As part of Doors Open Toronto 2012, my friend Mike and I took a tour of the Portlands Energy Centre: a natural-gas-fired peaker power plant located slightly south and east of downtown Toronto.
This is a combined cycle plant with two gas turbines and a steam turbine. Together, they are about 60% efficient at turning the chemical energy in natural gas into electricity. The plant is a peaker, which means it can be started at reasonably short notice to add power to the grid when demand exceeds supply (summer air conditioning creates Toronto’s highest demand peaks).
The plant puts out 550 megawatts of electricity. The peak temperature inside the gas turbines is about 600˚C, and the output from the steam turbine is at about 80˚C (for all those Carnot efficiency fans out there). Neat fact: steam turbines work on the same principle as hurricanes.
I took about 200 photos inside, and I will be posting the best of them to Flickr once I have processed them.
[Update: 10:21pm] The first few shots are on Flickr: Portlands Energy Centre – Doors Open Toronto.
[Update: 2:25am] Done with all the RAW files. Post-processing takes a lot of time!