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ABB’s smart CAWA cooler boosts genset performance

An innovative generator cooling system from ABB enables increased turbine genset performance and economy in demanding applications where cooling water is not available. The space-saving solution helps OEMs to offer higher power levels from standard turbine skids.
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, is introducing an independent, closed water cooling system for generators in turbine gensets. The new CAWA* cooler meets clear demands for a compact and cost-saving solution on oil and gas platforms.

Water cooling (CACW) offers the best generator efficiency, but it can only be used if there is a separate cold water supply on-site. The new CAWA cooler is designed for demanding applications such as oil and gas platforms, where cooling water is not available or space limitations are a key issue. It integrates an additional water-to-air cooler on top of the generator’s air-to-water heat exchanger, providing an independent closed circuit water cooling system.

This smart space-saving concept offers over 60% weight reduction by replacing the large, less efficient and more expensive air-to-air cooler (CACA) and can be delivered with shorter lead times. At the same time, the CAWA-cooled system will enable higher power levels from standard sized gensets which already fit OEM’s standard turbine skids. The CAWA’s compact frame can also handle the strong winds encountered by offshore platforms, while larger air to air coolers require more rigid support.

The CAWA cooler consists of three sub-systems: the Machine Cooler which cools down the internal air in the generator, the Air Blast Cooler, which has six fans to cool down the water coming from the generator’s Machine Cooler, and the Piping System that circulates the cooling medium (ethylene glycol / water mixture) between the two cooler units.

The cooler comes in two versions, standard for safe areas and premium for ATEX certified Zone 2, ExnA requirements for potentially explosive atmospheres. The separately delivered cooler weighs a maximum of 4,500 kg in total - considerably less than a comparable air-to-air cooler, which typically weighs 7,500 kg and it requires no additional piping. ABB has patent protection pending for the CAWA cooler concept.

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