Friday Focus: Port of Antwerp’s Eco-Innovation


The Port of Antwerp has released a new video demonstrating its environmentally friendly credentials and introducing a hydro-turbine designed to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiencies.

A hydro turbine connects kinetic energy and potential energy of water into mechanical work and is driven by changes in water level.

The Port of Antwerp has long been known for its innovation, particularly in the area of smart technologies and port automation and it is once again at the forefront of technological innovation.

To build the hydro-turbine, the Port of Antwerp used virtual reality to fully understand the water flows in the Kallo lock and this will be the basis for all potential future projects. 

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Matthias Lootens, Product Manager, Port of Antwerp, said: “The Port of Antwerp has long had a policy of sustainability, but in the past few years we have also been concerned with innovation.

“The Hydropower project is a perfect example of this. The port has allocated a budget for a trial project in the Kallo lock – one of seven in the Antwerp port area. 

“A hydro turbine is driven by a difference in water level, so a large lock is an ideal location.

“The idea is to find out if we can generate enough energy to power the operation of the lock. 

“The project is now advanced enough for us to start putting the components together. We used virtual reality to gain a good understanding of the situation.

“This was essential because the water flow is very complex. Now we're looking forward to having the turbine actually running in the next few weeks. After that, we'll see how much power we actually get out of it.

“Once we have that information, we can start new projects for locks with multiple turbines. 

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