Power Plant Basics: The Steam Cycle

This is a better place to start than condensate and feed.

For some reason I don’t understand I get the nerves about posting these, so I’m telling myself that they are all rough drafts and I as I get better at the software and pacing I’ll come back and do a better version.

That being said the learning cycle has to be closed for any significant improvement to be made.  This means a product must be finished, and then examined for what parts of it are good and what parts are weak, and how the strong parts were executed, and how the weak parts can be improved.

*This is why all great architects do their great work so late in life:  The learning cycle is often 10 years from first concept to finished product to incorporate feedback.

One of the things necessary for this to work is time to become less attached to the product.  Another important ingredient is feedback (and the creator being receptive to that feedback while knowing when to ignore it and stick to the vision).

So here it is.


My intended audience is junior power plant operators who have been around valves and pumps and equipment before, but lack a big picture of how the parts are supposed to fit together.




We were at the park with another couple and a total of 4 kids playing havoc.  The kids were doing this thing where they would put their belly’s on the swing and go face-down “superman style.”  My lovely wife commented that she used to do that as a kid, but she tried it as an adult and it was crushing.  Aimee was sympathizing with my wife’s troubles and I explained that it’s really a completely explainable thing… If the size of something doubles then it doubles in all 3 dimensions so it’s volume (and therefore it’s mass) is increased 8 TIMES.  Everyone kind of nodded in patient understanding of my nerd-dom, thankful that I didn’t go on to explain how strong ants were and why flying birds can only get so big… and them Aim said

“Did you just call me FAT?”

Split second of trapped man brain panic followed almost immediately by a deadpan “No, I called you PROPORTIONATE.”  This was perfect because a) it was true, and b) it was vaguely complimentary.  Though not quite a compliment it’s opposite DISproportionate is definitely an insult.

I basked in my Hudini like verbal skills to escape the trap when she caught me flat footed with: “Yeah, EIGHT TIMES as proportionate.”

Touche’ madam.  Touche’