Energy and Technology Museum exposition was supplemented by new exhibits about the heat supply and its economy. A new scenario has been introduced to the Control Panel Simulator: the power plant is being upgraded and adapted for central heating. The Boiler Hall was appointed with thermographic camera. The exhibit as well as the new addition to interactive simulator were created in collaboration with Vilniaus Šilumos Tinklai (Vilnius Heating Network).
New scenario: modernization
In 2020, an interactive space was created next to the authentic control panel of the old power plant – a Control Panel Simulator, where every visitor can become an engineer and try to operate the power plant by eliminating an emergency situation in the city.
The new scenario goes back to 1961. At that time, most of the electricity needed by the capital was supplied by the Second Thermal Power Station, and the Central Power Plant, compared to the new advanced power plants, produced electricity inefficiently. Soviet Lithuania’s Energy Board ordered the reconstruction of the power plant and to adapt it to the heating needs of the city. Afterwards the amount of electricity produced decreased, and the efficiency of the power plant increased significantly.
As before, the Control Panel simulator reproduces in detail the protocol of operation: disconnection from Vilnius power grid, switching off the generator, turbine and boilers, reconstruction itself and the start-up of the power plant. After successful implementation, the museum’s visitors-engineers start supplying heat to the residents of Žirmūnai district and Kalvarijų Street.
Thermal camera will capture the heat
The exposition of the Boiler Hall was supplemented by a thermographic camera, otherwise known as an infrared camera. It captures wavelengths between 1000 and 14 000 nanometers. Meanwhile, the range of a regular camera is between approximately 400 and 700 nanometers.
Once you’re here, note that cooler objects appear darker, blue (as the blue light has a short wavelength) and warmer objects appear brighter, red (the longest visible wavelength).
Humans, as all mammals, radiate heat into the environment. To keep warm in cold, it is more effective to put on many thin layers than one thick one. This is because it’s harder for the temperature to transition through multiple layers, thus more heat is retained. The same principle is used in home heating, so we “clothe” the house with various insulating materials.
Thermography is used quite widely in construction field to detect heat leakage or electrical installation damage or in medicine to diagnose medical conditions.
ETM Control Panel Simulator was created in collaboration with the engineers from the Vilnius Šilumos Tinklai as well as former power plant employees. It’s located in Turbine Hall. You can find the thermographic camera in Boiler Hall near the locker-room.