The Orlik hydroelectric power station forms a fundamental part of the Vltava Cascade providing peak load power for the grid and regulating the country’s power system. Commissioned between 1960 and 1961, it is equipped with four fully automatic sets of Kaplan turbines with eight-blade runners, which operate under a head of 70.5 m. The power station is located in the left part of the river at the toe of a 91.5 m high concrete gravity concrete dam that impounds a reservoir with a maximum storage of 720 x 106 m3 of water. The dam, which was built between 1954 and 1961, impounds the largest retention reservoir in the Czech Republic, and, together with the Lipno reservoir, is crucial for the long-term water flow regulation of the Vltava river and the lower course of the Labe river. Its water surface covers an area of 26 km2; it raises the Vltava level for 70 km, the Otava level for 22 km, and the Lužnice level for 7 km from its confluence with the Vltava river. The water is supplied to the units by four steel pipelines, 6250 mm in diameter, that are embedded in the concrete of the dam. The intake is equipped with quick-operating closing valves and emergency stop logs.
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