48 THE NEW ZEALAND ELECTRICAL JOURNAL, February 25,1957
In order that the Board might take stock of matters concerning loading, future extensions and alterations, it was decided that a survey of reticulation and a report of future requirements were desirable. Thus, in September, 1938, Vickerman and Lancaster, consulting engineers, in collaboration with H. L. Benjamin, the Board’s chief engineer, submitted a report under the heading “Increased Loading and Programme of Work.”
A summary of this report reveals some very important factors. A total of 6,600 kVA. Was being handled by five bulk supply feeders, each rated at 1,000 kVA. With an estimated demand of 10,500 kVA. In five years, it was obvious that the capacity of the system must be increased immediately.
Whereas 1,000 kVA. was the standard adopted for the original bulk supply feeders, it was now proposed that this should be increased to 2,000 kVA.
A third feeder was to be built to supply Napier, provision to be made on the same pole line for a future fourth feeder. With the completion of these extensions the capacity of the system supplying Napier and the surrounding district would be rated at not less than 6,000 kVA. (It is interesting to note that the fourth feeder was not completed until fifteen years later.)
The already overloaded feeders supplying HAstings were to be relieved by the addition of an underground cable feeder rated at 2,000 kVA. Additional capacity was to be further obtained by increased conductor sizes on existing feeder lines.
It was estimated that with this work completed, supply to the Hastings area would be increased up to 7,000 kVA.
The Hastings Borough was still in the throes of a change-over from D.C. to A.D. as well as now having supply at both 11kV. and e.e kV. The existing system had many disadvantages—supply in the central portion of the town was poor; certain areas in the Borough were fed from an external system designed primarily to supply the rural area outside the Borough. The result was a general decentralization of control, and the difficulty of operating and maintaining supply. The proposals to overcome this problem were to be carried out in two stages. First was the re-arrangement of much of the existing 3.3 kV. equipment in preparation for the second stage of operations which was to be the complete change-over of the Borough from 3.3 kV. to 11 kV.
At a special meeting of the Board in September, 1938, it was resolved that this report be adopted and that the necessary material be ordered and the work proceeded with.
Immediately following the declaration of war in 1939 a curtailment of construction was brought about by the suspension of rural reticulation and the necessity to reserve materials as directed by the Electricity Controller. The direct result of this sudden halting of some of the major works was a necessity to reduce staff. Those who were “put off” were offered employment by the Government on line construction work concerning the reticulation of new military camps.
Import restrictions had been making themselves felt for some considerable time, particularly with electric ranges.
Kiosk type substation, 500 kVA.
No great hardships, however, had been suffered in connection with the supply of materials for maintenance.
The 150 kW. hydro-electric plant purchased as part of the Havelock North Town Board undertaking, had been running continuously in parallel with the Government system. The average weekly kilowatt-hours generated totalled about 9,000. In November, 1941, an investigation into the sudden shutting down of the plant revealed extensive damage to both the turbine and alternator which it was considered it was uneconomical to repair. The machinery and transmission lin were eventually dismantled. The conductor was No. 4 solid copper, much of which was used again as low tension, some of which still remains in service.
The Board was very fortunate in that the programme for extra feeder lines, as set out in the 1938 report, had been almost completed at the outbreak of war, since, after two years of war, materials required from overseas were practically unobtainable. Capital works were confined to reconstruction of existing lines, new 11 kV. extensions had ceased, and it was not until early in 1945 that the Board was able to resume its policy of extending into the country. Gradually there was a slight improvement regarding the supply of line materials, and so a construction programme was drawn up at an estimated capital cost of £40,000. It was expected that with the present staff his programme would take three to four years to complete.
The post-war years were not happy ones. This was a period of uncertainty of material supplies. There was the ever-present problem of power shortages, imposing restrictions and curtailing the load growth, which is well borne out by the following figures, which show that during the period 1946-1950, although there was an increase of 64 per cent. on the Board’s maximum demand, there was an increase of only 19 per cent. in kilowatt-hours purchased.
Every effort was made to keep within allocations, but the shortage became so acute that on February 1, 1950, the Board reluctantly introduced individual rationing to consumers.
The year 1950 saw the appointment of T. E. Kelly as chief engineer to the Board, on the death of J.A. Ferguson, who had held the position for the previous nine years.
One again it became apparent that a report was necessary to cover the proposals for the future expansion of the Board. TI was realized that the previous report of 1938 was well out of date, and that plans must be prepared to cope with an ever-increasing demand. After much investigation and study of load curves, the various factors such as population, recession of the gas industry, and increased use of electricity, a basis was arrived at on which it was possible to establish a sound estimate for future loading. Thus it was now possible to design the system for its distribution.
A second point of supply, initially of 20,000 kVA., was being built by the Government at Fernhill approximately four miles from Hastings, As mentioned earlier the whole area was being supplied from the only point of supply at Redcliffe. It was realized that with the expected growth of load it would be necessary to supply the northern half of the Board’s area from Redcliffe and the southern half from the new substation at Fernhill. With this factor established, proposals were set out for necessary trunk lines from these supply points to the load centres. The loading