The Port of Antwerp (PoA) is committed to innovation as a key enabler for creating new business value and a future-proof port. The Hydropower project is a good example on how PoA adopts its mission in reality. The project consisted of testing a prototype model of a 3 bladed vertical axe waterturbine mounted in existing infrastructure of the lock at the left bank of the port.
The idea of hydropower started in 2012 with the target to harvest electrical energy from intense water-stream (up tot 8m/s) in the existing water-culverts around the locks. In 2017, the construction of a water-turbine was ordered to De Meyer (Belgium) and Water 2 Energy (Netherlands) after a public tender procedure. By using 3D design, Virtual Reality, Computised Fluid Dynamics and all the knowledge of earlier studies on water-flow in the existing culverts and the behavior on the water household at the harbour, a prototype was developed, constructed and installed in December 2018.
The prototype turbine was then submitted to 2 reference tests combined with a duration test of 235 hours. All the data from these tests are a crucial input for a realistic business case. The initial goal was to reach 100kW but the test proved that the 3-bladed vertical ax turbine has much more potential (150 kW) triggering the consideration of further developing tidal energy in the port. The feasibility of installing up to 5+ hydroturbines on the Kallo and Kieldrecht locks is currently under investigation. Tidal energy can then be integrated with the existing renewable power sources (solar panels and wind turbines) to a smart grid on the left bank of the port.