Pichlern Run-of-River Power Plant

VERBUND's power plant at Pichlern is a run-of-river plant situated on the river Steyr and in the town of Pichlern in the municipality of Neuzeug in Upper Austria.

The Pichlern power plant was built between 2004 and 2006. The tailrace area of the Pichlern power plant was deepened over a length of 800 metres in order to increase the head to 5.66 metres. Two Kaplan bulb turbines generate an annual average of around 13 GWh of electricity.
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Owner Ennskraftwerke AG
Operator Ennskraftwerke AG
Commissioning 2005
Type Run-of-river power plant
Country Austria
Region Upper Austria
Waters Enns, Steyr
Output 02 MW
Annual output 13,000 MWh
Turbine Kaplan
Connectivity Fish bypass
Environmental protection at VERBUND

Ecology & environmental protection

In the course of the revitalisation and renewal of the power plant in Pichlern, a fish bypass was opened in 2006. The fish bypass consists of a berm-like downstream ramp with tailwater entry point parallel to the turbine current, a vertical slot pass with shallow pass, a natural pass and a feed structure on the upstream side. This design not only created continuity of flow but also important habitats for microorganisms. The fish bypass has a total length of 290 metres and overcomes a height difference of 5.6 metres.

Due to the redefinition of the main parameters for the dimensioning of fish ladders since its construction, the existing ascent aid no longer meets current requirements (“Manual for the construction of fish ladders” published by the Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism in December 2012). During function checks, however, it was demonstrated that a significant proportion of the main species of migratory fish passes through the fish bypass, so a refurbishment will take place by 2027 at the latest.
Responsible treatment of the environment
Turbines and generators: The two identical Kaplan turbines have an expansion power output of 1,322 kW. The three-phase synchronous generators have a nominal output of 1.6 kVA and are coupled to the turbines via spur gear units. The Pichlern power plant operates on a level-controlled basis. It was designed for autonomous operation without on-site monitoring personnel, so that all operating procedures are carried out fully automatically. The power plant is operated remotely as required from the Ternberg power plant.

Transformers: A three-phase block transformer with a nominal output of 3,150 kVA raises the voltage from 690 V to 30 kV. During normal operation, the power plant’s own requirements are covered by the own requirement transformer from the main generators or via a reserve feed from the 30 kV main voltage rail of the grid.

Weir system: A hydraulic unit actuates the gravel gate and opens it when a flow rate of more than 100 m³/s has to be guaranteed. The weir hydraulics are designed with small cross-sections for a high working pressure. The headwater closures of the intake tubes have been designed as gantry dam panels.