Colour photograph of a Power House operator checking the operation of a high pressure steam turbine driving an electrical alternator located in the Machinery Hall of the Power House, Building 11, Kodak factory, Coburg, circa 1963.

The Power House, Building 11, at the Coburg Factory consisted of an integrated Machinery Hall with its north and south annexes, Boiler Hall, evaporative water cooling towers, 62 metre brick chimney stack, oil bunkers, tank farm and office/amenities block. The fully integrated Power House provided the most efficient use of electricity and fuel oil (and later natural gas) to match the variable load of the factory.

The two Allen high pressure steam turbine driven alternator sets shown in the photograph were installed in the existing Machinery Hall (in the space previously occupied by three temporary packaged steam boilers). They were installed a short time after the two 4.5 Kg/s oil-fired boilers in the new Boiler Hall were fired up over the period 1960-61. A third gas-fired 8.8 Kg/s boiler was added after 1975 when the older boilers were converted to burning natural gas. These back pressure turbines (one triple-expansion & one double-expansion) used super-heated steam generated from the boilers at 400ºC and 3.1MPa. The larger turbine alternator set was rated at 1.2 MW, and the other set at 0.5 MW respectively (415 V, 50Hz), with the 1.2 MW unit shown in the foreground of the photograph. This represented the power requirements to maintain essential services throughout the factory (the rest being supplied off the Preston City Council grid). There was no interconnection between the electricity systems but individual buildings could be switched to either supply as desired.

The low pressure steam (70 KPa) from these turbine passouts, along with the passout from a back pressure steam turbine driving a 3MW (850 Ton) Worthington centrifugal refrigeration compressor, was circulated throughout the factory site in an overhead reticulation system. Excess low pressure steam, which was not required for heating during summer, was passed through a low pressure fully condensing steam turbine driving another 3MW (850 Ton) Worthington centrifugal refrigeration compressor, providing additional chilled water capacity. Two electrical motor driven centrifugal refrigeration compressors, each rated at 1.6MW (450 Ton), which had been installed earlier for the factory start-up period 1958-60, provided additional chilled water capacity to cope with low excess steam or very heavy cooling loads. Maximum efficiency of generation and use of the steam was achieved by balancing the local/grid electrical usage and heating/cooling requirements of the factory over the summer and winter loads. All of this plant was in use until the factory closed in 2004.

Kodak manufactured and distributed a wide range of photographic products to Australasia, such as film, paper, chemicals, cameras and miscellaneous equipment. Its client base included amateur and professional photographers, as well as specialist medical and graphic art professionals who used photography, x-ray and other imaging techniques.

This photograph is part of the Kodak collection of products, promotional materials, photographs and working life artefacts collected from Kodak Australasia in 2005, when the Melbourne manufacturing plant at Coburg closed down.

Description of Content

Photograph of a detail of a turbine forming part of a series of turbines in a factory interior. A man wearing blue overalls is standing on a metal grill platform situated adjacent to the turbine and is monitoring the equipment.

Physical Description

Colour photograph printed on medium weight Kodak paper, landscape format.

More Information