Power outages leave several buildings chilly

By Tamara Young - Staff Reporter



Several Highline buildings were without heating due to a recent power outages a few weeks ago.

The power outage caused the digital control system to crash, said Barry Holldorf, director of facilities and operations at Highline.

"Each piece of equipment throughout our buildings has a controller and when they lose power they try to reset themselves normally," Holldorf said. "Most controllers do come up as expected."

"This was not the case this time and the college does not have the authorization to reset what we call JACEs (panels that control the many pieces of equipment that comes into these [electrical] panels)," Holldorf said.

The JACE (Java Application Control Engine) is basically an onboard computer in a cabinet that sends and receives information from pumps, motors, and heating and cooling boxes, Holldorf said. 

"The JACE that crashed effects buildings 1, 2, 3, 10 and a couple of others," he said.

The panels were reset and most of the buildings have had their heat restored, but there are still a few that have not had the problem resolved, Holldorf said.

"Power outages require a lot of resetting equipment and fixing bugs for facilities teams," he said. "There were some other buildings that created some other similar issues that we were able to reset or overcome a bit faster in-house."

The electronic brain has not been fixed and Highline will continue to troubleshoot the problem, Holldorf said. The wiring in the heating and cooling system may need to be repaired, but for now facility operations can provide some heat to the buildings that have been affected via portable space heaters. 

It will cost money to fix the problem and Highline will have to have people in the buildings to work on the system, he said.

Facility staff is trying to make it to the end of the quarter, so they do not interrupt the classes in those buildings any more than they already have, Holldorf said.

Power outages leave several buildings chilly

Several Highline buildings were without heating due to a recent power outages ...


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