My last entry showed just a few moments of two days, where I had the opportunity to take photographs of two power stations. Both of them are combined-cycle power stations. They basically use the hot exhausts of a gas turbine, feed it into a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), which produces steam. That steam then can either be used to produce electricity, or you can use the steam for something else – like paper production, long distance heating or other technical processes that use or need steam. The gas turbine itself can also be used, alongside producing hot exhausts, to produce electricity. Well, I hope I got that technical bit right, if anyone would like to read more – here’s a link to Wikipedia: HRSG. It was really, really interesting to learn about how these power stations work and to be able to go inside and have a look at stuff you don’t usually get to see.

This is how the first one looks from the outside – actually really nice looking, not what I expected when I thought of power stations.

We started off right at the top, high up the chimney (well, almost at the top). The view was amazing, which was a good thing, as I am a bit afraid of heights, and concentrating on the magnificent view and on taking photos distracted me from thoughts about falling down…

Quite comfortable ascent – stairs!

The platform and the chimney seen from the roof.

Luckily I didn’t need to go up the last part to the real top of the chimney, I would have had to use the ladder, no stairs up there…

The inside had a few surprises for me, one of them being that it gets very warm inside (well, kind of obvious). On the highest floor the temperature is around 60°C. Stay for while, and you can cancel your next sauna session! Talking of floors – you won’t find first or second or third floor, have a look at this:

The height is marked in meters rather than floor numbers. So the ninth floor would be 34,75m, like you can see here:

Another thing that surprised me at 34,75m – this:

That’s a water level indicator – beautiful light!

Here a few impressions how the whole thing looked inside:

That was a tricky one, and it didn’t really work out, but you can still see the fire inside the boiler:

A few details I really liked:


 And this was the second power station:

This power station was larger than the first one, here is a view on the two gas turbines that produce the heat.

Here how it looks from the ground, the cars give some reference size-wise.

On the roof:

Another one with one of the chimneys:

Pipes, pipes, pipes…

Couldn’t resist taking a few photos of this chimney (not part of that power station, but very close by):

And finally – the control room (well, the two pictures I liked the most of the control room). Of course there’s a modern, computer controlled room, but a few bits and pieces were still the old ones, and I liked those far more than the large screens.

And finally – me just climbing down from one of the turbines (a bit stretched and distorted, thanks wide-angle lens! Credits to Salti for this picture):

So long, hope you enjoyed my little power entry!

…and a big thank you to Salti for this opportunity!

79 thoughts on “Power

  1. Wahnsinn – die Bilder sind fantastisch! Wirklich sehr beeindruckend. So “schön” kann ein Kraftwerk sein.

  2. Wait…the elevator floors are written in meters?? Who does that??! (These guys I guess…)

    Very interesting post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  3. Looks like a brand new plant !! I work in the US at a very old power plant. Our #1 unit is retired now, but it was built in 1950. Units 2 & 3 can only put out 30 megawatts. Unit 4 can go up to 70. Our unit 5 can go to 335. I love working here. And the combined cycle plants intrigue me!!

    1. Yes, both plants are very new. I guess the plant you are working in also would make for interesting pictures! What kind of power plant are you working in?

  4. I really enjoyed our little journey through the power station. I’m almost finished my next blog about how the United States needs to step up to the Geothermal power production platform. I live in the Pacific Northwest where these kind of power stations could be built in numerous locations. They are needed and they are needed now.

    In fact I just back from taking photo’s of The Mount Baker Rim and mountain itself for my blog.

    To whom it may concern,
    I’m gonna try and have it up in a day or two!
    Thanks for the trip,

    1. Both of them are really new, so they still were very clean, yes! And yes, I was scared, but I had to go up, so… All fine in the end! I guess next time might be easier!

  5. I work in a power plant and the “power generation nerd” in me really enjoyed your photos!! So glad to see them on “Freshly Pressed”.

  6. I have never seen floors like that…I love the pictures of the water meter though. It was a lovely light :).

    1. Thanks so much!
      Yes, I also liked the chimney, and the guys found that quite funny, they said “outsiders” mostly like the chimneys…. But you don’t get the chance to be that close to high chimneys so often, so of course they fascinate me – and you obviously!

  7. What interesting industrial photographs! I always find this stuff amazing – the inside working of places we would never visit without someone like yourself providing this for us. Nice blog! Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  8. Beautiful photos. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    Since I am an aerospace engineer specializing in gas turbines and aircraft engines, I just thought I will correct some of the text and assumptions you have written here. Gas turbines burn fuel (natural gas, petrol, etc.) to produce electricity (or in the case of airplanes to generate thrust to move the plane forward). They do this at about max 40% efficiency, which means 60% of the energy of the fuel is wasted as heat. The steam turbine is added onto a gas turbine as a secondary means. It increases the efficiency of the power plant to a total of 60% by using the waste heat from the gas turbine to heat water, which runs the steam turbine and produces even more electricity.

    So, my main point is that in a power plant the gas turbine is the primary electricity producing machine, not the steam turbine. The gas turbine is not used to produce heat. That is just a by-product, which the steam turbine ends up using.

    I hope that clarified things a bit.

    1. Thanks for clarifiying! I did two days of shooting and at the same time tried to process and remember all the information that was fed to me, so yes, my explanation might be a bit unprecise…

      I will edit the text a bit (have to go through all the lovely comments first) along your lines…

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