Location: Detroit, MI - Interurban Power Plants

Location: Riopelle Street at the Detroit River. Detroit United Railways.


From the Street Railway Journal, 1902: City power distribution of the Detroit United Railway Company is all by direct current rom wo power houses, located diagonally across the street from each other near Riopelle Street and the river front. 

One of these power houses was originally built by the Detroit Citizens Railway Company and is called Station A. The other was built by the Detroit Railway Company, and is called Station B. Since the consolidation, the operation of these two powerhouses has been combined in a rather unusual manner, which, as it affects the electrical distribution, will be described here.

The switchboard for both powerhouses is all combined in one powerhouse, and the two powerhouses are operated electrically, just as if they were one, although the engines and generators are under different roofs with a street intervening, and nothing but telephonic means of quick communication between them.

The positive generator switchboard leads and shunt field leads in Station B are run across the street to the other powerhouse, and there terminate on regular generator panels. No switches are located Station B, saving the equalizing switches on the generators, and these are on the negative side.

The negative leads have no switches, but are connected permanently to the negative and ground. All other switches are in Station A. The average length of the leads from the Station B generators to their switchboard panels in the other powerhouse is about 600 feet. The generator leads between the two powerhouses are carried on poles just as if they were feeders.

Only the positive leads are brought to the switchboard in any case, and consequently all switching is on the positive side. The equalizing switches being on the machines, the only main switch needed on the generator panel is a positive switch and circuit breaker.

This arrangement has worked to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. Its object, of course, is to simplify switchboard attendance, and to make it possible to run all the feeders from one board. This makes the operation of two powerhouses more flexible, makes it easy to shut down either one of the powerhouses at night, and practically makes one powerhouse of them, as far as carrying the load is concerned. The number and capacity of the generators in operation can be adjusted to the load so as to give the generators a more economical load with this arrangement than if they were supplying different sets of feeders