Barriers in the extreme Nordic climate


Uneven mountains and thick winter ice, made the task of securing the Kilen dam in Øvre Sirdal demanding. With careful planning and engineering, the result was successful.

The Kilen dam is located in Øvre Sirdal, an area that offers many challenges and tough conditions. A regulation of 25 meters with uneven conditions and thick winter ice required new thinking.

Good preparation

Aqua Guardian accepted the challenge and came to the conclusion that a single open barrier would yield the best results. The dam was set to be a year-round solution, and the harsh conditions made this a complicated installation.

– To succeed with the installation and the solution, the project planning required solid groundwork, says CEO of Aqua Guardian, Bent Kristian Hasle.

Quality and strength

When mounting and attaching barriers to a hydroelectric reservoir, several factors must be considered. Installations in a Nordic climate need to function during both flood and extreme weather in the summer months, as well as withstand severe cold, thick ice and snow in the winter. The barrier should have a long service life with minimal maintenance needs. Keywords are quality and strength across all components.

– We studied weather data, hydrological data and third-party traffic patterns, to form the basis for method choice and barrier components. We decided on three ground anchors, twelve moorings, and strategically placed break shackles to avoid unwanted strain during winter.

Close monitoring

– The barrier at Kilen is by far the most complicated installation we have delivered so far. That is why we have chosen to monitor it throughout the winter seasons. Initially through inspection upon freezing, and now through the ice drifting and melting process. So far, the installation has performed as expected and projected, says Hasle.