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C. A. Parsons and Co: Electricity Generation and Transmission

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Fisk Street (Chicago) turbine and alternator in the Newcastle works of C. A.Parsons, 1913 [1]

Note: This is a sub-section of C. A. Parsons and Co

See also Reyrolle Parsons

Examples of Power Stations in the UK & Ireland with Parsons Steam Turbine-Generators

See also Parsons Turbines: Early Examples

PS = Power Station
TA = Turbine-Alternator
Dates are approximate commissioning dates.

Note: Many power stations contained turbine-generators from a variety of makers. Only Parsons sets are listed below.

Aberdeen City Electricity Works: One 5 MW TA, 3000 rpm (ordered 1916) [2]

Aberthaw 'A' PS

Ackton Hall Colliery, Featherstone, Yorkshire: 150 kW TA. First three-phase alternator in the UK, and possibly in the world.[3]. It was constructed in 1900 to the order of Lord Masham, the colliery proprietor, who, in addition to much other pioneering work, was keenly interested in the development of electrically driven coal-cutting machines. He was the first man in the UK to use three phase power for coal-cutting, and to obtain that power he ordered a 3-phase turbine-generator from Parsons. It developed 150 kW at 2520 rpm, and supplied current at 350 volts between phases, at a frequency of 42 Hz. A total of eleven Parsons turbine-generators had been installed by 1919[4]

Bankside PS: 5 MW TA (1919). Early application of tapered, twisted blades in last row.

Barking 'A' PS: Four 40 MW, four 20 MW TAs

Birtley Iron Works: 500 kW turbine-generator. Mixed-pressure turbine.

Blaydon Burn PS: 3 MW TA. Said to have the first installation of regenerative feed heating. Note: The first totally-enclosed air-cooling system for alternators was applied at Blaydon Burn PS, in 1919[5].

Bradford (Valley Road) PS: Two 22.5 MW TAs (one 6.6 kV, one 33 kV)

Brimsdown Power Station: 'A' Station - 25 MW TA (1928), the first in the UK to generate at 33 kV; 'B' Station - four 25 MW TAs[6]

Burton upon Trent PS: One 6 MW TA

Calder Hall Power Station: Eight 23 MW TAs (later uprated to 30 MW). (1956-9)

Carville 'A' PS: Two 3·5 MW and two 1·5 MW TAs. The 3·5 MW units were nearly double the capacity of any TA which had been made up to that time.[7]. By 1911 there were eight TAs giving a total output of 32 MW.

Chapelcross Nuclear PS: Eight 23 MW TAs (later uprated to 30 MW) (1959)

Close Power Station (Newcastle)

Dalmarnock PS: Two 50 MW TAs (ordered 1936)

Deptford Generating Station: Two 5 MW turbines (ordered 1910) [8]

Derby PS: 2 MW TA (c.1914), plus a 4 MW TA (c.1916)

Devonport Dockyard: Two 3.75 MW TAs (1928), one 3.75 MW TA (1937) [9]

Dover PS: 400 kW TA (c.1905) [10]

Drax PS: Six 660 MW TAs (1973-86)

Dungeness A Nuclear Power Station

Dunston-on-Tyne PS: Three 67,000 HP T/As (c.1934)

Fawley PS: Four 500 MW TAs

Ferrybridge 'C' PS: Four 500 MW TAs

Frindsbury PS (Kent Power Co): Two TAs, 1.5 MW, (3 MW 1/2 hr rating), 11 kV, a record kV rating for a TA at the time (1905) [11]

Great Eastern Railway, Stratford Works: Three 1000 kW TAs (ordered 1905)

Great Island PS (Co. Wexford): Two 60 MW TAs (1967-8); one 120 MW TA (1972)

Guinness's Brewery, Dublin: Pass-out turbine driving 250 kW turbine-generator. The exhaust steam was used for vat heating purposes, after which the steam passed to a condensing turbine driving a 250 kW generator. (1900)

Folkestone Electric Supply Co: One 300 kW turbine-generator (ordered 1905)

Guildford PS: (1927)

Hackney PS: 7.5 MW, 3000 rpm TA (ordered 1918)

Hams Hall PS: 51.5 MW TAs (3rd TA ordered in 1936)

Hammersmith PS: Two 10 MW TAs (c.1920)

Hastings PS: 500 kW TA (c.1900) [12]

Hayle Power Station

Heysham 2 Nuclear Power Station: Two 660 MW TAs

Hull Corporation PS: One 30 MW TA, single cylinder (ordered 1936)

Hunterston A Nuclear Power Station

Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station

Laxey PS (IoM): 750 kW TA (secondhand in 1920)

Little Barford 'B' PS: Two 63.5 MW TAs (1959). Note: One TA was removed and installed at Marsa Power Station, Malta, in 1987 [13]

Lots Road (Underground Electric Rly of London): Eight 6 MW TAs, capable of overload to 8 - 10 MW (ordered in 1908), 18 kW TAs (1913), all 1000 rpm, 33.33 Hz. More 18 MW TAs ordered in 1919, to run at 2000 rpm, with steam at 200 psi, superheated to 500 degF. Steam condition was to be increased later to 290 psi/750F, and the later turbines were modified in 1931, adding 18 rows of blades at the HP end, which markedly improved the economy.[14]

Manchester Square Power Station (London): Three 350 kW TAs (1894-5).

Markinch Powerhouse: Four TAs, supplying power to Tullis Russell and Co.

Mersey Power Co: Two 12.5 MW TAs. Cuilt 1919. First two-cylinder tandem 3000 rpm Parsons turbines with double flow LP turbine. Each turbine rotor was of the monobloc type, machined from a single forging, rather than being assembled from separate forgings or castings. The machines also had the first Parsons alternator rotor forgings to have a core trepanned from the centre to prove the soundness of the forging.[15]

Neptune Bank (Newcastle): 1·5 MW three-phase alternator of the revolving armature type, generating at 6.6 kV 40 Hz. This machine gave trouble and was replaced by one with a rotating field, following the installation there in 1903 of the first alternator with a rotating field, rated at 2 MW 6.6 kV, three-phase, 40 Hz[16]

Newburn Steelworks (J. Spencer and Co): 750 kW TA. The turbine worked on low exhaust pressure steam from rolling mill and other engines steelworks, with a live steam backip supply.

Norwich PS: 3 MW, 3000 rpm (1913); 30 MW TA (c.1937)

Pembroke PS: Four 500 MW TAs

Reyrolle and Co: Alternator (and turbine?) for testing purposes, with a maximum capacity of 1,500.000 kVA at 3000 rpm, and at 22,000 volts or at several lower voltages, being a duplicate of a machine already supplied by C. A. Parsons to the same firm. Its installation would provide Reyrolle and Co with by far the most powerful testing plant in the world.[17]

Ringsend PS (Dublin): 'A' Station: three 30 MW TAs (1955-56); 'B' Station: one 50 MW TA

Rothes Mills, Glenrothes: Various turbine generators installed, from 1902 onwards, from 150 to 5000 kW [18]

Sculcoates PS (Hull): 25 MW TA (1935)

Skelton Grange 'A' PS: Six 60 MW TAs (1951-55)

Swansea PS: Two 30 MW 36 kV TAs (mid 1930s)

Stella North Power Station

Thorpe Marsh Power Station

Trafford PS: (Manchester): One 30 MW TA (1947)

Treforest Power Station: 18.75 MW TA (1921); 18.75 MW 36 kV TA (1933). The first turbine suffered from problems which beset pioneers of new technology: the rotor forging was thermally unstable, causing it to bend and suffer from high vibration. Parsons developed a heat treatment process to relieve internal stresses. [19]

West Thurrock PS: Two 200 MW TAs (1962 & 1963)

Wimbledon P.S.: One 7.5 MW TA, 2-phase (1930)

Worcester PS: Two 15 MW TAs (1940s)

Examples of Overseas Power Stations with Parsons Steam Turbine-Generators

Adelaide Tramways Co: Two 1.5 MW TAs (ordered 1909) [20]

Broken Hill Proprietary Co. (Australia): Two 18.75 MW TAs (c.1938)[21]

Bunnerong PS (Australia):

Calcutta Electric Supply Co: Two 30 MW TAs (c.1938)

Capetown: Two 20 MW TAs. Three 20 MW TAs at Salt River PS, Capetown. Same station?

Copenhagen: Two 36 MW TAs (1930s)

Crawford Street Power Station (Chicago): 50 MW TA (c.1923)

Dominion Boxboard Co (Toronto): 1.5 MW TA (1934) [22]

Durban: Four 20 MW TAs (early 1930s)

Dutch State Mines: 20 MW TA (c.1934)

East Rand Pty. Mines: 20 MW TA 22 kV TA (ordered 1933)

Elberfeld PS:

Evans Bay PS (Wellington, NZ): Two 1.5 MW TAs transferred from Harris Street Generating Station; 5 MW TA (1924); 15 MW TA (1936) [23]. 1939 photo here.

Fisk Street station in Chicago: 25 MW TA (c.1913). See illustration above.

Ford Motor Co of Canada: 20 MW 3600 rpm pass-out turbine, 800 psi, 800 degF (ordered 1936)

Harris Street PS (Wellington, NZ): 1907 photo here

N.V. tot Keuring von Electrotechnische Materialen, Arnhem: Alternator for switchgear testing. Output of 900,000 kVA at 11,000, 6350, 5500, or 3200 volts, according to the external connections of the windings. It would be the largest plant of its kind to be installed in any independent testing laboratory. [24]

Richard L. Hearn PS (Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario): 100 MW TA (1951)

Great Indian Peninsular Railway: Kalyan PS: Four 23 MW T/As (c.1930)

Mulajore (Calcutta): Two 30 MW TAs, 36 kV (c.1937)

Newport 'A' & 'B' power stations, Australia: c.1913

Port Dixon PS (Malaysia): Two 60 MW TAs (1973)

Pretoria: 15.6 MW TA (1933)

Randfontein Estates Mine: Two 1 MW turbine-generators (1907); two 7.5 MW TAs (6-pole alternators, 1000 rpm), c.1910?; 24 MW TA (ordered 1936)

Schiehaven PS (Rotterdam): One 20 MW TA (1920)[25]

Shangai Municipal Electricity Works: 20 MW TA (c.1923)

Spencer Street Railway Station, Melbourne: 150 kW turbine-generator (c.1900) [26]

Table Bay (Cape Town): Three 40 MW TAs, 33kV (c.1937)

Ultimo PS (Sydney Tramways): One 1875 kW TA (1905); Two 5 MW TAs (7.5 MW/2 hr rating), 6 kV, 750 rpm. 109 stages of blades. 8-pole alternators. Said to be the largest TAs made to date ((commissioned January 1909). Ran for 20 years.[27]

Ymuiden PS, Holland: Two 30 MW TAs (c.1931)

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Engineering, 17 Oct 1913
  2. Aberdeen Press and Journal, 7 August 1916
  3. [1] Electricity Supply in Great Britain - A Chronology-From the beginnings of the industry to 31 December 1976 by The Electricity Council, second edition, 1977
  4. [2] The Engineer 9 Feb 1934, p.140
  5. [3] Electricity Supply in Great Britain - A Chronology-From the beginnings of the industry to 31 December 1976 by The Electricity Council, second edition, 1977, p.14
  6. [4] Wikipedia
  7. [5] Electricity Supply in Great Britain - A Chronology-From the beginnings of the industry to 31 December 1976 by The Electricity Council, second edition, 1977, p.12
  8. [6] The Engineer, 9 March 1934, p.244 ff.
  9. [7] Hansard, 1947, Devonport Dockyard (Electricity Undertaking)
  10. Dover Express - Friday 15 December 1905
  11. [8] The Engineer, 23 Feb 1934, p.190
  12. Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 20 December 1902
  13. [9] enemalta website - History of electricity
  14. [10] 27 April 1934, p.421
  15. [11] 27 April 1934, p.422
  16. [12] Electricity Supply in Great Britain - A Chronology-From the beginnings of the industry to 31 December 1976 by The Electricity Council, second edition, 1977, p.12
  17. [13] The Engineer, 5 Jan 1934
  18. [14] Canmore: Glenrothes, Rothes Mills, Power House
  19. [15] 27 April 1934, p.423
  20. The Engineer, 9 March 1934
  21. [16] Durham Mining Museum website: Colliery Guardian, October 22, 1937: Mechanical And Electrical Engineering On Tyneside
  22. Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 17 October 1933
  23. [17] Engineering New Zealand: Evans Bay Power Station
  24. [18] The Engineer, 5 Jan 1934
  25. [19] The Engineer, 13 May 1927. Description and illustrations
  26. [20] Notes on a test of Parson's Steam Turbines, at Spencer Street Railway Station (1900 Paper & Discussion) by William Stone, 1903
  27. [21] The Engineer, 23 Feb 1934, p.190