Monday, June 8, 2009

The Aachen health " factory"

The Aachen health "factory":
One of the weirdest looking buildings in Europe could easily be the large hospital of Aachen. The Klinikum Aachen, full German name "Universitätsklinikum Aachen" (University Hospital Aachen), abbreviated UKA, formerly known as "Neues Klinikum", is the largest hospital of europe located in Aachen in Germany. It is part of the University of Aachen and contains its whole medical faculty. Seen from far away, for many visitors the Klinikum Aachen looks like a giant power plant rather than a hospital.

This is due to the huge striped ventilation pipes that are attached to the outer walls and the 24 " towers" that protrude above the main building:

The University Hospital Aachen (UKA) combines in its singularity all mechanisms of supplying the patient, the entire medical faculty and the dentistry under one roof. In this enormous building is a place for the common research of engineers, scientists and physicians. At the moment co-operate 59 professors, 824 scientific assistants and 4347 non-scientific employees in 33 clinical departments, 21 institutes and in the administration of the UKA. The University Hospital has 1.510 beds. The industrial design of the building is not only visible from the outside but also the interior of the building is very industrial looking:

This building was designed as a health factory, the product enters the "factory" sick and leaves it healthy.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Largest ammunition storage sites in the world.

The largest ammunition storage sites in the world:
The Hawthorne Army Depot is said to be the largest ammunition storage site in the world. It is located near the town of Hawthorne in western Nevada in the United States. The depot covers an area of 15 kilometers by 15 kilometers (595 km²), and has 600,000 square feet (55,700 m²) of floor space in 2,427 storage bunkers. The Hawthorne Army Depot stores reserve munitions to be used after the first 30 days of a major conflict:

In terms of storage capacity the ammunition storage site at the village of Haywood in Oklahoma in the U.S seems to be the largest in the world. It covers an area of 12 kilometers by 12 kilometers, and was built because of the involvement of America in World War II:

At the turn of the twenty-first century the plant employed more than eight hundred people. Among the largest ammo storage sites in the world is also the Ammunition storage site at Tooele, located in Utah. It covers an area of 8 kilometers by 7 kilometers:


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Huge dam spillways

Huge dam spillways:
I already discussed the biggest dam spillway in the world on this blog ( The spillway of the Robert Bourassa dam in canada ). These dam spillways are generally used to release the water from the water bassins behind a dam in case of a flood. These things are most of the time build in the construction of the dam itself like for example in the Itaipu dam in Paraguay which is one the biggest spillways ( 500 meters long and 350 meters wide) in the world in terms of water capacity. When water is released from this thing it makes a hell of a noise:

The biggest kind of spillways however can be found at earthfilled dams situated next to the dam instead in the structure of the dam itself. Like for example this huge spillway at the W.A.C Bennet dam in Canada:

It is 800 meters long and about 35 meters wide. Another huge one is this one at the Garrison Dam in North Dakota in the U.S. It is part of one of the world's largest earth filled dams which forms the Sakakawea Reservoir on the Missouri River. The spillway itself is 800 meters long and is almost 350 meters wide at the point where the water enters the spillway:

The most impressive and biggest concrete spillway in the world however is the spillway which is part of Fort Peck Lake dam in Montana in the U.S. The dam itself is the largest earth-filled dam in the world. The spillway is 1500 meters long and 150 meters wide:

Another earth filled dam ( which is also among the biggest earthfilled dams in the world) with impressive spillways is the Tarbela dam in Pakistan. This dam actually has 2 giant spillways. One of them has a lenght of 780 meters and a wide of 100 meters and the other one has a length of about 200 meters and a wide of 150 meters:

Another huge one is the spillway which is part of the Nagarjuna sagar dam in India. The spillway is build in the dam itself and is 500 meters wide:

And last but not least the giant dam spillway of the Ataturk dam in Turkey. This thing is 900 meters long and 150 meters wide:


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Niagara falls tailrace tunnels

The Niagara falls tailrace tunnels:
Almost everybody knows about the large Niagara water falls near the town of Niagara falls on the border of Canada and the United States. But I think fewer know that there are large underground tailrace tunnels in this area which are part of the hydro electric power stations located near the waterfalls. Two of these hydro electric power station which used these large tailrace tunnels are the William B. Rankin power station and the Toronto power company generating station. Both are now out of use and were explored by an urban explorer from Canada. He has his own site where the pictures seen below are from.

The William B. Rankin power station starts
here collecting the water. The water then runs trough a 2200 feet long tailrace tunnel seen in the pictures below. The turbines used to generate the electricity can be seen at the top of the tunnel:

The whole tunnel was filled with water in the past but now the power station is out of use so you are able to walk in it. The tunnel
ends at a very spectacular spot below the famous horsshoe waterfall:

The Toronto power generating station (seen in the picture below ) also uses these large underground tunnels. You can see this power station in the picture below. It is clearly visible that the power station haven't been used for a long time ( for 30 years):

The tunnels of this power station are located much deeper underground as those of the William B. rankin power station and this tailrace excists of multiple tunnels instead of 1 tunnel. The tunnels are located more then ten storeys underground and are completely made of brick and are a hundred years old. The tunnels are only accessible by descending through a narrow slit in its ceiling thirty feet above the floor. But when you get down there you certainly get to a spectacular site:

In the picture below you can see the end of a trailrace line of this power station. The water flow would have crashed downward through the openings in the floor into the penstocks that made good use on the water's gravitational potential energy, driving it down to the base of the gorge where it spun great turbines at the Ontario Generating Station:


Friday, May 8, 2009

The tallest dams

The tallest dams:
When you are talking about the tallest dams in the world the Nurek dam near Nurex in Tadzjikistan takes the price for the heighest dam in the world. It has a height of 300 meters. It is seen very good in google earth with the terrain elevation layer turned on:

The water behind the dam is called the Vodohranili water bassin. The impact this dam made on this water bassin can be clearly seen at the surrounding landscape:

The lighter colored strips of shoreline in the picture above highlight the tidal water level caused by the Nurek dam. The price of the second tallest dam in the world would go to the Grand dixense dam in Switzerland. This dam has a height of 285 meters. Just click on the picture below and enlarge it to see how big this structure is when you are standing at the bottom.

The third tallest dam is the Inguri dam in Georgia with a height of 272 meters:

At the water bassin behind the Inguri dam the same " tidal" stripes can be seen at the surrounding hills as at the water bassin behind the Nurek dam:

The fourth highest dam has a relatively small wide compared to the dams mentioned above but when measured by height it is still 262 meters tall. This dam is located in Italy and is called the Vaiont dam. As you can see in the picture below the dam also has a cool walkway in front it from where you can see the dazzling height of the dam itself:

The fifth highest dam in the world with a height of 261 meters is the
Tehri dam near the town of Tehri in India. This dam also has a very big spillway running next to it:

This dam is primary used as a hydro electric power plant. When it was still under construction the huge turbines that are used to generate the electricity where visible:


Saturday, April 18, 2009

The new valley project

The new valley project:
The New Valley Project in southern Egypt is one of the biggest irrigation projects ever constructed. It consists of a system of canals to carry water from Lake Nasser to irrigate the sandy wastes of the Western Desert of Egypt, which is part of the Sahara Desert. The 310-km long Sheikh Zayed canal is the biggest canal of the project and should bring 25 million m3 of water per day into one of the most inhospitable desert on earth and create a new Nile delta. These canals are build in the middle of this desert in the hot sun. First, the channels are dug in the middle of the desert sand:

After that the first layer of concrete is poured on it:

After this layer another layer of conrete is poured on it but first they attach layers of plastic foils in between so they don't lose any water:

Of course these channels have to be filled with water. This is where the flagship of this project comes in action. I'm talking about the Mubarak Pumping Station which is described as a venture which "has expanded the boundaries of civil engineering. It is pumping water from from Lake Nasser into the channels. It has a discharge capacity of 1.2 million m³/hr making it the largest water pump in the world. Its innovative design places the pump-house like an island in a lake - completely surrounded by water with 24 vertical pumps arranged in two parallel lines along both sides. You can see how large this pump is when it was under construction and not filled with water around it yet:

When the water was filled around it it looks like this: (The structure itself is continuing 50 meters under water):

When this thing has done it's job the channels are filled with water making agriculture in the middle of
one of the most inhospitable deserts on earth possible:


Sunday, April 12, 2009

The stairway to heaven

The stairway to heaven
The Chinese call the stairway you see in the two pictures below "the heaven reaching ladder". It must be one of the most impressive external staircases in the world:

The staircase is part of the Tianmen Mountain (which is only 8 kilometers away from downtown Zhangjiajie), and leads to the Tianmen cave which offers a great view over the nearby mountains and is a religious site for praying for happiness. This open cave is already visible from far away:

There are altogether exactly nine hundred and ninety-nine steps in this staircase. This Tianment cave is a natural water-eroded cave with the highest elevation in the world. The open cave runs south-northward and has a height of 131.5 meters, a width of 57 meters and a depth of 60 meters. It’s much like a gate towards the heaven. In 1999 a bunch of pilots flied their jets trough this c
ave. This event was watched by 800 million people on tv.
And in 2006 the Russian Air force did the same (the picture seen below is not photoshopped):

By the way not only this staircase and cave are impressive also the road leading to this place is fascinating. This road is called the Tongtian Avenue (Avenue toward Heaven) and it has 99 turns symbolizing that the heaven has nine palaces:

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