Hydropower Revolution!

New TUM power plant from Munich in operation!

A new power generation concept from the Technical University of Munich could revolutionize hydropower.

The new building is structurally compact, extremely cheap and has an efficiency of 86%.

It therefore supplies significantly more electricity than conventional power plants. And besides, this approach is supposed to do that solve the biggest problem of hydropower!

The shaft power station!

The first power plants are already in use and alone supply entire communities in Bavaria!

But of course there is a catch!

The new power plant is extremely inconspicuous, quiet and suitable for almost any river bed.
It should also hardly disturb the fish stocks even in sensitive ecosystems.
The new power plants of the Technical University of Munich are therefore also to be used in nature reserves.

Conventional hydroelectric power plants have a major negative impact on the native flora and fauna.
Many species of fish, such as the crucian carp, which were to be found almost everywhere in Germany, are meanwhile on the Red List. This is not solely the fault of the hydroelectric power plants, but they massively disrupt the ecosystems.

Because the fish are sucked into the turbines and often severely injured, sometimes even dismembered.
But even small injuries that appear harmless could greatly reduce fish stocks. Is the skin the fish is injured, e.g. there is a risk of fungal infestation.

The approach taken by the researchers at the Technical University of Munich to reduce these problems is ingenious in itself.

The main problem with conventional systems is, on the one hand, the suction that pulls fish into the turbine, on the other hand, however, that once the fish have arrived at the power plant, they can hardly escape.
It’s like a trap.

However, the force acting here depends on the area.

You know the principle from the tap. It only really has pressure because the exit is quite small and thin.

In other words, if you increase the area, the fish can escape more easily. To achieve that is the power plant hidden deep in the river bed. A large rake keeps debris and small fish from entering the turbine chamber away.

There are also two recesses for fish, which allow the fish to get out of the system and downstream.

The so-called DIVE turbine, which is completely under water, consists of a gearless connection of generator and impeller and is sealed by a maintenance and wear-free seal. By the few moving parts, the unit is particularly low-maintenance.

Because of this property, the turbine concept was awarded the Bavarian environmental prize in 2009!

The world’s first shaft power plant was built on the Loisach near Großweil in Bavaria.

Has the system proven itself and is it actually more environmentally friendly?

The shaft power plant on the Loisach was built in a two-shaft design, i.e. there are two Shaft power plants next to each other! The plant has a head of 2.5 m, a power plant outflow of 22m³/s and a total power of 420 kW.

The system has been in operation since July 2020 and has been supplying and covering the electricity around the clock ever since from big time. The municipality has almost 1450 inhabitants.

But the construction was anything but undisputed!

There, where the power plant was built, is an FFH nature reserve. The Bund Naturschutz and the Landesfischereiverband filed suit immediately after approval of the planning application.

The legal dispute was settled with a compromise in compliance with stricter environmental and fish farming regulations.

However, numerous studies by the Technical University of Munich seem to more than confirm the fish compatibility of the system.
Underwater recordings show a study: The speed in the calculation plane above the water inlet into the Shaft is only 0.3 to 0.5 m/s, which means that young fish with weak swimming can move freely and not can simply be sucked in! Larger ones, on the other hand, are protected by the rake anyway. Better than conventional. so the shaft power plant is always a hydroelectric power plant.

But it is also clear that no power plant at all would of course protect the fish stocks a little more.

However! However, electricity production will never succeed entirely without negative side effects.

Every power generation concept has disadvantages!

The system is very much superior to other power generation concepts, definitely base load capable and much more gentle to the environment than other energy sources.

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