At its German research and development centre, the Brunnenmühle in Heidenheim, the Voith technology group
has successfully completed three fully homologous model acceptance tests relating to updating the Ritom pumped storage power plant in Switzerland.
Five- and six-nozzle Pelton turbines and a storage pump were tested, enabling Voith to determine the efficiency, maximum output, ‘runaway speed’ and the hydraulic forces relating to the full-scale machines. The company also controlled the cavitation behaviour at different operating criteria, thereby enabling it to guarantee the parameters established.
Christian Matten, project manager at Voith Hydro, said: “Currently, the engineering of all components for the hydraulic and electric machines is in progress, while components for the turbine housing and the distribution piping are already in production. If everything goes according to schedule, these components will be installed on site in May 2021.”
The four Pelton turbines with a total rated output of 44MW, used in the existing Ritom storage power plant, will be replaced by significantly more powerful machine groups in the new power plant.
Voith will supply two Pelton turbines, each offering a capacity of up to 60MW and with a 60MW storage pump.
The first machine unit will supply power to the Swiss Federal Railways, while the second will feed electricity into the public grid. Voith says that in conjunction with the turbine, the storage pump can provide “control power for rapid grid regulation and stabilisation with maximum flexibility.”
Founded in 1867, the Voith Group is a global technology company that works in the energy, oil and gas, paper, raw materials, transport and automotive sectors It has more than 19,000 employees, sales of 4.3 billion euros and locations in over 60 countries world-wide.