Shaft Construction Technology
For many decades shafts and deep open pit mines have been excavated for various applications such as mine ventilation, access to ore deposits, municipal civil works and defense ordinance testing. Methods in use include drill and blast (the prevalent technology), blind shaft boring, raise bore, and V-mole.
The GPM will utilize proven technology and methods from the open pit mining industry, resulting in lower cost, low risk and high throughput excavation. A detailed GPM construction report, including project schedules and cost estimates, was completed by the expert underground tunneling and construction company Babendererde Engineers of Bad Schwartu, Germany (www.babeng.com). The approach to building a 40MW, 4-hour duration GPM is shown in the figure below. The primary elements of a GPM are the main shaft, single piston, penstock, seal system, piston positioning devices, power house and power equipment.
Hochtief AG, a part of the world’s largest construction company ACS of Spain, has validated the work of Babendererde, including the construction design, schedules and cost estimates and states its su
pport of the GPM as a viable power plant technology.