Remote Sandfire Roadhouse, mid-way between Port Hedland and Broome, relies on Cummins gensets for power, and has done so for 62,700 hours. The Sandfire Roadhouse is located on the Great Northern Highway between Port Hedland and Broome, and is the fuel stop in 610km of road.
Power for the roadhouse, which incorporates a motel, tavern caravan park complex, comes from three Cummins gensets. The 100kW unit powered by a Cummins 6CT engine was installed 14 years ago and has done 62,700 hours. Sometimes in summer it has been called on to work at 100% load when ambient temperatures have reached 65 degrees Celsius. The 6CT engine, yet to be overhauled, although it has had a couple of recon turbochargers, a new water pump and battery alternator, and the main alternator was rewound at 55,000 hours.
This genset now acts as a back-up to the two other Cummins units, one a 6BT which has done 44,000 hours, the other a 6CT with 26,000 hours of operation. These two are rotated depending on load and weather condition. With strict preventative maintenance program and staying with the same brand of oil, the radiators are cleaned regularly and the alternators are blown out with a garden leaf blower. Spare parts are not expensive, and the back-up and help from the Cummins people in Perth and Karratha is good.