IDC Events - Technical Conferences and Workshops

Covering AS 2067 and High Voltage Design, Installation and Maintenance for Mining, Industrial Plants, Oil & Gas & Utilities

Are you an electrical engineer, technologist or technician working with high voltage systems from the mining, industrial plants, oil and gas or the utilities industry?   We are looking for a number of presenters to submit a topic idea and present their papers at the upcoming conference which has been developed to promote best practice in this area.

This conference will cover the AS 2067:2016 HV standard which provides minimum requirements for the design and installation of high voltages above 1kV (ac) so as to provide safe functioning in operation. The newest edition of AS 2067 was released in 2016 and the significant amendments have proved to be a continuing interest to anyone involved in high voltage substations and installations.  

Most sections of AS 2067 have changed. These include issues associated with developments in the Building Code of Australia, closer alignment with the work of EL23 which deals with Mining Standards, and substation installation earthing. Significant changes have been made to the sections on access areas, protection against fire and explosions and earthing. The earthing section in particular is being considerably expanded and amended to cover all industry sectors, including that of mining.  

Steps towards energy self-sufficiency at your workplace

Installing a ‘stand alone’ renewable energy system in an off-grid location may be a necessity or a sustainable choice at your workplace. Either way you have much to gain from today’s increasingly efficient and affordable solar panels, turbines, inverters and batteries.

Renewable energy generation such as solar and wind power not only helps you create a sustainable power source but benefits the environment, reduces noise, reduces air pollution, and cuts diesel transport costs to save you time and energy.

Whether you are trying to power a chicken farm, a communications tower on a mine site or a private house in a remote location an important first step towards energy self-sufficiency is to minimise any unnecessary power use. If you think your site may suit a wind power or micro-hydro power system, this is also an option.

What is IECEx?

IECEx is a voluntary system which provides an internationally accepted means of proving compliance with IEC standards. IEC standards are used in many national approval schemes and as such, IECEx certification can be used to support national compliance, negating the need in most cases for additional testing.

The Benefits of IECEx

The fact that many countries operate under different standards means that Ex equipment often needs to be re-tested and re-certified to the appropriate standards of that country, adding to the cost of the equipment. The IECEx scheme significantly reduces the need for re-testing and certification by conforming to international IEC standards, and therefore makes international trade easier, quicker and more cost effective.

The objective of the IECEx System is to facilitate international trade in equipment and services for use in explosive atmospheres, while maintaining the required level of safety:

  • reduced testing and certification costs to manufacturer

  • reduced time to market

  • international confidence in the product assessment process

  • one international database listing

  • maintaining International Confidence in equipment and services covered by IECEx Certification

What is an Ex area?

Ex areas can be known by different names such as “Hazardous Locations”, “Hazardous Areas” “Explosive Atmospheres”, and the like and relate to areas where flammable liquids, vapours, gases or combustible dusts are likely to occur in quantities sufficient to cause a fire or explosion.

The modern day automation of industry has meant an increased need to use equipment in Ex areas. Such equipment is termed “Ex equipment”

The Victorian Labor government has announced Victorians will be able to save up to $890 per year on their power bills under the new Solar Homes program, if re-elected. 

Under this $1.24 billion program, 650,000 homes will see half-priced solar panels installed over 10 years. It’s expected to save the typical household up to $2225 off the installation of an average 4kW solar system. From July next year, there will be no upfront cost and Victorians will be able to pay off the rest of the interest-free loan over four years. 

Premier Daniel Andrews announced the government will immediately invest $68 million into the launch of the program.   

“We know the cost of living is going up and it’s getting harder to make ends meet. That’s why Labor is helping families with their energy bills. Only Labor will help put solar panels on your roof to cut your electricity bills by around $900 a year,” he said.

This investment is expected to bring the number of homes in Victoria with solar panels to one million within the next decade. Once the project is complete, the government said Victorians will collectively save approximately $500 million per year on electricity. 

The program is also expected to lead to the reduction of almost four million tonnes of carbon emissions and generate 12.5 per cent of the state’s 40 per cent target for renewable energy by 2025. 

The rebate is available to all Victorians with a household income of up to $180,000 who live in their own home, which is valued at up to $3 million. This means nine out of 10 Victorians who own their own home will be eligible. 

Batteries are one of today’s most bought and sold products, the amount we use is astonishing, but of course, this is because these days we have a lot more electronics at our disposal. In Australia, this is causing a massive issue as we only have one site able to recycle flat batteries. To make matters worse, China (who had been taking a lot of Australia’s waste) has placed a ban on waste imports, meaning that now all the batteries are either heading to the landfill or this small facility.

The facility lies in New Gisborne in Victoria and has 200 plastic lined drums that are full of 160 tonnes worth of batteries. Now, this may not sound like a much, but remember most consumer batteries are pretty small compared to most other items when it comes to waste. The Company called Envirostream (the owners of the facility) has pleaded to manufactures and the government to help keep the batteries out of landfills.

Research done by the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy found that the waste could estimate 18,000 tonnes in 2018 along with possibly hitting 154,000 tonnes by 2034. This, of course, isn’t including the possibility of a surge in battery-powered cars along with batteries for houses, which has not become popular in Australia just yet. It means that, with the Chinese ban still in place, there needs to be a step up in efforts to properly manage battery waste.

One company has already responded to the call saying that they will transport batteries back to their US headquarters to be recycled there. It is a good start and to be honest no one expected anything less of Tesla, as they have shown in the past their commitment to environmental issues. The question is; will other companies follow suit?

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