April 18, 2016

Full speed ahead after stressfull lecture days

Report MSc Renewable Energy in Central & Eastern Europe (Class 2015-2017) – Module 4 “Wind & Water”
(by Ralf Roggenbauer)

On the 13th of April 2016 the MSc course went on a special mission to explore Bruck an der Leitha’s small hydro power plant and the town´s first wind farm. Not only the visited locations were special, but also the means to get there. The town had provided electric bicycles for every participant so we could make use of the good weather and cycling paths and to do some sports after sitting in the classroom for the past two days.

First, after a short ride through an English landscape park, we reached the small hydro power plant. It is situated in a private garden alongside the Leitha canal. The Leitha canal is, as the name suggests, an artificial canal of approximately 40 km length parallel to the Leitha river. The Leitha river’s water feeds the canal at a constant 10 m³ per second. The canal was built approximately 100 years ago in order to operate a chain of six small hydro plants that originally provided electricity to local industries. Today five plants remain, feeding their electricity into the regional grid. The last one in the chain is the one in Bruck. Its head is 4 m and it has an installed capacity of 180 kW. There is a propeller turbine and a belt-driven generator installed.

After a short coffee break we continued to bike to the wind farm located on a small ridge to the West of Bruck. In the year 2000 Energiepark Bruck installed its first five Enercon-66 wind turbines. They have an installed capacity of 1,8 MW each. The average windspeed at the site is 7 m/sec, which makes it an excellent location for operating a wind farm. After climbing the tower of one of the turbines we had a stunning view of the surroundings. After discussing some technical questions, we went on to Göttlesbrunn, a quaint village surrounded by vineyards for lunch. After all the cycling and climbing it was well deserved and ended a memorable day out in the field.

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