Throughout 2010 and 2011, Western Power is undertaking a number of projects across our electricity network to improve the reliability of power supply to our customers.
Over 265 areas throughout metro and rural areas which have experienced the most frequent and lengthy power outages have been targeted for our project known as 'Automation works' – and as a result communities will enjoy fewer blackouts, and faster response times to power network faults.
These projects form part of our ongoing commitment to the provision of safe, reliable and efficient power to our customers across the network.
We are currently finalising works locations, approvals and timelines, and will update the website with further information in the coming months. We expect work to commence in 2011.
The upgrade work involves the installation of an 'automation device' on a power pole in your local area. This device will have several benefits, including:
- Improving power reliability (less frequent blackouts, and for less time)
- Improves the time it takes for us to find faults in our network
- Allows for us to better react and respond to power faults
- Allows remote access to enable us to restore power faster than ever before
Automation devices come in a number of forms – photo examples and descriptions are provided below.
The 'automation devices' are generally box-like structures which are fitted to the side of a transmission power pole. They enable us to isolate faults, and allow the power to automatically reconnect if a fault does not persist - rather than a crew needing to be sent out. This means we can respond more efficiently to network issues.
The installation of the automation device involves a construction crew working on-site for around 1 day. The areas in which work will take place have been identified as having experienced the highest number of minutes without power each year, so there should be marked improvement in local power supply as a result.
Western Power undertakes all of our works with the aim of minimising our impact on the local community and will be advertising in local publications over the coming months to increase awareness of this initiative. We will also be in touch with local residents before works take place.
In order to complete the works safely, there may be a requirement for short power outages. We will endeavour to minimise any outages, and will advise affected residents if they are required.
We also encourage you to visit our blog site and share your thoughts www.youhavethepower.com.au
The links below show examples of some of the equipment which is installed as a part of the Automation works programme.
Fault indicators come in the form of an overhead and underground unit. They improve the reliability of power supply by reducing the time it takes to identify the location of faults.
Automated Ring Unit
These are grounded mounted switches that can be remotely switched to isolate segment of the network and reconfigure power flow when required for the underground network.
Load Break Switch (LBS)
This is used to isolate segments of the network and remotely reconfigure power flow when required. This means faults can be located quickly, reducing outage times and improving customer satisfaction.
These are recognised as an essential device for providing maximum continuity of supply to customers simply and economically. Essentially, reclosers detect a fault on a line and will automatically close over several attempts to maximise the possibility of a fault clearing and maintaining supply. They are useful as studies indicate that faults on overhead distribution lines have shown that up to 70% are transient and can be cleared (with use of recloser) without interrupting customer supply.
Phone 13 10 87
This page will be updated with project information as it becomes available.