Trollhättan: Water, Waterways, Water Power, Power of Water
Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden is an example for harnessing green and clean energy out of water, hydropower. Once a small industrial and manufacturing town, it survives in 21st century out of tourism and offering higher education. It is a picturesque town where nature comes alive in summers with boat tours and cafes opening up. During a summer about 4000 leisure boats passing through Trollhättan.
The local governments in Sweden are banking on its historic and architectural waterworks to attract tourists. One can reach the town and pass through its canals by water from southern Europe. The tourists by boats and yachts criss-cross the town’s canals in summers.
Once the water in this part of south Sweden was an obstacle to shipping and maritime trade but Swedes turned that obstacle to generate hydroelectricity and as a mode of transport. The idyllic atmosphere and accessibility in summers turned the town as primary source of attraction for tourists and leisure seekers.
Trollhättan is worth a visit not only for discerning tourists but also for those in power generation and maintenance of waterways. And there is a ‘canal museum’!
With the mobile phone, one can explore a river called Göta Älv, and on this river there are 12 places of interest and one among them is Trollhättan. The biggest touristic attraction on this waterway is ‘Fallen & Slussarna’ (The Water Falls & Locks) in Trollhättan. The area has attracted tourists and innovators since the 18th century because of the sedative landscape in summers, the magnificent power stations (still in use), old (water) locks, modern canal on the waterways, old industrial settlements, and beautiful natural beauty.
TROLLHÄTTAN’S UNIQUE WATERWAYS:
The 3 water lock terraces in Trollhättan create the idyllic and green park area of Gamle Dal’n where one can find lock segment built from 1800, 1844 and 1916. The 4 locks in use today were inaugurated in 1916 with a difference of 32m in height. The water locks built in 1800s are disused but the latest system is still used by both commercial ships and leisure boats. On these waterways and canals of Trollhättan 90 meter long ships and container ships passed through, and 200 years ago it was wooden boats. The opening of the first locks, in 1800, allowed ships with a freight capacity of 140 tons to pass through. A century later, a modern Vänermax freighter carries up to 4000 tons in regular traffic. These ships are 89 m long, have a beam of 13,4 m and a draught of 5,4 m. Annually over 3,5 million tons of goods are shipped on the canal. The development of new and larger ships has also increased the canal’s capacity. With today’s ships it is possible to double the capacity of the canal without large investment.
The Trollhätte Canal is 82 km long out which 10 km is manmade, the remainder being a natural waterway of the Göta River. Double bottoms in the locks ensure an even distribution of the water for a gentle water movement during filling and draining. 8000-12000 m3 of water is required for each lock operation. Minimum water depth in the main canal is 6.3 m and the threshold depth of the locks is 5.7 m at the lowest water level.
For safety and security reasons, all locks and bridges along the canal is under CCTV surveillance. The opening of bridges and locks are therefore controlled remotely from different stations along the channel in places like Lilla Edet, Trollhättan and Brinkebergskulle.