This week at Davis: 30 August 2019

A new engine for the main powerhouse at Davis.

New engine for the Main Powerhouse

Sometime in August, during daily power house observations and checks, it was noticed by one of our station diesel mechanics that Engine 3 in the main powerhouse was using excessive amounts of oil and required a rebuild. This involved all the diesos on station; Dane, Choots and Luke.

Due to the seriousness of the issue, it also meant that instead of enjoying a well-earned break over the weekend, 'Team Dieso' would work through to get the rebuild completed.

All was going to plan until sometime during the afternoon of Sunday 18 August excessive damage was discovered to the engine’s crankshaft, which meant that a complete engine replacement was now required.

The following Monday, all station personnel were informed of the issue and asked to conserve as much power as possible during the period at which the engine change out was to occur… estimated to take around three days.

The first job was to clear the build-up of snow from the road leading up to the powerhouse and from around a wall panel access door, which had to be removed to allow the transfer of the engines. Old engine out… new engine in.

Once this was completed, the new engine was made ready in the Diesos workshop, and with the help of additional trades crew, the MPH wall panel was removed to allow for the swap out. The engine exchange was perfectly executed and the wall panel gently placed back into position.

With the MPH all buttoned up all that remained was to mount the new engine in place.

The alternator was re-coupled, and all necessary oils and coolants added.

Then the moment of truth…

At 10:00am on Wednesday 21 August the new engine was turned over and allowed to run… much to the relief of all on station and some very tired diesos.

Paul Deverall (Electrician) 

Clearing snow roads in Antarctica
Snow clearing in the JCB
(Photo: Paul D)
Antarctic station powerhouse engine
Alternator removed from the old engine.
(Photo: Paul D)
Antarctic station powerhouse engine
Adios, old engine. Ready to swap out.
(Photo: Paul D)
Antarctic station powerhouse door
Main powerhouse panel door - ready to come off
(Photo: Paul D)
Antarctic station powerhouse panel door
200kg panel door gently removed by the JCB
(Photo: Graeme F)
Antarctic station powerhouse panel door open
Main powerhouse...where a door used to be
(Photo: Paul D)
Antarctic station powerhouse engine
Glossy new engine installed and purring away
(Photo: Paul D)