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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 6

I Construction During The Settlement Years

II The Use Of Timber As A Structural Material

III Structural Steel

IV Concrete Technology

V Housing

VI Industrialised Pre-cast Concrete Housing

VII Ports And Harbours

VIII Roads

IX Heavy Foundations

X Bridges

XI Sewerage

XII Water Engineering

XIII Railways

XIV Major Buildings

XV Airports

XVI Thermal Power Stations
i Steam Power Stations Using Brown Coal
ii Fabric Filters for Coal Fired Power Stations
iii Thermal Electricity Generation in Queensland
iv Conversion of Kwinana Power Station from Oil to Coal Firing
v Remote Area Power Supply Alternatives in Western Australia

XVII Materials Handling

XVIII Oil Industry

XIX The Snowy Mountains Scheme

XX The Sydney Opera House

XXI The Sydney Harbour Bridge

XXII Hamersley Iron

XXIII North West Shelf

Sources and References


Contact us

Thermal Electricity Generation in Queensland

The development of the massive coal export industry in Queensland sparked the growth and expansion of the electricity supply system into one unified grid stretching 1500 kilometers from the New South Wales border to north of Cairns, one of the longest grids in the world. All the major power stations in Queensland are black-coal-firedstations. The coal is generally of reasonably good quality, low in sulphur, relatively low in cost and abundant in supply. The low sulphur content has brought a penalty in that the dust from the coal is difficult to precipitate, requiring installation of relatively large precipitator plant when compared with similar plant overseas. Although bag filter technology has been used, it is felt that tying major base load plant to this technology in the present state of the art and knowledge of coal characteristics may be premature.

A further unique feature of black coal power stations in Queensland is the subtropical environment in which they operate. Experience has shown that parameters applicable to the northern hemisphere or colder climates may not be applicable in relation to environmental concerns in Queensland power stations. In particular, cooling water limitations in estuary situations and plume behaviour from power stations' chimneys call for special considerations not generally found in Australian power stations.

A further factor is the relative remoteness of locations and the shortage of water at inland power station sites. Transportation distances are longer, population centres are widely dispersed, and in certain areas of inland Queensland, the climate is relatively harsh. This had made it necessary to give special consideration to sociological as well as the traditional factors affecting the economic siting of power stations.

The overall size of Queensland's system and the possibility of significant system failure make reliability of the power stations paramount in the design, and has a great weighting when considering the technologies to be used. Risks that may be acceptable in large interconnected systems are not prudent in such situations. This is exacerbated by the type of load anticipated, where major interruptions of supply could lead to economic loss, i.e. aluminium smelters.

From a relatively primitive supply system of just 25 years ago, Queensland is now served by a fully interconnected system supplied by modern, sophisticated coal-fired generating plant of high reliability.

People in Bright Sparcs - Sutherland, K. N.

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 403 - 405, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher