COLERIDGE ELECTRIC POWER
MR BIBKB VISITS BANKS PENKk SULA.
Mr Birkf, the Government elecorioal ex' pert in charge of the Lake Coleridge system, visited tie Peninsula yesterday, and ad' dmsed a well attended meeting at the Odd fellows' Mall. Akaroa, last evening. Bis lecture proved very interesting, and by the use of lantern slides be was able to illustrate in a concrete manner the points upon whbh he touohed.
Mr Birka dealt with the qneßtion o£ nat is Electricity?" Some people saifl we do not fcno v what is eleotrioity, and in sll humility we had to admit wa did not, but, producing » potato, he asked what is this ? Moat people imagined they knew what a potato was, how to produce it, and how to use it - very important items of knowledge, but both of which are even more perfectly known about eleotrioity than about the potato. The lecturer then proceeded to explain what electricity was with its analogy with water, illustrating the obtu6e terma of pressure, current, and power, volte, amperes, etc, by the more familiar terms of ordinary water supply. The mothods of generating electrioUy by means of an electricity pump or dynamo were outlined, as well as the means of eleotrioity pipes or oonduotorg. With regard to the uses of eleotrioity as far as lighting was concerned, he had nothing to tell the people of Akaroa, With 100 houses out of 130 already supplied with light the Rood folk of Akaroa evidently knew they had a good thing. But lighting, though very useful indeed, only touched the fringe of possibilities of eleotrioity when available in large quantities at a reasonable cost. Its influences in the domeetio ephere are of even greater importance.
Very tew people realised the extent to which the lives of our people, especially thn women, are influenced by thn habit of v ing coal and kerosene for beating and lighting. Why should the work of the kitchen be a (1 ii gery an it usually is? And if the curcan be made as olenn and plea.i • <. * iiv- drawing room (as thpy oan be by l> .f electrical power), is there n>4 in i ' if einpraen a greater possibility than
he "-en of telegraphs and railways Coming t> industrial matters, there were the simple xdvarttAge* of switching on a motor at a moment's notice when required, as compared with the trouble involved in staking up a ■pam engine and a gas pr duoer, and ■f t-truguling with an oil eng<ne, which has ■> fa>- hf-en tha acme of perfection in eaay q>)xk starting.
Aβ to the prospects of obtaining the=>e <v vantages for tbe residents of the Peninsula, Mr Birks pointed out that this was entirely a commercial question which would have to be dealt with by the ordinary question of eupply and demand. From Lake Cole ridge power could be transmitted very cheaply to Christohurch, a distance of 70 miles, to meet a demand of 5000 to 10.000 b,p. From Lake Coleridge to Timaru, a distance of 100 miles, electrical enorgy could be supplied to meet a demand of 800 to 1000 hp at somewhat higher ratee. From Lake Coleridge to Aknroa, a distanoe of 120 miles, energy could be transmitted, quite enooessfully from an engineering point of view, but the financial aspect depended entirely upon the demand. Aβ far as lighting alone is con cerned, probably 120h p. would supply the demandrf of the whole Peninsula. For such a email output ac this the rate would be pro hibitive. The question was what other demands other than lighting are available, such as motive power lot milking, shearing, wood rawing, washing, brick making, pumping, domestic eupply, and irrigation, cheese and butter factories, battery charging for motor launches and other purposes,
The object of Mr Birks' visit was to invest Ugate these possibilities with tho assistance of the residents in the various districts,
This data bad been carefully collected, md be understood that at the two county meetings at Duvaucbelle and Little River he would obtain all the information be required As far as the Akaroa Borough was concerned Mr Lane, the electrician, and the town clerk, Mr 3. W , Thomas, had given him all the information he required. The Publia Works Department were not anxious to retail eleo tricity if any local authority was prppared to undertake the eupply, In euch case the Department would sell to them ia bulk at the boundary, either at a wholesale rate per unit, or at a percentage of the total revenue. KEQUIBEMENTS OF AKAROA BOROUGH. The Mayor and Ci , Lewitt interviewed Mt L, Birks at the Counoil Offices yesterday af* tertooa.
Cf Lewitt eaid the Council would want the Coieridge power brought to Akaroa at an early dale. He knew the possibility of the consumption, but realised the Borough alone could not bring the high tension wires to Akaroa, but possibly by assistance en route the price wculd be reduced for current, The Akaroa supply was not sufficient for the iw mediate or future demand. The Council could not supply the butter factory with their present plant The use oi electricity had b- ooma most popular, and bad exceeded all exuectations in Akaroa There was, he con' sidered, a revenue of £140 just outside the borough if the borough could supply it, but (he capacity of the plant was now a fair num ber cf kilowatts under what was required.
The Mayor eaid now the people bad been educated up to tha uses of eleotrioity he believed there " 6B ft great future before its use on Banks Peninsula. If they got the Cole l ridge wired to the Peninsula it would mean an electrified railway to Akaroa and many other uses for electricity for milkiDg mnchineH lighting, dairy faotoriep, eta. The Council did not wish to out off tbe butter factory sup ply, but they would have to do bo if the nest eeaeon wan dry
Mr Birks said the Akaroa problem was interesting from many points ol view. The demand bad developed to an extraordinary extent, and be judged the Couuoil had con , neoted over 100 dwellings with their system
rut of 132, whioh was a very large proportion Akaroa bad set a unique standard in the oon Ftimption of eleetrioty. In large towns the (iovernment wore glad to get 50 per cent of the houses,\but in Akaroa over 90 per cant., were connectedc Thoy must be in r rich C9romnnitj'. If the Peninsula people were conßiiraers on this Ecale tben the Coleridge power would come to the Penimnla. Bia vitit was only a tentative one, and at thn Akaroa and Wairewa County meeting he would Ret mo.-c light on reqnirementß of the Peninsula. Ho thought Ibo general uses of electricity gavejvery great possibilities for extension. The future of the railway over the bills wae closely bound up wtth the Penin Fu'a supply. Eleotric railways could run on I eteeper grades than steam, and were, in faot, inter-urbnn tramways. A. difltriot like the Peninsula did not require a heavy railway. bb it wae not likely that it would be required to haul 400 tone. A service for the haulage of 20 or 30 tonsfdaily would, he tbonght suffice; Tbia would provide for the carriaße of 100 to 200 paasengera besides Stock, farm produce, etc . These railways were being used most effectively in Switzerland and America. He suggested the borough could handle eleotrioity for three or four miles be , yind its boundary, and said the Government mere very anxious that they should sell eleo tricity wholesale, and let. the local authority retail it. This had been done BuocesE>fully by (be Tai Tapu Dairy Co. He said it all dopended upon the support given by the lo' cal authorities on the Peninsula ac to whether they could bring it to the Peninsula. It would cost £300 per mile to bring the high tension wires to Akaroa. It was 40 milee from the n arest point, and would therefore I ooßt £12,000. The Government wou'd have to have a retu'n of £1500 and the looal authorities would have to sell 150 kilowatts nt £10 per k.w They would also have to do the rcticu'ation, and if they could get over Jsokw then the rate w< uld be cheaper He did not think it wan possible to bring Lake Coleridge power to Akaroa next summer, and the Council would have to find a means of keeping their consumers going through the next summer. He then gave the delegates several hints for conserving both power and water. Power could he saved by the use of a double throw switch, which would prohibit consumera using power arid light at the same time. Mr Birks went into other detail matters of great interest showing bow the Borough plant could be made to yield a bigger revenue while thh load on the machine wae made more even.
The Mayor thanked Mr Birka for his information.
Permanent link to this item
COLERIDGE ELECTRIC POWER, Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3475, 16 July 1915