Techsys Corporation designed and built the control panels for FMG for the controlled re-injection of ground water back into ground water systems. The process, known as MAR (Managed Aquifer Re-injection) takes water from one section of the underground aquifer to allow ore extraction, and moves the water to another, non-related aquifer. The Techsys control balances the amount of water being put back to the ground water or aquifer system. This maintains water levels to within the capacity of this natural system. This also prevents the need to pump water into nearby rivers or lakes, so preserving the local habitat and ecosystem.
Each control panel is self-contained, with remote SCADA access and telemetry monitoring. Flow rate, level and pressure are monitored. There are two MAR systems that Techsys has been working on for FMG, one of these is the largest MAR system in the world. Both MAR’s will continue to expand as the FMG mine site grows and the Techsys and B&R equipment will be able to accommodate this growth.
B&R worked with Techsys to develop a customised enclosure to accommodate and master the harsh conditions at the mine site in the Pilbara. Panels are mounted onto a concrete base with solar cells for operation and battery charging.
Because the external temperature can rise to 50 degrees and even higher, the panels have heat shields on the outside to markedly reduce the internal temperature, protecting the electrical and electronic components. Dust and rain are handled by the rugged, powder coated, 2mm thick aluminium B&R enclosure with an IP66 rating. The success of the project has been in managing large scale water transfer between underground aquifers with zero discharge to into the adjacent creeks that feed into the wetland system of Fortescue Marsh.
The MAR project places panels containing electrical and electronic equipment on mine sites in Western Australia where conditions are aggressive and harsh. Panels are outside on a remote site with temperatures from -10 to +50 degrees and direct sunlight, frequent lightning strikes, dust, rain, cyclones, saline water and consequently, corrosion. Techsys team members completed the installation in these conditions; interfacing the electrical, electronic and telemetry components to the pumps, piping and mechanical control.
The enclosure design that Techsys and B&R worked on together needed to be able to face these environmental challenges over a long period of time. The systems have been in place for more than 2 years, maintaining and managing the aquifer water to ensure all environmental regulations and requirements are adhered to.
“Techsys Corporation and B&R have a relationship that has been successful over a long period of time. B&R were heavily involved in helping Techsys Corporation engineer the enclosure for the MAR project and have worked closely with us to overcome any issues. They follow up quickly with technical questions and invest time and effort to help with our success. They provide us with a level of service above our expectations which also extends into other projects and products with B&R. We can have a laugh together with the B&R team whilst getting down to business to get the work done.”