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Made in Australia - 10 yr Warranty
Army August 4, 2011
By LCpl Mark Doran
DARWIN Harbour is a little safer
after sailors and soldiers recovered
and destroyed a collection of 60-year-
old unexploded ordnance in an opera-
tion coordinated by the Northern
Territory's Explosive Ordnance
Disposal Control Centre.
Teams of Navy clearance divers
from Perth, Sydney and Cairns did three
underwater recoveries between July
2010 and May 2011 with support from
Army LCM8s and Defence Maritime
Commercial divers conducting a sur-
vey of Darwin Harbour for a proposed
gas pipeline found the suspected unex-
ploded ordnance and the ADF recovered
65 high-explosive projectiles and 404
fuses of World War II vintage.
Maj David Eason, JLU-North, said
the diving conditions were difficult
because of the wide tidal variations in
Darwin, which could be up to 7m.
"Diving operations were limited to a
four-day window in each month and the
challenge was coordinating when the
divers were available with favourable
conditions," Maj Eason said.
"The dives conducted in February
were even more challenging as Tropical
Cyclone Carlos disrupted the activity
and visibility was restricted by the wet-
The risk assessment from the Navy
clearance divers showed their biggest
threat for the operation was from the
local salt-water crocodiles, so a sentry
was posted with a rifle.
ADF personnel disposed of all
recovered unexploded ordnance by
explosive demolition at the Kangaroo
Flats Training Area.
Safety first: Some
of the ordnance
(above) and (inset) a
soldier prepares the
detonation cord to
DSTO and Melbourne-based
HRL Technology are working on
a concept to turn a range of solid
wastes or rubbish into electricity.
The two organisations have
developed the "waste-to-energy"
concept using technology capable
of processing up to 5000kg of solid
waste a day.
Defence Science and Personnel
Minister Warren Snowdon said a
typical ADF battalion of 500 sol-
diers generated about 1000-2000kg
of waste a day on deployment.
"The aim of the waste to energy
system is to recover the embodied
energy of the rubbish and gener-
ate power for the base, reducing the
need for diesel," Mr Snowdon said.
One of the biggest fuel usages in
a deployed environment, excluding
air operations, is power generation
for headquarters, field hospitals, and
humanitarian relief sites.
Research by the joint team over
two-and-a-half years found the most
effective way to generate power was
to use hot gases from waste com-
bustion in a grate furnace, which
heated compressed air for expansion
through a turbine.
Mr Snowdon said the system
could potentially generate 200kW
of power -- enough to power 240
homes and 3000lt of hot water.
"This would equate to a fuel
saving of up to 1300lt of diesel per
day -- not only could that benefit
the environment but it's also a sub-
stantial potential cost saving," Mr
The technology is also relatively
small and deployable and requires
little or no water.
The system could be used at mil-
itary bases between deployments
to generate power and reduce the
ADF's greenhouse gas emissions by
diverting waste from landfill.
Mr Snowdon said the system
would also be suitable for use in
disaster relief situations, where
many electrical assets could be
destroyed and a lot of combustible
waste would be available.
The next stage involves con-
structing a prototype to demonstrate
the concept, which should be com-
pleted within two years.
What a load of energy
Waste not want not: Between 1000-2000kg of waste is generated by a typical battalion on deployment
each day. Technology could soon be turning waste into electricity.
Photo by Cpl Michael Wood
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