Greenwich Power Station :: Shared Description

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Greenwich Power Station is a standby gas and formerly oil and coal-fired power station on the River Thames at Greenwich in south-east London.

The station was designed by the London County Council architects department, and built in two sections between 1902 and 1910, to provide power for the London County Council Tramways. The first section was formally opened on 26 May 1906 by Sir Evan Spicer, chairman of the County Council. Surplus power was used by other electric tramways and the Underground Electric Railways Company of London. The station originally had a coal-fired boiler house and an engine room. This housed four compound reciprocating steam engines driving flywheel-type alternators with an output of 6,600 volts at 25 Hz.

By 1910 the advantages of steam turbines were well known and four steam turbine alternators were installed in the second stage of the station's building programme. The reciprocating engines installed during the first stage were replaced by steam turbines in 1922.

The two chimneys of stage one were 249 ft (76 m) high but, following objections from the nearby Royal Observatory, the chimneys of stage two were reduced to only 180 ft (55 m) height.

The steam turbines were replaced by Rolls-Royce gas turbine generators, used engines similar to those used in jet aircraft. These originally burned oil, but were later converted to burn oil and gas. The generators are still housed in what was formerly the boiler house. They have a total capacity of 117.6 megawatts (MW), generated at 11,000 volts. This voltage can be increased to 22,000 volts for connection to the London Underground electricity system. TfL is working on a plan to install up to six new gas engines in Greenwich Power Station's Old Turbine Hall. They would provide a steady source of reliable, low carbon power for the Tube as well as hot water and heating for nearby schools and homes.The station is an early example of a steel-framed building with a stone-clad brick cover.

This extract uses material from the Wikipedia article "Greenwich_Power_Station", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
by N Chadwick
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6 images use this description:

TQ3878 : Greenwich Power Station by N Chadwick
TQ3878 : Greenwich Power Station by N Chadwick
TQ3878 : London Transport Power Station, Greenwich by PAUL FARMER
TQ3878 : Greenwich Power Station by N Chadwick
TQ3878 : On the Thames Path at Greenwich Power Station by Eirian Evans
TQ3878 : Power station by Stephen Craven


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Created: Wed, 9 May 2012, Updated: Wed, 9 May 2012

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2012 N Chadwick, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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