The new center will include a state-of-the-art test rig for turbine scale models. What's more, Alstom says the facilitiy will support Brazil’s increasing power generation needs, developing Kaplan power plants, designed for low head applications, between 15 and 60 meters. These plants are able to adapt to river flow variations, thus allowing the energy production throughout the year, both in flood and dry seasons. (Brazil accounts for 45% of the future worldwide Kaplan market for new-build power stations.)
“The inauguration of the Brazilian global technology center represents a key milestone for Alstom’s development in the country and in the renewable market," said Jacques Hardelay, Alstom's Global Hydro chief operating officer. "It will allow us to benefit from a feedback of experience of highly skilled research and development experts and engineers located close to our customers, and to continually improve the products we design."
The new technology center reinforces a global network of centres based in Grenoble (France), Birr (Switzerland), Baroda (India), Sorel-Tracy (Canada) and Tianjin (China). It will have the complete hydro product technical expertise in a single location (turbines, generators, control, hydro-mechanical equipment and balance-of-plant, as well as services for hydro plants, according to Alstom).
Moreover, the new global technology center will leverage the existing manufacturing expertise of the Group, and local industrial facilities of Taubaté site. It will benefit from important partnerships with Brazilian engineering companies, institutes, and universities, such as Unifei (Federal University of Itajubá), ITA (Aeronautics Technological Institute) and Unesp (State University of São Paulo) for future funding of doctor’s and master’s degrees related to the hydro market.