Chapter 181: My Profession is Zombie King 13
There are generally two ways of generating electricity nowadays. One is hydropower, which gathers water flow through dams to form a strong impulse head. When the head drives the water turbine generator set, the turbine drives the generator to generate electricity, converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.
The other way is thermal power, which relies on burning to produce heat energy. Then it converts the heat energy into mechanical energy, which drives the prime mover to rotate and generate electricity. However, heat energy cannot directly act on the prime mover. It must use water as a medium. Generally speaking, ordinary thermal power plants use boilers, coal or oil to produce fire, and then use the fire to heat the water to become high-temperature and high-pressure superheated steam, and then use the steam to drive the generator to generate electricity. This is a more common way of power generation in China and is more widely used than hydropower.
Minjiang County is not a region with abundant water resources, so hydropower is unsuitable here. All local power plants use thermal power generation.
However, water is still indispensable regardless of which way of power generation. When the temperature rises, and surface water sources continuously evaporate, water becomes an extremely precious commodity.
Due to the hot weather, residents’ frequency of use of cooling appliances such as air conditioners and electric fans has increased. With the high electricity demand and increasingly reduced water resources, it has become almost impossible for power plants to sustain.
At this moment, due to the power outage, the employees of the power plant are also having a heated discussion meeting.
“All-day power supply is not sustainable. I suggest that power be supplied in batches, with the south district supplied from 10:00 to 16:00 and the north district supplied from 12:00 to 18:00.”
“Why does the south district get power earlier? It’s obvious that the south district gets a better power supply time, even though it’s only six hours.”
From 10:00 to 16:00 is the hottest time, and those living in the north district who work in the power plant are not satisfied with this power supply schedule.
But at any time, the ruling class has privileges. Because there are more high-end residential areas in the south district, and the local government’s courtyard is also in the south district, the proposed power supply time was eventually settled.
10:00 to 18:00 is the hottest time of the day. Providing electricity during this time will not cause too much public anger.
“What about the electricity bill? Will we still have to pay for it?”
This was the most debated question in the power plant before. The employees of the power plant are mostly urban residents. There is a difference between urban and rural people, which is that they don’t have their fields and don’t have the consciousness of storing food. When disasters come, their stored food is quickly depleted. Now, the supermarkets and small shops are closed, and the once-bustling vegetable markets are empty. There is no way to buy vegetables, rice, and grains. To stabilize public sentiment earlier, each resident could obtain food rations at designated locations with their household registration book, but the amount of food was limited and insufficient to satisfy hunger.
The people working at the power supply station now are reluctant to give up this iron rice bowl and feel that electricity is extremely important in this era. They think staying at the power supply station may make a fortune, or at least they can earn enough food for their families.
“Nowadays, money is just a waste of paper. Manager, you also know that the factory canteen has little food left. Why don’t we change the electricity fee to food in the future?”
One employee proposed this idea, which was supported by the majority of the people present.
The manager of the power supply plant is an old party member who also fought in the Vietnam War. He has a high ideological consciousness. Although he understands the difficulties of the employees, he cannot agree to this proposal.
Once food and other materials are used as electricity fees, it means that the renminbi has lost its circulation value. When the currency of a country becomes worthless, the cohesion of the country will be lost.
The old manager could imagine how panicked people would be once this decision was implemented. Besides, if electricity fees were settled this way, how many households in the city could afford it?
The employees were worried about food, and most families in the city were also concerned about food. This proposal was very unwise.
“Besides, this is not something we can decide. The leaders have said that maintaining stability is the most important thing now. Our power plant is an important pillar of stability. Whether this pillar is strong or not also determines whether the Party organization’s work can be stable.”
The old factory director spoke earnestly. His family was also short of food, but fortunately, the power plant’s canteen still had some food reserves. The power plant employees could solve their three meals inside the plant. Everyone could eat less and leave some for their family. At least they wouldn’t starve to death.
He also believed that the government would not abandon them. Relief food might soon be delivered to the area to solve the urgent need.
“At this time, can the government still care for us?”
Someone murmured discontentedly. The world was about to be chaotic, and the government might not even have time to take care of themselves, let alone them. The employees of the power plant had such a significant advantage. They had a chance to live better in troubled times.
The old factory director was too old-fashioned. His decision was not in line with the interests of the employees in the power plant.
“Anyway, during the day I’m in the factory, I won’t allow any of you to have inappropriate thoughts,” said the strict old factory manager. “I have already applied for the military to station in our power plant. The military will not allow us to act recklessly.”
Nowadays, the military still holds power over ordinary people. Due to the factory manager’s words, some people’s intentions were temporarily dispelled. However, it is unknown how long the military can suppress them, which is a matter of uncertainty.
Due to the shortage of diesel fuel, Li Dong and several young men rode their bicycles into the city. Along the way, what they saw and heard gave them a clearer understanding of the apocalypse.
“Excuse me, can you spare some food?”
A shirtless old man in his underpants blocked Li Dong’s bicycle, holding a four or five-year-old boy who was completely naked, only for the sake of keeping cool.
“Uncle, please give us something to eat. I’m so hungry.”
The little boy must have been hungry for a long time, his eyes shining greedily as he stared at the group’s pockets.
This situation was prevalent in the city because people nowadays are accustomed to ordering takeout, and many young people don’t even have the habit of cooking at home. Apart from some unsatisfying snacks, there was no food in their homes. Therefore, when the apocalypse arrived and the supermarkets and markets stopped operating, these people almost had no food source. After holding on for a few days, people could only borrow, beg or even snatch food in other ways.
The grandfather and grandson were obviously in a similar situation.
The people in Hou’an Village did not suffer from hunger after the apocalypse arrived. Although life was much more challenging than before, they still had some food reserves, and they were able to gather some dried fish and vegetables in the early days of the apocalypse. Therefore, some cyclists softened when the grandfather and grandson stopped them.
“Take this pack of biscuits.”
Li Dong didn’t have time to stop him. One of the cyclists pulled out a pack of biscuits, initially meant for his wife to eat when she was hungry on the road.
“Thank you, uncle!”
The little boy tore open the cookie on the spot, wolfed down half of it, and then handed the other half to his grandfather.
Because it was hot and dry, and the cookies were not easy to swallow, the grandfather and grandson almost choked from eating too quickly.
“Thank you, thank you.”
After finishing the cookie, the old man quickly hugged his grandson and ran away. They thought it was just a small incident, but as they hadn’t walked far, a group of people suddenly rushed out from both sides of the road, men, and women, old and young, crying and clinging to the legs of Li Dong and others, some even directly reaching into their pockets.
By the time Li Dong and his group shook off those people, their clothes had been torn apart. It was not until they ran far away and could no longer see that group of people that they slowed down on their bikes and sighed in relief.
“What a world!”
At that time, the way those people looked at them made them suspect they would be ripped apart and eaten alive.
“Village chief, didn’t they say the city provides food aid?”
When the villagers first heard this news, they envied the city folks for being able to receive food just by having a registered residence. They felt they didn’t have the same treatment as people living in the countryside. However, now it seems that life in the city is not as easy as they imagined, or else how did those elderly people and children who were stealing things come about?
The smallest one was even a baby who couldn’t talk yet. It’s unclear what the child’s parents were doing to leave their elderly relatives and children to go out and steal to make a living.
“Liu-zi, did you and your uncle Yuan encounter these people when you came out earlier?”
Li Dong asked Jiang Liu as he gasped for air.
Jiang Liu shook his head. In fact, he felt that many people were lying in ambush nearby. He even had a chance to stop the villagers from giving food to the elderly and the child, but he deliberately allowed their behaviour to happen.
This was because Jiang Liu sensed that the villagers’ understanding of the chaotic world was still too shallow and naive. They had been accustomed to a self-sufficient life and had no defences against external crises.
Even the shrewd village chief, Li Dong, had his vision limited to the one-acre-three-part land of Hou’an Village. He forgot about the food reserves of people in the countryside, which was such an immense treasure for those who lacked food.
This experience was a lesson that could help these people be more vigilant, which was good.
“Who are these people?”
Jiang Liu obviously couldn’t figure out why, so Li Dong planned to go to the power plant and ask the factory employees about the situation in the city. However, before the convoy set off again, they were stopped by the patrolling police.
Li Dong brought more than a dozen young men and women with solid physiques to ensure their safety. Therefore, their entourage looked conspicuous, especially as they were the only people riding bicycles on the city’s main road. This led them to be immediately spotted by the patrol team.
A/N: The hydroelectric and thermal power generation principles were referenced from sources. If there are any errors, please feel free to comment and point them out.
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