June 9th, 2006

Demons of stupidity

What does a generator need to run? What does the generator not have any of?

The uni appears to be having a whale of a time currently.

For the next few months, they're replacing the heating system, which involves digging up half of campus to lay new pipes, and also replacing some of the boilers in the boiler house. I wandered round to look at the works, and noticed a section on the main road near Chichester substation marked "hand dig here". This made me curious as to what was under there.

I think I now know.

The day before yesterday, someone with an angle grinder nicked the shielding for the 11kV feed to Chichester substation (the building on campus, not the town). This apparently resulted in a mad scramble to get out the way before Bad Stuff happened, and in the process someone trod on a bit of paving which slid and stretched the cables. This means they now have to replace the cables.

So, an announcement was sent round, a generator was obtained, and half of campus went night-night while they hooked the generator up. Shortly after that, Chichester and some of Engineering was being powered from one of these. This was all fine and dandy, and everything was business as usual for a day or two.

Fast-forward to today, and about half an hour ago Dan arrived back here rather annoyed at the world. It turns out that whoever hired the generator forgot to refuel it, and as of about 11:15am, it ran out.

Being a diesel, they don't like running out of fuel, and can be rather expensive to get going again.


On the plus side, the ITS and Informatics servers appear to be working, which implies they now have power back somehow. ITS ups is apparently rated for an hour, and Informatics shut their systems down initially.
Tall ships (porthole)


Update on the power situation: someone discovered the reserve tank for the generator, and hooked that up. As of 12:28pm they have ~12 hours of runtime, and a tanker is apparently on the way.

They got it going with about 2 minutes of UPS power left. They cut it very fine.
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