The White Falcon

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The White Falcon - 22.10.1971, Blaðsíða 6

The White Falcon - 22.10.1971, Blaðsíða 6
Henmir Gudjonsson, mechanical repairman, checks auxiliary en- gine for proper lubrication. Put a little light on the subject Head foreman, Theodor Thorvald- sson takes meter reading to in- sure proper voltage production. Many people take for granted that the lights will come on when switches are flipped. In fact they get downright flustered when this normal obvi- ous response does not happen* To flip a switch and find one- self still in total darkness certainly creates a hostile feel- ing that ranges from mild annoy- ance to outright verbal barrages. As winter gains its foothold with its increasing darkness, the residents of the base will be turning more and more to those handy switches on the wall. Providing the power to those light switches and the myriad of other electrical items used a- round the base is the naval sta- tion power plant, a division of Public Works Department. It is the maze of switches be- tween the converter and the emer- gency diesel engines at the power plant and the men who tend them that control this energy everyone takes for granted. Twenty-four hours a day,a crew of 11 operators and one foreman in shifts of three roam the plant watching the meters, taking read- ings and making adjustments, and are right there to bring up emer- gency power if the main source of electricity goes out. All the electricity in those lights originates at the hydro- electric plant in Reykjavik. The power from Reykjavik is brought to the base power plant and con- verted from 50 to 60 cycles in a converter unit. The electricity then ripples through hundreds of switches, relays, breakers and fuses and out to the homes and offices on 12 feeder lines. The reasoning for 12 rather than one feeder line is that it is better to have only a portion of the base blacked out in the event of a power failure. Why does power go, out? Well, winter weather can'be blamed for it more than anything else, and since the black-outs happen in the winter season, those high wet winds are tagged as the villans. Specifically, the increased winter winds pickup salt from the ocean and distribute it over the base. Some of this salt settles on the insulators holding the power lines. Enough salt—with its added weight—and "zappp" out goes a feeder line. An indicator at the power plant lets the operators know which of the 12 lines is affected by the mishap. A line crew is called in to locate the bl breaker or fuse. Once the placement has been made, One of the plant's electricians! Jon Egilsson replaces old worn* out wiring. October 22, 1971

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The White Falcon

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