<<< Previous Page

Week 12

Next Page >>>

23rd - 24th April 2004


More madness at the Hick's third gig...
I do believe that's Elea's hands stuffing something down Gentle Ben's trousers!!!


Let's go to Millmerran!!!
The geezer I met in Coffs Harbour, Wayne, works out at the coal fired power station in Millmerran... a sleepy town with about 2,000 people in the whole 'Shire'...  Nothing there apart from this power station and lot of fields growing cotton...  It's very flat and quite barren.  Wayne said about coming over to see the power station and the turbines that were opened up for maintenance...  (not everyone's cup of tea, but I used to design mini versions of these kiddies, so I find them quite exciting!!!)


Brisbane's Story Bridge... basically a crap attempt at Sydney's Harbour Bridge...


Millmerran is a 3 hour drive west from Brisbane, through Toowoomba and beyond...


The power station looms...

When I got to the site, Wayne had to go through all the usual heath and safety shit that you'd expect to find at such a place...  I go a lovely hard hat to wear, so goggles and also got a chance to use my lovely ear-plugs...  The whole site, even in the office has a background low rumble sound that comes from the combustion process in the furnaces...  it's quite spooky!
The power station has two boilers... one of which was shut down for loads of maintenance, repairs and upgrades...  This means there's a lot of people on site looking really busy to get the thing back up and running ASAP...
I was just following Wayne round the site for an hour or two as he had to go off and inspect loads of stuff, usually inside holes/pipes/etc... so he was having sign in and out on forms all day... a wise safety thing, so that they don't close up one of the pipes and turn the furnace back on!


Wayne climbing his ladder to go and crawl around in another pipe...  This was at the top of the air cooled condenser... a thing that replaces the cooling towers that you usually see at power stations like these...  These condensers are just big car radiators and waste no water, whereas the cooling towers use zillions of gallons...  and there ain't no water to waste out here!!!


Lots of spiders and insect live up here... not sure that this spider is... but it's probably deadly...


Looking back along one of the banks of the condenser radiators...  it gets up to about 60C standing here when the thing is working!!!


Here's the fans that push the air up through the condensers... they're rather large!!! a few meters in diameter!


And from underneath... You almost get the scale of these things from these shots... but not quite... they're bigger than they look!


Oooh, a turbine!!!  One of three stages... but I can't remember the name of it...  It was quite large!!!
It was out of it's casing for maintenance...
The first stage of blades was really badly pitted from particulates that get in the steam.
Note the wonderful method of balancing these kiddies...  Exactly the same as the way we do it back at Edwards!!! The weights are added during manufacture then the tapped holed take rather large grub screws for the balancing when balancing in situ.
The amount of labyrinth seals on this thing was massive!!!
A lovely bit of engineering!


Looking trough the stators of another of the turbine stages... The reason they are red is because it's coated in rust dust form the boilers!!!  They're gonna need a good clean  before it goes back together
The pic on the right makes for a great wallpaper if you crop it such to get rid of the whole at the end... it's a wonderful spiral pattern...


as you can see, the stator above comes in two halves... these shrink rings above hold the whole thing together instead of bolts...  heat them up, slide them on and when they cool down, they hold the whole thing together rather well!


This is a scraped casting... they discovered a bloody great crack in it!!! And also loads of inclusion in the casting... the manufacturer made them a new one free of charge... which is under the tarpaulin behind it.


One of the little turbines that does something... can't remember what... bloody noisy tho!!!


That'll be the bearing then!!!


Big chunks of metal aren't they!!!


Here's one of the bigger stages!!!  these blades are longer than your arm... as seen thru the little porthole you can see open...


The generator on the end of the shaft... the bit that generates the electricity!!! I produces just under 500 Megawatts...


Oooh, a massive Golden Orb Spider!!!!  They're huge!!!


Oooh, some coal... the open cast coal mine here has got about 150-200 years worth of coal in it...


The sun sets at Millmerran power station...


Filters... lots of filters...


The big stack... with a nice clean output....  thanks to all those filters...
 


Inside the top of the boiler... Dunno what this bit does exactly...


If you spill yer coffee, someone's gonna get it on there head!!!  all the 10 floors a grated like this...


Now you can see where the three turbine stages live...  to save money, they didn't build a proper turbine hall... just turbine sheds... and they have to take the roofs off to get the gantry cranes in... then everything gets wet when it rains!  Clever!!!


Sunset


Oooh, a jumping spider!


How it all works...


The control room...  most definitely Simpson's style! Three guys sitting round with their feet up on the desks eating cakes... I shit you not!!! (You can see the almost empty cake container on the desk)


All the coal comes up this conveyor-belt...


The clouds glowing red from the sunset...


The fire systems... water tanks and pumps for the sprinklers...


Let's Go Gliding!!!
Wayne is a member of the local gliding club in Warwick (www.fly.to/sdasc/), so we wondered over there on Saturday morning...

Our bird for the day...
It's a GROB-FLUGZEUGBAU Twin-ASTIR don't you know!


We're at the back of the queue... but it doesn't take long for the tug plane to launch the gliders and return for the next...


And here it is again to launch another...


Right, our turn...


And we're off...


And we're up!


Oooh, our shadows... Us and the tug!


And we release at 3,500ft...  lets go and find some thermals...


Thermals live underneath clouds apparently, so you fly over to underneath one and see if it starts taking you up!


Ooh what do all these gauges do???  Well, there's an airspeed indicator, altimeter, compass and a thingy that tells you whether your are climbing of


Blimey!!!  We're in the clouds... well only just...  you're not allowed in the clouds really...  bit dangerous...


The sun!  can you see it?



Wow!!!! An Eagle!!!!  It was riding the same thermal as us for a few minutes... we just kept spiralling up without making any course changes so-as not to frighten him...
I'm a lucky boy to see one of these apparently!!!
The last two are zoomed-in...
We haven't sussed out what eagle it is yet cos all the bird identification books show only the under-side of the bloody things... they don't expect people to be above them when they're flying!!!


Me!!!  And Wayne sitting in the back seat... flying the thing for me...


The Oz countryside looks really cool from up here...

Video!    Video!
Click to watch...
Here's a video of Wayne stalling the glider... then putting it in a spin... and then recovering, pulling 5g on the pull-up!!!  Coool!!!!
Keep an eye on the horizon and also the shadows in the cockpit...
I'm glad I didn't film my face, cos it was hanging down by my knees with the g-force!


We'll head back for here in a mo...


Oooh, interesting cloud...


Wayne trying to find out what was causing that annoying vibration...  Nothing serious...


We put our bird back to sleep until next time...


Here's Cockey... The Cockatoo.
"Fill 'er up please Cockey!"

<<< Previous Page

2004-2008 CheeseAndJamSandwich
Home

The Tremors - Next Page >>>