Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment's Rockhampton branch were engaged by the Queensland State Government's Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to deliver an efficient solar pumping system at the disused Mount Chalmers Gold Mine (located 15km North-East of Rockhampton, QLD).
As part of this sites ongoing rehabilitation process the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection needed an efficient solar pumping system to recirculate contaminated mine water collected from a sump, back into the main pit, thereby eliminating any contaminated mine water runoff from site. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has been managing the key environmental issues at the Mount Chalmers Gold mine since the former operators Affinis Pty Ltd was placed into liquidation in December 2014. EHP is also supported by other government agencies including the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI) who are providing scientific advice on technical aspects of site management. The primary ongoing focus is to prevent any discharge of contaminated water from the site.
With limited mains power available to the site the use of solar power was a perfect fit for this pumping application. Solar powered pump solutions are always improving, none more so than Grundfos Solar Water Solutions. During initial site inspections the pumps required operating duty was calculated to be 13L/sec @ 18.5m Total Head. To meet these high flow requirements a Grundfos Solar Inverter (RSI) was selected to power the Grundfos R Series Submersible Pump [SP46-3 5.5kw 415V] that the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection already had onsite. The Grundfos R Series SP46-3 is a Stainless Steel pump capable of handling the low pH, slightly acidic mine water (measuring between 2 & 3 pH) needing to be pumped.
Utilising a combination of Grundfos Solar Water Solution products (inverter / pump / solar panels) appealed to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection as it meant Dowdens could supply a system that not only costs less to install and maintain, but importantly can pump a larger volume of water under solar power. Put quite simply the ability to run large 415V pumps capable of greater pump duties is making the decision to 'go green' and install solar powered systems more attractive in the current climate, for miners and farmers alike.
Dowdens Pumping - Rockhampton initially visited site to establish location of the solar arrays and calculate pump duty. Once known the following components were sourced and prepared for installation: 36 x 270 Watt Grundfos Solar Modules, 2 x 18 SolarTerrace Module Fixed Array Frames, 7.5 kW Grundfos RSI Inverter & Sine Wave Filter and 200m of 110mm PN10 Poly Pipe. The Grundfos SP46-3 5.5kw Pump was attached to a specialised float that sits on the surface of the sump (pictured below). Pump starts & stops via a level float switch mounted on 4m pole that can be swivelled over to the sump's bank should any maintenance be required.
Local contractors were then engaged to complete the site earthworks and trenching needed for all electrical conduits. Once the solar array support posts were cemented in place, Dowdens Pumping - Rockhampton assembled the SolarTerrace Array Frames and mounted the 36 modules (2 x 18 Modules) ready for the electrical components to be installed.
Electrical contractors RILEC Electrical (accredited electrical/solar contractors) completed the electrical fit-out. As part of these works Dowdens Pumping - Rockhampton delivered the Grundfos Solar Inverter Sinewave Filter & String Connection Box (pictured below) to the RILEC workshop so it could be mounted in a powdered coated, lockable enclosure with sufficient ventilation to ensure the inverter remains cool during the day. RILEC then brought the control box to site, mounted it and completed all wiring to meet electrical standards and the site specifications. All commissioning of this system was undertaken by Dowdens Pumping - Rockhampton.
Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment's Rockhampton branches design philosophy for this project was: Cost Effectiveness - Innovation - Ease of Installation - Simple & Reliable Pump Operation - System Reliability & Reduced Ongoing Maintenance. The entire Grundfos RSI Solar Pumping System was designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned on time and within budget.
Mount Chalmers Gold Mine ~ Solar Pumping System - Key Components:
As an Australian owned company that began life in 1973 selling and servicing agricultural pumps, Dowdens has grown to employ over 160 staff situated across 4 branches in Mackay, Proserpine, Rockhampton and Brisbane permitting us to confidently service customers throughout Queensland, nationally and internationally. From project inception through to final commissioning - the team at Dowdens has the ability to deliver complete specialised long-term engineered solutions that are practical and innovative, ensuring our clients benefit from greater productivity and reduced downtime.
With dedicated departments of industry trained engineers, draftsmen, project managers, sales staff and tradespeople including fitters, mechanics, polywelders, machinists, plumbers, electricians and boiler makers - Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment offer an unmatched range of world-class engineering solutions for any type of water management project. We truly are Queensland's premier one-stop-shop for solar pumping and water treatment systems!