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The Power Station

 

The power station is situated at the end of the head-race canal at Ardnacrusha. It consists of an intake sluice house, penstocks, generating building, waste channel and navigation locks. Immediately above the power station complex the head race canal is widened out into a forebay to reduce the velocity of the water.
Excavation work for foundations of intake sluice house
Excavation work for foundations of intake sluice house

The intake sluice house is a massive structure containing some 600,000 cubic metres of concrete. It forms a barrier across the head-race and regulates the flow of water through the penstocks.

Intake sluice house and excavation pit for power house
Intake sluice house and excavation pit for power house

The intakes to the penstocks are controlled by electrically operated sluice gates which can be closed in thirty seconds if necessary. Screens are placed in front of the sluice gates to prevent the entry of debris into the penstocks. The penstocks are used to convey water to the turbines. They are 41 metres long, 6 metres in diameter, and have a slope of 31 degrees. Each penstock delivers approximately 100 tonnes of water per second.
The penstocks in position at the sluice house
The penstocks in position at the sluice house
At their bottom the penstocks are bent horizontally and then tapered gradually to connect to the spiral casings which supply water to the turbine rotor. Initially three penstocks were installed, with a fourth added in 1933 when an extra turbine was commissioned.
Assembly work on the spiral casings
Assembly work on the spiral casings
The power house is a steel-framed building, the foundations of which lie 98 feet below the intake house. Due to the enormous weight of the machinery installed in the power house, particular care had to be taken in its design and construction.
Excavation work for foundations of power house
Excavation work for foundations of power house
During the excavation work on the site of the intake house and power station, some 200,000 cubic metres of earth and 150,000 cubic metres of rock had to be removed.
The Power House
The Power House
 
Interior of Powe House
Interior of Power House