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WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 02/2018

WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 02/2018

Powering Africa using

Powering Africa using IO-Link As an enabler of high-performance Industry 4.0 concepts IO-Link has become indispensable in tool machine engineering and in production facilities. But hydro power plants as well can be wired quickly and efficiently using IO-Link. At the Mount Coffee dam in Liberia an intelligent IO-Link installation connects dozens of sensors and actuators over long distances. In December 2016, after more than 20 years of interruption the first turbine was started up, and now all four turbines are feeding 22 megawatts each into the power grid. The origins of the Mount Coffee dam, which lies 30 kilometers northeast of the Liberian capital Monrovia, go far back: the former dam was finished in 1966, but was almost totally destroyed during the Liberian civil „Getting a hydroelectric power plant online quicker using intelligent cabling technology“ Author: Wolfgang Zosel, Journalist, Reutlingen, Germany war from 1989 to 2003. When in June 2014 the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) contracted an international consortium of companies to rebuild the dam, extensive parts of the plant had literally turned to grass. Together with other companies, like Balluff, the Austrian firm Andritz Hydro was contracted to rebuild the power plant on the Saint Paul River. Andritz Hydro is one of the largest companies in the market for hydraulic power generation. The responsibilities included the complete hydraulic steel structures consisting of all the electronics, drive technology and control systems. The company refurbished both the ten radial gates on the dam and the four intake gates for the turbines. The radial gates are used to control the water level on the upstream face of the reservoir and are driven by cable winches. The intake gates bring the water to the turbines and block the inflow (shut-off valve) when a fault occurs such as a break in a pressure line. The drive is hydraulic. This includes electric and hydraulic drive units as well as various supporting systems. Balluff assisted in the development of integrated wiring systems. AUTOMATION

Mount-Coffee-Dam At the Mount Coffee dam in Liberia an intelligent IO-Link installation connects dozens of sensors and actuators over long distances WORLD OF INDUSTRIES 2/2018 21

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