Located 267 km North of Geraldton in Western Australia, the Nilemah telecommunication site is a great example where high quality technology services can be delivered in the extreme remoteness of the Australian outback.
This project focused on upgrading or replacing the existing assets at the Nilemah site to expand Telstra’s mobile services capacity. The existing legacy solar power system was no longer suitable for proposed additional growth so Century Yuasa proposed, designed and delivered a new solar hybrid power system using existing Telstra PSA materials.
The project was delivered over 4 months, weather was dry for the duration though a very warm mid 40 degrees every day. The site conditions were very dry with access only by a dessert track, 500 meters from the local sealed road.
Final result, site was commissioned and available for service on schedule and to budget, enabling Telstra to improve its mobile phone service offering to the region.
SUMMARY OF WORK
- Recover existing panels and batteries
- Recover existing power system
- Install and commission solar array, battery, A/C outdoor unit and diesel generator footings
- Erect and assemble new solar array frames
- Mount and fix 260W solar panels
- Install outdoor equipment cabinet
- Install outdoor Battery Cabinets
- Install Generator with Diesel Tank
- Install batteries
- Install DC and AC power cabling
- Install underground AC and DC conduits
- Install control and alarm cabling and extend to the equipment hut
- Upgrade earthing system
- Update site data to client database
Century Yuasa was commissioned to install a new solar hybrid power system after a site audit revealed that the existing Nilemah site assets needed to be replaced. It was revealed during the audit that the out-door solar panels were not compatable with the project’s proposed regulators and the existing footings were not rated for cyclonic zone C conditions. During the initial assessment, Century Yuasa also recommended recovering where possible the existing out-door solar array frames, solar panels and their footings to reduce cost.
While new footings were needed for the solar array frames, all effort was made to keep the earthing and grounding infrastructure intact as much as possible. Century Yuasa was also able to identify that the exisiting cooling fan in the equipment shelter would bring in all the humidity from outside as the site is located near the sea so a split DC air conditioner was proposed to resolve the humidity issue.
It’s rare for a remote site project to be delivered without hiccups and Nilemah was no exception. However the Century Yuasa team were able to resolve the problems.
Some of the onsite issues that occurred include;
- The two hybrid power systems were supplied direct to site without a factory acceptance test being completed. The systems needed to be configured on site with the technicians having to upload and configure the settings and troubleshoot installation issues.
- The generator was supplied direct to site without a factory acceptance test being completed and so was not configured to the sites requirements. The Century Yuasa team liaised with the manufacturer to facilitate software downloads and configuration methodology to enable the generator to be fit for purpose.
- During the acceptance and commissioning of the 192 batteries delivered, 10 batteries were found to not meet the acceptable standards. After re-testing the faulty products and liaising with the client, replacement products were arranged and supplied to site.
- After reviewing the supplied Dial Before Dig and Telstra drawings, the civil works on site found that the earth mat location was 0.5 meters from where shown. Personnel on site worked with Telsta and the Century Yuasa engineering team to prepare a new earth mat proposal with the final repairs undertaken utilising approved materials sourced locally.
So while the additional issues added significant delivery time to the project, the site hand over to local support staff was still completed on time.