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the battery is charging. It is arranged to run somewhat slow on charge, and thus automatically provides for the necessary excess of ampere-hours of charge over ampere-hours of discharge. It is provided with a contact at the “Full” point, of which use may be made to light a lamp or ring a bell when the meter hand reaches that point, or to actuate a circuit-opening device in the
Fig. 71.—Isolated Lighting Plant Installed in House Basement Using
Edison Battery. Engine Power is used to Drive Water Pump,
Washing Machine and Other Domestic Machinery. engine ignition circuit, shutting the engine down when the hand reaches the “Full” point. The ampere-hour meter is used:
1. To show when the battery needs to be charged.
2. While charging, to show at what rate the charging may be done, permitting the use of relatively high charging rates and thus shortening very materially the hours of engine operation for battery-charging purposes.
3. To show when the battery has been fully charged and charging may be discontinued.
4. As a positive safeguard (if the simple instructions are followed) against useless, wasteful and injurious overcharging or overdischarging of the battery.
5. As a continual and valuable check on the battery performance, and therefore on battery conditions.
6. To measure the daily or weekly current consumption, or the current used by flatirons, motors or other devices using current intermittently in the performance of some specific task, and to
Fig. 72.—Sectional View of Delco-Lite Gasoline Motor and Dynamo,
Showing All Parts of Power-Producing and Current-Generating
obtain other data of like character, which are helpful in operating the plant with economy, in preventing the waste of current, etc.
7. To give, when such is desired, a signal by light or bell, that the battery charge has been completed and should be discontinued, or to actuate a stop-charge device.
Delco-Lite Outfit.—The system shown at Figs. 72 and 73 was developed by one of the largest producers of lighting systems for automobiles, and incorporates many of the features of simplicity and ease of operation that have been essential in automobile work. This combined, compact unit consists of a gasoline engine, a dynamo and a switchboard. It weighs about 325 pounds, exclusive of the storage batteries, which are furnished as a part of the outfit. It is a compact plant that will deliver 750 watts. It is a low-voltage system—32 volts—as this saves battery expense; at the same time it is of sufficient voltage to operate light machinery efficiently. It is now possible to purchase almost anywhere standard motors and lighting fixtures for this voltage. There is not the slightest danger in handling this low voltage.
The gasoline engine is of the air-cooled type, so there is no danger of freezing, no matter where the outfit may be located. It is self-starting. All that is required is to close the switch, which starts the engine. It automatically cuts off when the batteries are charged.
The batteries are of the sealed glass-jar type, especially built for use with this outfit, and come fully charged. It is said that they will not freeze at 20 degrees below zero, even when completely discharged. Extra large space is provided for electrolyte or liquid, and they are long-lived.
Any number of lights may be installed, up to 50 or 60. The average place, however, burns only a few of these at any one time. When the engine is running it will carry thirty-two 20-watt lights continuously. The storage battery alone will carry fifteen 20-watt lights for eight hours. Of course, increased storage capacity can be provided. The batteries constitute a reserve source of energy, providing current that may be used when a light is turned on or if some light machinery be operated, such as the churn, washing-machine, cream separator or vacuum cleaner. The engine need
only be run at intervals of perhaps once or twice a week, depending upon the amount of current used. The claim is made that the average farm can be lighted for less than five cents per day. This is less than half the rate in most cities.
Fig. 73.—How the Delco-Lite Generating Outfit is Coupled to
the Storage Battery.
Storage Batteries in Electric Train Lighting.–The development of practical train lighting by electricity was a great step forward, and its advantages were thoroughly appreciated by the public. Electric light contributes to the safety of the traveling public, as it lowers the fire risk present with either oil lamps or gas flames. Any practical storage cell may be used for train