Hydroelectric power is an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional generating processes. This is particularly true when there is more than enough water, such as in the Westhofen II hydroelectric plant in Schwerte. After water-intensive industries such as mining and steelworks declined in the Ruhr valley, there was water to spare.
Renewable energy using hydroelectric power
For this reason, the operator, Wasserwerke Westfalen, decided in 2009 to convert the local water plant into a hydroelectric power station to generate renewable energy. The plan worked. However, first it had to convert the Westhofen II plant, which was subject to a preservation order. Of the four original historic turbines in the plant, just one remained in the listed machine house as an exhibition piece.
The water is now taken into two Kaplan S pipe turbines with a carrying wheel diameter of 1900 mm. The industrial gear units supplied by SEW-EURODRIVE finally adapt the speed of these turbines to the required synchronous speed of the generator. Since each turbine has a rating of 630 kW, this system is capable of generating sufficient green electricity to power 2000 households. This makes it possible to produce six million kilowatt hours of electrical energy a year using hydroelectric power.
SEW-EURODRIVE's industrial gear unit portfolio ensures operational safety and easy maintenance for us, says Dietmar Böcker from operator Wasserwerke Westfalen.
Two single-stage X series helical gear units were installed. With a rated torque of 109,000 Nm, these were perfectly adapted to the load behavior of the turbines. They have been reliably playing their part in generating green energy for more than four years now.