Thursday, June 7, 2012

Steam Vapor Rising Through Street "Chimneys"

A common sight in the streets of Manhattan is steam rising from manholes through orange-and-white "chimneys" like this one at the diamond district. The steam could result from cooler external water being boiled by contact with steam pipes or leaks in the steam system itself. The New York City steam system is a district heating system which takes steam produced by many generating stations and carries it under the streets of Manhattan to heat, cool, or supply power to high rise buildings and businesses. Some New York businesses and facilities also use the steam for cleaning, climate control and disinfection. Consolidated Edison operates the largest commercial steam system in the United States. The organization within Con Edison that is responsible for the system's operation is known as Steam Operations, providing steam service to commercial and residential establishments in Manhattan. 

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