The Reality of Providing Energy in Australia: Bushfire Mitigation and the Benefits of Power Quality Monitoring Outside Substations

 

ABSTRACT:

Utilities operating in Australia face many adversaries with regards to power distribution; challenges which would drive most international counterparts to alternative markets. Australian utilities are a much more resilient group, and with modern developments in pole mounted switchgear, the obstacles faced are not quite as insurmountable as they used to be.

Australian utilities possess among the longest feeders in the world, and long feeder lines exacerbate the issues presented with power quality and bushfire risk, but with recent developments in capabilities of automatic circuit reclosers (ACRs), it is possible to alleviate this headache. Further updates to recloser control capabilities have caused the advent of remote ACR power quality monitoring, and this new capability has opened the door for greater reliability on long feeders as more accurate, local and relevant power quality data can be gathered. All of this information can be remotely interrogated, retrieved and then manipulated to grant utilities unprecedented resources to improve their reliability of supply. Additionally, new capabilities to control and manipulate reclosing sequences remotely without having to edit settings along with simple self-diagnosing communications systems to ensure reliable network reporting and awareness, it is possible to reduce and manage the bushfire risk.

The combination of these two components into the single solution of a “recloser” allows new capabilities which can be used to resolve a large number of problems the utilities are facing in their electrical networks today.

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