Monday, April 7, 2008

All in a Day's Work: The Boiler Drum

Ahhhhh.... my least favorite place - anywhere. The drum collects the mixture of steam and water that comes frothing up from the waterwall tubes. The steam goes on to a circuit of tubes that gradually heats the steam until it is dry and has a lot of energy in it (1050 deg F) It then goes down to the turbine. We talked about this in the post on the penthouse.

The drum is about 85 feet long and about 3 feet in diameter inside. Regrettably, it isn't all free space. The top 1/2 or maybe even 2/3 is occupied by steel 'cans' that do the actual separating. So you have the bottom 40% or so to crawl through, but it isn't the real bottom of
the drum, but a shell and so you have less and less space to wiggle through. The drum is about 7" thick and has a small hole on each end to wriggle in and out of. Not only does this construction favor skinny people, it favors short skinny people the most. Enough said. You all know I am neither skinny or short.

I used to think I would like to build a submarine, but a couple of trips through the drum on my stomach changed my mind. Here are a few pictures. Enjoy.


Jenny said...

Oh man, that makes my claustrophobia flare up really bad looking at those pictures.

AnnieOfBlueGables said...

And how you come out of that with a smile still on your face is absolutely amazing.
::annie takes deep cleansing breaths::


Mike said...

Wow...That looks pretty cramped! This is so fun to see some pictures of what is happening. I always had some picture in my mind, but this is way cool!

Andrew said...

It looks like industrial steam-punkesque spelunking.