Fires continue to affect high voltage powerlines
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 Last night, Powerlink advised that fires burning in the Greenbank area were affecting high voltage transmission lines, resulting in momentary electrical faults causing voltage dips. Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York has said that fires are continuing in the Greenbank region today and new fires have started, impacting on additional transmission lines, resulting in further voltage dips. “While the fire threat continues, there is likely to be further momentary voltage dips such as those experienced last night and during today. “These voltage dips occur because the smoke and other matter from the fire provide a conductive path, which in layman’s terms results in a ‘short circuit’ – smoke containing carbon and ash from the bushfire rises and can cause electricity to ‘arc’, or ‘jump’, creating a power fluctuation. “While Powerlink’s electricity network operated as designed and in accordance with the National Electricity Rules, isolating the lines in the vicinity of the fire to prevent any permanent damage to those lines, we understand that some customers’ electrical systems may not withstand the brief voltage dip and sensitive electrical equipment of some of those customers may have been interrupted,” Ms York said. Powerlink reiterated that no bulk electricity load has been disconnected from Powerlink’s high-voltage network as a result of the electrical faults caused by the fire; however customers in parts of Brisbane and the South East Queensland region may continue to experience brief voltage dips until the fires have abated. “Powerlink representatives are on site and will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. We thank customers for their patience while this situation continues,” she said.