|A visit to the Municipal
Building in Belfast was made by Group
Members Mike Barber and Frank Ferris in
September to find out whether earlier
comments made that a steam engine was still
operating in the building providing power,
were right. What they found was astounding
The original 15hp - 100psi. reciprocating
horizontal steam engine has been in daily use
driving the two very large centrifugal fans
This steam engine powered plenum
ventilation system could well be unique. The
Heritage Group should send a challenge
to find out whether there are any other
original steam engines still in daily use.
|The survival of this steam engine is due
to the dedication of the Plant Engineer for the
building, who has organised the regular
maintenance and kept all the services plant in excellent working order.
The plenum ventilation system has several other interesting features, some of which could be the only surviving examples from this Edwardian time period.
Disk humidifiers / washers, belt
driven from the steam engine.
Waste steam feed water pre-heater.
Branch duct air re-heaters fed from
a one-pipe heating circuit.
Branch duct volume control dampers.
The Christmas Lecture for the Heritage Group was arranged as a joint meeting with dinner at the Rumford Club. They invited group members to join them at their St Stevens Club, Queen Anne’s Gate London for their December meeting. Two after dinner speakers gave presentations. The first was given by Dr Frank James of the Royal Institution who gave a talk on Humphrey Davy and his assistant Michael Faraday who then went on to become the eminent Engineer and distinguished Lecturer at the Royal Institution. The second talk was given by group Vice-chairman Paul Yunnie who talked about the life and exploits of Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford. A very enjoyable evening was had by all the attending Group Members.
The AGM and Group Committee meeting was held in the preceding afternoon.
The Group has been told of an old Methodist Church circa. 1830 in Truro Cornwall a Grade 2 listed building which is due to be refurbished. The existing ventilation system in the Church is provided by a venturi sited in the roof above high level gas chandeliers. The resultant stack effect forms the passive ventilation. The fresh air entry route into the building is through low level air bricks and window openings. The Consultant Jerry Kent (contact 01271 - 323765) would like to put the original system back into commission and therefore would welcome comments from anyone who can confirm whether it is safe and satisfactory.