Osterheld, C. M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Volume 17, Number 7 (April 1913)
Ganz, Albert F.
[Electrolysis from stray electric currents], pp. -318
Electrolysis from Stray Electric Cutrrents feeders proportioned for equal drop from radially disposed points in the track system located at some distance from the power station. By this method the rails are drained of current and any desired part of the voltage drop can be removed from the rails and transferred to insulated conductors from which currents cannot leak. In Europe, such radial insulated return feeders for bringing current back from the rails to the power station are made necessary by regulations limiting the allow- able drop in voltage in the rails, and in most cases such installa- tions of insulated return feeders have substantially removed serious trouble from electrolysis. This system of minimizing stray currents by means of radially disposed insulated return feeders has also been installed in a number of American cities, and the method is gradually being recognized as by far the best for minimizing stray currents. This system in fact removes the root of the trouble, by draining the rails of current and remov- ing voltage drop from the rails and thus preventing substantial leakage of current through ground, and is therefore correct in principle. The railroad companies frequently object to this system claiming that it is prohibitively expensive. This is certainly not the case, as is evidenced by the fact that the method is in general use in Europe and in a number of Ameri- can cities today. The fact is that in many electric railways there is practically no installation of negative feeders and the railway companies are often not willing to install even a mod- erate amount of return feeder copper. A mistake is often made in confusing the radial insulated return feeder system with paralleling the rails with copper. In the decree recently filed in the celebrated Peoria case, the railway company is enjoined and restrained from injuring the property of the water company by electric current escaping from the rails or structures of the railway company. No par- ticular method for preventing the escape of current is pre- scribed in the decree, because the court in its decision has al- ready stated that a court does not have the power to prescribe -by injunction any specific system, and that this power resides only with legislative bodies. It is the author's firm conviction that such remedial measures as pipe drainage or insulating pipe joints should be used if 317
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