A fast channel for ships to pass through the dam, provided by the largest ship lift in the world.
The Three Gorges ship lift is of the type of rack-and-pinion hoisting, with design ship-type displacement of 3000t, usable ship chamber water size of 120×18×3.5m, total lift weight of 15500t and maximum lift height of 113m.
The ship lift is able to adapt to upstream and downstream navigation water level fluctuations respectively of 30m and 11.8m, as well as downstream water level changing rate of ±0.5m/h. The ship lift ranks first in the world as far as its engineering scale and technological complexity are concerned.
To build this facility, a series of innovations were needed. A new type of partition dike applied upstream was installed with the function of flow blocking in flood seasons and flow overtopping in dry seasons. A new type of large combined gate system with the flap dock gate was installed for ship-passing with significant variations in water levels. And a new type of oversize double-leaf plain gate was used for positioning operation under pressure and pneumatic water sealing, with fixed-points locking in order to adapt to the rapid water level change in downstream.
The trinitarian vertical bearing system of the ship chamber with integrated functions of hoisting, butting lock and accidental locking, as well as the relevant technologies for fabrication of the racks with oversize modulus of 62.667mm and the nut columns with large pitch diameter of 1450mm, were also deployed.
The “column-wall-column” composite structure system satisfies the requirements of heavy load bearing, small deformation and high construction precision. The mechanical coaxial and multi-point torque equalisation adaptive and position synchronous drive control
technology with power generation function can convert potential energy into electrical energy and feed it back into the power grid.
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Changjiang Institute of Survey, Planning, Design and Research (CISPDR)
China Three Gorges Corporation