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CEED Project Abstracts 2000-2001

School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering

School of Oil & Gas Engineering

School of Mechanical Engineering


Life Cycle Strategy for Saturated Reactors
Fiona Fong
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Western Power

Saturated Reactors form an integral part of Western Power’s ability to control reactive power. Historical tests indicate that these SRs have undergone extensive accelerated ageing, particularly in its insulation. Due to the high thermal temperatures experienced by the SRs, degradation of the paper insulation has significantly reduced the life expectancy of the SR. imminent failure of one SR unit could occur at any time. The outage of a single SR could affect the amount of power that would be transmitted to Kalgoorlie over the 220kV interconnection and would severely restrict the amount of power Independent Power Producers (IPPs) could export onto the Western Power network in Kalgoorlie. Hence, the development of a life cycle strategy to combat this problem, through the application of theoretical models and investigations, is discussed.


Remote Surveillance Robot
Ze Kwan Ng
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, CIIPS
Western Power Corporation

Substation maintenance and inspection play a highly important role in preventative maintenance and has introduced a new wave of surveillance robots. These robotic systems will modify the usual activities of personnel from regular onsite maintenance and inspection to a more passive remote monitoring. To assure complete reliability, both system architecture and interface design must be properly addressed.


Choice and Integration of Nitrogen Rejection Units at Karratha Processing Plant
Marieke Owenell
Centre for Oil & Gas Engineering
NorthWest Shelf Onshore Development Team, Woodside Energy Ltd.

The aim of this study is to review technology for removing nitrogen from natural gas and to consider the implications of this technology on plant facilities and product streams at Karratha


An Investigation into LNG Scrub Column Thermodynamics at the NWS Onshore Gas Plant
Jason Page
Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
The Centre for Oil & Gas Engineering UWA
Woodside Energy Ltd.

Woodside Energy Ltd. uses PRO/IITM simulation software to model the LNG process at the NWS Onshore Gas Plant. However, it has been observed for some time that the predictions generated around the LNG Scrub Columns do not match actual operation very well, which makes it difficult to forecast and optimise future conditions. This paper presents a number of techniques used to determine the source of the observed discrepancies, and discusses the methods used to overcome the model inaccuracies, with particular emphasis on thermodynamics.


Longitudinal Stress Measurement of Continuously Welded Rail by the Acoustoelastic Effect
Aaron James
Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Rail Integrity Pty. Ltd. Systems

This paper is concerned with the application of a technique of measuring the longitudinal stress and hence stress-free-temperature of operational continuously welded rail using the acoustoelastic effect.  The acoustoelastic effect defines the elastic constants to be linearly dependent on strain, which is determined by precise measurement of the velocity of a propagating elastic wave.  Critical to the application of the technique is quantifying the effect of temperature, texture, angle and plastic deformation.  From the measurement of the stress-free-temperature the risk of failure from buckling or fracture can be quantified for the track in operation.
Anthony Lamb
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Orbital Engine Company
Investigation of Algorithmic Approaches to Engine Calibration
This paper outlines an investigation into statistically based methods for the calibration of air-assisted, direct-injection, spark ignition engines.   A background outlining the need for, and aims of the study is presented, followed by a discussion of the experimental work undertaken.  Two approaches are outlined: the development of a response surface map and subsequent numerical optimisation; and a sequential simplex optimisation.  The results of the two approaches are discussed.


Risk and Consequence to Subsea Equipment by Trawling Gear
Paul La Roche
Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Centre for Oil & Gas
Woodside Energy Ltd

The previously held assumption that the levels of trawl fishing on the Northwest Shelf are minimal has been proven to be somewhat untrue. In light of the fact that there has already been one incident involving trawl gear damage to Woodside assets, the intent with the study was to provide documentation in support of the subsea protection philosophy.


Used Tyres as a Source of Energy
Andrew Macky
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Southern Rubber Pty. Ltd.

As a by-product of Southern Rubber’s tyre recycling process, a standard plant is expected to produce near 1500 kg/h of waste tyre that can not be recycled.  It would be beneficial if the high calorific value of the waste tyre could be used to generate electricity.  Three main processes were considered, Direct Combustion to produce steam, Pyrolysis to produce a diesel-like oil, and Gasification to produce a fuel gas.  Research was carried out to determine the potential of the processes and the characteristics of the products.  It was found that research had been done on all three process and that all where technically feasible.  Commercial experience with tyres to date mainly involves direct combustion, with considerable experience with gasification of other organic-based waste.  It appears that there has been little commercial success with pyrolysis.  1500 kg/h is near the lower end of industrial capacities for the three processes.  Increased efficiency and lower specific costs are possible at higher capacities.  Environmental impact of direct combustion is similar to the use of fossil fuels, with lower emissions from pyrolysis and gasification.  Due to the available experience, direct combustion appears to be the most suitable process for Southern Rubber.


Evaluating Long Term Durability of Corrugated Metal Pipe
Anna McLean
Department of Mechanical Engineering, UWA
Ingal Civil Products

While many studies on corrugated metal pipe durability have been conducted overseas, particularly in the United States, there is limited data available for Australian conditions.  This paper aims to outline the methods used for collecting data on pipe durability in the south west of Western Australia.  Further, analysis of the data to produce results that indicate the effects of various environmental conditions on the durability of both steel and aluminium road culverts shall be presented.


Gaseous Fuel Direct Injection
Ross McNab
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Orbital Engine Company Pty. Ltd.

The Orbital Combustion Process (OCP) uses an ‘air injector’ to inject a mixture of air and fuel directly into the combustion chamber of an internal-combustion engine.  Given that the air injector already has the ability to direct-inject a gaseous mixture, it may be possible use this component to direct-inject gaseous fuels (eg. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)).  This paper discusses some of the technical constraints on such a system and focuses on examining the performance of the OCP air injector as a gaseous fuel-metering device.


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