Following Cyclone Veronica, a flood risk was identified at the L954 WPS site. Prior to the cyclone the predicted water level at this site was 3.5m above the floor of the pump station building. This would mean that the electrical switchboards would be totally submersed, and they would probably be damaged beyond economical repair and would need to be replaced.
This site supplies water to Port Hedland town and the BHP mine facility and would need to continue immediately after the flood waters subside. Delivery times on replacement switchboards could take upwards of 6 months. A contingency electrical supply with diesel generator and switchboards is being investigated but initial estimates of the cost of this would be $1.2M.
During the investigation of flood protection methods, the possibility of using a “Diving Bell” to protect the switchboards from getting wet was suggested.
The purpose of this project is to investigate the viability of installing a custom made, reinforced, water trough upside down over the electrical switchboards to protect them from the flood waters.
The project is expected to comprise a Literature Review, development of a prototype and validation testing to confirm suitability.