(19)
(11)EP 3 010 124 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
27.11.2019 Bulletin 2019/48

(21)Application number: 15186389.1

(22)Date of filing:  23.09.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H02K 15/10  (2006.01)
B29C 43/00  (2006.01)
B29C 43/36  (2006.01)
B29L 31/00  (2006.01)
H02K 3/14  (2006.01)
H02K 15/12  (2006.01)
B29C 43/18  (2006.01)
H01B 13/06  (2006.01)
H02K 3/40  (2006.01)

(54)

A METHOD FOR FABRICATION OF A CONDUCTOR BAR

VERFAHREN ZUR HERSTELLUNG EINER STROMSCHIENE

PROCÉDÉ DE FABRICATION D'UNE BARRE CONDUCTRICE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 15.10.2014 EP 14189092

(43)Date of publication of application:
20.04.2016 Bulletin 2016/16

(73)Proprietor: GE Renewable Technologies
38100 Grenoble (FR)

(72)Inventors:
  • Huwyler, Markus
    5630 Muri (CH)
  • Köpfler, Andreas
    79761 Waldshut-Tiengen (DE)

(74)Representative: Brevalex 
95, rue d'Amsterdam
75378 Paris Cedex 8
75378 Paris Cedex 8 (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 774 823
WO-A1-00/33443
JP-A- S63 206 134
US-A- 3 840 416
EP-A2- 1 443 628
WO-A1-00/35791
JP-A- 2001 061 247
US-A1- 2003 141 775
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present disclosure relates to a method for fabrication of a conductor bar.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] The winding conductors of dynamoelectric machines are placed in slots in a laminated magnetic core. When currents flow in the conductors, magnetic fluxes occur across the slots which cause induced voltages and eddy currents in the conductor. Similar fluxes link the end turn portions of the conductor outside the slot, with some additional leakage flux from the rotor and stator, and cause similar induced voltages in the end portions. For this reason, the conductors of large machines are always of stranded construction, being built up of a substantial number of relatively thin strands to minimize the eddy current loss. The fluxes, however, are not uniform but vary radially in density so that the induced strand voltages vary from strand to strand and circulating currents due to these unbalanced voltages flow between the strands causing excessive losses and heating. For this reason, it is necessary to transpose the strands in order to cancel out as far as possible the unbalanced strand voltages to minimize the circulating currents and resultant heating. Conducting bars or conductor bars in this technical field with transposed strands are commonly referred to as Roebel bars. These single conductor bars commonly contain a stack of two or four adjacent strands. Conductor bars have a rectangular cross-section with a smaller or narrower upper side and larger lateral faces. Conductor bars have a length of several metres depending on the electric machine to be applied. The mechanical impact of the transposition of the strands is that the surface structure of the small or narrow side of the conductor bar becomes uneven. This uneven surface of the conductor bar in this fabrication step complicates the wrapping of the main insulation layer and ends up in undefined electrical field strengths. To the end of obtaining a homogeneous surface a putty is applied to the surface of the conductor bar before wrapping the main insulation around the conductor bar. As a tool, to apply the putty, rectangular rods from steel are aligned along the conductor bar with putty. A disadvantage of this fabrication method is that the conductor bar is sharp-edged in the area at which the putty is applied. This makes necessary a further fabrication step of polishing the edges. The polishing step is commonly done manually and does not always result in an even and sufficient quality for an increased high electrical field strength design. Undefined radii and edges enhance the electric field strength undesirably leading to a reduced life time of the respective conductor bar.

    [0003] EP 1443628 A2 describes a Roebel bar for an electric machine with transposed subconductors and an outside insulation. There is a corona protection from angularly formed profiles which cover the edges of the Roebel bar. Further, putty is applied to the bar and stripes above the putty from laminated glass fabric.

    [0004] JPS 63 206 134 A describes a coil conductor formed by filling a transposition filler into the transposition section of a strand, then winding a thermally shrinkable tape on the outside of the strand and thermally molding with a hot press.

    [0005] WO 00/35791 A1 describes an electrically conductive filler with a non-conductive core and a conductive layer.

    [0006] WO 00/33443 A1 describes a filler material for the exterior surface of a high voltage coil with Roebel strands. The filler material comprises an epoxy resin impregnated felt which is wrapped in a low resistance conductive tape.

    [0007] EP 0 774 823 A1 describes a stator winding with Roebel bars surrounded by a main insulation and a semi-conductive material covered by semi-conducting stripes between the winding and the main insulation.

    SUMMARY



    [0008] It is an object of the invention to fabricate a conductor bar for an electric machine which possesses a sufficient life time and to provide a straightforward fabrication method for a conductor bar.

    [0009] This object is solved with the features of a fabrication method according to the independent claim.

    [0010] Further examples of the invention are disclosed in the dependent claims.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0011] Further characteristics and advantages will be more apparent from the description of a preferred but non-exclusive embodiment of the fabrication method, illustrated by way of non-limiting example in the accompanying drawings, in which:
    Fig. 1
    shows a schematic perspective view of a part of a conductor bar according to an example of the invention, with interposed strands, a putty at the narrow sides of the conductor bar, a mica tape covering the putty and small parts of the long side, and a main insulation layer,
    Fig. 2
    shows a part of a mica tape with an applied putty at the mica tape and a release foil covering the putty, whereby a section of the release foil is depicted transparent,
    Fig. 3
    shows a schematic front view of a pressing mould composed of four parts with rounded edges to encompass a conductor bar,
    Fig. 4
    shows a schematic front view of a cross-section of a conductor bar with applied putty and mica tape as well as an additional foil as an example of a fabrication result of the method described,
    Fig. 5
    shows a schematic front view of a pressing mould composed of nine parts with rounded edges to encompass four conductor bars similar to Fig. 3.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS



    [0012] With reference to the figures, these show different views of a conductor bar 2, a mica tape 3 with putty 4 and release foil 6, and a pressing mould 10 for fabricating a conductor bar 2, wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views.

    [0013] Fig. 1 shows a schematic perspective view of a part of a conductor bar 2 for application in an electric machine, especially as a bar to introduce into notches in a stator or a rotor of a dynamo electrical machine. On the left side of Fig. 1 the conductor bar 2 is cut for sake of illustration. The conductor bar 2 comprises two abut layers of stacked strands 23 next to each other. The strands 23 are commonly made from copper and have a rectangular cross-section with defined radii and a single strand insulation. The conductor bar 2 has an elongated nearly rectangular cross-section with a long height and a small or narrow breadth. Visible is a transposition of the strands 23, the strands 23 change position between the two stacks of strands 23 at the bottom and at the top and are transposed in height such that the strands 23 change the level along the length of the conductor bar 2, as can be seen in Fig. 1. The strands 23 in the foreground stack have an orientation upwards and the strands 23 in the background stack have an orientation downwards, regarded from the right to the left. With several transpositions the strand 23 moves from the bottom to the top of the stack at which the strand 23 changes the position to the stack in the background and in turn moves down to the bottom of the stack of strands 23 again. A putty 4 is applied to the two narrow sides 22 on top and at the bottom of the conductor bar 2, as illustrated in Fig. 1 in a schematic way. The putty 4 according to this disclosure can be an electrically conducting putty 4, alternatively the putty can be an electrically non-conducting putty 4, or a semi-conductive material. In an example the putty 4 is a viscous epoxy resin filled with mica powder and conductive additives and has a resistivity between 1kΩ cm2/cm and 50kΩ cm2/cm. Further examples of materials of the putty 4 are silicon or thermoplastics. The putty 4 gets cured and hardened later. As is visible in Fig. 1 the putty 4 is not applied at the longitudinal or long side of the conductor bar 2. However, during fabrication a flow of putty along the longitudinal side can occur. The mica tape 3, which is a conductive tape or a mica paper, is applied at the putty 4 and fully covers the putty 4 at the top and at the bottom of the conductor bar 2. The mica tape 3 is a strip of rectangular shaped material, as can be seen in Fig. 1. The mica tape 3 comprises a support structure. This support structure can comprise fibre fabric, e.g. E-glass, foils, e.g. PET, or a fleece. Optionally, the mica tape 3 can be designed according to the well-known state of the art. As can be seen the mica tape 3 in this finished fabrication step covers the hardened putty 4 and also a part of the long sides, here around three strands 23 at the long sides are covered by the mica tape 3. The whole conductor bar 2 is covered with a layer of a main insulation 25, which is shown in Fig. 1 in a cut view at the right side.

    [0014] Fig. 2 shows a schematic part of the mica tape 3, in an example made from mica. In this perspective the putty 4 is applied onto the mica tape 3. This is the perspective at the side of the conductor bar 2 to which the mica tape 3 with putty 4 is attached. As can be seen the breadth of the strip of putty 4 essentially in the middle of the mica tape 3 is smaller than the breadth of the mica tape 3, with other words the mica tape 3 is broader than the putty 4. The breadth of the strip of putty 4 is essentially identical to the breadth of the conductor bar 2, i.e. the narrow side 22 of the conductor bar 2. The breadth here is commonly the horizontal dimension in the plane of Fig. 2. By the aforementioned it is evident that the mica tape 3 has a bigger breadth than the narrow side 22 of the conductor bar 2 and overlaps over the edges of the narrow side 22 when applied to the conductor bar 2, as visible in Fig. 1. The putty 4 is not hardened when applied to the mica tape 3, thus the putty 4 sticks to the mica tape 4 without further fasteners. On the mica tape 3 and the putty 4 a release foil 6 is attached. The release foil 6 fully covers the putty 4, whereas the release foil 6 can have a smaller breadth than the mica tape 3. The release foil 6 is releasably stuck to the putty 4 without further fasteners. Shown in Fig. 2 is a transparent section 61 for sake of illustrating the structure of the three layers, mica tape 3, putty 4, and release foil 6, shown with dashed lines. The release foil 6 is naturally not transparent necessarily.

    [0015] Fig. 3 shows a schematic front view of a cross-section of a pressing mould 10. The pressing mould 10 consists of four parts, an upper part 15, two middle parts 14, and a bottom part 13. The pressing mould 10 is designed to enclose a conductor bar 2 as described above when the four parts are assembled as shown in Fig. 3. The pressing mould 10 has a length of several metres to house main parts of the conductor bar 2 during the manufacturing steps of the conductor bar 2. The parts 12-17 are assembled by means of a crane or manually. The outer faces of the pressing mould 10 usually have a rectangular shape similar to the cross-section of the conductor bar 2 to be encompassed. The inner faces of the pressing mould 10 are straight along the height, the longer side, to abut against the conductor bar 2 during manufacturing. The inner faces of the smaller side of the pressing mould 10 are rounded, the faces have rounded edges 12 with a defined radius there. With other words the inner faces of the pressing mould 10 to abut the conductor bar 2 have a cross-section of a geometry of a kind of super ellipse, also called Lame oval, with mainly straight lines at the bottom, top, and sides of the cross-section like a rectangular, and bended lines to connect the straight lines. The geometry of the cross-section of the inner faces is thus a modified rectangle with no 90° angle in the contrary to a rectangle. This can be seen in Fig. 3. The rounded edges 12 abut the mica tape 3 during fabrication of the conductor bar 2. The mica tape 3 can be a tape made from mica or an electrically conducting tape. The effect of the rounded edges 12 of the pressing mould 10 and the mica tape 3 overlapping over the putty 4 is that the putty 4 on the mica tape 3 is fixed to the rude conductor bar 2 in a defined manner without sharp edges at the hardened putty 4. After hardening the putty 4 and removing the pressing mould 10 from the conductor bar 2 there is no need for a further fabrication step to milling and cleaning the putty 4. The edges of the finished conductor bar 2 have defined radii which is especially advantageous to avoid locally enhanced electrical field strength at the edges in operation. By the use of the specific pressing mould 10 and the mica tape 3 in the described manner the putty 4 is applied on the spot, the putty 4 with the mica tape 3 below can be fixed to the conductor bar 2 accurately at defined points so the end faces of the putty 4 are precisely defined. In detail the fabrication process has the following steps. The raw conductor bar 2 as shown at the left of Fig. 1 is commonly impregnated and the strands 23 are arranged in a transposed manner as shown and described. The not hardened putty 4 with some viscosity and adhesion power is applied to the mica tape 3 which can be a tape from mica or mica compositions in an example. At the opposed side of the putty 4 a release foil 6 is applied, therefore the putty 4 is sandwiched between the mica tape 3 and the release foil 6, as can be seen in Fig. 2. The mica tape 3 has a bigger breadth than the breadth of the putty 4 along the mica tape 3, this means at the left and at the right of the mica tape 3 there are free spaces not coated with the putty 4. The mica tape 3 has a breadth of approximately 15-30mm broader than the narrow side 22 of the conductor bar 2. The mica tape 3 with putty 4 and release foil 6 can be rolled up to a roll for transport reasons. In the method step of applying the putty 4 to the conductor bar 2 the mica tape 3 is then unrolled. A short time before application of the mica tape 3 to the conductor bar 2 the release foil 6 is removed. This step can be done automatically in a winder machine. The mica tape 3 is applied to the two narrow sides 22 of the conductor bar 2 with the putty 4 directed to the conductor bar 2 and the mica tape 3 more distant from the conductor bar 2 not contacting the conductor bar 2 at the spots at which the putty 4 is applied. The part of the mica tape 3 not coated with putty 4 is applied directly to the conductor bar 2. This is the part at the long side or longitudinal side of the conductor bar 2. The configuration is such that the putty 4 captures the narrow sides 22 of the conductor bar 2 and the mica tape 3 covers the putty 4 at the narrow sides 22 and captures a small part of the larger side of the conductor bar 2, as can be seen in Fig. 1. The application of the putty 4 with the mica tape 3 can be done manually or by means of a machine, a winder. The winder is a machine known in the state of the art comprising rollers to transport the conductor band 3 and supports for the conductor bar 2. An additional foil 8 is wrapped around the whole conductor bar 2 and envelopes the whole conductor bar 2. The additional foil 8 ensures that the pressing mould 10 is not contaminated with putty 4 and wear at the pressing mould 10 is avoided. This is illustrated schematically in Fig. 4. The next fabrication step as an example of the invention is to mount the four parts 13, 14, 15 of the pressing mould 10 around the conductor bar 2. In the assembled state the pressing mould 10 is configured according to Fig. 3, here without the conductor bar 2. The conductor bar 2 is then fixed within the pressing mould 10. In particular the mica tape 3 adjacent to the bare conductor bar 2 abuts the narrow faces at the bottom and at the top, the rounded edges 12, and a small part of the larger sides of the pressing mould 10. As described the putty 4 captures the bare conductor bar 2 at the narrow sides 22 and has no direct contact to the pressing mould 10. In a further fabrication step the conductor bar 2 with the pressing mould 10 is placed into a hot press in which high temperatures of 130°C to 180°C and pressures of several bars, for example 20bar, are applied to the conductor bar 2 with mica tape 3, putty 4, and additional foil 8 for several hours, for example 1.5h to 3h. The additional foil 8 prevents the not hardened putty 4 from moving into the hot press. In the hot press the putty 4 is hardened and the putty 4 and the mica tape 3 are fixed to each other and to the conductor bar 2, respectively. After hardening and fixing the conductor bar 2 and pressing mould 10 are removed from the hot press and the pressing mould 10 is disassembled.

    [0016] The fabrication result is illustrated in a schematic way by a cut front view of the conductor bar 2 of Fig. 4. As can be seen in Fig. 4 the mica tape 3 is attached to the conductor bar 2 at the bottom and the top of the conductor bar 2. The mica tape 3 covers the hardened putty 4 in the area of the narrow sides 22 of the conductor bar 2. The mica tape 3 also covers the edges of the conductor bar 2 and small parts of the side faces next to the edges and remains at the conductor bar 2 after fabrication. As can be seen in Fig. 4 the accurately defined radii of the Conductor bar 2 are shaped to 0.5mm to 3mm, in this example 2.5mm. Further advantages of the inventional method are that electrical field inhomogeneities in the area of the transposition of the strands 23 are avoided. As no further fabrication steps are conducted damages at the strands 23 can be excluded. Another advantage against the state of the art is that the removal of a carrier foil for carrying the putty 4 is not necessary as no carrier foil is applied. The function of the commonly used carrier foil to carry the putty 4 is adopted by the mica tape 3 as described.

    [0017] Fig. 5 shows a schematic front view of a pressing mould 10 composed of nine parts with rounded edges to encompass and fabricate four conductor bars 2 similar to Fig. 3. Hereby, the upper part 15 of the pressing mould 10 has two cavities to enclose the top parts of two conductor bars 2. Three middle parts 14 are arranged to be positioned at the left, in the middle and at the right side of the two conductor bars 2. An intermediate part 17 is arranged to abut the middle parts 14 at the top and at the bottom. At the top and at the bottom the intermediate part 17 has each two cavities to enclose each two conductor bars 2. Similarly, three middle parts 14 are also arranged below the intermediate part 17 to abut the intermediate part 17. The pressing mould 10 is closed at the bottom with the bottom part 13 which abuts the three middle parts 14 and which is shaped symmetrically to the upper part 15 to encompass two conductor bars 2. The inner faces of the pressing mould 10 are shaped to create conductor bars 2 with defined rounded edges 12. As can be seen the pressing mould 10 is suitable for fabricating four conductor bars 2 simultaneously. The examples given refer to a conductor bar 2 as a Roebel bar, further examples are designable, especially a conductor bar 2 as part of a coil.

    [0018] While the invention has been described in detail with reference to exemplary embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes can be made, and equivalents employed, without departing from the scope of the invention. The foregoing description of the preferred embodiments of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed, and modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings or may be acquired from practice of the invention. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to explain the principles of the invention and its practical application to enable one skilled in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto, and their equivalents.

    REFERENCE NUMBERS



    [0019] 
    2
    conductor bar
    3
    mica tape
    4
    putty
    6
    release foil
    8
    additional foil
    10
    pressing mould
    12
    rounded edge
    13
    bottom part
    14
    middle part
    15
    upper part
    17
    intermediate part
    22
    narrow side
    23
    strands
    25
    main insulation
    61
    transparent section



    Claims

    1. Method for fabrication of a conductor bar (2) composed of stacked strands (23) with the following steps, providing a pressing mould (10) with rounded edges (12) at the inner side (22) of the pressing mould (10), applying the pressing mould (10) to the conductor bar (2), applying heat and pressure to the conductor bar (2) by means of the pressing mould (10), and removing the pressing mould (10), characterized in the following steps before applying the pressing mould (10): providing a conductive mica tape (3) comprising a support structure with applied not hardened putty (4) with some viscosity and adhesion power at one side and a release foil (6) at the other side of the putty (4) opposed to the mica tape (3) such that the putty (4) is sandwiched between the mica tape (3) and the release foil (6), removing the release foil (6) before applying the mica tape (3) to the narrow sides (22) and a part of the longitudinal sides of the conductor bar (2), whereas the mica tape (3) has a bigger breadth than the breadth of the putty (4), applying the mica tape (3) around the narrow sides (22) and a part of the longitudinal sides of the conductor bar (2) such that the putty (4) captures the narrow sides (22) of the conductor bar (2).
     
    2. Method according to claim 1, characterized in that before the step of hot pressing in the pressing mould (10) the conductor bar (2) is completely enveloped by an additional foil (8), and removing the additional foil (8) after hot pressing.
     
    3. Method according to claim 1, characterized in that the step of applying the putty (4) with mica tape (3) and release foil (6) is conducted by a winder.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zur Herstellung einer Stromschiene (2), bestehend aus geschichteten Litzen (23), mit den nachstehenden Schritten, Bereitstellen einer Pressform (10) mit abgerundeten Kanten (12) an der Innenseite (22) der Pressform (10), Anwenden der Pressform (10) auf die Stromschiene (2), Anwenden von Hitze und Druck auf die Stromschiene (2) anhand der Pressform (10) und Entfernen der Pressform (10),
    gekennzeichnet durch die nachstehenden Schritte vor Anwenden der Pressform (10): Bereitstellen eines leitenden Mikabands (3), umfassend eine Trägerstruktur mit angewendetem nicht gehärtetem Kitt (4) mit gewisser Viskosität und Adhäsionsfähigkeit an einer Seite und einer Abziehfolie (6) an der anderen Seite des Kitts (4), entgegengesetzt zum Mikaband (3), so dass der Kitt (4) zwischen dem Mikaband (3) und der Abziehfolie (6) zwischengelegt ist, Entfernen der Abziehfolie (6) vor Anwenden des Mikabands (3) auf die schmalen Seiten (22) und einen Teil der Längsseiten der Stromschiene (2), während das Mikaband (3) eine größere Breite aufweist als die Breite des Kitts (4), Anwenden des Mikaband (3) um die schmalen Seiten (22) und einen Teil der Längsseiten der Stromschiene (2) herum, so dass der Kitt (4) die schmalen Seiten (22) der Stromschiene (2) erfasst.
     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass vor dem Schritt des Heißpressens in der Pressform (10) die Stromschiene (2) vollkommen mit einer zusätzlichen Folie (8) eingehüllt wird, und Entfernen der zusätzlichen Folie (8) nach dem Heißpressen.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Schritt des Anwendens des Kitts (4) mit Mikaband (3) und Abziehfolie (6) durch eine Abwickelvorrichtung geleitet wird.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé pour la fabrication d'une barre conductrice (2) composée de torons (23) empilés avec les étapes suivantes, la fourniture d'un moule de pressage (10) ayant des bords arrondis (12) au niveau du côté intérieur (22) du moule de pressage (10), l'application du moule de pressage (10) à la barre conductrice (2), l'application de chaleur et de pression à la barre conductrice (2) à l'aide du moule de pressage (10), et le retrait du moule de pressage (10),
    caractérisé par les étapes suivantes avant application du moule de pressage (10) : la fourniture d'une bande de mica conducteur (3) comprenant une structure de support avec du mastic non durci (4) appliqué ayant une certaine viscosité et une certaine puissance d'adhérence au niveau d'un côté et une feuille de libération (6) au niveau de l'autre côté du mastic (4) à l'opposé de la bande de mica (3) de telle sorte que le mastic (4) est coincé entre la bande de mica (3) et la feuille de libération (6), le retrait de la feuille de libération (6) avant application de la bande de mica (3) aux côtés étroits (22) et à une partie des côtés longitudinaux de la barre conductrice (2), alors que la bande de mica (3) a une largeur plus importante que la largeur du mastic (4), l'application de la bande de mica (3) autour des côtés étroits (22) et d'une partie des côtés longitudinaux de la barre conductrice (2) de telle sorte que le mastic (4) capture les côtés étroits (22) de la barre conductrice (2).
     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que, avant l'étape de pressage à chaud dans le moule de pressage (10), la barre conductrice (2) est complètement enveloppée d'une feuille supplémentaire (8), et par le retrait de la feuille supplémentaire (8) après pressage à chaud.
     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que l'étape d'application du mastic (4) avec une bande de mica (3) et une feuille de libération (6) est menée par un enrouleur.
     




    Drawing


















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description