HERSTMONCEUX GENERATING WORKS © 1898
by modern standards, the development of accumulators
between 1888 and 1919 had produced a large number of
designs, as manufacturers competed to supply cells that
were easy to maintain and could offer cost effective
We live in the disposable age and cannot imagine taking a battery apart for servicing. Whereas, it was commonplace to lift out the lead plates and remove the sediment of dislodged lead particles, to extend the operating life of individual cells. Solder repairs to broken terminals came under the heading of regular maintenance.
were arranged in banks on wooden supports to form
batteries of cells.
That is where the term battery comes from. The casing of cells were of sturdy glass. Each
glass case would be balanced on pairs of mushroom shaped
glass discs, to give a clear airspace between casing and
It was not usual for a country estate to run generating machinery night and day. This was why a battery store was required. During the day, the generating motors would provide electricity directly to customers
also charge the batteries. During the night, when the
lighting current was provided silently by the battery
electricity is used at night, so this system worked
example, at Batemanís, Burwash E. Sussex, Rudyard
Kipling installed a small water-turbine powered dynamo,
which charged a battery store in 1902 sufficient to
supply 10 light bulbs. Kipling
used the limited electricity capacity only for
his privatenight lighting.
Hart battery in wooden trays
The cost of each unit of electricity supplied in this way had to include for the depreciation and maintenance of the accumulators. Whereas, with modern power stations, it is more cost effective to run through the night using low cost inducement to U.K. customers; excess power being offloaded across the Channel to Europe.
Glass supports found on site
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