Powerhouse - Boiler Room

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Here we are in the boiler room. There you can see the number 1, 2, and 3 boilers on the right. (The fourth boiler is off to the right of the shot).


And here are the number 2, 3, and 4 boilers. And a rather large gage in the background. C. Demaine notes that the green cabinet in the background contains some electrical controls that are much more modern than most of the rest of the plant. He says that it may even contain a microprocessor, with which I would agree. Unfortunately, I do not have any more detailed photographs of this cabinet.


The front of the No. 4 boiler. The yellow pipes, are, I believe, natural gas. These boilers were also able to run on oil stored in a gigantic tank outside the powerhouse; I don't know which pipes were used for this, though. C. Demaine says that the yellow pipes do definately appear to carry fuel of some kind, due to the Maxon safety valves on them (which are visible in the previous photo, not this one).


Another closeup of the front of No. 4 boiler.


I guess that's where the fuel goes into the burner.


One can see the complexity of the equipment and conduits necessary to operate this plant. Also, overhead is the coal conveyor apparatus, used before the plant was converted to oil/gas operation.


The window-wall of the boiler room provides a lovely view of Mill D.


There are many instrument panels such as this one on the wall across from the boilers. This one contains several circular chart recorders, and three gages that look like they measured a temperature or pressure reading. Whatever was in those rectangular holes was probably scrapped after the plant closed, but the chart recorders appear to have been vandalized. C. Demaine notes that the missing items are the analog controllers that regulated the boiler airflow, temperature, steam pressure and other such items, based on sensor readings from those systems. He says that they were probably worth a few bucks, which would explain their disappearance.


This chart recorder once monitored the temperature of the flue gasses (those exiting through the smokestack).


This prominent gage appears to have measured the pressure in the main steam line. Rather impressive.


The sides of the boilers have these access hatches, allowing one to view the combustion chambers.

The combustion chamber of the No. 1 boiler. The flame most likely shot out horizontally from the right. That white residue on the back wall seems to be a product of the combustion of natural gas (if anyone knows more about this, please enlighten me). The pipes on the left presumably carried the water to be turned to steam by the flame.


A close-up of the pipes inside the No.1 boiler.


Natural Gas. Boiler Open/Close.


This stairway in the boiler room leads up and up to the third, fourth and fifth floors of the PowerHouse. The boilers fill most of these floors, so the fourth and fifth floor consist almost entirely of boiler and a small catwalk area. The fifth floor contains the smokestacks and smoke handling equipment, and the coal conveyor. We didn't get past the fourth floor on this trip, so there are no photos from the upper level, and not a whole lot from the third and fourth floors.


One interesting item on the third floor is this overhead conduit that goes to Mill D. The yellow thing is presumably a large steam pipe, some of the conduits presumably carry electrical wires, and others perhaps carried process water. I wonder, after the steam in was used in Mill D, whether it was vented, or whether the condensate was returned to the Powerhouse for re-use in a boiler... People have gone into the conduit from the Powerhouse to Mill C, as evidenced by the recent graffiti on the conduit windows, but there is no evidence of people going into this one, which is probably a good thing, given its dilapidated condition.


The third floor catwalk provides a nice view of the entire boiler room.


At the other end of the boiler room, a sign helps you find your way out of the building.


And you get another nice view of Mill D on your way out.

This concludes the virtual tour of the Powerhouse.

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