Relocatable Switchroom Design Tackles Major Water Issues

Underground water has been a major issue for Centennial Coal’s Springvale mining site, which is why the mining company contracted Ampcontrol to design, manufacture, assemble and test a relocatable switchroom along with commissioning the high voltage switchgear and Toshiba VVVF Drive System.

Ampcontrol’s Grant Waring, Senior Electrical Engineer, explained, “The Centennial Coal site has traditionally experienced major, widespread underground water issues. The Ampcontrol switchroom therefore needed to be relocatable, allowing for power supply to support the pumping of water in a range of locations.”

The switchroom is designed to run a 4kV variable frequency 700kW submersible borehole pump at a depth of 390m with an output flow rate of 100 litres per second.

As experts in hazardous area design, Ampcontrol successfully developed the switchroom with the borehole in mind and incorporated explosion protection, based on Ex p, for the borehole and pumping operations.

“This is the first in a series of switchroom designs for this site,” adds Waring, “and we are looking forward to working with the range of challenges the site will ‘throw at us’ in the future.”

To find out more, read the full case study.

Ampcontrol Delivers Important Power Infrastructure for WestConnex

In late 2017, Ampcontrol was contracted by CPB Contractors to deliver 46 transportable Electrical Equipment Rooms (EERs) to power the WestConnex tunnel project including critical fire control, air quality and fan systems. This week Ampcontrol completed the final room, ready for dispatch to the new M5 tunnel.

Traditionally, the permanent electrical fitout for tunnels in Australia had been constructed in-situ in the tunnel, requiring large trades’ team and significant logistics of moving the required materials.

The approach adopted by Ampcontrol focussed on offsite manufacturing and provided several benefits including:

  • the ability to manufacture in a controlled workshop environment which enabled increased productivity and improved safety;
  • full factory acceptance testing;
  • ability to store EERs offsite to be brought forward at the optimum time for tunnel construction and fitout schedule; and
  • rapid install and commission with significantly less site labour required.

This represented the first time that transportable EERs had been utilised in major tunnel in Australia. The rooms were manufactured in Ampcontrol’s Newcastle operations and installed directly in the tunnel in Sydney.

“As a business, we’re extremely proud of our team’s ability to reach this key milestone for the WestConnex project, working with CPB Contractors. We’ve worked hard to ensure all 46 EERs have been manufactured and delivered on time and to specification against a demanding project schedule,” said Ampcontrol CEO and Managing Director Rod Henderson.

“While this represents an Australian first approach, the success of the transportable EERs on this project and significant benefits they offer means that we expect this to be adopted more widely in Australian projects going forward,” said Mr Henderson.

In addition, Ampcontrol also provided the temporary electrical infrastructure to power the WestConnex tunnel construction phase.

AMPCONTROL DELIVERS ‘PURE’ WATER TO REMOTE COMMUNITY IN THE NT

Solving problems comes as second nature to Ampcontrol, one of Australia’s largest and most successful electrical engineering and manufacturing companies. When presented with the challenge of delivering drinkable water to a remote, indigenous community approximately 75kms from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, the team set about engineering a solution that could be maintained and supported locally.

Partnering with Aurecon on the design of the hydrology system, Ampcontrol devised a unique and entirely portable solution that literally transforms undrinkable bore water into pure water. The parties dubbed this Project Gilghi, with Gilghi meaning “water” or “place of water” in the Barkindji indigenous language.

“Innovation is very much a part of the culture at Ampcontrol, and we specialise in electrical design and advanced manufacturing. We are grateful for this opportunity provided by the Northern Territory Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development and Ingkerreke Outstations Resource Services. Our partnership with Aurecon meant we were able to leverage the respective strengths of our two organisations and deliver a truly unique solution” said Ampcontrol’s CEO and Managing Director, Rod Henderson.

After months of collaborative engineering between Ampcontrol and Aurecon specialists to devise the reverse osmosis water treatment plant and electrical infrastructure to power the system, what looks like a shipping container with solar panels has meant the people of Gillen Bore have immediate access to clean, contaminant free drinking water. The bore was sunk in 2014, however the community were still getting their drinking water trucked in until the system was installed onsite in late February.

Aurecon’s Design Director for Water and Wastewater Treatment Julian Briggs said groundwaters in arid areas commonly consist of high concentrations of salts as well as minerals, often described as ‘hard water’, which can cause problems both for human consumption and for household technologies designed for softer waters.

“By partnering with Ampcontrol what we have been able to achieve is something that is fit for purpose and scalable to the environment. We’ve designed a transformative technology that will have an immediate impact on the local community,” Mr Briggs said.

The local community created a beautiful artwork titled “honey ant dreaming”, which is a big part of their culture – this was installed on the exterior of the system and provides a great visual connection for the people and their new water source.

With the system now up and running, both Aurecon and Ampcontrol are looking at further applications in remote areas and indigenous communities across Australia.

For enquiries regarding the Containerised Solar Powered Water Treatment Solution please contact +61 1300 267 373

Supporting power and communication requirements for WestConnex

Ampcontrol was contracted to supply 45 electrical equipment rooms (EERs) for WestConnex, Australia’s largest transport infrastructure project. The EERs include a transformer, switches, circuits and communication systems to assist with fire control, air quality and fan systems.

Westconnex is the first tunnelling project in Australia where EERs have been manufactured offsite and installed directly into the tunnel, compared to the traditional method of building them in-situ. This method has resulted in a number of positive benefits for the project, namely significantly reduced install time, improved safety and a decrease in the resources required for installation.

To find out more, read the full case study.

Latest offering to Indian Coal market installed successfully

Ampcontrol’s AUK1000 advanced multi-function gate end box is certified for use in underground coal mines across Europe, Turkey and India. It was recently commissioned onsite at Bhelatand Amalgamated Colliery in Jharkhand, India.

Ampcontrol was contracted to design, manufacture and deliver a central motor control unit that could operate up to four conveyor belts from a single station with full digital display and control. The unit was commissioned onsite and 14 local service engineers were trained in both the theoretical and practical application of the equipment.

For more information on this solution, please contact your local Ampcontrol team.

To download the case study on the AUK1000, click here.

Providing product commissioning and training support to the Indian coal Industry

Continuous mining mass production and longwall mining technology is an integral component of the Eastern Coalfields mines in Jhanjra, India. To provide essential power to this operation,  Allenwest Ampcontrol was commissioned to produce a AW2000 1.5MVA 6600/1100/550V flameproof power centre. The power centre was installed with International Standard Quality sockets for 1100v and 550v outlets.

In addition to this installation, Allenwest Ampcontrol facilitated a comprehensive training session with mine staff to ensure they could competently operate the system.

For more information about this project, please read the case study.

Supporting our customers across the world – onsite commissioning and testing

The Zonguldak Region comprises five coal mines along the Black Sea coastal line. Ampcontrol has been a long term supplier to this region, with the support of local agent, MTM. Ampcontrol was contracted to deliver the
following power distribution equipment from its UK operation:
• 30 x 3.3kV Motor Starters (Karadon Mine)
• 2 x 3.3kV Circuit Breakers (Amasra Mine)

In addition to the equipment, two service engineers were sent to the sites to carry out the commissioning and testing.

For more information about this project, please read the case study.

Our Award Winning Projects

Throughout Ampcontrol’s 50 year history we’ve sought unique solutions to help our customers tackle their operational challenges. We’re known for stepping outside the conventions of traditional problem solving and this has been recognised time and time again with a number of prestigious awards.

Research and Development Leads to New Products

In 1998 Ampcontrol won our first National engineering Excellence Award for the development of the iMAC monitoring and control system.

Ampcontrol’s iMAC system helps customers meet the challenges of maintaining safety whilst maximising productivity on both underground and overland conveyors.

iMAC remains an important cornerstone of Ampcontrol’s electronics product range and has a solid history of installation on some of Australia’s longest conveyors.

Find out more

We’re the First to Say ‘Yes We Can’

When challenged with an AFC that was impractical to power at the 3.3kV industry standard Ampcontrol looked outside the box.

The Blakefield South 11kV longwall was a world first and represented a significant step change for longwall mining.

Critical to the success of this project was proving the safety of 11kV electrical circuitry in a hazardous areas zone. This required extensive engineering, design review, calculation and verification testing.

Ampcontrol together with project partners Xstrata Coal and Joy Global won the 2010 National Engineering Excellence Award for this project.

Find out more

Stepping Outside Traditional Problem Solving

Seven years of research into the significant hazards variable speed drives can cause in earth fault limited networks culminated in the Engineers Australia National Innovation Award in 2013.

This project exemplified the role of engineering in developing and testing theories to solve real world problems, educating the industry and providing commercially acceptable solutions.

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Setting Industry Benchmarks in Arc Fault Venting

This project encompassed two key innovations: the development of a novel measurement method using energetic materials and the development of a composite high speed rupturing vent.

Motivated by the need to ensure higher levels of safety for personnel, plant and equipment in the vicinity of live electrical enclosures, this project exemplifies Ampcontrol’s commitment to safety.

This research and development won Ampcontrol a 2015 Engineers Australia, Newcastle Division, Engineering Excellence Award.

Find out more

Celebrating Multi-Disciplinary Design

Ampcontrol are committed to enhancing our products and delivering unique solutions to ours customers challenges. That’s why when it was time to re-design an outdated phone we started with the end user, what they needed and why.

The result was the VoiceCom Phone a lightweight, user friendly, robust and reliable phone for day to day and emergency communications.

The VoiceCom Phone has set a new standard in quality and performance of product design and was awarded NSW Good Design Selection in 2015 and the Hunter Manufacturing Awards Excellence in Product Design Award in 2017.

Find out more

Mechanical Analysis of a 25MW Turbine

Ampcontrol was engaged to analyse machine vibration on a 25MW turbine at an alternative power generation facility in QLD.

Achievements

  • Machine balancing
  • Identification and rectification of an oil whip issue
  • Quick implementation of a solution, minimising downtime

The Project

A 25MW turbine at the facility was experiencing high levels of vibration after being returned to service from overhaul.

Ampcontrol’s mechanical team attended the site and balanced the turbine. After balancing, the turbine ran with a very low level of vibration, significantly less that before overhaul.

The vibration level of the turbine remained low until reaching half load, when the vibration spiked unexpectedly and the machine tripped.

Ampcontrol reviewed the overhaul work and data from the vibration spike and trip. The fault was identified as an oil whip caused by the bearing being unloaded by the partial arc steam admission to the turbine. Exacerbating factors included the bearing journals being machined during the overhaul to the minimum diameter allowable and a combination of the as left alignment of the machine and the very good balance condition.

Oil whip as a result of increasing machine load such as this is uncommon. Commonly oil whip is a condition seen during transient machine operation, as an oil whirl latches onto a shafts natural frequency.

Our analysis indicated that this oil whip was being caused by the bearing being unloaded due to partial arc steam admission. This is where, at lower loads, steam is supplied through multiple valves opened sequentially to minimise throttle losses.

The machine design consisted of two main steam valves opening one after the other providing steam to just under 50% of the inlet.

Analysis of the machine dynamic characteristics indicated that if the sequencing of the inlet valves was reversed the unloading that peaked at 50% load would be reversed and bearing stability would be increased.

Ampcontrol proposed a machine configuration change that would rectify the problem and the OEM of the machine carried out this modification with minimal downtime.

Once the solution was implemented the turbine ran to full load for the rest of the season without any further vibration issues.

Find out more about our Mechanical Analysis and Testing Services 

H3RO: Fast and Simple Downtime Recovery

Ampcontrol was engaged by an underground gold and copper mine in Western NSW, to provide fibre optics quickly after an existing communications cable was severed.

About the project

An existing fibre optic cable was severed at the underground gold and copper mine. This optical distribution network (ODN) was vital for mining operations. Production could not be started without dependable and reliable communication with seismic sensors.

Ampcontrol’s H3RO, harsh environment reticulated fibre optic solution, was deployed from an existing FOBOT panel for a distance over 1km along the roof, through a number of vertical drops and into another existing FOBOT enclosure.

H3RO’s plug and play cables and modular components made it the ideal choice for the fast deployment of cabling for this work. The IP68 connectors and bulkheads allowed a neat, maintainable solution that integrated seamlessly with off-the-shelf IP68 bulkheads and pigtails to match the existing patch panels.

Due to the modular installation and low loss connectors, network expansion and recovery from similar incidents in the future is now hassle free.

The entire cable run consists of a quantity of four 260m 12 core H3RO cables, making swapping any section out easy, rather than replacing the entire run or requiring expensive and time consuming fibre field splicing in the mines harsh environment.

H3RO components are manufactured in state-of-the-art facilities, all items are tested and shipped with quality reports. This offers a more cost effective, reliable and risk free solution to field splicing in an underground mine where constraints such as time, darkness and the dirty working environment all affect the quality of the job.

Benefits

H3RO’s plug and play functionality and modular components enabled installation to be completed quickly by site staff, as opposed to specialist fibre optic technicians. The 260m cables on mobile reels allowed fast deployment from vehicles and fit for purpose bulkheads to pigtails allowed seamless integration with existing enclosures.

By using H3RO, expensive fibre termination equipment and specialist staff or training is no longer required to maintain the system.

H3RO’s modular components and future proof design enables cost effective and quick and easy duplication or extension as ODN requirements evolve.

Download this case study as a PDF