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Strong foundation for turbine deck at Gersteinwerk power plant

Foundation reinforced with micropiles

The drilling rig was in the basement of the building at clear heights of 2.05 m in places. © Stump-Franki

RWE has replaced a gas turbine including the turbine deck at its Gersteinwerk power plant in Werne, North Rhine-Westphalia. The foundations under the machinery had to be reinforced inf order to reliably transfer the additional loads. Stump-Franki’s Dusseldorf branch was therefore engaged to install 36 micropiles.

The building itself rests on Franki piles. However, due to the situation in the basement, the decision was taken to use composite micropiles with a diameter of 160mm, a support link diameter of 50mm and a drilling depth of up to 18.60m. With clear heights of just 2.05m in places and some extremely confined spaces, the project represented a genuine logistical challenge. The Düsseldorf-based team tackled the problem by using two different kinds of specialist equipment. In areas with limited headroom, they used the HBR202-E compact drilling rig with a short mast. In other areas, they relied on the KR704-2E drilling rig, which features a telescope mast for drilling out longer pile sections and is therefore more efficient. Both rigs feature electric drive systems and can be operated safely inside buildings without producing exhaust gases, which was a key advantage. Stump-Franki Planung also supported the project by providing consultancy, structural engineering and planning services as well as conducting 3D collision checks.

3D modelling prevents collisions

The project to reinforce the foundations for the new turbine platform was subject to strict requirements regarding positional accuracy and the installation length of the piles. It was also vital to avoid any collisions with the piles in the existing foundations, the walls in the construction area and the busbars. With this in mind, the in-house planning team produced a 3D model of the site in advance. This precise preparation paid off: no collisions with existing piles and all drilling positions completed according to plan.

Werne site contributes to the energy transition

Werne is also an important site for RWE. By the end of the year, it will be home to one of the most innovative battery-storage systems in Germany, which will support grid stability despite fluctuating energy feed-in from renewable energy generation. Combined with its other facilities and systems, the power plant in Werne will make a significant contribution to the success of the energy transition.