At 10:30 on May 24, the first unit of the underground power station of the Three Gorges Project on the Yangtze River, the world’s largest water conservancy project, was officially put into commercial operation. This kind of 700,000 kilowatts of hydroelectric generating units designed and manufactured entirely by our country, each about 8 stories high, is currently the world’s largest hydroelectric generating unit, capable of generating 700,000 kWh per hour, enough for 100,000 households to use. All day long, it is known as the “Chinese core” of the Three Gorges Project.
Director Liu Lewen of the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Bureau of China Three Gorges Corporation proudly stated that all 700,000 kilowatt units of the Three Gorges Underground Power Station have been made domestically, and many components are better than similar foreign products. The world’s first air and evaporative cooling technology has completely independent intellectual property rights. It means the real realization of the goal of localization of giant hydropower units. This is a major leap in hydropower science and technology in the new socialist China, and a gift to the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.
The Three Gorges Project is a century-old dream of the Chinese nation. The design and manufacture of water turbine units as the “heart of the Three Gorges” has attracted the attention of the world. The poor and weak old China was unable to build the Three Gorges Project, and even less able to design and manufacture such huge units. After the founding of New China, my country organized many studies on the Three Gorges unit plan, and finally decided to design and install 32 700,000-kilowatt hydroelectric generating units. This is the world’s giant unit with the largest total installed capacity and the most complicated operating conditions and technical indicators. However, when New China was founded in 1949, my country could only produce small water turbines with a few hundred horsepower. Before the construction of the Three Gorges Project, my country could only produce hydro-turbine generators with a maximum installed capacity of 320,000 kilowatts for use in the Longyangxia Power Station on the Yellow River.
In order to quickly grasp the core technology of major hydropower equipment manufacturing, my country has determined the technology strategy of “introducing, digesting, absorbing, and re-innovating” the Three Gorges generating units. In 1997, 14 units of 700,000 kilowatts on the left bank of the Three Gorges Project were submitted to global bidding and an international “Hydropower Olympic Games” competition with the Three Gorges as a platform was officially launched. French Alstom, Swiss ABB and other foreign manufacturers with advanced hydropower technology successfully won the bid. , The domestic Harbin Electric Plant and Dongfang Electric Plant can only participate in subcontracting; in 2004, 12 sets of 700,000 kilowatt units on the right bank of the Three Gorges Project were tendered and purchased. Harbin Electric and TEPCO, which have mastered core technologies and achieved independent innovation, are on the same stage with international giants. In competition, 8 units were contracted in one fell swoop, and the main mechanical and electrical equipment of the units were made domestically. In 2007, six 700,000-kilowatt units of the Three Gorges Underground Power Plant were bidding, and Dongdian, Harbin Electric and Tianjin Alstom won the bids for 2 units and 6 units each. The units are all manufactured by enterprises in China, which has achieved a major leap. At present, my country is independently developing and manufacturing water turbine units with a unit capacity of 770,000 kilowatts, 800,000 kilowatts, and 1 million kilowatts, which are not available at home and abroad, and will be used in cascade power stations on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.
Jiang Xiaobing, chief engineer of Gezhouba Group Company, who participated in the construction of the Three Gorges Project, told reporters that in the Three Gorges “Hydropower Olympics” competition, my country’s giant hydropower unit design and manufacturing capabilities have leapt to the forefront of the world, and the “Chinese core” on the Yangtze River will be the country. Speed up the development and delivery of more powerful and safer clean power.
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