Corridor Electric Power Generation and Distribution

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Corridor Electric Power Generation and Distribution

Postby drewh » Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:07 pm

Does anyone know the percentage of the NEC that is powered by hydro produced at Safe Harbour?? Is Safe Harbour the only hydro plant contributing power to the NEC??

Is it only the Keystone line and NEC south of Philly?? What percentage of power on the NEC in NJ comes from the grid?? Does any of the Safe Harbour power make it into NJ??

Are the 2 turbines at Safe Harbour that produce 25Hz power still owned by Amtrak or are they utility owned and simply dedicated to RR power??
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Postby PRRTechFan » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:11 pm

drewh,

I do not have enough information on all of the pieces to give you definitive answers to all of your questions, but I think I can get close to a general answer; there are other Forum contributors that may be able to fill in some of the missing pieces...

The Safe Harbor Power web site http://www.shwpc.com/facts_figures.html#station indicates a total potential generation capacity (at 25hz, single phase) of 101,250KVA. (BTW: 101,250KVA = 101.25MVA) Direct generation from 25hz turbine generators: 2 x 35,000KVA; plus 31,250KVA from a rotary frequency converter that could convert some of the 60hz power generated at the dam to 25hz.

A Siemens web site http://www.sts.siemens.com/News/99_00/120199.html indicates the rating of the Richmond (Philadelphia) electronic frequency converter as 180MW.

There is another rotary frequency converter station at Metuchen of unknown capacity. KenW2KB, can you or others help out on this one?

It was previously my understanding that these were the only sources of power for the ex-PRR NEC. I also do not believe that there are any other hydroelectric plants serving the NEC. However, while searching for information on the Richmond Converter, I found a related web site from Advanced Control Systems http://www.acsatlanta.com/pages/pr_amtrak.html that indicates that there are also frequency converter stations located at Sunnyside Yard in New York and Jericho Park in Washington, DC. I have no other information about these converter stations.

If we add up these numbers:

101.25 (Safe Harbor) plus 180.00 (Richmond) = 281.25

and divide 101.25 (Safe Harbor) by the total 281.25,

=36% from Safe Harbor.

(To the engineers or technically-savvy readers out there; yes, I added MW and MVA. For the purposes of this question, it's easier to assume 1.0 power factor!)

Because we have not included the contribution from the Sunnyside, Metuchen or Washington DC converters, 36% is a "high" estimate.

As for Safe Harbor electricity "reaching" New Jersey, I would have to say yes. It would depend on how much power is being generated at each plant and where it is being consumed at any one moment. The Amtrak 25hz system is a small isolated "grid", but under normal cicrumstances, all of the generators and converters are synchronized and are run in parallel for redundancy, reliability and stability.

I believe that the 25hz facilities at Safe Harbor are operated and maintained by the utility on behalf of Amtrak. How and in what manner the "billing" takes place, I do not know...

...I can just imagine one of those little "postcard" electric bills.... To Amtrak, 30th Street, Philadelphia PA; 108,134,629 kwh used this month @ 032/c/kwh x 108,134,629 kwh; please remit $3,460,308.13. You may deduct $69,206.16 if paid by..... :wink:
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Postby Jersey_Mike » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:43 am

There is another rotary frequency converter station at Metuchen of unknown capacity. KenW2KB, can you or others help out on this one?


I believe that it was mentioned here before that the Metutchen auxilliary converter can provide a peak supply of 25Mw and usually provides 5Mw.
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Postby prr60 » Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:50 am

There is also an active rotory frequency converter at Lamokin in Delaware County, PA. I believe there are three 16MW machines there, but I could be mistaken with the size.

25% is probably a good guesstimate of the theoretical portion of NEC ET power that could be generated by hydro. Of course, the hydro contribution varies by river flow. In low flow times (like now, for example) the hydro turbines may not be running full tilt. Also, the Hydro source is a bit removed from the NEC with the pimary injection point at Perryville (MD) and a secondary point at Zoo (Philadelphia). So, over a typical year, my guess is that hydro actually provides about 20% of the NEC demand.
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Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:55 am

Let's expand this topic to include theConowingo Dam (I have retitled the topic to reflect this expansion) in our discussion.

This dam is also a power source for the Corridor and is readilly accessible to the public. Anyone desiring to X the Susquehanna "on the cheap', i.e. for free, knows that US1 is built atop this structure.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Sep 21, 2005 9:29 am

>>>There is another rotary frequency converter station at Metuchen of unknown capacity. KenW2KB, can you or others help out on this one?<<<

25 MW. It typically had been dispatched at about 15 to 20 MW during the busier hours, and around 5 to 10 off-peak.

>>>there are also frequency converter stations located at Sunnyside Yard in New York <<<

My recollection is that these are four 5 MW solid state converters financed by NJ Transit as part of the Midtown Direct project. The capability was needed to accomodate the NJT trains from that project. I don't know what percentage of the units are dispatched, but guess that less than 75 percent thus having one as a spare.
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Re: Corridor Hydroelectric Plants

Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:46 am

drewh wrote:Does anyone know the percentage of the NEC that is powered by hydro produced at Safe Harbour?? Is Safe Harbour the only hydro plant contributing power to the NEC??

Is it only the Keystone line and NEC south of Philly?? What percentage of power on the NEC in NJ comes from the grid?? Does any of the Safe Harbour power make it into NJ??

Are the 2 turbines at Safe Harbour that produce 25Hz power still owned by Amtrak or are they utility owned and simply dedicated to RR power??


The two water wheels at Safe Harbor were not owned by the PRR and thus not Amtrak. Built and owned by the utility and under contract to the PRR, just like the rotary converters.

>>>Does any of the Safe Harbour power make it into NJ??<<<

Yes and no. Once the electricity is co-mingled in the transmission system there is no way to trace the actual electrons. Other than a single isolated generator serving customers, there is no way to trace the source. Transactions on the 'grid" that refer to a single generating station as a source are in reality simply an accounting matter.
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Postby Jersey_Mike » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:47 am

Also, the Hydro source is a bit removed from the NEC with the pimary injection point at Perryville (MD) and a secondary point at Zoo (Philadelphia). So, over a typical year, my guess is that hydro actually provides about 20% of the


I do not believe there is any dedicated generating capacity at Coniwingo (at least there wasn't when I took the tour). I was also unaware of any PRR transmission lines running down the Port Road. Is there a frequency converter at Perryville or does the 25Hz run via some other path?
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Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Sep 21, 2005 12:54 pm

Jersey_Mike wrote:
Also, the Hydro source is a bit removed from the NEC with the pimary injection point at Perryville (MD) and a secondary point at Zoo (Philadelphia). So, over a typical year, my guess is that hydro actually provides about 20% of the


I do not believe there is any dedicated generating capacity at Coniwingo (at least there wasn't when I took the tour). I was also unaware of any PRR transmission lines running down the Port Road. Is there a frequency converter at Perryville or does the 25Hz run via some other path?


My utility transmission map shows PRR/Amtrak 25Hz circuits running from Conestoga Substation near Safe Harbor to Perryville. You are correct that the Conowingo Generating Station does not, as I recall, have a 25Hz generator.
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Postby Jersey_Mike » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:53 pm

My utility transmission map shows PRR/Amtrak 25Hz circuits running from Conestoga Substation near Safe Harbor to Perryville.


As you can see, at both CP-TOME and the signal north of CP-TOME, here are no transmission lines running along the RoW.

http://acm.jhu.edu/~sthurmovik/Railpics/04-02-29_BALTIMORE_PICS_II+CP_TOME/CP-TOME-south-view.jpg

http://acm.jhu.edu/~sthurmovik/Railpics/04-02-29_BALTIMORE_PICS_II+CP_TOME/Port_Road-Signal-C64-Crossing-Protection.jpg


There is also nothing to be seen comming off the port at PERRY

http://acm.jhu.edu/~sthurmovik/Railpics/04-09-06_PERRYVILLE_INT_PHOTOS/Amt_PERRY-18R+22R-rear.html

From this photo I took of the bridge repair there does seem to be some commercial looking transmission lines feeding into the Perryville Substation.

http://acm.jhu.edu/~sthurmovik/Railpics/05-08-01_SUSQUEHANNA_BRIDGE_REPAIR/Amt_Susquehanna-Bridge-Repair-4.html
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Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:17 pm

So, to cut to the chase amongst our lair of EE's around here, no power for the Corridor is generated at Conowingo?
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Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:29 pm

Interesting photos linked to above, Jersey Mike. There definitely is t25Hz ransmission from Conestoga since the 25 Hz power generated there does get to the corridor, but from your observations, the transmission line is apparantly not located on the railroad in question. Note that my map's scale is such that "near Perryville" can mean within several miles thereof.
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Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:30 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:So, to cut to the chase amongst our lair of EE's around here, no power for the Corridor is generated at Conowingo?


Well, no 25Hz power. But there may be a contract for power to be generated there at 60Hz and wheeled to a converter station. Again, an accounting matter.
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Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:50 pm

Jersey_Mike wrote:From this photo I took of the bridge repair there does seem to be some commercial looking transmission lines feeding into the Perryville Substation.


Can't quote tell from the photo, but if that "commercial" line terminates at the Amtrak Perryville sub, then it is 25Hz Amtrak transmission. There is no converter there as far as I know. Also, commercial transmission is 3 phase, meaning three wires per circuit, while Amtrak single phase is only two wires per circuit. (note the transmission in the photo above the bridge) Perhaps you can tell from the orginial photo how many wires the tower is holding? Don't include the static ground wire(s) at the top as they are not part of the circuit, but are lightning protection only.
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Postby Ken W2KB » Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:08 pm

Ken W2KB wrote:
Jersey_Mike wrote:From this photo I took of the bridge repair there does seem to be some commercial looking transmission lines feeding into the Perryville Substation.


Can't quote tell from the photo, but if that "commercial" line terminates at the Amtrak Perryville sub, then it is 25Hz Amtrak transmission. There is no converter there as far as I know. Also, commercial transmission is 3 phase, meaning three wires per circuit, while Amtrak single phase is only two wires per circuit. (note the transmission in the photo above the bridge) Perhaps you can tell from the orginial photo how many wires the tower is holding? Don't include the static ground wire(s) at the top as they are not part of the circuit, but are lightning protection only.


More info. Baltimore Gas and Electric owns four 138kV transmission circuits between Conestoga and Perryville. PRR apparantly did not own the transmission between those points; BG&E must have built and owns it under contract for PRR/Amtrak. That would explain why it looks like a conventional utility transmission tower structure, except that to the practiced eye, there would be 2 wires per circuit, not 3. A total of 8 circuit wires if there are 4 circuits on the structures.
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