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Rotor dynamic modeling of hydro power rotors in 3D, Thesis

Företag Vattenfall AB


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Rotor dynamic modeling of hydro power rotors in 3D, Thesis

Power Climate Smarter living – that’s our purpose. We are looking for the brightest students to make this happen. Together you will contribute to a fossil free future. You will have a unique position to contribute to our purpose. All we ask from you is to use your Superpowers and share your energy to help us achieve our goal.

Hydro power have a relatively small impact on the climate and contributes to almost half of Sweden’s electricity production, Vattenfall own and operate roughly 125 large scale hydro power units. From a rotor dynamic standpoint these units are unique in regards of a large rotating mass, low rotational frequency and vertical shaft orientation.

Simulating rotors in 3D have been a problem for a long time, it have been complicated to preformed simulations in conventional software and the results is hard to interpret. The central problem is to identify the rotor eigen modes and separate them from other frequencies found in the simulations. On the other hand there are advantages compared to beam theory. Some examples are the generator which in some cases is not a rigid body, large cross section changes and the supporting structure. Conventional rotor dynamic software have bearing programs to calculate the properties of the plain bearings. Vattenfall and LTU have developed models to represent the function of the bearings which needs to be included in the simulations. The goal of this thesis work is to identify in which cases 3D simulations is advantageous and develop appropriate models and methods to simulate different events.

Expected results

• How to find the rotor dynamic eigenfrequencies using 3D simulations.

• What is an appropriate combination of 3D elements and beam elements.

• For which components is 3D modeling suitable.

• A method to include bearing models.

• How to perform a transient (e.g. unit start up) simulation efficient.


A suitable first step is to use a simplified model to compare conventional rotor dynamic software to FEM and produce campell diagrams. After that the complexity can be increased and study a real unit. For specific questions the test rigs in Vattenfall’s Älvkarleby laboratory can be used.

About the thesis

• This assignment is for 1 student.

• The work is conducted under the RnD program, Hydro Power Machines, a part of the Machinery laboratory department at Vattenfall Research and Development.

Your profile

We are looking for a student to join our journey towards a fossil free future. You are soon to be graduated from your academic studies. You also identify yourself with our principles: active, open, positive and safe.

• Master thesis student focusing on Mechanics and dynamics.

• Master thesis, 30 HP

• Swedish and English.

More information

• Start of assignment: 2022-01-14 or by agreement

• Location: Vattenfall office in Älvkarleby or Solna.

• Application – a combined document with your CV and cover letter, and grades are to be submitted in the application.

• Deadline for application is 2021-12-17.

• Contact person and supervisor at Vattenfall is:
Rolf Gustavsson

072 2065 27 37

Jens Österud

070 306 97 62

Diversity & inclusion – in everything we do

At Vattenfall we build on the fact that diverse teams can outperform homogeneous teams. But we can only unleash and leverage the power of diversity, if we make everybody feel included. Read more about our important work on diversity & inclusion

About Vattenfall

We have been electrifying industries, powering homes and transforming life through innovation and collaboration for more than 100 years. Empowered by our goal, we are determined to enable fossil free living within one generation. To succeed we, as one of Europe’s leading energy companies, must be fossil-free ourselves.

But that’s not enough. That’s why we are looking beyond our own industry, to see where we can really make a difference.

Join us in our journey towards a fossil-free life within one generation.

Want to learn more about what we do? Visit

Since Vattenfall is a part of the Swedish critical infrastructure, many of our services are security classed. If this position is security classed the final candidates might be subjected to a security vetting process, according to the Swedish legislation.


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Rotor dynamic modeling of hydro power rotors in 3D, Thesis

Vattenfall AB