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ther hydrogen in small quantities has no physiological effect. The cells are sealed except at the air inlets and exits to keep dirt and salt water out. The design of the cell permits of an inclination of 10 degrees without spilling the solution.”
It is only fair to the lead-plate type of battery to state that many of the troubles ascribed to their use could have been eliminated by careful attention to details of installation, and that there are numerous successful installations in United States Government craft that we are not permitted to describe or illustrate. Enough has been given, however, to show how important the
Fig. 82.—Yacht-Lighting Outfit, With Unit Power Plant, Switchboard
and 28-Cell Battery.
storage battery is when the submarine is lurking in the ocean depths where no other power but electricity could be used advantageously.
Miscellaneous Marine Applications.—Storage batteries are used in many ways on shipboard, and form an essential part of the electrical equipment on a great variety of craft. Owing to the ease of installation, electric-lighting outfits are now available that will function properly in everything from the 30-foot cabin cruiser
EDISON STORAGE BATTERIES FOR YACHT-LIGHTING PLANTS
APPROXIMATE EQUIPMENT BASED ON 10-HOUR SERVICE
NOTE:--Where 60-volt or 80-volt systems are required, 55 cells and 75 cells, respectively, are recommended.
to the luxurious private yacht. While power-driven outfits are available in which a dynamo is driven by auxiliary steam or gasoline engine distinct from the main power plant used in propelling the vessel, lights may be required at any time during the day or night, so there must be some constant source of current supply. For pleasure craft the continuous operation of an engine and dynamo is inconvenient and often disagreeable, and it is almost
imperative to operate the electric lights from a storage battery charged at convenient intervals. A typical yacht-lighting outfit is shown at Fig. 82; this does not differ to any extent from the small isolated lighting plants sold for house and farm lighting. A 28-cell Edison storage battery is used in connection with the generating unit, which includes the gasoline engine and dynamo coupled together and fastened to a common base. According to the table
given below, which has been furnished by the Edison Storage Battery Company, the outfit illustrated is suitable for boats varying from 50 to 75 feet in length.
Wherever charging facilities are available, the electric launch is an ideal family boat. They are noiseless and simple to control, and can be operated by anyone, even without mechanical experience. It glides gracefully and smoothly along and runs without vibration. There is absolutely no danger of fire, as is present in steam launches and to a less degree with gasoline engines. The
electric motor is the simplest and most dependable source of power known, as it has but one moving part, and that is a rotating one. It is started reversed, stopped, and its speed varied by a simple wheel or lever. The battery may be easily stowed away under the floor boards, and if an Edison alkaline battery is employed, as in the launch shown at Fig. 83, the boat may be used in salt water just as well as fresh.
The alkaline battery gives absolute reliability to the electric launch by eliminating battery troubles. It is practically as rugged as the motor itself, and never disappoints the owner by going dead at critical periods. As there are no obnoxious, irritating or corrosive fumes given off by this type during charge, the charging may be done directly in the boathouse, without discomfort or the discoloration of metal trimmings on the launch or other vessels near it. During the period of idleness, which practically all pleasure craft of this kind experience, the Edison battery does not deteriorate. If charged before being laid up there will be ample power to run the launch many miles as soon as it is put into commission again. Those who have experienced the difficulties of “taking down,” packing and reassembling other types of batteries will appreciate this advantage.
Reliability is of paramount importance in every detail of wireless telegraph apparatus. No doubtful or suspiciously weak device can be tolerated in a system upon which the lives of passengers and crew are likely to depend at any moment. And the auxiliary apparatus, the part that has to be ready at an instant's notice, but may
be left to take care of itself for weeks and months in the absence of emergencies, must be always ready beyond the possibility of a doubt. This reliability for auxiliary service is found only in the storage battery. During periods of idleness there should be no internal deterioration or wasting away of active material. Left charged, the alkaline battery may be recharged at any time without injury, no matter how much or how little of the previous charge has been used. In the severest storms or in case of collision there is no danger of broken jars or spilled electrolyte because of the strength of the steel construction. The lighting battery of small boats may, of course, be used to operate the wire
less equipment, and often the auxiliary wireless telegraph battery of larger vessels is used for a reserve lighting system, including “police” lights around the decks and cabins and emergency lamps in the running-lights. Lead-plate storage batteries have been used successfully for wireless work, but more care is needed as regards charging and discharging. Where the lighting battery is used for a wireless auxiliary, the use of the lights keeps the battery in proper condition, and the lead-plate type will give excellent service. Under conditions where the battery is apt to be neglected as regards regular charging and discharging, the alkaline type is the best.
Railway Switch and Signal Service.-An absolutely dependable source of power is needed for operating the block signals on our railways, and any failure of a semaphore or signal lamp to answer the control switch in the signal tower may result disastrously. The stored energy in a secondary battery is always available for this work, and either lead plate or alkaline batteries are suitable. The illustration at Fig. 84 shows the compact installation possible