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Cummins’ automated standby power system for QAL

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article image Cummins’ automated standby power system

When Queensland Alumina Ltd (QAL) asked four companies to propose a solution to standby power problems at its Gladstone refinery, a large alumina refinery in the world, Cummins committed to a forward-thinking turn-key solution.

After inspecting the Angaston power station designed and built by Cummins Power Generation in the Barossa Valley near Adelaide, QAL selected Cummins Brisbane for the Gladstone project.

Nine Cummins Power Generation diesel generator sets, each rated at 1675 kVA, and a Cummins DMC300 digital master control system are at the heart of the refinery’s new fully-automated standby power system which was commissioned in late 2006.

QAL’s previous standby system needed updating. The Gladstone refinery has an alumina production capacity of around 3.95m tonnes per annum. Production of alumina is the intermediate stage between mining bauxite ore and producing the metal aluminium.

According to Cummins, QAL’s key criteria for the new standby power station were that it had to provide good reliability and be fully. Cummins had to provide a total system solution – design, manufacture, installation and commissioning.

This included site excavation, civil works, design and construction of the acoustically-rated diesel generator powerhouse facility. Then came the supply and installation of the gensets, exhaust system, step-up transformers, earth transformer, high voltage switchboard, DC power supplies, DMC300 and an 8,000 litre diesel fuel tank with reticulation system.

The Cummins DMC300 digital master control system is a key feature for QAL.

QAL is also looking at expanding the role of the new generator system.

According to QAL, while it started off looking for a basic standby power system, the capabilities of the Cummins generators and master control system have encouraged QAL to investigate more complex scenarios such as peak shaving during periods of high bulk energy costs.

The demanding schedule required by QAL concentrated building and installation activities into a five-month window, leading up to operational completion. QAL’s essential services operators are impressed with the new generators.

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