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Temperature monitoring reduces costly repairs for beater wheel mills

Supplier: Automation Group
05 September, 2014

Victorian power station installs temperature monitoring equipment to keep down time and repairs to a minimum.

This large brown coal fired power station is one of two located in Victoria's Latrobe Valley. It is a base load supply station with two 500MW units that generates electricity to meet Victoria's growing energy needs. It is supplied 24 hours a day with raw brown coal from its adjacent open cut mine.

The incoming coal is fed directly into the Mill (image provided) to pulverise the coal, then into the beater wheel to be dried before it enters the boilers. Under certain operating conditions, a localised fire can occur near the face of the Beater Wheel which can result in costly downtime and repairs.


A decision to install temperature monitoring equipment near the face of the Beater Wheel was taken by engineering staff. They needed to monitor the beater wheel temperature, get that data into their existing monitoring system, and prevent localised fire on the beater wheel to avoid costly down time and repairs.

Because of the severe operating conditions and the difficult installation location, a wireless system was deemed the only method capable of achieving a reliable and suitably flexible solution.


After an in depth investigation and a review of available technologies by engineering staff, the IECex rated Oleumtech wireless battery powered sensors and Wireless Gateway I/O products were selected to provide the required reliable solution.

An embedded thermocouple device was installed to measure the temperature that the beater wheel is exposed to.

This was connected directly to the self-contained, battery-powered Oleumtech TC-1 Thermocouple wireless sensor which is made especially for remote, rugged environments without easy access.

The Oleumtech TC-1 wireless sensor transmits temperature data that the Beater Wheel is exposed to via wireless. It also transmits the sensors battery voltage and wireless strength (RSSI) data to an Oleumtech DH-2 wire-less Gateway installed at the engineering office. The DH-2 Gateway then connects to an existing DCS system via RS232/485 Modbus.

The site will eventually have up to 48 remote Oleumtech TC-1 thermocouple wireless sensors, positioned at various points around the plant communicating to the original Oleumtech DH-2 Gateway.


Oleumtech wireless battery powered sensors and Wireless Gateway I/O products were selected to provide the required reliable and flexible solution.

With the required temperature data being fed directly from the Beater wheel to the DCS system, it is expected that down time and repairs due to unforeseen temperature levels will be kept to a minimum if not totally eliminated.

Equipment List

Oleumtech TC-1 thermocouple wireless sensors

DH-2 wireless Gateways