|Was Thomas Alva Edison correct when he built the Pearl Street Power Generating Plant to generate DC power?|
|Written by KB2BCC, Jack|
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Thomas Alva Edison wanted to build a power industry based on DC power because his great invention the Electric Light Bulb used DC power but AC power could also be used.
Although, Thomas Alva Edison was a great inventor he invented the Phonograph which started the Record and Recording/Music industry and many other great inventions of our time. Above all he wanted to be a businessman and profit from his inventions. Yes, he did profit from the Electric Light plus he filed for and was granted many other patents but because of his failure to understand basic mathematics and his obstinate refusal to listen to others his business ventures failed. Thomas Alva Edison did not understand what we as hams study for our Technician Exam. P = I2 R. A length of wire will have a voltage drop based on its resistance and a very long wire will even contain more of a voltage drop dissipating power which will be subtracted from the main power feed. To send (transmit using wires) electric power from a Power Generating Plant to a particular part of NYC requires very long power lines which due to the long length of wire needed will contain a large I2R loss and hence a greater voltage drop and when the math is calculated it will result in a power loss reaching the load. This power consumption is undesirable as the voltage and power when it reaches its destinations will contain too large of a loss. However AC power generation that use transformers to send (transmit) power over long distances will only have relatively small current flow and larger power will be delivered at the load because of the transformation of power and voltage. Further understanding of this phenomenon can occur due to MUTUAL INDUCTION this is explained in the ARRL Handbook under Mutual Induction no explanation is given for Thomas Edison’s power loss you must read the section and deduce this for yourself. Thomas Alva Edison did not understand Mutual Induction and why a transformer would be needed in his application. Therefore his Pearl Street Power Generating Plant was a basically a failure. It did generate DC power as Thomas Edison planed but had great loss when the power was delivered to its load. Nikola Tesla provided help in the construction of the first power plant to generate AC Power in NYC. The Waterside Power Plant which generated AC power and much to the chagrin of Thomas Edison was void of such power loss as Tesla understood Mutual Induction and the theory of a transformer. In 1936 all Power Plants located in NYC was named after the man who started the first power generating plant in NYC since an Inc. owned and operated all of the power plants in NYC the company chose the name Consolidated Edison Company Incorporated of NYC as it consolidated all the power generating plants in NYC under one company. Prior to 1936 every borough owned and operated its own power plant, The Brooklyn Edison Co., The Queens Edison Co., The New York Edison Co., The Bronx Edison Co., The Staten Island Edison Co.. All the different power plants and power feed lines in NYC was owned and operated by Con-Ed. The Consolidated Edison Company had to comply with the Anti-Trust Act and hence sold must of their Power Generating Plants but all of their power (transmitting) feed line