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Mr. CHAS. F. CHASE.
I cannot personally answer that question, but I can say in general that the use of Cling-Surface in any cotton or rope or leather will act as a preservative, will make it waterproof, will increase its life and will prevent slippage.
The next paper is on “Steam Turbines,” but Mr. MELDON H. MERRILL, well known to us as a mechanical engineer, and who has read papers before us before.
STEAM TURBINES FOR TEXTILE MILL POWER.
MELDON H. MERRILL, Boston, Mass. In the successful operation of any power system, the prime mover is, of course, but one factor contributing to its success, and, before the final results may be observed in the character and quality of finished product, several other factors intervene, any one of which serves to limit the effectiveness of the system as a whole. Thus, in cotton mill work, boiler plant, generating plant, distribution system and induction motors, all intervene as factors in this complete problem. They are coexistent with, and yet independent of the prime mover. But, in spite of this fact, it is true that, after all, the prime mover calls for perhaps the largest share of consideration. There may be some difference of opinion upon this, but there remains the fact that the modern system of electric distribution by motor drive, has been developed to a state of such efficient and reliable service as to relieve us from any extended consideration of this subject for the present. Moreover, electric distribution is becoming very largely standardized, which cannot be said to apply to the steam power plant, except as regards a particular type of apparatus.
It is, therefore, assumed at the outset that the electric system of power distribution has reached a state of perfection such as to merit your serious consideration and ultimate adoption. The comparative merits of motor versus rope drive, therefore, have no place in the present discussion. And, as the most effective application of the reciprocating steam engine is in connection with direct rope drive, we are, therefore, brought to a considera
tion of the turbine as a prime mover, either hydraulic or steam, excepting in locations where the price of fuel favors the adoption of the gas engine.
In order to form a dispassionate and unbiased opinion of the intrinsic merits possessed by the steam turbine for cotton mill work, how shall we best approach the problem? The field of observation is comparatively narrow, there being but two principal types on the present market which can be considered as developed. Shall we, on the one hand, give ear, up to the limit of our patience, to the man who proclaims a monopoly upon every conceivable advantage under the sun, and out of a hopeless, confused mass of exaggerated claims and unfounded assertions, endeavor to extract a modicum of truth by process of elimination, or shall we "take the bull by the horns " and go straight to the fundamental facts which underlie all successful development?
And what are these? Naturally, the matters of greatest concern to the cotton mill operator, are: First, reliability; for many different processes depend upon the continuity of service from the power plant. That simplicity in operation is one of the most impressive features of the steam turbine is true, but a secondary consideration. Second, uniformity of speed. Here the turbine stands predominant in the entire absence of cyclic speed variation, due to the absence of reciprocating motion, which, even with a perfected steam engine, requires such careful consideration. This is of particular importance in cotton mill work, as any variation in speed affects directly the productive capacity of the plant.
Third, economy, not alone of fuel, but in all attending expenses, foundations, space, supplies, maintenance, attendance and fixed charges on the investment.
Now, these three factors practically constitute the basis of your ultimate judgment, but an adequate consideration of all these matters is, of course, outside the scope of any one paper. We will, therefore, narrow down our inquiry to the construction of the prime mover, the design of which allows the complete fulfillment of the predominating features just outlined, and, although I shall strive to avoid wearying you with unimportant detail, yet I cannot help but feel that your final judgment will bear me out, that the kernel of the solution lies in these same details.
What is to follow deals largely with recent improvements in construction, all of which have an important bearing upon reliable and efficient running, and for the reason that the Parsons turbine principle has never been adequately presented before this Association, I have purposely covered some details which might otherwise have been omitted. By necessity, some comparative references to intrinsic features of other designs are made, but this is avoided as much as possible.
Westinghouse Turbine Development. By way of introduction, it is well to briefly summarize here the extent of turbine development recorded since the beginning of active operations at the Westinghouse plant, East Pittsburg, in 1899. At the close of the year 1907, there were entered upon the records a total of
one and one quarter million horse power in turbine machinery; three quarters of a million horse power was at that time in operation or under erection, and the balance in various stages of manufacture for order and stock.
Between the years 1904 and 1908, the turbine production has more than doubled each year, and, with this rapid development, it is gratifying to note that the textile mills lead all other industrials, and, relatively compares very favorably with traction and lighting plants. This is particularly interesting, owing to the fact that the majority of textile installations to date have been additions to existing steam engine plants.
The lesson this great development in turbines possesses for the cotton mill engineer is that the accumulated experience acquired by the builders is embodied in the present design, which is a most valuable asset in his favor. Furthermore, the fact that nearly all Westinghouse turbines (well over ninety per cent.) are paid for within three months of completion of installation, furnishes an effective commentary upon the general sat