The week describes a basic rundown of station support systems and we get ready to farewell the sun.

Power — water and sun

The Davis station of today has evolved into a complex beast over many years. Comprising a series and parallel of inter-dependant and inter-connected systems the station is a home, a workplace, and also a life-support system for 19 hardy souls this winter.

The generator sets run in parallel to provide power to the station, with sets coming in and out as required. The heating hot water system utilises heat recovered from the generators pumped to the buildings to keep them warm. This water is also pumped through a series of boilers to maintain the temperature. The buildings and systems are connected by a series of elevated service lines carrying the essentials, like water, waste water, power and communications.

Largely automated and at times remotely controlled from Australia, the station nevertheless requires a good deal of inspection and maintenance on the ground year round. Totally dependent on burning fuel to start the process, the station will consume about 800,000 litres of cold-weather diesel this year to meet our objectives.

We bid farewell to the sun for about five weeks from tomorrow (Saturday June 2) until the reappearance on July 10 for 18 minutes and 35 seconds. There is varying degrees of twilight either side of solar noon (about 2pm local time) — so not total darkness but some long cold nights!

By Cricket (Richard) — SMS (Station Mechanical Supervisor).