[X001M2AM], Letter from Wilson Stout Howell to Edison Electric Illuminating Co (Newburgh), September 22nd, 1888

Item

Abstract

[18 handwritten report, followed by completed preprinted inspection forms] Having completed my work at your station I consider it advisable that I report to you the present condition of your plant and outline the most important changes yet necessary. This I do as follows. Viz. ###With your highest load in Aug inst last (about 435 amperes on the negative side) your E.M.F. was 130 volts on the positive and 120 volts on the negative side. ###E.M.F. at feeder ends at same time was 110 volts and averaged a loss of from 12 to 23 volts on the conductors between the dynamos and the lamps. ### At highest load the buss rods (compsoed of 1/2" round copper) were too hot to be handled. The greatest loss discovered was in Ernest saloon where the lowest pressure was 100 volts which the buss pressure was 125 volts a loss of 25 volts. This consumer having over 30 lamps all on one side his service was changed over to the opposite side which made a great improvement in his light said gave us an average pressure of 106.75 volts, which reduced the los considerably. ##The losso n the whole system was further reduced by increasing the size of the bus rods 100 a/o and shortening them about 65 ft. (and each side of system) also by changing over a four old consenous and placing on new ones so as to improve the ideal balance. ##The results of these changes are as follows. With an increased load, (480 amperes on positive and 400 amperes on the negative side) the bus pressure was 128 volts and 122 volts respectively which feeder ends were kept at 110 volts. ##Some of the loss in your conductors is caused by both the mains and the finders being out of balance more is caused by the fact that your standard (#2) feeder is carrying too great a proportion the whole load is that it is necessary to run this buss pressure up and to introduce considerable resistance into all the other feeders to keep them at correct pressure. #2 feeder can be relieved by putting some of its load upon #1 feeder which can be done by laying a main from #1 feeder down first street to the main on front street. This would add load to #1 feeder and relieve #2 feeder in same proportion and would enable you to lower your bus pressure and decreases the loss of energy on conductors. ###The most serious fault in your entire plant today is the unequal load carried by the positve and negative wires in the mains, which impose a load upon the neutral wires and causes the pressure to rise above normal on one side and to fall correspondingly on the other side. This trouble increases as the load increases and can only be remedied by carefully balancing the load between the two sides of the system and maintaining the balance at all lines bring careful to resture the load balance when adding new consumers or when cutting off those who discontinue or remove. ### This appears difficult and troublesome but the trouble and the difficulty disappears almost entirely if every consumer is wired on the three wire system with half his load on each side or wired two lamps in series if he does not care for the advantage of controlling lamps singly. ### If you cannot put every consumer on three wires at least put all the large consumers on three wires say all having six lamps or more, and see that their load is balanced. ### In this way your load will balance itself at all times and your light will be much more in demand because of the improvement in its uniformity. ##Your pressure indicators are set to maintain a pressure of 110 volts at the feeder ends when the pointers are on zero. The lamps in use are of 104 volts of the old type lamps and 107 and 108 volts of the new type lamp. The highest pressure found on your system was 114 volts the lowest 100 volts, the the mean of these is 107 volts. The average of the high readings 110 volts, the average of low readings is 107 volts the average of the long tests of pressure is 107 volts. From this data I argue that lamps of 107 and 108 volts could be used to greatest advantage provided your regulation is carefully attended. ## Your regulation is not always faithfully attended to especially during day light. It is after seriously neglected by the first engineer who neglects his duties to read newspapers and to run downtown during his hours of duty. During these absenses the regulation suffers greatly rising often six or eight volts and even three volts above normal of the new lamps, 121 volts having been detached at lamps while the engine room had been vacated for half an hour. ## Your electrical apparatus is of good kind and mostly of latest and most approve construction and all is well calculated to do it work properly. The old style amperemeters having been replaced by the latest pattern and the pressure indication having been shilded from the influences which tended to make their readings false, therer is no reason why you should not be able to hold your pressure right when the load is balanced and the regulation attended to. Without close regulation you cannot have long life of lamps. Your lamps will cost you in proportion to the amount of attention given to regulation and balancing of the mains. A regulator boy at $20 per month will save more than his price in lamps besides giving your consumers a constant light which is far more satisfactory than a light - which varies in power from 14 to 24 c/p perhaps several times during the evening. (On paper 14.) The "It" dynamos which is generally used on the position side, generally refuses to carry more than 200 amperes although built for 400 amperes. The trouble was supposed to be in the regulator or in the magnet circuit but these parts I find to be in good condition and traced the trouble to a shipping belt, most probably due to it having saturated the belt. The trouble with the "3" dynamos is that having been built to give a current of 150 amperes at 110 volts with a spread of 1150 revolutions per minute, it will not give much over 100 amperes because the voltage required deliever that current is 116 to 118 above which this type of dynamos will not go with a load unless the spread be increased considerably. The "S" dynamos are already spread above normal, the positive dynamos running about 1200 and the negative dynamos, (whose pully is 3/8" smaller) about 1245 revolutions per minute. The use of an indicator to show the exact moment where the dynamos should be thrown together, would simplify and save much of the trouble of switching in dynamos, such a device would entirely avoid sparking of brushes and jumping of lights at the moment of throwing in the second pair of dynamos and would be a safeguard against injuring the armatures by careless switching in. Concerning your conductors I desire to impress upon you the importance of bridging that is the advantage of taking current into the mains from every finder within reach of making each finder helps every other finder as much as possible and as far as practiable of joining all open ends of mains to some other main so that the current shall always have two or more ways of reaching its consumers. Your system can be greatly improved by such "bridging" the most important of which I specify below, referring to the sketch, where the mains are represented by black and the proposed bridges by red lines, feeders being marked by circles and numbered same as on your map. "Leave space 3" for sketch" (Random typed page) making each feeder help every other feeder as much as possible and as far as pracitcable of joining all open ends of mains to some other main so that the current shall always have two or more ways of reaching its consumers. Your system can be greatly improved by such "bridging" the most important of wfhich I specify below, referring to the sketch, hwere the mains are presented by black and the proposed bridges by red lines, feeders being marked by circles and numbered same as on your map. (Picture of circuit map) To help #2 feeder which is now carrying about half the load of the station (sometimes more than half) feeder #1 should be connected to the main on Front Street by a main from catch box on Colden Street down First Street to Front street. This main or bridge would take current from #1 feeder to serve the greatest part of the customers on Front Street and so relieve #2 feeder beside serving a better and (back to hand-written notes) To help #2 feeder which is now carrying about half the load of the station (sometimes more than half) feeder #1 should be connected to the main on Front Street by a main from catch box on Colden Street down First Street to Front street. This main or bridge would take current from #1 feeder to serve the greatest part of the customers on Front Street and so relieve #2 feeder beside serving a better and standing light on Front St. To steady #4 feeder it should be bridged into #2 feeder by a main laid from catch box at corner of 3d [xxx] sts. Down 3d to corner of Montgomery St. where it should join the main which finds the station. This would put more load on #4 feeder by taking load from #2 feeder both results benefiting regulation to steady #5 feeder so that it is more easily regulated mains should be laid from #5 feeder first to end of present main on Broadway, this would help #1 feeder and hold #5 would regulate better on heavy loads without such jumps in the light where the opera house lamps were switched. Second, a main should be laid back from #5 feeder to the main at corner of Grand St. and First St. This would help out #4 feeder on heavy loads and help to steady it on light loads and in case of rapid or heavy changes of load at Opera House would aid naturally in regulating and preventing dangerous changes of pressure. In these cases the lamps on feeders #1 to #4 would put the changes of load at the present but not to an extent which would counteract the benefits of the bridging. A main on First St. from colden to Maud, connected to #1 feeder and to main on Grand St. would be servicable as a bridge but would not pay for itself unless lighting could be obtained which cwould warrant the outlay. The broken main on Grand St. between Catharine and south should be repaired and allowed to perform its functions of bridge between #3 + #4 feeders. Feeders which are isolated from the system of mains fed by #1, #2 + #3 feeders are most difficult to regulate good instances of which are feeders #4 + #5 which are not bridged to each other or to the balance of the system and are not easily regulated especially with small loads. All lamps wired two in a series without neutral wire and all 220 volt motors run on meter should be charged for at double regulator rates by doubling the meter constant. Make frequent tests of pressure with volt meter, especially on #1 & #2 feeders, do this at all stages of the load, don't let your engineer know that you are taking pressure or he will take special pains at that time to put pressure constant. If you put a boy to regulate check his work with a volt meter and keep him to his business. Your station needs a boss, a master, more than any one thing, a man with authority and execution abilty can get better work out of the min. Add to page 7 as follows One of the pressure wires of feeder #4, the position, was found so badly grounded that it could not be used and the indicators of that feeder wire unreliable. I made the neutral pressure wire serve as a positive pressure wire and took the neutral pressure from the neutral pressure from the neutral buss to the indicators. This arrangement will answer in all cases except where the loss in the neutral of that feeder interfers, when the load of #4 feeder is balanced the indicators will be correctif on zero. Two of the pressure wires of #1 feeder wire broken off at the station end of the tube to repair which it was necessary to cut off 2" of the iron tube. Continue: In starting up station after the current has been for any reason shut off, do not raise E.M.F. of dynamos before switches are all closed. Switches should all be closed first and pressure gradually raised. The reasons for this rule are plain, you cannot tell at what E.M.F. your current is unless the indicators show you and the indicators do not act when the switches are open. If the dynamos are first brought up so that pilot lamps is bright and the switches than closed you are apt to [xxx] the lamps and if any motors be in circuit the effect on them, especially of larger sizes, is often very disastrous. The only exception to this rule is in case of crosses or short circuits which must sometimes be burned off by bringing the field of the dynamos up which switch is open and throwing the current into the line at a high pressure. All owners of motors should be warrented by a permite or written notice posted by the motor card, to open switch whenever motor stops or slows down and to keep switch open till the current is turned on again. A pilot lamp will show motor customers when the current has been out off or turned on. The lists of the new feeder laid from station to Academy of Music 1750 ft. showed that the insulation resistance was very high, probably about 5,000,000 ohms. The list was necessarily a rude one but was enitrely satisfactory in its results. On sept. 8th the roof of the engine room leaked and water ran on to the magnet coils and armature of S. dynamos #34. It was not put into service for three days when it appeared quite dry and should no sign of grounds In case of prolonged cross or short circuit on lines, throw all resistance out of equalizers until crosses is opened for it may cause fire by heating the equalizer wires if abnormally heavy currents are forced through them. I consider it to the advantage of your company to reserve the night of testing out and lighting every new consumer, no matter by whome wired before any current is put into premises and to allow no other to put purges safety leads either on new work or old. People who do not know how to wire should be restricted and all their work tested and no one allowed to have plugs till the work is passed by company then glugs of the proper size should be put in by the company new and the light served. Don't run your indicators above zero. If you want higher pressure sit your standard indicators higher and run them all on zero. When your system has been balanced and your mains bridged I should be glad to spend three or four days proving results of the changes recommended. Yours very truly, Wilson S. Howell Newburgh, NY, Sept. 13, 1888 Started up 1884 Capacity of machinery 2 #20 dynamos 2. H. Dynamos + 2 S. dynamos 19 Capacity of system of distribution About 100 amperes at 220 volts Increase since starting (in addition to above) 1 Feeder 1750 ft. on to carry 200 amperes at 220 volts Lamps connect don't know, small lamps Lamps in residences: don't know Maximum load during sept 88. 900. amperes 110 volts Average evening load 800 amperes 110 volts Lightest load 60 amperes 110 volts Ampere hours per day: don't know Daily run: 24 hours six days weekly Lamp hours per day: don't know Lamp breakage: not heavy Lamp life:excellent considering regulation Area covered: 3/4 by 1/2 mile Number of feeders: five Loss in feeders, full load 1 side 20 volts based 10 volts Loss in main could not determine because of bad balance Service lines: too many of two wires only. Some but the wire services now put in. Bridges in mains: Mains not well bridged, at pressure #5 + #4 feeders are isolated. Bridging in expensive on underground work. Normal E.M.F. of lamps 104 volts. Will be raised to 107 + 8 volts E.M.F. at feeder ends 110 volts Equalizers on each feeder, don't work well on extreme light load Regulating apparatus of good kind. Comparative indicators used shielded from influences. Dynamos regulators old style bulky. All apparatus is bunched in one place. Indicators are set directly above equalizers and are shielded Setting of Indicators are set directly above equalizers and are shielded. Setting of indicators is so as to be most convenient to regulators. Indicators affected by varying magnetic field but shielded Relative positions of indicators to regulators and equalizers quite close to both but shielded so that they are affected but slightly. Dynamos ampere meters of old style #272 Main and neutral meters one #508 on + and one on - no neutral ampere meter used Dynamo galvanometer not in use Condition of dynamos and care given them: Dynamos have fair attention brushes last well. Dynamos not always clean. Leaks in roof wet magnets of one "S" machine last week Bridges in mains: mains not well bridged at present #5 + #4 feeder are isolated. Bridging is expensive on underground work. Normal E.M.F. of lamps: 104 volts will be raised to 107 + 8 volts E.M.F. at feeder ends: 110 volts Equalizers: on each feeder, don't work will on extreme light load Regulating apparatus: of good kind. Comparative indicators used shielded from influences. Dynamos regulators old style bulky. All apparatus is bunched in one place. Indicators: are set directly above equalizers and are shielded. Setting of indicators: is so as to be most convenient to regulators. Indicators affected by varying magnetic field: but shielded Relative positions of indicators to regulators and equalizers: quite close to both but shielded so that they are affected but slightly. Dynamo ampere meters: of old style #272 Main and neutral meters: one #508 on + and one on - no neutral ampere meter used Dynamo galvanometer: not in use Condition of dynamos and care given them: Dynamos have fair attention brushes last well. Dynamos not always clean. Leaks in roof wet magnets of one "S" machine last week. Image 22 of 23 Engines running, style, number, condition: 3 armington + Sims engines 2 of 135 HP one of 35 HP. One of larger engines pounds in crack pin journal. Small engine does not regular well with sudden changes of load, as when motors are thrown off on an while load is small Street lighting system: none General condition of station: Recently put into good shape as far as electrical fractures are concerned. 1st engines don't clean up and neglects be most important duties. Pressure wires: all in tubes with feeders (+)(-) of #4 feeder gone in Voltmeter of Box pattern. #77. New and in excellent condition. Common appliances wanting: Dynamos galvanometer Light, how sold: both by meter and by contract Motors in operation: 10, 1/7 HP, 2/5HP, 2/3 HP, 1/2 HP, 1/1 HP, 2/(1/2), 1/(15) HP Are light plant operated: Thompson Houston Co. next door Employees: 2 engines, 1 fireman, meter man, levien, + Manager Image 23 of 23 Management: in hands of H.B. Beckman Prest. No salary. J.C. Embler supt. In charge of Office + station Capital, limit $45,000. Paid up, 45,000 Competition: rather shaky arc light company operates Sawyer Man lamps in plain series with J+H arcs. About 200 such lamps in use. Active officers: H.B. Beckman Pres. M. Belkuap Mas Secty. Monthly reports: sent to Edison Co. regularly Lamps counted and sorted: since Aug '88 all lamps are also listed for vacuum and for spots in carbon. Customers lamp account: Lamps are furnished free and a record kept of all numerals

Date

1888-09-22

Decade

1880-1889

Type

Identifier

X001M2AM

Folder Set

X001M2

Title

[X001M2AM], Letter from Wilson Stout Howell to Edison Electric Illuminating Co (Newburgh), September 22nd, 1888

Microfilm ID

Publisher

Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University