top of page


For the processing of silk raw materials in Gersau, water has always played a central role as a transport route and energy supplier. It was recognized early on that the two village streams in Gersau are very good and reliable sources of energy. This possibility of using water power was another reason why Josef Augustin Reding settled his silk processing industry in Gersau and not in Schwyz. Thanks to this hydropower, the mechanization of the silk industry was rapidly advanced. In the three silk factories, the water power of the Dorfbach was used for the first time directly with the help of a transmission belt drive for production.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the first high-pressure water turbine with generator was installed in the "Bläui" factory, which supplied three-phase current for the machines until the 1940s. In 1941 Walter Camenzind Senior († 1965) decided to cover the increased energy demand with a new, modern high-pressure Pelton turbine from Bell (Lucerne) and a synchronous motor from BBC (Zurich). This machine still delivers inexpensive three-phase current for silk spinning to this day. Overall, water from the stream has been used for clean energy generation (renewable energy) for over 100 years.

After our old hydropower plant had been in operation for over 60 years, we put our new power plant into operation in March 2010. By renewing the turbine, the generator, the electrics and the pressure line, we have achieved an efficiency increase of 25% compared to the old power plant from 1944. With the new system, we will produce a large part of our total electricity consumption in the spinning mill and thus approx. 100 tons of CO2 per Save year.



The new turbine is a vertical, three-nozzle Pelton turbine from the manufacturer  Wasserkraft Volk AG from Germany . The performance of the system is at a net head of 132m and a maximum water volume of 283kW. This enables us to generate around 900,000 kWh of electrical energy per year. This energy is enough to supply around 170 Swiss households with electricity for one year.



The entire pressure line was relocated in 2009. The reason for this was the large pressure loss (1.5 bar) in the old pressure line (internal diameter 300mm) at full load. The new pressure line has an inside diameter of 400mm and over a length of 530m overcomes a net head of 132m (13.2bar, 191.4psi).



The water for energy generation is taken from the Täufibach (wild brook) at 610m above sea level. The water flows over a modern Tyrolean weir to separate the water from floating material and stones. So that not all of the water is taken from the stream, water always flows back into the natural course of the stream through a small sluice. This ensures that the aquatic animals in the stream always have enough water to live, even in dry weather.

bottom of page