Power is generated at each of Australia’s stations using diesel powered generators. These are housed in the main power house (MPH). There is also an emergency power house (EPH) at each station. This is used as a backup and in case of major power failure.
The generator sets in the MPH produce 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. Using the waste heat in this way saves up to 50% of the station power requirements.
The cogeneration system normally provides most of the stations' heating during the summer months, and a large amount during the winter months.
At Casey, Davis and Mawson, the MPH is powered by 4 Caterpillar 3306, turbocharged 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.
Macquarie Island is much smaller, so power is generated by just two of these Caterpillar generators, fitted with 160 kW generators. Most of the time, one engine can supply enough power for the station.
EPH power supplies vary from station to station. At Casey, the EPH has two Caterpillar 3412 turbocharged diesel generators, each of 385 kW capacity. At Davis, the EPH has two Caterpillar 3306 turbocharged diesel generators, each of 125 kW capacity, as in the MPH. The EPH at Mawson has one Caterpillar V12 turbocharged generator with a capacity of 384 kW. The EPH at Macquarie Island has two 3306 Caterpillar motors fitted with 125 kW generators. All the EPH generators are fitted with Stamford alternators.
Power supplies are also boosted by renewable energy at Mawson (wind) and Casey (solar).