Explore #6 of the 3 Eurovirgins and a Europro tour

After exploring Powerplant IM it was time to cross the river to the plant’s famous Cooling Tower. This involved a short drive around to the nearest bridge, via a small side street inhabited by a mentally-deficient local who pulled her car straight out into the side of mine without warning! The sound of the impact was horrendous and I was certain that my car was completely wrecked. But luckily they make modern cars pretty well these days, and there was no actual denting of the bodywork, just bad scratches which should be repaired relatively easily (once I finally get around to it!). After 10 minutes of arguing with the stupid woman in my pidgin French it was clear that we weren’t going to get any money out of her towards my repairs and she was going to just stonewall us, so with a hefty dose of Anglo-Saxon invective (most coming from the “lady” of our group!) we pressed on to the Cooling Tower.

The tower is a hyperboloid style which is apparently the standard design for all natural-draft cooling towers because of its structural strength and minimum usage of material. The shape of the tower enhances aerodynamic lift due to the wind passing over it which increases the air flow rate. Air flows into the openings in the bottom of the tower, and rises up, cooling the entering hot water. The cooled water cascades down to the bottom of the tower whilst the warm moist air exits out of the top. At its peak the tower would have been able to cool up to 480,000 gallons of water a minute, but has lain abandoned and awaiting demolition since the power plant closed in 2007.

This explore was a lot of fun – especially when we donned heavy-duty black bin bags as makeshift waders to protect us from the foot-deep mud at the bottom of the tower which had to be negotiated to crawl through a tiny gap to get the “spaceship” shot below!

[As always, click on a photo to VIEW LARGE]












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Adam X