• For the new A 26 motorway near Hamburg, a risk analysis was carried out to determine how to construct a safe high-voltage line that is sufficiently distant from a nearby refinery.

Project description

  • As part of the new construction of the A 26 motorway near Hamburg, the Hamburg Süd-Moorburg high-voltage line will have to be relocated, which means it comes close to a refinery (distance around 60 metres). In order to be able to appropriately assess a potential hazard, PTV Transport Consult carried out a comprehensive risk analysis on behalf of DEGES (Deutsche Einheit Fernstraßenplanungs- und -bau GmbH). (Photo: DEGES).

  • The initial situation
    • The new A 26 motorway from Stade to Hamburg will not only provide an efficient west-east road link, but will also improve access to the port of Hamburg. The first section between Stade and Horneburg opened to traffic in 2008. The planning permission resolution for the section around Hamburg was passed in November 2018. 

  • The challenge
    • In the section between the future motorway junction HH-Hafen (Port of Hamburg) and the Elbe crossing, the A 26 crosses the existing 380/110 kV high-voltage line between Hamburg Süd and Moorburg twice. When travelling west, there is an overhead line tower at the HH-Moorburg junction.

      As the A 26 lanes in this area run on an embankment, it is not possible to drive under the overhead cables due to too small a distance between the lanes. The overhead line will therefore be relocated so that it runs parallel to the A 26 motorway up to the Moorburg power station. As a result, no points of conflict will arise between the A26 and the crossing lines and/or overhead line tower.

      However, the high-voltage line will be closer to the facilities of Holborn Europa Raffinerie GmbH (HER) (approx. 60-metre distance) In the event of fires at the refinery plant, there might be a risk that the stability of pylons or the load-bearing capacity of overhead power lines may be endangered due to the heat and smoke. It is therefore necessary to identify the potential risks involved and whether safety-enhancing measures are required to limit them.

  • Analyses as a basis for decision-making
    • PTV’s experts were commissioned by DEGES to carry out extensive flow simulations by means of CFD calculations. The effects on the overhead power lines and the risks involved could thus be examined using quantitative risk analyses. The following influences were taken into account:

      • Topography and geometric conditions
      • Meteorology (wind force, wind direction)
      • Vegetation (trees)
      • Land use (storage tanks, walls)
      • Release of flammable liquids (formation of pools)
      • Different release sites
      • Construction and material properties of power towers and ropes
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