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CEED Project Abstracts 2001-2002

School of Civil & Resource Engineering

Schooll of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering

School of Geography

School of Oil & Gas Engineering

School of Mathametics & Statistics

School of Mechanical Engineering

Centre for Water Research

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Abstracts

Underground Barriers: Literature and Industry Practice Review
Leon Lorenti
School of Civil & Resource Engineering
Halpern Glick Maunsell Pty. Ltd.

The theories and methods employed in the design and construction of underground barriers is an area of active debate. This document is attempting to unify the field of underground barrier design, by presenting current theories and facts associated with the design and construction of underground barriers into a reference document. It is not a basis for future practice, but an attempt at summarising current methods. This document will focus on the area of Fill Retention barriers, as well as the methods employed to conduct Risk Assessment.

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Benchmarking Analysis of Project Schedules for Offshore Oil and Gas Production Platforms
Matthew Waugh
School of Civil & Resource Engineering
Woodside Energy Limited

Benchmarking has been recognised as a method that can be used to identify cost, time, and resource performance gaps. Establishment of high level benchmarks within a sector can set the targets that companies need to achieve to be ‘World Class’. The offshore Oil and Gas industry is often schedule driven with significant economic advantages to be had by companies willing to investigate the drivers behind schedule performance. This report discusses the findings of an independent benchmarking analysis with detailed discussions supplying possible explanations to some of the trends discovered.

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Surveillance and Maintenance of Power Substations Using Robotic Techniques
Livia Dickie
Centre for Intelligent Information Processing Systems
Western Power Corporation

Western Power Corporation have a number of old and remotely located substations that are not equipped with modern communication facilities.  An investigation into the use of mobile robotics to assist in the maintenance and surveillance of these substations has been carried out.  While a solution incorporating a mobile robot was not found to be feasible a stationary prototype able to provide visual, audio and alarm information from within substations has been built and is expected to be trialed in substations in the near future.

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Lifecycle Strategy for 66kV Current and Voltage Transformers in South West Regional Substations
Kaye Lim
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Western Power Corporation

This paper involves an investigation into Western Power Corporation’s 66kV current transformers (CTs) and voltage transformers (VTs) in the South West 66kV regional substations.  The purpose of performing the investigation is to create a lifecycle strategy for the CTs and VTs.  The lifecycle strategy will comply with Western Power’s Asset Management procedures and will outline a systematic process for the extension of the useful life of the transformers and/or the replacement of the plant and its continual life.  A review of the asset replacement schedules, network development plans and transformer condition are discussed in this paper in order to develop the strategy.

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Reliability Modelling and Evaluation of WPC’s Distribution Networks
Im Phin Soo
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Western Power Corporation

Western Power Corporation (WPC) has set targets to increase reliability performance of its overall network over the next three years.  Since the distribution network accounts for over 50% of WPC’s corporate outage count and reliability performance measurements, there is a need to apply Reliability Assessment Planning (RAP) on the distribution network.  This paper proposes the reliability model and techniques for possible use by WPC in performing RAP.  Studies were also conducted on WPC’s current distribution fault collection system in order to establish the data requirements of performing RAP. 

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Knowledge Management
Nicholas Yau
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Honeywell

Knowledge Management is becoming an integral technique for the management of any corporation wishing to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors.  Knowledge Management is the set of management activities that have been developed for the specific purpose of growing, extracting, leveraging and valuing the knowledge assets of the organization for the purpose of maximizing shareholder value.  This paper is concerned with the process and results of an examination into Honeywell’s current Knowledge Management practices and the recommendation of a solution to improve one aspect of their Knowledge Management practices.  This project examined a software package that would improve the facilitation and sharing of project execution documentation that was currently stored in a web page that has limited functionality.

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An Evaluation of the Water Resource Recovery Catchment Approach to Managing Secondary Water Salinisation in South-Western Australia
Jessica Lothian
Department of Georgraphy
Water and Rivers Commission

The salinisation of water resources in the south-west of Western Australia is a critical issue which affects the environmental, economic and social health of the region. The main goal of the Water Resource Recovery Catchment (WRRC) approach is to maintain or restore the salinity concentrations in five key catchments of South-western Australia to potable levels, measured at the current or potential damsite. This paper evaluates the effectiveness, efficiency and adequacy of the WRRC approach, and the strategies adopted to achieve the desired improvements, both in terms of process and physical outcomes.

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Together but Separate: The Delivery of Staff Housing in Remote Aboriginal Communities
Sarah Prout
Department of Georgraphy
Arup

Housing for staff in remote Aboriginal communities is a topic that raises considerable debate amongst those affected by it. Of particular importance in these debates are the issues of standards and siting of staff housing. This topic of research is highly political in nature as it strikes at the heart of Australia’s effort towards reconciliation. The two key issues of standards and siting and their importance in the housing delivery process are discussed as well as a brief discussion of the need for change to these processes.

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Development of a Risk-Based Inspection & Monitoring Program for Flexible Flowlines. Case Study: Wanaea Cossack
Alex Chin
Centre for Oil & Gas Engineering
Core Subsea Group, Woodside Energy Ltd

Ensuring the integrity of a flexible flowline over the life of an oil field requires a systematic approach.  Shell Expro U.K. created an Engineering Reference Document, which identifies a procedure to determine an Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) program for flexible flowlines.  This paper applies this systematic risk based approach to the flexible flowlines in the Wanaea Cossack field operated by Woodside Energy Ltd.  The recommended integrity management strategy can then be revised to reflect practical considerations while maintaining operator confidence in the integrity of the flexible flowlines.

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Steady State Process Simulation Software and the Modelling of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Facilities
Teck Hua Goh
School of Mechanical Engineering
Centre for Oil and Gas Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd.
 
PRO/II is utilized by Woodside for the prediction of plant operations under various working conditions, for optimization of production as well as to aid in justifying large investments.  However, PRO/II’s apparent lack of stability in enabling quick simulation of rigorous models of LNG facilities has undermined the main reason for using a commercial steady state process simulator in these tasks; which is to reduce the amount of time engineers spend in carrying out these tedious and complicated mass and energy calculations.  This paper presents the results from a market survey of existing commercial steady state process simulators and the comparison of the capabilities of the top ranked process simulator from the market survey, HYSYS, against PRO/II.

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Self Burial of the Goodwyn Interfield Pipeline
Andrew Weatherald
Centre for Oil and Gas Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd

The Goodwyn Interfield Pipeline was laid between the Goodwyn and North Rankin platforms in 1993 and expected to self bury through interaction between pipeline, seabed and current flows.  Nine years later and the pipeline has experienced significant burial, however some sections remain exposed.  The extent of this study was to examine the process of self-burial on the pipeline and determine the reasons behind the varying behaviour along its length.

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Upscaling of Reservoir Permeability
Steven Richardson
Department of Maths and Statistics
Woodside Energy Ltd
 
In order to predict the flow properties of oil in a petroleum reservoir, simulations are performed on reservoir permeability data.  A major source of error in these simulations is due to the limited capacity of even the most powerful simulators to deal with the large amount of data gathered from the reservoir.  Current methods of reducing the quantity of data result in significant loss of information.  This paper presents an efficient, and accurate method to reduce the quantity of the reservoir permeability data, whilst minimizing the loss of information contained in the data.  This process of data reduction is termed upscaling.

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Investigation of New Centrifugal Separation Technology
Shawn Fernando
School of Mechanical Engineering
Environmental Separation Technologies

This paper describes the development of a mathematical model for a prototype centrifugal separator manufactured by Environmental Separation Technologies.  Fluent and Excel programs were used to assist the modelling process.  Experiments were conducted to assess the effect of changes in flow rate, volume fraction and particle type.  Analysis of the experimental results shows a strong correlation to the model thus permitting its use for optimisation of future prototypes.

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The Effect of Agitation on the Extraction of Nickel and Cobalt on High Pressure Acid Leach Autoclaves
Sara Haase
School of Mechanical Engineering
Anaconda Nickel

The competitive nature of the minerals processing industry demands that the process be continually updated and optimized.  The Anaconda Nickel processing plant located at Murrin Murrin utilises the Sherritt Process to convert lateritic ore to LME standard metal.  The first stage of this process is the pressure acid leaching circuit, which leaches the ore using hot concentrated sulphuric acid in large pressure autoclaves to liberate nickel and cobalt as soluble sulphate salts.  The effect of the agitation on the extraction rates of nickel and cobalt was investigated using a batch autoclave at varying agitation rates, whilst keeping all other variables constant.  The results show that by increasing the rate of agitation the extraction of nickel and cobalt increases by 6% for Nickel and 4% for Cobalt.  The conclusion of this project is that further testwork be conducted on a larger scale on a continuous basis.  Alternatively a faster agitation rate can be trialled in the first compartment of one of the plant autoclaves and the extraction rates monitored.

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Modelling a Rock Crushing Device
Ryan Heng
School of Mechanical Engineering
Rio Tinto Technical Services

Product size distribution and wear of crushing surfaces are key performance characteristics of comminution equipment.  This paper describes the procedure of modelling the MMD 625 Mineral Sizer, based on the geometric characteristics of the machine.  Calculations for determining the screening performance, particle movement and breakage products are herein described.  Finally the results of the model are compared with measured data, and show a good correlation, particularly for the size distribution.

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Performance of Multi-combination Vehicles on Gradients
Joshua Hii
School of Mechanical Engineering
Main Roads Western Australia

As part of the updating process of their route assessment guidelines for multi-combination vehicles, Main Roads Western Australia sought a method of estimating the performance of such vehicles when travelling up roads with steep gradients.  This need saw the creation of a computer application developed in Microsoft Excel, which uses information pertaining to the vehicle and road characteristics to calculate the acceleration and speed of the vehicle at set distance intervals.  This paper discusses the need for this project, the development of the model and the results of verification through vehicle testing.

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The Effects of Mercury in Petroleum: A Case Study
Nigel Lengkeek
School of Mechanical Engineering
BP Refinery (Kwinana) Pty. Ltd.

For many years mercury has been a prominent, but easily solved issue in petroleum gas, processing and liquefaction plants.  A number of incidences involving mercury at the BP Refinery (Kwinana) led to this investigation into the effects of mercury, within the realm of oil processing plants.  The project is aimed to address not only the sources and subsequent problems associated with mercury, but to also critically assess all possible solutions to the mercury issue.  The toxic effects of mercury are well known and beyond addressing this issue are the problems mercury can cause with respect to corrosion and possible plant failures.  The source and movement of mercury within the refinery are invaluable pieces of knowledge in determining where and how effective solutions need to be applied.  A wide range of solutions are applicable, including metallurgical,and process and planning solution.   All were addressed within this project.

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Manufacture and Characterisation of Synthetic Core Samples for Capillary Pressure Measurements
Yvette Manolas
School of Mechanical Engineering
Woodside Energy Pty Ltd

In the Oil and Gas industry, reservoir capillary behaviour is usually assessed from laboratory based core measurements.  However, capillary effects are not properly understood and most models are based on gross simplifications.  If capillary measurements were conducted on synthetic samples with consistent properties, a more accurate understanding of capillary pressure could be obtained.  This paper investigates the manufacture of synthetic core samples and establishes a technique for fabricating reproducible and consistent samples.  Sample characteristics (porosity, permeability and wettability) have also been assessed.  Apparatus to be used in future capillary pressure tests has been designed and constructed.

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Generating Mechanisms of Particulate Emissions in Gasoline Direct Injection Engines
Ben Martin
School of Mechanical Engineering
Orbital Engine Company

Particulate matter in the air has become the focus of increased attention due to the concern of potential environmental and health affects.  Particulate matter is all substances (aside from unbound water) which under normal circumstances are present in exhaust gases in a solid (ash, carbon) or liquid state (Bosch 1990).  Rich fuel combustion is the underlying generating mechanism of particulate emissions.  There are three fundamental stages in producing particulate emissions: nucleation, growth and oxidation.  Different engine parameters have different effects on each of these stages.  This paper discusses each stage of the generation of particulate emissions with reference to the engine parameters: Fuel injection timing and ignition timing, with their influence on each stage.

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Energy Audit of the Karratha Onshore Gas Plant
Deanne Renting
School of Mechanical Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd

Exergy is a thermodynamic concept that allows the determination of the “usefulness” of energy.  The thermodynamic efficiency of the Karratha LNG plant is determined using exergy analysis.  The overall exergetic efficiency of the plant is approximately 48%, which is comparable to other natural gas liquefaction processes.  This paper defines the exergy concept and its application to an LNG plant.  The results of this exergy analysis are presented, and the key unit operations contributing to the exergy loss are examined.

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Analysis, Design and Testing of a Range of Pipe Clamps
Gary Rolston
School of Mechanical Engineering
Binder Engineering

Piping supports are the integral links for the specification of a suspended piping system.  Binder Engineering required the industrial three-bolt pipe clamp ranges redesigned and respecified for inclusion into their piping supports catalogue.  Previous specification of the three-bolt style pipe clamp exhibits load capacities that are inappropriate for modern industrial applications.  This paper addresses the issues of design capacity specification, variation in material properties for clamp manufacture, modelling of the three-bolt pipe clamp for manual calculations, finite element analysis, and some issues surrounding the components in the pipe clamp assembly.  The developed range addressed these issues, and testing is expected to confirm the outcomes of the analysis.

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Evaluating the Impact of Land Salinisation on Peak Flows in the Blackwood River Catchment
Mary-ann Berti
Department of Environmental Engineering
Water and Rivers Commission

This paper outlines the methodology behind the modelling of the Blackwood River Catchment using the Large Scale Catchment Model (Viney and Sivapalan 2000).  The model was run from the year 1975 to 2000, in order to evaluate the hydrological water balance within the Catchment.  The model was then used in a predictive capacity to assess the changes in the catchment up to the year 2050. Results of both modelling exercises are presented and discussed. Finally, the methodology behind the future incorporation of these  results into the URBS-CM runoff routing model is outlined.

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Modelling the Subsurface Migration of Transformer Oil
Kerry Daubermann
Dept of Environmental Engineering
Western Power Corporation

Transformers at Western Power substations use oil in their operation.  However, oil leaks from these pieces of electrical equipment are inevitable.  The purpose of this research is to investigate the subsurface movement of transformer oil at Western Power Substations and to determine and validate a Risk Assessment model that may be applied to other sites.  This is achieved by examining the migration of a particular spill at Cottesloe Substation by using site specific data and a detailed reconstruction of subsurface heterogeneity.  Oil spill simulations are then conducted using a multiphase numerical model to determine the average behaviour of various spill scenarios.  Finally, model results are compared with field data concerning the actual extent of oil contamination.

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Groundwater Nitrate Removal Using a Denitrification Wall
Sabina Fahrner
Department of Environmental Engineering
Water Corporation

This study addressed the use of microbially mediated denitrification to reduce nitrate to gaseous nitrogen.  A field scale denitrification wall (170m long, 1.5m deep and 1.5m wide) was constructed to intercept a groundwater nitrate plume from a dairy feedlot.  Groundwater levels and samples for nutrient analyses were taken monthly and were interpreted to determine the suitability of the wall for remediation of nitrate in groundwater.  Column experiments were conducted in the laboratory to confirm nitrate reduction observed in the field.  Reductions in nitrate observed at the field site (63%) and in the columns (48%) indicate that the denitrification wall, using sawdust as a carbon source, was successful.

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Evaluating Impacts of Increased Flood Risk Due to Land Salinisation in the Blackwood River Catchment
Jacqueline Schöpf
Department of Environmental Engineering
Water and Rivers Commission

Flood damage assessment is an important task undertaken in many regions of the World.  As yet, there is no universal method used to evaluate floods.  The Rapid Appraisal Method (NRE 2000) has been used in this study to assess a flood that occurred in January 1982 in the Blackwood River catchment in Western Australia.  This flood caused serious inundation of the town of Nannup.  Due to agricultural clearing and increasing land salinisation, a potential consequence is an increased risk of flooding.  The aim is provide a basis for a future model that will be rapid, simple and robust for assessing future floods and providing support and justification for floodplain management options through a cost benefit analysis framework.

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