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RENEWABLE ENERGY


KEEPINGHYDROELECTRIC PLANTS RUNNING


Brazilian power stations rely on pump know-how from Germany, explains Michael Groth


A


lthough Germany still faces many unsolved problems in


terms of implementing the energy turnaround, it has moved signifi cantly further on in South America. Of all the countries, the developing nation of Brazil is proving itself to be the role model when it comes to renewable energies. Around 75% of the electricity requirement is covered by hydroelectric power there – and according to the energy research institute, Empresa de Pesquisa Energética, a further 34 hydroelectric power stations will be connected to the grid by 2021. Some of these plants are operated with know- how from Germany: Netzsch do Brasil, a company in the Netzsch Group, produces screw pumps for bearing lubrication and hydraulic units for the turbine blades of various plants that are already in existence or still being built. It is, above all, the hydraulic systems that are crucial in terms


34 www.engineerlive.com


territory and the branching rivers are very well suited to energy generation. T ese fundamental factors have resulted in some of the largest hydroelectric power stations in the world now being operated in Brazil. No expense was spared either with the latest plants: for example, the largest Kaplan turbines in the country so far are running at the new Estreito power station


on the Rio Tocantins. T eir rotor alone


German pump engineering has been embraced in Brazil


of the performance of the power stations, because they regulate the speed of the turbines. Brazil’s special geographical features make it seem as if it was made for hydroelectric power. Around 14% of global freshwater reserves are in its


weighs 470 tonnes. Netzsch lubrication systems are being used at Estreito, so as to ensure the turbine support bearings and the guide bearing to the generators run consistently and without any wear or overheating.


HIGH LOAD REQUIRES TWO- PART LUBRICATION In addition to pumps, the systems developed for this also include fi lters, heat exchangers, instruments, control units and pipes and comprise two essential sub-areas: an injection unit and the actual


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