ÉCLUSE DE KAIN, BELGIUM, BOLINA BOOMS
Protecting Écluse De Kain in Belgium with Bolina’s PDB600 booms
In 2018, the lock at Kain, on the river Scheldt near Tournai, Belgium, was completely renovated. Two new shutter weirs were built for the automatic level control of the river Scheldt, where flows above 100m³/s are no exception. The difference in height was also exploited by installing 3 hydropower stations with Archimedes screws from Vandezande.
The Archimedes screws are protected at the water inlet by a metal debris grating or weed screen. However, the amounts of floating debris were so large that manual cleaning of these grids was not an option. Large pieces of floating debris such as branches and even whole trees, combined with smaller branches, twigs, leaves and, of course, plastics completely clogged the grids, causing insufficient flow to the hydropower jacks. Shutting them down and removing all the floating debris with a truck crane was the only option.
Because the inflow from the power stations went through a separate inlet channel, it was impossible to remove the floating debris via the existing shutter weirs. Thanks to Bolina’s PDB600 Permanent Debris Boom at the entrance of this inlet channel, it was possible to remove the floating debris automatically in the direction of the shutter weirs. Black floats were chosen so that the visual impact was minimal. Given the existing defence piles, there was no visual need in respect of the bargees.
To this end, Bolina’s debris boom obviously had to be placed at an angle. However, in view of the straight concrete inflow to the power stations, the 45m long boom was placed against the inlet to the shutter weirs starting from the second defence pile. Of course, the 2 openings between the lock and the other defence piles were closed with screens of 13m and 8m respectively. As the main flow always goes to the power stations – or to the shutter weirs at higher flow rates – the floating debris is from now on automatically removed and the power stations can run optimally.