Hastings Power Station
Hastings Power Station was a gas turbine power station situated in Hastings in East Sussex, England. When the power station was completed in 1966 it had two 55-megawatt (MW) gas turbine generating sets; the first set was commissioned in January 1966 and the second two months later in March.
The station consisted of a steel framed building clad with 14-inch (360 mm) thick brick walls without windows. The access doors were double-skinned to reduce noise emissions. The compressor intakes were at each end of the station are at roof level; silencing was provided at the air intakes by attenuators fitted between the exhaust gas ducting and the bases of the two chimney stacks.
Exhaust gases entered the exhaust casing at 450 degrees Celsius (840 °F) and left the 200 ft high chimneys at 300 degrees Celsius (570 °F). The chimneys were concrete, lined with heat- and acid-resistant bricks and a stainless steel 'cap'. About 1.4 million cubic feet per minute (670 m3/s) of gas containing 19% oxygen was exhausted from each chimney at a velocity of ~135 ft/s (41 m/s; 92 mph).
- Cooling water
Cooling water for the station auxiliaries and alternator was drawn from a local pond, through a small independent mechanical draught-tower.
- Emergency generator
An emergency Diesel generator driven exciter set was housed in a separate building. In the event of a system flux, the generator was capable of driving sufficient auxiliaries to start up, and put on full load, both main turbines consecutively.
- Fuel oil
The gas turbine fuel oil supplies were held in five vertical main oil storage tanks, with a total capacity of 4,440 tonnes - equivalent to little more than 130 hours continuous generating at full load. Fuel was delivered by rail to the station's own siding located off the Hastings to Ashford Railway line, a few hundred metres north east of Ore Railway Station.
- Gas generators
Rolls-Royce gas generators were used. With little modification, these had been adapted to burn diesel oil with a high degree of reliability. They were developed from the well-tried aircraft engine used in the Comet and Caravelle aircraft. It had a single-shaft engine with a 17-stage axial flow compressor and canular combustion chamber, before reaching the three-stage turbine.
There were two 55 MW AP4 Rolls-Royce/AEI sets. Four gas generators in 'box' formation powered a two-stage turbine having discs of 2.5% nickel chrome and a stator of Nimonic 80A. The turbine blades were also forged from Nimonic 80A and were, at the time, the largest Nimonic forging ever made.
The alternator was designed to operate at 3,000 rpm and was coupled to the turbine via a clutch. The main and pilot exciters were gear-driven from the end of the alternator shaft at 1,000 rpm.
The station could theoretically be controlled from a remote location. The main turbines and auxiliaries were controlled with manual overriding features. The main turbine sets could achieve a load of 10 MW from the pressing of a button within 2 minutes and 40 seconds. From the stabilizing load of 10 MW, the full capacity of 55 MW could be achieved in a matter of seconds.
This fast start-up of a power-station was particularly useful for supplying the national electricity grid at very short notice where sharp drops in supply occurred.
Decline and closure
The station was built before the OPEC crisis of the mid-1970s. As oil-based fuels increased in price, the station was deemed uneconomic and was mothballed in 1979. It received a reprieve when turbine Number 1 was recommissioned in 1983 to compensate for a national deficit of power generators caused by the closure of some coal-fired stations during the coal miners' strike. By the late 1980s, the turbines and other plant were either stripped from the station or stolen by scrap dealers. In 2000, an arson attack on illegally dumped rubber tires within the building caused considerable damage. The station was demolished in 2003.
- 1979. Hastings Power Station. CEGB (South Eastern) Publications Unit.