By 2020, the company will have completed its phased delivery of new control and excitation technology and speed controllers for the power plant's six machines. The new automation technology will ensure the continuous operation and maximum availability of Belgium’s largest pumped storage power plant for at least another two decades.
A particular challenge is that the new automation technology is to be installed during ongoing power plant operations. “In close consultation with the operator ENGIE Electrabel we have arranged to do this by shutting down one machine at a time for a period of about eight weeks and replacing the old technology. The systems are then integrated seamlessly into regular power plant operation. Based on this principle we will replace the existing automation technology, which has now become obsolete, in several phases,” says Jürgen Häckel, Head of Service at Voith Hydro Germany.
With this contract in Belgium, Voith is reaping the benefits of its expertise as a full-line supplier for hydropower plants. As a result, the company was able to offer an automation solution from a single source. Voith has been handling the service and automation for the Belgian pumped storage plant Coo-Trois-Ponts for many years and is very familiar with all the plant components and their functions.
“The new automation technology will ensure that the six machines at the Coo-Trois-Ponts facility can continue to be operated at optimum efficiency with low running and maintenance costs. This will guarantee safe, reliable and economic power plant operation for at least another 20 years,” explains Luc François, Project Manager at power plant operator ENGIE Electrabel.
The Coo-Trois-Ponts pumped storage plant has existed since the 1960s. With a turbine output of 1,164 MW it is one of the most powerful facilities of its kind in Europe.
The Importance of Hydropower
Hydropower is the biggest, oldest and most reliable form of renewable energy generation. Worldwide it makes an indispensable contribution to a stable power supply and thus to economic and social development in industrialized countries and also in regions seeing strong growth. In addition, hydropower contributes significantly to climate-friendly energy production. Since the early days of hydropower exploitation Voith has been a leading supplier of this technology and is constantly developing it further.
Voith (voith.com) sets standards in the markets for energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials, transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 20,000 people, generates €4.3 billion in sales, operates in over 60 countries around the world and is one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe.*
• Excluding the discontinued Group Division Voith Industrial Services; previous-year figures adjusted.