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Power & Drive Solutions are quickly becoming a market leader in the development and installation of specialist control solutions for mobile power generation equipment generally owned by Hire Companies…

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Great Southern Railway Van Upgrade

Power & Drive Solutions managed and implemented the upgrade of 28 1950‘s diesel engines within 10 power vans for the Ghan and Indian Pacific trains with new control systems and updated diesel engines.

The upgrade was performed over a 2 year period and involved the decommissioning of the old engines, retro fit of the new 225 kVA engines and control systems, and commissioning of the new evolution in the ten power vans affected.

The challenge

The challenge was to design and introduce a control system that would operate continuously without an attendant engineer, with reliability clearly being paramount given the huge distances the trains cover.

The result

The final product allowed for the trains to run the power supplies on one engine instead of two or three on a common bus. In the interests of maintaining a manageable maintenance program, the engines were also “Run As Equalling” to enable better service scheduling, as they are never more than 8 hours apart across three engines. This was a key feature of the solution deployed.

The ComAp control system introduced also allowed for better engine monitoring through a Tetracom satellite connection to the VPN at United Rail Group. This translated to a 27% saving in fuel costs.

This was a major undertaking in an area that was foreign to most contractors. The impressive results generated resulted in Power & Drive Solutions being awarded the 2007 National Electrical and Communications Association Award for Excellence.