Häusern power plant
State-of-the-art technology in a historical building
Häusern pumped-storage power plant is the oldest of the five power plants belonging to Schluchseewerk AG and constitutes the upper level of the three-level Schluchsee Group.
Its four hydroelectric sets can produce an average pump and generator output of 100 megawatts. In generator mode the maximum flow rate is around 86 cubic metres of water per second, while in pump mode the figure is 40 cubic metres. On average, Häusern power plant generates around 120 million kilowatt hours of power annually.
The power plant is fed with water from Schluchsee, which flows along a 6.2-kilometre-long pressure tunnel. A so-called surge tank over 80 metres in height with a diameter of ten metres has been built into the rock to equalise the pressure when the valve is opened and closed.
The water reaches the power plant building via two overground steel pipes, each measuring 260 metres in length. From here, it flows into Schwarza reservoir, which, with its capacity of around 1.3 million cubic metres, simultaneously serves as the upper reservoir for Witznau pumped-storage power plant.
Being able to store electricity in large quantities and generate it within seconds when needed is now more important than ever. The sun and the wind have long been playing their part in generating electricity in Germany and are producing an ever increasing share. Yet these generation sources fluctuate depending on the weather and are unreliable. Pumped-storage power plants come into play when too much electricity overloads the grid or a lack of electricity threatens the supply. They work within seconds, produce zero emissions and generate outputs that rank them among the best of all available storage technologies.
How pumped-storage power plants work
Pumped-storage plants consist of an upper and lower basin. Between them are power plants, which pump water uphill if there is excess electricity and allow it to flow down again through turbines to generate electricity when power is needed. They are precisely tailored to meet the needs of the grid at all times. As such, they help to secure the supply – cleanly, effectively and reliably.
With its five pumped-storage power plants, Schluchseewerk AG is one of Germany’s largest suppliers and leading experts. As a partner to its shareholders, it oversees the safe and reliable operation of all its facilities, thereby helping to stabilise the power grid and playing its part in safeguarding the energy supply for today and tomorrow. Schluchseewerk AG – peak power permanently!
Construction period: 1929 to 1932
Tunnel length: 6.170 kilometres (Schluchsee Schwarza tunnel)
Average drop height: 200 metres
Average output in turbine mode: 100 megawatts
Average output in pump mode: 100 megawatts
Upper reservoir: Schluchsee
Lower reservoir: Schwarza reservoir
Facts and figures:
- When it was built, it significantly raised the bar in terms of what was possible in the field of hydraulics and power plant technology. State-of-the-art pumped-storage technology is now housed within the building’s historical walls.
- With around 120 million kilowatt hours of power generated on average each year, Häusern power plant is capable of supplying approximately 35,000 three-person households with electrical energy for a year.
- With a capacity of around 2.2 million cubic metres of water, the Alb reservoir located 3.3 kilometres away serves as an auxiliary reservoir.