New Generator arrives in town
Jul. 28, 2007
Aikens Lake is just like any other fly-in when it comes to providing all the amenities of the real world... we are totally "off-the-grid" and so we need to be self-sufficient. Power is no exception! The lease on our generator expired this month, and so a new one was flown in. The old generator was a 50 kilowatt (KW) engine, but we opted for a bigger capacity and ordered an 80KW! At first, we were against the idea because our philosophy has always been to reduce demand, not increase capacity. However, after researching fuel consumption charts it was clear that at our average loads (20-30KW), the larger engine would actually burn less fuel! Amazing. Anyway, as you can imagine these generators aren't light! The new 80KW actually weighs just under 2,300 lbs... too much for one otter to handle. Therefore, it was shipped in 6 pieces over several flights and we pieced everything back together with the help of the Cummins mechanic Greg. Our resident "Mr. Everything" Leo was also on hand to help coordinate the loading/unloading of all these heavy pieces of machinery! Because of the high water, we were able to use gravity to get the pieces out of the plane using a large ramp and some good old-fashioned muscle. Once on the trailer, moving it to the diesel shed was easy! From there, our team (which also included Denis, Diesel, and Pat) re-assembled the new generator just outside the building it will call home for at least the next 4 years. The last step before hooking it up to the grid was to roll it into the building. What seemed like a backbreaking task was actually a piece of cake because our master "bush engineer" Leo rolled it expertly on pipes using a crowbar, and even managed to swing it around a corner for good measure... Take that, 2300 lbs of steel! Although we are doing many things to reduce demand (such as the new re-circulating hot water line, or the switch to fluorescent bulbs everywhere possible), it is still nice to know that we have that extra power in the back pocket if ever we need it!