This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
This is the most simple of the three; the lamps, as the name indicates, are connected in series as shown in Fig. 45. A constant load is necessary if a constant potential is to be used. If the load is variable, a constant-current generator, or a special regulating device is necessary. Such devices are constant-current transformers and constant-current regulators as applied to alternating-current circuits.
The series system is used mostly for arc and incandescent lamps when applied to street illumination. Its advantages are simplicity and saving of copper. Its disadvantages are high voltage, fixed by the number of lamps in series; the size of the machines is limited since they cannot be insulated for voltage above about 6,000; a single open circuit shuts down the whole system.
Alternating-current series distribution systems are being used to a very large extent. By the aid of special transformers, or regulators, any number of circuits can be run from one machine or set of bus bars, and apparatus can be built for any voltage and of any size. It is not customary, however, to build transformers of this type having a capacity greater than one hundred 6.6-ampere lamps because of the high voltage which would have to be induced in the secondary for a larger number of lamps.
Fig. 45 gives a diagram of the connection of a single-coil transformer in service. The constant-current transformer most in use for lighting purpose is the one manufactured by the General Electric Company and commonly known as a tub transformer. Fig 46 shows such a transformer (double-coil type) when removed from the case.
Referring to Fig. 46, the fixed coils A form the primaries which are connected across the line; the movable coils B are the secondaries connected to the lamps. There is a repulsion of the coils B by the coils A when the current flows in both circuits and this force is balanced by means of the weights at W, so that the coils B take a position such that the normal current will flow in the secondary. On light loads, a low voltage is sufficient, hence the secondary coils are close together near the middle of the machine and there is a heavy magnetic leakage. When all of the lamps are on, the coils take the position shown when the leakage is a minimum and the voltage a maximum. When first starting up, the transformer is short-circuited and the secondary coils brought close together. The short circuit is then removed and the coils take a position corresponding to the load on the line.
Fig. 44. Distribution Curve for a 4-Ampere 75-Volt Magnetite Luminous Arc Lamp.
These transformers regulate from full load to 1/3 rated load within 1/16 ampere of normal current, and can be run on short circuit for several hours without overheating. The efficiency is given as 96%, for 100-light transformers and 94.6% for 50-light transformers at full load. The power factor of the system is from 76 to 78% on full load, and, owing to the great amount of magnetic leakage at less than full load - the effect of leakage being the same as the effect of an inductance in the primary - the power factor is greatly reduced, falling to 62% at | load, 44% at 1/2 load, and 24% at 1/4 load.
Standard sizes are for capacities of 25-, 35-, 50-, 75-, and 100-6.6 ampere enclosed arcs, and they are also made for lower currents in the neighborhood of 3.3 amperes for incandescent lamps. The low power factor of such a system on light loads shows that a transformer should be selected of such a capacity that it will be fully or nearly fully loaded at all times. The primary winding can be constructed for any voltage and the open circuit voltages of the secondaries are as follows:
Fig. 45. Wiring Diagram for Single-Coil Transformer.
Fig. 46. Double-Coil Transformer (second view with case removed).
25 light transformer, 2,300 volts. 75 light transformer, 6,900 volts. 35 " " 3,200 " 100 " " 9,200 "
50 " " 4,600 "
The 50-, 75-, and 100-light transformers are arranged for multiple circuit operation, two circuits used in series, and the voltages at full load reach 4,100 for each circuit on the 100-light machine.
The second system, used for series distribution on alternating-current circuits consists of a constant-potential transformer, stepping down the line voltage to that required for the total number of lamps on the system, allowing 83 volts for each lamp, and in series with the lamps is a reactive coil, the reactance of which is automatically regulated, as the load is increased or decreased, in order to keep the current in the line constant. Fig. 47 shows such a regulator and Fig. 48 shows this regulator connected in circuit. The inductance is varied by the movement of the coil so as to include more or less iron in the magnetic circuit. Since the inductance in series with the lamps is high on light loads, the power factor is greatly reduced as in the constant-current transformer; and the circuits should, preferably, be run fully loaded. 60 to 65 lamps on a circuit is the usual maximum limit.
While used primarily for arc-light circuits, the same systems, designed for lower currents, are very readily applied to series incandescent systems.
Fig. 47. Current Regulator for A. C Series Distribution Systems.
The introduction of certain flaming of luminous arcs requiring direct current for their operation has led to the use of the mercury arc rectifier in connection with series circuits on alternating-current systems. A constant-current transformer is used to regulate for the proper constant current in its secondary winding, and this secondary current is rectified by means of the the mercury arc rectifier for the lamp circuit. In the recent outfits the rectifier tubes are immersed in oil for cooling. While this rectifier was first introduced for the operation of luminous arc lamps, there is no reason why it should not be used with any series lamp requiring direct current, provided the system is designed for the current taken by such lamps. With this system any commercial frequency may be used. Sets are constructed for 25-, 50-, and 75-light circuits. They have a combined efficiency, transformer and rectifier tube, of 85% to 90%, and operate at a power factor of from 65% to 70%. Fig. 49 gives a diagram of the circuit and rectifier connections used with a singletube outfit.