Portlands Energy Centre

2012-05-26

in Geek stuff, Photography, The environment, Toronto, Travel

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!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan May 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm

The energy centre is a mighty machine. Having walked through it, I feel like I have a better sense of what ‘550 megawatts of electricity’ means in physical terms.

. May 27, 2012 at 1:53 am
. May 27, 2012 at 1:59 am

Inside the Portlands Energy Centre in Toronto

Posted by Lauren Souch / MAY 29, 2011

The Portlands Energy Centre was a busy location at Doors Open yesterday despite the lack of public transit to the area. Upon arriving, visitors had to wait anywhere from five to 30 minutes to receive a basic safety orientation and some goofy-looking safety gear — including a helmet, goggles, neon vest, and earplugs — before beginning the tour.

. May 27, 2012 at 2:52 am

Portlands Energy Centre (56/365)

HDR image of the interior of the new $730 million Portlands Energy Centre, a natural gas power plant in Toronto’s eastern portlands. Shot at Doors Open Toronto, May 26, 2012.

oleh May 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

This tour sounds interesting. How did you find out about it? Do you know of how to find out about tours in the Vancouver area. I was thinking of taking a tour of the wind turbine on Grouse Mountain.

Anon June 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm

If summer air conditioning creates peak demand in Toronto, solar power could be a good option.

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