Niagara Parks Power Station: Nikola Tesla’s contributions
A Genius Inventor…
Nikola Tesla was born on July 10th, 1856. He was fascinated with designing gadgets and problem solving from an early age. His first inventions, made as early as age four, included simple types of bladeless turbines and homemade fishing hooks to catch frogs. He loved to learn and wanted to study engineering as a young adult.
The early years
In 1875, at the age of 19, Tesla began studying electrical engineering at the Austrian Polytechnic Institute. His interest in creating generators was sparked when a physics professor demonstrated a model of a direct current dynamo generator in class. Tesla became obsessed with the idea of creating an alternating current generator powered by polyphase electromagnetic fields. During that time, personal challenges led Tesla to drop out of university just three years later. He never returned to finish a degree.
In 1888, Tesla delivered his first large public lecture about the benefits that alternating current could bring to the world. George Westinghouse, an American engineer and entrepreneur, was in favour of his proposed alternating current system and needed the technology that Tesla was able to develop. The two reached an agreement in the summer of that same year and began to manufacture Tesla-based motors on a large scale. Their work introduced the concept of alternating current that changed the world.
The original equipment in the generator hall was meticulously shined and restored to showcase the incredible power generating technology built in the early 1900s.
Working with George Westinghouse
Tesla and Westinghouse had propelled the arguments of alternating current over direct current far enough that it was their technology that was chosen to light up 100,000 lightbulbs at the Chicago World’s Fair. Nearly 28 million people attended the “City of Light” that spring season. The event proved that alternating current technology was safe and efficient. Winning the contract for the 1893 World’s Fair secured the future of alternating current and Westinghouse and Tesla cemented their legacy in the next stage of electrical transmission development.
The power station was built utilizing durable materials such as limestone, granite, brass, and copper.
Tesla patented over 300 inventions around the world in his lifetime. Inside the Niagara Parks Power Station, Tesla has nine patents.
The AC Generator
Tesla’s AC generator produced electricity by electromagnetic induction. To generate electricity in a coil, either the coil should rotate with respect to a magnetic field, or a magnetic field should rotate with respect to the coil. The alternators inside the Niagara Parks Power Station used the latter approach. The armature coils remained stationary as the rotating magnetic flux associated with the rotor induced electricity in them.
Tesla was behind some of the world’s greatest technological achievements. He patented over 300 inventions around the world in his lifetime, including 112 in the United States and seven in Canada.
Inside the Niagara Parks Power Station, Tesla has nine patents. These patents include the Electro Magnetic Motor, Electrical Transmission of Power and the Dynamo Electric Machine. His brilliant ideas had no boundaries.
Niagara Parks Power Pass
Harness the full Niagara Falls power story with the Niagara Parks Power Pass, including admission to the Niagara Parks Power Station and Journey Behind the Falls.