Power of the Ottawa River
The Ottawa River has powered industry long before the electric motor and generator were invented. Currently the water passes through 12 generating stations (dams) before reaching the atlantic Ocean.
The Ottawa River
This year the water levels have been the highest on record. For the first time, the dams have been fully open allowing maximum flow of water down the river.
If there is a river, dam it.
The map above shows where the following pictures were taken. On the left is Hull Quebec. The ring dam is in Quebec but is operated by Ottawa Hydro. The island in the center is Chaudière Island. Up and to the left is Victoria Island. In the top right corner is the City of Ottawa. (la rivière Outaouais en francais) The label on the far right was once a grinding mill before it was converted into a hydro electric generating station. Most of the pictures were taken in and around the second from the right label, Generating Station #2.
Chaudière bridge and generating station
Looking up the river, the ring dam is just beyond the bridge. The dam is wide open and the water is free to rush on to the Atlantic without going through the turbines.
High water levels have damaged the shore road.
The city of Hull Quebec is in the background. only a few weeks before this picture was taken, the water levels were up to the road and washed away part of the road.
The surface is calm but the current is strong.
The mill on the left has been converted to a brewery and restaurant. It is aptly named Mill Street Brewery. On the right is Victoria Island and #2 generating station building.
Ottawa Hydro #2 Generating Station
The people standing by the rail on the left are at the level of the upstream river where it enters the turbines. (pen stock). Our tour enters the building through the door in the center end of the building below the No. 2 sign. notice how much lower the water level is when it leaves the generating station.
collecting the flotsam before it damages the turbine blades.
Before the water flows through the turbine it must pass through a grate below the water surface. On the other side of the railing you can see the tree trunks and branches that have been scraped away from the protective grate. All kinds of items are found, anything that can float or be washed down the river by the fast moving water. Every week the collected junk has to be hauled away. The crane structure above is used to regularly rake the grid clean.
four generators in No. 2 building
The building is three floors high. On the right is the control room. Outside the left wall is the water of the upstream Ottawa river and the turbines which are connected to the generators through long shafts that extend through the wall.
A spinning generator
diagram of the turbine and generator.
On the left, notice the “trash rack” then the “penstock” where the water enters through the turbine blades and exits through the massive “turbine cover”. On the right is the generator and control room. both of which would be flooded out if there was a break in the wall separating the turbine from the generator.
Turbine blades in a variety of sizes.
In a display outside the building are three different sized turbine blades. They are huge. Compare them to the bicycles in the rack just outside the fence and to the nearby buildings.
using a crane to lift the turbine blades off of the truck
The old historic control room.
Above, in the bottom left is a flat screen monitor. That and a keyboard and mouse are all that is required to monitor the system now. In fact I suspect it is all monitored and controlled remotely.
the modern control display
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