NORD gear units pump water at reservoir project

  • September 30, 2014
  • Case Study

September 30, 2014 - Swiss energy supplier Axpo is close to finishing the demanding large-scale “Linthal 2015” construction project: Switzerland’s largest hydroelectric undertaking will increase the overall output of the existing Linth-Limmern power plants from 480 MW to 1,480 MW. A new underground pumping station was created to pump water from the Limmernboden reservoir at an altitude of 1,860 m above sea level into the Muttsee lake about 600 m higher up. This elevation difference will be used to produce hydroelectric power on demand. The heart of the project in particular – the underground center for the new pumped storage hydroelectric power station – required gigantic efforts. At an extreme incline of 45 degrees and a height difference of approximately 180 m, conveyor systems in a sub-station transported 500 t of excavated material per hour, around the clock. On a second conveyor belt, the crushed material was transported up to the gravel plant where it was stored or processed for further use. For a total of three years, these conveyors were driven by NORD industrial gear units and transported approximately one million tons of material. After the completion of the conveying tasks, the NORD industrial gear units were disassembled by plant manufacturer Marti Technik AG, and are now awaiting their next assignment. Ernst Kuster, head of conveyor maintenance at Marti Technik, says: “In compliance with the instruction manual, we changed the oil once, but that was the only maintenance measure we had to take over the course of three years. The NORD gear units performed brilliantly.” The industrial gear units qualified for this massive construction project thanks to the tried-and-tested UNICASE design: this one-piece housing block integrates all bearing seats. UNICASE housings are manufactured on state-of-the-art CNC machines in a single setting. The concept ensures high precision, rigidity, and strength, with no joints between the output side and the gearcase which are subject to radial forces or torque. Moreover, the overlapping bearing offset allows for more compact gearcases and larger roller bearings that allow for a long operating life. Company Background A developer and manufacturer of drive technology, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS employs more than 3,100 people and is one of the world's leading suppliers of full-scale, comprehensive drive solutions. NORD's portfolio ranges from standard drives to customized solutions for demanding application requirements, e.g. based on energy-efficient or explosion-protected drives. Gross sales amounted to EUR 460 mn in the 2013 business year. Founded in 1965, the company has grown to include subsidiaries in 36 countries around the world today. NORD has established an extensive distribution and service network to ensure minimal lead times and provide customer-oriented services wherever needed on short notice. NORD’s wide variety of gear types covers torques from 10 Nm to 242,000 Nm and more. The company also supplies motors with outputs from .12 kW to 200 kW and manufactures frequency inverters. NORD's inverter line-up features conventional models for installation in control cabinets as well as design types for fully integrated drive units in decentralized automation environments.

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