2013 Excellence Awards
Roads and Maritime Services
2013 Engineering Register
2013 Regional Convention
Electrical Branch Past Presentations
21 October - Managing Harmonics on Power Networks
Please download the papers discussed at this meeting.
- Control of Flicker Caused by an Electric Arc Steelmaking Furnace
- Recent Improvements in the Electrical Loading Characteristics of Large Draglines
5 August - The latest developments in light sources and control equipment
Please view the presentation slides below.
8 July: Wind Power Presentation
9 April: Engineering and Maintenance at Onesteel
Forty members of the Electrical & Mechanical Branches were given an insight into OneSteel's "back to basics" journey in rebuilding its engineering and maintenance capability following the exit of massive engineering and technical resources with the closure of the steelworks at Newcastle eight years ago.
Robert Finlay, Manager Engineering & Reliability, OneSteel detailed a classic survival path through leadership and management; identifying causes of poor performance, benchmarking, setting measures to drive improvement, auditing, gaining commitment & support of executive management.
The speaker detailed what worked, what did not and why, supported by charts of performance measures over the past 7 years for maintenance and capital development. The need to change both practice and culture was described through discussion of topics such as; "organisational governance", "ownership of manufacturing by the operators", "maintenance is part of operations" "front-end-loading to kill off bad projects", "reliability auditing".
The excellent, informative presentation met our goal of providing to our members continuing professional development in the practice of engineering leadership and management.
On Wednesday 11th June electrical branch members were provided a consultants perspective on the state of Australia's large electrical machine industry. Ron Scollay, Principal Engineering Consultant for Newcastle based company Machinemonitor, was the presenter for the evening. He provided the sobering news that there are no manufacturers of large electrical machines in Australia. Machines must be sourced from places such as Europe, China or South Korea. He provided some commentary on the current state of the local maintenance industry and provided his opinions on the direction this industry should take.
The speaker provided an overview of the theoretical and practical science involved in electrical machines. He discussed the failure modes and provided examples of innovative repair techniques. He gave an insight into the logistics issues entailed with large machines. He provided the example a replacement motor that had to be flown into Mt Isa on a hired Russian Antinov. The machine then had to be unloaded onto a truck which was subsequently loaded onto a larger truck to be transported to its final destination.
The talk was followed up by some intensive questioning from the audience demonstrating the interest in an area of engineering that is fundamental to industry.
On Wednesday 13th August electrical branch members were provided an enlightening presentation on Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). Anthony Wong, Citect's Sales Director for Oceania, was the presenter for the evening. He provided a concise history of the process control field in Australia with its evolution from local control (PLC) to supervisory based systems (SCADA) and the evolving optimization layer provided by MES. He relayed how the birthplace of Citect SCADA was the coalfields of the upper hunter where it was developed for a specific mining application - its creators saw the potential and extended it to be able to adapt to the problem at hand.
The speaker provided a number of case studies where Citect's MES offering, Ampla, had been used to optimise plant efficiency in heavy industries such as coal and iron ore production as well as smaller industries like cement production and beverage packaging. He demonstrated the power of downtime analysis to diagnose an under performing plant. He also put into context where MES fits in with packages such as SAP. The talk concluded with some star gazing on where this technology is headed in the future.
Paul Myors, from the Demand Management Section of energy retailer Energy Australia, provided a broad overview of this technically diverse service. He presented some initiatives that are being undertaken in his organisation, pointing out that demand management is still evolving, being far from yet a mature service. Paul defined demand management as any initiative which takes place on the customer side of the meter that modulates network energy flows. There are several distinct but correlated motivations for demand management initiatives: energy demand (and greenhouse) reduction, (peak) power demand (and infrastructure capital) reduction, and energy generation cost reduction (through shifting supply from peaking to non-peaking generators). While many energy efficiency measures are technically negative net cost, there are still significant non-market barriers to their implementation. Consequently, there exist many public policy measures to encourage demand management measures, and these have a significant influence on the demand management market. Paul believes that although the NSW market for compact fluorescent (low power) light bulbs is almost saturated, there is still scope for father reduction in household demand, given a significant proportion of hot water services are electrically powered, and many households still operate old, power hungry appliances that provide services of dubious benefit.
At Energy Australia, the criteria for implementing a demand management measure are quite stringent. The measure must be appropriate to the relevant demand management objectives (energy, peak power, generation cost), of sufficient quantitative scope, cost effective, and sufficiently reliable. The greatest scope for meeting such criteria is presently in the postponement of the construction of transmission infrastructure via the reduction of peak power demands, however the postponement of upstream high voltage transmission network construction is also beginning to be recognised as an additional major benefit. Methods for reducing demand include promoting the use of efficient appliances and other loads, substituting electric hot water services with alternatives, negotiating load shedding and load time-shifting arrangements with customers, and charging customers a greater tariff in peak periods.
The New Generation of Slip Energy Recovery Drives for Large Machines was presented by Mr Chris Swaisland of CSE-Uniserve to the Electrical branch on 8 October. The presentation started with a background of the original drive topology with a simple rectifier, dc link and inverter circuit transforming the slip energy back to the 50Hz input voltage to effect energy recovery. The requirement for the components to be rated to carry full rotor short circuit current was discussed as well as the poor operating power factor of the drive at the bottom of the sub synchronous speed range which detracted from it’s value.
The new generation rotor drives with an active PWM controlled inverter overcome the limitations described above. The energy recovery components – inverter and recovery transformer need only be rated for the recovered power capacity, the active inverter using PWM control permits an enhanced operating power factor and extends the speed range from 80 – 120%.
These enhancements have returned the SER drive to favour and applications, largely mill drives in mineral processing plants and water pumping applications, have adopted this new technology for enhanced process control.
Download: 3 Gorges Project - Flyer