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Devonport Dockyard (Electricity Undertaking)

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1947

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will give particulars of the electricity undertaking in His Majesty's dockyard at Devonport, including details of the generating equipment and of the maximum production by each generating unit.

As the answer to this Question contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

Details of the generating equipment, excluding the maximum production in kilowatts of each generating unit installed at the Generating Station at Devonport Dockyard, are:


  • 4–25,000 lbs. of steam per hour Yarrow boilers new in 1928.
  • 1–25,000 lbs. of steam per hour Yarrow boiler new in 1930.
  • 1–25,000 lbs. of steam per hour Yarrow boiler new in 1932.
  • 2–25,000 lbs. of steam per hour Yarrow boilers new in 1936.

Generating sets.

  • 1–600 Kilowatt Belliss&Morcom steam reciprocating set new in 1907.
  • 2–1,200 Kilowatt Willans-Robinson steam reciprocating sets new in 1911.
  • 1–1,650 Kilowatt Brush-Longstrom turbo alternator new in 1919.
  • —1–1,650 Kilowatt Brush-Longstrom turbo alternator new in 1920.
  • 2–3,750 Kilowatt Parsons turbo alternators new in 1928.
  • 1–3,750 Kilowatt Parsons turbo alternator new in 1937.

The three steam reciprocating sets are uneconomical in steam consumption, and, in view of this, combined with their considerable age, they are retained only as a standby plant for use in an emergency when the turbo alternators are out of action. The boiler capacity does not permit of their concurrent use. In these circumstances, the total nominal output of the generating sets is restricted to the output available from the turbo alternators. The nominal maximum output for the station as a whole is, therefore, 14,550 kilowatts. The maximum effective output at the present time is less than this on account of the age of most of the plant and the lower grades of coal which have to be used. Allowance must also be made for plant undergoing repairs or overhaul. In addition to the above, there are two connections, one of 10,000 K.V.A. and the other of 5,000 K.V.A. between the electricity supply systems of the Plymouth Corporation and the Dockyard.