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Power system modelling analysis: An engineering internship at Fortescue Metals Group

Mattingley, Jessica (2014) Power system modelling analysis: An engineering internship at Fortescue Metals Group. Internship Report, Murdoch University.



To fulfil the requirements of the Bachelor of Engineering at Murdoch University, students are required to undertake either a research project or internship project. This final year thesis project was carried out during an internship placement at Fortescue Metals Group (“Fortescue”). The project involved the modelling and analysis of a new power system at one of Fortescue’s mine sites in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Power systems are modelled for the purpose of analysing system safety, reliability and efficiency. The process that engineers take to ensure power systems have these qualities in the design phase is greatly simplified by modelling. The modelling is carried out using specialised power system analysis tools in order to simulate the steady-state and transient operating conditions that system components are likely to be subjected to.

The power system modelling at Fortescue was carried out in the preferred modelling software, PowerFactory by DIgSILENT. The studies that were undertaken for analysis were Load Flow, Short-Circuit and Motor-Starting Studies, with an additional task of assessing the coordination of protective devices. The Load Flow study was carried out for the normal operation of the system, where the system is running at maximum demand. The Short-Circuit study scenarios included the maximum and minimum prospective fault currents during three-phase short-circuits and single-phase to ground short-circuits. The Motor-Starting studies were carried out on the maximum motor loads connected to each substation. The methodology and techniques used to conduct these studies are outlined in the report.

The results indicated that the system components were adequately rated in order to safely and reliably supply power to the various loads. Equipment ratings were not exceeded in normal operation of the system, or throughout any of the short-circuit fault scenarios. The studies illustrated that motors could successfully start-up without damaging equipment due to inrush currents, and the protection settings were all adequately coordinated. The detailed analysis of these results is carried out throughout this internship report.

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