IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - 96

OIL
Introducing Dry-Type
Series Resonant Test
Sets with low PD
levels for testing MV
cables or generators.

figure 1. A 1919 view of the Waterside I (left) and Waterside II (right) operating
stations from the East River. (Photo courtesy of MiSci Archives, Schenectady,
New York, used with permission.)

the early dc stations became standard
procedure and was the only technical
benefit of using dc, rather than ac, for
some time. (Edison had developed an
obsessive dislike of ac and continued to
employ dc in his stations.)

Waterside

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96

ieee power & energy magazine

A well-known technical disadvantage
with the use of dc distribution is that
transformers don't work on dc. In the
early dc systems, the same voltage had
to be generated and distributed as what
was used. The inherent inefficiency associated with distributing voltages as
low as 110 and 220 V was the reason
that multiple dc stations had to be constructed. These stations were located
according to load demand rather than
considerations of the costs involved
with hauling coal to, and removing
ashes from, them.
By the turn of the 20th century, the
Edison Electric Illuminating Company had become the New York Edison
Company. The leadership of that organization decided to take the necessary, but still somewhat bold, step of
constructing a large facility for ac generation to eventually replace the multitude of smaller dc stations throughout

Manhattan, of which there were ten.
All of these were equipped with rotary
converters, the most efficient means
of converting ac to dc in that era. The
original generating stat ions wou ld
become substations receiving ac power
from the new generating station. However, the 26th Street, Duane Street, and
12th Street dc stations would retain some
of their dc generating capacity to act as a
backup source of power.
The new ac generating station was
called Waterside because it was located
on the bank of the East River to facilitate the delivery of huge quantities of
coal by barge (and the removal of ashes
by the same means). The original Waterside Station (subsequently known
as Waterside I) went into operation in
1901. However, the electrical demand
in Manhattan was growing so rapidly
that plans began almost immediately
to built a second station (Waterside II)
to the north. That station began operation in 1906 (see Figure 1).
Waterside I stood on the east side
of First Avenue, from 38th to 39th
Streets. Waterside II was built between
39th and 40th Streets. These two large
facilities were designed to be operated
as one huge generating station, and,
november/december 2017


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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - Cover3
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