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Note: This is a sub-section of the English Electric Co
Water turbine manufacture was undertaken at Willans Works Rugby, until transferred in the 1950s to a new fabrication and heavy machine shop at Netherton, Liverpool. Netherton Works closed c.1970 as part of the rationalisation following the merger with AEI. Some of the staff were transferred to the EE-AEI works at Trafford Park. Some of the machine tools were also transferred, with a view to continuing the manufacture of water turbines and other heavy engineering products at Trafford Park.
1927 'Hydro-Electric Plant Governing.
A water turbine is tricky prime mover to govern efficiently. Any means which might cause sudden change in the velocity of flow of water in the pipe-line cannot allowed because of the well-known dangerous increase in pressure brought about the sudden shock of arresting the motion of large body of water. An ingenious type of double-acting governor gear has been used on the six large Pelton or tangent wheel turbines made for the Tata Hydro-Electric Power Company (Ltd.) by the English Electric Company (Ltd.). One of these turbines has gone to the Khopoli Station, and two 30,000 h.p. machines have recently been put into operation at Bhira. The remaining three are now in course of erection at Rugby. It may be remembered that this order was probably the outstanding event of year which saw some remarkable developments all over the world in the use of water power.
The nozzle discharging water on to the peripheral buckets is of the usual Doble needle regulated type. The advance or withdrawal of the needle concentric with the orifice alters the annular opening available, thus controls the diameter the jet. This control must be, as explained above, very gradual. On other hand, governor must able to act almost instantaneously, maintaining close speed regulation even in the event of all the load being thrown off the turbine. To effect this, the needle in the present device, known as the Seewer governor, contains an internal sleeve, which carries a series of guide vanes. When sudden reduction of load occurs, these vanes aro automatically caused to protrude from the end of the spear head, into the line of the jet. Being set at angle, they give the water in the jet a spinning motion, which throws the water into a diffused cone. The small amount of water which now impinges on the buckets has little driving power, and the wheel therefore immediately responds to the reduction of power demand. At the same time the needle itself is being brought slowly forward, to take up its rightful function, throttling the water flow without causing any undue increase in pipe-line pressure. As it assumes its duties, an overtaking gear withdraws the dispersing blades, and restores the solidity of the water jet, albeit with a diminished volume of water.
In tests on 3,300 h.p. turbine, the sudden throwing off of 25 per cent. load resulted in a temporary rise in speed of 1.15 per cent., while the speed increase for throwing the whole load off was only 3.45 per cent. In the Khopoli set, throwing 10,000 k.w. load off suddenly gave a rise of 3.88 per cent, in the speed above no-load speed, while the important increase of pressure in the pipe-line was only 3.59 per cent.'
1959 'TURBINES AND DIESELS
TURBINES designed and made at Rugby — or in some cases only designed here — form one of the main sections in the review of the year issued by the English Electric Co. An important part is also occupied by the work done at Whetstone, where thousands of graphite components for the atomic power station at Hinkley Point were made. Among the water turbines made by the company were the first two of four for Table Rock which are believed to be the first water turbines of foreign manufacture supplied to the United States of America. During 1959 the company received orders from the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board for two 19,000 vertical alternators for the Deanie power station, and one 22,000 kw vertical variable blade water turbine and associated alternator for the Culligran power station. Both stations are part of the Strathfarrar Scheme in Inverness-shire. In connection with the turbine for Culligran it was agreed with the consultants and the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, that there would he significant advantages in installing a Deriaz mixed-flow variable-blade runner instead of the Kaplan axial-flow runner originally proposed.
This will be the first occasion on which Deriaz runner has been used for a straight turbine without provision for reversible operation.
EVERY EIGHT WEEKS
The manufacturing effort of the past two years on plant for the Priest Rapids power station on the Columbia River in the United State of America resulted in the successful commissioning of the first of the ten 91,000 kw units for this important power station in October, the second unit in November, and the third in December. The turbine runners are the largest of their type on the Columbia River. In spite of the size and complexity of the runners they have been delivered to site with the alternators and magnetic-amplifier voltage regulators to support an erection programme based on one machine being commissioned every eight weeks.
In Australia all four water turbines have been commissioned in the Snowy T.1. power station of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority. These turbines, capable of developing 134,500 h.p. under a maximum net head of 1,095 feet, are amongst the most powerful high-head Francis machines in the world.
Other plant commissioned throughout the world included three 36,800 kw hydroelectric sets at Hirfanli in Turkey, which are part of a comprehensive project undertaken by English Electric in conjunction with George Wimpey and Co.; two additional 18,000 kw sets in the Tully Falls Power Station, Australia; 35,000 kw turbine and alternator at Silvon in Spain, and an 11,000 kw water turbine and alternator at Cashlie power station in Scotland. The 50,000 kw hydro-electric set for Warragamba in Australia will shortly be commissioned.
Following the successful commissioning of three 30,000 h.p. turbines at the Atiamuri power station of the New Zealand State Hydro-Electric Department, it was decided to extend the Power station and a further unit has been ordered. Installation has now started on the low-level embedded parts for the four 105,000 h.p. pumps and turbines - Generating Board's Ffestiniog pumped storage station in Wales. This will be the largest pumped storage station in the world when completed.
It was recently reported the company has received instructions from the Central Electricity Generating Board to put in hand two 330 mw turbo-generator units for Drakelow 'C' Power Station. ....'