Power generation

The main power house at Casey
The main power house at Casey (Photo: AAD)
The main power house 125kW generatorsEmergency power house at Casey Caterpillar 3412 generators drive Stamford 480 kW alternatorsElectrician getting ready to switch from the EPH to the MPH

Power is generated at each of Australia's stations in the main power house (MPH) using diesel powered generators. There is also an emergency power house (EPH) as a backup and in case of major power failure.

In the MPH, the generator sets produce both electricity and heat. The waste heat generated by the engine cooling system is captured and used to heat the stations. This process is known as cogeneration. The use of waste heat in this way results in a saving of up to 50% of the station power requirements.

The cogeneration system normally provides most of the station heating requirements during the summer months, and a substantial amount during the winter months.

At Casey, Davis and Mawson, the MPH is powered by 4 Caterpillar 3306, turbo-charged generator sets, each of 125 kW capacity. All are fitted with Stamford alternators. Depending on the energy requirements, up to 3 of these generators run at any one time. The Mawson power supply is also boosted with wind powered turbines which can supply up to 95% of the station's power requirements in times of high winds.

As the station on Macquarie Island is much smaller, power is generated by just two of these Caterpillar generators.  EPH power supplies vary from station to station. At Casey, the EPH is equipped with 2 Caterpillar 3412 turbo-charged diesel generators, each of 385 kW capacity.

At Davis, the EPH houses 2 Caterpillar 3306 turbo-charged diesel generators, each of 125 kW capacity, as in the MPH.

The EPH at Mawson is equipped with 1 Caterpillar V12 turbo-charged generator with a capacity of 384 kW.

Macquarie Island on the other hand, has 2 Caterpillar D333C, normally aspirated diesel generators, each of 60 kW capacity. Both are required to operate the station.

All the EPH generators at every station are fitted with Stamford alternators.