After several years of investigation and research, AusNet Services is embarking on the Victorian Government’s latest legislated major bushfire mitigation program - the Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) program.
REFCL is essentially technology which cuts fault current within milliseconds in the event of a single phase to ground fault (e.g. a fallen line) - delivering an increased level of protection from the possibility of fire starts - and ensuring continuity of supply for customers by increasing voltage on the other phases of the line.
This cutting edge technology has been used for reliability benefits in other parts of the world, but this is the first time it has been adapted to reduce bushfire risk. AusNet Services is installing REFCL technology at 22 zone substations over the next seven years. More are being installed at other high bushfire risk locations across Victoria. The table below shows the current installation timetable for AusNet Services zone substations.
The first full REFCL unit is being installed in 2016 at AusNet Services’ Woori Yallock zone substation. As well as installing the REFCL within the zone substation, further preparations are well underway to balance the phases on the 22kV network, test, and where necessary replace equipment on the network. The unit will be operational ahead of the 2016-17 summer.
For more information, please download our Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter fact sheet or visit the Victorian Government’s REFCL page.