Alpiq in: Switzerland
Alpiq Group

Story: 19.08.2009

New turbine wheels increase efficiency by six percent

Kraftwerk Flumenthal - 1

New turbine wheels increase efficiency by six percent.

Between 2006 and 2009, Alpiq installed modified turbine wheels in the Flumenthal run-of-river power station. This resulted in a six-percent increase in efficiency for the 27 MW plant, with the requisite investment amounting to around 30 million Swiss francs.

Model-based trials had earlier allowed Alpiq Hydro Aare AG, as operator of the Flumenthal run-of-river power station, to investigate how capacity could be increased at the hydropower station near Solothurn. The modernisation programme comprised a general overhaul of the generating groups, the fitting of new turbine shafts and modified turbine wheels and the replacement of the electrical control and regulating plant and the station supply and generator equipment. The work was completed in spring 2009. Since then, the power station has been generating additional capacity of some eight million kWh per year, an increase in efficiency corresponding to the annual average consumption of around 1,800 households.

The three horizontal turbine generator groups were fitted with new turbine wheels with an enlarged flow cross-section and optimised contours. This significantly improved efficiency and water throughput capability, and was completed without the need for any structural alterations to the building.

Alpiq modernised the hydropower station to bring it into line with state-of-the-art technology and made optimal use of the Aare’s gradient for the efficiency improvements. The company invested around 30 million Swiss francs in the improvements. The 27 MW power station generates an average annual output of 146 million kWh.

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