Cooling Tower
“Imagine standing inside an active cooling tower with roaring wind circulators cooling 480,000 gallons of water a minute. In this abandoned tower, the acoustics are oddly circular and the natural airflow is silenced. Many of us have seen these cloud-makers from afar, but the inside is unique to behold.”
Jan Stel, Cooling Tower-01

Cooling Tower-01

Jan Stel, Cooling Tower-02

Cooling Tower-02

Jan Stel, Cooling Tower-03

Cooling Tower-03

Jan Stel, Cooling Tower-04

Cooling Tower-04

Jan Stel, Cooling Tower-05” title=

Cooling Tower-05

This is a hyperboloid style cooling tower. This has become the standard design for all natural-draft cooling towers because of their structural strength and minimum usage of material. The hyperbolic shape of the tower enhances aerodynamic lift because the wind passing over it increases the airflow rate. The air flows into the openings in the bottom and then rises up and cools the entering hot water. The cooled water cascades down to the bottom of the tower whilst the warm, moist air exits out of the top. In its heyday, this tower would have been able to cool up to 480,000 gallons (ca. 1.8 million liters) of water a minute.

Once the cooling tower and power station were prosperous, powering the neighboring steel factory, heavy industry, and coal mining facility. However, due to protests from Greenpeace in 2006, it gained negative exposure and subsequently closed down in 2007. Thus it has fallen silent and is beginning to decline. Situated in the most depressing area in Europe (according to a newspaper article published in 2009) which is sometimes compared to the desolation of Detroit in the USA.

“A fantasy: beneath the abandoned tower, the dense maze of systematically placed concrete and wood could function as a dynamo or filter system for a large engine. The circular space above, which looks like a giant exhaust pipe, could function as a rocket starter. Instead of the cooled clouds that came from the cooling tower when it was active, it may be the heat from the launch of the rocket that is now producing tremendous clouds. It’s an unearthly construction that seems ready to take off any minute into space or even dive into a journey underground.”

Sony World Photography awards 2014. Somerset House, London England, 1 - 18 MAY 2014.
8th annual International Color Awards 2015. (The wolrd’s most watched photoshow).