Australian energy innovation leaders announce strategic partnership

Ampcontrol is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership and collaboration agreement with emerging hydrogen company LAVO and standalone power system company Boundary Power.

The partnership agreement between the three innovative Australian companies is expected to deliver a range of solutions to regional and remote power users, along with data centres and other energy intensive industries. It will also see the parties work together over the next two years to identify the use of LAVO’s hydrogen storage solutions and other zero-carbon products in different demonstration sites.

Potential applications include:

  • Standalone hybrid power supplies
  • Containerised solutions for small and utility scale wind and solar projects
  • Packaged power and battery solutions for data centres, industrial and mining applications.

Alan Yu, LAVO’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “LAVO’s hydrogen storage technology is ideally suited for integration with remote standalone power systems and for other containerised and mobile power solutions. We’re thrilled to be working with Ampcontrol and Boundary Power to explore the options for wider use of our products.”

Ampcontrol CEO and Boundary Power Director Rod Henderson said: “Ampcontrol has a long history in the development of innovative products and Boundary Power possesses industry leading experience in utility-grade stand-alone power solutions. Our partnership with LAVO is the continuation of our commitment to finding the best solutions to the energy challenges facing remote areas and energy intensive industries.”

For more information on Ampcontrol’s Stand-Alone Power System capabilities, click here.

Download Media Release

Ampcontrol and Insig Technologies Enter Rockstarter Partnership

Ampcontrol is pleased to announce that we are partnering with Insig Technologies to establish a service centre in Kalgoorlie, which will support, repair and service Ampcontrol products for the Western Australian market. Insig Technologies will also be a distributor for Ampcontrol’s market leading multifunction outlet starter, Rockstarter, for underground hard rock mining, tunnelling and other industrial applications.

Insig Technologies are a technology company specialising in the production of customised, fit for purpose IT/OT solutions within the mining automation and mining technologies sectors.

In late May, Ampcontrol and Insig Technologies signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the foundation for the partnership and have now advanced the new association to service market and customer needs. We believe the partnership will further enhance both Ampcontrol and Insig Technologies offerings in the underground mining electrical services domain and provide a one-stop-shop for Ampcontrol customers in Western Australia.

We look forward to working with new and existing customers under this new partnership agreement.

Catch Up On Our Entire ‘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 launched the Ampcontrol Group Asset Management webinar series. These free, technical presentations designed for industry are now available on our YouTube channel.

The webinar series include presentations from experts across the Ampcontrol group including Philip Reilly, Peter Stepien, Hossein Rahimpour, Kaine Rathbone and Paul Karpathy:

Transformer Oil Analysis: Identification & Management of Abnormal Conditions’ – Philip Reilly, Ampcontrol Oil Services Consultant

The webinar talks about the use of transformer oil analysis, and how it is widely used for detecting abnormal conditions in insulating fluid-filled, high voltage electrical equipment in service.

Modelling Fault Scenarios to Minimise Asset Downtime’Dr Peter Stepien, ResTech Principal Engineer

In mining, various methods are available to identify potential faults in assets used for production. This presentation describes the modelling process with the use of practical examples.

Visibility and Understanding of the Condition of Critical Spares’ – Hossein Rahimpour, Verico Senior Electrical Engineer  

This webinar talks about 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 Mechanical Testing Manager

This webinar describes the challenges of condition monitoring of Coal Handling Plants and the Online Condition Monitoring solution Verico has developed to address these issues.

Making the Most of Your HV Asset Maintenance Program’ – Paul Karpathy, Ampcontrol HV Field Service Technical Officer

This webinar covers some of the common issues encountered with HV assets in the field and how to best manage equipment and infrastructure via scheduled maintenance programs.

2021 Mine Electrical Safety Conference

We’ll be continuing our strong association with the Mining Electrical Safety Association (MESA) as we exhibit and present at their upcoming Conference in Brisbane from June 7 – 9, 2021.

Don’t miss your chance to have a chat with members of our sales team at exhibition stand 34 and enjoy some networking at the Ampcontrol Attendee Lounge.

While at the conference, delegates can learn more about some of our latest innovations including our electrical vehicle designed for hazardous areas, our next generation longwall lighting system the Burnbrite IS LEDi and the Solar Cube, a stand-alone power system.

Ampcontrol’s Group Engineering Manager Dr Ian Webster will be presenting his most recent paper at the conference titled: Engineering In An Emergency. ResTech’s Principal Engineer, Dr Peter Stepien will also be at the conference presenting his paper titled: Control of Touch Potentials During Switching.

For more information about tickets and to view the full program, head to the Mine Electrical Safety Conference website.

Ampcontrol Supports SES Unit with Sandbag Filler Donation

The back-breaking work of filling sandbags has just become safer and more effective for members of Port Stephens SES thanks to a donation from Ampcontrol.

Fabricated at Ampcontrol’s machining workshops in Tomago, the three metal sandbag fillers were a designed by Ampcontrol team members. The donations were kindly received by the Raymond Terrace-based SES unit supported by Port Stephens MP Kate Washington.

In the aftermath of the recent floods, Ms Washington contacted David Douglas, Port Stephens SES unit controller, to see if they needed any support. His response without hesitation was for the steel-framed devices used to fill sand bags at speed.

“Shovelling sand into hessian bags one-by-one is back-breaking work, and our local SES volunteers were run off their feet. So I contacted Wayne Diemar [Product Manager at Ampcontrol], sent them a photo and asked if they could assist. Shortly afterwards, Ampcontrol had constructed three of the sandbag devices and donated them for free,” Ms Washington said.

“Ampcontrol is a great local business and a significant local employer. I’m so appreciative of their support and generosity, and I know how grateful our SES volunteers are, too,” Ms Washington concluded.

Mr Diemar said that the units, which could hold up to 10kg of sand, were easier to use by SES members and members of the public.

“The sandbag fillers enable SES members to bag the sand more efficiently and free up personnel in emergency situations as with instructions (SOP) the general public could come along again to bag themselves in emergency situations. Not to forget the ability for them to throw them in the back of a ute and get them to the needed locations quicker,” Mr Diemar said.

Mr Douglas said the devices were a welcome addition, allowing members to work more efficiently in a safer environment.

“They also provide a quicker response time which is important in times of flood. We can even set up sand bagging points at places such as Hinton in times of predicted heavy rains and flash flooding,” he said.

“We are greatly appreciative of all donations and would like to thank both Ampcontrol and Ms Washington for their assistance in helping us meet our challenges in times of floods,” Mr Douglas concluded.

Follow the link to read the article in the Port Stephens Examiner.

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 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 sought 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.

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.