Chateau mill with power station.
History of the mill:
The mill below the castle in Jindřichův Hradec is recorded in the documents of Jindřich of Hradec from the years 1485 and 1489, describing its sale. Further records related to the important transformation of the building come from the 1560s. A modern-time inscription above the main entrance in the eastern front announces that in 1551 the mill was built. In fact, however, it was only rebuilt and enlarged by Jáchym of Hradec, whose original coat-of-arms is placed above the inscription, along with that of his wife’s Anna of Rožmberk and with the roses of Hradec and Rožmberk.
In 1673, the equipment of the mill was outfitted with 14 water wheels and from that time onwards, it adopted the name “Mlýn u čtrnácti“, i.e. the Mill at the Fourteen.
During the great fire of the town on the 13th June 1773, the mill burnt down along with the whole chateau. The renovation was carried out very quickly. The inventory of the year 1777 registered full equipment of 14 compositions with water wheels, one stamp-mill with a wheel and a “fendrich”, a big pumping wheel for the water pipeline, especially for the supply of water to the neighbouring brewery.
A detailed description from 1850 by the builder from Jindřichův Hradec Jan Schaffer, undoubtedly a member of the family of the renowned builder Josef Schaffer who made a lot of Classicist facades, rebuilt the building right before its reconstruction in 1853 along with the carpenter J. Braith. In 1852 the mill was supposed to be reconstructed into an artificial or American mill with more powerful technology. According to the requirement of the designer Ing. Kozlík, the building was supposed to be raised by two fathoms (380 cm) in order to raise it to the second floor, for the cellars to be vaulted and partitions inserted.
After the nationalisation in 1946, the mill was taken over by the South Bohemian Breweries. In 1962 the building was handed over to the national enterprise Fruta, later Fruko. This company used the mill as a warehouse.
Neglecting the basic maintenance over a long time resulted in a decline of the whole building. In 1998 the mill was bought from FRUKO by the National Monument Institute in České Budějovice, and a year later an entire four-year long reconstruction was started, in which it was renovated to the expense of 18.5 million crowns. At present, the mill is operated by the Jindřichův Hradec Cultural Society, a civic association, which holds seasonal exhibitions there and other cultural events. (more information at: www.jh-zameckymlyn.cz)
Křižík’s Power Station:
From the beginning of the 1890s, the Mill Panský mlýn in Jindřichův Hradec showed continuous losses, which was related to the general decline of the mill trade in Bohemia, caused by the Hungarian competition. For that reason, the then director the Černín estates Dr. Karel Jičínský started to consider a replacement industrial enterprise. In autumn 1886, they realised the idea of establishing a power station that would generate and supply electric current not only to the chateau but also to the town for the illumination of streets and flats. Two conditions for the realisation of such an idea were near at hand. The Mill at the Fourteen, which didn’t require high investment to be adapted for this purpose, and then the natural driving force, i.e. the relatively regular inflow of water form Vajgar, the force of which Jičínský estimated to be 55 to 60 HP. As can be seen from the preserved concept, for the beginning Jičínský counted that the drive of the electro-dynamic machines would be continuously guaranteed by a steam engine with the performance of 19 HP, while three mill wheels would be put in operation in the night only, when no work was done in the mill.
On the 19th Jan., 1887, the “Ohlas“ newspaper informed its readers that two electro-dynamic machines of Křižík’s system (dynamos for direct current) were being assembled in the court of the brewery, and that the circuit was being installed at the same time. A week later they had a trial illumination in the brewery. In late February circuit installations were started in the square and in Panská Street. In the square they installed 11 light bulbs altogether and two arc lamps and 5 light bulbs in Panská Street. When the news spread out that at 7 p.m. on the 14th March 1887 electric lights would be lighted, the show brought the eager citizens of Hradec out to the square and to Panská Street, although the weather was unfriendly. The illumination that lasted on the other days, too, was carried out for trial purposes only. It wasn’t even very intensive as the light bulbs used had the mere candlepower of sixteen candles. Nevertheless, the first step had been done and it was up to the town what attitude it would adopt for this novelty.
On the 18th March, the Černín estate made the town an offer for a contractual take-off of electric current. The town council gave its consent to the offer on the 11th May and a long-term contract was signed. On the basis of this contract, a water turbine with the output of 50 HP for 6,308 marks was ordered, through the company J.G. Wilhem. After installing this turbine, it was possible to deliver current for as many as 600 light bulbs. The installation of the circuit stared in mid-August and the work was completed in mid-January 1888. On the 2nd February, the Ministry of Commerce approved a trial illumination of the town. The operation licence was granted from 1st April 1888. The firm of the well-known inventor František Křižík thus realised the first municipal power station in Bohemia. Following the example of Jindřichův Hradec, electric lights started to shine in Písek five months later.
Along with the increased consumption of the electric current, it was necessary to enlarge the technology in 1902 and in 1921 a second Francis turbine was delivered and the dynamo was replaced with a generator with the output of 50 HP.
After the nationalisation, the power station was operated by the companies South Bohemian Breweries and later Fruta. With an adaptation of the control and generator replacement in 1966 the power station worked as late as 1995.
In 1998, the mill was purchased by the National Monument Institute in České Budějovice and an overall reconstruction was started in 1999. It also included the reconstruction of the power station, the costs of which amounted to 4.2 million crowns. The power station has been in operation since December 2001. Considering the fact that it is a national cultural monument, all parts of its technology were preserved and repaired - both Francis turbines, the drive shaft including the bearings, sluices, and the cleaning machine on the grating was repaired. The power station, which is controlled by a computer nowadays, has been automated. The overall installed output is 75 kW.
New parameters of the power station:
- active performance 75 kW
- nominal input 50 kW
- average performance 30 kW
- nominal voltage of stator 380 V
- frequency 50 Hz
- power factor 0,8
There are two original Francis turbines installed with the maximum usable flow Hj = 1,95 + 0,95 m3/vt
original asynchronous generator 75 kW
effective head: Max = 4,95 m
revolutions of the shaft Nj = 275 revolutions/ min
nominal revolutions of the asynchronous generator 730 revolutions/ min
expected annual electricity production with a full flow 325 000 kWh
electricity production for the year 2004 207 748 kWh
average daily production according to the water mark and influx 110 kWh – 1100 kWh