"Floating" SCHEUERLE SPMTs in the Swiss Alps

Between the Limmernboden reservoir and the 630 m higher Lake Mutt, the new Limmern underground pumped storage plant is being developed (Linthal 2015 Project). From here, water from the Limmernsee will be pumped back to the Muttsee and, if required, be used to generate electricity. The new facility will have a pumping capacity and turbine output of 1000 MW respectively. During the construction of the plant, SCHEUERLE SPMTs from the Viktor Baumann GmbH & Co. KG have been used which were transported to the tunnel by means of the the construction cableway. SPMTs “floating” in the Alps, not something that you see everyday.

The Glarnerland topography is characterized by the erosive forces of its rivers and streams along with the glaciers which were formed thousands of years ago. Thanks to the numerous stretches of water, hydropower utilization has been an essential economic factor for the canton over centuries.

The Linth-Limmern AG (KLL) power plant is situated in the southern region of the canton and is one of the most important Swiss high-pressure storage power stations. The current expansion project for the power plant has been christened "Linthal 2015".

With the new underground pumped storage power plant, the output of the KLL installation will increase from currently 480 MW to 1480 MW.

Construction of this mega expansion project is a logistical challenge. Only the Tierfehd installation area at the end of the Glarnerland is accessible by road and rail. From this point onwards, all the required machinery, construction materials and site personnel are transported up the mountain by means of the cableway. From Tierfehd, the so-called "Access Gallery 1" was built in order to reach the caverns inside the mountain. The tunnel was realised with a 160-metre long tunnel boring machine weighing 1,500 t from Aker Wirth.

The 4 km long access tunnel has a diameter of 8 m which allows the transport of heavy construction equipment into the caverns. The tunnel breakthrough took place in the machine aggregate centre.

In order to move the giant tunnel boring machine back to the Tierfehd installation site, a 6-axle SPMT from transportation specialists, Viktor Baumann, was specially brought to the machinery centre by cable car.

The tunnel boring machine was dismantled with help of a lifting frame and the individual components - some weighing up to 85 t - were then loaded onto the self-propelled platform trailer and driven to the cable car loading point. The use of this technologically advanced heavy-duty vehicle, manufactured by SCHEUERLE, was necessary as no other transport vehicle could provide the required manoeuverability in the space-limited tunnels.

SPMTs (Self Propelled Modular Transporters) from the Pfedelbach-based SCHEUERLE Fahrzeugfabrik GmbH facilitates the positioning of even the heaviest of loads with pin-point accuracy thanks to the advanced control technology system likewise developed by SCHEUERLE. At the same time, the electronic multi-mode steering also makes the vehicles extremely flexible and manoeuvrable.

Depending on the situation, individual modules can be coupled together side by side, one behind the other or in a loose coupling mode using a data link on an area of ??600 x 600 metres. In the process, SCHEUERLE control technology guarantees the synchronous control of all transporter modules being used in the particular configuration. The transport combination is controlled by means of a single remote control unit only.

The "Linthal 2015" will provide a valuable contribution in safeguarding the electricity supply for northeast and central Switzerland in the future. For the realization, a construction period of around seven years is expected. The first of four machine groups should start operations at the end of 2015. The completion of the 2 billion Swiss franc project is scheduled for 2016.

Source: Axpo SA,Aker Wirth,
SCHEUERLE Fahrzeugfabrik GmbH


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