Steam Plant Tour

I accompanied our students on a tour of the University steam plant. The plant creates the steam used to heat the buildings on campus. It was a great tour — one of several our students take during their time with us.

Because it is a boiler, with fantastic explosive potential, it is built with thick walls and a thin roof — to explode up — rather than out — limiting potential loss of life. Tour guide/operator waits till students are standing right next to the boiler to tell them that!

From the control room the operators have a view of the key pressures. Cold city water in, steam out.

HMI display of the boiler. Automated control happens in this enclosure. If anything goes wrong, close off natural gas valve in, and open valve for incoming water. Operator advice: “You can look at the panel, please don’t bump it though.”

Softener system. Don’t run out of salt. Manual pH measurement station.

We use radio tour-guide head sets — very helpful in noisy environments. Great instructor. Awesome students.

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