The hydraulic electricity power station

The building takes its name from the homonym spring and it represents an important phase in the history of the mountain community of Petralia, in fact it tells about a fascinating journey into the production techniques and the natural environment altered by man for productive purposes. The building is the head of the hydroelectric outline of Petralia Sottana. The whole outline consists of four waterfall wirings that are situated along the banks of the Southern Imera. The building has a great engine room where the “processing” and the modification of the original drop of water take place. Although this is a modest size installation compared to current systems that provide power to the nation, it has all the features of a modern hydroelectric complex. The system has preserved all the typical constituent elements of an hydraulic electricity power station. In particular, it has the water intake and accumulation point at an altitude of 1150 m A.S.L. and the pressure pipelines that covers the 160 meters hydraulic jump up to the electrical workshop, whose heart is the engine room. The large living room contains original pieces of great visual impact. There are three groups of turbo-alternators, some electrical panels and many other unique items and all of them are part of the few ones still working in Italy. They are handmade products of the hydraulic motors industry that developed in the early ‘900, when there was a pioneering phase of hydropower. Officine Calzoni and Riva’s turbines, the Siemens and Brown-Boveri’s alternators and the processors were considered very particular for that time. Electrical power was something unknown by local people so that there were not workers and technicians to work on that at first. The electricity was transported to Petralia Sottana at 2000 Volt. It started working in 1908 and it stopped producing in December 1972 because of a flood event. At first, it became an invisible cultural heritage because its cultural, social, scientific and technical value did not enjoy the adequate visibility and fruition. Today the power station is an excellent and rare example of industrial archaeology in the Madonie. It has a great historical, architectural and environmental value in addition to a very important educational function. At the moment, it is being re-evaluated and it is becoming an attractive element for local tourism as well as for scientific world. It is appreciated by the academic world that has studied it during prestigious international conferences about renewable energy.

For further information:
Comune di Petralia Sottana
Tel: 0921.684311

Association Quota Mille
Telefono 389 063 5221
E-mail quotamillemadonie@gmail.com

Association Haliotis
Tel: 3494967912 -3389208845
E-mail: torgeo@alice.it
Web Site: www.haliotis.it

Italian Alpine Club (C.A.I.)
Section of Petralia Sottana
President Vincenzo Macaluso
Tel: 349.5864371
Email: petraliasottana@cai.it

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