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September 2014: Lighting strikes

[2014-09-30]

by Kieran Monk

Production - 314.6 kWhrs
Operational Hours - 24.25 Hrs

At the beginning of September the first significant swells return to the OWC plant’s site on Pico and usually production would slowly increase during this period. A stroke of bad luck in the form of a lighting strike on the plant control centre soon stopped this plan.

The lighting strike caused complete failure of the data acquisition computer, internet link and fibre optic CPU system which transfers most sensor signal between the plant and the control centre.

A new computer was set up and the internet connection was restored but the Fibre optic CPU would prove to be a more difficult task to solve. Ultimately due to financial restrictions and the time needed to acquire and re-programme a replacement unit, an alternative solution had to be devised. This took a significant degree of imagination and re-wiring which resulted in a disappointingly large proportion of the month having no production.



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