While work on the elevated station was just beginning, one major effort of the season was the completion of the new power plant. For the past several years, summer power demand required extensive power conservation efforts and frequent load sharing with the summer camp power plant. Now (at least for a few years) there would be a bit of power to spare.
The above photo of the completed plant (by Andy Martinez, 9/02) looks upwind; the control room is behind the window in the left background. The skids in the foreground are the heat recovery skids which run the hot engine glycol through heat exchangers to heat the station (the incomplete one in the foreground is for the future "peaking" generator #4 which would not be installed until 2004-05).
Here are a few construction photos from Scott Smith:
|There are three Caterpillar 3512 engines (okay, 3512B DITA, which means direct injection, turbocharged and aftercooled) with a nameplate rating of 1015 KW prime power at sea level (or 750 KW here at altitude)...the fourth engine, installed in 2004-05, is a 3406C-320 site rated at 239 KW. This is the "peaker." The switchgear automatically controls the starting of the generators, synchronization, and closing of the breakers--no more watching the synchroscope and lights (although they are still available, and can and have been used when necessary. The peaking generator will start up and go on line automatically when the load reaches a certain set point, and similarly it will be shut down if the electrical demand drops off. Commissioned at the end of the 2004-05 summer, the peaker has already seen a fair amount of use. Will the power demand drop off as the domed station structures and temporary facilities go away?|
The end of the power plant arch early in the season, showing the 3 exhaust stacks and other openings that still need to be closed in...the new station is rising in the background (photo by Paulene Roberts, NOAA)
|And here are 2 photos (from the station sitrep) taken on 20 January 2001, the day the "switch was thrown":|