European Delegates Get Sneak Peek at World’s First Domestic Hydrogen Battery Developed in the Hunter

Ampcontrol has unveiled the world’s first domestic hydrogen battery capable of storing enough electricity to power the average Australian home for two days before European ambassadors visiting the Hunter Region region as part of an NSW Government-led trade mission.

A collaborative partnership between Ampcontrol and Australian startup LAVO has successfully produced a domestic hydrogen battery that pioneers the next generation of green energy storage for commercial and residential use.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said, “Ampcontrol is leading the way in green energy storage systems, supporting LAVO’s world-leading hydrogen hybrid battery, and what’s most exciting about it is that it’s developed right here in regional NSW.”

Welcoming the delegation to Ampcontrol, Managing Director & CEO Rod Henderson said it was fantastic to showcase the region’s innovation, technology and world-class manufacturing capability to key global decision-makers.

“We have such highly skilled expertise, world-class educational facilities and ground-breaking research and development in the Hunter. We encourage global businesses to come here and work with us, invest in our cutting-edge technology and energy solutions, such as LAVO, and partner with the many incredible innovators we have in the Hunter,” added Mr Henderson.

“While coal mining will be here for years to come, the NSW Government is supporting development and investment in new technologies to help diversify local economies and power the state down the track,” said Mr Barilaro.

On display for the first time following successful prototype testing, the LAVO hydrogen battery technology consists of an electrolysis system, fuel cell power, and hydrogen story array packed into one cabinet. The integrated hybrid system combines hydrogen and rooftop solar to deliver sustainable, reliable and renewable green energy to homes and businesses.

“I’m delighted to see the inspiring work being carried out by Ampcontrol in the renewable energy space on show,” added Mr Barilaro.

In addition to the LAVO hydrogen battery, the delegation of 14 ambassadors from Europe and the European Union also viewed other innovative products developed and manufactured by Ampcontrol during a tour of the Tomago NSW operations, including a stand-alone power system and an off-grid water security solution, both designed to make a meaningful improvement to the lives of people living in regional and remote communities.

Join Us At Our Upcoming Asset Management Webinar Series

As Australia’s leading industrial electrical specialists, we provide continuity of technical support and a commitment to making sure your equipment delivers required outcomes, doesn’t breakdown, and is statutory compliant; which is why we’ve launched the Ampcontrol Group Asset Management webinar series. Running throughout May and June, we are offering a range of free, technical presentations designed for industry.

Transformer Oil Analysis: Identification & Management of Abnormal Condition – Philip Reilly | Ampcontrol

Kicking off on May 12, Philip Reilly, Ampcontrol Oil Services Consultant, will deliver his webinar titled ‘Transformer Oil Analysis: Identification & Management of Abnormal Conditions’. Transformer oil analysis is widely used for detecting abnormal conditions in insulating fluid-filled, high voltage electrical equipment in service. This presentation will outline information and recent Australian case studies concerning:

  • Application of DGA to mineral and non-mineral oil filled transformers.
  • Importance of correct sampling methodology
  • Testing and interpretation of results to evaluate the condition of the liquid and solid insulation
  • Appropriate actions available to further investigate & manage problems
  • Accessing, analysing and gaining insights from large amounts of condition monitoring data

Modelling Fault Scenarios to Minimise Asset Downtime – Dr Peter Stepien | ResTech

On May 18, ResTech’s Dr Peter Stepien will share insights through his webinar titled ‘Modelling Fault Scenarios to Minimise Asset Downtime’. Various methods are available to identify potential faults in assets used for production. Attempting to interpret symptoms without any prior experience of a fault can be challenging and time consuming. However, fault scenarios can be modelled beforehand to give expected symptoms. These can then be compared to SCADA information to quickly locate the fault and minimise asset downtime. This presentation describes the modelling process with the use of practical examples.

Visibility and Understanding of the Condition of Critical Spares – Hossein Rahimpour | Verico Asset Integrity Services

On May 25, Verico Asset Integrity Services Senior Electrical Engineer, Hossein Rahimpour, will deliver his webinar titled ‘Visibility and Understanding of the Condition of Critical Spares’. Often after the lights have gone out, there is urgent inquiry into where the spares are and what condition they are in. Whether the spare being sort is a transformer, bushing, motor or cable, its condition at that time can either avert or lead to significant costs.This presentation will outline why having visibility and an understanding of the condition of critical spares is an important element of good HV asset management practice.

Online Condition Monitoring of Coal Handling Plant (CHP) Machinery – Kaine Rathbone | Verico Asset Integrity Services

On June 2, Verico Asset Integrity Services Mechanical Testing Manager, Kaine Rathbone, will deliver his webinar titled ‘Online Condition Monitoring of Coal Handling Plant (CHP) Machinery’ Coal Handling Plants (CHP) are typically difficult to condition monitor for a variety of reasons, including the physical distance (geographic sparseness) between equipment, the inconsistent run times and variable speed/load during operation, as well as the slow speed machinery and the need for high resolution data to identify problems with the equipment.

Verico has developed a solution to these problems through the implementation of an Online Condition Monitoring system specifically tailored to CHPs. The system is able to capture the high resolution data required on low speed equipment, then undertake customised analysis and diagnostics by utilising the proprietary monitoring software. The reporting system provides the customer with a condition snapshot, outcomes-of-analysis, engineering commentary and remediation recommendations for action tracking. This presentation will describe the challenges of condition monitoring of CHPs and the solution Verico has developed to address these issues.

Making the Most of Your HV Asset Maintenance Program – Paul Karpathy | Ampcontrol

Finally, on June 8, we’ll be welcoming Ampcontrol HV Field Serivce Technical Officer, Paul Karpathy, who will deliver his webinar titled ‘Making the Most of Your HV Asset Maintenance Program’. Managing a large fleet of assets across an operation can often be challenging. This presentation will cover some of the common issues encountered with HV assets in the field and how to best manage equipment and infrastructure via scheduled maintenance programs. The presentation will also outline details of recent service experiences and how to get the most out of your scheduled maintenance on site.

Register now

We’re committed to connecting industry contacts across Australia with practical insights into real world issues being faced onsite. Attendance is free, secure your space today at one or all of the webinars in the series.

Ampcontrol Ready for Roadtrip with Newcastle Knights to Support Regional NSW Communities

Ampcontrol has packed up the work truck and is ready to hit the road for the inaugural Knights Rescue Rally 5-8 May to coincide with the Knights v Canberra Raiders NRL game in Wagga Wagga on 8 May.

The brand new four-day car rally will see a cavalcade of Newcastle Knights supporters drive from Newcastle to Wagga Wagga to support two great organisations, The Newcastle Knights and Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WRHS).

CEO of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Richard Jones, said that after a long period without travel, he is thrilled to see the Knights Rescue Rally launch with the support of event partners NSW Mining, BJ Howes and Ampcontrol.

“If you support the Knights and want to help your local Rescue Helicopter, then this is the event for you, and the fact that participants will venture through many rural communities that could use the support is a bonus”, Mr Jones said.

The Knights Rescue Rally will visit beautiful country towns like Mudgee, Bathurst, Sofala, Carcoar, Parkes and West Wyalong. Many of these towns are home to gold, copper and coal mining operations that are a big part of the local economy and community, just like in the Hunter Region.

Participants will stop into wineries, quaint country cafes and pubs, and get their best Elvis suit ready for a night out in Australia’s Elvis capital, Parkes. The adventure culminates in Wagga Wagga for the NRL clash between the mighty Newcastle Knights and the Canberra Raiders. Participants will enjoy many activities, including a pre-match dinner with ex-players and coaching staff, and will get to watch the game with some exceptional country hospitality.

Cars of all shapes and sizes are welcome, whether it’s the family wagon, a luxury car, 4WD or a people mover, as long it’s registered in NSW. Knights supporters are encouraged to get a team of workmates, family or friends together and enter a car to enjoy a fantastic trip through regional NSW.

“This event is all about bringing our communities together, making a difference and simply having a good time”, Mr Jones concluded.

Ampcontrol is proud to support the inaugural Knights Rescue Rally as a part of its long-standing community support of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

Find out more or to register go to: events.rescuehelicopter.com.au/event/knights-rescue-rally

 

Lending our Expertise to the Austmine Supply Chain Innovation Panel

Held in Newcastle on 23 March, the Austmine Supply Chain Innovation Panel Smart Mining Networking Event explored the changing demands of major buyers and the current focus areas for innovation and technology at mining operations.

Ampcontrol’s Executive General Manager – Innovation & Service, Warwick Sommer brought his expertise to the panel, along with Komatsu Australia Managing Director and CEO, Sean Taylor and Quarry Mining’s Managing Director, Kari Armitage; where these senior METS leaders in the Hunter region shared their expertise around the changing market conditions and emerging growth avenues into the future.

With a long history supplying solutions to the mining industry, Ampcontrol have contributed to the coal mining industry by improving efficiency and safety for their customers.

The panel discussed that while thermal coal power generation remains of central importance to the Hunter region, there needs to be a long-term transition that businesses within this supply chain must prepare for.

“At Ampcontrol we’ve been working on this transition for some years now. That’s seen our business develop and deliver solutions into the renewable energy market with our R&D team investigating a range of grid and off-grid solutions. A recent example is the Standalone Power System that we have developed with Horizon Power in WA. That solution is designed to take more remote customers connected to ‘SWER’ lines off grid without seeing any difference in supply certainty. Additionally, we are currently investigating a range of solutions in the new energy space including hydrogen,” said Mr Sommer.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has however shown that the sovereign and supply chain risks associated with overseas supply are real and not theoretical.”

“I’m optimistic about the ability of the people in the Hunter to deal with significant change. We’ve seen major industries reinvent themselves and the region has come out stronger together. Resources will be part of the Hunter’s future for some time but it can’t be its only future. We need to be working with Government and industry members now to define how our energy solutions transition away from non-renewable,” he said.

Electric Vehicle Unveiled Off The Back Of Federal Govt $1.5B Modern Manufacturing Strategy

Ampcontrol welcomes the Federal Government’s 10-year road map and funding support commitment, aimed at creating more jobs and economic opportunities for Australian manufacturing businesses.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews, made the announcement in the NSW Hunter Region on Thursday 4 March, which included the opening of grant applications in the critical mineral and resources sector under the governments $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy.

Visiting Ampcontrol during the visit to the Hunter, Minister Andrews said the new Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing roadmap sets out a ten-year vision to help manufacturers scale-up production, commercialise products and tap into global supply chains.

Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO Rod Henderson said the Government’s ongoing commitment and support of local manufacturing is vital in rebuilding and growing our economy.

“We have such highly advanced manufacturing capabilities, smarts and skills in our country, so it is good to see Government backing local manufacturing to develop the innovative solutions and technologies we know they can. Nurturing a value-add manufacturing sector build’s on Australia’s competitive advantage, and helps secure greater investment and market share.”

During Ministers Andrew’s visit, Ampcontrol unveiled its electric-powered vehicle for underground mining applications. Born from a need for more environmentally conscious solutions and safer, healthier working environments, Ampcontrol’s development of an electric vehicle is representative of the innovative manufacturing capability and new technology that could benefit from the government grants.

“Opportunities outlined include turning critical minerals into high-value products like batteries and solar cells, as well as technologies and equipment that makes mining more efficient and safe,” Minister Andrews added.

Designed to replace traditional diesel-powered vehicles, the electric-powered alternative enables mining operations to eliminate negative environmental impacts associated with the operation of diesel-powered equipment whilst simultaneously capturing additional operational efficiencies.

Ampcontrol are in the advanced stages of this innovative product’s development. See an early prototype in action below against a diesel-powered Driftrunner.

Ampcontrol diversifying its business through innovation

Ampcontrol is at the forefront of businesses in the Hunter Region diversifying its business through innovation and technology to transform the energy world.

Starting out in mining over 50 years ago, Ampcontrol embraces an innovative culture and is branching out into new industries such as med tech, standalone power systems, electric vehiche and hybrid electric boat development.

“Strategically, we are positioning ourselves to continue to be good suppliers to the mining sector, but also to make sure that we have got our bases covered in lots of other areas as well,” said Rod Henderson, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO.

One of our recent projects include the design and manufacturing of transportable switchrooms for the nation’s biggest road tunnel project, Sydney’s WestConnex. Additionally, Ampcontrol has developed Australia’s first hybrid diesel-electric boat prototype for police and emergency services, a solar powered water purification system for remote communities and an emergency ventilator as part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 response.

“We had about 50 people working on the ventilator project, and the guys used the knowledge and skills we’ve developed in the infrastructure and mining sectors and applied the same principles,” Rod Henderson explains.

Read more about the Hunter Region’s increased industry diversity in this ABC National News article or watch ABC The Business, which aired on Tuesday 2 February and includes an interview with our CEO Rod Henderson.

Ampcontrol Joins Forces With Australia’s Leading Utility To Launch Standalone Power Systems Joint Venture

Horizon Power, Australia’s leading utility in the deployment of Standalone Power Systems (SPS) has joined forces with premier power and control solutions company, Ampcontrol, to launch Boundary Power.

Boundary Power brings together Horizon Power and Ampcontrol’s combined SPS design, construction, deployment and operation expertise, unveiling a new, innovative series of SPS solutions to the market. Ampcontrol Group member company, CPS National, with its remote area and SPS expertise will be the delivery arm of the new venture.

Horizon Power was the first utility in Australia to demonstrate the commercial viability of SPS as an alternative to replacing aging poles and wires.

Boundary Power Director, Rod Henderson said the launch of Boundary Power was the next strategic step in leveraging the two business’s accumulated and substantial SPS expertise.

“A number of the SPS specialists from Horizon Power and Ampcontrol who have joined the Boundary Power team were behind the success of Horizon Power’s deployment of 17 SPS systems on customer properties, east of Esperance,” Mr Henderson said.

“This enabled Horizon Power to be the first utility in Australia to remove 64 kilometres of poles and wire permanently.”

“We have proven SPS to be a commercially viable renewable power solution that is fully off-grid and tailored to service a broad range of purposes and industries,” Mr Henderson said.

SPS uses solar and battery technology to generate and store electricity, providing safer, higher quality and more reliable power, 24 hours a day.

To mark today’s joint venture, Boundary Power unveiled its new, modular SPS Gen 2, which is easier to transport and install.

The McGowan Government’s $10 million investment in deploying SPS across regional WA is scheduled to kick off mid-February, with the first of 45 units installed in Esperance.

Four will be installed near Kununurra in the Kimberley, one near Karratha in the Pilbara, seven in the Mid-West region and 33 in the Goldfields-Esperance region.

“The advanced modularity design makes Boundary Power’s SPS units easier to transport, quicker to install and more affordable to maintain,” Mr Henderson said.

“An SPS Gen 2 can be deployed off the truck and ready for energy export in just 90 minutes, with onsite maintenance, servicing needs and costs reduced thanks to easily swappable module components.”

“We are confident Boundary Power’s SPS solutions are well suited to meet the growing demand we see in the marketplace, particularly among power utilities looking for a reliable off-grid power alternative.”

Customers who would like to explore the opportunity of having a SPS should direct their enquiries to enquiries@boundarypower.com.au.

Ampcontrol Awarded for Innovation and Adaptability

Ampcontrol was officially recognised for innovation and adaptability following our development of an emergency ventilator to assist with the NSW Governments COVID-19 response during Friday evenings 2020 Hunter Business Awards.

The Awards, led by the Hunter Business Chamber, are Australia’s most prestigious regional business awards, recognising and rewarding excellence, achievement and leadership by businesses and individuals throughout the Hunter region.

In a collaborative effort combining the expertise of the Government, industry and education sectors, we responded to the NSW Governments ‘call-to-arms’ in March 2020, delivering a functional ventilator prototype for testing at the John Hunter Hospital in just 18 days.

The following three months saw the project team further refine the prototype before manufacturing ten pre-production ventilators for further clinical testing. The pre-production units were officially unveiled by the NSW Premier The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian on 9th September 2020.

The successful outcomes achieved through the NSW Government led ‘Ventilator Innovation Project’ were testament to the collaborative approach adopted by all project partners including NSW Health, Safearth, NewieVentures, The University of Newcastle and the John Hunter Hospital.

Chamber President Tony Rhodes congratulated all winners and finalists on their resilience and entrepreneurship in what has been the most challenging of years for business owners and operators.

“Winning a Hunter Business Award in any year is a significant achievement. In 2020, the year of COVID, bushfires, drought and many other challenges, it is all the more remarkable,” Mr Rhodes said.

Delighted to accept the Award during the Gala Presentation, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO Rod Henderson said the business community response to COVID-19 had opened people’s eyes to the capability and adaptability of local manufacturing.

“For a business that specialises in resources, infrastructure, and energy solutions, what the partnership team achieved in such a short timeframe is nothing short of outstanding and a testament to the engineering excellence and ingenuity in our country. It is so important that industry and Government work together so that we can continue to produce innovative solutions and products here in Australia that make a difference to people’s lives around the globe,” added Rod Henderson.

“Whether businesses have had to scale up or scale down, tweak their business model, change it entirely or just grind it out to survive, the past twelve months have demanded flexibility, versatility, courage and innovative thinking from us all,” added Mr Rhodes.

Ampcontrol Recognised with Innovation Accolade

Ampcontrol has been recognised for developing a fully functional emergency ventilator to assist with the NSW Government COVID-19 response, having been awarded the ‘Excellence in Innovation’ accolade during Friday evenings Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards.

We designed and developed the ventilator in consultation with the NSW Government and project partners NSW Health, Safearth, NewieVentures, University of Newcastle and the John Hunter Hospital.

The emergency ventilator was developed in response to the NSW Government ‘call-to-arms’ in March 2020 with our dedicated research & development team successfully delivering an initial functional prototype for testing at the John Hunter Hospital in just 18 days.

The following three months saw the project team further refine the prototype before manufacturing ten pre-production ventilators for further clinical testing and submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The pre-production units were officially unveiled by the NSW Premier The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian on 9th September 2020.

Lake Macquarie Mayor, Cr Kay Fraser congratulated Ampcontrol and all 13 category winners and finalists who have excelled this year, despite the impacts of COVID-19.

“Never before has our business community had to adjust so rapidly to change because of COVID-19 restrictions. It has been really difficult for many businesses across our city, but these awards have been a chance to celebrate the successes and resilience shown by our local businesses,” Cr Fraser said.

Accepting the award during a virtual ceremony, Ampcontrol Executive General Manager Innovation & Service Warwick Sommer said partnerships and collaboration have been essential to the project’s success.

“The Ventilator Innovation Project is a true partnership in action. Tackling a challenge of this size was only made possible through collaboration with local businesses, clinicians, university, and Government.

To turn a concept into a fully functional life-saving piece of medical equipment within such a critical timeframe is a testament to our region’s skilled expertise and highly advanced capability to produce innovative solutions and products that make a difference to people’s lives.”

“We have an amazing business community in Lake Mac epitomised by organisations like Ampcontrol, so it has been wonderful to be able to provide some positive recognition and congratulate them on their achievements this year. I congratulate all our finalists and award winners and I encourage our community to get behind local business and show your support where you can,” added Cr Fraser.

Following success in the Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards, we will now progress to the Hunter Business Awards to be held on Friday 20th November, 2020.

Ampcontrol Unveils Its Fully Developed Life-saving Ventilators

Today, Ampcontrol has unveiled its fully developed emergency ventilator, the ‘Ventasys’, reinforcing local manufacturing capability and a highly skilled region ready for the next generation of product innovation.

A partner of the Ventilator Innovation Project between NSW Government, universities, and industry, Ampcontrol responded to the NSW Government’s ‘call-to-arms’ in March 2020 to design and develop a low-cost, life-saving back-up ventilator solution during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On hand to see the first Ventasys units complete production, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO, Rod Henderson said he was very optimistic for the future of the local manufacturing industry.

“To turn a concept into a first-class lifesaving piece of medical equipment within such a critical timeframe is testament to the highly advanced capability and skilled expertise in our region. The collaborative approach adopted to tackle this project in conjunction with clinicians at the John Hunter Hospital, proves the ability of the local industry to rapidly pivot and solve unique problems.

What this rapid innovation health project has brought to the forefront, and more broadly as a country over the past 6 months, is what can be quickly achieved when there are strong partnerships between government, university, and industry. We have shown that we can do these things better and more quickly in Australia.”

As a member of the Committee For The Hunter and the Hunter Central MedTech Industry Network, Ampcontrol strongly advocates for continued government partnerships to boost jobs and the economy through investment in research & development, infrastructure, and product innovation.

“With the continued support of government, I am confident as a region we can build an industry leading medical manufacturing hub where businesses, researchers, students, and trainees work side-by-side developing new ideas, learning pathways, products and services with commercial application. The development of strategically important domestic manufacturing within the Hunter will provide immense benefit to the local industry, economy, and community,” Mr. Henderson added.

With prototyping, pre-production, and clinical user group assessment and testing now completed, application for TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) ‘Permission To Supply’ the Ventasys for COVID-19 use in Australia is expected to be granted in the coming weeks.

The Ventasys will now progress to the manufacturing phase with components ordered for up to 100 units. Ampcontrol will also conduct further software engineering to provide the additional sophisticated ventilator functionality requested by NSW Health clinicians and integrate them into Intensive Care Unit electronic medical record systems.