Chapter 45: The Power Shortage is Resolved!
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The next half month that followed kept everyone at the camping ground in the huge crater very busy as they made use of the general production capsule factory to print the parts of the wind turbines so that they could create a power generator.
Of course, Chen Jin was not toiling away on his own. There were hundreds of extremely strong robots who were supporting him by doing the physical tasks for free. Hence, there were not many areas where he had to exert himself physically. Even so, he was still drop-dead exhausted. He had to solve a huge number of issues and proceed with the calibration of the commands.
First was the problem of supplying power for the capsule factory. A capsule factory was still a factory. It also came with a special quality called “huge power consumption.” It consumed 20 kilowatts during normal standby and 80 kilowatts during common use. It could consume a maximum power of 300 kilowatts!
Chen Jin had cut the power supply of the super calculator (its data had been exported in advance), and together with the 30 kilowatt home-use cable from his room, connected both power supplies to the capsule factory.
Still, it only allowed the capsule factory to turn on and enter into a work-ready mode. In order to use it normally, there was at least a power shortage of 60 kilowatts. How was he supposed to replenish this shortage?
The answer was high-efficiency batteries. A large high-efficiency battery weighing 10 kilograms could supply a maximum power output of three kilowatts. Connecting 20 large high-efficiency batteries in parallel would be sufficient to supply the required power to run the capsule factory. But when the large batteries were worked at their maximum output of three kilowatts, they could only last for 12 hours. Moreover, they would greatly overheat, affecting the batteries’ safety. He could only drive Rover No. 1 over and use it as a power supply vehicle. It had 100 large high-efficiency batteries in its battery chamber, which would provide sufficient power for the capsule factory.
Even so, the power consumption of the capsule factory seemed to go beyond one’s imagination. Even all of the fully-charged batteries from Rover No. 1 could only power the capsule factory for around 20 hours of continuous work.
This meant that he would have to switch out and replace 100 large high-efficiency batteries every day. A large high-efficiency battery weighed 10 kilograms. Multiplied by 100….
Back on Earth, Chen Jin had to make a daily trip to the “charging factory” at Bao Shan Industrial Park to transport one ton of high-efficiency batteries using his car. And then he carried them, piece by piece, up to his room in 302. There was no elevator on the stairwell, so he had to walk up to the third story! Every day, he had to repeat that twice in order to carry them up and then down, until his hands went numb and his legs cramped. But he had to persevere with it!
Even with this, by the fifth day, the charging speed for the batteries at the charging factory was gradually losing pace with the power consumption of the capsule factory. It placed a strain on the power usage. It was lucky that the production of the wind turbines was not too work-intensive. The capsule factory had finished printing all of the required components and modules on the sixth day.
After which, was assembling the primary modules: the rotor blades, main engine, and support pole. Then, he would choose a location to place the wind turbines. Since they were wind turbines, there was no doubt that he had to choose a location where the wind was strong. There would be a greater amount of power generated. The wind turbines could only generate the specific output of 30 kilowatts when the wind power was of a certain standard.
In order to tackle the issue of choosing an appropriate location, Chen Jin bought an anemometer on Earth. It hung from the Da Jiang’s Phantom 4Pro camera drone as they rose 20 meters into the air to test the speed of the wind. In the end, he settled on two suitable locations.
The first location was on the top of a stone mountain ridge, 30 kilometers northwest and 300 meters above sea level. It was not far from the battleground. His measurements showed that normal wind speed could reach 25 meters per second and the greatest wind speeds were above 35 meters per second. The location would allow the wind turbine to fully generate its maximum output of power. The only disadvantage was the long distance, which made transport inconvenient.
The second location was towards the east, on an unnamed earthen hill five kilometers away. It was not highly elevated above sea level and was rather flat as it was an extrusion of a plain. Therefore, the average wind speeds could reach 15 meters per second and the greater winds speeds, which happened only intermittently, could reach 25 meters per second and above. Its advantage laid in its short distance from the camp, and transport was convenient. Its disadvantage was a lower power output. The wind turbines would not be able to generate a maximum power output.
After judging their comparative merits, Chen Jin chose to safely install the wind turbines on the top of the unnamed earthen hill. The reason was the safety of the wind turbines. Although the stone mountain ridge to the northwest could normally receive stronger winds, once the weather turned for the worse, intermittent wind speeds could reach 50 meters per second and above. This exceeded the endurance capacity of the wind turbines’ structure. The support poles could possibly be broken by the overly strong winds. It possessed low-level safety for the installation.
Recently, as Haierfa entered the month of November, its northern half turned colder. The northern winds grew stronger. It was not suitable to install the wind turbine facility in a place where the winds were already strong. Although the wind power was a little weaker on the unnamed earthen hill five kilometers to the east, it offered a higher level of safety for installation. Moreover, the distance was near and it was easier to dig into the earth than stone, so the installation process would be easier too. And so, he made his decision.
Chen Jin led the robots as they set out. The robots carried the various components of the wind turbines and they set out for the earthen hill to the east in a vast and mighty formation.
“This spot! First, dig a big hole in the ground that measures three meters in diameter and five meters in depth. Put in some high tensile steel, and throw some rocks into the steel cage. The steel scraps that were taken from the football stadium in the City of Tereese; carry them over here. Maintenance robots, start the laser machine and heat up the steel scraps. Pour the liquid steel inside. Other than the mounting holes, fill everything up!”
That was right! There was no ready-made cement available for use in Haierfa. But there was a sufficient amount of old steel scraps.
Chen Jin let the robots haul over the steel scraps, which weighed more than a thousand tons. Using high heat, they were melted into liquid and poured into the foundation pit as the turbine’s mounting base. For each mounting base, he poured 100 tons of liquid steel inside. The liquid steel mixed with the high tensile steel and rocks formed a structure that was absolutely more reliable and sturdier than one that was formed by a mixture of steel and concrete.
In addition, the cylindrical stem of the support pole could be joined with the cylindrical mounting holes that were left empty in the mounting base. After opening the active/locking clutch, the wind turbine could rotate 360 degrees. It would turn towards whichever direction the wind was coming from, so it would be able to generate electricity at all times. With 10 robots, they could complete the routine maintenance.
It took a total of three days to fully install the wind turbines. After which, he spent a few more days to finish the installations for the voltage transformer, regulator, the current collector, and the power storage equipment. From there, he built a 10-kilometer long power transmission cable.
On the fifth day, after a round of calibration, the wind farm was officially connected to the grid. The super calculator started up again. The AI, Alice, who was in charge of monitoring the grid, said, “Master, currently, the wind farm is generating an average power output of 260 kilowatts. The biggest output is 280 kilowatts. With this amount of energy, it’s enough to power a small farm.”
Chen Jin nodded his head and let out a long breath. “Hmm, my campground finally has electricity!”
The problem of insufficient energy resources at the campground was temporarily resolved. He had freed himself from the dependence on the electricity from Earth. But it might be premature to say that the problem of insufficient energy resources was completely solved, because there were too many things that used huge amounts of energy!
Remodeling Rover No. 1, the super calculator, and the capsule factory…. These three things were enough to completely use up the power output of 260 kilowatts. There was still the electric car Blue Angel, more than 100 robots, the electric motorcycle Regan, the laser machine, and other tools. Although they were small users of electricity, the total sum of their power usage was still very significant.
Chen Jin estimated that he could only fully satisfy the energy needs at the campground when the number of wind turbines was increased to 40 and they generated a total power of 1,000 kilowatts or more.
However, he currently possessed an insufficient amount of raw materials for printing. He had to wait until he had gathered enough materials before inputting them and starting the work process to create more wind turbines. “It’s better to wait for some time before expanding the power facility. It’s been too tiring this half a month. I need a good rest for a while to buffer myself! A power output of 260 kilowatts is temporarily sufficient, though just barely. I can disconnect the home-use cable from Earth. As for the charging factory at Bao Shan Industrial Park, it’s mission is finally completed and it can be laid to rest. No doubt about it; freeing myself from the dependence on electricity from Earth has greatly reduced the risk of exposing the secret. This great potential danger of exposure has been thoroughly eliminated. Now, I can finally to put rest a portion of my worries.”