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Amazing uses for scaffolding. Calpine energy turbine repair.

Every now and then, a really cool use for scaffolding comes across my desk, and this is one of those times.  Maybe I’m just genuinely curious as to how stuff works but I thought I’d pass this along.

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This is the top of giant electric turbine at the Calpine Energy, Delta, PA power plant.   The plant is a state-of-the-art, combined cycle, power generating plant powered mainly by natural gas.  The plant consists of 8 electric generators – and these photos are of one of those turbines!  Basically, these gigantic turbines spin around at amazing speed to produce electricity for cities and towns.

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Calpine called Superior Scaffold out to construct support scaffolding around one of the giant Siemens V84.2 turbines so the top could be removed and stored while work was done inside.  As you can see from the photos, just the top of the turbine is enormous.  Once inside the turbine, crews had to pull the entire thing apart to find the problem.  Once that was addressed workers had to reassemble the entire unit – but this time they welded counter weights on the turbine to keep it spinning up to a tolerance factor of 1000th of and inch.

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It always amazes me at the different uses for scaffold – and this is just another in a long list of cool applications.

For a more technical description of how their plant converts energy read this blurb from their website.

The plant works like this:  Steam for the steam turbines is generated in heat recovery steam generators – unfired boilers that get their heat from hot gas exhaust leaving the gas turbines. The combustion turbines, which primarily burn natural gas, can also run on low-sulfur diesel fuel oil. When combined, these two power cycles (the gas turbine and the boiler/steam turbine) create a highly fuel-efficient plant, consuming significantly less fuel than needed by a traditional fossil-fired boiler/steam turbine generator plant.  This conversion spins the turbines which in turn convert steam into electricity for Delta, PA customers.

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