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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/600

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584
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

more than one half the cost of the coal, while with most works it is probably inconsiderable. The average price of the coal used may be placed at $4.50 a ton, and the amount of gas produced 10,000 feet, making the cost 45 cents per 1,000 feet. This make of gas can hardly be maintained with a production of residuals equal to one half the cost of the coal, but. assuming that it is, the cost of the coal becomes 22 cents per 1,000 feet.

In the foregoing estimate of the electric plant, it has been assumed that eight lamps could be maintained throughout the entire distributive system for each actual horse-power expended upon the pulley of the dynamo-machine. That this is entirely feasible has been proved by careful tests made by experts in no way interested in any of the lamps, and their results can therefore be accepted without question. For such a use as electric lighting, the cost of a horse-power may safely be taken as not above the best results hitherto obtained in practice. In general manufacturing, the item of power, while important, is not sufficiently so to demand that constant and great care necessary to obtain the very best results, and hence few engines and boilers yield in practice the same results as in special tests. With electric-light companies, this item, on the contrary, is vital, and we may confidently expect to see them in time obtaining their power at a considerably less cost than is now common. Mr. Edison finds as a matter of fact confirmed by several months' test at Menlo Park, that he is able to maintain a horse-power an hour with five pounds of slack (one third pea and two thirds dust), costing $2.45 a ton. For the purpose of the present comparison, however, it is best to make a liberal allowance, and take for a 200-horse-power engine a consumption of four pounds of coal an hour, the coal costing $4.50 per ton of 2,240 pounds, delivered. A horsepower will then cost 810 of a cent an hour, and we may rightly abate our liberality sufficiently to include in this the cost of the oil for lubricating the engine and dynamo.

The maintenance for an hour of 200 electric burners, the equivalent of the 1,000 feet of gas, will therefore cost 20 cents, as against 2212 cents for the gas.

Summing up the results so far obtained, the two accounts stand as follows:

Plant Account. Per 1,000 Feet.
Gas. Electricity.
Interest 12 · 12 ·
Depreciation of producing works 10 · 6 ·
Depreciation of mains 2 ·5 1 ·1
——— 24 ·5 ——— 19 ·1
Manufacturing expenses:
Labor 12 · 9 ·
Coal 22 ·5 20 ·
——— 34 ·5 ——— 29 ·
Working expenses:
Distribution 2 ·5 2 ·5
——— ———
Total 61 ·5 50 ·6