May 6, 2013 0

Power Plant Mega (DE)

This power station has been supplied with some steroids at some point, it’s one of Germany’s “Mega” power stations with the main turbine hall consisting of 14 turbines producing a peak power of 3520mw. I’m certainly glad i visited here and was worth the 1200miles driven.

When all 5 operating blocks were running this fired power plant was the largest in Europe with 15 cooling towers. 3 of the halls/blocks are still running as the new areas of the site are still live however the part we were here to see is the decommissioned block housing the 14 turbines.

The shear length of the turbine hall is something that needs to be seen, it spans across 2 buildings and has a length of 600metres and takes a good 10-15 minutes to walk from end to end without stopping.

The plant is slowly been taken apart, 3 of the chimneys at the site have been demolished (the last in 2012) along with the Ash removal and flues, the massive turbine hall remains albeit with less machinery inside.

The plant was originally built in the 1960’s and was the GDR’s 2nd most powerful plant (only bettered by nuclear power) There have been a number of accidents at the power station one of which resulted in an explosion inside one of the turbines in 1987. Part of the 22m high roof collapsed in the resulting fire which in turn took the 13 remaining turbines offline creating severe bottlenecks in the supply of electricity to the GDR.

The plant is Lignite/Brown Coal fired (not hard coal) which is a form of coal which is just below the surface and does not need to be mined as extensively as normal “hard” coal. Lignite is considered the lowest grade of coal and because of this it’s not efficient to transport and trade as much as normal coal therefore the power plants that use Lignite are often built on the site of the lignite mining process.

In 2012 a study concluded that this power station was one of the top 10 most “dirty” power plants in the world.

Germany is one of the highest users of Lignite along with the highest stocks of any other country.

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