|Hydro power and modern architecture
Energy production at the rivulet Sarmingbach has a long tradition in Sarmingstein, a small village in the Mühlviertel (district of Perg). The small hydro-power plant Jacobi Sarmingstein was put into operation in September 2005 and it was built at the place of two former plants which go back to the beginning of the 20th century.
Jacobi Sarmingstein offers a very interesting and innovative insight into the different parts of the power plant like the shell of the turbine and electronic facilities. The architects - Architektur- und Designstudio JULAND Barcelona Vienna - equipped the building with big windows and therefore, visitors have the possibility to study the technical functions of the power plant from outsight. This speciality makes the hydro-power plant a popular destination for hikers also.
The efficiency of the new hydro-power plant was optimized by building an additional layer. Therefore, the so called process water (apart from the rest water which flows in the river bed beside the plant) can be lead directly from the first into the second layer. At the former plant the process water had to be led back into the rivulet before passing the second layer. This additional layer makes the system more efficient.
With a final flow rate of 850 liter per second and a height of fall of 100 meter the hydro-power plant yields a power output of 750 kW. The outcome of the annual energy production is approximately 3.7 mill. kWh. This amount of energy is enough to supply 1,000 homes with energy from renewable energy sources per year. In comparison, a conventional gas power plant would emit around 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Another ecological aspect is the very fish friendly method of regulating the flow of water afterwards. In the case of a stronger water flow, for example after heavy rain in summer, the system takes care of the draught of fish. The rest water is led off similar to the normal run-of-river.
In Sarmingstein, for lubricating the machinery with oil only biological oils are used so that any possible pollution of the water is excluded.