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to transformers being weak in the past this grounding of the neutral was objected to, because the way to make transformers better was to make manufacturers ground their secondaries. That would necessarily throw the full normal stress on the transformers and force the manufacturers to make the transformers capable of standing the full normal stress.”
"Mr. Steinmets: Regarding danger to life, however, there has never been any doubt, and never can be, that the only absolute and perfect protection against danger to life in case of an accidental contact of the lighting circuit with a high-tension circuit of any description is a permanent and absolute ground of the low-tension circuit. I should certainly hesitate, when standing, for instance, on the damp floor of a cellar, to turn on an incandescent lamp when knowing that the only protection against certain death is the insulation of some unknown type of transformer which hangs somewhere on a pole, exposed to the weather for years."
“Dr. Bell: If we ground the secondaries, we are compelled to be safe everywhere. The more thorough tests we put on prior to that, the better. That matter will take care of itself. But once grounded, you definitely limit the potential between the wire and the ground.”
I asked the Underwriters for an expression as to their feeling in the matter, and received the following statement:
“The Underwriting interests have no particular desire to make any changes in this rule (13-A) except such as may be requested by the electrical interests and shown to be for the good of all. Therefore our committee holds itself in readiness for any suggestions from the committee of the National Electric Light Association, rather than taking the initiative in the matter, and shall be pleased to accede to any arrangements for the conference meeting which seems to meet the desires of the electrical interests. The only point which we would like to emphasize is that we hope something will be done to make the question raised between the electric-lighting companies and the municipal departments, as outlined in a letter sent to various parties, of which you have a copy, satisfactory to all concerned. The only other point which has been particularly brought to our attention is the question of allowing grounding to be made
by driving a pipe into the ground where the soil is permanently damp. This suggestion comes from New Orleans, and while in some places such method of grounding might be satisfactory and permanent, we have always been of the opinion that it was not a satisfactory method to be outlined in the Code. However, we hope to have this matter cleared up during the coming year through our conference committees."
It is the present opinion of your committee that Rule 13-A should make it mandatory to ground all circuits where this may be accomplished without maintaining a difference of potential of more than 150 volts between any part of the circuit and ground.
This would apply to three-wire' lighting circuits carrying 125 volts on each side, and would not include 220, or three-wire, 400-volt power circuits.
The committee further believes that the most satisfactory method of making the ground is by a solid connection with the water pipes, and where this method is not possible other means must be resorted to which shall be of sufficient current-carrying capacity to allow the primary voltage to pass ample current to blow the primary fuse. The complications that the committee has encountered in considering the grounding of circuits carrying voltages in excess of 150, and particularly polyphase circuits, require, in its opinion, further study before making definite recommendations. The committee desires an expression of opinion from this meeting. If there is any strong difference of opinion on the subject we should like to know it.
MR. EGLIN: I have been very much interested in the report of this committee, and should like to hear from the meeting particularly on the subject of the method of grounding. The practical difficulties are in getting the proper ground connections. In the built-up portions of the city it is not so hard to get a ground, but in the suburban territories it is a difficult matter, and we have been very unfortunate, in my own experience, in being able to secure proper grounds. I think we should all, especially the committee, be benefited by our members giving their experiences as to the proper grounding of secondaries and primaries.
MR. KEMBLE: We have a territory in which it is very hard to get grounds for our lightning arresters, and I ask for information regarding the possibility of fitting a ground similar to a lightning arrester, which would not normally ground the circuit at 125 volts, but in case of trouble with the transformer would ground with the higher voltage. We run through a continuous mass of trees, and if we ground the neutral in our three-wire secondaries we shall have more trouble in giving good service than at present.
MR. P. JUNKERSFELD (Chicago, Ill.): The desirability of grounding secondaries is hardly a matter for discussion, as it is almost universally admitted. As to the methods of grounding, I might say that under many conditions this can be accomplished by a pipe driven into the ground six or eight feet, especially where the soil is damp. This has been found satisfactory in Chicago for several years, but in many other places it will not answer. In some of these other places a method has been used in which a cylinder has been built up of perforated sheet copper. The cylinder is filled with coke and buried, and, so far as I know, it has proven satisfactory. These two methods are used to a considerable extent.
Mr. Blood: The committee has not yet attempted to make any tests of the various methods to be employed; it has only receirtly been appointed, and, as I stated at the outset, it was not the intention of the committee to report at this time. This committee is only one party to a conference with three other committees that have been appointed. It is our belief, however, that between now and next March a suitable method for grounding will be found, based on the experience of our members, and that certain definite recommendations can then be made to the . Underwriters. This matter is of great interest, particularly to the lighting companies, and also to the manufacturing companies. Some of the manufacturing companies have expressed their willingness to go to some expense to ascertain the best method of grounding, and I think some of the lighting companies will do the same.
It is the intention of the committee to send out letters to the various companies to find out what methods have been tried and how successful they have been ; these reports will then be tabulated and definite recommendations made.
THE PRESIDENT: I desire to thank the committee, for its work, and sincerely trust it will be continued through at least another year.
The secretary read letters of regret, at their inability to be present at the meeting, from the following gentlemen: W. H. Merrill, Jr., C. A. Coffin, P. G. Gossler, George Westinghouse, Thomas A. Edison, C. S. Littlefield, H. C. Hazzard and H. H. Crowell.
THE PRESIDENT: The next business on the programme would be the report of the committee on relations between manufacturers and central stations, of which Mr. Henry L. Doherty, of New York, is chairman. As Mr. Doherty is not present, I will say that just before he left the room he told me he would like to report progress, and to say that his only report would be that he had a matter which he would like to take up with the public policy committee aná would ask your permission for so doing. I think that unless there is reason for disagreeing with this conclusion the chair will authorize him to take up the matter with the public policy committee, and will so inform him.
GENERAL HARRIES: Mr. President-Quite a while ago, at a time when a pine knot was not unknown as an illuminant and when a camphene lamp was a luxury, there was organized the Government of the United States. After brief sojourn in several cities, the Congress came to Washington, and, as soon as the building on the hill was reasonably complete, occupied it. In the room now occupied by the Supreme Court of the United States, the Senate established itself, and there much of the fundamental history of the country had its origin. After a few years of occupancy, thcre came destruction—not chargeable, as I understand, to defective wiring, but rather to some weakness in the Government with respect to properly preparing itself for the national defence. The loss, however, while serious, was not total, and out of the wreck there were saved the doors of the old Senate Chamber.
Now, just why the exhibitors who are in attendance upon this convention should have thought of this, I do not know, but it was a very clever thought, admirably put into shape; this gavel has been formed from one of the old original Senate doors, and it has a suitable inscription, with the certificate of the superintendent of the Capitol buildings and grounds, not merely in his letter, but around the edge of the dedicatory inscription, as to its genuineness. The exhibitors have asked me—why, I do not know—to present this emblem of authority to you. It may be that after a while the authority which calls for the wielding of a gavel will have departed from you, and you will not have official use for it; but it will be valuable, for if there shall come a time of need (as such times come even to us who deem ourselves most fortunate) you will call on your friends—not merely the exhibitors, but on all of us-to render any possible assistance. I am going to try to quote Scripture. I may not quote it correctly, because some years of association with the army and with electric-lighting operations have rendered somewhat rusty my Scriptural knowledge; but I will suggest that you remember, when you call upon your friends, the assuring promise: "For every one that asketh receiveth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
THE PRESIDENT: General Harries, Ladies and GentlemenI feel deeply touched with what the general has said and with the beautiful gift that he has presented in the form of this gavel. It will form another link between the pleasantest of all my memories and this association; with the people of Washington, whom we have been privileged to meet, and with this glorious city, the capital of our country. General, and ladies and gentlemen, again I thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: This evening has been assigned to the programme of the committee on public policy. It has been said that our public policy committee is the strongest committee that has ever been formed on behalf of any association, and I do not think any one will be inclined to differ with that opinion. A great many meetings have been held during the year, and I think there has practically been unanimous attendance of the committee, many of whom have come from great distances; Mr. Insull from Chicago, Mr. Scovil from Cleveland, Mr. Dow from Detroit, Mr. McCall from Philadelphia, Mr. Edgar from Boston ; for one session Mr. Doherty came from Cincinnati. Mr. Everett W. Burdett, the chairman of the committee, is to preside during this session. He will read his report, and then, in accordance with the arrangement that has been made, he will take the chair.
The report of the committee on public policy was then presented by Mr. Burdett. (For text of this report, see Appendir A.) (The discussion on this report will be found in the Report of the Executive Sessions.)