On April 21, 1949, a completely outdoor turbine-generator was placed into commercial operation at the Greens Bayou electric power plant--the first fully outdoor unit to operate in the United States. The demand for unprecedented quantities of electricity after World War II pressed utilities to provide addition power quickly. The outdoor design, unlike the traditional large turbine hall, resulted in significant reductions in the cost per kilowatt to build the plant.
A variety of mechanical feeders, including drag-chain conveyors and rotary pocket feeders, historically have been used to volumetrically control the flow of fuel to coal pulverizers on power generators. Most power generation in the United States has relied on burning fossil fuels in steam boilers, with coal as the fuel of choice. By the 1920s, pulverized-firing (the burning in suspension of finely ground coal particles) evolved as means to more complete fuel combustion and higher system efficiencies and facilitated the use of larger boilers.
The Garfield Thomas Water Tunnel is a unique experimental facility for hydrodynamic research and testing. The 48-inch (1.2-meter) diameter water tunnel enables the research staff to conduct basic and applied investigations in the fields of cavitation, hydroacoustics, turbulence, transition, hydrodynamic drag, and hydraulic and subsonic turbomachinery. Instrumentation and testing methods have been developed to study noise, vibration, vehicle dynamics, and the interaction between the propulsor and vehicle body.
The historic Folsom Power House #1 marks one of the first successful uses of hydroelectric power in the world and the first successful transmission of power long distance (twenty-two miles to Sacramento). The old Folsom Power House still shelters the machinery generated to drive streetcars and illuminate the city of Sacramento.