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Cummins’ standby power system for Millennium Arts Project

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article image Cummins fully integrated central power system

Queensland’s new cultural masterpiece, the $277m Millennium Arts Project at the Cultural Centre on Brisbane’s South Bank, is nearing completion, a project that will provide a world-class art museum and library. 

Cummins Brisbane power generation team has played a key role in the landmark project, one of the largest arts infrastructure projects undertaken in Australia.

Developing the new standby power system for the Cultural Centre called on the significant resources of Cummins and a close working relationship with building contractor Bovis Lend Lease to arrive at the ideal solution.

The Millennium Arts Project includes construction of the new Queensland Gallery of Modern Art along with the redevelopment of the State Library of Queensland and a new entrance and foyer for the Queensland Museum.

The new gallery and refurbished library will be open to the public in late 2006. The gallery will be a large art museum in Australia solely dedicated to modern and contemporary art, while the redeveloped library will expand from its original 14,000 sq m to 28,000 sq m.

Cummins Brisbane was selected by Bovis Lend Lease for the project for a number of reasons, above all its ability to provide a total system solution.

This included:

  • Providing temporary power to all site facilities during construction
  • Dismantling and removal of the old standby power system
  • Design and installation of a new fully integrated central power system
Cummins guaranteed no loss of power at any time. This was critical, particularly for the existing Queensland Art Gallery which requires precise temperature control to protect the historical collections.

Cummins Brisbane was involved in the project as early as 2001 when preliminary design and budgetary discussions were held with consulting engineers working for the Queensland Government.

The original plan, as laid out in the tender document, was to retain the existing three gensets at the Queensland Cultural Centre, archaic 30-year-old Daihatsu units, and supplement them with one new genset.

But by outlaying a further $800,000, it was decided that the old gensets could be removed and a new emergency power system installed. This would provide greater capacity and have an efficient life of at least 25 years. The proposal was put to the Queensland Government and approved.

The fully integrated system utilises three Cummins Power Generation custom-built medium-voltage generator sets and PowerCommand digital parallelling equipment. A Cummins MC300 digital master control system is used for the 1675 kVA gensets which are powered by Cummins 50-litre KTA50G8 engines. Cooling for the engines is provided by the air conditioning chillers mounted on the roof.

Cummins also supplied the Network Control System, a power switching control system that allows individual loads to be turned on and off in the various buildings throughout the site. This ensures generator load is maintained with the capability of the generator system.

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