Voith is investing into the future of small hydro and celebrates two significant milestones in the further development of this sector: Kössler, a subsidiary of the Voith Group, is expanding its location in Sankt Georgen am Steinfeld, Austria, by a new hydropower engineering center and a new production hall for final assembly.
With a celebratory cut of the space, the company has now given the official starting signal for the extension of its premises. At the same time, Voith is making good progress with its new compact turbine StreamDiver, which has been running in trouble-free test operation for exactly one year.
"The investment is a commitment by Voith towards the potential of small Hydro," said Josef Lampl, Managing Director of Kössler, at the ground-breaking ceremony on the company s premises. "We are creating better working conditions for our employees and more space for manufacturing our products and, in doing so, upgrade the entire plant with its existing buildings." The festive event also featured speeches to the Kössler workforce by Dr. Roland Münch, CEO and President of the Management Board of Voith Hydro, Dr. Leopold Heninger, Executive Vice President of Voith Hydro in Sankt Pölten, and Matthias Stadler, the mayor of Sankt Pölten. The completion of the building project is scheduled for the end of 2014. Afterwards, a certain percentage of the workforce will move into the new engineering center. Following the upgrade, the expanded production facilities will have a capacity of about 70 turbines per year - so far the annual output was 40 turbines.
An innovation by Kössler, the compact and particularly eco-friendly StreamDiver has now completed a whole year of trouble-free test operation. Voith celebrated this important milestone together with its project partners VERBUND Hydro Power, as well as EVN Naturkraft GmbH, Wien Energie GmbH and Grenzkraftwerke GmbH at Nußdorf power plant near Vienna. The successful test run has heightened confidence among the project partners that further power plants will soon be fitted with the StreamDiver and assured them that customer interest will continue to grow.
The StreamDiver is a compact turbine-generator unit for small hydro applications with a simple and thus maintenance-friendly design, which is particularly eco-friendly. The innovative product allows harnessing the power of water even in places where this had been impossible in the past for economic reasons or due to nature conservation laws. Apart from enabling the construction of new barriers, the StreamDiver can also be installed in existing weirs, making them suitable for power generation with any inherent interference with the environment being reduced to a minimum. The StreamDiver technology can thus make a sustainable contribution to the further expansion of climate-friendly energy production.
Picture: Putting a Voith StreamDiver into position (Image: Voith)