Old Hydropower Plant

Cool Russian hydro electric plant

Decision on construction of hydroelectric complexes in upper stream of the Volga River was taken in 1935. A special construction and mounting board was created for implementation of this decision and control over it. Construction works at the Uglich Hydropower plant were carried out under the supervision of the Commissariat for Internal Affairs (the forerunner of the famous KGB) with intensive use of the prisoners’ labor.

Design of this particular hydropower plant reflected trends of that times in construction of hydromachines – enlargement of generators and respectively decrease of their general quantity. This forced the Soviet engineering factories to design and introduce new technologies allowing to produce incredibly huge adjustable-blade turbines and powerful generators. Afterwards these technologies were successfully used in constructing the other powerful Soviet hydropower plants.
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An automobile passage is laid across the plant’s constructions. That’s the view from a car.

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After approval of the final detail design the plant’s general capacity was determined equal 110 MW.

The first hydroelectric generator was brought into service in 1940 together with the first power line Uglich-Moscow. The second generator made it first turn in March 1941 but involvement of the USSR in the World War 2 prevented finalization of construction works and launching the plant on its maximum capacity. The final putting into operation was made only in 1955.

Originally the plant was equipped with to turbines of 9 meters in diameter.

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All the plant’s equipment after more than 60 years of operation became obsolete and should be replaced or reconstructed. For this reason one of the generators had been working only in 30% of its capacity. Now out-of-date and environmentally dangerous units are replaced. In addition in 2007 replacement of one of the generators was initiated. A combined system of a foreign turbine and a Russian generator is being installed now. These works are planned to be finished before August 2010.

Dismantled equipment is exposed in a newly created museum of hydropower engineering of a national value.Cool Russian hydro electric plant 14

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Here is symbiosis of the original “steam-punk styled” measuring and control equipment with modern technologies.

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Check this out. This thorough, exact and neat mounting was done about 70 years ago!

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Don’t miss more photos on the next page.

25 thoughts on “Old Hydropower Plant”

    • “Looks so backward compared to our hydro power plants in the west”
      My father ran crews of electricians building power plants in Canada (exact same tech as in US), and I’ve toured many of those plants. The tech I see in this plant, given the age construction started, shows that you haven’t a clue.
      Good photos!

    • You know nothing about this subject, that is clear.
      I live in the Netherlands and we still use transformers and other equipment that’s 50 years or older next to the latest high tech devices. The age of equipment like this means very little (which anybody that’s into power electronics should know).

      And as comment in general, this kind of industrial heritage should indeed be preserved.

    • Actually, the machinery looks like Sir Adam Beck 2 in Niagara Falls. The control room belongs in a museum though. As an aside, Beck 2 was the ONLY generating station NOT shut down by the great power blackout a few years ago!

  1. Great pictures of a great building but spoilt again by the bint with her face in nearly every shot. I hate the obsession Russian people have to stick their faces all over the place. When I worked there it was the same – on a photoshoot they would forget work and ask the cameraman to take their picture.

    • esti tu texan cum sunt astia aviatori.
      Cat despre vise cu futaiuri, fugi la wall-mart si prinde niste proaste de acolo, poate or sta la un redneck ca tine.

    • I see Russian women almost everyday in my city.I learn so many Russian words from them there is no need for me to purchase any Russian language learning cds.They love America,but I am sure they miss Russia-or do they!

  2. the wiring reminds me of an old telephone switch (from the thirties or so) a friend of mine prepared for an exhibition.
    good times…

  3. Russian/Soviet hydro-engineering have long and great history.
    and can say more, hydro power station build after USSR creation, are made much more seriously than in West.
    dark side: too many forced labors[mainly prisoners]victims, flooded villages, towns.

  4. Soon it will be necessary for the United States to build more power plants.When I grew up during soviet times there were very few Russians living in my country.Now there are millions.Not just Russians but people from every other country on the planet live in the states.

  5. 40 years ago, only a few people had the privilege to own a black-and-white TV. These machines were built 70 years ago and today still work perfectly! At the time, these equipments were state-of-the-art technology, modern equipments don’t last that long.

    A great technical achivement, with no doubt! Great place, would like to visit it.

    And the girls are great, too!

  6. That was one of Lenin’s chief slogans: the Bolsheviks saw Soviet democracy contributing to the economic and cultural development of the country. Without development, democracy would die – prescient for a man who died himself in 1924.

    Such great attention to detail: in the west power plants would be strictly utilitarian, but the pictures show murals, stonework, even decorated ceiling panels. It’s beautiful.

    And I have no problem with the “bint”: I think she’s beautiful!

    • It is not beautiful – it is Sorela (local term used for kitch in the style of socialist realism). Tragic part of the case is that Bauhaus, although generally leftist, had no influence in USSR at the time as it was too modest for Stalin´s liking.

  7. yeah dude, the photographer was clearly obsessed with one or several of the women there.

    well if you show them you gotta give some more information! were they giving you the tour? were they working there? students? age? phone numbers… ? 😉

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