9.3MWp Solar Thermal, Liddell Power Station, Muswellbrook NSW

ground screws

FM 76×2300, FM 114×1200, FM 114×1600

photos by

Ground Screws Australia, Frenell , TW Power Services

This 9.3MW solar thermal facility is Australia’s largest solar thermal energy project and worldwide marked the first time that solar thermal technology was integrated with a coal-fired power station. 

For this project we installed 1,030 ground screws at 76mm diameter set approximately 900mm proud to support the 18,500m² of reflective panels. We installed another 80 ground screws at 114mm diameter as footings for the pump stations. Our client, Frenell (Novatec) advised that when load testing the footings, a failure rate of 3-5% was acceptable from their experience. They were impressed that we had only a 0.001% failure rate with only a single screw failing once under load due to a large boulder that was removed in that footing position, leaving the soil unstable. The screw was easily rectified by the use of a shim.

The 9.3MW solar boiler now feeds steam into the existing 2000MW Liddell power station. The replacement of coal by the solar boiler offsets coal consumption equivalent to approximately 5,000 tonnes CO2 per year.

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