The electrical engineering department extends through two rooms in the old part of the Bistra complex. On the ground floor, adjacent to the chapel, stands the newest permanent exhibition Caution, electricity! and the principal exhibit – a two-phase steam engine and generator. Its former home was the old municipal power plant in Ljubljana, and it was this machine that in 1897 generated the first electrical power to feed the very modest grid, which then served the Slovene capital.
Standing opposite the steam engine is a distribution panel and two generators from the Jelendol power plant, which was installed by Baron Julij Born in the mid-1890s in order to supply power to his sawmill; it eventually ended up feeding the nearby town of Tržič as well. The steam engine and turbine demonstrate how thermal energy can be converted into motion, and thence into electricity; there is also a small transformer substation from a more recent era.
The space has a lot of exhibits showing the development of electrification of Slovenia, but in addition, you will find out all about the basics of electricity. The exhibition has practical displays that attempt to explain the basics of electricity (electric force, magnetic field, electric circuit, magnetic field around the conductor, electromagnetic induction …) and interactive screens with interesting contents quiz, photo documentation, graphic representations). At one of these, the very beginnings of electrification in Slovenia are presented to the present day with the emphasis on hydropower.
With the help of screens, we will be able to upgrade the exhibition with current contents from the field of operation of Slovenian hydroelectric power plants.