ELECTRIC PLANT AT DE CEW FALLS.
DE CEW FALLS, three miles from St. Catharine’s, Ont., supplies electrical energy to the city of Hamilton, thirty-four miles distant, from a large power house which was formally opened on November 12. The water which creates this electrical energy is admitted into the company’s canal from the Welland canal at AUanburg, four miles distant from the power house, at the same elevation as the water of lake Erie. In the Cataract Power Company’s canal, the water is carried to the brow of the mountains at De Cew Falls, where massive concrete walls form the termination of the canal Three small lakes, Moodie, Gibson, and Patterson, coveting a space of ‘thirty acres, are located along the line of the canal, and these are sufficient, if necessary on account of repain, to keep the power plant running for forty-eight hours.
On the slope of the mountain at which the canal ends is a huge steel feeder-pipe, which conveys the water to the turbines. Its capacity is for 10,000 horse power, and through it the water flows with a velocity of three feet per second, when supplying 6,000 horse power. The upper end of the pipe is buried under a mass of concrete, embedded in the interstices of the rock on each side and the bottom, and holding the top of the pipe immovably anchored to the end wall of the canal. Outside of the power house this pipe is approximately 700 feet (eet long, and varies in length and thickness as follows: Two hundred and eighty-six feet, three-sixteenth* of an inch thick, diameter, eight feet; too feet, three-eighths of one inch thick, diameter, seven feet, six inches; seventy-one feet, one-sixteenth of one inch thick, diameter, seven feet; 231 feet, one-half-inch thick, diameter, six feet, ten inches. At this last diameter begins an elbow which enters the power house, and gradually enlarges in diameter within a radius of thirty-live feet from six feet, ten inches, to eight feet, six inches in diameter of steel plate three quarters of an inch thick, to enable it to stand the pressure of 113 pounds to the square inch, as well as the fluctuating pressuresarising from the street railroad seivice. Inside the power house, the feeder-pipe is seventy feet long—its diameter becoming gradually reduced as it approaches the last wheel, where it is six feet, six inches. It terminates in a cone, whose smallest end is twelve inches diameter, and is extended to feed two thirty-five horse power turbines which run the exciters. On the circular and vertical seams, the feeder-pipe is double-riveted, and the longitudinal seams, treble-riveted— all the rivets being one and one-eighth of an inch diameter, and all the seams butt-strapped. Midway up the slope is an expansion joint, to compensate for the variations in length of such a long pipe, due to the extremes of heat and cold. The maximum movement in this joint will be about six inches.
The power house is skeleton iron work, filled with brick.
Its length is 174 feet: width, forty-two feet; height to apex of roof, thirty-eight feet. The floor is of solid concrete,twelve inches thick, with a surface layer of cement, three inches thick. There are two Victor turbine wheels (with provision for two more)—the descent from head to tail-water being 260 feet. The wheels are special forty-four-inch diameter; the journal-bearings are seven and three-eighth inches diameter running at 400 revolutions a minu’e—one of the wheels at a recent test developed t.8oo horse power. A cylinder gate, encircled with water in a water jacket round the case of the wheel admits the water.
The water wheel—the hydraulic part of the plant—is isolated by leather links from the generators, with a three-inch space between the couplings connecting the water wheel and the generator. The studs cf these links are alternately fastened to each half of the coupling, thereby orevening the current from grounding through the water wheel. Coming through the floor from the main feeder-pipe is a thirty-six-inch gate-valve, which, in the operation of opening and closing, has to slide against a pressure of sixty tons, making a full movement in twenty-five seconds. It consists of a vertically placed cylinder, with a piston affixed to the gate-valve disk by rods. By the admission of water above or below the piston at x 13 pounds pressure to the square inch the gate-valve is raised oi lowered.
To each gate-valve is attached a relief-valve with a spring adjustment, so as to prevent rupture or*water hammer. When large loads are thrown off, or on the generator,this relief-valv is also brought into service. Each unit is provided with a momentum wheel on the turbine shaft, which weighs seven and one-half tons, constructed out of steel plate; the rim of the wheels being made from whole plates, with the interior cut out, and two whole plates being left intact to form the web—thus forming a momentum wheel which practically cannot fly asunder from centrifugal force. Each water unit weighs about sixty tons. A Gieseler mechanical-electrical governor regulates and keeps a practically steady speed on the water wheels and generators, irrespective of amount of change of load. To facilitate the handling of such heavy machinery there is an overhead traveling crane of fifteen tons capacity.
The electrical installation consists of two S. K.C. two-phase inductor type generators—rated capacity, 1,000 kilowatts at 2.400 volts; weight, sixty tons each—run in parallel and supplying current to ten step-up transformers, which raise the voltage to 22,000. The transformers are of 200 k.w. capacity each, and of the oil-insulated water-cooled type. They feed the main line to Hamilton consisting of four B. and S gauge hard drawn bare copper wires supported on the poles on triple petticoated porcelain insulators, every one of which was tested at 60,000 volts before being used. At Hamilton the current is received at a transformer substation where the pressure is reduced . j 2,250 volts by oil-insulated, air-cooled transformers.
It then goes to the distributing switchboard, from which it feeds the lighting and power circuits throughout the city of Hamilton. The exciters are rated at thirty k.w. at seventy volts and run at 1,000 revolutions.
The main switchboard is made up of three wh’te marble panels, one for each generator and one for the exciters. On the generator panels all the connections are made on the back of the board, there being no bare terminals on the face. The cases of the instruments are made of ground glass and present a very attractive appearance. Immediately at the back of the switchboard is the space, taking up one end of the building, occupied by the ten step-up transformers, arranged in batteries of five—each transformer having a capacity of 200 k. w. They are incased, made of steel boiler plate, and rest directly on the concrete floor. From the powerhouse the transmission runs to Hamilton on poles, the wires (four in number) being all placed on one four-pin crossarm,three and three-quarters by five and three-quarter inches, spaced eiehteen inches apart, and, of course, duly insulated. The poles are all specially selected, eight inches at the top and not less than thirty-five feet in length. They are set ninety feet apart and six deep in the earth.
The contractors and engineers engaged in this work are as follows: Messrs. MacDonald & Sutherland, canal excavations and brick work and foundations in power house, Messrs. Stillwell, Bierce & Smith-Vaile Company, Dayton, Ohio.
Feeder-pipe and frame work of power house (built by Hamilton Bridge works) designed along with the hydraulic plant by Mr. A.C.Rice,engineer for the Dayton firm,who contracted for all the iron work and machinery. It was erected under the supervision of Mr. Geo. W. Bowie.
The generators and electrical appliances were furnished by the Royal Electric Company, of Montreal, and were erected under the supervision of Mr. W. C. McLaren.
The engineeis of the canal were W. J. Kennedy, of Montreal, Que., and T. J. Hillman, resident. The credit of the scheme is due to Mr Jno Patterson, who realized the possibility of, and the benefit to be derived from the development of this enterprise for the industries of Hamilton.
The capital of the Cataract Power Company is $1,000,000, and it is organized as follows: Hon. J. M. Gibson, president; Mr. James Dixon, vice-president; John Moodie, secretary-treasurer; Jno. Patterson, secretary; H. R. Leyden, general manager; directois Jno. L. Dickinson, J. W. Sutherland, J.
L. Dickinson, Jno. Knox, J. J. Wright, J. A. Kamarar, of Toronto.
In the power house there are many salient points worthy of observing in connection with this hydraulic plant—high head, highspeed, all necessitating a h’gh safety factor in its construction, and a departure in design from the usual routine of waterwheels situated between the turbine and the branch pipe.
The visitor on entering the house is at once impressed with the symmetrical arrangement of the generators, water turbines, transformers, and switchboards, and the brilliant illumination from 200 incandescent lights.
The illustrations, which are inserted through the courtesy of The Electrical Engineer, of this city, show: Lake Moodie; aqueduct across valley; heidgates at Allanburg; pipe line at cut through hill: expansion joint in pipe line; interior of power house; exciters, exciter wheels, transformers, and switchboard alley; switchboard at power house; and pole line looking towards Hamilton.
Niagara Falls. N. Y., has bought a combination, doubletank Holloway chemical engine and hose wagon, specially light in construction, and suitable for their location. It will carry x.ooo feet of hose, and an extension ladder on the side, with a full equipment of small tools. The body will be painted white and gold, and will have a vermilion gear. It will prove a beautiful and serviceable addition to Chief Utiz’s fire equipment. The order for this piece was placed with C. N. Richardson, of Providence, R. I.
J. P. McNary & Son have applied to the council of Canonsburg, Pa., for a franchise for water works.