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High voltage brine tank

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  • High voltage brine tank

    Ok, Ive got a question for all you smart sparkies. Cause I'm dumber than a tick when it comes to sparks.Or at least pretty basic only.

    Years ago when I was about 15 I worked at a carnival. I worked on a ride called the Himalaya it was a flatbed mounted roller coaster. The operator sat in a booth and controlled the speed of the roller coaster by holding down on either a red (to slow or stop) or a green (to start or speed up) button. Now the speed of the coaster was infinetly adjustable. as long as you held down on that green button the thing would continue to gain speed. We never truly found out how fast it would go because at some point the cars would come up off the track on the low areas and we had to slow down.. Now behind the operators station was a brine tank ,big thing about 18inches front to back 3-4 feet tall and probably 4 feet wide.The guy that ran the show said as long as you were holding one of the buttons a pump would be running somewhere moving that brine and causing....more voltage? I don't know. All the motors were electric so ...there ya have . Not much info to go on but it's all i remember after 40 yrs Does anyone know what this power supply was? and how it worked?

  • #2
    Re: High voltage brine tank

    well that is interesting. it could be remotely possible that this brine (you don't say what the brine is) could be some sort of battery acid or some sort of liquid that causes a chemical reaction to produce electricity much like a sealed battery does through a chemical reaction. The motors that ran the coaster could have been DC motors NOT AC motors. The "so called " battery of sorts that the brine may have affected could have adjusted the voltage to the motor making it change in speed. It sounds primitive, but you never know. This is only an educated guess on my part since I never heard of anything like it, but it's the only explaination I can think of. Lou


    • #3
      Re: High voltage brine tank

      some info on water resistors,

      brine resistors were used and some times still are used to load test generators,
      the web site is kind of odd but readable
      In the old days we used brine tanks. I have seen brine tanks utilised up to 10 MW (yes . . . mega watts). I myself have used a 55 gallon drum, two electrodes suspended on an insulated mechanism to raise / lower them in the water in the drum, then put one tablespoon of salt in the 55 gallons of water and could get about 350 kW at 480 volt. This sounds dangerous for all the obvious reasons, but large generator set manufacturers had automated versions of this on their roofs in the 50-70's and some still in use today. Cheap, and it works just fine. Very adjustable also since immersion level and salt content can tune this down to fine levels.

      apparently my first post went into cyberspace,

      but by varying the brine or the spacing of the electrodes, If a pump was used, my guess it it varied the brine in the tank some how to vary the resistance,
      Last edited by BHD; 08-16-2008, 11:29 PM.
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      • #4
        Re: High voltage brine tank

        I think you have it BHD, I seem to recall a divider in the brine tank now that you mention it. Must have moved the brine from one side to the other.I still don't understand it, guess thats why I do battle with dead shrubbery for a livin.

        Did it create the electricity required in the brine tank?


        • #5
          Re: High voltage brine tank

          Yup, thats definetly it. I just read the info at the link you posted. And I do remember the turbulance in the tank and how hot the brine got by the end of the night. Has to be the same animal.


          • #6
            Re: High voltage brine tank

            The brine was salt water and it was used as a resistor in the rotor circuit of the 3 phase 480 volt wound-rotor AC motors. In fact these things still exist and work very well. The more brine covering the electrodes the easier it is to start the motor, slower rpm hi torque then the pump moves the brine out and the changing resistance allows the motor to speed up.

            The circus, carnys used the brine because they did not need to haul it around. They would dump the tank after each place and refill it at the next carnival, the salt blocks were about two dollars each and they could buy them at most restaurant suppliers.