Energiedienst Holding AG

Laufenburg, Switzerland

Energiedienst Holding AG

Laufenburg, Switzerland
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A large number of compensation measures were specified as part of a two-stage environmental impact assessment. Half of the characteristic rapids of the Rhine should remain intact. A near-natural fish ascent and spawning area was also demanded on the German shore, while on the Swiss side, a fish ascent facility was to be constructed. A temporary rough bypass fish ladder basin was integrated as a fixed element in the plant. Numerous ecological measures were required on the shore of the Rhine, and at the Schloss Beuggen castle. The protection of the groundwater played a key role, as a result of which the new construction was positioned somewhat upstream in the Rhine. Overall, Energiedienst AG completed 65 individual measures to ecologically upgrade the area, and the near-natural flowing water is unique in Europe in terms of its scale.


Since April 2012, fish have been counted at the new Rheinfelden power plant at the fish passage structure and spawning area site on the weir side, as well as on the vertical slot fish pass on the power plant side. Now, the results of the count from the first seven months have been evaluated. The figures are impressive, and far exceed expectations in many respects. Overall, 40 000 fish and 33 species were logged. Salmon was again sighted in the Rhine at Rheinfelden for the first time since the 1950s. During the count, whitefish were also found in this region of the Rhine for the first time. Future counts will show whether the salmon and whitefish will remain permanently.


The upstream banked up water of the new power plant led to a rise in the groundwater level. In the historic Schloss Beuggen castle, and at the company premises of Evonik Rheinfelden and Aluminium Rheinfelden, cellar areas therefore had to be secured. In the castle grounds, the cellars which were at risk were protected by a horizontal sealing layer in the masonry, and with an outer and inner sealant with partial backfill. Various different measures were taken to protect the industrial buildings. These ranged from simply raising the floors through to the installation of a system to lower the groundwater level. Smaller sites on the shore of the Rhine, such as fishing huts, fishing sports facilities and boat landing stages were also secured against groundwater penetration.


One machine was retained and reconditioned when the old power plant was dismantled. It is now the centrepiece of an exhibition pavilion which explains the history of the old power plant. In order to dismantle the old plant, the canal and turbine chambers had to be fished out and emptied. Here, weapons and munitions from the Second World War were also found, and were removed by the weapons disposal service. A temporary dam made it possible to dismantle the old power plant on dry land. All buildings were gutted and the coarse rack was removed. The porterhouse and an energy dissipation bridge were demolished, and the footbridge over the Rhine and finally the machine house were dismantled. Generators and gear mechanisms were dismantled and the turbine chambers broken up.


The machine house stands only two meters above the water level in the headwater, but it is here that the core of the new power plant is housed. Since December 2010, all four machine assemblies have been producing around 600 million kWh/a. This is more than triple the amount produced by the old power plant. The machines now supply renewable energy from hydroelectric power to around 170 000 households. Each machine can be connected either to the German or the Swiss 110 kV grid. The minimum flow machine is connected to the German 20 kV grid. It required great precision to levy the machine parts. Some of the parts are enormous, and weigh up to 130 t. Two gantry cranes provided the flexibility needed during the construction process.


In the concessions for the new power plant, one specification is that the energy generated must be fed in equal measure to the German and Swiss grids. For this reason, energy transmission was provided into Switzerland and Germany. The two grids may not be connected to each other, however. Since all processes are equipped with control and regulation systems, the power plant can be operated fully automatically.


Reif H.,Energiedienst Holding AG
WasserWirtschaft | Year: 2013

Construction work began in the spring of 2003 in Rheinfelden. By the end of the year, the first of two excavation pits had been enclosed with a piling wall. The rock excavation began in 2004. Work on the shell construction for three weir fields followed, as well as for the weir island, which houses the electrical control system and communication technology. A 65-tonne gantry crane was erected, and was used to mount the weir sluice gates. After the dismantling of the first excavation pit enclosure, a piling wall was built for the second excavation pit. In the summer of 2005, the excavation pit was flooded. Even so, the shell for the three other weir fields was completed faster than planned, as was the mounting of the associated weir segments. In 2007, the banked up water was relocated to the new weir, and the old weir could be demolished.


Schwyzer A.,Energiedienst Holding AG
WasserWirtschaft | Year: 2013

The machine house was erected in the third excavation pit with four double regulations Kaplan machines. They are particularly suitable for run-of-river power plants with slight inclines and large water runoffs. In Kaplan machines, the generator and turbine form a single unit which is surrounded by the water flow. A separating pillar between the weir and the machine house also contains a doping machine which supplies the rapids below the power plant with water. For the total of three excavation pits and the 1.8 km long recess in the Rhine, it was necessary to dig out a vast quantity of stone. The excavated material was not least for ecological reasons deposited in the immediate proximity of the construction area, while in part, it was processed directly on site. The energy generated in the power plant is fed to the German and Swiss grids in equal measure.


Fust A.,Energiedienst Holding AG | Reif H.,Energiedienst Holding AG
WasserWirtschaft | Year: 2013

In 1989, Energiedienst AG received new concessions to operate the power station in Rheinfelden for a further 80 years. This was granted on condition that a new hydroelectric power plant with a higher level of electricity production would be built. A100-megawatt run-of-river power plant with four bulb turbines and a dam with seven openings was constructed at a cost of EUR 380 million. Particular attention was paid to the preservation of the natural river landscape. The construction of the new floodgate began in April 2003. In December 2010, all machine assemblies were producing electricity for the first time. Electricity production increased threefold over the old plant, rising from 185 to 600 million kWh per year. A wide range of compensation measures upgrade the area in ecological terms. The centrepiece is a 900 meter long stretch of near-natural flowing water.


The systems for heating, air conditioning and ventilation must be able to process a wide range of influences in order to create suitable ambient conditions for the electrical technology and for staff. The border location of the power plant also demanded particular fire prevention measures, since the laws of both countries had to be taken into account. A special transfer point was built in order to transfersmall boats.

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