Geoff Sims @ UNSW
Home South Pole Diaries 2012/13 5th January, 2013


Saturday, 5th January, 2013

Domestic duties. (John)

Being a scientist at the South Pole isn't just about making breathtaking discoveries about the nature of the cosmos. It's much more than that. For example, today I did my washing. South Pole has a good self-serve laundry facility, just as you'd expect. However, to save precious energy there are a few little "twists".

A laundry, much like any other.

The clothes driers.

Instead of using electricity, the clothes driers are heated using glycol that is circulated from the diesel power plant, thus making use of heat that would otherwise be wasted. The room heating also makes use of engine waste heat.

Before being placed in the driers, clothes are put in a shiny metal centrifuge that spins the daylights out of them. Again, this saves energy during the drying process. An alarmingly frank graphic shows you what will happen if you stick your arm in the centrifuge while it's still spinning:

OK, I'm convinced; hands in pockets.

Oh, and it was also my turn today to clean the toilets and showers in our pod. Everybody chips in here to keep the place clean.

All in all, it's a wonderfully well thought-out station. In fact, I think we're prepared for just about any contingency...

Just in case we come under attack by space aliens.


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