Smooth Transition in Turbine Operation in Nussdorf

8/9/2017Vienna

It has taken exactly five years to run test operations for the new turbine type “StreamDiver” in the power plant at Nussdorf on the Danube Canal. Now, with this exceptionally high service life, which is unusual for a prototype, and promising test results, the engineers are now entering the analysis phase.

Economical in terms of both space and maintenance and ecologically friendly: this is the concept of the compact turbine which was in running operation in the power plant at Nussdorf for a period of five years. According to project manager Stephen Benda at VERBUND, the project executors’ expectations were more than fulfilled. "The turbine has proved itself in long-term continuous operation. Now the old turbine will take its place again and "SteamDiver" will undergo a thorough examination in the service centre." Results gained from this examination will be used for further product development.

Precision Work with Giant Crane

The turbine exchange by means of special crane required delicate handling and patience, because the 13-ton load has to be lifted into the shaft with exact precision. There is minimal manipulation leeway for the crane operators, which is why meticulousness and precision are vital. 

Hydropower Knowhow from Austria: Simple, yet Compact

The principle of construction is simple, yet elaborate: A rigid propeller turbine with the generator directly attached saves space and reduces technological complexity - and, hence, errors and maintenance. The modular construction facilitates integration into existing plants and optimised planning of new hydropower plants. 
 
Next to the reduction of costs, the development of "Steam Diver" also focused on ecological improvements. The bearings are "greased" with river water, which is why the operation of the compact turbine is completely oil-free. There is no need for high-maintenance sealing systems, since the turbine generator string is filled with water. 

Thanks to these advantages, "StreamDiver" will also allow for the economical production of electricity from hydropower at those sites in which only shallow drop heights and low quantities of usable water are available.

At the end of the research project, "StreamDiver" can already boast approx 41,500 running hours and a generation balance of approx. 12.3 Million kilowatt hours, corresponding to the annual consumption of 3,500 households.

Hydropower as Key Technology for Energy Turnaround

If the energy turnaround is to be a success, the expansion of renewable energies cannot be avoided. The optimisation and expansion of hydropower has an important role to play here. With turbines in the calibre of "SteamDiver", it is intended that low gradient sections, residual water and weir power plants will in future make an even greater contribution to the production of electricity from hydropower. According to cautious estimates, the potential of such plants lies at several hundred gigawatt hours in Austria alone and therewith corresponds to the electricity requirement of more than 100,000 households. 

Teamwork in Research

The new turbine type was developed within the framework of a 1.2 Million Euro research development project by Kössler, a subsidiary of technology group Voith, in collaboration with VERBUND, Wien Energie GmbH, EVN and Grenzkraftwerke GmbH. The project was sponsored by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency.
 

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Florian Seidl Florian Seidl

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