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Frederick Irving Anderson. Electricity for the farm
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27257-h.htm

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Project Gutenberg's Electricity for the farm, by Frederick Irving Anderson This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Electricity for the farm Light, heat and power by inexpensive methods from the water wheel or farm engine Author: Frederick Irving Anderson Release Date: November 14, 2008 [EBook #27257] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ELECTRICITY FOR THE FARM *** Produced by Stacy Brown, Marcia Brooks, Steven Giacomelli and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images produced by Core Historical Literature in Agriculture (CHLA), Cornell University)

[Pg i]

ELECTRICITY FOR THE FARM


[Pg ii]

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
NEW YORK · BOSTON · CHICAGO · DALLAS
ATLANTA · SAN FRANCISCO


MACMILLAN & CO., Limited
LONDON · BOMBAY · CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE


THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd.
TORONTO


Even the tiny trout brook becomes a thing of utility as well as of joy
(Courtesy of the Fitz Water Wheel Company, Hanover, Pa.)


[Pg iii]
^

ELECTRICITY FOR THE FARM


LIGHT, HEAT AND POWER BY INEXPENSIVE
METHODS FROM THE WATER
WHEEL OR FARM ENGINE

BY

FREDERICK IRVING ANDERSON


AUTHOR OF "THE FARMER OF TO-MORROW," ETC., ETC.

New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1915

^ All rights reserved

[Pg iv]

Copyright, 1915
By THE CURTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY
The Country Gentleman


Copyright, 1915
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
Set up and electrotyped. Published April, 1915.



[Pg v]

PREFACE


This book is designed primarily to give the farmer a practical working knowledge of electricity for use as light, heat, and power on the farm. The electric generator, the dynamo, is explained in detail; and there are chapters on electric transmission and house-wiring, by which the farm mechanic is enabled to install his own plant without the aid and expense of an expert.

With modern appliances, within the means of the average farmer, the generation of electricity, with its unique conveniences, becomes automatic, provided some dependable source of power is to be had—such as a water wheel, gasoline (or other form of internal combustion) engine, or the ordinary windmill. The water wheel is the ideal prime mover for the dynamo in isolated plants. Since water-power is running to waste on tens of thousands of our[Pg vi] farms throughout the country, several chapters are devoted to this phase of the subject: these include descriptions and working diagrams of weirs and other simple devices for measuring the flow of streams; there are tables and formulas by which any one, with a knowledge of simple arithmetic, may determine the power to be had from falling water under given conditions; and in addition, there are diagrams showing in general the method of construction of dams, bulkheads, races, flumes, etc., from materials usually to be found on a farm. The tiny unconsidered brook that waters the farm pasture frequently possesses power enough to supply the farmstead with clean, cool, safe light in place of the dangerous, inconvenient oil lamp; a small stream capable of developing from twenty-five to fifty horsepower will supply a farmer (at practically no expense beyond the original cost of installation) not only with light, but with power for even the heavier farm operations, as threshing; and in addition will do the washing, ironing, and cooking, and at the[Pg vii] same time keep the house warm in the coldest weather. Less than one horsepower of energy will light the farmstead; less than five horsepower of energy will provide light and small power, and take the drudgery out of the kitchen.

For those not fortunate enough to possess water-power which can be developed, there are chapters on the use of the farm gasoline engine and windmill, in connection with the modern storage battery, as sources of electric current.

It is desired to make acknowledgment for illustrations and assistance in gathering material for the book, to the editors of ^ The Country Gentleman, Philadelphia, Pa.; The Crocker-Wheeler Company, Ampere, N. J.; The General Electric Company, Schenectady, N. Y.; the Weston Electrical Instrument Company, of Newark, N. J.; The Chase Turbine Manufacturing Company, Orange, Mass.; the C. P. Bradway Machine Works, West Stafford, Conn.; The Pelton Water Wheel Company, San Francisco and New[Pg viii] York; the Ward Leonard Manufacturing Company, Bronxville, N. Y.; The Fairbanks, Morse Company, Chicago; and the Fitz Water Wheel Company, Hanover, Pa.


[Pg ix]
^

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION xvii
PART I
WATER-POWER
CHAPTER I
A WORKING PLANT
The "agriculturist"—An old chair factory—A neighbor's home-coming—The idle wheel in commission again—Light, heat and power for nothing—Advantages of electricity 3
CHAPTER II
A LITTLE PROSPECTING
Small amount of water required for an electric plant—Exploring, on a dull day—A rough and ready weir—What a little water will do—The water wheel and the dynamo—Electricity consumed the instant it is produced—The price of the average small plant, not counting labor 22
CHAPTER III
HOW TO MEASURE WATER-POWER
What is a horsepower?—How the Carthaginians manufactured horsepower—All that goes up must come down—How the sun lifts water up for us to use—Water the ideal power for generating electricity—The weir—Table for estimating flow of streams with a weir—Another method of measuring—Figuring water horsepower—The size of the wheel—What head is required—Quantity of water necessary 32
CHAPTER IV
THE WATER WHEEL AND HOW TO INSTALL IT
Different types of water wheels—The impulse and the reaction wheels—The impulse wheel adapted to high heads and small amount of water—Pipe lines—Table of resistance in pipes—Advantages and disadvantages of the impulse wheel—Other forms of impulse wheels—The reaction turbine, suited to low heads and large quantity of water—Its advantages and limitations—Developing a water-power project: the dam; the race; the flume; the penstock; and the tailrace—Water rights for the farmer 56
PART II
ELECTRICITY
CHAPTER V
THE DYNAMO; WHAT IT DOES, AND HOW
Electricity compared to the heat and light of the Sun—The simple dynamo—The amount of electric energy a dynamo will generate—The modern dynamo—Measuring power in terms of electricity—The volt—The ampere—The ohm—The watt and the kilowatt—Ohm's Law of the electric circuit, and some examples of its application—Direct current, and alternating current—Three types of direct-current dynamos: series, shunt, and compound 89
CHAPTER VI
WHAT SIZE PLANT TO INSTALL
The farmer's wife his partner—Little and big plants—Limiting factors—Fluctuations in water supply—The average plant—The actual plant—Amount of current required for various operations—Standard voltage—A specimen allowance for electric light—Heating and cooking by electricity—Electric power: the electric motor 121
CHAPTER VII
TRANSMISSION LINES
Copper wire—Setting of poles—Loss of power in transmission—Ohm's Law and examples of how it is used in figuring size of wire—Copper-wire tables—Examples of transmission lines—When to use high voltages—Over-compounding a dynamo to overcome transmission loss 153
CHAPTER VIII
WIRING THE HOUSE
The insurance code—Different kinds of wiring described—Wooden moulding cheap and effective—The distributing panel—Branch circuits—Protecting the circuits—The use of porcelain tubes and other insulating devices—Putting up chandeliers and wall-brackets—"Multiple" connections—How to connect a wall switch—Special wiring required for heat and power circuits—Knob and cleat wiring, its advantages and disadvantages 172
CHAPTER IX
THE ELECTRIC PLANT AT WORK
Direct-connected generating sets—Belt drive—The switchboard—Governors and voltage regulators—Methods of achieving constant pressure at all loads: Over-compounding the dynamo; A system of resistances (a home-made electric radiator); Regulating voltage by means of the rheostat—Automatic devices—Putting the plant in operation 192
PART III
GASOLINE ENGINES, WINDMILLS, ETC.
THE STORAGE BATTERIES
CHAPTER X
GASOLINE ENGINE PLANTS
The standard voltage set—Two-cycle and four-cycle gasoline engines—Horsepower, and fuel consumption—Efficiency of small engines and generators—Cost of operating a one-kilowatt plant 217
CHAPTER XI
THE STORAGE BATTERY
What a storage battery does—The lead battery and the Edison battery—Economy of tungsten lamps for storage batteries—The low-voltage battery for electric light—How to figure the capacity of a battery—Table of light requirements for a farm house—Watt-hours and lamp-hours—The cost of storage battery current—How to charge a storage battery—Care of storage batteries 229
CHAPTER XII
BATTERY CHARGING DEVICES
The automatic plant most desirable—How an automobile lighting and starting system works—How the same results can be achieved in house lighting, by means of automatic devices—Plants without automatic regulation—Care necessary—The use of heating devices on storage battery current—Portable batteries—An electricity "route"—Automobile power for lighting a few lamps 250

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