I&F Engineering has completed the 2.3 MWatt Hydropower plant at L’Ormarins.
Beautiful L’Ormarins is the main estate in the Anthonij Rupert Wyne portfolio, situated in the Franschhoek area. The farm has a combination of both low-lying land and moderate-to-steep slopes. There is an altitude difference of 385m between the lowest (165m) and the highest (580m) points on the farm.
The L’Ormarins hydropower project is built mainly on Cape Nature land with a 450mm pipeline winding down the Hottentots Holland Mountains toward L’Ormarins.
Situated on the the farm – on a specific elevation – is the turbine building with two Pelton turbines in parallel receiving from 35 to 700 l/s water at a head of about 300 m. These turbines combined can generate from 100 kW up to 2000 kW and start up automatically when the level at the small weir rises to the predetermined level.
After the water is released, with no power, it flows to a dam (which operates as an energy bank) where the water can either be used to irrigate by means of gravity, or to fill all the dams on the farm. Alternatively it can be sent back to the stream after generating electrical power again at the lower (87m) head Cross Flow turbine ranging from 30kW to 325kW.
The efficiencies of these turbines range from 86% to 90% depending on the flow.