The tremendous gains in thermal efficiency which have been achieved by going to higher steam pressures and temperatures with increasingly larger units are now approaching a point where the returns are diminishing at an impressive rate. As these rates of improvement continue to diminish with still further increases in temperature and pressure, it becomes increasingly important to give closer attention to the effect of basic plant design upon the total station payroll. Various philosophies of centralized control are reviewed and evaluated in some detail. Consideration also is given to the interrelation between design and operating concepts and the effect of plant management policies upon operating costs. It is shown that many of these problems are adaptable to economic evaluation and the need for such an approach is greatly emphasized in the light of the present trend of technological advances and changing economic conditions. The effect of the changing requirements in the type of plant operating organization also is discussed in relation to the control of operating costs.

[Following Mr. Estcourt’s paper will be found the individual contributions of the panel members.—Editor.]

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