Friday, 7 March 2008

Hopetoun, WA

Edit: sorry about the broken links! Picasa has played up on me! I'll try to fix them soon...

I've travelled to Hopetoun 3 times now. Each time was for business - installing, re-installing, and maintaining part of the Hopetoun Wind Diesel project. I've gathered a lot of photos and stories, so I thought I'd share some of them.

The first visit was September-October 2004. Our objective was to upgrade the existing Power Station with an Enercon E40 Wind Turbine, two new "Low Load Diesels", and our high penetration control system.

The Enercon E40

is an inverter-connected variable speed drive machine, which means that it responds very nicely to our setpoint requirements - essential when aiming for high penetration.

The Low Load Diesels

are capable of running at low loads (0% - 40% load) for extended periods of time without glazing or damage. The control system controls setpoints, trends, alarms, remote monitoring, and all the usual stuff, to achieve wind penetration figures quite often up to 80% - 90%. (ie. 80% if the electrical load of the station is being generated from wind energy).

The intention was always to move the power station eventually, as the old power station was in the middle of town and too noisy for a growing place. The second visit in March 2007 saw a new power station with 8 Low Load Diesels (2 from the old power station), a second Enercon E40, and two 65,000L fuel tanks! The total capacity of diesel and wind is now about 3.7MW.

The third tip later in 2007 saw an upgrade to the control system, to provide more features requested by the customer, and more efficient operation. Here are some photo's we took during this third trip:

(left) Four of the six town feeders.

(right) The two wind turbines, as viewed from the power station. The small structure in the foreground is the water tank. The power station is self sufficient for water.

(left) Fill-er-up!

(right) Seven Low Load diesels all in a row, out to the garden they started to go...

And that's some quick info on the Hopetoun power station. I enjoyed the experience of the projects from design, through to implementation, and maintenance. We continually monitor the project remotely, however the power station is owned by Verve Energy, who provide the power to Horizon Power. Our main support contract is now over, which means we now only provide the warranty.

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