All three units at the Verkhnebalkarskaya small hydropower plant in Russia were successfully commissioned at the end of June by technology group Voith, utilising remote assistance due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
All the main equipment for the 10MW plant was supplied by Voith including three horizontal Francis spiral turbines with a pre-turbine gate valve, three synchronous generators with excitation system, and three sets of automatic control systems along with thermal and vibration control. Voith’s scope of supply included installation supervision and the commissioning of the three identical Francis units, which have a unit capacity of 3.34MW each
During the project, great care was taken to preserve the environment. The design provides a completely oil-free operation of the turbines, using electrical drives for the wicket gate actuation and the turbine inlet valves as well as water-lubricated guide bearings to protect the environment and reduce the need for maintenance.
Verkhnebalkarskaya is located at the mountain river Cherek Balkarskiy at an altitude of more than 1000m in Kabardino-Balkaria, a southern region in Russia. The hydropower plant is owned by PAO RusHydro, the largest hydropower plant operator in Russia. With an average annual electricity generation of 60 million kWh, the hydropower plant will contribute to the energy deficit reduction in Russia.