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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
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    69
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    Default Interesting visit to a farm today....

    As I drive around for my new job inspecting LPG tanks, I get to see some interesting places. Today I had to check a tank at a "farm" near Hamilton, Vic. The distance from the gate to the house was a little over 5kms in a straight line. Thousands of sheep and dozens of horses and acres of crops on both sides of the driveway. All well maintained and smelling like lots of money
    Anyway, the "house" was a sprawling affair of bluestone buildings, with farm-type outbuildings all over the place - all connected with nice smooth driveways - you get the picture.
    He owner showed me the tank, I inspected it and made smalltalk about the amazing property. He told me it was built in 1839 and asked if I wanted to have a look at fa few things. Obviously I did.
    We walked down the backyard and he showed me the biggest "backyard" dam and spillway I have ever seen. He said he thought I might be interested in technical things and showed me the POWERSTATION built in 1900 in one end of the dam! It was apparently decommissioned in the early 1970's. It has a turbine at the bottom of a vertical shaft DC generator, an oil engine (I think - he thought it was a steam engine) and a rotary converter that was installed in the30s apparently. Maybe to go from DC to AC, to run the then available mains network appliances.
    Here are a few photos inside the building:
    IMG_20161124_154233.jpg IMG_20161124_154240.jpg IMG_20161124_154251.jpg IMG_20161124_154258.jpg IMG_20161124_154350.jpg
    Cheers, Joe
    retired - less energy, more time to contemplate projects and more shed time....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Charlestown NSW
    Age
    62
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    1,447

    Default

    Joe
    Thanks for posting these pics. How cool is all that. If I owned it Id be looking at getting it up and running again. The switch panel. Looks like marble or something that all the switches etc are mounted on?
    peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    near Rockhampton
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    6,001

    Default

    Was it some sort of government built dam and plant? It is pretty amazing.
    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Age
    71
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    5,080

    Default

    Interesting place, that dam and spillway is a beauty. I've never heard of an oil engine before. How does it work? Or is it a diesel?


    PS. One of these maybe? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot-bulb_engine

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    8,686

    Default

    The warning label must have fallen off that panel

    1900 it pretty early for that sort of thing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,261

    Default

    With today's electricity prices he may want to dust it off and press the start button again

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    4,497

    Default

    Wow. what a piece of work. I'm interested, is the total head in metres for the hydroelectric system just the height of that dam wall in the photos?

    If so, there must be a huge volume of water for generation. That dam must be bigger than what you can see in the pics.

    Thanks for posting Joe, I enjoy this type of stuff!

    Simon
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    N.W.Tasmania
    Posts
    1,218

    Default

    I have to agree with Simon on this one Joe, my thanks too for the great post. Just for clarification, You get paid to do this???

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    near Warragul, Victoria
    Posts
    3,422

    Default Hydro

    Warragul: the initial electric power supply for Warragul was a hydro plant up at Noojee . It was a private company apparently , about 100 years ago. There are still a few old power poles existing from it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bollie7 View Post
    Joe
    Thanks for posting these pics. How cool is all that. If I owned it Id be looking at getting it up and running again. The switch panel. Looks like marble or something that all the switches etc are mounted on?
    peter
    The switch board panels were indeed marble sheets. I gues it was deemed a good insulator....
    Cheers, Joe
    retired - less energy, more time to contemplate projects and more shed time....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ropetangler View Post
    I have to agree with Simon on this one Joe, my thanks too for the great post. Just for clarification, You get paid to do this???
    I do get paid to inspect the gas tanks on properties like this one and report any issues.....
    Occasionally I come across something interesting on a property or in a factory or whatever - and ask questions
    Cheers, Joe
    retired - less energy, more time to contemplate projects and more shed time....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
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    69
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayG View Post
    .... I've never heard of an oil engine before......
    PS. One of these maybe? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot-bulb_engine
    Yes Ray. They are either called hot-bulb or oil engines. They run on kero. They were around in the late 1800 and early 1900s. Reliable sparkplugs were not invented yet until maybe 1904. So igniting fuel/air mixture was still tricky.... Diesels were invented a couple of years before the century change but not yet in common use......
    Cheers, Joe
    retired - less energy, more time to contemplate projects and more shed time....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Near Bendigo, Victoria, AUS
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    Was it some sort of government built dam and plant? It is pretty amazing.
    No Richard, it was privately built with permission from the Governor of Victoria. The generating station went into operation in 1909.
    The dam weir is around 4 or 5m high - so that would be the total head.
    The dam when full is nearly 10km long. I had a look through the historic imagery on Google Earth and saw one showing the weir over flowing. It would take a lot of time to run it down with the little turbine, I would think. But then the oil engine would take over I imagine.....
    The property was orignially owned by the Chirnside brothers Andrew and Thomas (I did a little reading on early history today).
    Cheers, Joe
    retired - less energy, more time to contemplate projects and more shed time....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    near Rockhampton
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    Default

    I was thinking it would cost a lot to build the plant but upon reading the history of the family they did manage to do well in life. I also found it on google earth and it looks really impressive with the curved bank and all. I must say though the property could do with some more trees growing on it.
    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Australia east coast
    Age
    68
    Posts
    2,623

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    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    I was thinking it would cost a lot to build the plant but upon reading the history of the family they did manage to do well in life. I also found it on google earth and it looks really impressive with the curved bank and all. I must say though the property could do with some more trees growing on it.
    ............ says the man with a couple Cat D9's and a kilometer of heavy chain for clearing vegetation.......

    PDW

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