Design Con 2015

Has Thomas Edison ultimately won the DC vs AC power transmission controversy against Tesla?

-January 03, 2013

Well maybe for the early 21st century, but things can change in 50 to 100 years!

How ironic it is that the ABB HVDC Light underwater cable link between Connecticut and Long Island, NY is connected to Shoreham, NY---just a stone’s throw away from Tesla’s Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham, NY and also the failed Shoreham nuclear power plant!

National Geographic had some very interesting energy quiz questions and the following are three that I found very pertinent to DC power transmission (Images are from an IEEE technology history presentation):

Late 19th century

Thomas Edison’s Pearl Street Station electrified a one-square-mile (2.6-square-kilometer) area of Lower Manhattan beginning September 4, 1882, providing power to illuminate his new electric light bulbs. The world’s first commercial electric power plant operated until it was destroyed by fire in 1890.

Figure 1: Edison’s Pearl Street station (Courtesy of Con Ed)

Figure 2: Shown are the underground DC mains that Edison wanted in this densely populated area of Southern Manhattan known as the First District (Courtesy of Con Ed)


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