Release that Witch Chapter 438
The complete set of equipment included a steam engine, an electric motor, a power supply unit, a boiler, and two water tanks. Together with the water tower outside the room, they formed the workings of the Tee Project system.
The steam engine pumped the water up into the water tower and the water tanks. The former was to provide the residential communities with water for domestic needs. The latter was the water supply for the boiler and the heating system. The first-level water tank was higher. Limestones and washing stones which were used to soften the water by precipitating magnesium and calcium ions in it were put inside the tank. The water in it would then flow into the lower second-level tank through a filter screen specially made by Soraya, which would stop the floating objects in the water from entering the second-level tank.
The boiler's water supply was controlled by an electric motor. When the water level inside the boiler was too low, the ballcock inside would start the electric motor to bring water in until the water level got back to normal. This process was more stable than both the manual control and the steam engine system, saving the trouble to arrange someone to observe the site all the time.
The water supply and heating systems had already been successfully tested. Roland was confident that their construction would go smoothly. His current focus was on the power supply. It was a brand new thing for the town. Neither Karl nor other members of the Mason Guild had any idea of electricity. Given that Roland did not know much about electricity himself either, and that all his knowledge of electronic circuits remained at the high-school level, he decided to build a model in his courtyard first. If he succeeded, he would explain it to the Ministry of Construction.
Once he had a stable power supply, the first step then was to create that traditional emblem of electrical power: a light bulb.
With that in mind, Roland put on a thick coat and set out for his courtyard on the North Slope Mountain.
It normally would take a quarter of an hour to walk to the courtyard, but with the help of Nightingale's mist, they arrived in scarcely four minutes.
When the wooden door was pushed open, Anna and Lucia immediately noticed Roland. Anna, busy with her work, just nodded to him. Lucia happily ran to him and said, "Your Highness, good morning."
"Good morning," Roland nodded with a smile and then walked to Anna. "What're you busy with?"
"My amazing Anna," Roland thought and could not help stretching out his hand, trying to touch her head but she refused it by rocking back and forth. "Well... this scene seems familiar." He coughed, banished his thoughts of Anna and said, "Good, do whatever you want."
Roland did not mind her questioning his designs. He knew and would naturally have mistakes and shortcomings based on his minimal design experience. He felt like Anna was not only more talented but also had a keener eye for fine detail and he was convinced that one day she would surpass him in skills.
After a while, Anna finished her work and put down her tools . She walked to Roland and lowered her head a little.
"Eh? Is it to make up for the touch just now?" Roland thought in surprise.
He ruffled her soft hair. Anna looked up in satisfaction, "What are we making next?"
"Ah... yes." The prince turned to Lucia. "How did your separation work of ores from the mines go?"
"Almost done and here are the results," Lucia gave him a stack of books and said, "but I'm afraid it'll take a long time to test on the mixtures of them and rolled steel. There are just too many individual elements."
"It's already pretty good," Roland encouraged her.
This was part of his material improvement plan. He had already improved the rolled steel quality by reducing carbon content and eliminating impurities, and now all the elements in the North Slope Mine area could be utilized. They had to try one by one. There was no shortcut.
Roland glanced over the books, looking at the features of the elements separated from ores in the mines. He soon found the element with the highest melting point. He poked his finger at the testing sample marked with No. 12 and asked, "Where are they?"
Lucia quickly found them. They were a crude stone and a bag of elementary particles, both sealed in plastic bags.
Roland thought he recognized this crude, black stone from somewhere else.
"Wait, isn't it the same as the black stone sent to my office earlier? I gave it to alchemists and then totally forgot about it. I've never thought twice about it since then.
Could it turn out to be the mineral that has the highest melting point on the North Slope Mountain?"
Anna could not measure the exact temperatures at which the materials melted, so she described them roughly by words such as "normal", "high" and "relatively high". Only the melting point of No.12 testing sample was described as "extremely high."
He thought, "Is it wolfram?
Whatever, as long as it is difficult to melt."
Roland let Anna make the particles into very fine wire, twisted the wire into a spiral and fix it onto a glass shelf which was then put into a glass bulb. The main part of an electric lamp was completed.
To make it a stable light, there were two more steps which were also considered to be the most difficult part in making electric bulbs. The first one was to evacuate the bulb, preventing the filament wire from reacting with oxygen. The second was sealing it to ensure that the air could not enter the bulb.
Without a doubt, only witches could realize those two steps.
Roland soon thought of Agatha.
The filament would become extremely reactive at high temperatures. It would easily oxidize, produce new oxides, and eventually melt down. That was why the bulb needed vacuum inside, but filling the bulb with inert gases could achieve the same or an even better effect.
Pure nitrogen was an excellent choice for this.
As nitrogen was lighter than the air, using a simple downward exhaust method, the bulb could be easily filled with nitrogen. It was much simpler than the vacuuming process. When the other end of the exhaust was also pure nitrogen, Soraya quickly sealed the bulb. A simple incandescent lamp was made successfully.
Looking at the electric bulb as small as his palm, Roland felt all sorts of emotions welling up in his mind. It was something outdated but now represented the most advanced manufacturing skills of the town.
The following night, he summoned all the members of City Hall to gather in front of the castle and ordered his guards to put out all the torches in the courtyard.
In this dark, snowy night, Roland switched on the circuit.
All of a sudden, at the center of the courtyard, an orange light lit up. It would not sway and extinguish in the wind like the light of a candle and it never flickered like fire. Though it could merely light up within a radius of a few meters, a stable light in the wind was something that the people had never seen before.
At this moment, everything was self-explanatory.
The fixed look on everyone's face and the silence of the scene told everything.
He had brought electricity to this world.