Understanding Hydraulic Elevator Dam

Apr. 09, 2022


The Hydraulic Elevator Dam is a revolutionary type of hydro-technique and the latest supporting pier dam of its kind. It is the world's leading achievement in the field of movable dam technology. It is widely used in irrigation, navigation, and aquaculture, as well as in small hydropower plant and urban river landscape engineering. The hydraulic elevator dam has conquered all the shortcomings of the traditional movable dam, while at the same time has its own distinct advantages. It operates without blocking flood water as the rubber dam clings to the riverbed. It operates in a similar fashion to a flap gate, which automatically drops down for flood discharge or lifts up for holding water, and is as durable as conventional sluices. Gaps in small river management technology have been obliterated since the invention of the hydraulic elevator dam. On the international market, it is the third generation of movable weir products. 



The Hydraulic Elevator Dam is composed of an arc (or straight line) dam surface, hydraulic rods, strut bars, hydraulic cylinders and a hydraulic pump station. It adopts the dump-truck mechanics theory, combined with a buttress dam hydraulic structure, and has dual functions of retaining water and discharging water. Hydraulic cylinders stand erectly at the back of the dam and control the pulley movement of sliding strut bars. These cylinders are used for lifting the dam for blocking water, or for lowering the dam in the case of a flood discharge. An inhibiting device controls the pulley movement of sliding strut bars, which is used to support the pier dam's fixed and movable exchange. A buoy switch is used to control the operations of the hydraulic system. The automated system allows for the lifting and the lowering of the dam according to flood fluctuation, and as such, may be left unsupervised.  

Understanding Hydraulic Elevator Dam

Hydraulic Elevator Dam


1. Low Cost

Simple and short-period of construction, less embedded devices, control equipment and concrete work. Therefore, the overall cost is much less than the same specifications for conventional gates and rubber dams. 

2. Wide Range of Applicability 

The height can be over 10 meters, while the width is limitless (tailored to specific needs). It is adaptable to any geological conditions in riverbeds and can be built on the top of an arch dam. It is not affected by sediment deposition and floating debris. The dam release is very quick and has a high-flood carrying capacity. It may be operating using a diesel engine; therefore it is suitable for use in rural areas where electricity is sometimes unavailable. 

3. Solid and Reliable Structure

The dam has a scientific mechanical structure. The height may be randomly adjusted. It has a two-way water retention ability. 

4. High-Flood Carrying Capacity 

No support piers or any other water-blocking objects are required to be set up. It is only twenty centimeters (20 cm) high when it is fully put down, and neither affects flood control nor navigation. Flood water, blasting, and platoon floaters all cannot affect the dam. It also has very strong flood water resistance ability.

5. Superior Hydraulic Condition

The original riverbed level is maintained when this type of dam is dropped down. It is especially applicable to the rivers with a lot of sand, stones, and debris, which are not usually suited for building rubber dams. It also can be constructed in cold regions, since ice will not affect the dam's surface.  

6. Simple operation 

The hydraulic system operates easily and requires much less time to lift and drop the dam compared to other types of dams. Therefore, it is suitable for hilly areas where there are sharp fluctuations in flood conditions. 

7. Low Maintenance Fees and Long Service Life

This type of dam does not require stationed management. When the water level reaches the buoy control, it is automatically put down. Therefore, the maintenance management cost is very low. Components are durable and may be replaced easily and cheaply. Service life is at least fifty (50) years. 

8. Beautiful Dam- Shape and Man-Made Waterfalls

The dam surface may have different colors and designs. The height of the dam may be adjusted for demonstrations. The upstream water forms large waterfalls and water promenades for visitors.

The above characteristics make the hydraulic elevator (lift) dam a comprehensive alternative to rubber dams, shutter dams, and is more practical than the majority of sluice dams. Compared with traditional dams, it is more economical, convenient, safe, reliable, and practical, has a fully automated system, and is the world's best movable dam. 


Sector height ( H) : 1.5m, 2m, 2.5m, 3m, 3.5m, 4m, 4.5m, 5m, 5.5m, 6m.

Sector width (W): 6m standard for each sector, other width is custom ordered. 


Currently, the most utilized movable dam in the world is the rubber dam. The rubber dam is not only costly but is also lacking in security and reliability and has a short service life. The hydraulic elevator dam completely achieves and surpasses the effects of the rubber dam. It may overcome the safety, reliability and durability challenges which are associated with the rubber dam. The cost is also greatly reduced and the service life is five times more than that of the rubber dam. 

The flap gate may encounter many problems. The most important of them include the following. Firstly, there is the problem of water resistance. Flap gate cannot withstand the impact of very large floods. Secondly, it is its susceptibility to floating debris or upstream sedimentation. It also cannot automatically move the shutters to influence the flood control. Thirdly, the upstream river cannot clean up floating debris, hence resulting in dirty rivers which in turn affect the environment. Fourthly, after a flood, the shutters close, but when sand and stone are stuck at the bottom, this may cause a lot of water leakage. The biggest advantage of the hydraulic elevator dam is its ability to efficiently handle big floods. 

Given the same specifications, investment in the sluice dam is several times more than that of the hydraulic elevator dam. Each door panel of the hydraulic elevator dam uses four-point supports. It has a scientific mechanical structure, has a strong ability to resist floods, is highly reliable, and its overflow is higher when there is the formation of spectacular waterfalls. The sluice dam only depends on both sides of the hydraulic cylinder for support, the mechanical structure is unscientific, and it cannot withstand the impact of large floods. It is also not very reliable and has a low overflow. The sluice dam evidently is not beautiful as a curved hydraulic lift dam. 

Dam typeCostService lifeDischarge floodReliabilityAutomationMaintenance
Conventional gateExpensive50 yearsAverageGoodNoComplex
Rubber damCheap5~15yearsHighAverageNoComplex
Flap gate damCheapest20 yearsLowLowLowEasy
Hydraulic elevator damCheaper50 yearsSuperiorSuperiorHighEasier


1. A row of vertical hydraulic cylinders from top to bottom of the hinge axis at the back of the dam is used for the dropping and lifting of the dam. 

2. A row of sliding rods is used at the back of the movable dam to provide stable support to the pier dam.  

3. Small hydraulic cylinders are used to drive the position limiting mechanisms, block( or release) the pulley movement of the lower sliding strut bars, and support the pier dam's fixed and movable exchange. Hence, in order to achieve a fixed level of water, the movable dam is lowered. 

4. A buoy switch is used to control the operations of the hydraulic system. The automated system allows for the lifting and the lowering of the dam according to flood fluctuation, and as such, may be left unsupervised. It may also be operated by a computer through remote control, resulting in a controlled manifold.

Understanding Hydraulic Elevator Dam

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