Saturday, 18 January 2014

Around station 1

Well, things are still ticking along here. The summer season is typically when all the infrastructure and building is underway and this year is no exception. The trades are building a Heli Hanger/Machinery shed, a Waste Treatment Facility and are replacing the floor in our workshop among other things. Due to the disruption to our workshop we have been finding jobs to do in other areas of the station which brings me to the MPH...


As a Dieso, we are custodians of one of the most important buildings on station, the MPH (Main Power House).



The powerhouses (we have two, a Main and Emergency) provide the station with all of its electricity and majority of its heating. The main power house houses four 10.5L Caterpillar 3306 Turbocharged inline 6 engines and the emergency has two 3306s fitted. The engines themselves are very old technology and design but they are reliable and easy to repair which is obviously important here. The engines are rated to around 180KW each and the attached generators output a maximum of 160KW but we rarely run them over 125KW per set for longevity reasons.


Control room

Engine Sequencer

We generally have 2 sets running 24hrs a day with a 3rd swinging in at high load periods. They are serviced every 250hrs and after 40,000hrs of running get changed out for new, completely rebuilt engines.


The warm coolant from the engines is run through a heat exchanger system that transfers heat to coolant that flows around all the buildings on station, part of our 'Site Services'. This is one of the reasons the MPH is so important, if we have a major failure at the MPH and its -40 outside, it wont take long for the buildings we live in to become very cold! 


We also have Diesel fired boilers that can top up the heat for site services if it is particularly cold.

Boiler

The power supplied by the generators also travels along the site services and into small buildings called RMU's (Ring Main Units) where the power is then transferred to whichever building requires it. Reason #2 why the engines are so important! If we lose power there will be no way to update our Facebook statuses or check eBay!

RMUs

Typical Site Services arrangement. 
From left to right we have:
Power and communications cables, water for fire fighting, heating hot water return to MPH, heating hot water flow from MPH, potable water (water we drink/wash etc) and sewage! Don't want to hit that one...
Site Services

Just as an indication of how extreme the weather can get down here, station is littered with all kinds of things like this:



It is caused due to Davis being situated in such a large ice free area, so when we get our strong prevailing winds (sometimes up to 150kph or more) it can pick up rocks and stones which has a sandblasting effect! Its not real good for our machinery windows either.

Blasted Chemical store

Blasted Heli fuel

Ill finish up with a couple of photos from a recent stroll down to Marchants Landing... 

Surely this sea ice cant last for too much longer!

Rotting ice

Strike a pose!

Seal bones are so happy!