Language:
Englishen
Language:
Englishen

Power for the Engelberg Monastery

4 June 2017

The history of the small hydroelectric power plant dates back to the 1930s: The monastery had grown, as had the need for power. The uncertainties in Europe meant that other options for self-sufficiency were considered. In July 1939, the monastery chapter decided unanimously to built the power plant. It started operating on November 20, 1941. While the Tagenstal power plant was originally intended primarily for the monastery's own use, it is now one of its key sources of income. With the abundance of water in the summer months at the very least, the power plant has a surplus of electricity, which exceeds the monastery's own consumption and is fed into the public grid. This still amounts to around 2,000 MWh per year. At the time, the water level signaling device supplied by Rittmeyer was remarkable, with its transmitters positioned in the heated device room at the foot of the dam. With the help of an electrically controlled steelyard balance, it measured the water pressure at the bottom on the lake and transmitted the pressure fluctuations (and therefore water level fluctuations) to two recording receivers. When the water was very deep, the valves at the turbine inlets were closed automatically. After decades of operation, Rittmeyer has now replaced all of the control technology with modern systems. "This means that we can ensure our power plant, which is also important to us from an economic perspective, runs reliably," explains Abbot Christian. Furthermore, we can't forget the significance of the new control technology for tourism – having a reliable way to manage the water overflow from the Tätschbach is important for the waterfall in Tagenstal. Since 1910, there has been a restaurant there which attracts many guests with its impressive backdrop. And it will remain this way under all circumstances – the new automation technology also ensures that.