HF4 Turbo Blower House, Belgium

The power station is part of the HF4 Blast Furnace site and was used to supply electricity directly for steel-making.

HF4 Blast Furnace Turbo Blower House, Belgium
 

It’s always fun finding new places and having a look around with no idea what might be inside. We had visited the HF4 blast furnace last year but like everyone else at the time we missed the blower house. Fast forward to 2016, Spider Monkey and I gave ourselves just a couple of days to plan a last-minute trip to visit some of Europe’s industrial sites and we remembered how promising this little building looked. Closer examination on a map got our hopes up so we headed back to the site to have a look around. The compressors had been covered with enclosures, hiding them away which was a shame but the little blower house was good to visit. It’s amazing what you can find when you have a quick look!

HF4 Power Plant and Blast Furnace

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HF4 Blast Furnace with the turbo blower house to the left

History of the HF4 Compressor House

The Compressor House, or Turbo Blower House is an integral part of the HF4 Blast Furnace site in Belgium. The production of iron requires a constant supply of air to be blown through the blast furnace as high pressure – hence the name “blast” furnace. The process of compressing the air works just like a power station in reverse. Rather than high pressure gasses (usually steam) driving the turbines, which in turn drive an alternator in a power station, almost exactly the same equipment is used the other way around. The electricity powers the motor, which in turns drive the blades in the compressor to compress the air. The power and steam was provided from a near-by power station at Monceau-sur-Sambre (often called Power Plant IM) via a huge cable-run and pipeline connecting the two sites. A stand-by diesel generator is also housed in the turbine hall. The blast furnace and its compressor house was mothballed in 2008 and the nearby power station was closed down shortly after in 2009.

There were a large number of local control panels, but most of the control operations would have been performed at the blast furnace’s main control room.

HF4 Blast Furnace, Belgium - The "Brain" at the base of the blast furnaceHF4 Blast Furnace

The turbo blowers injected compressed air directly to the HF4 blast furnace. We had previously had a look around the blast furnace and admired the impressive views from the top. Please take a look at my report from the huge blast furnace itself and the rest of the site too.

 

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - One of the enclosed blowers

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – One of the enclosed blowers

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - The second Maag blower is in a smaller enclosure

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – The second Maag blower is in a smaller enclosure

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Compressor

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Compressor

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Enclosure

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Enclosure

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Compressor enclosure and control panels

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Compressor enclosure and control panels

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Control panels behind motor

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Control panels behind motor

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - One of the two BBC motors

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – One of the two BBC motors

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Backup diesel generator

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Backup diesel generator

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Backup diesel generator

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Backup diesel generator

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Turbo blower hall

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Turbo blower hall

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Manager's office

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Manager’s office

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Locker room

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Locker room

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - High voltage switch room

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – High voltage switch room

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Switchgear

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Switchgear

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Steam pipes

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Steam pipes

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Local control panels in blower hall

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Local control panels in blower hall

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Raised control deck

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Raised control deck

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Controls and pipes

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Controls and pipes

HF4 Blower House, Belgium - Control panels

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HF4 Blower House, Belgium – Control panels

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