Back in "that Victorian era" I grew up in Mason City Iowa. Our town had
PG & E very early in the A.C. electricity game. The plant was quite old
when Dad and
I took a tour through the electric generation plant (plant also
contained the city's "coal gas"
generation plant, complete with huge, expanding storage tank) This was
in early days of
WW II, around 1943.
The operating engineer took us through the plant, and explained what we
He claimed there were two turbines. A mercury boiler fed the first
turbine with mercury
gas. The 2nd turbine was steam, generated by the spent mercury vapor
returned to the mercury boiler.
Many years and greatly expanding doubts later, I looked this up in my
Sure enough, some 7 of these Hg plants were built. Article didn't state
Were both my dad and I fed a kettle of GHOTI (fish)? If any people
were harmed by
this in any way, I never heard of it. GH as in enuF O as in Women
TI as in naSHun.
I've often read that liquid sodium was the initial coolant in nuclear
reactor cores, and
even the the atomic sub[s] (all? dunno). I too, have wondered about
the start up
process. Sodium is a very good conductor of heat, BUT: the tons and
tons of it in
a nuclear facility? This would be like starting your car at 80 below
zero, with even the
antifreeze frozen. how do you get the entire engine, the radiator with
all its small tubes,
the hoses, blah, blah warm enough to melt?
AND: liquid sodium flowing, in DIRECT contact with the reactor fuel rods?
Now *there's* an engineering job!
> Interesting info on mercury. There aren't any aluminum turbine blades
> I know of....But back in the Victorian Era, there were electrical power
> plants that operated on a Mercury cycle. That is , using tons of liquid
> mercury flashed to vapor in a boiler, and run through a turbine, just
> like a
> 'heavy-metal' version of today's power plant. I don't know how long the
> plant operators lasted, before they fell victim to Mad Hatter's disease.
> Wil says, also that sodium was claimed to be in a thermal cycle using
> mirrors, in Arizona (state). The only sodium I'd ever seen was in Chem
> Lab, small SOLID piece, so I wonder to this day how they ever got it all
> hot enough to get it started.
> Also was rumored to be in atomic subs's cycle.
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