Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Metropolitan-Vickers: Electricity Generation and Transmission

From Graces Guide
Small geared pass-out steam turbine at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry (MoSI)
1922.3000 Kilowatt Turbo-Generator at Park Gate Ironworks.
1922. Large Electric Transformers.
Metropolitan-Vickers steam turbine-generator at Tokomaru Steam Museum, New Zealand
May 1930.
1936. Battersea Power Station.
1936. Battersea Power Station.
1936. Battersea Power Station.




April 1945.
1945. Mobile Power Stations for U.S.S.R
1956. Two-cylinder Metrovick sets installed in Agecroft Power Station.
1958. 330kV air-blast circuit breaker.
February 1959. Metrovick Oil Circuit Breakers.
1959. 330kV air-blast circuit breaker.

Note: This is a sub-section of Metropolitan-Vickers


1919 Construction of steam turbines, generators, transformers, switchgear and converter plant had been a major part of the activities of the predecessor company, British Westinghouse.

In addition to large steam turbines and generators for central power stations, M-V produced small, self-contained units with gearboxes and condensers. Nearly 500 had been made by 1949, including many mobile units for the USSR in WW2.

1927 Six-year agreeement signed with Machinostroi of the USSR to manufacture turbines to M-V designs. I. R. Cox was the M-V Resident Engineer. A seven-year agreement was signed with the State Electrical Trust in 1931.

Also see Metropolitan-Vickers High Voltage Research Laboratory

Examples of M-V Generators for Hydro-Electric Schemes

Oaky Zone Hydro-Electric Station (NSW, Australia): 2.5 MW alternator driven by Boving turbine

Waddamana Power Station, Tasmania: Two 3.5 MW alternators (1916)

Maipo River, Compania Hidro-Electrica Volcan (Chile): Three 20,000 kVA alternators [1]

Whakamaru (New Zealand): Four 26.1 MW Francis turbines designed and built by Dominion Engineering and four M-V 27.8 MVA generators. Fully commissioned in 1956. By 2010 only one machine had had a major overhaul.[2]

Examples of UK Power Stations with M-V Steam Turbines

PS = Power Station
TA = Turbine-alternator unit
HP =High Pressure
LP = Low Pressure
Dates are, generally, approximate commissioning dates

Note: Many power stations contained turbine-generators from a variety of makers.

Agecroft Power Station

Astley Green Colliery: One 2 MW TA

Ballylumford 'A': Two 30 MW TAs (1940s) [3]

Barrow-in-Furness PS: One 10 MW & one 7 MW TA (late 1950s)

Barton Power Station

Battersea Power Station 69 MW and 105 MW TAs.

Belfast Harbour PS: Two 30 MW TAs (1930s)

Blackburn Meadows PS (Sheffield): Two 50 MW TAs (mid 1930s)

Blyth 'A' PS: Four 120 MW TAs (1958-60)

Bold 'A' PS: Four 30 MW TAs (1953-7)

Bowhill Colliery: One TA (c.1955)

Brimsdown Power Station: 'A' station: one 54 MW two-axis machine (a 20MW primary turbine and and a 34 MW condensing turbine); 'B' station: 60 MW TAs [4]

Brunswick Wharf (Poplar): Four 55 MW TAs, two 60 MW TAs with hydrogen cooling (1952-6)

Chamber Hall Power Station, Bury: One 10 MW TA

Carmarthen Bay P.S. Two 52.5 MW and four 60 MW TAs

Carrington Power Station (Cheshire): Four 60 MW TAs (1953-6).

Castle Donnington:

Chadderton 'A' (Slacks Valley PS): Three 13.75 MW TAs (1929)

Chadderton 'B': Four 60 MW TAs (Official opening 1955). Closed 1982

Clarence Dock Power Station (Liverpool): 51.5 MW TAs

Cliff Quay Power Station (Suffolk): Six 45 MW TAs

Clydes Mill PS: 30 MW TA (ordered 1936)

Croydon: Four 52.5 MW TAs; one 30.8 MW TA?

Dalmarnock: 18.5 MW TAs (c.1920).

Deptford East HP: Three 55.5 MW TAs

Deptford West: Three 35 MW TAs (installed 1932); one 50 MW TA (c.1937)

Elland Power Station: Three 60 MW TAs

Fulham Power Station: Five 60 MW TAs (1930s)

Greenhill PS (Oldham): Two 6.6 MW, one 4 MW (1920s?)

Grimsby PS: Two TAs

Hartshead Power Station (near Stalybridge): Three 12.5 MW TAs (1926), three 30 MW TAs added 1935-1950 [5]

Lancaster LP PS: One 1.1, one 2.1, one 5 MW (1916-28)

Lancaster HP PS: Two 20.8 MW TA (1942)

Lister Drive Power Station

Littlebrook 'B': Two 60 MW TAs (1949-50), including first British hydrogen-cooled alternators.

Neepsend PS (Sheffield): Two 60 MW TAs.

North Tees 'A': Two 20 MW TAs. High steam conditions (450 psi/650°F), with reheat and multi-stage feed heating, using Ferranti's patents of 1902 and 1906.[6]. In 1922 W. S. Monroe of Sargent & Lundy, based in Chicago, described the stations as the most advanced in the world.[7]

North Tees 'B': One TA

Northampton (Nunn Mills) PS: One 10 MW, one 12.5 MW TA

Pinkston (Glasgow) PS: 10 MW TA (1935), 25 MW TA (1938), 30 MW (1954)[8]

Portishead: 60 MW TAs (first 1500 rpm set in 1928 was the largest example made in the UK at the time).

South Denes: Two 60 MW TAs

St Helens P.S.: One 12.5 MW TAs

S.H.M.D. Tramways and Power Co: 30 MW TAs (ordered 1936)

Stepney P.S.: Two 12.5 MW TAs

Stoke-on-Trent PS: Two 3 MW, two 12 MW (1920s?)

Stuart Street Power Station, Manchester

Wandsworth Power Station: One 6 MW TA

West Ham Power Station: Two 10 MW, one 12.5 MW TA

Wilford PS (Nottingham): One 60 MW TA (1957)

Willesden: 32 MW TA (1940s). Three cylinders, 3000 rpm, 1300 psig, 950F

Wimbledon PS: Four 3.75 MW TAs

Yoker PS: 30 MW TA (ordered 1936)

For more information, see Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co 1899-1949 by John Dummelow and Wikipedia entry for coal-fired power stations in England

Examples of Overseas Power Stations with M-V Steam Turbines

Amagasaki (Japan): One 53 MW turbine-generator (the station contained five other sets of Japanese manufacture).

Bloemfontein (South Africa): One 1 MW turbine-generator

Bunnerong 'A' (Australia): Six 25 MW turbine-generators (1926-30)

Catalagzi (Turkey): Six 20 MW turbine-generators (1940s)

Durban: One 3 MW & two 5 MW turbine-generators.

Gabbary Generating Station, Egyptian State Railways: Two 2.5 MW & one 1.25 MW TAs (c.1931)[9]

Hok Un (Hok Yuen) (Hong Kong): One 12.5 MW turbine-generator, c.1936.

Klip (South Africa): Twelve 33 MW turbine-generators plus four 7 MW house sets (first units in 1934)

Kyushu (Japan): Two 31.25 kVA TAs (c.1932)

Lullymore (Ireland): One 1 MW TA at a peat processing plant.

Marsa PS (Malta): Two 5 MW TAs (1960)[10]

Montevideo State Electic Co, Uruguay: Two 25 MW turbine-generators, each with 750 kW auxiliary alternator, plus 750 kW geared turbine-alternator, ordered 1930 [11]

Morwell (Victoria, Australia): One 20MW & three 30MW turbine-generators (1950s).

Osborne Power House (Adelaide Electric Supply Co): Two? turbine-generators (c.1920)[12]

Pasir Panjang (Singapore): Five 30 MW turbine-generators.

Pyrmont (Sydney): One 8 MW (1921, Unit 15); Two 12 MW units added in 1922,(Nos 13+14); 50 MWunit ordered in 1944; order was doubled in 1945, then doubled again in 1947, to a total of four 50 MW units. Delayed by the war, the first 50 MW machine arrived in 1948, but the new building was not ready. The first unit was not commissioned until 1952.[13]

Rotterdam Municipal PS: Two 42 MW TAs (c.1932) [14]

Salt River 2 PS (South Africa): Four 30 MW TAs[15]

Sydney: 20 kVA turbine-generator

Thermo-Technical Institute, Moscow: 24 MW high pressure/high temperature turbine-generator, mid 1930s

USSR: Four 25 MW pass-out units, in conjunction with district heating system (1940s)

Victoria Falls Co: 32.5 MW turbine-generator

West Bank (South Africa): Two 15 MW TAs (1956)

Yallourn 'A' (Victoria, Australia): Six 12.5 MW turbine-generators, 1924-8.[16]

Yallourn 'B': Four 25 MW turbine-generators, completion 1938.

See Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co 1899-1949 by John Dummelow for more information.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer, 6 Jan 1928. Brief reference)
  3. [2] Electrical Review, 13 April 1945, p.521
  4. '1899-1949' by John Dummelow: Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co, p.145
  5. 'Electricity in Manchester 1893-1993', by Roy Frost, 1993, Neil Richardson
  6. [3] 'Electricity Supply in the UK: A chronology' Electricity Council, c. 1987
  7. [4] French Wikipedia entry
  8. [] Hidden Glasgow Forums: Re: Power Stations & Electricity Generation in Glasgow, post by 'cell', 15 May 2008
  9. [5] The Engineer 31 Jan 1930: brief reference to the order
  10. [6] enemalta website - History of electricity
  11. Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 6 February 1930
  12. [7] StateLibrary of South Australia, photograph c.1922
  13. [8] Wikipedia - Pyrmont Power Station
  14. [9] The Engineer, 15 Jan 1932
  15. [10] ESKOM website - Salt River Power Station
  16. [11] Report of State Electricity Commission of Victoria on Extensions to Yallourn Power Station, 1949
  • Annual reviews of electrical engineering progress were published in 'The Engineer' every January.