Phone 85885 [ Logo ]
508 Gordon Road,
Secretary. Ian Grover.
N.Z. INSTITUTE OF ELECTRICIANS (Inc.)
Hawke’s Bay Branch
On Wednesday the 12th of October at 7.30p.m., members of the Branch are to be the guests of Watties Canneries. We are to meet at the plant door, near Wattties pedestrian crossing in King St, North, Hastings.
Mr. Paul Buck, the Can Plant Electrician has kindly offered to show us the newly installed Soudronic Can Maker. This machine is solderless. It is intended to explain the plant’s operation from the upstairs office passage windows overlooking the factory then go down the factory floor. Management have asked for all visitors to wear protective footwear and refrain from taking alcohol prior to the meeting. Apparently the lacquer fumes and alcohol react.
Please keep the 9th of November free as our Annual General Meeting is to be held at the H.B. Community College.
The History Of Napier Municipal Electricity Department.
Before starting the facts one should remember that in 1904, Napier Borough was 1270 acres. This was the old Port Ahuriri, the Hill and between the beach and the present railway line. In 1908 the land between Wellesley Rd and Nelson Cres. came into use.
In 1910, the Borough decided to install an electric lighting and power plant together with a tramways system, and Mr, Fred Black, A.M.I.E.E. of Wellington was engaged as consulting engineer. A licence [license] to reticulate the Borough of Napier as it then stood was obtained in June, 1911. Napier South was not ready and, therefore was not included.
The power plant first consisted of two 400 h.p gas producers, three 215 b.h.p. Westinghouse gas engines, together with the necessary switchgear, and a balancer set for 400 V.-230V. supply. In 1916 a 150 b.h.p. Willons Robinson diesel engine coupled to a 100 kw. D.C. generator was purchased from the Miramar Borough Council and installed; this unit gave wonderful service and was in use up to 1931. During the same year a battery was installed and used for D.C. supply or floating with the engine on the tramway supply.
In 1917 the load had increased to such an extent that it was decided to increase the size of the power station and install a additional plant, so in 1919-20, two 450 b.h.p. Premier gas engines, coupled to 300 kw. D.C. generators were added and a new 1,200 h.p. gas producer purchased.
By the middle of 1922, it was realised that further extensions to the power plant would soon be necessary and the Council decided to call in Messrs. Hay and Vickerman, consulting engineers, of Wellington. The late Mr. J.G. Lancaster came to Napier and, after making a thorough investigation, and having an [in] mind that power from Waikaremoana was likely to be available within a few years, recommended the installation of the following:
(a) A diesel engine of 600 b.h.p. coupled to a 400kw., 3,300 V.A.C. generator.
(b) Two synchronous motor convertors, each of 200 kw., 550 V. on the C.D. side with 300 kw., 3,300 V on the A.C. side.
The Council adopted the recommendations and tenders.
The engine purchased was a Fullagar diesel, and this, with the motor generators and Reyrolle switchgear, was installed in 1925. There were, however quite a lot of teething troubles experienced with the engine and it was not until 1926 that general use could be made of this unit.
The engine now running under arrangements with the State Hydroelectric Department and it is worth recording that in November, 1950, when Sir George Nelson, managing director of the English Electric Company, visited Napier, he said that there was only two engines of this size built.