Mechanical equipment for the new ship lift (Niederfinow)

The new ship lift of Niederfinow is intended to replace the old ship lift which has been in operation since 1934. The new ship lift is designed as a vertical ship lift with weight compensation and a usable chamber length of 115 m, a usable width of 12.5 m, a depth of approx. 4.00 m and a lifting height of 38 m. After completion, it will meet the parameters of the European Waterways Category V.

Using 224 steel cables, the load from the chamber and counterweight (around 20,000 t) is discharged into the chamber trough and thus the subsoil via pulleys on pulley supports and the reinforced concrete pylons and supports below. Due to the counterweight balance of the filled chamber, the four drive units must only exert the force to overcome the friction, the starting forces and low water level differences, since the weight of the filled chamber with and without vessel will always be the same due to the Archimedean principle.

The four drive units of the chamber are designed as rack-and-pinion drives, which are arranged on both chamber sides, approximately at the quarter points. The drive mechanisms including the pinions are located on the chamber, while the rack-and-pinion ladders are permanently connected to the pylons.

In case of an excessive imbalance between the chamber and the counterweight, e.g. by a water loss in the chamber, the drives will no longer be capable of holding the chamber's position. In order to avoid a system overload, the ship lift is fitted with a chamber securing mechanism. It primarily consists of the components inside-thread column (longitudinally slotted inside thread rigidly connected to the reinforced concrete pylons), rotating lock bar (threaded bar moving up and down in the inside-thread column without contact in normal operation), guide structure of the rotating lock bar in the inside-thread column, connection elements between chamber and rotating lock bar, and the drive shaft of the rotating lock bars.

During the upward and downward movement, the chamber is guided transversely and longitudinally. The longitudinal chamber guide leads the chamber in its longitudinal direction and discharges all loads acting longitudinally to the chamber from the chamber into the pylons. In addition, it guides the chamber between the pylons without any restraint and independent from the chamber transverse guide. In the stop positions, the loads resulting from the gap water pressure and the ship movement are discharged via the longitudinal guide. The transverse chamber guide leads the chamber in its transversal direction and discharges all loads acting transversely to the chamber from the chamber into the pylons.

When the chamber stops in the top and bottom position, it is fixed by the chamber holding devices. Their task is to keep load peaks from hydropeaking away from the drive units during the entry or exit of vessels. The gap occurring between the chamber and the lock is closed by means of the gap seal before the gates are opened. Chamber and lock ends are closed by radial gates.

Scope of planning:
- Workshop planning of mechanical engineering
- Execution and workshop planning for chamber drives (rack and pinion gearing, synchronizing shafts, gear units, brakes and couplings), counterweight system, chamber retention units, chamber securing system and chamber guide system)

Project planning
Structural planning
Technical equipment