Fresh turbine for electricity from Upper Austrian hydropower


A turbine was completely renovated in the VERBUND power plant Abwinden-Asten, so that it can once more supply electricity to companies and households in Upper Austria.

VERBUND, operator of the Danube power plants in Upper Austria, has undertaken a general inspection of one of nine turbines at the Abwinden-Asten power plant. During this, the whole rotor was removed and completely updated at Bilfinger in Linz. After around 11 weeks of work, the rotor arrived at the start of June to be reinstalled in the power plant. In around 6 weeks, the turbine, which is called Sophie, will resume its work and will continue to provide electricity to over 37,000 private households.

In the smallest hydropower plant on the Danube, an entire rotor was removed, repaired and reinstalled in June. It looks spectacular when the gantry crane picks up the rotor hub from the lorry and lifts it to its habitual residing place in the power plant to be reassembled. This is work that requires precision.

"We removed the turbine rotor from February until March 2014, at first the 4 rotor blades (turbine blades) were dismantled, the rotor hub was detached from the shaft and sent to the Bilfinger factory in Linz to be renovated", says VERBUND plant engineer Alois Strobl. In Linz the hub was completely taken apart and the individual parts were inspected and repaired. "All of the sealing surface on the hub was reworked, the bearing lining was renovated and several friction marks were removed. Today the rotor hub and the rotor blades will return to the power plant to be reinstalled. The reinstallation of the rotor hub and the mounting of the rotor blades is work that requires great precision, especially when using the gantry crane and when carrying out the assembly work. In July 2014, the turbines should be in operation once more."

Vital Treatment for Turbine "Sophie"


"Sophie", this is what the turbine at the Abwinden-Asten power plant on the Danube is called, it was named after the saint's day of the 24 April 1979, when it went into operation. This year it had to undergo vital treatment: It has been rotating for around 35 years and since then has already been in use for 256,000 hours. Since going into operation, in its working life, Sophie has already supplied 1.3 million private average households in Upper Austria with constant electricity. That amounts to around 4.6 billion kWh in 35 years. In this way, in comparison to modern coal-fired power stations around 3.7 million tons of CO2 could be reduced.

Starting in July, "Sophie" will once more start generating clean electricity from native hydropower with all her might, for the next decades. Sophie the turbine, generates over 131 million kWh, which means, alone, she can supply over 37,000 private households in Upper Austria with electricity and avoid 106,000 tons of CO2 emissions (in comparison to modern coal-fired power plants).

What "Sophie" can do: Statistics on the Turbine since the

Start of 1979

Per year

Hours of operation

255,933 hours

Operating hours per year

7,300 hours



18 MW


4,06 GWh (4,6 billion kWh)


131,6 Million kWh

Private households

1,316 Million

Private households


CO2 prevention

3,7 Million tons

CO2 prevention

106,000 tons


Weight of the rotor hub

30 tons

Weight of the rotor blades

15 tons per rotor

Weight of 4 rotor blades

60 tons

Total weight of the rotor

90 tons

Inspection Work to Guarantee CO2-Free Electricity Production

VERBUND carries out annual inspections of its 4 power plants on the Danube in Aschach, Ottensheim-Wilhering, Abwinden-Asten and Wallsee-Mitterkirchen. Also to come under scrutiny is the main heart of the electricity generating area- the turbines with the generator- as well as the weir fields and sluices, all in order to be able to continue producing clean electricity from native hydropower without any problems. The winter months from September to March are ideal due to the low water flow.

VERBUND employees work around 9 to 12 working weeks per year on one turbine. VERBUND consults local and regional companies when undertaking this work and is in this way a dependable customer and economic partner as well as employer in Upper Austria. In total, the 4 power plants on the Danube generate an average of around 5.1 billion kWh of electricity from hydropower in Upper Austria, which fulfils the annual needs of around 1.5 million households. In comparison to modern coal-fired power plants, more than 4 million tons of CO2 emissions are avoided per year.


VERBUND press office VERBUND Corporate Communications

Office Corporate Communications

Send email