Power Transmission - Encyclopedia

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POWER TRANSMISSION. The appliances connected with installations for the utilization of natural sources of energy may be classified into three groups: I. Prime movers, by means of which the natural form of energy is transformed into mechanical energy. To this group belong all such appliances as water turbines, steam turbines, steam engines and boilers, gas producers, gas engines, oil engines, &c.

2. Machinery of any kind which is driven by energy made available by the prime mover. To this group belong all machine tools, textile machinery, pumping machinery, cranes - in fact every kind of machine which requires any considerable quantity of energy to drive it.

3. The appliances by means of which the energy made available by the prime mover is transmitted to the machine designed to utilise it. The term power is used to denote the rate at which energy is transmitted. The unit of power in common use is the horse power, and one horse power means a rate of transmission of 550 foot-pounds per second.

In many cases the prime mover is combined with the machine in such a way that the transmitting mechanism is not distinctly differentiated from either the prime mover or the machine, as in the case of the locomotive engine. In other cases the energy made available by the prime mover is distributed to a number of separate machines at a distance from the prime mover, as in the case of an engineer's workshop. In this case the transmitting mechanism by means of which the energy is distributed to the several machines has a distinct individuality. In other cases prime movers are located in places where the natural source of energy is abundant, namely, near waterfalls, or in the neighbourhood of coal-fields, and the energy made available is transmitted in bulk to factories, &c., at relatively great distances. In this case the method and mechanism of distribution become of paramount importance, since the distance between the prime mover and the places where the energy is to be utilized by machines is only limited by the efficiency of the mechanism of distribution.

Prime movers are considered in the articles Steam Engine; GAS Engine; OIL Engine, and Hydraulics, and machines in various special articles. The methods and mechanisms of distribution or transmission alone form the subjects of the present article, and the different methods in general use readily fall into four divisions: I. Mechanical. 3. Pneumatic.

2. Hydraulic. 4. Electrical.

Table of contents


[[Mechanical § I]]. Methods. - The mechanical transmission of power is effected in general by means of belts or ropes, by shafts or by wheel gearing and chains. Each individual method may be used separately or in combination. The problems involved in the design and arrangement of the mechanisms for the mechanical distribution of power are conveniently approached by the consideration of the way in which the mechanical energy made available by an engine is distributed to the several machines in the factory. By a belt on the fly-wheel of the prime mover the power is transmitted to the line shaft, and pulleys suitably placed along the line shaft by means of other belts transmit power, first, to small countershafts carrying fast and loose pulleys and striking gear for starting or stopping each engine at will, and then to the driving pulleys of the several machines. (See also Pulleys.) § 2. Quantitative Estimation of the Power Transmitted. - In dealing with the matter quantitatively the engine crank-shaft may be taken as the starting point of the transmission, and the first motion-shaft of the machine as the end of the transmission so far as that particular machine is concerned.

Let T be the mean torque or turning effort which the engine exerts continuously on the crank shaft when it is making N revolutions per second. It is more convenient to express the revolutions per second in terms of the angular velocity w, that is, in radians per second. The relation between these quantities is w=21rN. Then the rate at which work is done by the engine crank shaft is Tw foot-pounds per second, equivalent to Tw/550 horse power. This is now distributed to the several machines in varying proportions. Assuming for the sake of simplicity that the whole of the power is absorbed by one machine, let T 1 be the torque on the first motionshaft of the machine, and let w l be its angular velocity, then the rate at which the machine is absorbing energy is T l w i foot-pounds per second. A certain quantity of energy is absorbed by the transmitting mechanism itself for the purpose of overcoming frictional and other resistances, otherwise the rate of absorption of energy by the machine would exactly equal the rate at which it was produced by the prime mover assuming steady conditions of working. Actually therefore T l w 1 would be less than Tw so that T i w i = riTw, (I) where, is called the efficiency of the transmission. Considering now the general problem of a multiple machine transmission, if w i , T are the several torques and angular velocities of the respective first motion shafts of the machines, (T1wi+T2w2±T3w3+ ....) = i Tw (2) expresses the relations which must exist at any instant of steady motion. This is not quite a complete statement of the actual conditions because some of the provided energy is always in course of being stored and unstored from instant to instant as kinetic energy in the moving parts of the mechanism. Here, n is the over-all efficiency of the distributing mechanism. We now consider the separate parts of the transmitting mechanism.

§ 3. Belts. - Let a pulley A (fig. 1) drive a pulley B by means of a leather belt, and let the direction of motion be as indicated by the arrows on the pulleys. When the pulleys are revolving uniformly, A FIG. I.

transmitting power to B, one side of the belt will be tight and the other side will be slack, but both sides will be in a state of tension. Let t and u be the respective tensions on the tight and slack side; then the torque exerted by the belt on the pulley B is (t - u)r, where r is the radius of the pulley in feet, and the rate at which the belt does work on the pulley is (t - u)rw foot-pounds per second. If the horse-power required to drive the machine be represented by h.p., then (t - u)rw=550 h.p., (3) assuming the efficiency of the transmission to be unity. This equation contains two unknown tensions, and before either can be found another condition is necessary. This is supplied by the relation between the tensions, the arc of contact 0, in radians (fig. 2), the coefficient of friction ,u between the belt and the pulley, the mass of the belt and the speed of the belt.

Consider an element of the belt (fig. 2) sub tending an angle do at the centre of the pul ley, and let t be the tension on one side of a }dB the element and (t+dt) the tension of the other side. The ten sion tending to cause the element to slide bodily round the sur face of the pulley is dt. The normal pressure between the element and the face of the pulley due to the tensions is t do, but this is diminished by the force necessary to constrain the element to move in the circular path determined by the curvature of the pulley. If W is the weight of the belt per foot, the constraining force required for this purpose is Wv 2 d0/g, where v is the linear velocity of the belt in feet per second. Hence the frictional resistance of the element to sliding is (t - Wv 2 /g).do, and this must be equal to the difference of tensions dt when the element is on the point of slipping, so that (1 - Wv 2 /g)µdo = dt. The solution of this equation is t - Wv 2 /g e (4) u - Wv-lg _ - eµ, where t is now the maximum tension and u the minimum tension, and e is the base of the Napierian system of logarithms, 2.718. Equations (3) and (4) supply the condition from which the power transmitted by a given belt at a given speed can be found. For ordinary work the term involving v may be neglected, so that (4) becomes t/u = eµ8. (5) Equations (3) and (5) are ordinarily used for the preliminary design of a belt to calculate t, the maximum tension in the belt necessary to transmit a stated horse power at a stated speed, and then the cross section is proportioned so that the stress per square inch shall not exceed a certain safe limit determined from practice.

To facilitate the calculations in connexion with equation (5), tables are constructed giving the ratio t/u for various values of µ and 0. (See W. C. Unwin, Machine Design, 12th ed., p. 377.) The ratio should be calculated for the smaller pulley. If the belt is arranged as in fig. 1, that is, with the slack side uppermost, the drop of the belt tends to increase 0 and hence the ratio tlu for both pulleys.

§ 4. Example of Preliminary Design of a Belt

The following example illustrates the use of the equations for the design of a belt in the ordinary way. Find the width of a belt to transmit 20 h.p. from the flywheel of an engine to a shaft which runs at 180 revolutions per miunte (equal to 18.84 radians per second), the pulley on the shaft being 3 ft. diameter. Assume the engine flywheel to be of such diameter and at such a distance from the driven pulley that the arc of contact is 120°, equal to 2.094 radians, and further assume that the coefficient of friction µ= 0.3. Then from equation (5) 11u= e2.094 X 0.3 =2.7180.6282; that is log e t/u = o6282, from which t/u=1.87, and u=t/1.87. Using this in (3) we have 41-1/I. 87) 1.5 X 18.84 = 55 o X 20, from which 838 lb. Allowing a working strength of 300 lb per square inch, the area required is 2.8 sq. in.,' so that if the belt is 4 in. thick its width would be 11.2 in., or if 3 6 in. thick, 15 in. approximately. The effect of the force constraining the circular motion in diminishing the horse power transmitted may now be ascertained by calculating the horse power which a belt of the size found will actually transmit when the maximum tension t is 838 lb. A belt of the area found above would weigh about 1.4 lb. per foot. The velocity of the belt, v = wr =18.84 X 1.5 =28.26 ft. per second. The term Wv 2 /g therefore has the numerical value 4.7. Hence equation (2) becomes (t -34.7)/(u-34.7) =1.87, from which, inserting the value 838 for t, a =464.5 lb. Using this value of u in equation (I). = (838-464.5)X 18.84 X1.5 H.P 1 1 0 - 9 555 Thus with the comparatively low belt speed of 28 ft. per second the horse power is only diminished by about 5%. As the velocity increases the transmitted horse power increases, but the loss from this cause rapidly increases, and there will be one speed for every belt at which the horse power transmitted is a maximum. An increase of speed above this results in a diminution of transmitted horse power.

§ 5. Belt Velocity for Maximum Horse Power

If the weight of a belt per foot is given, the speed at which the maximum horse power is transmitted for an assigned value of the maximum tension t can be calculated from equations (3) and (4) as follows: Let t be the given maximum tension with which a belt weighing W lb per foot may be worked. Then solving equation (4) for u, subtracting t from each side, and changing the signs all through: t - u= (t - Wv 2 /g) (1 - e µ e). And the rate of working U, in foot-pounds per second, is U = (t - u)v = (Iv - WO /g) (1 - e µe). Differentiating U with regard to v, equating to zero, and solving for v, we have v= (tg/3W). Utilizing the data of the previous example to illustrate this matter, t=838 lb per square inch, W =1.4 lb per foot, and consequently, from the above expression, v=80 ft. per second approximately. A lower speed than this should be adopted, however, because the above investigation does not include the loss incurred by the continual bending of the belt round the circumference of the pulley. The loss from this cause increases with the velocity of the belt, and operates to make the velocity for maximum horse power considerably lower than that given above.

§ 6. Flexibility

When a belt or rope is working power is absorbed in its continual bending round the pulleys, the amount depending upon the flexibility of the belt and the speed. If C is the couple required to bend the belt to the radius of the pulley, the rate at which work is done is Cw foot-pounds per second. The value of C for a given belt varies approximately inversely as the radius of the pulley, so that the loss of power from this cause will vary inversely as the radius of the pulley and directly as the speed of revolution. Hence thin flexible belts are to be preferred to thick stiff ones. Besides the loss of power in transmission due to this cause, the bending causes a stress in the belt which is to be added to the direct stress due to the tensions in the belt in order to find the maximum stress. In ordinary leather belts the bending stress is usually negligible; in ropes, however, especially wire rope, it assumes paramount importance, since it tends to overstrain the outermost strands and if these give way the life of the rope is soon determined.

§ 7. Rope Driving

About 1856 James Combe, of Belfast, introduced the practice of transmitting power by means of ropes running in grooves turned circumferentially in the rim of (From Abram Combe, Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng.) FIG. 3. - Rope driving; half-crossed rope drive, separate rope to each groove.

the pulley (fig. 3). The ropes may be led off in groups to the different floors of the factory to pulleys keyed to the distributing shafting. A groove was adopted having an angle of about 450, XXII. 8 t+dt FIG. 2.

and this is the angle now used in the practice of Messrs Combe, Barbour and Combe, of Belfast. A section of the rim of a rope driving wheel showing the shape of the groove for a rope 14 in. diameter is shown in fig. 4, and a rope driving pulley designed for six 11-in.

4----. - 2 g Pith - --, ropes is shown in fig. 5. A rope is less flexible than a belt, and therefore care must be taken not to arrange rope drives with pulleys having too small a diameter relatively to the diameter of the rope. The principles of §§ 3, 4, 5 and 6, apply equally to ropes, but with the practical modification that the working stress in the rope is a much smaller fraction of the ultimate strength than in the FIG. 5. - Rope Pulley, 10 ft. diam., 6 grooves, 22 in. pitch, weight about 35 cwt. Constructed by Combe, Barbour & Combe, Ltd., Belfast.

Smallest diameter of


Pulley, which should

H.P. per Rope for

of Rope.

be used with the

smallest Pulley at too


revs. per minute.















case of belting and the ratio of the tensions is much greater. The following table, based upon the experience of Messrs Combe, presents the practical possibilities in a convenient form: - The speed originally adopted for the rope was 55 ft. per second This speed has been exceeded, but, as indicated above, for any particular case there is one speed at which the maximum horse power is transmitted, and this speed is chosen with due regard to the effect of centrifugal tension and the loss due to the continual bending of the rope round the pulley. Instead of using one rope for each groove, a single continuous rope may be used, driving from one common pulley several shafts at different speeds. For further information see Abram Combe, Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. (July 1896). Experiments to compare the efficiencies of rope and belt driving were carried out at Lille in 1894 by the Societe Industrielle du Nord de la France, for an account of which see D. S. Capper, Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. (October 1896). Cotton ropes are used extensively for transmitting power in factories, and though more expensive than Manila ropes, are more durable when worked under suitable conditions.

§ 8. Shafts. - When a shaft transmits power from a prime mover to a machine, every section of it sustains a turning couple or torque T, and if w is the angular velocity of rotation in radians per second, the rate of transmission is T. foot-pounds per second, and the relation between the horse power, torque and angular velocity is Tw=550 H.P. (6) The problem involved in the design of a shaft is so to proportion the size that the stress produced by the torque shall not exceed a certain limit, or that the relative angular displacement of two sections at right angles to the axis of the shaft at a given distance apart shall not exceed a certain angle, the particular features of the problem determining which condition shall operate in fixing the size. At a section of a solid round shaft where the diameter is D inches, the torque T inch-pounds, and the maximum shearing stress f pounds per square inch, the relation between the quantities is given by T = i D3 f/ 1 6, (7) and the relation between the torque T, the diameter D, the relative angular displacement 0 of two sections L inches apart by T =Ce rD 4 /32L, (8) where C is the modulus of rigidity for the material of the shaft. Observe that 0 is here measured in radians. The ordinary problems of shaft transmission by solid round shafts subject to a uniform torque only can be solved by means of these equations.

Calculate the horse power which a shaft 4 in. diameter can transmit, revolving 120 times per minute (12.56 radians per second), when the maximum shearing stress f is limited to 11,000 lb per square inch. From equation (7) the maximum torque which may be applied to the shaft is T =138,400 inch-pounds. From (6) H.P. = 138,400 X 12.56 _ 264. The example may be continued to 12X550 find how much the shaft will twist in a length of to ft. Substituting the value of the torque in inch-pounds in equation (8), and taking 11,500,000 for the value of C, 6 138,400 X120 X32 _ 0,057 radians, 11,500,00o X3.14X256 - and this is equivalent to 3.3°.

In the case of hollow round shafts where D is the external diameter and d the internal diameter equation (7) becomes T=irf(D 4 - d 4)/ 16D, (9) and equation (8) becomes T = Ceir(D 4 - d 4)/32L. (to) The assumption tacitly made hitherto that the torque T remains constant is rarely true in practice; it usually varies from instant to instant, often in a periodic manner, and an appropriate value of f must be taken to suit any particular case. Again it rarely happens that a shaft sustains a torque only. There is usually a bending moment associated with it. For a discussion of the proper values of f, to suit cases where the stress is variable, and the way a bending moment of known amount may be combined with a known torque, see Strength Of Materials. It is sufficient to state here that if M is the bending moment in inch-pounds, and T the torque in inch-pounds, the magnitude of the greatest direct stress in the shaft due to the effect of the torque and twisting moment acting together is the same as would be produced by the application of a torque of M+1,1 (T2 -{-M2) inch-pounds. (I I) It will be readily understood that in designing a shaft for the distribution of power to a factory where power is taken off at different places along the shaft, the diameter of the shaft near the engine must be proportioned to transmit the total power transmitted whilst the parts of the shaft more remote from the engine are made smaller, since the power transmitted there is smaller.

§ 9. Gearing Pitch Chains. - Gearing is used to transmit power from one shaft to another. The shafts may be parallel; or inclined to one another, so that if produced they would meet in a point; or inclined to one another so that if produced they would not meet in a point. In the first case the gear wheels are called spur wheels, sometimes cog wheels; in the second case bevel wheels, or, if the angle between the shafts is 9e, mitre wheels; and in the third case they are called skew bevels. In all cases the teeth should be so shaped that the velocity ratio between the shafts remains constant, although in very rare cases gearing is designed to work with a variable velocity ratio as part of some special machines. For the principles governing the shape of the teeth to fulfil the condition that the velocity ratio between the wheels shall be constant, see Mechanics, § Applied. The size of the teeth is determined by the torque the gearing is required to transmit.

Pitch chains are closely allied to gearing; a familiar example is in the driving chain of a bicycle. Pitch chains are used to a limited extent as a substitute for belts, and the teeth of the chains and the teeth of the wheels with which they work are shaped on the same principles as those governing the design of the teeth of wheels.

If a pair of wheels is required to transmit a certain maximum horse power, the angular velocity of the shaft being w, the pressure P which the teeth must be designed to sustain at the pitch circle is 55 o H.P. /wR, where R is the radius of the pitch circle of the wheel, whose angular velocity is w.

§ to. Velocity Ratio

In the case of transmission either by belts, ropes, shafts or gearing, the operating principle is that the rate of working is constant, assuming that the efficiency of the transmission is unity, and that the product Tw is therefore constant, whether the shafts are connected by ropes or gearing. Considering therefore two shafts, T I w i =T 2 w 2; that is w;/w 2 =T 2 /T i; i.e. the angular velocity ratio is inversely as the torque ratio. Hence the higher the speed at which a shaft runs, the smaller the torque for the transmission of a given horse power, and the smaller the tension on the belts or ropes for the transmission of a given horse power.

§ I i. Long Distance Transmission of Power. - C. F. Hirn originated the transmission of power by means of wire ropes at Colmar in Alsace in 1850. Such a telodynamic transmission consists of a series of wire ropes running on wheels or pulleys supported on piers at spans varying from 300 to 500 ft. between the prime mover and the place where the power is utilized. The slack of the ropes is supported in some cases on guide pulleys distributed between the main piers. In this way 300 h.p. was transmitted over a distance of 6500 ft. at Freiberg by means of a series of wire ropes running at 62 ft. per second on pulleys 177 in. diameter. The individual ropes of the series, each transmitting 300 h.p., were each I 08 in. diameter and contained to strands of 9 wires per strand, the wires being each 0'072 in. diameter. Similar installations existed at Schaffhausen, Oberursal, Bellegarde, Tortona and Zurich. For particulars of these transmissions with full details see W. C. Unwin's Howard Lectures on the " Development and Transmission of Power from Central Stations " (Journ. Soc. Arts, 1893, published in book form 1894). The system of telodynamic transmission would no doubt have developed to a much greater extent than it has done but for the advent of electrical transmission, which made practicable the transmission of power to distances utterly beyond the possibilities of any mechanical system.

See W. J. M. Rankine, Treatise on Machinery and Millwork; and W. C. Unwin, Elements of Machine Design; and for telodynamic transmission see F. Reuleaux, Die Konstrukteur. (W. E. D.) H. - Hydraulic The first proposal for a general transmission of hydraulic power was made by Bramah in 1802. In 1846 Lord Armstrong's hydraulic crane was erected at Newcastle, and was worked from the town water mains, but the pressure in such mains was too low and uncertain to secure satisfactory results. The invention of the accumulator in 1850 enabled much higher pressures to be used; since then 700 lb per square inch has been adopted in most private hydraulic power transmission plants. An attempt to give a public supply of hydraulic power was made in 1859, when a company was formed for laying mains in London along the river Thames between the Tower and Blackfriars, the engineer being Sir George Bruce; but though an act of parliament was obtained, the works were not carried out. The first public hydraulic supply station was established at Hull in 1877. In 1883 the General Hydraulic Power Works, Messrs Ellington and Woodall being the engineers, were started in London, and they now form the largest system of hydraulic power transmission in existence. Works of a similar character have since been established in several other towns. The general features of hydraulic power transmissions are: (1) a central station where the hydraulic pressure is created, usually by means of steam pumping engines; (2) a system of distribution mains; (3) machines for utilizing the pressure. In cases of public supplies there is the further important matter of registration.

When dealing with any practical problem of hydraulic power transmission it is of the first importance to determine the maximum demand for power, its duration and frequency.

If the duration of the maximum demand is limited S and the frequency restricted - for instance, when a swing bridge has to be opened and closed only a few times in the course of a day - a small pumping plant and a large accumulator will be desirable. If the maximum demand is more or less continuous, as when hydraulic pressure is used for working a pump in a mine or a hydraulic engine in a workshop, the central station pumping engine must be capable of supplying the maximum demand without the aid of an accumulator, which may or may not, according to circumstances, be provided to serve as a regulator. A hydraulic accumulator (fig. i) ordinarily consists of a hydraulic cylinder FIG. I.

and ram, the ram being loaded with sufficient weight to give the pressure required in the hydraulic mains. If a pressure of 700 lb per square inch is wanted, the weight of the ram and its load, neglecting friction, must be 700 lb for each square inch of its area, and if the cylinder is full, i.e. the ram elevated to its full extent, the accumulator is a reservoir of power, exactly as if it were a tank at the same cubical extent placed at an elevation of about 1600 ft. above the mains and connected with them. The function of accumulators in hydraulic power distribution is frequently misunderstood, and it has been urged that as in practice the size of the reservoirs of power that can be obtained by their use is small, they are of little value. An accumulator having a ram 20 in. diameter by 20 ft. stroke loaded to 700 lb is .



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?  ? ? ????; ii iii a fairly large one, but it contains only 439,740 foot-pounds of available energy. If the accumulator ram descended in one minute the horse power developed during that time would be 13.3, and until again pumped up its function would cease. Is so small a reservoir worth much ? The correct answer to this question depends upon the surrounding circumstances. In the case of any general system of hydraulic power transmission it is certain that there will be very large and frequent variations in the combined demand for power, the periods of approximate maximum rarely exceeding in the aggregate 2 or 3 hours a day (see fig. 2). Where the area of supply is very extensive there are further subsidiary variations in small sections of the area. The main features of the combined load curves are fairly constant, but the local peaks are very erratic. Such conditions are favourable to the extensive use of accumulators.

When comparing the economy of hydraulic machinery which works intermittently, such as cranes and hoists, with other systems the effect of the hydraulic accumulator in reducing the maximum horse power required is often neglected. In consequence the comparison is vitiated, because the minimum cost of running a central station depends to a great extent upon the FIG. 2.

maximum demand, even though the maximum may be required only during a few minutes of the day. In the hydraulic system accumulators at the central stations perform the two distinct functions of reducing the maximum load on the pumps which supply the demand, and regulating automatically the speed of the pumps as the demand varies from minute to minute. In any large system where a number of pumping units are required they also allow a sufficient interval of time to start any additional units. Accumulators connected to the mains at a considerable distance from the central station reduce the variations of pressure, and the size of mains required for a given supply of power, and therefore have a most important influence on the economy of distribution. The mechanical efficiency of hydraulic accumulators is very high, being from 95% to 98%, and they are practically indestructible.

When designing central stations the aim should be to employ pumping engines of such capacity that they can be worked as nearly as possible continuously at about their maximum output; the same consideration should, in the main, determine the size of the pumping units in a station where more than a single unit is employed. With a number of units, each can be worked, when in use, at or near the most economical speed. Moreover, reserve plant is necessary if the supply of power is to be constant, and where the units are many the actual reserve required is less than where the units are few.

An effect of the multiplication of power units is to increase the capital outlay; indeed, it may be stated quite generally that economy in working and maintenance cannot be obtained without a larger capital outlay than would be required for a simpler and less economical plant. A high degree of economy estimated on financial data - the ultimate base on which these practical questions rest - can only be obtained in large installations where the averaging effect of the combination of a large number of comparatively small intermittent demands for power is greatest. The term loadfactor, since it was first coined by Colonel R. E. Crompton in 1891, has come into common use as an expression of the relation between the average and the maximum output from any central source of supply. No argument is required to show that a given central station plant working continuously at its maximum speed day and night all the year round, say for 8760 hours in a year, should produce the power more cheaply per unit, not only as to the actual running cost, but also as to the capital or interest charges, than the same plant running on the average at the same speed for, say, one-third the time, or 2920 hours. In this case the load-factor 2920/8760 = 333, or 33.37 0%. The saving on the whole expenditure per unit is not in direct proportion to an increase in the load-factor, and its effect on the various items of expenditure is extremely variable. The influence is greatest on the capital charges, and it has no influence at all, or may even have a detrimental effect, on some items; for instance, the cost of repairs per unit of output may be increased by a high loadfactor. Its effect on the coal consumption depends very much on the kind and capacity of the boilers in use; on whether the engines are condensing or non-condensing; on the hours of work of the engine staff, &c. The economic value of the load-factor is of great importance in every installation, but its influence on the cost of supply varies at each central station, and must be separately determined. There is a load-factor peculiar to each use for which the power is supplied, and the whole load-factor can only be improved by the combination of different classes of demands, which differ in regard to the time of day or season at which they attain their maximum. It is in this respect that the great economy of a public distribution of power is most apparent, though there is also, of course, a direct economy due simply to the presumably large size of the central stations of a public supply. Demands for power of every kind have unfortunately a tendency to arise at the same time, so that in the absence of storage of power there seems no prospect of the load-factors for general supply of power in towns exceeding, in the most favourable conditions, 40%. The load-factor of most public hydraulic power supplies is considerably under 30%. It is questionable, however, whether a very high load-factor conduces to economy of working expenses as a whole in any general supply of energy. The more continuous the supply during the twenty-four hours of the day the greater is the difficulty of executing repairs, and the greater the amount of the reserve plant required.

In all central station work where fluctuating loads have to be dealt with it is most important that there should be ample boiler power. In a comprehensive system of power supply demand arises in a very sudden and erratic manner, and to meet this by forcing the boilers involves greater waste of coal than keeping steam up in sufficient reserve boilers. For this purpose boilers with large water capacity, such as the Lancashire, are preferable to the tubular type, if sufficient space is available. Superheated steam and also thermal storage are advantageous. Feed water heaters or economizers should always be used, all steam and feed pipes should be carefully protected from radiation, and the pipe flanges should be covered; in short, to secure good results in coal consumption every care must be taken to minimise the stand-by losses which are such serious items in central station economy when the load-factor is low. Though hydraulic power has the peculiar advantage, as regards coal consumption, that it is the speed of the engines which varies with an intermittent demand, nevertheless at the London stations it has been found that during a year's working only from 60 to 75% of the coal efficiency of trial runs of the engines can be obtained - i.e. at least 25% of the coal is wasted through the stand-by losses and through the pumping engines having to run at less than full power.

To determine the scale on which a central station plant should be designed is frequently a difficult matter. The rate of growth of the expected demand for the power is an important factor, but it has been clearly established that the reduction of working expenses resulting from the increase of size of an undertaking proceeds in a diminishing ratio. Increase in output is in fact sometimes accompanied by more than a proportionate increase of expenses. During recent years there have been causes at work which have raised considerably the price of labour, fuel, other items of expense, and the law of the " diminishing ratio " has been masked.

On the diagram (fig. 3) of the costs of the London undertaking and the amount of power supplied, have been plotted points marking the total expenses of each year in relation to the output of power. These points for the years 1884-1899, and for output of from 50 to 700 million gallons followed approximately a straight line. Since 1899, however, though the output has increased from 708 millions to 1040 million gallons, the costs per unit of output have been always considerably above the preceding periods. The details of the London supply given in table I partly explain this by the relatively high price of fuel, but an equally important factor has been the rise in the local rates, which in the period1899-1909have risen from 2d. up to 3d. per moo gallons. If the cost of fuel, rates and wages had remained constant the plotting of expenses in relation to output would have been approximately along the extension of the line AB. This line cuts the vertical axis at A above the origin 0, and the line OA indicates the minimum amount of the expenses, and by implication the initial size of the first central station erected in London. The curve in this diagram gives the cost per moo gallons.

Whether it is more economical to have several smaller stations in any particular system of power transmission, or a single centre of supply, is mainly governed by the cost of the mains and the facilities for laying them in the area served. No general rule can, however, be formulated, for it is a question of balance of advantages, and the .t...m.e, ¦ ¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦i¦¦¦¦¦ ' 'SS ' '? ' '?1¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ /i¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ t° ¦%¦¦¦¦ 111¦/iM¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ FIG. 3.

solution must be obtained by consideration of the special circumstances of each case. It has been found desirable as the demand for the power and the area within which it is supplied has enlarged, not only to increase the number of central stations but also their capacity. The first pumping station erected was installed with 4 pumping engines of 200 h.p. each. The pumping capacity of this station has been increased to 7 units. The station at Rotherhithe completed in 1904 has 8 units together 1600 h.p., and the plant at the new station at Grosvenor Road has 8 units equalling 2400 h.p. The pumping stations are situated about 3 m. apart and concurrently with the increase in their size it has been found desirable to introduce a system of feeder mains (see below).

There are in all five central stations at work in connexion with the public supply of hydraulic power in London, having an aggregate of 7000 i.h.p. All the stations and mains are connected together and worked as one system. There are 14 accumulators with a total capacity of 4000 gallons, most of them having rams 20 in. diameter by 23 ft. stroke. The pumping engines are able together to deliver 11,000 gallons per minute Details of the London supply are given in fig. 3 and in table .







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E o

o ° [ o

o o

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d .a


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o a ao











0 328



Io 9



18 94


0.33 8








0.34 0

0.4 8 3


II 3

35 1 5

1 O 9




0.49 1


14 31-




1,027,1 47 ,000







The load-factors are calculated on the actual recorded maximum output, and not on the estimated capacity of the plant running or installed. The daily periods of maximum output are shown in fig. 2. The table shows that the load-factors have not been much affected either by the increase of the area of supply or by the increased consumption of power. The coal used has been principally Durham small. The capital cost of the London undertaking has been about £950,000. In the central station at Wapping, erected in 1891, there are six sets of triple-expansion, surface-condensing vertical pumping engines of 200 i.h.p. each; six boilers with a working pressure of 150 lb per square inch, and two accumulators with rams 20 in. diameter by 23 ft. stroke loaded up to Boo lb per square inch. The engines run at a maximum piston speed of 250 ft. per minute, and the pumps are single-acting, driven directly from the piston rods. The supply given from this station in 1909 was approximately 6,800,000 gallons per week, and the cost for fuel, wages, superintendence, lighting, repairs and sundry station expenses 4.28d. per moo gallons, the value of the coal used being 14s. 11.3d. per ton in bunkers. The capital cost of the station, including the land, was £70,000. The load-factor at this station for 1909 was 49, and the supply was maintained for 168 hours per week. The conditions are exceptionally favourable, and the figures represent the best result that has hitherto been obtained in hydraulic power central station work, having regard to the high price of fuel.

The installation in Hull differs little from the numerous private plants at work on the docks and railways of the United Kingdom. The value of the experiment was chiefly commercial, and the large public hydraulic power works established since are to be directly attributed to the Hull undertaking. In Birmingham gas engines are employed to drive the pumps. In Liverpool there are two central stations. The working pressure is 850 lb per square inch. There are 27 m. of mains, and about 1100 machines at work. In Manchester and Glasgow the pressure adopted is Imo lb per square inch. In Manchester this pressure was selected principally in view of the large number of hydraulic packing presses used in the city, and the result has been altogether satisfactory. The works were established by the corporation in 1894, the central station being designed for 1200 i.h.p. Another station has since been built of equal capacity, and nearly 5 million gallons per week are being supplied to work about 2100 machines. Twenty-three miles of mains are laid.

In Antwerp a regular system of high-pressure hydraulic power transmission was established in 1894 specially to provide electric light for the city. The scheme was due to von Ryssleburgh, an electrical engineer of Ghent, who came to the conclusion that the most economical way of installing the electric light was to have a central hydraulic station, and from it transmit the power through pipes to various sub-stations in the town, where it could be converted by means of turbines and dynamos into electric energy. The coal cost of the electricity supplied-0.88d. per kw. hour - compares favourably with most central electric supply stations, although the efficiency of the turbines and dynamos used for the conversion does not exceed 40%. Von Ryssleburgh argued that hydraulic pumping engines would be more economical than steam-engines and dynamos, and that the loss in transmission from the central station to the, consumer would be less with hydraulic converters than if the current were distributed directly. The loss in conversion, however, proved to be twice as great as had been anticipated, owing largely to defective apparatus and to under-estimation of the expense of maintaining the converting stations; and the net result was commercially unsatisfactory.

At Buenos Aires hydraulic mains are laid in the streets solely for drainage purposes. Each of the sumps, which are provided at intervals, contains two hydraulic pumps which automatically pump the sewage from a small section of the town into an outfall sewer at a higher level. The districts where this system is at work lie below the general drainage level of Buenos Aires. The average efficiency (pump h.p. to i.h.p.) is 41%, which is high, having regard to the low heads against which the pumps work. In this application all the conditions are favourable to hydraulic power transmission. The work is intermittent, there is direct action of the hydraulic pressure in the machines, and the load at each stroke of the pumps is constant. The same system has been adopted for the drainage of Woking and district, and a somewhat similar installation is in use at Margate.

Hydraulic power is supplied from the hydraulic mains on a sliding scale according to the quantity consumed. The minimum charge in London except for very large quantities is is. 6d. per moo gallons. In moo gallons at 750 lb per square inch there is an energy of 10,000 X1730 8.74 h.p. hours; thus Is. 6d. per moo gallons = 2d. 33, 000 X 60 per h..p. hour nearly. This amount is made up approximately of 9d. per 1000 gallons for the cost of generation, distribution and general expenses including rates and 9d. for capital charges. The average rate charged to consumers in 1908 was about 2s. 4d. per moo gallons. Even under the most favourable circumstances it does not appear probable that hydraulic power at 750 lb per square inch can be supplied from central stations in towns on a commercial basis over any considerable areas at less than Is. per moo gallons. Allowing 70.0 0 75% as the efficiency of the motor through which the power is utilized, this rate would give I. 83d. per brake or effective h.p. hour. This cost seems high, and it is difficult to believe that it is the best hydraulic power transmission can accomplish having regard to the well-established fact that the mechanical efficiency of a steam pumping engine is greater than any other application of a steam-engine, and that the power can be conveyed through mains without any material loss for considerable distances. Still, no other system of power transmission except gas seems to be better off, and there is no method of transmission by which energy could, at the present time, be supplied retail in towns with commercial success at such an average rate when steam is employed as the prime mover. The average rate charged for hydraulic power in London and elsewhere FIG. 4.

is much the same as the average rate charged for the supply of electrical energy to the ordinary consumer. Gas is undoubtedly cheaper, but in a large number of cases is mechanically inconvenient in its application. Hydraulic pressure, electrical energy and compressed air (with reheating) can all be transmitted throughout towns with approximately the same losses and at the same cost, because the power is obtained in each system from coal, boilers, and steam-engines, and the actual loss in transmission can be kept down to a small percentage. The use of any particular system of power does not, however, primarily depend upon the cost of running the central station and distributing the power, but mainly upon the mechanical convenience of the system for the purpose to which it is applied. One form of energy is, in practice, found most useful for one purpose, another form for another and no one can command the whole field.

FIG. 5.

When water is employed as the fluid in hydraulic transmission the effects of frost must usually be provided against. In London Precautions and other towns, the water, before being pumped u Precat into the mains, is passed through the surface condensers against of the engines, so as to raise its temperature. The mains Frost. are laid 3 ft. below the surface of the ground. Exposed pipes and cylinders are clothed, and means provided for draining them when out of use. When these simple precautions are adopted damage from frost is very rare. In special cases oil having a low freezing point is used, and in small plants good results have been obtained by mixing glycerin and methylated spirit with the water.

A few gas jets judiciously distributed are of value where there is a difficulty in properly protecting the machinery by clothing. From the central station the hydraulic power must be transmitted through a system of mains to the various points at which it is to be used. In laying out a network of mains it is first neces- Distr96u- sary to determine what velocity of flow can be allowed. tion. Owing to the weight of water, the medium usually employed for hydraulic transmission, a low velocity is necessary in order to avoid shocks. The loss of pressure due to the velocity is 3 -'‘41141 FIG. 6. - Half section and elevation at AB. Detail of Io" steel pipe.

independent of the actual pressure employed, and at moderate velocities of 3 to 4 ft. per second the loss per woo yds. is almost a negligible quantity at a pressure of 700 lb per square inch. For practical purposes Box's formula is sufficiently accurate Loss of head - gallons' X length in yards There is a further (diameter of pipes in inches X3)5 loss due to obstruction caused by valves and bends, but it has been found in London that a pressure of 150 lb at the central accumulators is sufficient to ensure a pressure of 700 lb throughout the system. The greatest distance the power is conveyed from the central stations in London is about 4 m. The higher the initial velocity the more variable the pressure; and in order to avoid this variation in any large system of mains it is usual to place additional accumulators at a FIG. 6. - Half back elevation, half front elevation. Detail of Io" steel pipe.

  1. /?? // j %% ?

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\?O ?' distance from the central station. They act in the same way as air-vessels. The mains should be laid in circuit, and valves placed at intervals, so that any section can be isolated for repairs or for making connexions without affecting the supply at other points. The main valves F adopted in London are shown in fig. 4. Valves are also fixed to control all branch pipes, while relief valves, washouts and air valves are fixed as required.

The largest pipes used in London are 10 in. internal diameter, and the smallest laid in the streets are 2 in. The pipes from 8 in. and below are usually made in cast iron, flanged and provided with spigots and faucets. The joint (fig. 5) is made with a gutta-percha ring, though sometimes asbestos and leather packing rings are used. Cast iron pipes for hydraulic power transmission have been standardized by the Engineering Standards Committee. Fig. 6 shows the u p in. steel main as used in London. The main was laid in 1903 from the Rotherhithe Pumping Station of the London Hydraulic Power Company through the Tower Subway, and is used as a feeder main for supply to the City. It is the first instance of the use of feeder mains in hydraulic transmission. The velocity of flow is 6 ft. per second, and is automatically disconnected from the general system should the pressure in this main fall below that of accumulator pressure. Other mains, similarly controlled, are now in use. Ellington's system of hydraulic feeder mains has been developed by the laying of a 6-in. steel main from the Falcon Wharf Station at Blackfriars to the Strand, over Waterloo Bridge.

The Falcon Wharf Pumping Station at Blackfriars was the original central station in London, and the accumulators there are loaded to 750 lb per square inch. The other pumping stations are situated about 3 m. from Falcon Wharf and about the same distance from each other. The accumulator pressure at the outlying stations is during the busy time of the day maintained at about 800 lb per square inch. Consequently the smaller variations in demand for power throughout the system caused very intermittent running of the plant at Falcon Wharf, and the load-factor there is very low. The pumping plant has now been considerably increased, and part of the plant is constructed to pump into the feeder main at pressures of 800, 9G0, or woo lb per square inch according to the demand existing from hour to hour in the Strand district. By this means the output from Falcon Wharf has been doubled with a much improved loadfactor. The accumulator in this system is of special construction (fig. 7). The pressure 750 lb per square inch is maintained in the cylinder A from the ordinary hydraulic supply main. The working ram B forms the cylinder for the fixed hollow ram C which is connected to the 6 in. bore feeder main D. The balancing rams E, E attached to the fixed head F serve the purpose of adjusting the pressure in the feeder main from 800 to moo lb per square inch according to the quantity of pressure water required to be transmitted through it. The higher pressure is required when the velocity in this main is 10 ft. per second. There is an automatic control valve at the junction of the feeder main with the service mains in the Strand, adjusted so that the same effect is produced as if a pumping station were in operation at that point of eival capacity to the maximum flow through the 6 in. main. The length of the feeder main in this case is 2000 yds., and at 10 ft. per second there is a loss of pressure of 240 lb per square inch, but the effect on the coal consumption is almost negligible, as the maximum flow is seldom needed. The engines are specially constructed to take the pressure overload. The feeder main is made of steel. The economical limit of the use of feeder mains is reached when the additional running expenses involved equal 'the annual value of the saving effected in the capital expenditure.

In public supplies the power used is in all cases registered by meters, and since 1887 automatic instruments have been used at the central stations to record the amount supplied at each instant during the day and night. The ratio between the power registered at the consumers' machines and the power sent into the mains is the commercial efficiency of the whole system. The loss may be due to leakage from the mains or to defects in the meters; or if, as is often the case, the exhaust from the machines is registered, to waste on the consumers' premises. The automatic recorders give the maximum and minimum supplies during 24 hours every day, the maximum record showing the power required for a given number and capacity of machines, and the minimum giving an indication of the leakage. It has been found practicable to obtain an efficiency of 95% in most public power transmission plants over a series of years, but great care is required to produce so good a result. In some years 98% has been registered. Until 1888, no meters were available for registering a pressure of 700 lb per square inch, and all that could be done was to register the water after it had passed through the machines and lost its pressure. This method is still largely adopted; but now high-pressure meters give excellent results, exhaust registration is being superseded to a considerable extent by the more satisfactory arrangement of registering the power on its entry into the consumers' premises. In Manchester Kent's high-pressure meters are now used exclusively. Venturi meters have also been used with success for registering automatically the velocity of flow, and, by integration, the quantity in hydraulic power mains, and form a most useful check on the automatic recorders. The water after the pressure has been eliminated by passage through the machines, may run to a drain or be led back to the central station in return mains; the method adopted is a question of relative cost and convenience.

We proceed to the machines actuated by hydraulic power, and by a comparison of the useful work done by them with the work done by the engines and boilers at the central station Machinery. the mechanical efficiency of the system as a whole can be gauged. At the central station and in the distribution there is no great difficulty in determining the efficiency within narrow limits; it should be 80% at the point of entry to the machine in which the pressure is used.

Where feeder mains are in use the efficiency of the system is necessarily reduced, owing to the higher velocities allowable in the feeder mains. Mechanical efficiency is then sacrificed for the sake of economy. The mechanical efficiency of the machines is a very uncertain quantity; the character of the machines and the nature of the conditions are so variable that a really accurate general statement is impossible. In most cases the losses in the machine are practically constant for a given size and speed of working; consequently the efficiency of a given machine may vary within very wide limits according to the work it has to do. For instance, a hydraulic pump of a given capacity, delivering the water to an elevation of loo ft., will have an efficiency of 80%; but if the elevation of discharge is reduced to 15 ft., even though the hydraulicpressure rams may be proportioned to the reduced head, the efficiency falls below 50%. The ultimate efficiency of the system, or pump 1143"i.h.p., in the one case is 64%, and in the other under 40%. In crane or lift work the efficiency varies with the size of the apparatus, with the load and with the speed. Efficiency in this sense is a most uncertain guide. Some of the most useful and successful applications of hydraulic power - as, for instance, hydraulic capstans for hauling wagons in railway goods yards - have a very low efficiency expressed on the ratio of work done to power expended. Hydraulic cranes for coal or grain hoisting have a high efficiency when well designed, but it is now very usual to employ grabs to save the labour of filling the buckets, and their use lowers the efficiency, expressed in tons of coal or grain raised, by 33% or even 50%. When hydraulic machines are fully loaded, 50% to 60% of the indicated power of the central station engine is often utilized in useful work done with a radius of 2 or 3 m. from the station. In very favourable circumstances the efficiency may rise to over 70% and in a great many cases in practice it no doubt falls below 25%. If, however, energy in any form can be obtained ready for use at a moderate rate, the actual efficiency of the machines (i.e. the ratio of the useful work done to the energy absorbed in the process) is not of very great importance where the use is intermittent.

Hydraulic pressure is more particularly advantageous in cases where the incompressibility of the fluid employed can be utilized, as in hydraulic lifts, cranes and presses. Hydraulic machines for these purposes have the peculiar and distinct advantage of direct action of the pressure on the moving rams, resulting in simplicity of construction, slow and steady movement of the working parts, absence of mechanical brakes and greatest safety in action. When the valve regulating the admission of the pressure to the hydraulic cylinder is closed, the water is shut in, and, as it is FIG. 7.

incompressible, the machine is locked. Thus all hydraulic machines possess an inherent brake; indeed, many of them are used solely as brakes.

Hydraulic power transmission does not possess the flexibility of electricity, its useful applications being comparatively limited, but the simplicity, efficiency, durability and reliability of typical hydraulic apparatus is such that it must continue to occupy an important position in industrial development.

Sometimes a much higher pressure than 700 lb or moo lb per square inch is desirable, more particularly for heavy presses and for machine tools such as are used for riveting, for punching, shearing, &c. The development of these applications has been largely due to the very complete machinery invented and perfected by R. H. Tweddell. One of the principal installations of this kind was erected in 1876 at Toulon dockyard, where the machines are all connected with a system of mains of 21-in. bore and about 1700 yds. long, laid throughout the yard, and kept charged at a pressure of 1500 lb per square inch by engines of 100 h.p. with two large accumulators. Marc Berrier-Fontaine, the superintending engineer of the dockyard, stated that the economy of the system over the separately-driven geared machines formerly used is very great. But while pressures so high as 3 tons per square inch (as in the 12,000-ton ArmstrongWhitworth press) have been used for forging and other presses, it is not desirable, in the distribution of hydraulic power for general purposes, that 1000 lb per square inch should be much exceeded; otherwise the rams, which form the principal feature in nearly all hydraulic machines, if proportioned to the work required, will often become inconveniently small, and other mechanical difficulties will arise. The cost of the machinery also tends to become greater. In particular cases the working pressure can be increased to any desired extent by means of an intensifier (fig. 8).

An important application of hydraulic power transmission is for ship work, the system being largely adopted both in H.M. navy and for merchant vessels. Hydraulic coal-discharging machinery was fitted by Armstrong as early as 1854 on board a small steamer, and in 1868 some hopper barges on the Tyne were supplied with hydraulic cranes. A. Betts Brown of Edinburgh applied hydraulic power to ship work in 1873, and in the same year the first use of this power for gunnery work was effected by G. M.Rendel on H.M.S. " Thunderer." The pressure usu ally employed in H.M. navy is moo lb per square inch. Accumulators are not used and *W K the engines have to be fully equal to supply directly the whole demand. The distance through which the power has to be trans mitted is, of course, very short, and the high FIG. 8. velocity of 20 ft. per second is allowed in the main pipes. The maximum engine-power required under these conditions on the larger ships is very considerable. A recent development of hydraulic power on board ship is the Stone-Lloyd system of closing bulkhead doors. In hydraulic transmission of power it is usually the pressure which is employed, but there are one or two important cases in which the velocity of flow due to the pressure is utilized in the machine. Reference has already been made to the use of turbines working at 750 lb per square inch at Antwerp. The Pelton wheel has also been found to be adapted for use with such high pressures. Another useful application of the velocity due to the head in hydraulic transmission is in an adaptation of the well-known jet pump to fire hydrants. The value of the system of hydraulic transmission for the extinction of fire can hardly be overestimated where, as in London and most large towns, the ordinary pressure in the water mains is insufficient for the purpose.


Armstrong, Proc. Inst. C.E. (1850 and 1877), Proc. Inst. Mech. E. (1858 and 1868); Blaine, Hydraulic Machinery (1897); Davey, Pumping Machinery (1905); Dunkerley, Hydraulics (1907); Ellington, Proc. Inst. C.E. (1888 and 1893), Proc. Inst. Mech. E. (1882 and 1895), Proc. Liverpool Eng. Sic. (1880 and 1885); Greathead, Proc. Inst. Mech. E. (1879); Marks, " Hydraulic Power," Engineering (1905); Parsons, " Sanitary Works, Buenos Aires," Proc. Inst. C.E. (1896); Robinson, Hydraulic Power and Hydraulic Machinery (1887); Tweddell, Proc. Inst. C.E. (1883 and 1894), Proc. Inst. Mech. E. (1872 and 1874); Unwin, Transmission of Power (1894), Treatise on Hydraulics (1907). (E. B. E.) III. - Pneumatic Every wind that blows is an instance of the pneumatic transmission of power, and every windmill or sail that catches the breeze is a demonstration of it. The modern or technical use of the term, however, is confined to the compression of air at one point and its transmission to another point where it is used in motors to do work. The first recorded instance of this being done was by Denis Papin (b. 1647), who compressed air with power derived from a water-wheel and transmitted it through tubes to a distance. About 1800 George Medhurst (1759-1827) took out patents in England for compressing air. He compressed and transmitted air which worked motors, and he built a pneumatic automobile. William Mann in 1829 took out a patent in England for a compound air compressor. In his application he states: " The condensing pumps used in compressing I make of different capacities, according to the densities of the fluid to be, compressed, those used to compress the higher densities being proportionately smaller than those previously used to compress it to the first or lower densities,". &c. This is a very exact description of the best methods of compressing air to-day, omitting the very important inter-cooling. Baron Van Rathen in 1849 proposed to compress air in stages and to use inter-coolers between each stage to get 750 lb pressure for use in locomotives. For the next forty years inventors tried without success all manner of devices for cooling air during compression by water, either injected into the cylinder or circulated around it, and finally, with few exceptions, settled down to direct compression with no cooling worthy of mention. Only in the last ten years of the 19th century were the fundamental principles of economical air compression put into general practice, though all of them are contained in the patent of William Mann and the suggestion of Van Rathen.

The first successful application of compressed air to the transmission of power, as we know it, was at the Mont Cenis Tunnel in 1861. The form of compressor used was a system of water rams - several of them in succession - in which water was the piston, compressing the air upwards in the cylinder and forcing it out. Although the air came in contact with the water, it was not cooled, except slightly at the surface of the water and around the walls of the cylinders. The compressors were located near the tunnel, and the compressed air was transmitted through pipes to drilling machines working at the faces in the tunnel. Rotary drills were tried first, but were soon replaced by percussion drills adapted from drawings in the United States Patent Office, copied by a French and Italian commission from the patent of J. W. Fowle of Philadelphia. H. S. Drinker (Tunneling, Explosive Compounds and Rock Drills, New York, 1893) states positively that the first percussion drill ever made to work successfully was patented by J. J. Couch of Philadelphia in 1849. Shortly afterwards Fowle patented his drills, in which the direct stroke and self-rotating principle was used as we use it now. The first successful drill in the Hoosac Tunnel was patented in 1866 by W. Brooks, S. F. Gates and C. Burleigh, but after a few months was replaced by one made by Burleigh, who had bought Fowle's patent and improved it. Burleigh made a compressor, cooling the air during compression by an injected spray of water in the cylinders. The successful work in the Mont Cenis and Hoosac Tunnels with the percussion drilling machines caused the use of compressed air to spread rapidly, and it was soon found there were many other purposes for which it could be employed with advantage.

The larger tunnels and metal mines were naturally the earliest to adopt pneumatic transmission, often using it for pumping and hoisting as well as drilling. In Paris and Nantes, in Berne and in. Birmingham (England), street tramways have been operated by pneumatic power, the transmission in these, however, being in tanks rather than pipes. Tanks on the cars are filled at the central loading stations with air at very high pressure, which is used in driving the motors, enough being taken to enable the car to make a trip and return to the loading station. Several attempts in pneumatic street traction were made in America, but failed owing to financial troubles and the successful introduction of electric traction. It is used very successfully, however, both in Europe and in America, in underground mine haulage, being especially adapted to coal mines, where electricity would be dangerous from its sparks. The copper smelting works at Anaconda, Montana, U.S.A., uses twelve large pneumatic locomotives for charging the furnaces, removing slag, &c. Many stone quarries have a central plant for compressing air, which is transmitted through pipes extending to all working points, and operates derricks, hoists, drills, stone cutters, &c., by means of motors. Every considerable ironworks, railroad shop or foundry has its pneumatic transmission plant. Also in the erection of the larger steel bridges or buildings a pneumatic transmission system is part of the contractor's outfit, and many railways have a portable compressing plant on a car ready to be moved to any point as needed.

Dr Julius G. Pohle, of Arizona, patented in 1886, and introduced extensively, the use of compressed air for lifting water directly, by admitting it into the water column. His plan is largely adopted in artesian wells that do not flow, or do not flow as much as desired, and is so arranged that the air supply has a back pressure of water equal to at least half the lift. If it is desired to lift the water 30 ft. the air is admitted to the water column at least 30 ft. below the standing water surface. The air admitted being so much lighter than the water it displaces, the column 60 ft. high becomes lighter than the column 30 ft. high and is constantly released and flows out at the top. The efficiency of this method is only 20 to 40%, depending on the lift, but its adaptation to artesian wells renders it valuable in many localities.

A remarkable pneumatic transmission system was installed in 1890 by Priestly in the Snake River Desert, Idaho, U.S.A. On the north side of the river is a cliff, nearly perpendicular, about 300 ft. high. One hundred and ninety feet above the river, for a considerable distance along the cliff, streams of water gush out from between the bottom of the great lava bed and the hardened clay of the old lake bottom. Priestly, without knowledge of Pohle's system, built a pipe line down the bluff and trained the water into it in such a way that it carried a very considerable quantity of air in the form of bubbles along with it down the pipe, compressing it on the way. The air was collected at the bottom in a covered reservoir, and taken up the cliff again to the lower part of an inverted siphon pipe, one side of which reached down from the water-supply about 60 ft. and the other side reached up and over the bluff. Allowing the water to fill both sides of the pipe to the level of the water-supply, he admitted his compressed air at about 75 lb pressure into the 19ng side of the pipe near the bottom, and soon had water flowing upwards over the cliff and irrigating a large tract of rich lava land. He had made a power, a transmission and a motor plant without a moving part. A similar compressor was installed near Montreal, Canada, in 1896; another at Ainsworth, British Columbia, in 1898; and another at Norwich, Connecticut, U.S.A., in 1902. These are called hydraulic air compressors and show an efficiency of about 70%. They are particularly adapted to positions where there is a large flow of water with a slight fall or head.

The actual transmission of power by air from the compressor to the motor i., simple and effective. The air admits of a velocity of 15 to 20 ft. per second through pipes, with very slight loss by friction, and consequently there is no necessity for an expensive pipe system in proportion to the power transmitted. It is found in practice that, allowing a velocity as given above, there is no noticeable difference in pressure between the compressor and the motor several miles away. Light butt-welded tubing is largely used for piping, and if properly put in there is very slight loss from leakage, which, moreover, can be easily detected and stopped. In practice, a sponge with soap-suds passed around a joint furnishes a detective agency, the escaping air blowing soap bubbles. In good practice there need not be more than 1% loss through leakage and 1% possibly through friction in the pneumatic transmission of power.

Air develops heat on compression and is cooled by expansion, and it expands with heat and contracts with cold. For the purpose of illustration suppose a cylinder 10 ft. long containing io cub. ft. of air at 60° F., with a frictionless piston at one end. If this piston be moved 71 ft. into the cylinder, so that the air is compressed to onequarter of its volume, and none of the heat developed by compression be allowed to escape, the air will be under a pressure of 90 lb per square inch and at a temperature of 460° F. If this air be cooled down to 60° F. the pressure will be reduced to 45 lb per square inch, showing that the heat produced in the air itself during compression gives it an additional expansive force of 45 lb per square inch. The average force or pressure in compressing this air without loss of heat is 21 lb per square inch, whereas if all the heat developed during compression had been removed as rapidly as developed the average pressure on the piston would have been only i I lb per square inch, showing that the heat developed in the air during compression, when not removed as fast as developed, caused in this case an extra force of to lb per square inch to be used on the piston. If this heated air could be transmitted and used without any loss of heat the extra force used in compressing it could be utilized; but in practice this is impossible, as the heat is lost in transmission. If the piston holding the 22 cub. ft. of air at 45 lb per square inch and at 60° F. were released the air expanding without receiving any heat would move it back within 33 ft. of the end only, and the temperature of the air would be lowered 170° F., or to 110° F. below zero. If the air were then warmed to 60° F. again it would move the piston the remaining 33 ft. to its starting point.

It is seen that the ideal air-compressing machine is one which will take all the heat from the air as rapidly as it is developed during compression. Such " isothermal compression " is never reached in practice, the best work yet done lacking io % of it. It follows that the most inefficient compressing machine is one which takes away no heat during compression - that is, works by " adiabatic compression," which in practice has been much more nearly approached than the ideal. It also follows that the ideal motor for using compressed air is one which will supply heat to the air as required when it is expanding. Such " isothermal " expansion is often attained, and sometimes exceeded, in practice by supplying heat artificially. Finally, the most inefficient motor for using compressed air is one which supplies no heat to the air during its expansion, or works by adiabatic expansion, which was long very closely approached by most air motors. In practice isothermal compression is approached by compressing the air slightly, then cooling it, compressing it slightly again, and again cooling it until the desired compression is completed. This is called compression in stages or compound compression. Isothermal expansion is approximately accomplished by allowing the air to do part of its work (as expanding slightly in a cylinder) and then warming it, then allowing it to do a little more and then warming it again, and so continuing until expansion is complete. It will be seen that the air is carefully cooled during compression to prevent the heat it develops from working against compression, and even more carefully heated during expansion to prevent loss from cold developed during expansion. More stages of compression of course give a higher efficiency, but the cost of machinery and friction losses have to be considered. The reheating of air is often a disadvantage, especially in mining, where there are great objections to having any kind of combustion underground; but where reheating is possible, as W. C. Unwin says, " for the amount of heat supplied the economy realized in the weight of air used is surprising. The reason for this is, the heat supplied to the air is used nearly five times as efficiently as an equal amount of heat employed in generating steam." Practically there is a hotair engine, using a medium much more effective than common air, in addition to a compressed-air engine, making the efficiency of the whole system extremely high. (A. DE W. F.) IV. - Electrical Though the older methods of power transmission, such as wire ropes, compressed air and high-pressure water, are still worked on a comparatively small scale, the chief commercial burden has fallen upon the electric generator and motor linked by a transmission line. The efficiency of the conversion from mechanical power to electrical energy and back again is so high, and the facility of power distribution by electric motors is so great, as to leave little room for competition in any but very exceptional cases. The largest single department of electrical power transmission - that is, transmission for traction purposes - is at present almost wholly carried on by continuous currents. The usual voltage is 500 to 600, and the motors are almost universally series-wound constant-potential machines. The total amount of such transmission in daily use reaches probably a million and a half horse power. In long distance power transmission proper continuous currents are not used to any considerable extent, owing mainly to the difficulty of generating continuous currents at sufficient pressure to be available for such work, and the difficulty of reducing such pressure, even if it could be conveniently obtained, far enough to render it available for convenient distribution at the receiving end of the line. Single continuous current machines have seldom been built successfully for more than about 2000 to 3000 volts, if at the same time they were required to deliver any considerable amount of current. About 300 to Soo kilowatts per machine at this voltage appears to be the present limit, although it is by no means unlikely that the use of commutating poles and.

xxrr. 8 a other improvements may considerably increase these figures. For distances at which more than this very moderate voltage is desirable one must either depend on alternating currents or use machines in series. In American practice the former alternative is universally taken. On the continent of Europe a very creditable degree of success has been achieved by adopting the latter, and many plants upon this system are in use, mostly in Switzerland. In these generators are worked at constant current, a sufficient number in series being employed to give the necessary electromotive force.

Power Transmission at Constant Current

In this system, which has been developed chiefly by M. Thury, power is transmitted from constant current generators worked in series, and commonly coupled mechanically in pairs or larger groups driven by a single prime mover. The individual generators are wound for moderate currents, generally between 50 and 150 amperes, and deliver this ordinarily at a maximum voltage of 2000 to 3500, the output per armature seldom being above 300 kw. For the high voltages needed for long distance transmission as many generators as may be required are thrown in series. In the Moutiers-Lyons transmission of i ro m., the most considerable yet installed on this system, there are four groups, each consisting of four mechanically-coupled generators. The common current is 75 amp., and the maximum voltage per group is about 15,000 volts, giving nearly 60,000 volts as the transmission voltage at maximum load. In the St Maurice-Lausanne transmission of about 35 m. the constant current is 150 amp. and the voltage per armature is 2300, five pairs being put in series for the maximum load voltage of 23,000.

Regulation in such plants is accomplished either by varying the field strength through an automatic governor or by similarly varying the speed of the generators. Either method gives sufficiently good results. The transmission circuit is of the simplest character, and the power is received by motors, or for local distribution by motor generators, held to speed by centrifugal governors controlling fieldvarying mechanism. For large output the motors, like the generators, are in groups mechanically coupled and in series. In the MoutiersLyons transmission motor-generators are even designed to give a three-phase constant potential distribution, and in reverse to permit interchange of energy between the continuous current and several polyphase transmission systems.

The advantages of the system reside chiefly in easier line insulation than with alternating currents and in the abolition of the difficulties due to line inductance and capacity. It is probably as easy to insulate for 100,000 volts continuous current as for 50,000 volts alternating current. Part of the difference is due to the fact that in the latter case the crest of the E.M.F. wave reaches nearly 75,000 volts, and in addition static effects and minor resonant rise of voltage must be reckoned with. There is some possibility, therefore, of the advantageous use of continuous current in case very great distances, requiring enormous voltages, have to be covered. In addition, a constant current plant is at full voltage only at brief and rare periods of maximum load instead of all the time, which greatly increases the average factor of safety in insulation.

On the other hand, the constant current generators are relatively expensive and of inconveniently small individual output for large transmission work, and require very elaborate precautions in the matter of insulation. Their efficiency is a little less than that of large alternators, but the difference is partially off-set by the transformers used with the latter for any considerable voltage. A characteristic advantage of the constant current system is the extreme simplicity and cheapness of the switching arrangements as compared with the complication and cost of the ordinary switch-board tor a polyphase station at high voltage. Comparing station with station as a whole it is at least an open question whether the polyphase system would have any material advantage in cost per kw. in an average case. The principal gains of the alternating systems appear in the relative simplicity of the distribution. In dealing with a few large power units the constant current system has the best of the argument in efficiency, but in the ordinary case of widespread distribution for varied purposes the advantage is quite the other way.

The high-voltage constant-current plant lends itself with especial ease to operation, at least in emergency, over a grounded circuit. In some recent plants, e.g. Moutiers-Lyons, provision is made at the sub-stations for grounding the central point of the system and either line in case of need, and in point of fact the voltage drop in working grounded is found to be within moderate and practicable limits.

The possibilities of improvement in the system have by no means been worked out, and although it has been overshadowed by the enormous growth of polyphase transmission it must still be considered seriously.

Transmission by Alternating Current

The alternating current has conspicuous advantages. In the first place, whatever the voltage of transmission, the voltage of generation and that of distribution can be brought within moderate limits at a very high degree of efficiency by the use of transformers; and, in the second place, it is possible to build alternating-current generators of any required capacity, and for voltages high enough to permit the abolition of raising transformers except in unusual circumstances. At present such generators, giving ro,000 to 13,500 volts directly from the armature windings, are in common and highly successful use; and while the use of raising transformers is preferred by some engineers, experience shows that they cannot be considered essential, and are probably not desirable for the voltages in question, which are as great as at the present time seem necessary for the numerical majority of transmission plants. Polyphase generators, especially in large sizes, can be successfully wound up to more than double the figures just mentioned. The plant at Manojlovac, Dalmatia, has been equipped with four 30,000 volt three-phase generators, giving each about 5000 kw. at 42 with 420 revolutions per minute, the full load efficiency being 94%. But for very large transmission work to considerable distances where much higher voltages are requisite such transformers cannot be dispensed with. Alternating currents are practically employed in the polyphase form, on account both of increased generator output in this type of apparatus and of the extremely valuable properties of the polyphase induction motors, which furnish a ready means for the distribution of power at the receiving end of the line. As between twoand three-phase apparatus the present practice is about equally divided; the transmission lines themselves, however, are, with rare exceptions, worked three-phase, on account of the saving of 25% in copper secured by the use of this system. Inasmuch as transformers can be freely combined vectorially to give resultant electromotive forces having any desired magnitudes and phase relations the passage from twophase to three-phase, and back again, is made with the utmost ease, and the character of the generating and receiving apparatus thus becomes almost a matter of indifference. As regards such apparatus it is safe to say that honours are about even: sometimes one system proves more convenient, sometimes the other. The difficulty of obtaining proper single-phase motors for the varied purposes of general distribution has so far prevented any material use of single-phase transmission systems.

Generators for Power Transmission

The generators are usually large twoor three-phase machines, and in the majority of instances they are driven by water-wheels. Power transmission on a large scale from steam plant has, up to the present, made no substantial progress, save as the networks of large electrical supply stations have in some cases grown to cover radii of many miles. The size of these generators varies from 100 or 200 kw. in small plants, up to 10,000 or more in the larger ones. Their efficiency ranges from 92% or thereabouts in the smaller sizes up to 96% or a fraction more in the largest, at full load. The voltage of these generators varies greatly. When raising transformers are used it is usually from 500 to 2500 volts; without them the generators are usually wound for 10,000 to 13,500 volts. Intermediate voltages have sometimes been employed, but are rather passing out of use, as they seem to fulfil no particularly useful purpose. The tendency at the present time, whatever the voltage, is towards the use of machines with stationary armatures and revolving field magnets, or towards a pure inductor type having all its windings stationary. At moderate voltages such an arrangement is merely a matter of convenience, but in high-voltage generators it is practically a necessity. Low-voltage machines are usually provided with polyodontal windings, these windings having several separate armature teeth per pole per phase, while the high-voltage machines are generally monodontal; in both classes the edges of the pole pieces are usually chamfered away in such form as to produce at least a close approximation to the sinusoidal form for the electromotive force. For this purpose, and to obtain a better inherent regulation under variations of load, the field magnets are, or should be, particularly powerful. In the best modern generators the variation of electromotive force from no load to full load, non-inductive, is less than to % at constant field excitation. Closeness of inherent regulation is an important matter in generators for transmission work.

inasmuch as there is as yet no entirely successful method of automatic voltage regulation on very large units; and the less hand regulation the better. Moreover, the design which secures this result also tends to secure stability of wave form in the electromotive force, a matter of even greater importance. There has been much discussion as to the best wave form for use on alternating circuits, it having been conclusively shown that for a given fundamental frequency the sinusoidal wave does not give the most economical use of iron in the transformers. For transmission work, however, particularly over long lines, this is a matter of inconceivably small importance compared with the stability and the freedom from troubles from higher harmonics that result from the use of a wave as nearly sinusoidal as can possibly be obtained. In every alternating circuit the odd harmonics are considerably in evidence in the electromotive force, either produced by the structure of the generator or introduced by the transformers and other apparatus. These are of no particular moment in work upon a small scale, but in transmission on a large scale to long distances, or especially through underground cables, they are, as will be seen in the consideration of the transmission line itself, a serious menace. Inasmuch as the periodicity of an alternating circuit must be maintained sensibly constant for successful operation, great care is usually exercised to secure such governing of the prime movers as will give constant speed at the generators. This can now be obtained, in all ordinary circumstances, by several forms of sensitive hydraulic governors which are now in use. The matter of absolute periodicity has not yet settled itself into any final form. American practice is based largely upon 60 cycles per second, which is probably as high a frequency as can be advantageously employed. Indeed, even this leads to some embarrassment in securing good motors of moderate rotative speed, and the tendency of the frequency is rather downward than upward. An inferior limit is set by the general desirability of operating incandescent lamps off the transmission circuits. For this purpose the frequency should be held above 30 cycles per second; below this point, flickering of the lamps becomes progressively more serious, especially with lamps having the very slender metallic filaments now commonly employed - so serious, indeed, as practically to prohibit their successful use - and plants installed for such low frequencies are generally confined to motor practice, or to the use of synchronous converters, which are somewhat easier to build in large units at low than at high periodicities. Occasional plants for railway and heavy motor service operate at as low as 15 -, and more at 25 Nearly all the general work of power transmission, however, is carried on between 30 and 60 -. The inferior limit at which it is possible successfully to operate alternating arc lamps is about 40 -; and if these are to be an important feature in transmission systems the indications are that practice will tend towards a periodicity above 40 - at at which all the accessory apparatus can be successfully operated. European practice is based generally upon a frequency of 50 -, which admirably meets average conditions of distribution.

Transmission Lines. - Power transmission lines differ from those used for general electric distribution principally in the use of higher voltage and in the precautions entailed thereby. The economic principles of design are precisely the same here as elsewhere, save that the conductors vary less in diameter and far more in length. Inasmuch as transmission systems are frequently installed prior to the existence of a well-developed distribution system the conditions of load and the market for the power transmitted can seldom be predicted accurately; consequently, the cases are very rare in which Kelvin's law can be applied with any advantage; and as it is at best confined to determining the most economical conditions at a particular epoch this law is probably of less use in power transmission than in any other branch of electric distribution. A superior limit is set to the permissible loss of energy in the line by the difficulty attending regulation for constant potential in case the line loss is considerable. The inferior limit is usually set by the undesirability of too large an investment in copper, and lines are usually laid out from the standpoint of regulation rather than from any other. In ordinary practice it seldom proves advantageous to allow more than 15% loss in the line even under extreme conditions, and the cases are few in which less than 5% loss is advisable. These few cases comprise those in which the demand for power notably overruns the supply as limited by the maximum power available at the generating station, and also the few cases in which a loss greater than 5% would indicate the use of a line wire too small from a mechanical standpoint. It is not advisable to attempt to construct long lines of wire smaller than No. 2 American wire-gauge (. 257 in. diameter), although occasionally wire as small as No. 4 (. 204 in. diameter) may safely be employed. Smaller diameter than this involves considerable added difficulty of insulation in lines operated at voltages in excess of about 50,000. The vast majority of transmission lines are composed of overhead conductors. In rare instances underground cables are used. In single-phase work these are preferably of concentric form, which, however, gets too complicated in the three-phase lines generally ' employed to secure economy in copper; for the latter, triplicate cables, lead sheathed, laid in glazed earthenware ducts, seem to give the best results. On account of the cost and the difficulty of repair of such lines they are not extensively used, and cables have not yet been produced for the extremely high voltages desirable in some very long circuits, although they are readily obtainable for voltages up to 30,000 or 40,000. As to the material of the conductors, copper is almost universally used. For very long spans, however, bronze wire of high tensile strength is occasionally employed as a substitute for copper wire, and more rarely steel wire; aluminium, too, is beginning to come into use for general line work. Bronze of high tensile strength (say 80,000 to ioo,000 lb per square inch) has unfortunately less than half the conductivity of copper; and unless spans of many hundred feet are to be attempted it is better to use hard-drawn copper, which gives a tensile strength of from 60,000 to 65,000 lb to the square inch, with a reduction in conductivity of only 3 to 4%. As to aluminium, this metal has a tensile strength slightly less than that of annealed copper, a conductivity about 60% that of copper, and for equal conductivity is almost exactly one-half the weight. Mechanically, aluminium is somewhat inferior to copper, as its coefficient of expansion with temperature is 50% greater; and its elastic limit is very low, the metal tending to take a permanent set under comparatively light tension, and being seriously affected at less than half its ultimate tensile strength. Joints in aluminium wire are difficult to make, since the present methods of soldering are little better than cementing the metal with the flux; in practice the joints are purely mechanical, being usually made by means of tight-fitting sleeves forced into contact with the wire. With suitable caution in stringing, aluminium lines can be successfully used, and are likely to serve as a useful defence against increase in the price of copper. Whatever the material, most important lines are now built of stranded cable, sometimes with a hemp core to give added flexibility.

With respect to line construction the introduction of high voltages, say 40,000 and upwards, has made a radical change in the situation. The earlier transmission lines were for rather low voltages, seldom above 10,000. Insulation was extremely easy, and the transmission of any considerable amount of power implied heavy or numerous conductors. The line construction therefore followed rather closely the precedents set in telegraph and telephone construction and in low tension electric light service. In American practice the lines were usually of simple wooden poles set 40 to 50 to the mile, and carrying wooden cross-arms furnished with wooden pins carrying insulators of glass or porcelain. The poles were little larger than those used in telegraph lines, a favourite size being a 40-ft. pole about 8 in. in diameter at the top and 15 in. at the butt, set 6 to 7 ft. in the earth. Such poles commonly bore two crossarms, the lower and longer carrying 4 pins, and the shorter upper a'rm 2 pins, so disposed that the upper pin on each side of the pole would form with the nearer pins below an equilateral triangle 18 to 24 in. on the side. The poles therefore carried two threephase circuits one on either side, one or both circuits being spiralled. In European practice iron poles have been more frequently used, again following rather closely the model of telegraph practice, with similar spacing of poles, and with insulators, usually of porcelain, somewhat enlarged and improved over telegraph and electric light insulators, and spaced somewhat more widely. As between wooden and steel poles, the latter are of course the more durable and much the more costly. The difference in cost depends largely on the locality, and ultimately on the life of the wooden poles. This ranges from two or three up to ten or fifteen years, the latter figures only in favourable soils and when the lower ends of the poles have been thoroughly treated with some preservative. Under such conditions wood is often ultimately the cheaper material.

The use of very high voltages results in, for all moderate powers, the use of small and consequently light wires and in the necessity for heavy, large and costly insulators. For security against leakage and failure it becomes desirable to reduce the numer of insulation points, and with the resulting lengthening of span to design the line as a mechanical structure. A transmission line is subject to three sets of stresses. The most considerable are those due to the longitudinal pull of the catenary depending on the weight and tension of the wires. Under ordinary conditions these strains are balanced and come into play only when there is breakage of one or more wires and consequent unbalancing. It has been the common practice to give the poles sufficient strength to withstand this pull without failing. The maximum amount of the pull may be safely taken at the sum of the elastic limits of the wires, since it is unsafe so to design the spans as to be subject to larger stresses.

There is also lateral stress on a line due to wind acting upon the poles and wires, the latter amounting to little unless their diameter is increased by a coating of sleet, a condition which gives maximum stresses on the line. Wind then tends to push the line over, and it also increases the longitudinal stresses, being added geometrically to the catenary stress. The actual possibility of wind pressure is very generally over-estimated, and has resulted in much needlessly costly construction. In the first place, save for actual tornadoes, for which no estimates can be given, even the highest winds at the level of any ordinary transmission line are of modest actual velocity. It is probable that no transmission line save on mountain peaks at a very high elevation is ever exposed to an actual wind velocity of 75 m. per hour, and only at intervals of years is a velocity of even 60 m. reached near the ground level. Further, the maximum wind velocities are practically never reached at very low temperatures when the line is under its maximum catenary stress, and sleet formation, which takes place only within a very limited temperature range, is practically unknown under conditions of maximum wind.

The relation of wind velocity to pressure in case of a suspended wire or cable may be approximately expressed by the equation P=oo025V 2, where P is the pressure per square foot of projected area of cable, and V is the actual wind velocity in miles per hour. Except for sleet conditions the wind pressure is, then, a matter of little concern. At times sleet may accumulate on bare wires to a thickness of half an inch to an inch. Even under these conditions the lateral stability of the line is a matter of less concern than the added component of stress in the catenary. The third element of line stress, the actual crushing stress of the wire load, is of no consequence in high voltage transmission work.

In scientific line design the best example has been set by the Italian engineers, who, realizing that the longitudinal strains, which are very severe in case of breakage of spans rigidly supported from pole to pole, are immediately relieved by a slight increase in catenary drop, have introduced the principle of longitudinal flexibility. The poles or towers of structural steel are so designed as to be fairly stiff against lateral pressure and are given secure foundation against overturning, but are deliberately designed to deflect lengthwise the line in the extreme case of breakage of wires so as at once to relieve the catenary tension without passing their elastic limit. In this way complete security is attained with a minimum of material and expense.

In recent construction both in America and Europe the tendency is to use steel poles or towers of ample height, 40 to 60 ft. and spans ranging from 300 to 600 ft., occasionally more. The catenary drop allowed is considerable, often 3 to 4% of the span length. Crossarms and pins, when used, are commonly of iron or steel, and the interiors of the insulators are therefore fairly at earth potential. The insulators are of dense and hard-baked porcelain, built up of three or four shells cemented together to form a whole, with several deep petticoats to protect the inner surfaces from wetting. Such insulators may be 12 to 18 in. in diameter over all, and from top groove to base a little more. If well designed and made, insulators of this type can endure even under very heavy precipitation alternating voltages of 60,000 to 100,000 effective without flashing over, and double these figures when dry. For line voltages above 60,000 to 70,000 it is apparent that the insulating factor of safety would be seriously reduced, and some recent lines have been equipped with suspension insulators. These are in effect porcelain bells from 10 in. diameter upward strung together like a string of Japanese gongs. The bells are all the same size and are spaced about a foot apart, the suspensions being variously designed. These insulating groups can be as large as need be, and it is easy to push the aggregate insulation resistance, both dry and wet, far beyond the figures just mentioned. This suspension requires higher poles than the ordinary, but allows a considerable amount of longitudinal back lash, in case a wire burns off. Too extensive slip along the line is checked by guys fitted with strain insulators, like the suspension ones, at suitable intervals. The suspension insulator gives promise of successful use of voltages much higher than 100,000 volts. The wires on high voltage systems are generally widely spaced: very seldom less than 2 ft. between centres, and for the higher voltages something like 1 ft. for each 10,000 volts.


The most important factor in the economy;pf the conducting system is the actual voltage used for the transmission. This varies within very wide limits. For transmissions only a few miles in length the pressures employed may be from 2000 to 5000 volts, but for the serious work of power transmission less than 10,000 volts are now seldom used. This pressure, under all ordinary conditions and in all ordinary climates, can be and is used with complete success, and apparently without any greater difficulty than would be encountered at much lower voltage. It is regarded as the standard transmission voltage in American practice for short distances up to Jo or 15 m. Beyond this, and sometimes even on shorter lines, it is greatly increased; up to 20,000 volts there seems to be no material difficulty whatever in effecting and maintaining a sufficient insulation of the line. In the higher voltages there were in 1908 more than fifty plants in regular operation at 40,000 volts and above. Of these more than a score are operated at 60,000 volts and above. The highest working voltage employed in 1909 was 110,000 volts, which was successfully used in two American plants: that of the Grand Rapids - Muskegon (Michigan) system,and in the transmission work of the Central Colorado system. These both employ suspension insulators with five bells in series, and operate with no more trouble than falls to the lot of systems using ordinarily high voltages. The Rio de Janeiro transmission system, operates at 88,000 volts with large porcelain insulators, 17.5 in. in over-all diameter and 19.75 in height, carried on steel pins; the Kern River (California) plant at 75,000 volts with similar construction; the Missouri River Power Co. (Montana) at 70,000 volts, using glass insulators on wooden pins saturated with insulating material. There is no especial difficulty in building transformers for still higher pressures, the real problem lying in the insulation of the line. Taken as a whole these high voltage lines have given good service, those near the upper limit doing apparently as well as those near the lower, owing to more careful precautions in construction. Likewise the distances of transmission have steadily risen. There are, all told, nearly a score of power transmissions over 100 m. in length, the longest distance yet covered being from De Sabla to Sausalito (California), a distance of 232 m. This, like most other long American transmissions, is at 60 -, and it is interesting to note that even over such distances there seems to be very little evidence of trouble due to frequency. In point of fact, those who have had the most experience with long distance transmission are the last to worry about the difficulties of using alternating current. Some unusual phenomena turn up in high voltage work, but they are rather interesting than alarming. The lines become self-luminous from "coronal " discharge at a little above 20,000 volts, and at 40,000 or 50,000 volts the phenomenon, which is sometimes aggravated by resonance, becomes of a striking, not to say startling, character. At above: 100,000 volts this coronal discharge must be given serious consideration.

Size No.





































Resonance, in substance, is. due to synchronism of the periodic electromotive force, or a harmonic thereof, with the electro-magnetic time-constant of the system. The frequency of the currents actually employed in transmission work is so low that resonance with the fundamental frequency must be extremely rare; resonance with the harmonics is, however, common - much commoner than is generally supposed. In every electromotive force wave the odd harmonics are more or less in evidence, particularly the third, fifth and seventh. If the electromotive force wave departs notably from a sinusoidal form, traces of harmonics up to at least the 15th may generally be found; the third, seventh and the alternate higher harmonics are manifest in flattening the crest of the wave. Supposing, what is seldom quite true, that the harmonics are symmetrically disposed in phase with the fundamental, all the harmonics tend somewhat to elevate the shoulders of the wave; a wave, therefore, with peaked shoulders and a depression in the centre is certain to be affected by harmonics, while if it has a high central crest, there is evidence of great predominance of the fifth and higher harmonics. Generally the harmonics are slightly out of phase with the fundamental, so that the wave is both deformed and unsymmetrical. As to the amplitude of these harmonics, the third is usually the largest, and may sometimes in commercial machines amount to as much as 20% of the amplitude of the fundamental, and frequently 10%. In machines giving nearly sinusoidal waves it is of course much less, but it is not difficult to find even the seventh and higher harmonics producing variations as great as 5%. Since, other things being equal, the rise in electromotive force due to resonance is directly proportional to the magnitude of the harmonics, and the chance of getting it increases rapidly with the presence of those of the higher orders, the desirability of using the closest possible approximation to a sinusoidal wave is self-evident. The greater the inductance and capacity of the system and the less its ohmic resistance, the greater the chance of getting serious resonance. As regards the distributed capacity and inductance due to the line alone, the ordinary conditions are not at all formidable; the general effect of such distributed capacity and inductance is to produce in the system a series of static waves, their length varying inversely with the frequency. At commercial frequencies the wave length is very great, so great that even in the longest lines at present employed only a small fraction of a single wave length appears; the total length of the line is generally much less than one quarter the complete wave length, and the only notable effect is a moderate rise of potential along the line. The time-constant of the alternating circuit is T - 00629 (LC), where L is the absolute self-induction in henrys and C the capacity in microfarads; and if the frequency, or a marked harmonic thereof, coincide with this time-period, resonance may safely be looked for, and resonance of the harmonics may appear conspicuously in lines of ordinary lengths. The following table gives the values, both L and C, per mile of three-phase circuit, of the sizes (American wire-gauge) ordinarily employed for transmission circuits, the wires being assumed to be strung 48 in. apart and about the height already indicated: - In cases where underground cables form a part of the system, the above values of C are very largely increased, and the probability of resonance is in proportion enhanced. A still further complication is introduced by the capacity and inductance of the apparatus used upon the system, which may often be far greater than that due to the entire line, even if the latter be of considerable length. In point of fact, it is altogether probable that resonance due to the distributed capacity and inductance of the overhead line along is of rare occurrence and generally of trivial amount, while it is equally probable that resonance due to localized capacity and inductance other than that of the line conductors may, and often does, cause very serious disturbances upon the system. The subject has never been adequately investigated, but the tendency towards formidable sparking and arcing at various points on long-distance transmission systems is generally far greater than can be accounted for by consideration of the nominal voltages alone. The conditions may be still further complicated by the effect of earths or open circuits, which sometimes may produce, temporarily, appalling resonance phenomena, through bringing into action the capacity and inductance of the apparatus and introducing surges. In ordinary working the resonance of the harmonics is not very conspicuous, and the fact that it occurs not systematically, but only in special ways and under special conditions, indicates more strongly than anything else that the vital point is not the time-constant of the line alone, but those of the apparatus connected thereto. A definite and persistent tendency towards resonance may sometimes be effectively checked by the introduction of suitable inductance in the parts of the system most seriously affected, but the best general policy is to avoid as far as possible the presence of the higher harmonics, which are the chief sources of danger.

Closely allied to and connected with resonance is the phenomenon known as " surging," which is due to the discharge of the electromagnetic energy stored in a circuit containing inductance and capacity when that circuit is broken. This discharge is an oscillatory one, going on with decreasing amplitude until it is frittered away by resistance and other sources of loss. Its frequency is that of the system affected, and the surge may get reinforcement from resonance proper. It is sufficiently serious on its merits, however, since the resulting rise of voltage increases directly with the current and may produce terrific results when the break comes as the result of a short circuit. Minor surging occurs when there is a sudden and violent change in the conditions of the circuit even without an actual break. Such a change produces an impulsive redistribution of energy that may give a sharp rise in voltage. Every point of abrupt variation in the electrical constants on the system is liable to be affected by minor surges. Such disturbances when trivial are commonly referred to as " static." Surging, depending as it does on the current ruptured, may, and indeed often does, give particularly formidable effects on circuits of moderate voltage, while on high voltage transmission circuits the usually moderate current and the large margin of safety in the insulation are important ameliorating influences.


Transmission lines are, when practicable, laid out through open country, and along roads which furnish easy access for inspection and repairs. The chief sources of danger in temperate climates are mechanical injury from the falling of branches of trees across the circuits, sleet and wind storms, and lightning. The firstmentioned difficulty may be avoided by keeping clear, so far as possible, of wooded country, and it should be remembered that, at the voltages customarily used for transmission, a twig the size of a lead-pencil falling across the wires may set up arcing, and it will end by burning the wires completely off - not directly by fusion, but by persistent arcing. A properly constructed overhead line is practically safe against all storms, save those of most extraordinary violence, and with care may be made secure even against these. As a matter of practice, interruptions of service upon transmission systems are very rarely due to trouble upon the main line itself, but are far more likely to occur in some part of the distributing system. The most dangerous combination of circumstances is a sleet storm sufficient to coat the wires with ice, followed by heavy winds; if the line, however, is constructed with proper factors of safety, bearing this particular danger in mind, there need be very little fear of serious results. Lightning is a much more formidable enemy. The lightning discharges observed upon electric circuits are of two general descriptions: first, a direct discharge of lightning upon the line, more or less severe, and always to be dreaded; and secondly, induced discharges due to lightning flashes which do not hit the line, or to static disturbances which may or may not produce actual lightning. Discharges of the former class are vastly more severe than those of the latter, and, fortunately, are somewhat rare. They may actually shatter the line, or may distribute themselves along it for a considerable distance, leaping from wire to pole, and thence to earth, without actually damaging the line to any marked degree. The induced discharges are felt principally in the apparatus, causing many of the burn-outs observed in transformers and generators. There is no complete protection against the effects of lightning upon the apparatus. Even the best lightning arresters are palliatives rather than preventives. If, however, a number of arresters are put in parallel, with reactance coils between them on the way towards the apparatus, the vast majority of lightning discharges, to whatever cause they may be due, will be deflected harmlessly to earth. Moreover, the apparatus itself teas a considerable power of resistance, due to its high insulation. The ends of the line should be very thoroughly protected by such lightning arresters, and other points, such as prominent elevations along the line, should receive similar additional protection. In some cases a substantial steel-wire cable stretched along the tops of the poles several feet above the line wires and well grounded at frequent intervals has been found very advantageous. With the best protection at present available, lightning is not a serious menace to continuity of service, and the apparatus of the distributing system is far more difficult to protect than the main line and its apparatus.


In most long-distance transmission work the transmission line itself terminates in a sub-station, which bears to the general distribution system precisely the same relations which are borne by a central electric supply station to its distributing lines. Such a sub-station should be treated, in fact, as a central station, receiving its electric energy from a distance instead of employing local generators driven by prime movers. The design of the substation, however, is somewhat different from that of the ordinary central station. The transmission lines terminate generally in a bank of reducing transformers, bringing the voltage from the 10,000 or higher voltage employed upon the line to the 2000 or more generally used in the distribution. These transformers are usually large, and their magnitude should be determined by the same considerations which apply to determining the size of the units to be employed in a generating station. The general rule to be followed is that the separate units shall be of such size that one of them may be dispensed with without serious inconvenience. In the case of transformers, the unit in twoor three-phase working is the bank of transformers, which must be used together. In Continental practice three-phase reducing transformers are frequently made to include all three phases in a single structure; this practice is less frequently followed in American plants, separate transformers being more often used in each phase. In this case, two or three transformers, according as the twoor three-phase system is used, constitute a single transformer unit in the sense just mentioned. If a change is to be made from three-phase line to two-phase distribution, the change is made by the appropriate vector connexion of the transformers. The full-load efficiency of large sub-station transformers is commonly 97 to 98%. In any case, the sub-station is furnished with voltage regulating appliances, to enable the voltage upon the distribution lines to be held constant and uniform. These regulators are, in practice, transformers with a variable transformation ratio. This is obtained in divers ways - sometimes by changing the inductive relations of the primary and secondary coils, sometimes by changing the relative number of effective turns in primary and secondary. Sets of these inductive regulators enable the voltage to be controlled over a sufficiently wide range to secure uniform potential on the system, and .with a degree of delicacy that obviates any undesirable changes in voltage. The regulation is usually manual, no automatic regulator yet having proved entirely satisfactory. In very large systems it is worth noting that the so-called " skin effect " in alternating current conductors may become conspicuous. In the transmission circuits themselves the wires are, in practice, never large enough to produce any sensible difference in conductivity for continuous and for alternating currents. In the heavy omnibus-bars of a large sub-station this immunity may not be continued, but in such cases flat strips are frequently employed. If these are not more than, say, a centimetre in thickness, the " skin effect " is practically insignificant for all frequencies used commercially. Not infrequently the sub-station also contains devices for the changing of alternating to continuous current, usually synchronous converters feeding either traction system or electric lighting mains. Beyond these converters the system becomes an ordinary continuous-current system, and is treated as such. When very close regulation is necessary, motorgenerators are often preferred to synchronous converters. Series arc lighting from transmission circuits is a much more serious problem. At the present time two methods are in vogue: first, the operation of continuous-current series-arc machines by synchronous or induction motors driven from the transmission system; and, secondly, series alternating apparatus for feeding alternating arcs. This apparatus consists either of constantcurrent transformers with automatically moving secondaries, or of inductive regulators, also automatic in their action, supplemented by transformers to supply them with the necessarily rather high voltage employed for arc distribution. As between these two systems practice is at present divided; electrically, the alternating apparatus gives a rather higher real efficiency, but involves the use of alternating arcs, which are somewhat less efficient, watt for watt, as light producers than the continuous-current arcs. The apparatus, however, requires practically no care, while the arc machines, driven by motors, require the same amount of care as if they were driven by other power. Arc light transformers, however, are likely to have low power factors, hardly above o8 at full load, and rapidly falling off at lower loads. Synchronous rectifiers changing the alternating current into a unidirectional current, suitable for use with arc lights, have been employed with some success, but not to any considerable extent. They, are satisfactory in avoiding the use of alternating currents in the arc, and consume but little energy in the transformation from one form of current to the other, but involve the use of static transformers automatically giving constant current, which are somewhat objectionable on the score of lowpower factor. Mercury rectifiers are now used rather extensively and give excellent results, although they are as yet of somewhat uncertain life, and, like the synchronous rectifiers, require special transformers when worked at constant current. In Continental practice arc - lights are almost universally worked off constant potential circuits, and hence the difficulties just considered are for the most part peculiar to American systems.

Distances of Transmission

The ultimate determining factor in the distance to which power can be commercially transmitted is the economic side of the transmission, the maximum distance being the maximum distance at which the transmission will pay. As a mere engineering feat the transmission of power to a distance of many hundred miles is perfectly feasible, and, judging from the data available, the phenomena encountered in increasing the length of lines have not been of such character as to cause any hesitation in going still farther, provided the increase is commercially feasible. In American practice, it is within the truth to say that nearly all transmissions of reasonable size (say a few hundred kilowatts) to distances of twenty miles, or less, are pretty certain to pay. At distances up to fifty miles, in a large proportion of cases power can be delivered at prices which will enable it to compete with power locally generated by steam. From fifty to one hundred miles (on a large scale - several thousand kilowatts) the chances for commercial success are still good. The larger the amount of power transmitted, the better on the whole is the commercial outlook. The longest one yet operated has already been noted, and may be regarded as a commercial success. In certain localities where the cost of fuel is extremely high, transmissions of several hundred miles may prove successful from a commercial as well as an engineering standpoint, but the growth of industry, which indicates the necessity for such a transmission, may go on until, through improved facilities of transport, the cost of fuel may be greatly lowered and the economic conditions entirely changed. Such a modification of the conditions sometimes takes place much more quickly than would be anticipated at first sight, so that when very long distance transmissions are under consideration, the permanence of the conditions which will render them profitable should be a very serious subject of consideration. (L. BL.)

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