Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,344 pages of information and 230,027 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Chelsea Electricity Supply Corporation

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1890. Engine and dynamo room.

1889 At the enquiry into the future of the competing electricity systems in London, General Webber, managing director of the Chelsea Company, highlighted the problem of distribution and the danger of several companies competing to supply electricity in one small district. The Chelsea's chosen system was the DC system. The Anglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation had installed a generator at Chelsea and the Electric Power and Storage Co had supplied batteries for 3 distributing stations; the batteries would be able to supply for 7 hours at full rate without recharging being necessary. Mr T. O. Callender, engineer of the company, had experience of laying hundreds of underground mains installations; he was very concerned about the possibility of 2 or 3 companies trying to lay mains in the same street [1].

1890 February: Two additional battery sub-stations had been added since the system came on line in April 1889 and a fourth was being added. Current was supplied to users only from the batteries, thereby avoiding the fluctuations experienced in some other systems connected directly to the generators[2]

1890 Load variation illustrated in The Engineer for the Draycott Place and Clabon Mews stations[3]

1891 Generated electricity at Draycott Place, Sloane Square on the edge of the company's area; distributed the current by an unusual system which combined generation at high voltage (2kV) with d.c. distribution from several sub-stations where the voltage was reduced to 100V supported by accumulators[4]

1920 One of 9 London electricity supply companies who formed London Electricity Joint Committee (1920) in opposition to the schemes proposed by the Electricity Commissioners for London

1923 The Flood Street, Chelsea generating station and main transmission lines were acquired by the London Electricity Joint Committee[5].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Apr 16, 1889
  2. The Electrical Engineer, 21/02/1890
  3. The Engineer 1890/11/07
  4. The Times, Aug 19, 1891
  5. The Times, Oct 16, 1928