Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tunsbergdalsvatn Hydro Power Plant, Norway

The man made lake behind the Leirdal farm is named Tunsbergdalsvatn. That lake feeds a small hydropower plant buried deep in the mountains just outside of Guapne. Palmer works for Statkraft, a hydropower company. The Leirdal dam and lake feed one of Statkraft's generators.

Here is an illustration from their website that illustrates how this is set up.

This is lake Tunsbergdalsvatn that feeds the turbine. Covered with ice in mid April. Behind the dam is a small building that houses the values that control the dam, including feeding water down the tunnel that was drilled through the mountain to the turbine.
Lake Tunsbergdalsvatn 

The dam control building
Near sea level there is a larger service tunnel, about 1/4 mile long, that big enough to drive a small truck in. This tunnel leads to a huge cavern they dug out to house the turbine, the generator, and all of the auxiliary systems. We drive the van into this tunnel to the cavern.

Enter the service tunnel

And descend into the tunnel

Which leads us to the generator

This lake feeds one turbine, which drives on generator.

The water hits the turbine at high speed thanks to gravity, After that, it is send down another tunnel where it drains into the fjord below sea level. They do this to prevent the tunnel from freezing which would block the drainage and shut down the generator.

This chamber deep in this mountain used to have a second purpose. It also served as a small NATO bunker at the end of the Cold War, a safe place to put some equipment and staff. Not any more though.

Thank you so much Palmer. It was very interesting and I really enjoyed it.

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