, the product series undergo special ageing processes and are subsequently tested for their functionality in a seismic event (earthquake) together with the battery frame. In these tests, the artificially aged batteries must prove their one hundred percent availability before and after an earthquake. 

In nuclear power plants and nuclear facilities, stationary lead batteries of vented and partially sealed design are usually used. The system voltages for batteries in nuclear power plants range from 24 to 384 volts, while the bridging times in modern power plants are usually 0.5 to 72 hours. For downtimes beyond this, diesel-powered emergency generators are installed in the power plants, which are often started with compressed air. 

 

To meet the extremely high requirements, the HOPPECKE product portfolio offers batteries that are approved for use in nuclear power stations / plants and certified according to KTA or IEEE. 

The classic battery for nuclear plants is the grid | power V X (GroE) series. The GroE is the vented lead-acid battery with the highest current capacity. Thanks to its positive pure lead electrodes, it has a very long service life of up to 25 years. Today, HOPPECKE is the only manufacturer in Europe whose GroE series is qualified for nuclear installations. 

The grid | power V M series can supply large amounts of energy due to its grid plate design. The two series grid | power V X and grid | power V M supply the high currents required in nuclear power plants at short notice and are therefore ideally suited for this application.  

If power supplies with longer bridging times are required, the grid | power V L (OPzS) series is ideal. This battery is suitable for long-term discharges with low currents. The pocketed positive plate of this series offers you the advantages of availability and very good service life.  

By using the HOPPECKE grid | aquagen pro recombination system, the systems can become maintenance-free according to DIN. By using these plugs, the ventilation required in the battery room is reduced to 50% in accordance with IEC 62485-2 and the electrolyte loss is minimised by approx. 98%. This allows you to optimise and reduce maintenance and service costs.  

In the field of sealed lead-acid batteries, we recommend the grid | power VR L (OPzV) and grid | power VR M series. Depending on the requirements of the load profile, you can select the optimum for your power plant from these series. Both very low-maintenance battery systems can be used flexibly, as both vertical and horizontal installation is possible. 

 

Our know-how is based on more than 90 years of experience. We are the experts for energy storage solutions and understand you and your requirements. Thanks to our many years of cooperation with many customers in your industry, we can also offer you the optimal system.

To meet the special requirements, we offer you solutions optimally tailored to your nuclear power plant. In coordination with you, we take care of the design, production and installation - all from a single source.

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