The Gas Engine and Gas Plant

In the early years of the 20th Century, demand for water from Darlington and Teesside grew significantly and it became necessary to install increased pumping capacity.

To meet this demand, in 1914, a Gas Engine, Gas Producer plant and new Pumps were installed in the East Pump House.

The Gas Producer and Gas Engine were provided by Ruston and Hornsby and the pumps by Hawthorn, Davy& Co. Ltd.

The Gas Producer plant manufactured gas to fuel the Gas Engine by feeding a mixture of air and steam across a bed of very hot carbon (coke or anthracite). The ensuing reaction produced a blend of carbon monoxide and hydrogen which was drawn into the Gas Engine on each suction stroke.

The plant was decommissioned in 1955 following an explosion.

The Gas Engine is a two cylinder engine which was converted to run on natural gas in 1980.

Today, the engine is operated on site Open Days and is used to drive the River and Town pumps by means of the wide drive belt, seen on the extreme left of this photograph.

A pair of three throw pumps are installed and can be seen pumping water on Open Days. These are identical units, although located in mirror image orientation.

This single cylinder Hornsby petrol engine has a direct-drive compressor which was originally used to charge the Gas Engine air receiver.

Also this small engine has a generator which provided electrical power for the site .