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Inside Aberthaw Power Station 1-10

cardiffgareth
Posted 27/04/2024 - 17:09 Link
I managed to secure access to the inside of Aberthaw Power Station. Now she's all switched off and the process of changing the space from coal powered to greener cleaner energy has started. I know someone who acted as a fixer and was able to help me get access on a guided tour of the space. CCR Energy now own the site and were extremely helpful in the production of helping me with this ongoing project. As well as the images taken from the outside looking in, as well as these, the project will finish with photographing the staff past and present with listening and retelling their stories, taking their portrait and also using their historic images also.

All images are with the K1ii and the D FA 24-70mm

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Aberthaw Power Station by Gareth Williams, on Flickr

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Aberthaw Power Station by Gareth Williams, on Flickr

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Aberthaw Power Station by Gareth Williams, on Flickr

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Aberthaw Power Station by Gareth Williams, on Flickr

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Aberthaw Power Station by Gareth Williams, on Flickr

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Aberthaw Power Station by Gareth Williams, on Flickr

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Aberthaw Power Station by Gareth Williams, on Flickr

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Aberthaw Power Station by Gareth Williams, on Flickr

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Aberthaw Power Station by Gareth Williams, on Flickr

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Aberthaw Power Station by Gareth Williams, on Flickr
Gareth Williams ARPS

My outfit: K1ii - Pentax D FA 24-70mm f2.8 - Pentax DA* 300mm f4 - Pentax modified DA* 60-250mm f4 - Irix 15mm Firefly - Pentax FA 35mm - FA 50mm f1.4 - Tamron SP 90mm macro - Pentax AF 540 FGZ II

Welsh Photographer
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Foundation NFT
Posted 27/04/2024 - 18:46 - Helpful Comment Link
I would really appreciate from anyone an explanation of the functional aspect of picture number 5.
That aside thank you Gareth for posting these, I can't wait for more.
cardiffgareth
Posted 27/04/2024 - 18:49 Link
Thanks!!

That's a stripped down gas turbine that used to power the power station. When fully assembled its bigger than a house!
Gareth Williams ARPS

My outfit: K1ii - Pentax D FA 24-70mm f2.8 - Pentax DA* 300mm f4 - Pentax modified DA* 60-250mm f4 - Irix 15mm Firefly - Pentax FA 35mm - FA 50mm f1.4 - Tamron SP 90mm macro - Pentax AF 540 FGZ II

Welsh Photographer
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Foundation NFT
Posted 27/04/2024 - 19:03 - Helpful Comment Link
Thought so, but never thought of a gas turbine, impressive. Reminds me of an engine block in a way, those huge cylindrical, bolt like uprights threw me somewhat.
Thanks again.
davidwozhere
Posted 28/04/2024 - 00:18 - Helpful Comment Link
Gas turbine? If the place is full of boilers then is it not a steam turbine? Fantastic PoV nevertheless.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd
Lubbyman
Posted 28/04/2024 - 08:51 - Helpful Comment Link
Fascinating set of pictures (and your other Aberthaw sets, too). No.5 is my favourite 'techy' photo. However, it's no. 8 that really grabs my attention. It seems to convey a feeling of sadness - like someone saying a silent goodbye to an old friend who is fading away.

davidwozhere wrote:
Gas turbine? If the place is full of boilers then is it not a steam turbine?

A power station needs an independent source of power to keep its necessary functions running if/when the main generators are not working - that includes being able to start up it's main turbine/generator(s)! Perhaps it's for that.

Steve
K10D
Posted 28/04/2024 - 09:31 - Helpful Comment Link
Its a steam turbine.

https://www.mcraeeng.com/product/multi-stage-steam-turbine

Great set Gareth and well photographed.

Best regards
Inspiration is rarer than a plate glass camera.....
SteveEveritt
Posted 29/04/2024 - 13:16 - Helpful Comment Link
Aberthaw B station is an old coal fired power station, a big one at 1500MW. The coal would have been pulverised to dust and burned, the heat produced in the boilers creates steam, which under extreme pressure is used to turn, in this station's case, three 500MW steam turbines . Coal fired power stations are usually around 37% efficient. Gas fired power stations are significantly better, because the gas can be used to turn one turbine and the heat produced can then be used in the same way as a coal fired power station and as a result these CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine) are considerable more efficient, usually around 56-60% efficient. If successive governments had insisted on CHP (combined heating and power) as is the case in most Scandinavian countries then the efficiency jumps into the 90s%. The steam has to be condensed back to water because steam cant be pumped, so huge cooling towers and systems have to be constructed to cool the steam back to water and the resultant heat released to the atmosphere. Other countries heat schools, hospitals, municipal buildings and care homes etc. This not only increases the efficiency of the power stations but also keeps their bills down. Sadly, because there's no profit in CHP, it has never been introduced in Britain.
I do like the grungy effect you've applied to these, it certainly fits the subject perfectly. Great images bud
Flickr
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" (John Lennon)
Edited by SteveEveritt: 29/04/2024 - 13:29
Posted 29/04/2024 - 13:42 - Helpful Comment Link
This is industrial history being captured. I hope that somehow the images are shared with a wider audience. Well deserved positive comments, Gareth.
Be well, stay safe, but most of all, invest in memories
cardiffgareth
Posted 29/04/2024 - 22:10 Link
Thanks again all. Yes, I got it wrong, they are steam turbines. That's the same engine that's fitted to the Avro Vulcan.

The images have gone down really well. I have a few bookings in to photograph the staff that used to work there. Hoping to make this into a publication but the project could be a long one with the new growth of the site
Gareth Williams ARPS

My outfit: K1ii - Pentax D FA 24-70mm f2.8 - Pentax DA* 300mm f4 - Pentax modified DA* 60-250mm f4 - Irix 15mm Firefly - Pentax FA 35mm - FA 50mm f1.4 - Tamron SP 90mm macro - Pentax AF 540 FGZ II

Welsh Photographer
Flickr
Instagram
My PPG
Foundation NFT
Lubbyman
Posted 29/04/2024 - 23:07 - Helpful Comment Link
cardiffgareth wrote:
Yes, I got it wrong, they are steam turbines. That's the same engine that's fitted to the Avro Vulcan.

A steam powered Avro Vulcan??? That would be a sight to behold!!

Steve
davidwozhere
Posted 01/05/2024 - 00:27 - Helpful Comment Link
For goodness sake don't tell them at @RAF_Luton or we'll never hear the last of it. (It's an outrageous parody account on Twitter, or 'X')
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd
kea828
Posted 04/05/2024 - 08:58 - Helpful Comment Link
The father of a friend worked in the power station, so I showed him the pics.. Here is his response (included with permission) which I thought would be of interest to forum members:-

"These photos are interesting. I did actually work in the labs there from after A levels until going to Uni..

The first set look like the A station. As I recall it houses 6 x 100 Mw turbines. 2 Oil fired and 4 coal. Even then 1979, the two oil fired ones were never really used because the coal was so much cheaper. It was an impressive place though. A lot of it was painted by colour code e.g. steam pipes red, feed water blue etc. which was really useful when I was sent out to get water samples etc. at least stopping me from burning myself!

The second set look more like what was then the newer B station. This had 3 500Mw turbines. The danger sign does ring a bell with me as I spent a couple of weeks working in the lab below one of the boilers there. This was ‘bomb’ proofed with walls of concrete a couple of feet thick because one of the boilers did blow up a couple of years before I was there! The lab was only used if there was an issue in the B station.
Also, I did a few days working on the ammonia tank using some sort of radar type ‘gun’ to check the thickness of the inside walls of the tank. There was a bit more scaffolding around it then.

Very interesting. It brought back memories of a great little job I had there. Very varied. "
Regards,
Kea828
pschlute
Posted 04/05/2024 - 11:11 - Helpful Comment Link
Fascinating stuff Gareth
cardiffgareth
Posted 06/05/2024 - 18:51 Link
Thanks all! I've asked to get further access into the offices so fingers crossed for some more images to come from the inside!
Gareth Williams ARPS

My outfit: K1ii - Pentax D FA 24-70mm f2.8 - Pentax DA* 300mm f4 - Pentax modified DA* 60-250mm f4 - Irix 15mm Firefly - Pentax FA 35mm - FA 50mm f1.4 - Tamron SP 90mm macro - Pentax AF 540 FGZ II

Welsh Photographer
Flickr
Instagram
My PPG
Foundation NFT

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