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24 September 2014
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Rugeley B Power Station in 360° CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 360° IMAGES
Rugeley B Power Station Rugeley B Power Station

It's one of the most recognisable structures in South Staffordshire. When you see the cooling towers, you know exactly where you are. Now, you can see inside Rugeley B Power Station in glorious 360°...
A view of Rugeley B Power Station

A coal-fired power station acts as an energy converter, turning the energy released from burning coal into electricity.

Coal is burned to heat water into steam. The steam is then used to turn a massive turbine which, in turn, rotates a generator - this is essentially a huge magnet inside cylinder of copper wires, and it's here where the electricity is produced.

A single generator at Rugeley produces around 500 megawatts of electricity,which is then sent through a transformer into the national grid where the electricity then arrives for our use via a local substation.

Back at the power plant, after the steam passes through the turbine, it's enters a condenser, which converts it back into water. This is then sent back to the boiler to be re-heated into steam, thus beginning the whole process again.

The history of the power station in Rugeley

Work started on the construction of Rugeley 'A' Power Station in 1956. The complex itself was opened in 1963. Rugeley was chosen as the site because of the availability of land, water, coal and the excellent transport links nearby.

It was the first joint venture between the Central Electricity Generating Board and the National Coal Board. The power station shared the site with Lea Hall Colliery, which fed coal direct to the station by conveyor belt.

In 1960, the shell of the dry cooling tower was completed - the cooling towers are the large concave towers. The cooling towers built at Rugeley were the world's first big dry cooling tower and the first large-scale experiment with a design aimed at eliminating water loss.

In 1970, Rugeley 'B' Power Station was commissioned to work alongside Rugeley 'A'. This new complex was completed and opened in 1972.

October 1990 saw the closure of the Lea Hall Colliery which meant all future coal stocks for the power station would be delivered by rail. Five years later, Rugeley 'A' Power Station was closed and later demolished - during its life, it had burned nearly 42 million tonnes of coal!

International Power eventually took control of Rugeley 'B', investing millions of pounds to update the power station - this includes the addition of state-of-the-art control room that you can see in the 360 panoramic images.

The site boasts leisure facilities for the workers and a special learning centre aimed at increasing awareness of environmental issues for kids. For more information about the Environmental Centre and details of how to book a visit, call Rugeley Power Station on 01889 572100.

Did you know...

Rugeley B Power Station is a coal-fired power station which generates around 1,000 megawatts - this provides electricity for around one million people.

In 1983, the station employed 850 people at the Rugeley 'A' and 'B' stations. Today, the station employs 146 people.

Each cooling tower could contain the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral with room to spare!

The boilers are as tall as fifteen storey office blocks.

When Rugeley 'A' Power Station was built it was the first in Britain to have its plant controlled entirely from a central point - the control room.

Each boiler turns more than 1,100 tonnes of water an hour to steam. Steam leaves the boiler at a temperature of 568°C!

Take a look around the power station...

We visited the Rugeley 'B' Power Station in Staffordshire and these are the 360° panoramic pictures we took:

View of the control room (1)

View of the control room (2)

View of the control room (3)

View of the cooling towers (1)

View of the cooling towers (2)

View of a coal delivery by train

View of the generator room from above

View of the generator room and transformer

View of the generator room from the floor

View of the Rugeley 'B' Power Station lake

View of the environmental centre

Rugeley Power Station information

For more information about Rugeley B Power Station, please visit The International Power web site by clicking here

All photographs were taken with the kind permission of International Power
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

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