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Northern Territory stream flowdetector (SFD) project

Moss, Charlotte (2013) Northern Territory stream flowdetector (SFD) project. Internship Report, Murdoch University.

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Derailment caused by flooding has been an issue in the Northern Territory. Stream flow detectors (SFDs) and the associated equipment are designed, supplied, installed and commissioned across six river locations in order to reduce the risk of derailment for trains owned and operated by Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA). This document details the full life cycle of the Northern Territory Stream Flow Detector Project (SFD). This project is essentially a warning system that provides alarm to train control as well as an indication to the train drivers when the river reaches a certain level.

This report describes the process of the engineering design for each major component within the system and identifies the main factors that had a large influence in the design of the project. This included the clients‟ requirements, poor access to sites and availability of the equipment. For example, these factors particularly had a large influence in the design of the solar panel masts; the difficulty was caused by the clients’ requirement for the solar panels to be raised off the ground floor. The heavy weight of solar panels and poor site access required a unique solar panel mast design. The engineering design section also details the location case (LOC) design, power calculations, indicator mast design, Miri telemetry radio design, SEAR II design and the electrical connections design.

Subsequently, this report further describes the process of the procurement and fabrication. More distinctly, the focuses on the methods of obtaining and fabricating materials that hold short lead times and the processes that are implemented to ensure Australian standards are met. This includes using the correct wire sizes for the application, as well as the correct colours and fittings, etc. Fabrication was performed by certified rail electricians.

The report also describes the Construction and Installation stage which details in the development of site preparation to meet the clients’ requirements. This phase was also performed by a construction team specific to the rail. Outcomes of construction and installation achieved site locations that are complete to test. However, a few minor installation issues are identified in this report; this includes the positioning of the LOC’s and indicators.

The Testing & Commissioning section details the procedures that are necessary to provide verification that the SFD system is working correctly. Results from Testing & Commissioning show that the Earth resistance values do not meet the clients’ requirements of 5 ohms due to sandy site locations. However, all sites were verified as fully functional and operational. Most importantly, all sites were commissioned and approved by the client. A discussion of maintenance and upgrades is also provided. An evaluation of the SFD project life cycle identifies that the project is proven to be reliable, maintainable and fully operational. Overall, this document displays the development and successful completion of the project.

Publication Type: Internship Report (Bachelor of Engineering)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
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