CO 2 Evaporator Room


Morgan Eric Ford

Compound winding made the generators self regulating to a large degree. As load current increased, the field current increased, keeping the output voltage fairly constant. A similar system is used on modern small generators and welders.

Some generators used over-compound windings. With this system, output voltage actually increased as the load current increased. This was probably done to allow for line loss.

This information is from the 1911 edition of "Verbal Notes and Sketches for Marine Engineers" but a definition for compound winding could probably be had in a good electrical engineering reference book.

Every reference I've found indicates Titanic had four 400 KW generators for a total of 1.6 MW. I don't think 400 KW was particularly large for 1910. I've read about some 750 KW dynamo's that were installed in 1895. At the time they were though to be the largest in the world so 400 KW in 1910 sounds reasonable.


Martin Pirrie

Dec 30, 2000
One of the difficulties with using alternators in the early 1900's was getting the separate generators to run in parallel.

The output waveform was was often distorted because of the type of windings and materials used. A sinusoidal waveform was seldom achieved and this made synchronisation difficult and the currents flowing between alternators large. None of these problems happened with DC.

Another difficulty was the fault level and protection with a floating neutral point on board a ship without a real grounding point.

On land, AC was becoming supreme, at sea, DC held sway until well after WW2.

We've wandered a long way from refrigeration, haven't we!

Martin Pirrie.

John Senchak

Dec 26, 2004
oh yes we did!
But it all relates in some way or fashion.

I would have like to seen the whole
setup even if if was primative by today's
standards. I ma sure that the British took
a lot of pride in building both the electrical
and refrigeration systems within the ship.


Nov 4, 2017
Hi, I would assume that to be the case, if anyone knows for sure they could correct me. Btw a good source for historic refrigeration information is the magazine "ice and refrigeration" you could find copys on google books.

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