The remote North West region of Western Australia is a tough land, a land often parched by fierce, saturating heat. Cyclones create havoc, too. In 2005, five cyclones ripped through the region.
It is not an easy environment in which to establish new power stations, but Energy Developments is tackling the challenge head-on in the remote West Kimberley region.
Cummins Power Generation is involved too, with engine reliability and control system performance proving decisive factors in the selection of its generator sets for the remote, harsh environment.
The $210m West Kimberley Power Project sees the start-up of five new power stations in the towns of Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and Looma in the first half of 2007. Energy Developments is providing the electricity under contract to Horizon Power.
Cummins has supplied 11 diesel generator sets for the project. The five power stations, which also include gas-fired generators, initially have a generating capacity of 61MW growing to 92 MW over 20 years.
Cummins has supplied gensets to Energy Developments, an Australian company involved in an international portfolio of projects with a focus on coal mine methane, landfill gas and remote area power generation.
The Cummins C200D5 gensets are installed at Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing and Looma and each has a prime power rating of 185 kVA. They are powered by Cummins’ long established 8.3-litre C-series engine.
According to Energy Developments, it is taking advantage of Cummins engine reliability which is a critical factor for remote area power generation. The reliability and quality of power supply is stipulated under a stringent contractual agreement with Horizon Power.
Cummins had to prove that it’s PowerCommand digital control system for the gensets would provide a level of stability in controlling system frequency and voltage.
According to Energy Developments, it is important for the power stations to run reliably without any major intervention by its staff. In fact, it was controlling all five power stations from its central control room in Broome, the only site that is permanently manned.
The gensets are controlled by local SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) units at each site, linked to the Broome control centre.
According to Cummins, each genset is packaged as an individual portable power station. The gensets can be moved between sites and integrated as plug and play modules without modification.
The gensets operate individually or as a group through their on-board paralleling and management systems. Cooling is provided by remote-mounted CBM radiators which reduce the parasitic loads and maximise fuel efficiency.