Technology group Voith has won an order for the manufacture, supply and commissioning of two StreamDivers for the small hydropower plant Gradiste in Macedonia. The company will also supervise installation and supply the gate valves.
The power plant is set to go into operation early in 2020 and will supply clean power to up to 900 households in the Jegunovce region north of the Macedonian capital Skopje. The plant is one of 12 facilities currently being planned for the river Vardar and intended to increase the hydropower share within Macedonia s total energy mix.
With the two StreamDivers, the Gradiste power plant is being equipped with a compact and simply structured small hydro technology that needs hardly any maintenance. In addition, this is an environmentally friendly type of turbine characterized by oil-free operation and low visual and noise impact.
“The StreamDiver turbine-generator unit is ideal for the new power plant location”, explains Besfort Aliti, owner and managing director of Bart Energy DOO Skopje, the client. “Compared with a conventional vertical Kaplan turbine that would normally have been used, we are gaining significant benefits in respect of delivery time and on-site implementation”. For example, construction time is reduced by 60 percent. Moreover, there are substantial savings in construction costs, due among other things to a reduced concrete requirement.
StreamDiver – electricity generation even at low head
The centerpiece of the StreamDiver technology is the turbine generator unit with a permanent magnet generator built into an oil-free bulb housing that is available in a range of 50 to 800 kW. The strength of this technology lies in its flexibility of use. The unit can be completely submerged, so it can operate independently regardless of any existing structures. It can also be integrated into existing power plants, facilitating economic upgrades and keeping investment costs to a minimum. For example, existing weirs and dams can be utilized for power generation.
Voith estimates the potential of the StreamDiver technology to be around five GW worldwide. The regions with the greatest potential are in North America and Europe, particularly in the north and east of Europe.
Picture: The Gradiste small hydropower plant in Macedonia will be equipped with two StreamDivers with a capacity of around 300 kW each.(Image: Voith)