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The position at Ledbury.I





LEDBURY ELECTRICITY SUPPLY. I A Visit to the Power Station. I It is now some two or three years or so since the possibility of an electricity supply for Led- bury was first mooted, and since Christmas week it has been an accomplished fact. It will be remembered that the first firm who came to the town did not proceed with their expressed intention, but another firm, Messrs Edwards and Armstrong, electrical engineers, of Bristol, approached the Council a matter of a little over twelve months ago, and early showed that they were out for business. A canvas of the town was made by this firm for prospective consumers, the initial operations were put in hand, and eventually a provisional order applied for. Meanwhile Messrs Edwards and Armstrong were pushing forward the necessary arrange- ments for the building of a power station and the requisite wiring, etc., and now the Ledbury Electric Supply Co., Ltd., is in a position to supply electric current for all purposes to any private or business establishment in the town and its outskirts. Messrs Edwards and Arm- strong, Ltd., have carried out the whole of the work themselves, and it is interesting to note that they were the contractors for the electricity supply works at Chippenham, Melksham, Trow- bridge, Cirencester, Abingdon, Tewkesbury, Ludlow, Leominster and Talgarth on similar lines to those followed at Ledbury. The power station is situate in Bye-street, Ledbury, facing the Gloucester Branch G. W. R. line, and the site is part of the Brewery Orchard. The architect was Sir Frank Wills, of Bristol, and the contractors Messrs David Smith and Son, builders, Ledbury. The building includes engine-room, about 36 ft by 24 ft., storage battery room, office, and one end of the building is utilised for the suction-gas plant aud as a coal- house. The engine-room contains a 68 h. p. Fielding suction-gas engine, laid down by the contractors. The fly-wheel is of rather a heavier type than usual in order to get a steadying balance. The engine is worked on a throttle governor which goes to msvke for steady running. One feature of the engine is that in blowing up to get ready to start there is no possibility of any foul gas getting into the engine-room, this being of course a great advantage, and does away with any danger from the fumes. The starting apparatus, too, is very interesting, and is done on ideas of the firm's own, the storage batteries being utilised, this disposing of the compressed air starting usually adopted. The dynamo is a Crompton, with a capacity of 250 volts, 140 amps., and there is a booster with direct coupling to a motor, also a Crompton, the booster being utilised for starting the engine from the batteries. The switch-board is a 4-panel marble one, the panels being feeder panel, dynamo panel, booster panel and battery panel. The record- ing meter indicates all that actually happens in the town as well as the batteries. Its true value is for registering the intake of the charge and discharge of the storage batteries. Over it is the regulator, giving a voltage regulation over 21 cells, so that there is ample margin for any reasonable amount of current. On another panel is an automatic blow out, which comes out on any irregularity in the town. There are three feeders to different parts of the town, each of which is isolated one from the other, so that if one circuit was damaged it would not interfere with the current on the other two circuits. Pilot volt meters show the voltage in the town. The battery is a 15 plate Premier with a 600 amperes per hour capacity. Outside the building are the lightning pro- tectors, rather an important matter to consumers, these protecting the wires and the dynamo. The suction-gas plant is in a separate portion of the building at the rear, which is very well ventilated, thus minimising the danger of "gassing." Provision is made in the engine room for another engine to be put in if necessary, and it is probable that there will be an oil engine as a stand-by. There is ample storage for coal in case of a railway or coal strike. Outside the building are eight 200-gallon tanks for cooling. The exhaust will probably be improved upon yet. The Company have at present 50 consumers, mostly at business premises, with the addition of a few residential houses. At most of the business premises which have been connected requests for additional lights are coming in, which seems to show that electric lighting is proving a success. The system of overhead wires has been adopted, and when the Provisional Order is got through the Company will have power to open up the roads for the purpose of laying cables to supply additional consumers it is impossible to reach by the overhead system. It is worth recording that the whole of the work in connection with the installation has been carried out by the firm of Messrs Edwards and Armstrong, and apart from the actual erection of the building no part of the work has been sub-contracted.



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