Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 3: Itaipu Binacional Hydroelectric Plant

24 February 2012

Today we took the panoramic tour (meaning outside only, by bus) of the hydroelectric plant, Itaipu Binacional.  It was preceded by a very interesting film about its construction, operations, and environmental impact.

In the lobby area were some models of the dam and the inside of the hydroelectric plant.
 Look at the size of the tiny people!
 There was a collage of images from the construction period.  Most interesting to me is the photo at the lower left corner of an orchestra giving a performance inside a turbine.
 When a worker reaches a certain number of years of service or retires, s/he plants a tree on the property, and a small sign is placed in front of the tree indicating who it honors.  There are also trees planted by a number of world leaders.

 We took the tour in a double decker bus.  There were two very short stops to take photos.
The first stop was at the overflow part of the dam.  We were told that there is enough water to open the overflow only 10% of the year.  When it is open it is quite spectacular.  It is a lot bigger than it looks from this distance.

 The next stop was closer to the dam, where I made this panorama photo.

And a video of the same view.

These tubes look small, don't they... wait until we get closer. 
 Like this... notice the size of the tiny car directly ahead in comparison with the tubes.
View of the tubes from the upper deck of the bus.
 Out the window!
 Here we have driven across and are on the other side of the dam.
 The tour took us up between the overflow and the dam, where we then went back across the top of the dam. Above the overflow is a mass of electrical structures.

Starting across.  The lake at the top is really big, but the terrain is completely flat so it didn't make a very scenic picture.
The clouds made up for the land's flatness.
Video from the top.
 Looking out the opposite window at the dam.
 I don't know what this is, but it was BIG.
 These tubes stick up from the generators below.
 The rock fill section of the dam, off to the side.
Forest of electricity.
A guest speaker on the tour, this engineer told a story about the construction of the dam.
 I don't know whether this is art, or some kind of equipment, but like everything else here it was big!
 The flags of the two countries operating the plant.

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