The weir at the river Kinzig in Gengenbach is an old dam which was used to divert water into the canal. This was first mentioned in 1813 in old planning documents. In the past, the canal was used by raftsmen to bypass the weir. In addition, four smaller hydropower plants were operated along the canal.

Due to a former river regulation, the current weir serves as a barrage to avoid riverbed deepening (degradation) and a decline of the groundwater level.



Figure 1: Satellite image of the location of the plant

In the course of the construction of the hydropower plant an additional fish ladder was erected at the weir. The additional pass for fish descending above and below the movable power plant restores the ecological passability for fish and other aquatic organisms..

The amount of water that is diverted into the canal will be reduced from approx. 5 m³/s to approx. 0.5 m³/s. Thus more water remains in the Kinzig which leads to an ecological improvement. The structurally high quality gravel surfaces will again be usable as spawning grounds which supports the re-introduction of salmon. The old canal will be restored to its natural condition and a biotope network will be established by the construction of a river bottom ramp on the former locations of hydropower plants.

For the setting up of the construction site and in order to lower the plant by crane, the old bridge over the canal had to be replaced by a bridge with an increased load-bearing capacity.

The operating company has to renew the armour rock protection that is in parts damaged, the body of the weir has to be renovated and the old flap gates for the control of the water flow in response to water pressure have to be replaced by new flap gates with hydraulic drive.

The construction of the hydropower plant has a positive effect on the environment due to the energy generated from renewable sources and it is possible to supply approx. 800 average households with energy

Reduction of air pollutants compared with the present energy mix per year: 

·       carbon dioxide CO2: 2,700 t

·       carbon monoxide CO: 600 kg

·       sulphur dioxide SO2: 28,375 kg

·       nitrogen oxide NOx: 6,875 kg

·       carbon hydrides: 10,000 kg

·       dust: 2,600 kg


Technical data for  the hydropower plant:

·       double-regulated Kaplan bulb-type turbine with directly coupled permanent magnet-excited synchronous generator

·       head: H netto = 3.2 m

·       design flow: QA  = 20 m³/s

·       turbine speed: n = 142.8 1/min

·       turbine output: P turb.= 547 kW

·       electric power: P electr. = 530 kW

·       annual energy production: E = 2,750 MWh

Ecological minimum flow:

·       pass for ascending fish: Q asc = 600 ltr/s

·       pass for descending fish: Q desc = 400 ltr/s

·       canal: Q canal = 500 ltr/s


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