Viet Hung Vu, of the École de technologie supérieure, developed MODALAR-STAR, a program that allows for identifying and monitoring vibrational properties in large industrial machinery and structures during operation.
One of the challenges for Canadian companies operating machinery in extreme conditions is that it’s hard to know when potential problems could be developing. For smaller, less complicated machines, it’s possible to use numerical models to predict any wear and tear that may be occurring.
It can be costly to shut down massive machines for a maintenance check. MODALAR-STAR analyzes the vibration signal from a machine while it is running and compares it with the optimal vibration that would be expected. This allows the machine to be monitored in operation, saving money and improving performance.
The technology has been used by Hydro Quebec to look for ways of increasing the performance of existing high-power hydro-electrical generators. Tests with MODALAR-STAR suggest that it could help increase power production by 40 per cent in summer and 25 per cent in winter.