Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 4 - Day 4

Today we went to the John E. Amos coal power plant in Charleston, West Virginia. This coal plant is the third largest in the United States.

A dude named Joe Hayner told us about AEC’s (American Energy Company) power plants around the country. AEC has many power plants around the country. John talked with us for a while about how power plants work. Then we picked out hard hats and got to go on a tour. First we got to see the pile of coal – 1 million tons!

Then we saw the cooling towers. These cool millions of gallons of water that flow in a closed circuit to cool the steam produced by the burning coal. Lots of water vapor is produced in these cooling towers.

After this we got some sweet ear plugs – safety first! – and went into the building where they incinerate the coal. It was very noisy and hard to hear anything. Each floor got hotter as we went higher up the building. We got to see where they incinerate the coal powder and the outside of the turbines that are spun around 3600 times/minute by the steam. There were a lot of danger signs!

After the stellar power plant tour, we came to Steve and Susie’s house – some Quakers who hosted a potluck and housing for us here in Charleston. They have a passive solar house and lots of garden space and trees. My favorite part of the day was playing soccer at the lunch rest stop and eating ice cream at dinner.


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