Thursday, November 23, 2017
   
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MIRRLEES DIESEL ENGINE IN MUSEUM EXTENSION

Pictured is one of the engines in our newly finished Museum extension. Although the engines located here are not stationary steam engines, they nonetheless form an interesting part of our history. These are power station type engines but the odd one is steam driven. Shown in the photo close-up is the Mirrlees vertical 8 cylinder diesel engine which provides 360hp at 500rpm. The engine and generator were one of a pair set up for power generation at the Himitangi Radio Station which was then part of the P&T(Post and Telegraph) which was later to become Telecom. The pair’s purpose was to provide power to the station in case of a power failure on the national grid. If needed, power could be provided within three minutes. Compressed air was used for a start-up speed of 300lbs psi. The same two engines were also once used in submarines. They were to be found in Fiji when W.W.II broke out. Later, the engines were completely overhauled. Tokomaru Steam has the No 2 engine. More work is required to it before any running can occur although the switch boards are in place awaiting cable connection. We acquired this engine from the Himitangi area approximately 10 years ago.

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