Now that the DRUPS are operational and all locked up behind those shiny red doors, it's pretty rare we have the opportunity to get close up to the units. Over the last couple of days however, while the remaining commissioning is being carried out elsewhere at the facility, we've been lucky enough to get inside the rooms and take a few photos.
If you've been for a tour of M1 you might recognise the generator in the top photo. For those who haven't been around the facility just yet, (spoiler alert) one of the DRUPS rooms has a viewing window and a red light which lights the generator. Truth be told, the red light is just for show.
The DRUPS are looking pretty different to the last time you saw them. Down the end of the room in both of these photos, you can see the giant fan each generator needs to keep from overheating. As you can see, it's right next to the diesel engine, this is because it's the hottest part of the generator.
Those familiar with the way the DRUPS work would know that there is a large flywheel which provides the UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply)part of the system. This means it generates the power while the diesel engine fires up. Even though the engine generally takes less than 5 seconds to start, the fly wheel can provide full power to the facility for upwards of 16 seconds.
If you were looking at these photos trying to work out where the fly wheel is, you're out of luck. It isn't actually in the same room as the generator. It's in an adjacent area in a helium vacuum where the rotor is levitated using a combination of permanent magnets and an electromagnetic bearing,drastically reducing the energy lost on friction.