Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Harnessing steam power

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Harnessing steam power

    I made this image because I like the strong lines of pipes and steam. C&C encouraged, as always.

    This scene is one small area of the Krafla geothermal power station located in the Myvatn region of northern Iceland. It generates electricity by harnessing the power of steam extracted from the volcano of the same name. The two small, round structures connected to shiny pipes in the bottom of the image are covers for the boreholes going beneath the surface. Steam travels up the boreholes and through the pipes to the station, which might be a pumping station (I'm not sure) that pushes the steam through the pipes to the right to a much larger station not included in the photograph. I believe that larger station houses the turbines powered by the steam to generate electricity, but I'm also not absolutely sure about that. There are more than 30 other boreholes throughout the Krafla power station.


    Harnessing steam power
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 20th September 2012 at 03:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    20,025
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Harnessing steam power

    Wonderful clarity and strong tones and good contrast. Just what this image needs.

    Compositionally, I think its compromised by the fact that the pipes are having to compete with other things like the roadway that runs diagonally from near the bottom right and also right through the image from left to right. That pool. outflow pond beside the pipe also competes with it, I feel. Perfection would have been if the pipe was running across a bland, featureless landscape.

    But it's also a very strong documentary image.

  3. #3
    Cantab's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Canada (west coast)
    Posts
    1,275
    Real Name
    Bruce

    Re: Harnessing steam power

    A very striking image.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Harnessing steam power

    Thanks, Bruce. Glad you like it!

    Donald: If you think the characteristics that you mentioned compete in this version with the pipes (you're right of course that they do) you should see the color version. I didn't even keep the color version. If the pipes had been running across a photographer's dream of a bland landscape, I suppose it would be more difficult and expensive to maintain them.

    By the way, there are only 15 people working at the power station during the non-summer months. I happened to speak with one of them when he stopped at a major road about five minutes away. I didn't know at the time that he is only one of 15 people.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    1,732
    Real Name
    Sergio

    Re: Harnessing steam power

    I agree with Donald on the clarity, tones, and contrast. The pipes lead my eye to the building and the steam and the power being harnessed. The other elements do not distract me but I understand how for others it might.

    The image makes me wonder about the engineering know-how that went into designing this geothermal power station.

    Thanks, Mike.

    Serge

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario (mostly)
    Posts
    6,625
    Real Name
    Bobo

    Re: Harnessing steam power

    Quote Originally Posted by Cantab View Post
    A very striking image.
    Will 2nd that.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Harnessing steam power

    Thanks, guys!

    Serge asked about the engineering of the power station. You could Google it but I'll provide a little bit of interesting stuff.

    As a reminder, it's built to take advantage of the volcano. I'm sure the risks of building a power station over a volcano aren't lost on you. Well, during construction of the power station, guess what happened. You guessed right. There were no lava flows that affected the power station but one heck of a lot of stuff was ruined. They persevered and rebuilt, as this is a government-owned company that owns the power plant.

    I photographed a cooling pond, though I didn't know that that is what it is at the time. Pipes take the steam to the cooling pond after the steam has been used. There were two problems. One is that the pipes corroded. The other one is that the steam made the cooling pond so hot that it actually boiled. (This is NOT a small pond.) That became a danger for the employees and especially the tourists. In the U.S., there would be a fence a mile high to prevent tourists from getting scalded by the water despite all the signs. There is no fence around the pond. (The mile-high fence would be affordable in the U.S. to prevent the law suits the courts would allow when the people who ignore the signs sue the power plant. Perhaps I digress.) So, they developed or used (I can't remember) another technology that doesn't require releasing all of the steam into the cooling pond.

    Even so, they are still diverting some of the steam into the cooling pond as evidenced by the pipes that still lead into the pond. My picture shown below was captured when the air temperature was about 35 - 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The steam above the water is a result of the cold air meeting the water which has obviously been heated by the steam introduced into the water.

    I'm not suggesting that this is a great picture, but it does demonstrate how hot the cooling pond was despite the cold air temperature.


    Harnessing steam power
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 21st September 2012 at 01:40 AM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    1,732
    Real Name
    Sergio

    Re: Harnessing steam power

    Amazing and very interesting.

    Mike, thanks for taking the time and effort to explain this. It's appreciated.

    Serge

  9. #9
    Cantab's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Canada (west coast)
    Posts
    1,275
    Real Name
    Bruce

    Re: Harnessing steam power

    Quote Originally Posted by unmerited View Post
    Amazing and very interesting.

    Mike, thanks for taking the time and effort to explain this. It's appreciated.

    Serge
    I agree. Mike, thanks for the interesting explanation.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •