New technology for bushfire season

Powercor will replace 31 km of underground cables with Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters (REFCL) included in the lead up to bushfire season.

Throughout the year Powercor has conducted approximately 350 tests of the REFCL technology, which is designed to assist during the bushfire season in western Victoria.

During the works, 24 km of powerlines with underground cables will be buried near Raywood while the remaining 7 km will be undergrounded in Lockwood.

As part of the first-round installations, engineers have tested and fitted the powerlines with REFCL technology, which automatically reduces power if a fault is detected anywhere along the network, therefore limiting the amount of sparks a damaged line presents.

Powercor REFCL Technical Director Andrew Bailey said the tests completed around the state have provided more confidence that the technology is operating as desired and will be an important safety precaution.

“If it’s a permanent fault REFCL is shutting the power off to avoid the chance a fire may start,” said Mr Bailey.

Powercor said the powerlines will be buried using a combination of boring, poughing and traditional trenching.

The utility has engaged with local stakeholders and said its priority is “to complete the works as quickly and as safely as possible, with minimal disruption to customers and communities”.

For more information visit the Powercor website.

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