British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry


Detailed Description
Electrical Installation

Main Generating Sets. - There were four engines and dynamos, each having a capacity of 400 kilowatts at 100 volts, and consisting of a vertical three-crank compound-forced lubrication enclosed engine, of sufficient power to drive the electrical plant.

The engines were direct-coupled to their respective dynamos.

These four main sets were situated in a separate watertight compartment about 63 ft. long by 24 ft. high, adjoining the after end of the turbine room at the level of the inner bottom.

Steam to the electric engines was supplied from two separate lengths of steam pipes, connecting on the port side to the five single-ended boilers in compartment No. 1 and two in compartment No. 2, and on the starboard side to the auxiliary steam pipe which derived steam from the five single-ended boilers in No. 1 compartment, two in No. 2, and two in No. 4. By connections at the engine room forward bulkhead steam could be taken from any boiler in the ship.

Auxiliary Generating Sets. - In addition to the four main generating sets, there were two 30 kilowatt engines and dynamos situated on a platform in the turbine engine room casing on saloon deck level, 20 ft. above the waterine. They were of the same general type as the main sets.

These auxiliary emergency sets were connected to the boilers by means of a separate steam pipe running along the working passage above E deck, with branches from three boiler rooms, Nos. 2, 3 and 5, so that should the main sets be temporarily out of action the auxiliary sets could provide current for such lights and power appliances as would be required in the event of emergency.

Electric Lighting. - The total number of incandescent lights was 10,000, ranging from 16 to 100 candle power, the majority being of Tantallum type, except in the cargo spaces and for the portable fittings, where carbon lamps were provided. Special dimming lamps of small amount of light were provided in the first class rooms.

Electric Heating and Power and Mechanical Ventilation. - Altogether 562 electric heaters and 153 electric motors were installed throughout the vessel, including six 50-cwt. and two 30-cwt. cranes, four 3-ton cargo winches, and four 15-cwt. boat winches.

There were also four electric passenger lifts, three forward of the first class main entrance and one in the second class forward entrance, each to carry twelve persons.

Telephones. - Loud speaking telephones of navy pattern were fitted for communication between the following: -

Wheel house on the navigating bridge and the forecastle.
Wheel house on the navigating bridge and the look-out station on the crow's-nest.
Wheel house on the navigating bridge and the engine room.
Wheel house on the navigating bridge and the poop.
Chief engineer's cabin and the engine room.
Engine room and Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 stokeholds.

These were operated both from the ship's lighting circuit, through a motor generator, and alternatively by a stand-by battery, which by means of an automatic switch could be introduced in the circuit should the main supply fail.

There was also a separate telephone system for intercommunication between a number of the chief officials and service rooms, through a 50-line exchange switchboard.

A number of the pantries and galleys were also in direct telephonic communication.

Wireless Telegraphy. - The wireless telegraphy system was worked by a Marconi 5 kilowatt motor generator. The house for the Marconi instruments was situated on the Boat deck close to the bridge. There were four parallel aerial wires extended between the masts, fastened to light booms; from the aerials the connecting wires were led to the instruments in the house. There were two complete sets of apparatus, one for transmitting and one for receiving messages, the former being in a sound-proof chamber in one corner of the wireless house.

There was a also an independent storage battery and coil, in event of the failure of the current supply, which came from the ship's dynamos.

Submarine signalling. - The Submarine Signal Company's apparatus was provided for receiving signals from the submarine bells. Small tanks containing the microphones were placed on the inside of the hull of the vessel on the port and starboard sides below the water level, and were connected by wires to receivers situated in the navigating room on the port side of the officer's deck house.

Various. - The whistles were electrically actuated on the Willett Bruce system. The boiler room telegraphs, stoking indicators, rudder indicators, clocks and thermostats were also electrical. The watertight doors were released by electric magnets.

Emergency Circuit. - A separate and distinct installation was fitted in all parts of the vessel, deriving current from the two 30 kilowatt sets above mentioned, so that in the event of the current from the main dynamos being unavailable an independent supply was obtainable. Connected to the emergency circuit above were 500 incandescent lamps fitted throughout all passenger, crew and machinery compartments, at the end of passages, and near stairways, also on the Boat deck, to enable anyone to find their way from one part of the ship to the other.

The following were also connected to the emergency circuit by means of change-over switches: - Five arc lamps, seven cargo and gangway lanterns, Marconi apparatus, mast, side and stern lights, and all lights on bridge, including those for captain's, navigating and chart rooms, wheel house, telegraphs and Morse signalling lanterns, and four electrically-driven boat winches. These latter, situated on the Boat deck, were each capable of lifting a load of 15 cwt. at a speed of 100 ft. per minute.

Ventilating. - There were 12 electrically driven fans for supplying air to the stokeholds; six electrically driven fans for engine and turbine room ventilation. There were fans for engine and boiler rooms.