Koodaideri mine installs 39 new transformers

Oct 31, 2019
Posted by Patrick Haddad

The Koodaideri iron ore mining operation in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia has installed 39 new transformers as part of a major investment in the mine.

After full approval in 2018 of a $2.6 billion investment in state-of-the-art greenfields mining and associated infrastructure, the remote site required the construction of 166 km of railway, an airport, a camp, and road access, just to support its operation, for all intents and purposes a village of 600 people.

The site requires a substantial amount of power to be delivered, requiring 39 newly-constructed digital transformers.

The new digital transformers are able to access data via a cloud-based platform in order to provide mine operators with an unprecedented and real-time view of the assets supplying its site. This level of transparency and control helps operators significantly reduce costly, unplanned downtime and increase productivity while minimizing stress from overloading.

While these types of technologies are still very much the purview of the ‘Mine of the Future,’ Siemens CEO Beatrix Natter offers that digitalization will become a “mandatory element of the functionality customers expect” from products.

The transformers will also no longer use the traditional, and highly flammable, transformer oils.

Instead, the Koodaideri project has specified the use of MIDEL 7131 — a biodegradable, synthetic ester transformer fluid which is fire-safe up to 316˚C — a vast improvement on mineral oil’s fire point of 170˚C. Consequently, the mine’s transformers require a smaller footprint, don’t require firewalls, and allow simplified bunding. They also provide the added bonus of being environmentally friendly.

Last year the mine was also nominated for a Government of Western Australia Safety Award for the implementation of condition monitoring on its 1100 strong fleet of ageing switchgear, significantly improving the safety and reliability of its on-site distribution power lines.

Source: T&D World

Photo (for illustrative purposes): Mining iron ore / Bishnu Sarangi / Pixabay / Free for commercial use


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