Colour photograph of two Boiler Attendants attending to the oil flame controls of one of the two oil-fired boilers located in the Boiler Hall of the Power House at the 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 4.5 kg/s oil-fired boilers shown in the photograph were supplied by John Thompson (Aust) Pty Ltd and were constructed in the new Boiler Hall between 1960-61. They were originally designed and installed as coal-fired refractory types but were commissioned using bunker oil and were later modified to use natural gas in 1975 when a third non-refractory 8.8 kg/s gas-fired boiler was added to the line up. These boilers replaced the three temporary packaged boilers that were installed in the Machine Hall for the factory start-up period 1958-60.

These boilers generated super-heated steam to 400ºC at 3.1MPa which was passed through two Allen back pressure steam turbines driving alternators rated at 1.2MW & 0.5MW respectively (415V, 50Hz) The steam also passed through a back pressure steam turbine driving a Worthington centrifugal refrigeration compressor rated at 3MW (850 Ton), providing 3ºC chilled water for cooling and air-conditioning throughout the factory. The electricity generated here 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 the turbine passouts was circulated throughout the factory site in an overhead reticulation system which was lagged and clad for protection and efficiency. All condensate was returned to the boiler system. Excess low pressure steam, which was not required for heating during summer was passed through a low pressure fully condensing turbine driving a second Worthington centrifugal refrigeration compressor, also rated at 3MW (850 Ton), providing additional chilled water capacity. Two electrical motor driven centrifugal refrigeration compressors, each rated at 1.6MW (450 Ton), installed earlier for the factory start-up period 1958-60, provided additional 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 two men in blue overall monitoring a section of a large machine. The machine is in two parts, painted a light blue with bright red pipes and a network of smaller pipes connecting them. The section being checked by the tradespeople has small pipes and valves running from the machine.

Physical Description

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

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