[X001M2AS], Letter from Wilson Stout Howell to Edison Electric Light and Power Co (St Paul), March 14th, 1889


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[X001M2AS], Letter from Wilson Stout Howell to Edison Electric Light and Power Co (St Paul), March 14th, 1889

Editor's Notes

First. Comparison of cost of copper, for 15 Feeders (all ending at same points as in original determination) between a station located under the bluff on Third St., opposite Market St, and the present location. [What follows is table, not sure how to handle it] No. of feeder, Capacity of Feeder in Amperes, single length feet, Distance New Site, Distance saved, distance increased, $ saved on copper, # Inc. on copper, location of Feeder 1, 220, 1900, 1700, 200, [blank], 7.90, [blank], W &7 2, 218, 3000, 3200, [blank], 200, [blank], 21.66, J & 6 3, 213, 3300, 1250, 1750, [blank], 1191.30, [blank], W & 3 4, 212, 3650, 2300, 1350, [blank], 801.86, [blank], R & 3 5, 190, 3700, 2750, 950, [blank], 779.10, [blank], J & 4 6, 184, 2500, 1400, 1100, [blank], 616.86, [blank], St, .p & 5 7, 173, 4500, 3100, 1400, [blank], 803.76, [blank], S & 3 8, 165, 3350, 800, 2550, [blank],1200.00, [blank], ST. p & 4 9, 160, 3250, 1900, 1350, [blank], 735.74, [blank], M & 3 10, 150, 2250, 2850 [blank], 600, [blank], 208.69, 7 & R 11, 150, 2650, 3270, [blank], 620, [blank], 280.39, 7 & R 12, 142, 2900, 1600, 1300, [blank], 568.52, [blank], 3 & W 13, 135, 2950, 1200, 1750, [blank], 696.87, [blank], 4 & W 14, 135, 1400, 2100, [blank],[blank], [blank], 246.54, 9 & W 15, 129, 1500, 2100, [blank], blank], [blank], 202.45, C & 7 Total?, 2576, 444800 Ft., 31530ft., 13700ft, 2720 ft, $7402.01, $959.81 St. Paul Minn. March 14th 1889. Wilson S. Howell W. Wabasha St. J. Jackson St. R.Robert St. St. P. St. Peter St. S. Sibley St. M. Minnesota St. C. Cedar St. The second colum represents capacity of each Feeder in amperes at 226 volts delivered to the Mains at 15% loss, which amounts in total to 2576 amperes, equivilent to 11,423.6 of the new 15 C/ high economy lamps of 110 volts or with a 10% overload 12566 lamps. The nominal capacity of the 15 feeders is a trifle less than the entire output of your Dynamos with 10% overload. The feeders marded with red were in use last November when I inspected the Plant, #10 having double the capacity given in the table, making the total capacity of the eights (8) feeders about 1550 amperes at 15% loss. At that time these Feeders were delivering 2200 amperes, at 220 volts at the feeder ends, and 290 volts at the station end, a loss 24% of all the energy taken from the Dynamos at that stage of the load. The normal capacity of your six pair of #20 dynamos is 2400 amperes at 250 volts (on three wire system) which is 850 amperes or 55% more current that your feeders were intended to carry at 15% loss. The third colum shows the single length of each feeder or the distancec between its extreme end and Station. This shows the length of cable required for each feeder and the total length of all cable, and gives you an idea, of the length of trench to be dug the labor required to lay the cable, refill trench and repair streets. The many places blasting of rock would be necessary and ecnonomy might result from laying some cables on another street, laying several in one trench even though the lengthes of cables be increased thereby. The Fourth shows the length of each bluff on St. opposite Market St. The total shows 13000 feet of distance ( or 26000 feet of cable saved, if only one conductor is laid in each cable, as in continuous cables without joints) less from the new site. The fifth and sixth colums show the feet saved on each feeder, representing the single distance from Station to feeder end. The seventh and eighth columns give the Money saved or increased on copper alone to which should be added cost of insulation, trench, labor and superintendence, which will make a very fine showing in favor of shorter feeders. Mr. Finn suggests that both stations be operated in conjunction, in which case the the feeders could be run from either station, whichever should be nearer to the point to be served, thus saving the outputs. #1 Station could then supply all the district of Sixth St. and #2 station all south of sixth St. #1 station would be so greatly relieved of its load that it could be run with 1/3 the labor, operating only during the hours of heavy load say from sunset till 12 p.m. #2 Station serving all the current required during the hours of light loads. #1 Station need not be increased in size, and but slightly altered to supply all the upper portion of the city which would pay to serve. I think the present station a good one from which to light the greatest part of the city, but a very bad one to serve the area now covered. The present building is not equal to the task of supplying the area in the center of which it is located, and is crowed to take care of all its present customers. How will this increase of customers be met? By building a new station or rebuilding the old? If a new station is constructed where will it be located? The location considered above will accomplish several reductions in investment (notably on copper in feeders, length of cable, length of trench) over the present location but in the main it will add to the investment a considerable sum. The new station can be operated with higher economy in every respect, fuel can be taken direct from cars or boat saving cartage. Water can be taken from the river saving all cost of wter. The loss on the feeders can be calculated at 10% instead of at 15% thus saving coal and capacity in engine sand boilers. A better and more economical boiler plant would save much coal and reduce repairs to a minimum. The reduction of loss on the feeders would reduce danger to dynamos and consequent repairs. A better system of feeders would make regulation more easy and certain. This with a better arrangement of electrical apparatus would secure a more constant / light with a saving of lamp breakage. Regulating apparatus should be massed so closely as possible at one point so that it can be seen and operated from one position by one man. Apparatus scattered around a station is seldom well attended to the result being that the pressure is variable and the lamp life unsatisfactory. Regulating apparatus of good type, properly placed, operated by one good man whose duty call him no where else, wiill make customers, keep customers, reduce complaints, keep down lamp breakage and load up the station with the best class of customers. Can you increase the present plant to double its capacity? Can you always prevent nuisances, such as smoke , condensed steam exhausted as spray, noise of exhaust, noice of belts and such annoyances? Can you do this and feel secure in your present location against the attacks of city councils and cranks? If so you must be prepared to bury your wires within a year if not sooner and when all this is done some one will trump up a new complaint. Could you feel secure in your presesnt location then I should advise constructing a station on the present site, supply all classes of customers with half a mile of the station in every direction, but it would be very unwise to increase the present station unless such security could be had. Wiser and older heads than ours should be asked to settle these questions. The Edison Electric Light Company, as a large stockholder, should be asked to give its opinion and advise. With all the reports on this station they have data enough to form an opinion from. My opinion is that you could get the best help and advise from them and to them I sincerely advise you to go. Yours very truly, Wilson S. Howell.




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