Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gillette Energy Park

 Located next to the Cam-plex grounds is the Gillette Energy Park complete with a number of interesting exhibits showing how energy is mined and delivered to us throughout the nation. This large locomotive is typical of the engines used to pull the mile long coal trains east.

This Diesel engine was used at one of the surrounding oil fields, was installed in 1945, and was used for some 30 years. This engine of this generator system is a 4,000 cubic inch behemoth. 

This engine is even larger and handled the power needs for another oil field. We don't realize how much effort is involved in drilling of oil and digging of coal. This exhibit made us much better appreciate the energy business when we filled up with Diesel fuel in the coach.

This huge drill is used to drill in the oilfields around Gillette. We saw a number of oil rigs as we traveled around -- wish we owned one of those rigs!

Wow -- now this is a scoop! This huge drag bucket was used to dig coal from a Gillette mine (there are several in the area). The coal in this area is of very high quality and burns very cleanly, so is in strong demand. As a result, the coal is loaded in unit trains of over a mile long and pulled to the eastern market.

 This is a unit rig truck that could carry 170 tons of coal in one load. We learned that during the truck's operating lifetime, it carried a total of 10 million tons of coal. You can tell that this little puppy would not do too well on the highway -- it is 24' wide, 65 feet long, and weighs 235,000 pounds.

This little tire is from the unit rig above. The tire is 12' high and weighs 81,000 pounds is from a coal carrying truck. This is pretty amazing and impressed Orinda quite a bit. Glad we don't need tires this big on the coach.

Here is a sample oil rig of the type that is common in the Gillette area. The rig pumps the oil from the ground into the storage tanks. The oil is then delivered to the refinery and then, finally, to us in the form of Diesel or gasoline.

1 comment:

squawmama said...

My SIL works on the oil rigs... It is hard work! What interesting story & photos. Love the one with Orinda and the tire.
Have fun & Travel safe