What lies underneath
the Niagara Parks
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The 173.7-metre long, 18.3-metre tall ground-level floor of the plant that’s currently open to visitors houses 11 alternating current (AC) 25Hz generators, where 140,000 litres of water from the Niagara River would pour in per second when the plant was fully operational.
The first deck below the generator floor, the thrust deck housed the bearings that supported up to 90 tons of equipment and is one of three bearings that kept the turbine shaft in alignment. Bus bars carried electricity from one section of the plant to the next from the subway located on the thrust deck, which also included several transformers, rheostats and resistor banks.
This is where the plant’s
11 penstocks made a
90-degree turn toward the turbines below. The brake deck also housed a brake drum, to stop the turbine shafts from spinning.
uppper and lower guide decks
These decks contained limited equipment and mostly served as pass-throughs. They held bearings that assisted in keeping the shaft’s radial axis in alignment and minimized the friction of moving parts.
Used to house the various levers and gears connected to the governors on the generating floor, as well as the valves that controlled the flow of water going into each turbine.
The final level above the draft chamber, the rack deck was a dangerous area for workers at the time because of changing water levels that could shift the racks.
As part of the first phase of the new attraction, visitors
can tour the main floor of the power plant known as the generator hall. As of July 2022, visitors will be able to travel underground in a glass-enclosed elevator and take the same route that water once did on its path to creating electricity.
The water would travel nearly
53 metres underground from the generators, through
11 penstocks and electricity generating turbines as it rushed towards a wheel
pit before exiting through
a 5.5-metre wide tunnel.