>> Someone mentioned Bell using jet engines for central office power
>> backup. I'm kind of surprised at this. The electric companies use
>> them for summer supplements. They are very expensive to run, but can
>> get up to speed very quickly. I believe the phone companies use more
>> conventional diesel engines to power generators. If there is a power
>> failure, central office battery has enough capacity to keep things
>> going for a while, more than enough time to power up a diesel engine.
>> The jet engine has the advantage of being smaller.)
> Every "emergency engine" I ever saw in a telephone building was a
> conventional diesel engine. My father-in-law was shop foreman for a
> company that sold and service large earth moving equipment in Enid,
> Oklahoma, and from time to time they were called upon to routine the
> auto-start emergency engine in the Enid c.o. It was a conventional GM
> diesel engine like those used on earth moving equipment and
New England Telephone went with turbine-powered alternators in the large Boston-area buildings, most with capacities far in excess of what was required for the C.O. itself: the unit at Back Bay was rated at 2500 KW.
If I had to guess, I'd say they got a good deal because Allison and other turbine manufacturers were selling the aeronautical power units that they had stockpiled during the Vietnam war.
The power technicians didn't like them, because they were a major change from the diesel units, but they could power a small city and they were, as I said, used to generate power for the commerical grid during summer peak load periods.
Suburban offices with more modest needs remained on diesel.
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