Major service in main power house
At Mawson the Main Power House (MPH) uses a combination of 4 Caterpillar 3306 engines each with a 125kva generator together with wind power to produce electricity and heat from the running engines helps to maintain the heating of the site services. In suitable conditions one generator runs in conjunction with the wind turbines reducing fuel consumption by up to 30%.
Last Monday the MPH was shut down. The Emergency Power House (EPH) Caterpillar 3412 motor with a 500kva generator was started and ran the station independently until midday Thursday.
While the EPH was running the mechanical, plumbing and electrical sections worked together to complete a 20,000 hr service on Engine Number 3 in the MPH.
The service involved a major overhaul, replacing the water pump, coolant, radiator hoses, engine oil and filter, both primary and secondary fuel filters, rear main oil seal, valve lash adjustment, changing out the turbo (this involves changing a cartridge), replacing the bearing on the generator and a general check over.
Once the generator was removed it was discovered that the flywheel housing was leaking oil. This was removed and a new gasket fitted. The fly wheel housing is connected to the sump gasket which even with considerable care was damaged. It was decided to replace the sump gasket as well to ensure all attempts were made to reduce possible oil leaks and minimise oil consumption.
To improve emissions in the MPH a new breather system was fitted on each of the engines.