Friday, June 6, 2014

Tour of hydropower plants

On our first full day in Sandane we toured two hydropower plants.
We started our day in Sandane with a short walk along the beach to get breakfast. After that we headed out to Sogn og Fjordane Energi (SFE), a major producer of hydro electric producer.

The two-hour journey to the plant included a bus ride and ferry ride. When we got to the plant we split into two groups. One group started by venturing inside a mountain to visit the Åskåra power plant, while the other group started up the mountain in cars to visit a second, smaller plant.

The Åskåra power station is SFE's largest power plant and produces 600 gigawatt hours annually. This plant has two different turbines, a Pelton and a Francis turbine.

The Pelton wheel is a water impulse turbine. This means it extracts energy from the impulse of moving water, as opposed to water's dead weight like the traditional overshot water wheel. The Francis turbines are the most common water turbine used today. They are primarily used in electricity production.

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The second plant we visited was on top of a mountain instead of inside of it. This plant was much smaller and only produced 15 gigawatt hours annually.

After both groups were together again, we began our way back to our cabins in Sandane and had dinner as a group.

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Tomorrow we go back to Bergen.

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