Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Stuart Street Power Station, Manchester

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Stuart Street Power Station was built to supplement Bloom Street and Dickinson Street generating stations. They were in the centre of the city, and had DC generators and storage batteries. Stuart Street was outside the city, and produced AC power at 6,500 volts, 50 Hz. This was transmitted to substations, where it was transformed and converted to DC.

The station was opened on 27 May 1902, just a year after the scheme was approved.

The equipment for the plant was supplied by Babcock and Wilcox, Yates and Thom, and the Electrical Co. Ltd.

Yates and Thom supplied six twin-cylinder vertical engines driving 1500 kW alternators. Other plant from Babcock and Wilcox and the Electrical Co Ltd[1]. The engines were compound engines of 2500 HP with cylinders of 36 and 71 inches diameter, 3 ft 6 in stroke, running at 94 rpm. Each flywheel, located between the cylinders, was assembled from four castings and weighed 70 tons. The 3 phase alternators, made by the Electrical Co Ltd, generated at 6500 V, 50 Hz. There were also three Willans high speed engines each driving a 200 kW DC generator to supply the works' own machinery. Photo here showing one of the Yates & Thom engines in 1907.[2]

Proposals were submitted in late 1901 to extend the station. The extension was known as No. 2 Station, although it was housed in an extension of the same building. Two 6000 HP triple expansion Yates and Thom engines were installed in 1902, and twelve Babcock and Wilcox boilers.[3]. Eight motor-generator sets were installed, with outputs from 125 to 300 kW. These constituted the Stuart Street substation.

1903 photo showing mechanised coal handling facilities here[4]

In 1907 a 5MW Willans-Parsons turbine was installed, driving a Siemens alternator.

By 1914 four more turbines (by Howden) were installed, with Siemens alternators, having outputs from 1 to 15 MW.

1950 photo here showing turbines still retaining protection against bomb damage.[5]

1950 photo here showing Metropolitan-Vickers turbine-alternator.

In 1948 a 469-yard (420 m) underground tunnel was dug to bring coal directly from Bradford Colliery.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Power Stations in Greater Manchester [1]
  2. [2] Manchester City Council local images collection
  3. [3] The Engineer 14 Oct 1904, brief summary on p.378
  4. [4] Manchester City Council local images collection
  5. [5] Manchester City Council local images collection, m61358
  • 'Electricity in Manchester' by Roy Frost, 1993[1]
  • Power Stations in Greater Manchester [6]
  • 'Electricity in Manchester' by Roy Frost ISBN 1 85216 075 6