Schleswig-Holstein / North Germany
Authority: Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt
The locks of the Elbe-Luebeck-Canal were constructed in 1898.
They started operation in 1900 and still are still working well today. A first thorough renovation of some locks has been done in early 2006 leaving the original Hotopp system in function.
Apart from water they do not need any other source of energy.
On August 3, 2016 the Federal Government passed the Bundesverkehrswegeplan BVWP 2030 (federal traffic route plan 2030) . With this it will be feasable to expand the canal and its locks. It would be important to build the new locks according to the climate protection policy of our government by using Hotopp's technology again, operating the locks with water power only.
In those days there was no electric power supply available in the "Herzogtum Lauenburg" county.
Steam engines powering the locks like the ones at the Kiel Canal appeared to be to expensive.
The engineer Hotopp constructed a lock that works with high and low pressure air that is produced by water power.
This high and low pressure air moves the gates and makes the water flow into or out of the basin.
The lock master only has to open or close big air valves.
Here you find an explanation of how it works:
START TOUR HERE
PROMOTION / INTRODUCTION
HIGH PRESSURE PRODUCTION
LOW PRESSURE PRODUCTION
THE 11 PHASES OF A PROCESS graphically (German explanations)
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A NORMAL PROCESS (Text)
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A WATER SAVING PROCESS (Text)
ORIGINAL REPORT 1898 by Hotopp in German
Elbe-Luebeck-Canal at the Donnerschleuse in Neu-Lankau.
Looking north from the old bridge in the direction of Luebeck. Guenter Grass lives 3 miles from here . (c) DDD 1/2000