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’s Emergency Ventilator Receives Further Industry Accolades

Ampcontrol has received an additional two top industry awards for our manufacturing ingenuity to design and develop lifesaving ventilators in less than 18 days during Friday evenings Hunter Manufacturing Awards. The Ventilator Innovation Project was awarded the ‘Collaboration Partnership’ and ‘Manufacturing Pivot’ awards, the second and third honours received in recent weeks following success in the Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards.

The Ventilator Innovation Project, led by Health Infrastructure, was initiated to rapidly develop contingency ventilator solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The landmark innovation project, in partnership with Government, university, industry, and business, is one of the formidable success stories to emerge over the past six months.

We designed the ventilator in collaboration with Hunter-based specialist electrical engineering companies NewieVentures and Safearth, rapidly swinging our advanced manufacturing capabilities and engineering excellence to respond to the NSW Governments call-to-arms in March 2020. This significant pivot resulted in the development of a fully functional emergency ventilator prototype in less three weeks.

The Hunter Manufacturing Awards judging panel were impressed with the speed of engineering showcased through the successful completion of this project.

“In the world of medical engineering, projects are measured in the order of years. Ampcontrol, who had never previously worked in this sector, brought together a group of local companies including Newieventures, Safearth, ResTech, and The University of Newcastle to deliver prototype ventilators for NSW Health in 18 days and commenced clinical trials only one week later. This pace of engineering most probably hasn’t been seen since long ago wartime manufacturing efforts.”

Ampcontrol CEO and Managing Director Rod Henderson commented:

“The Ventilator Innovation Project is a true partnership in action; these industry honours recognise and reward the hard work and contribution of so many individuals and groups who have all worked on making this vital health project such a success. To turn a concept into a first-class lifesaving piece of medical equipment within such a critical timeframe is a testament to our region’s highly advanced capability and skilled workforce.”

Project partners NewieVentures and Safearth echoed Mr Henderson’s comments, emphasizing the importance of partnerships to local industry.

“The Ventasys project is a fantastic example of what this region can do when bringing disparate minds together and challenging them to think beyond their capability. While it was a massive project and an honour to be recognised with the Awards, it’s just one example of our collaborative potential. We look forward to continuing to forge relationships that raise the tide for all ships,” added NewieVentures Head of Technology Heath Raftery.

“The Hunter has extraordinary engineers, and if we can form the right partnerships and create the right environment for them to work together, then the prospects for the future are immense,” commented Safearth Managing Director Stephen Palmer.

“The partnership approach adopted to tackle the challenge also demonstrates the industry’s ability to pivot and solve unique problems rapidly. We have shown that we can do these things better and more quickly in Australia when there are strong partnerships between business, industry, and Government,” concluded Mr Henderson.

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 Manufactures 50MVA Power Transformer

The Project

To take their current production from 6.4Mta to 7.5Mta, a central New South Wales mine engaged Ampcontrol to design, manufacture and install high voltage infrastructure. The 132/11kV project included a 40/50MVA transformer, c/w 11kV substation, 3000A 11kV switchboard and associated protection system.

As part of the project Ampcontrol designed, manufactured and tested a 40/50MVA 132/11kV transformer, with a final fully assembled weight of 85 Tonnes.

The transformer was fully tested in house in Ampcontrol’s transformer facility, before being filled with oil above the core and coil assembly for transport, to the mine, where site erection work was undertaken by Ampcontrol’s High Voltage Service team.

The transformer will be energised at a later date during major site shutdown works.

Specifications

  • Rating: 40/50MVA
  • Voltage ratio: 132/11kV
  • Vector group: Dyn11
  • Cooling: ONAN/ONAF
  • Tap changer: on load tap changer – Vacuum type on load tap changer supplied by Mischinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbJ (MR), Regensburg, Germany.
  • Oil: filled with inhibited transformer oil as per IEC60296
  • Transformer tested as per AS/NZS 600076

Download PDF case study

Ampcontrol Calls on Strong University Connections

University of Newcastle expertise sees lifesaving ventilator prototype secure state backing.

Each year The University Of Newcastle (UON) produces thousands of talented graduates and they watch with pride as they trade the campuses for new workplaces, set to make their mark on the world and in their local communities. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of almost thirty Hunter-based UON alumni and staff have done just that – contributing to an emergency ventilator prototype project led by Ampcontrol to be selected by the NSW Government for pre-production.

Project Lead and Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment Conjoint Senior Fellow and Ampcontrol Group Manager Engineering, Dr Ian Webster, said the success of the project relied on the strong connections between Ampcontrol and The University of Newcastle.

“When we kicked off this project, we were asked to produce 600 ventilators in 28 days. My affiliation with the Faculty of Engineering meant I could immediately reach out to Brett Ninness, as I knew the expertise and facilities housed at UON would be hugely beneficial to the project,” Dr Webster said.

“Since 2004, we’ve had a unique partnership with the University via our joint venture ResTech, which has created a direct path for students to complete placements and do research work with Ampcontrol.

As a result of the strong engineering alumni network in the Hunter Region, around 60% of the ventilator prototype team are UON alumni. Safearth, and NewieVentures – both Hunter-based leading engineering companies with strong alumni ties – also came on board as collaborative partners. The University of Newcastle graduates have a unique set of skills that make them ideal candidates for the work we do. I’m so proud of the team who are working tirelessly to ensure our clinicians have the lifesaving equipment they need.”

The ventilator prototype, dubbed ‘Anemoi’, will now move into production of 10 units for further testing. If the model is successful in completing the pre-production phase, full production would be manufactured in NSW supporting the local industry, the local economy, and employment.

“This prototype is likely to become a new manufacturing product, diversifying our business and supporting regional development,” Dr Webster said.

To quickly accelerate their knowledge of ventilator systems, the Ampcontrol team engaged with the University to guide solutions and minimise clinical and deployment risks.

Professor Brett Ninness said our COVID-19 response was a powerful example of collaborating across STEM disciplines.

“COVID-19 presented a situation where people skilled across health, science, engineering, design, and commercialisation needed to come together to rapidly collaborate to solve imperative global issues. We were part of that solution, so this is a proud moment for us all to celebrate,” Professor Brett Ninness said.

“Our strong industry connections have proven invaluable in ensuring our people are embedded in the local response to COVID-19 and our graduates remain highly sought after for their expertise.”

“This is another example of the power of the University of Newcastle, local business, and government partners coming together to demonstrate leadership on important issues in our region and beyond.”

The NSW Premier said that with the easing of restrictions there could be a rise in COVID-19 infections, in which case it’s imperative hospitals to have all the equipment they need. Read NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s announcement here.

 

Photo credit: UON

Supporting the Health Sector with Locally Manufactured Medical Face Shields

Off the back of our success in being named as one of two organisations to move forward with a prototype emergency ventilator for NSW Health, we’re pleased to share that the Burn Brite Ampcontrol team based in Melbourne have commenced production of 3000 face shields to help protect frontline health care workers in NSW.

Our Victorian operation, renowned for producing industrial lighting products for harsh and hazardous environments, has advanced manufacturing facilities for electronics, precision fabrication and plastic extrusion and was well placed to answer the call to arms issued across Australia to support frontline health workers tackling COVID-19 with critical PPE.

The single use face shields were prototyped to meet NSW Health requirements and 3000 face shields will now be shipped from our Melbourne manufacturing facility in the next two weeks.

Designed to help ease supply chain issues associated with internationally sourced products, these face shields are fast to assemble and feature a clear face shield with an adjustable fit to suit most head sizes and shapes. They also include a pressure headband to provide relief for wearers once the face shield has been tightened.

Read more about our face shields in this product overview.