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Power system modelling and analysis of Christmas Creek mine site

Sweetman, Nicholas (2013) Power system modelling and analysis of Christmas Creek mine site. Internship Report, Murdoch University.



This final year thesis was written with reference to the intern’s work placement at Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) between January and April, 2013. The primary focus of the placement was to build a power system model of Christmas Creek mine site and analyse load flow and short circuit scenarios. As well as the main task, a number of small projects or tasks were sought and completed for the purpose of gaining experience in the day-to-day tasks of an electrical engineer.

The electrical system was studied through the use of a computerised system modelling software package to evaluate the existing electrical network from a reliability and safety point of view. The model was based on available information and data collected through internal document control and the electrical server within FMG’s intranet. All cables and switchgear ratings that were available were assessed during load flow and short circuit simulations to determine the suitability of existing equipment and network topology.

The load flow studies suggest that under the maximum demand operation scenario, 51.14 megawatts is expected with 27 generator units running. Load flow analysis indicates numerous voltages at busbars are below 5% of nominal rating and that all major equipment is loaded below their rated capacity.

Evaluation of the short circuit studies suggests that some fault levels throughout the mine site are close to the equipment ratings and further investigation will be required to determine any appropriate action to be taken. During one scenario a small number of switchgear was identified as experiencing short circuit currents exceeding their design rating during the maximum fault calculation.

Based on results from the model, it is recommended to verify all component data, replace all assumptions made with new information where available and to model all loads separately in order to improve accuracy and instil confidence in the model.

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