2018 – Controlling the Murray River – Electrical and Control System Upgrade works at Yarrawonga and Torrumbarry Weirs

Paul Seaward, Chee Woo, Trevor Lange

Yarrawonga and Torrumbarry Weirs; located on the Murray River bordering Victoria and New South
Wales, are operated by Goulburn Murray Water on behalf of the Murray Darling Basin Authority.
The electrical and control systems that operate both structures were nearing 20 years of age, resulting in risk associated with equipment nearing the end of its useful working life and hardware obsolescence, driving this upgrade program. These control systems are critical in the monitoring and management of river levels and flows that extensively affect Victorian and New South Wales irrigation supplies and recreational users on the Murray River and Lake Mulwala.

Considerable effort was required to update and develop the control philosophy before proceeding to the design phase of the projects. The requirement to work on these brownfield sites, while maintaining operational ability and minimising dam safety and water delivery risks, resulted in a significant implementation and commissioning process. During the course of these works, the opportunity was also taken to enhance and update remote monitoring capability.

The lessons learnt on these projects are being incorporated into current Electrical and Control System Upgrade projects at Cairn Curran Reservoir and Dartmouth Dam.

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