Imperial insulator used on the Niagara-Buffalo line

[Trade Journal]

Publication: American Electrician

New York, NY, United States
vol. 9, no. 6, p. 218, col. 1-2

The Niagara-Buffalo Transmission.—The length of this line is 27 miles, and over it is transmitted about 1000 HP at a voltage of 11,000. On all but about 4000 ft. the power is transmitted over bare wires, mounted on heavy porcelain triple-petticoat insulators. These insulators depend for their dielectric properties largely upon the excellent quality of the porcelain of which they are made. Each insulator weighs something over 12 lbs. It is provided with gutters on the outer petticoat to deflect the water, so as not to drip on the cross-arm. A great deal of trouble was experienced in obtaining the proper insulator for use in this work, and the one just described was finally selected after many others had been tried and failed. The successful product was that of the Imperial Porcelain Works, of Trenton, N. J., and they are entitled to no little credit for the complete satisfaction that their insulators have given in service.

The power is stepped up by a Scott transformer system, and converted from two currents, at 90° apart, to three currents, with 120° difference of phase, and is so transmitted to Buffalo over three wires, each of which has a cross-section of 350,000 CM. It is composed of nineteen No. 8 wires. The line is run on poles about 100 ft. apart, and each pole is stenciled “dangerous," as indeed it would be should one of the insulators upon it get broken, but under ordinary circumstances it is perfectly safe. The inductive drop is about 10 per cent. The last 4000 ft. of line consists of lead-covered cables, which are run along the edge of Erie Canal in board troughs. The repairs which are now being made on the canal, and frequent cavings along the edge have done much to interrupt the service, but these difficulties have been so marvelously well met by the high insulation of the line that its performance must be considered as a very creditable one, and plainly shows that transmission at double the voltage is a practical possibility. Indeed, it is contemplated doubling the working voltage in the near future, and the transformers are so wound that a change in connections will be all that is necessary to do this.

The power is stepped down by static transformers, and then through rotary transformers is converted into 500-volt direct current, and used on the Buffalo Street Railway lines. Over this line, when complete, it is proposed to transmit much more power for local purposes about the city of Buffalo, but the constant annoyance that has been experienced by disturbances of the lead-covered cable system have made the Central Power & Conduit Company, which operates the line, rather loath to contract for power until it can guarantee a more uninterrupted service.


Keywords:Imperial Porcelain Works : Niagara Falls Buffalo Transmission Line
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Elton Gish
Date completed:August 26, 2012 by: Elton Gish;