Saturday, May 17, 2008

Weekend Assingment #216

In Pakistan power outages are the norm. That's why a generator is viewed as an indispensable household appliance. Just like you can't do without a stove or a fridge you can't do without one of these. I have a 5kv Honda natural gas fueled generator. We hooked it up to an auto panel that can turn it on as soon as the lights go out, sweet!

It's housed on the roof. You see over here, houses are built with flat roofs, I think that helps keep the house cool. So they're pretty much an open aired addition to your house. People use them for parties or for getting a breath of fresh air. We use ours to house boilers, air conditioning units and the generator. Anyways one night the lights go out and the generator turned on as usual. We were feeling pretty peachy and went about our business. Then all of a sudden the lights started to dim and then completely went out.

The power didn't come back and we could hear the genarator chugging away. I went up to investigate only to find the electric cables leading to the panel on fire. The natural gas line was close by and there could have been a serious explosion. I killed the motor and switched off the gas. However the cables were still on fire. I looked around trying to find something to put out the fire with. I settled for a rag which I quickly wrapped around the cable. The flames were covered but refused to go out. They were tearing into the rag but I held on. To my relief the flames died out signaled by a welcomed puff of smoke. I unwraped the rag and marveled at the burnt cloth a few more centimeters and the flame would have breached the fabric.

The area where I live is fertile but very arid. We have cactus and a few patches of hardy grass growing on swooping hills. (It's really nice I'll show you pictures some day) So wild fires are not a major issue.
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