The "Dimitrie Leonida" hydroelectric plant

The "Dimitrie Leonida" hydroelectric plant



Neamț County, Romania



The "Dimitrie Leonida" hydroelectric plant is located at the foot of the Botoșanu mountain, at a distance of approximately 15 km from the dam, following the old stream of the Bistrița river. It was put into operation in 1960, becoming the most important objective under the administration of the Bistrița branch.

In a first stage, 4 groups of 27.5 MW were installed, which went into operation in a row between October 1, 1960 and February 2, 1961. The last two groups of 50 MW each went into operation on June 29, 1962, respectively on October 5 of the same year.

As a result of the improvements made and the qualification tests, the power plant was selected for the provision of system services: secondary frequency-power regulation, ensuring the rapid tertiary reserve of active power, ensuring the restoration of the National Energy System in case of extensive breakdowns or total failure of the system.

The plant has produced more than 20 billion MWh in its more than 50 years of existence.


The gallery of the water intake tunnel (4,655 m long, internal Ø of 7 m), crosses the Botoșanu mountain and stretches between the 4 openings of the water intake (which consists of an underground part of 90 m long, an above-ground construction of 70 m that supports the grate cleaning machine and the 46 m deep wet well in which there are flat valves of 6.50 x 9.00 m, sealed upstream) - located 1.5 km upstream of the dam and the hydropower plant located 15 km downstream - on the Bistriței stream (which in this area forms a loop that surrounds Botoșanu mountain).

The tunnel has an inner layer of reinforced concrete and an outer layer of plain concrete, the final 424 m of the tunnel being armored with sheet metal. From the tunnel to the forced pipes, the junction is made by a 60 t metal piece of 14.2 m trouser type, embedded in a concrete massif. The pipes (which lead the water to the turbines) are in number 2, they are embedded in two anchoring masses, they have a diameter of 4.2 - 3.8 m and a drop of 90 m, they have an oblique aerial portion and a horizontal underground one and are visible from the National Road (DN) 15 . The pipe on the right supplies the 4 small turbines and the left one on the 2 large ones. Two butterfly valves (safety and control) are mounted in series on each line of the pipe downstream of the trouser piece.

The balance castle (located on the axis of the tunnel) consists of an - aerial - upper chamber (height 17 m and diaphragm with internal Ø of 33 m) and a shaft (depth of 70 m and internal Ø of 23 m). In order to dissipate the energy, the bottom of the castle has a geometry with side vaults.

Geologically, the water intake is located in an area of black shale, and the rest (the derivation pipeline, the balance castle, the valve house, the forced pipeline and the hydropower plant) in one of marl-clay sediments.

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