The Linthal hydroelectric power station is one of the most impressive underground infrastructures in Europe. This is a new underground reversible hydroelectric power station which has a reservoir located upstream at an altitude of 1,860 meters and another downstream at 600 m, the whole has a production capacity of 1,450 megawatts of renewable energy. .
The central part of the complex is a complex system of pipelines and hydroelectric power stations located in the canton of Glarus, in the north-eastern part of Switzerland.
It takes advantage of the height difference between Lake Mutt and Lake Limmern, which has a storage capacity of over 92 million cubic meters.
At 1700 meters above sea level, 600 meters deep inside the mountain, the heart of the megaproject has been built. The four groups of machines with a power of 1000 MW work there. The machine room has dimensions of 150 meters long by 30 meters wide and a maximum height of 53 meters, the transformer room is 130 meters long by 20 meters wide and 25 meters high. The plant connects the two reservoirs via an upstream gallery, two parallel pressurized wells and two downstream galleries.
The water circulates from the upstream reservoir to the downstream reservoir, along the path of four hydrogateurs which transform the potential energy of the massive fall of the water into electrical energy.
Unlike pure accumulator hydropower plants, reversible hydropower plants have an upper reservoir and a lower reservoir. In the electricity generation phase, water passes from the upper tank to the pressurized system. The water drives the turbines and these are the engine-alternator. The generated current is routed to the electrical network. When it leaves the turbines, the water passes into the lower tank.
The energy produced in excess, which is not used by the public distribution network, is transmitted to a booster system which redistributes the water in the opposite direction, from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir, serving as a kind of natural storage battery. of energy.
An effective method for compensating fluctuations in the electricity grid in a more sustainable and economical way.
The system uses General Electric’s high performance variable speed hydrogenerator equipment, which allows it to achieve overall energy efficiency during the build / pump cycle of approximately 80%.
Electricity production from the Linthal hydropower plant is sufficient to power around 1 million homes.