Reaching new heights: The thermometer in Radio Nova’s server room showed temperatures above 50 degrees last night, which resulted in the system breaking down. Now the temperature has dropped by a few degrees, yet it is too high to be safe in such a room says technical director at Radio Nova Isaac Ree. Photo: Edvard Brudeli Moen, Radio Nova
Reaching new heights: The thermometer in Radio Nova’s server room showed temperatures above 50 degrees last night, which resulted in the system breaking down. Now the temperature has dropped by a few degrees, yet it is too high to be safe in such a room says technical director at Radio Nova Isaac Ree. Photo: Edvard Brudeli Moen, Radio Nova

Radio Nova knocked out by the heat

For more than nine months, the air conditioner at Radio Nova has been inoperative. Now the servers have succumbed to the heat wave that has washed over Oslo.

Early Friday morning, the thermometer reached halfway to boiling point in one of Radio Nova’s server room. 51 degrees was all it took for the system to collapse. The presenter of the radio program Breakfast, Martine Rand, was the first person to arrive at Radio Nova premises Friday morning.

– I did not know what had happened, but it was red hot in the studio when I arrived at the office shortly before seven o'clock today, says Rand.

When the broadcast was supposed to start, the computer system refused to obey. The programme manager tried every trick in the book to get it up again. They eventually had to call the editor of Radio Nova to guide them over the phone to find a solution.

– Finally we just had to give up. The two hours of scheduled radio we were having this morning was never realized, says Rand disappointedly.

Soon shedding their clothes

The recent heat wave has resulted in major problems for the student radio which is housed on the fourth floor of the student house Chateau Neuf. The air conditioning system has been inoperative since October, and it does not seem to get better anytime soon. Radio broadcasts the past week has been marked by average temperatures of well over 30 degrees.

– It is not ideal to make radio when it is so hot as it is in our studios. It becomes hard to concentrate and it could affect the quality of work. It is important to be in a good mood in the studio, which can be challenging when the sweat splatters off my forehead and all you want is to take off your clothes, says Rand.

No solution in sight

Isaac Ree is in charge of tech in Radio Nova. He says that several people have been to check the air conditioner, but no solution has been found.

– What's wrong with the air conditioner?

– No one knows. The university has sent three or four different climate firms to solve the problem, but no one has figured out where the problem lies. Most likely there is a leak somewhere, and the smaller the leak is, the harder it is to find.

To overcome the heat problem, Radio Nova has had to purchase fans for tens of thousands, as well as an external cooler to cool the servers.

– Even with the external cooler, the temperature is up to 45 degrees, which is too high in such a technical room.

The property department at the university is responsible for solving the problem, but nothing has yet been done.

– A shame

The University of Oslo’s regional- and department head of Lower Blindern, Lasse Kaalstad, regrets the unfortunate situation Radio Nova is in. The university promised in April that the plant should be repaired, but because the leak has not been located, there is little that has been done.

– We are aware that there is a leak, but we have not been able to locate it. We are not allowed to enter the area again until the leakage is repaired, says Kaalstad.

He can confirm that an operation manager is on site to initiate a temporary cooling, and he hopes to deal with the problem as soon as possible.

– We are in discussion with suppliers to check the piping isolated to see if we can use the existing piping, or whether we need new pipes before we can assemble new equipment, says Kaalstad.

Back in Radio Nova sits a disappointed crowd of radio reporters. In about one week, the radio channel has its last broadcast for the semester, and hopefully the autumn semester starts with a working air conditioner.

– We're putting a lot of work and enthusiasm into our broadcasts. So it’s really a shame that such things should destroy the possibility to create radio. Nova hasn’t exactly got the money to buy a new air conditioner, says presenter Martine Rand.