On Saturday of Oct. 21st, 2017, students from the ZJUI civil engineering program went to the Jiangnan Tianchi scenic area to visit and study the Tianhuangping Pumped-storage Power Station with their instructors. The goal was to gain a visualized and deeper understanding of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering. Instructors have lead the students to different companies or scenic spots to do field visits almost every other week. The power station is located in Anji county, Zhejiang Province, which is near the northern slope of Tianmu Mountain. The Tianhuangping Station is regarded as one of the greatest pieces of architecture of this century for its magnificent appearance and superb function. It is the biggest, tallest plant and has the greatest capacity in a single plant among similar electronic stations under construction or already built in our country. It is also the biggest in Asia, and the second biggest in the world. The station hub consists of a high reservoir, a low reservoir, the water transport system, a central operation building and under-ground factory. The second stage of the construction is in development, and planned to be completed in 2024, during which the station is going to be the largest Pumped-storage Power Station in the world.
The students set off at 8:00 from the International Campus and had drove for about 2.5 hours. After travelling up a twisty mountain road, students arrived at the high reservoir which has an altitude of 928 meters. Students had a good look at the exhibition hall, echo stone, maso bamboo grove, etc. It is the echo stone that attracted the most attention. When someone is standing on the white stone in the center he can hear his echo, but the other students cannot. Every student that had a try, including Nora, the international student from Hungary, walked away a surprised expression and a gasp of admiration. The principle of the stone is that has a special structure and it is said that the underneath is hollow. Echo stone is one of the best places for viewing the station, you can see the beauty of not only the reservoir but also the natural scenery.
The guide showed the makeup of the station and the operating principle in detail with a model of the station. The two reservoirs of the station have a fall of approximately 600 meters. The station pumps the water up in the evening to transform electric energy into potential energy and transforms potential energy into electric energy during the day time. As a result, it creates profit by utilizing the different prices of electricity during day and night. Nature also played a role in the construction because the origin places of the reservoirs were depressions. It took 8 years for the huge project to finish, from 1994 to 2002. This is commemorated by eight columns that can be seen along the journey.
The low reservoir was seen in the car during the return trip. The students enjoyed this trip after studying the model in the exhibition hall and seeing the whole appearance of the reservoir. The students took a lot of photographs to remember every moment. All the students agreed that field trips like this, that take the learning out of the classroom, contribute a lot to their study. Everyone was looking forward to these field trips to expand their horizons and enrich their practical knowledge.