New development and optimization of the Katamax hydropower process Development of the fluidic functions of the process.

 Project duration: 2009-2011

Merkle Partner Katamax Hydropower Process

The new development of a hydroelectric power plant should fulfill the following functions: 

  • Extraction of electrical energy from small and varying amounts of water. 
  • Vertical pumping of the water to convert the potential energy from the height difference into kinetic energy to generate electricity 
  • Fish compatibility of the process, no risk of injury to living creatures getting into the device 
  • Simplicity and robustness of construction 

To obtain electrical energy from small and varying quantities of water, the principle of an upper-shaft water wheel was improved by extending the vertical conveying section. Since in principle only one point of the circumference of a wheel is vertical, on the one hand only a partial quantity is taken up when the blades are filled, and on the other hand the wheel prematurely loses the water in the blades in the lower half. 

By adding a second axle, the distance over which the water performs work could be considerably extended, thus increasing the effectiveness of energy recovery. This makes it possible to use water volumes and low heads where, for example, the use of turbines was previously uneconomical. 

turbines was uneconomical. The capacity of the plants ranges from 1 to max. 50 KW, with drop heights from 2 m being usable. 

Merkle & Partner was responsible for the fluid mechanical design and the construction of the plant. The test plant was built by Brandt & Büscher, with KHW providing the ideas. 

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Project Type/Project Partner:

Merkle & Partner GbR, 
Brandt & Büscher Industriegummi GmbH, 
KHW-Umweltdienst GmbH


2009 bis 2011

Acronym/Funding Indicator:

KU 2085301SZ8 KATAMAX 

Project sponsor