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Issue #20, November 2018

Engineering, Construction & Maintenance

THE DIGITAL NATIVE:

UNDERSTANDING

TODAY’S CUSTOMER A FAMILIAR FOE:

CONQUERING CORROSION

POWERSHOP’S ED MCMANUS

ON MAKING RETAIL WORK WATER

SEWER

ELECTRICITY

GAS


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Issue #20, November 2018

FROM THE

THE DIGITAL NATIVE:

EDITOR

UNDERSTANDING

TODAY’S CUSTOMER A FAMILIAR FOE:

CONQUERING CORROSION

POWERSHOP’S ED MCMANUS

ON MAKING RETAIL WORK WATER

SEWER

November 2018

ISSUE 20

welcome

Engineering, Construction & Maintenance

ELECTRICITY

GAS

Cover image highlights our feature on retail, billing and CRM.

7,249 1 October 2017 - 31 March 2018

Published by

Monkey Media Enterprises ABN: 36 426 734 954 PO Box 1763 Preston South VIC 3072 P: (03) 9988 4950 monkeymedia.com.au info@monkeymedia.com.au utilitymagazine.com.au info@utilitymagazine.com.au ISSN: 2203-2797 Publisher Chris Bland Editor Charlotte Pordage Managing Editor Laura Harvey Senior Associate Editor Jessica Dickers Associate Editor Lauren Cella Journalists Elisa Iannunzio Lauren Butler Daniel Johnson Digital Marketing Manager Sam Penny Business Development Manager Rima Munafo Marketing Assistant Helena Brace Senior Designer Alejandro Molano

O

nly 39 per cent of Australians trust their energy company — down from 50 per cent in 2017 — according to the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) national retail competition review. With power bills at an all-time high and customer satisfaction at an all-time low across the country, retailers are going to have to work hard to restore consumer confidence in the retail energy market. Yet one retailer continues to go from strength to strength. Awarded Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers – Electricity Providers VIC the last three years running, Powershop’s consumer-savvy blend of digital tools and environmentally conscious practices is making a strong impression on the Australian public. In this edition of Utility, Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Energy and Powershop Australia, Ed McManus, talks about how placing the customer at the centre of every move the company makes has been the main driver behind Powershop’s rapid growth. Sydney Water has also been focusing on the needs of its customers by establishing a Customer Hub that considers and minimises customer impact, provides proactive SMS and email communications and case management for customers, and seeks and acts on customer feedback in real time. Positive results have emerged from the Customer Hub pilot, with real-time customer feedback showing that over 80 per cent of respondents were satisfied or extremely satisfied that they were kept informed during interruptions to their water supply. Sydney Water is now looking to make the Customer Hub a permanent reality and expand coverage to its entire customer base. More and more utilities are transitioning to becoming customercentric organisations, with technology as a key enabler in improving the overall customer experience. Technology is also minimising the impact of network repairs on customers,

through the use of data analytics to help utilities undertake proactive rather than reactive maintenance, eliminate unplanned asset failures and establish a risk-based asset strategy. Technological advancement was among the topics discussed at Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure 2018, which ran in September in Sydney and brought together leaders in the utility and infrastructure sectors to discuss current challenges and opportunities in asset management. This was the second year of the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure conference, and in only 12 months, the event had doubled in size. The positive feedback from attendees emphasised the high-quality speakers and topics which gave delegates tools they could implement in their own asset management strategies. We’re not one to rest on our laurels however. Preparations are already well underway for Utility’s next event, Digital Utilities 2019, which is being held from 21-22 March in Melbourne. The event will explore themes around emerging technologies, such as automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, smart networks, comprising the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and cyber security, and the digital citizen, which will look at connected customers, workforce mobility and Distributed Energy Resources (DER). The Digital Utility Awards will also return for 2019, with six awards now up for grabs, and will be presented at the Digital Utilities gala dinner and awards ceremony on 21 March. For more information on the conference or to nominate your utility for an award, visit www.digitalutilities.com.au. As always, please get in touch if you have any thoughts or feedback on the magazine by emailing me at charlotte. pordage@monkeymedia.net.au and I look forward to seeing you at Corrosion and Prevention 2018, where this edition of Utility is being distributed. Charlotte Pordage Editor

Designer Aileen Ng UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

1


Bulk Liquid Transport


CONTENTS

28

38

46

i RETAIL, BILLING AND CRM

SMART GRIDS

TRANSFORMERS AND SUBSTATIONS

Making retail work: regaining the trust of consumers ............... 28

Groundbreaking trial transforming the future of the grid .................. 38

Substation upgrades secure supply for Queensland ........................... 46

How UK software Aptumo is delivering Australia an apt, SaaS solution for customer billing ..... 32

Wish your field techs had more “wrench time”? Give them better mobile tech tools ........................ 42

A smart roadmap for transmission line relocation ............................ 50

Sydney Water Customer Hub – moving towards an enhanced customer experience .................. 34

Are demand response pilots trying to answer the wrong questions? ................................... 44

73

86

WASTEWATER

SAFETY

HDD

Striving towards energy-efficient wastewater treatment................. 73

Twice as safe under pressure .... 86

Protecting property and preserving wildlife with trenchless technology ................ 90

Innovation and efficiency in realtime chlorine analysis................. 76

The Aussie invention keeping worksites safe and generating efficiencies for plant operators ........................... 88

The end of primary sedimentation tanks in wastewater treatment plants? ......................................... 78

82 UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

Getting the job done with modern, reliable equipment ...... 94 HDD and microtunnelling key tools in creating water grid ................. 96

WATER INDUSTRY SAFETY

4

93

Prevention led — how virtual reality is reshaping the way we think about safety ....................... 82

Water Corporation selects PE100 HSCR for groundwater replenishment pipeline .............. 98

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52

64

ISSUE 20

November 2018

68

CORROSION

PIPELINE INTEGRITY

LEAK DETECTION

Why all Project Managers should be designing against corrosion ........................ 52

Viega’s pipework solutions reduce labour time by 75 per cent ......... 62

Making the business case for Automatic Meter Reading .... 68

Extending asset life using innovative lining techniques ...... 64

Smart water network enhancing leak detection ........... 70

Selecting the right coating for steel structures ...................... 56 Restoring powerline poles to full strength............................. 58

Proving pipes can last for longer ....................... 67

Addressing corrosion risks in Australia’s most liveable city ................................. 60

102 The utility industry is regularly required to call on an enormous and varied range of specialists; from mapping, to drilling, to wastewater treatment, to asset management, to pipe relining, to pipeline integrity, to land access, to risk management, and the list goes on. To make the process a little easier, Utility is bringing together experts from various fields to answer your questions.

In each issue Welcome from the Editor ............................... 1 A word from Energy Networks Australia.... 6 A word from WSAA ........................................ 8 100

News briefs ....................................................10 Advertisers’ index ...................................... 104

EQUIPMENT RENTAL

Editorial schedule ...................................... 104

Australians do it their way ....... 100 UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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5


A WORD FROM ENERGY NETWORKS AUSTRALIA ANDREW DILLON CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – ENERGY NETWORKS AUSTRALIA

I

n the past decade, power prices have increased at double the rate of inflation. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) investigation into retail electricity pricing attributed this to: • increases in network costs due to more stringent reliability requirements imposed by governments • increases in wholesale electricity prices caused by the exit of large coal-fired power generators, falling generation investment and market concentration • higher environmental costs • increases in retail costs and margins Privatisation was not cited as a cause of higher prices. Privatisation facts on price and reliability In Victoria, electricity network businesses were privatised in 1995–1996, with South Australia following suit in 1999–2000. A comparison of Victoria and South Australia with national averages tells an interesting story. The network component of overall power prices paid by customers makes up about 40 to 551 per cent of the bill. Data from the Australian Energy Market Commission demonstrates lower network costs for consumers in both jurisdictions, compared with the national average. We break down the average annual power bill to show regulated network costs, including metering charges, against other charges like wholesale and retail costs, and environmental policies. National average annual bill in $

Victorian average annual bill in $ $1,000

$1,000

$900

$900

$800

$800

$700

$700

$600

$600

$500

$500

$400

$400

By national standards, network charges in 2011–2012 made up $695 of the average bill, leaving Victorian customers on average $205 better off. Victorian distribution businesses are among the most efficient and cost effective in the national electricity market3 — with increases in network charges almost solely due to the costs of the smart meter rollout. South Australian annual average bill in $ $1,200 $1,000 $800

Regulated networks

$600

Other charges

$400 $200 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18

FIGURE 2 – SOUTH AUSTRALIAN AVERAGE ANNUAL BILL DISAGGREGATED FOR NETWORK COSTS

In South Australia, charges from the privatised networks were consistently lower than ‘other charges,’ with a noticeable drop from 2014–2015. Wholesale, retail and environmental costs continued to rise above network charges, with customers paying on average an extra $455 for charges not related to poles and wires. Impact on network service levels: reliability Assertions have also been made that the privatisation of services previously provided by governments has led to declining service levels. The System Average Interruption Duration Index data (SAIDI) is a key indicator of reliability. Figure 3 describes the number of minutes per year that an average customer was off supply. Average SAIDI by region 160.0 140.0

Minutes per year

The Victorian Premier says “privatisation has not worked” and the Federal Opposition says the impact of privatisation on power prices should be part of any Royal Commission into energy. But the reality is privatisation has delivered good results for customers.

120.0 100.0 80.0 60.0 40.0 20.0 0.0 2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

National customers

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

VIC customers

FIGURE 3 – SYSTEM AVERAGE INTERRUPTION DURATION INDEX Regulated networks

Other charges

Regulated networks

Other charges

FIGURE 1 – VICTORIAN AND NATIONAL AVERAGE ANNUAL BILL DISAGGREGATED FOR NETWORK COSTS

By 2012, there had been four to five successive increases across the NEM that were 10 per cent or more annually2. Network charges were identified in the media as the main driver behind the price increases, however, in Victoria, network charges remained consistently cheaper than other parts of the bill. In 2011–2012, network costs accounted for $490 of the average bill, in comparison with $950 worth of retail/ wholesale and green scheme costs.

BY REGION

Last year, excluding major event days4, Victorian customers experienced on average 76 unplanned minutes off supply, while the national average was 107 minutes. While this does not prove that privatisation makes networks more reliable, it certainly does not support the theory that privatisation makes networks less reliable. The verdict Australia’s energy woes and high power prices cannot be blamed on the privatisation of energy network businesses. To quote ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, “there is no doubt that privatisation has worked with poles and wires."

https://www.aer.gov.au/system/files/State%20of%20the%20energy%20market%2C%20May%202017%20%28A4%20format%29_1.pdf. http://oakleygreenwood.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Bill-component-movement-analysis-final-27Feb2017.pdf. 3 https://www.aer.gov.au/system/files/AER%202017%20distribution%20network%20service%20provider%20benchmarking%20report.pdf. 4 As defined in Australian Energy Regulator, Draft Distribution Reliability Guidelines, Electricity distribution network service providers, June 2017. 1 2

6

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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integrity

{in•teg•ri•ty}

noun. The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does. synonyms: strength, honour, cohesion, undividedness

collaboration

{col•lab•o•ra•tion}

noun. The action of two or more people or organisations working towards a common goal. A focused effort to accomplish a task or project together. synonyms: cooperation, partnership, participation

innovation

{in•no•va•tion}

noun. The introduction of new things, ideas or ways of doing something that can create value and/or gain a competitive advantage. synonyms: change, revolution, break with tradition

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A WORD FROM WSAA I

n August 2018, the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) released the Sustainable Development Goals Progress Report: Global goals for local communities, a report that explores the significant work over the past 12 months by the Australian urban water sector on building industry capacity around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Progress Report comes one year on from the release of WSAA’s first paper exploring the SDGs — Global Goals for Local Communities: Urban water advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. A year on from the urban water industry’s commitment to the SDGs it has been inspiring to see the steps being taken by Australian water businesses to explore how they contribute to and support the goals, particularly SDG six: clean water and sanitation. Goal six highlights the fundamental role of the water industry’s core operations and the contribution our activities make to future prosperity both locally and globally. No other sector is singled out with a goal in this way.

While some goals and targets are more immediately relevant to us and we have a greater opportunity to influence, our activities contribute right across the spectrum in our roles as a service provider, employer, community partner, procurer of goods and services, and manager of critical assets. The SDGs offer a unique opportunity for the urban water industry to come together, learn from and contribute to international experience and make a significant positive impact on the community. The goals resonate with the urban water industry for these reasons and are a key driver to inspire WSAA to lead the industry in promoting and advancing the goals. As you will see in the Progress Report supported by case studies, many opportunities for building industry capacity around the SDGs have been realised in the last year, as have significant contributions to achieving national and global SDG commitments. In July 2018, Australia delivered its first Voluntary National Review at the UN High Level Political Forum on

Sustainable Development. The Review noted the work of the water industry in raising awareness of SDG six, along with all the SDGs, with customers, governments and stakeholders. In addition, the Danish Water and Wastewater Association (DANVA) recently used the first WSAA report on the SDGs to model its own. Moving forward, WSAA will continue to lead the industry in using the goals as a lens to frame the broader contribution urban water makes to a prosperous, sustainable and equitable society. This will include engaging with the industry and contributing to the national agenda through forging new partnerships and further developing those already in place. Achieving the goals is a long-term project and there are many points at which water businesses can join the journey. Our desire is that this Progress Report, along with the first Global Goals Paper, will be used as a tool to encourage collaboration as well as a guide to embracing responsibility and demonstrating leadership in meeting the SDGs and the long-term vision they provide for a better world.

Sustainable Development Goals Progress Report: Global goals for local communities was released by WSAA on 8 August 2018. It is available at www.wsaa.asn.au/publication/sustainable-development-goals-progress-report-global-goals-local-communities.

8

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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NEWS

AUSTRALIAN SOLAR EXPERT AWARDED GLOBAL ENERGY PRIZE M artin Green, a Professor at UNSW Sydney, has become the first Australian to win the Global Energy Prize for his research, development and education in the field of photovoltaics. The annual Global Energy Prize was presented to Professor Green by Russian Minister of Energy, Alexander Novak, in Moscow, Russia. The award honours outstanding achievement in research and technology, and is designed to address some of the world’s most pressing energy challenges. Reflecting on his award, Professor Green thanked his wife, “…my own renewable resource”, for giving him the freedom to pursue his passion. He also paid tribute to the “thousands of solar researchers who have worked in the field for many years, including those at UNSW and elsewhere who have helped not just make PERC a reality, but also to bring it to market and to have driven such scale". Professor Green, who is Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics at UNSW, was honoured for having “revolutionised the efficiency and costs of solar photovoltaics, making this now the lowest cost option for bulk electricity supply”. He shares the prize and RUB 39 million ($820,000) prize money with Russian scientist Sergey Alekseenko, an expert in thermal power engineering. They were selected from 44 contenders from 14 countries by a committee of leading scientists. The prize is rated as one of the world’s 99 major science awards by IREG List of International Academic Awards with a reputation score of 0.48 (a Nobel Prize has a score of 1.0). The ten finalists this year included businessman and engineer Elon Musk.

10

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

Professor Green is a world-leading specialist in both monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon solar cells, and the research group he founded in UNSW Engineering is the largest and best-known university-based photovoltaic research group in the world. The enormous reductions in costs in photovoltaic solar systems in recent years is directly related to his scientific efforts, largely through the work of his students in establishing manufacturing centres in Asia. His record-breaking achievements stretch across decades. In 1989, his team supplied the solar cells for the first photovoltaic system with an energy conversion efficiency of 20 per cent. In 2014, he headed the development team that first demonstrated the conversion of sunlight into electricity with an energy conversion efficiency of 40 per cent. Among his many breakthroughs, he invented the PERC solar cell, which accounts for at least a quarter of the world solar cell manufacturing capacity and has a rapidly increasing market share due to its greater efficiency over other types of cells. PERC solar cells are now becoming a commercial standard throughout the world, with sales exceeding US$10 billion in 2017 and predicted to exceed US$1 trillion by 2040. “The time of solar has arrived and this is good news for the world,” Professor Green said in his acceptance speech. “The PERC cells pioneered by UNSW now reflect 50 per cent of world production. During that time, we’ve seen solar move from expensive energy to inexpensive energy. Our work on PERC has driven that.”

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NEWS

Call for longer notice period FOR GENERATOR CLOSURES E

nergy Networks Australia is calling for an increase in the notice period companies are required to provide the market when closing electricity generators. In its submission to the Australian Energy Market Commission, Energy Networks Australia has recommended the time-of-closure notice be extended from three to five years, to allow networks enough time to build infrastructure to support new electricity generation. Energy Networks Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dillon, said giving the market more time would ensure the whole system could cope when existing generation was retired. “Three years may be enough notice when the replacement generation is easily incorporated into the existing grid, but it’s a tight squeeze if the retirement triggers a need for new infrastructure such as interconnectors,” Mr Dillon said. “Transmission and distribution networks will continue to have a fundamental role in ensuring power system reliability and security. “We don’t want to build new network infrastructure that may not be needed, but we’ll all be in trouble if major

FACILITIES RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.

generation closures lead to major system risks. The sudden closure of Hazelwood highlights that we have to get this right. “Pushing out the notice period to five years will provide more certainty and help increase the delivery of required transmission assets within the five-year window — factoring in approvals, environmental assessments, project plans and build time.”

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11


NEWS

ACCC to publish gas export PARITY PRICES ONLINE L NG netback prices will now be published on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website in an effort to improve gas price transparency. An LNG netback price is an export parity price that a gas supplier can expect to receive for exporting its gas. It is calculated by taking the delivered price of LNG and subtracting the costs of liquefying natural gas and shipping it to the destination port. It represents the price that a gas supplier would expect to receive from a domestic gas buyer to be indifferent between selling the gas to the domestic buyer and exporting it. When the current ACCC gas inquiry commenced in April 2017, many domestic gas buyers in the east coast were receiving offers for gas supply at prices that were well in excess of LNG netback prices. “This was a clear sign to us that the gas market in the east coast was not operating effectively,” ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, said.

CIVIL | MINING | GAS

“Domestic gas buyers clearly should not have to pay more for gas produced in Australia than the overseas buyers.” The published LNG netback price series will assist east coast gas users to identify trends in LNG netback prices and to estimate an indicative reference price of gas for supply over the near term. This publication does not represent the ACCC setting a level of gas prices or an ACCC forecast of either international or domestic gas prices. The ACCC is making this information publicly available to help fill an information gap that has existed in the east coast gas market since LNG producers in Queensland began to export gas in 2015. “Since the linking of the east coast and international gas markets, gas users have not had access to readily available information about export parity prices and how they are calculated,” Mr Sims said. “Gas users have regularly commented to us that our publication of gas prices and LNG netback prices in

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UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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NEWS

our interim gas reports helps them in their gas supply negotiations. “Publication of LNG netback prices on our website will further improve gas price transparency and reduce the information imbalance between gas buyers and sellers.” The series shows that LNG netback prices are volatile and can change significantly over time. LNG netback prices have increased considerably since the start of the ACCC’s gas inquiry, driven by an increase in global demand for gas and a weaker Australian dollar. The average LNG netback price at the Wallumbilla Gas Supply Hub has been $10.69/GJ so far in 2018, compared to $7.27/GJ over the same period in 2017 and is currently expected to be on average around $12.40/GJ over the same period in 2019. “While industry analysts expect international LNG prices to ease over time with an increase in global LNG supply, conditions in the east coast gas market remain very challenging for domestic gas buyers, particularly commercial and industrial gas users,” Mr Sims said. As the ACCC reported in July 2018, there remains an urgent need to produce more lower-cost gas, particularly in the south, to lower prices to gas users. “While commissioning import terminals can bring

additional quantities of gas into the south, greater benefit can be gained from producing additional, lower-cost gas,” Mr Sims said. “This could mean that instead of paying import parity prices or paying to transport gas from Queensland, domestic gas users in the south could be paying prices that are closer to the cost of producing additional gas — a difference of up to about $4/GJ based on current estimates. “We continue to urge state governments to adopt policies that consider and manage risks of individual gas developments rather than implementing blanket moratoria and regulatory restrictions.” The published forward LNG netback price series is likely to be most useful for gas users that are negotiating gas supply with a term of up to two years. The ACCC recognises that a number of gas users are seeking to enter into longer term agreements for supply over the next five to ten years. To inform those negotiations, users are likely required to estimate indicative reference prices based on other gas price markers. Over the course of the gas inquiry, running from 20172020, the ACCC will publish additional information on its website to assist gas users, including information on transportation charges.

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13


NEWS

COMBATING ODOUR AT PORT ADELAIDE PUMP STATION

S

A Water’s new 13m-high, 12.1 tonne bio-trickling filter has been safely and successfully lifted into place as part of a $2 millionplus project to combat odour at the Port Adelaide Wastewater Pump Station. South Australian contractor Waternish Engineering began upgrade works in May 2018, which has seen three smaller bio-filter vessels installed, and work undertaken to prepare the site for the larger bio-trickling filter vessel. These works are expected to take around six months to complete.

SA Water’s General Manager of Asset Operations and Delivery, Mark Gobbie, said the Australian-made system will improve long-term odour management through three-stages of odour control technology — a bio-trickling filter, bio filters and activated carbon as a polishing effect. “The bio-trickling filter uses bacteria to remove the odorous gas from the wastewater. As the air rises through the tank, water feeds the bacteria which eats away at the odour and eventually releases treated, clean air through the top of the unit,” Mr Gobbie said. “With a similar system already in use at our Parafield Gardens facility, we know it’s a highly effective filtering system that will benefit odour management at the site.” The delicate operation required delivery of the large filter using an oversized truck from New South Wales, with two cranes needed to raise and vertically rotate the filter into position at the station.

A visual impact assessment was also undertaken prior to the manufacture of the unit and the local community was engaged on a colour scheme that would best blend in with the surrounds. “The bio-trickling filter has been designed using a two-tone colour scheme, with our selected colours given the tick of approval by the community prior to manufacture,” Mr Gobbie said. “While the station has previously operated using a carbon filter system as an interim measure, we wanted to put in place a long-term solution to combat odour, as well as support continued growth in the western Adelaide area.” Receiving an average of 22.5 million litres of sewage every day, the Port Adelaide Wastewater Pump Station is a vital facility serving over 30,000 homes and businesses in Adelaide’s western suburbs.

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NEWS

GOULBURN’S NEW $32 MILLION WASTEWATER PLANT

A

new $32 million wastewater treatment plant is now open in Goulburn, NSW, providing modern, environmentally-friendly sewage treatment facilities, and treated effluent for sustainable reuse. Federal Member for Hume, Angus Taylor, said the project, which is the first stage of a larger scheme, will increase the capacity of wastewater treatment to reach thousands of people across the city. “The treatment plant is set to connect around 10,500 properties in the City of Goulburn, a number which is expected to increase with time. “The project, supported with a $10 million Federal funding grant, has created 500 jobs during construction, which is another enormous investment in the local community,” Mr Taylor said. Assistant Minister for Regional Development, Sussan Ley, said the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, pump station and rising main would help distribute

reused water to Goulburn and the Southern Tablelands region, and even as far north as the Sydney Catchment.

“This was a huge project, constructing a new concrete flowreceiving structure, an in-ground concrete raw sewage lift pump station and the refurbishment of an existing grit tank. “In addition, the construction of new effluent discharge infrastructure and improvements to an existing effluent pump station will help process the recycled wastewater for a more productive use down the line,” Ms Ley said.

Mayor of Goulburn Mulwaree, Bob Kirk, said the completion of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade provides the necessary infrastructure for sustainable treatment of the city’s sewage now and into the future. “We are now able to treat sewage to modern standards and can accommodate the significant population growth we expect to see in the coming decades. “The upgrade also means fantastic community outcomes, including the ability to provide a reuse product for irrigation on sporting fields and parkland throughout the area — this product will also be available to potential customers in the future”, Mr Kirk said. The $32 million Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade project was jointly funded by Goulburn Mulwaree Council ($22 million) and the Australian Government ($10 million) through the National Stronger Regions Fund.

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NEWS

SOLAR DESIGN

WINNERS ANNOUNCED T

he 2018 Solar Design and Installation Award winners have been announced by the Clean Energy Council at the All-Energy Australia Exhibition and Conference in Melbourne. Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said the 2018 winners have continued to raise the bar, highlighting the growth and innovation that the Australian solar industry embodies and expects. “The winning projects reflect an incredible growth period in the solar industry and are highly innovative solutions to unique challenges that push the boundaries of what is technically possible,” Mr Thornton said. “The winners on show range from Australia’s first modular and scalable floating solar PV system to the largest privatelyowned rooftop solar installation in the Southern Hemisphere

and a steampunk-inspired solar system that allows an office to run completely off the grid for two days. “Selecting the winners has been particularly tough for the judging panel of independent solar industry experts this year. I thank all who took the time to submit an entry to the 2018 Solar Design and Installation Awards.” Winners were announced across the following categories: • Under 30kW standalone PV power system • Under 30kW grid connect PV power system • Under 30kW grid connect PV power system with battery backup • 30-240kW — any system eligible • Over 240kW — any system eligible • Judges’ Honourable Mention

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UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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The full list of winners in the 2018 Solar Design and Installation Awards is as follows:

UNDER 30KW STANDALONE PV POWER SYSTEM Michael Reiken, from Excel Power, for a steampunkinspired solar PV system to allow a workshop and office to run completely off-grid with two days of autonomy.

30-240KW — ANY SYSTEM ELIGIBLE Geoff Fussell and Guy Cameron, from Suntrix, for designing and installing Australia’s first modular scalable floating solar PV system in Lismore, NSW.

UNDER 30KW GRID CONNECT PV POWER SYSTEM Matthew Leeson, from Leeson Solar, for a 6.75kW building-integrated PV solar tile system on the Austral Bricks display centre in Rochedale Queensland.

OVER 240KW — ANY SYSTEM ELIGIBLE Jarrod Shepherd and Matthew Linney, from Autonomous Energy, for a 2.2MW rooftop solar system on the Sydney Markets, the largest privately-owned rooftop solar system in the Southern Hemisphere.

UNDER 30KW GRID CONNECT PV POWER SYSTEM WITH BATTERY BACKUP Luke Fraser, from Solar Integrity, for a combined solar PV and battery system that demonstrates how residences connected to single wire earth return lines can install larger solar systems.

JUDGES’ HONOURABLE MENTION Nicholas Lake, Gregory Wilson and Simon Gibbs, from Nickel Energy, for converting a 68-year-old diesel train to become the world’s first solar-powered train in Byron Bay, NSW.

Lattice Towers Steel Poles PLS-CADD powerline profiling Design and install foundations Conductor and OPGW stringing Underground cable installation Fibre optic cable installation Transformer compounds Testing and commissioning

WWW.FUTUREAU.COM.AU UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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NEWS

STATE GOVERNMENT BECOMES SHAREHOLDER IN TASWATER C

ouncil owners of TasWater have voted to support the Tasmanian Government becoming a shareholder of the statewide water and sewerage company. The government will inject $200 million over the next decade in return for a 10 per cent shareholding. TasWater Chairman, Miles Hampton, and TasWater Chief Owners’ Representative, David Downie, the Mayor of Northern Midlands Council, have welcomed the vote by councils, saying it will ensure that the State Government, Local Government and TasWater will work cooperatively in improving Tasmania’s water and sewerage services. David Downie said he is very pleased that councils have endorsed the plan

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that was announced in early May 2018. “The injection of $20 million each year into TasWater for ten years will enable water and sewerage charges to be contained with prices frozen for a year from 1 July 2019 and further annual increases capped at 3.5 per cent until 30 June 2025.” Mr Hampton said the Board had recommended the proposal and the vote represented a solid vote of confidence in TasWater from council owners. “TasWater has made significant progress in addressing the infrastructure challenges that it has faced, but the injection of $200 million in fresh equity gives us the funding capacity to keep price increases lower than they otherwise might be while

at the same time making our best endeavours to both increase and speed up our capital program.” Councils, having now endorsed the proposal, look forward to the State Government tabling the draft legislation in Parliament. It is expected that the new TasWater ownership structure will be in place by the start of 2019.

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NEWS

Groundwater investment

AT MT PIPER POWER STATION E

nergyAustralia has committed $2 million toward new measures to manage underground water at the Mt Piper Power Station in the central west of New South Wales. Ross Edwards, EnergyAustralia Executive – Energy, said the spend was part of a broader program to provide the community, workers and customers with certainty about the future of the power station, which has an operating life until 2043. Works already underway at Mt Piper include a $200 million water treatment plant and pipeline project, assessment of a waste-to-energy project and a rail development to expand sources of long-term coal supply. The new groundwater investment is in addition to the $11.5

Oxygen Analysers, Relative Humidity Sensors and Meters, Dewpoint Measurement

million already spent each year at Mt Piper on managing water at the site. “In 2016, a study at Mt Piper confirmed readings of elevated chloride in the groundwater beneath the ash repository, and ongoing monitoring has now given us a good indication of the source. It showed chloride from ash was making its way through the soil and rock and into groundwater beneath the repository,” Mr Edwards said. “If we’re planning for Mt Piper to be part of the energy system for a long time to come, then groundwater is one of the potential impacts we have to manage and get right. Owners of big power stations have an obligation to make sure their operations are environmentally and socially acceptable.”

U.V Absorption Conductivity pH / ORP Colour

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Oxygen Analysers, Thermal Conductivity Analysers, NDIR Analysers, Multigas Analysers, OEM Analysers

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Industrial Water Analysers and Liquid Analytical Products (pH, Conductivity, ORP, Dissolved Oxygen, etc)

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NEWS

EnergyAustralia acquired the Mt Piper and now-closed Wallerawang power stations from the New South Wales government in 2013. Ash is a by-product of generating electricity from coal. It’s stored on site in large, specially-designed pits or repositories. The ash is mixed with salt water from the power station’s cooling system. “Chloride is basically salt. It occurs naturally in water and isn’t harmful to humans, except in extremely high doses,” Mr Edwards said. “But if left to make its way into water courses and streams, the salt residue can impact the local ecology, and we can’t let that happen,” Mr Edwards said. The power station has an existing network of 18 bores to monitor and test the quality of water below ground. To manage groundwater over the long term, EnergyAustralia

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

has built three, new 20-megalitre double-lined water retention ponds with leak detection systems. It is investing in a groundwater and surface water assessment program that includes the installation of 14 new groundwater monitoring bores. The company is also developing an updated groundwater model to help predict flows and guide ongoing water management and remedial works, if they’re needed. Meanwhile, EnergyAustralia recently announced it had applied to build a rail coal unloader as part of plans to expand Mt Piper’s potential sources of supply. The company is also assessing the potential for energy recovery, which would allow the power station to generate power to meet the electricity needs of around 40,000 typical homes in New South Wales without having to burn additional coal.

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NEWS

DIGITAL UTILITIES 2019:

ACCELERATING TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION IN THE UTILITY SECTOR The digitisation of utilities is the greatest challenge currently facing the sector, with much to do to modernise existing networks, work practices and ways of interacting with customers. But it’s also an area of great excitement and opportunity for those utilities willing to be brave, and step boldly into a new paradigm.

A

n effective digital strategy can revolutionise all areas of the utility sector, and embracing new technologies and business models is vital for optimising asset management, improving network operations and keeping up with changing customer demands. At Digital Utilities 2019, delegates will hear from the industry’s leaders — those who are taking the action required to turn their organisations into modern, dynamic utilities, equipped to provide customers with the services they expect, at the times they demand and at a price they are prepared to pay. The best way to ensure your organisation moves with the times, and establishes itself as a utility the modern consumer wants to do business with, is to learn from the best at Digital Utilities.

A WORLD-CLASS LINEUP OF SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED Put together by the knowledgeable team at Utility magazine, with a strong emphasis on providing useful information and creating genuine discussion around topical issues, the conference program will provide delegates with the tools needed to implement digital technologies that will accelerate and transform their organisations. The expert speaker lineup will feature Managing Directors, Chief Information Officers and Heads of Digital at

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Australia’s major water and energy utilities, as well as digitisation experts and government representatives. Day one of the conference will run as a plenary session, with a single program of speakers and networking sessions to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of digital transformation within the utility sector. The Digital Utilities 2019 keynote will be delivered by international speaker Nigel Watson, Group Information Services Director at the UK-based Northumbrian Water. Responsible for the innovation strategy and execution across the organisation, Mr Watson has significant experience adapting networks to new and emerging digital technologies, with the overall ambition of making Northumbrian Water the most digital water company in the world. As the international keynote speaker, Mr Watson will outline some of the changes currently underway within Northumbrian Water, and provide valuable lessons for Australian utilities already on, or about to commence, their own digital transformation journeys. Other first round confirmed speakers include Cate Hilliard, Manager, IT Capital Portfolio, SA Power Networks; Matthew Grantham, Sales and Business Development Executive, Power Ledger; Wayne Pales, General Manager for Technology Strategy at the Australian Energy Market Operator

(AEMO) and a Board Director for C4NET and The Chapel Group, with many more and the full program to be announced in the coming months. Journalist and presenter, Anthony Caruana, will also be returning as MC. Anthony’s ability to add snippets of industry knowledge and resonate with each speaker rated highly with many of this year’s attendees. Other highlights from day one include a panel discussion on cyber security, which will explore utility network vulnerabilities and data protection strategies; and a speed networking session, where delegates are guaranteed introductions to at least ten colleagues within the industry as a way of facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing. On day two of the conference, the presentations will be divided into four streams: • The connected customer — staying relevant in a changing world • A new core — unleashing the digital potential in utility operations • Innovation in electricity networks — building the grid of the future • The smart water utility — improving water management These streams will enable a more targeted discussion of the key trends and issues emerging within the utility sector as a result of digitisation.

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NEWS

THE INDUSTRY NIGHT OF NIGHTS Digital Utilities 2019 will also be host to the 2019 Digital Utility Awards which will be awarded at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the end of day one of the conference. Building on the success of 2018’s inaugural awards, an additional two categories have been added to the original four awards. The Digital Utility of the Year award has been split into energy and water to reflect the different challenges faced in these sectors, and there is now an award dedicated to the young person demonstrating outstanding performance and passion for achieving digital transformation within their utility. Six awards will be presented, in the following categories: • Digital Utility of the Year – Energy • Digital Utility of the Year – Water • Utility Innovator of the Year • Young Digital Leader of the Year • Best Use of New Technology • Best Customer Innovation The Digital Utility Awards are a chance for innovative organisations to stand out and showcase their expertise to the rest of the utility industry, and be nationally recognised as a utility leader. The awards also have benefits for the rest of the industry, with the aim to gather some of the best ideas when it comes to the digitisation of utilities, so that everyone can learn from some of the impressive changes that are being made.

To enjoy huge savings by purchasing pre-sale tickets, visit www.digitalutilities.com.au.

The nominations will be judged by a panel of industry experts, who will be announced shortly. Entries can be submitted online at www.digitalutilities. com.au/awards/enter.

AUSTRALIA’S LEADING DIGITAL UTILITY EVENT The utility industry is on the cusp of a transformation driven by technological advances, decreasing energy intensity, heightened environmental awareness, and evolving customer expectations. As digitally-enabled, behind-the-meter energy generation increasingly impacts utility operations, effective two-way communication with customers will assume added importance. Most utility executives are also keenly aware that digital technologies, when properly implemented, can improve cost efficiency and performance. Automating tasks and processes end-to-end through software reduces costs significantly, and smart systems allow assets to continuously communicate with the backoffice, allowing utilities to identify and manage failure risks before they occur. The difficulty lies in how to actually plan and execute these digital strategies, and the consequences of getting it wrong can be huge. Digital Utilities provides a platform for utility leaders to share and discuss the challenges of digital transformation, and learn from those already seeing the benefits.

Digital Utilities has been created using the unique Monkey Media events philosophy. Having already established a reputation for delivering the best magazines in the industries we publish for, including Utility and Energy, our events build on the magazines and bring the best parts about them — thought-leading content, insightful news and developments, and opinion pieces from the industry’s best — to life. Monkey Media events provide professionals with unrivalled opportunities to learn from experts within their field, and enhance their connections with other professionals and organisations that are working towards similar goals. Monkey Media only organise events in the industries we are already active in, and we offer generous discounts on ticket prices to qualified utility professionals who will genuinely benefit from attending our events. Based on their experience at our inaugural event, Digital Utilities 2018, 71 per cent of delegates said they were likely or extremely likely to attend future events. Almost 80 per cent of delegates also said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend Digital Utilities to a friend or colleague. Digital Utilities is the must-attend event for utility professionals working at all levels within the industry, from Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors and utility board members, to Chief Information Officers and their teams, all the way through to Heads of Innovation and New Technologies, and Digital Managers. Digital is inevitable for all companies in the utility sector. There are always winners and losers with any major change — the question is, will your business be at the forefront of the digital revolution, or will you be left behind?

21–22 MARCH 2019 PULLMAN HOTEL, ALBERT PARK, MELBOURNE

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

2019 WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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NEWS

THE BIGGEST ISSUES IN

ASSET MANAGEMENT IN 2018

The second Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure conference ran in September in Sydney and brought together leaders in the utility and infrastructure sectors to discuss current challenges and opportunities in asset management.

A

t the beginning of the conference’s second day, MC Steve Doran, Director of Infrastream, and Chair of the Sydney Chapter of the Asset Management Council, asked attendees to add to a word map that showed the key themes from the event discussions. Words like collaboration, value, risk, data, culture and capability stood out as the most important, and in a way encapsulate the main ideas from the event. This was the second year of the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure conference and in only 12 months, the event had doubled in size, in both speakers and attendees, and added an exhibition which showcased some of the latest technology in the sector. Attendees came from water and power utilities, consultancies, government agencies, rail and other asset owners to hear discussions about skills of the future, ISO 55000, value driven maintenance, reducing risk, strategic asset management plans, stakeholder engagement and more. This year’s event also saw the addition of an exhibition, featuring companies in the space with new technologies and services that make asset management operations easier and more efficient. The positive feedback from attendees emphasised the high-quality speakers and topics which gave delegates tools they could take back to their organisation and implement in their own asset management strategies. DeployPartners was this year’s Event Partner, supporting the conference and exhibition to deliver essential information to delegates. DeployPartners delivers high-quality service assurance solutions expertise, specialising in sales, design, delivery, training and support of IBM Cloud and smarter infrastructure service assurance products and solutions. It is the network and service management solutions provider of choice for many of Australia’s utilities, telcos, banks and government departments. Greg Southam, Technical Account Manager at DeployPartners, talked to delegates about how utilities can build efficiencies and implement some of the sector’s disruptive technologies. It also held a special Leaders Lunch, bringing together key industry players to discuss and debate pressing issues in a more informal setting.

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Damien Moriarty – Industry Solutions Consultant from ABB Enterprise Software, this year’s Major Sponsor, also delivered a presentation, teaching delegates how they can improve their asset maintenance efficiency through timely and targeted activities.

THE BIGGEST NAMES IN ASSET MANAGEMENT Day one keynote Rami Affan, Executive Director, Infrastructure Australia, opened the conference with a look into the NSW State Infrastructure strategy and how it’s strengthening asset management and utilisation in the state. Rami spoke about the current challenges in Australia’s asset management capability and the path to improving practices across Australia. Day two keynote Kerry Brown, Professor of Employment and Industry at Edith Cowan University, is a well-known voice in the asset management space and was on hand to discuss how to develop strategic asset management plans and how to overcome current industry challenges to do this. With the ISO 55000 standard continuing to dominate asset management discussion across all types of critical infrastructure, many organisations are at different points in the ISO 55000 journey. Paul Higham, Head of Service Planning and Asset Strategy at Sydney Water, gave a great overview of Sydney Water’s journey so far and some of the key learnings and pitfalls that other organisations can

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NEWS

watch out for. It was an interactive and practical discussion featuring tips for others getting started that provided significant benefits to delegates. Another highly interactive presentation was delivered by Dr Lutfiye Manli, Senior Asset Management Strategy Advisor, Powerlink Queensland, that took a look at how the electricity industry is dealing with current changes and how Value Driven Maintenance (VDM) has supported Powerlink in its asset management operations. Lutfiye included a computer game that got delegates involved and demonstrated the concepts she was exploring. KPMG Partner Engineering and Asset Management, Andrew O’Connor, took an in-depth look into risk, and the balance between performance, cost and risk across all critical infrastructure assets. A highly informative presentation, Andrew had delegates scribbling down notes and ideas to take back to their own asset management teams to reduce risk. MC Steve Doran wrapped up day one of the conference with a presentation on influencing internal stakeholders for better asset management outcomes. This is an important topic that is not discussed as much as it should be as the individual/intangible influence space is powerful and a gap for most asset management practitioners. The conference also offered dedicated streams on day two covering rail asset management, corrosion mitigation, renewable energy assets and trenchless technologies. This

gave delegates a deeper look into their field, as well as a chance for people from different industries to learn how other sectors are approaching their asset management.

NETWORKING WITH KEY UTILITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE PLAYERS One of the main differences of Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure compared to other industry events, was the emphasis placed on facilitating networking, as the atmosphere and structure of the event guaranteed introductions to other relevant asset management professionals.

“The broad range of topics presented extremely well by knowledgeable people; the speed networking was a great idea.”

Both days of the conference featured a speed networking session, a fun activity that gets delegates mingling and facilitates real connections. These relationships were continually fostered through networking breaks and drinks and ensured everyone that attended made some new contacts that could help them in their asset management journeys moving forward.

Technology Partners for your Digital Transformation DeployPartners specialise in helping our customers to effectively manage and drive innovation within technological environments that are growing in complexity as the need for digitisation increases. We drive increased real-time awareness and collaboration within operational teams by integrating and consolidating data to provide dynamic views of the state of your IT, Communications and Infrastructure.

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deploypartners.com/utilities sales@deploypartners.com | +61 2 9940 0288

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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RETAIL, BILLING AND CRM

Making retail work: REGAINING THE TRUST OF CONSUMERS 28

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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RETAIL, BILLING AND CRM

It’s the question that’s been plaguing electricity retailers for many years now — “How do we reduce customer churn?” For Ed McManus, CEO of Meridian Energy and Powershop Australia, it comes down to something as simple, and complex, as being “a better power company”. We sat down with Mr McManus to discuss the challenges of retail in a difficult energy market, and the changes he’s putting in place to regain the trust of consumers.

E

d McManus hasn’t travelled the typical path to becoming an energy company CEO. Originally trained as a medical scientist, and with a PhD in biochemistry, Mr McManus went on to stints in the pharmaceutical industry and digital marketing before making the move to Meridian Energy and Powershop. At first glance they’re quite disparate fields; but upon closer inspection it’s not hard to see how the skills Mr McManus previously acquired are being used in his current role. There’s the knowledge of mathematics and statistics — vitally important in the electricity industry, which Mr McManus maintains is a fundamentally financial market; and the insights into consumer behaviour and purchasing decisions, which are more important than ever in today’s retail market. For Mr McManus, the appeal in making the move to energy generation and retailing lay in the evolving nature of the industry. “Getting involved in a sector that was and is experiencing a lot of change, and will experience much more change for the next 20 years, was very appealing,” he notes. “As was the fact that the industry is important to the economy, and important to how we manage things in terms of where the planet is going — that interested me too.”

A NEW RETAIL MODEL Also central to the appeal of Powershop was the fact that the company is a little different to most of its competitors. “I saw Powershop as a very, very different offering, which was quite exciting,” says Mr McManus. Powershop was the first retailer to introduce an app which allows customers to log in and monitor their electricity usage; and it was also the first retailer to allow customers to pay for their past, present or future usage. With these innovations, and with youth-oriented marketing behind the brand, it’s not unreasonable to expect that the company’s customers largely come from a younger, techsavvy demographic. According to Mr McManus however, this is not necessarily the case. “On an age perspective, it’s actually skewed nothing like you’d think,” says Mr McManus. “In terms of outlook on life it probably is, but age not so much. “It’s interesting, we were doing some testing the other day, talking to consumers, and it was actually the 75 year old who knew exactly what we were talking about and who knew his way around the app.”

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RETAIL, BILLING AND CRM

Making retail work: regaining the trust of consumers

So while the offering and the way it’s pitched is to a youthful audience, it’s been important for the company to continue to check back in with the customer base, particularly as the brand has matured. “In fact, as we’ve attracted more customers, we’re finding that it’s the retirees, who are very focused on costs, who are most interested in our app and the ability to monitor usage.” Ultimately, Mr McManus says it is a real mix of customers who have chosen Powershop as their retailer. A key focus for the business moving forward will be thinking about how they evolve, and how they provide different products that appeal to different segments. “Not everybody wants to log in to an app and look at their usage and costs, some people just aren’t interested,” notes Mr McManus. “So we’re evolving our offering for those people as well.”

KNOWING YOUR COMPETITORS There’s been a lot of talk over the last 12 months about the “uberisation” of the energy industry and the potential for tech players such as Google and Apple to enter the retail market. Commentators warn that these businesses have an agility that utilities and energy retailers traditionally don’t have; and that they’re prepared to move into new industries, with the capital behind them to try and make things work. For Mr McManus, rising to the challenge tech businesses might bring to the retail space comes back to the simple

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principle of putting the needs of customers, and potential customers, at the forefront of everything Powershop does. “It’s a very competitive market already, there are upwards of 30 retailers,” says Mr McManus. “Could those other organisations enter the market? Absolutely. “But when you’re thinking about any competitor, the most important thing is to focus on consumers and their needs. If you do that, then you’ll be right — just try to give people what they need.” Again, it’s a sentiment that’s particularly important for Powershop as it continues to grow — it’s no longer a small start up with a team of seven, the company is now servicing more than 100,000 customers. “You need to stay close to your customers,” says Mr McManus. “The senior management team all manage social media on the weekend, and that’s really important. Sometimes as businesses grow it’s very easy to consider yourself a bit in the clouds and above it all, so it’s important to make sure you have your feet on the ground. And if you do that, you’re in the best position to deal with any competitor, regardless of who they are and where they come from.” Mr McManus also believes that if tech players were to make the move into energy, if they want to do it at scale they would also need to invest in generation as well. “And how does that really fit with their business model, to own and operate generation assets as well? That’s a question mark for me,” he notes.

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A BETTER ENERGY COMPANY Having placed the customer at the centre of every move Powershop makes, the business has an exciting 12 months coming up. “We’re always rooting for consumers, (so to that end) we’re investing in generation, with two power purchase agreements signed and three hydro power stations acquired, on top of the two wind farms we already have. “This more than doubles our generation footprint, and we’re doing that to bring down costs for our consumers. That’s a sensible financial decision for us as well, but it does have the impact of bringing prices down.” Given all this newly acquired generation, the company will now look to significantly grow its customer base. One of the key steps it is taking towards doing this is by launching retail gas in Victoria. In Victoria, around 80 per cent of electricity retail customers have gas as well, and most of them prefer to purchase both fuels from the one retailer — so adding retail gas makes Powershop an appealing option for that section of the market. “The other big thing that Powershop has always looked to do is be ‘a better energy company’,” says Mr McManus. One of the key ways the company acts on this philosophy is in the way it signs and retains customers. Powershop has never door knocked to sign up residential customers; and they also never use special one-off rates to sign customers up — common practice in the industry.

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

RETAIL, BILLING AND CRM

Making retail work: regaining the trust of consumers

The result of using sign up deals, according to Mr McManus, is that the most loyal customer gets the worst deal. “Which if you think about it, that’s just crazy,” he adds. “What you actually need to do is reward your loyal customers. So we have a policy that all residential customers have access to the same offer, depending on when they signed up and where they live.” Further driving this philosophy home, the company also refuses to match deals existing customers may have sourced from other retailers in the market. “If you’re a Powershop customer who wants us to match an offer you’ve had from another retailer, our response is ‘Sorry, we can’t, because that would be rewarding the customers who make noise, while the really loyal customers will be penalised’,” says Mr McManus. “That’s a hard financial decision. Like, really hard. But we just don’t believe in doing that.” Mr McManus says that by taking this bold stance, and other steps they take, such as transparency in usage through the app, Powershop is trying to improve how consumers view their company — and indeed the whole industry. “We treat our customers like we’re sitting in their kitchen talking to them,” says Mr McManus. At a time where customer trust in the industry and retailers is particularly low, it seems the sensible — perhaps only — way to move forward and regain that trust. Watch this space.

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RETAIL, BILLING AND CRM

Utility Partner Solutions

HOW UK SOFTWARE APTUMO IS DELIVERING AUSTRALIA AN APT, SAAS SOLUTION FOR CUSTOMER BILLING If the average utility customer spends only eight minutes per year thinking about energy or water, then it is incumbent on the companies that serve them to make those precious minutes as positive as possible. Software as a service (SaaS) solution, Aptumo, can customise customer-billing experiences to see your utility retail services valued – in competitive or regulated settings.

T

he average Australian’s experience of utilities, in recent years, has been marred by rising bills, fraught politics and slow digitisation. It’s left the retail energy or water offer seemingly out of step with rapidly rising consumer expectations on service and experience. Australian water company performance has been met with patchy reviews on customer experience, with payment issues representing 25 per cent of complaints in Victoria. For energy, the consumer, via the AEMC, has recently come back with a resoundingly negative verdict; trust in the sector has fallen more than 10 percentage points, from 50 per cent in 2017 to 39 per cent in 2018. It’s a warning to companies that there is more to be done, and for those ready to act, an opportunity to seize. Billing remains the most fundamental touch point for utility customers: a monthly or quarterly interaction where even the disengaged have the need to interact. It’s the time, and therefore the opportunity, to influence a customer’s experience with the entirety of the complex sectors that supply them with the essential services of energy and water. Getting billing right — in a way that delivers accuracy, agility and personalisation, to meet both company and customer needs — has the potential to be transformative for a sector that has drawn political ire and customer contempt. If customer needs can be made central to the experience, utilities can begin the process of creating direct relationships with the customers they serve, and rebuild trust.

A UK BORN SAAS SOLUTION ALREADY BREAKING NEW GROUND IN VICTORIA Aptumo, a highly configurable, regulatory compliant and future-proofed billing solution, provides the tech platform for utilities to re-establish positive relationships with their customers, dramatically improving the experience of billing, with services that can be personalised to consumer needs. Created by specialist UK customer engagement and billing systems provider, Echo Managed Services, the tech trailblazer has architected Aptumo specifically for water and energy utilities. Software Services Director of Echo Managed Services, Andy Mack, said the Aptumo SaaS solution streamlines the

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challenge of better billing and customer engagement for any utility ready to face the challenge. “Aptumo delivers an easy-to-use and intuitive interface that is cloud based, cost effective and easily scalable. It increases the efficiency and effectiveness of utility customer services teams, as well as delivering unrivalled security and scalability,” Mr Mack said. With a crisis of confidence besetting utilities across Australia, Mr Mack said Aptumo could be the springboard for utilities to deliver “top tier” customer service — meeting and exceeding the unique expectations of individual customers, and re-building trust. “No two customers are the same, so there is never going to be a magical, ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution that suits every customer, or every company,” Mr Mack said. “Aptumo delivers utilities a platform to build closer relationships with customers. And that means delivering new value and rebuilding the trust they need to get ahead of regulatory reform, and in the case of energy retailers in particular, to compete more effectively and retain existing customers, particularly in the crowded and churn-prone tier-two market.” Built on the Salesforce platform, the global leader in CRM, utility companies can reduce their integration and data synchronisation headaches via a single data model across their customer service operations by choosing Aptumo together with Salesforce. This also enables Aptumo to be easily extended, with an ecosystem of apps through AppExchange, empowering businesses to connect with their customers, partners and employees in entirely new ways. Alternatively, Aptumo can be deployed as a standalone billing system, or easily integrated with the client’s choice of CRM package. “Already selected as the solution of choice for an earlyadopting water utility in Victoria, Aptumo isn’t simply fresh-thinking, it’s pioneering and is finally opening the door to the art of what’s truly possible,” Mr Mack said.

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RETAIL, BILLING AND CRM

SYDNEY WATER

— MOVING TOWARDS AN ENHAN

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RETAIL, BILLING AND CRM

CUSTOMER HUB

NCED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE by Darren Cash, Customer Hub Manager at Sydney Water

The Customer Hub is a key initiative of Sydney Water’s corporate strategy, enabling the utility’s transformation to a customer-centric organisation.

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he Customer Hub was established to improve the customer experience for anyone either experiencing a Sydney Water service fault or affected by a service interruption. It has been a significant move away from a traditional asset-centric philosophy of ‘fix the asset, fix the customer problem’, to a process that considers and minimises customer impact, provides proactive SMS and email communications and case management for customers, and seeks and acts on customer feedback in real time. The mantra for the Customer Hub is to be proactive in our communications with customers and predictive in the way we operate our assets. We are moving away from the traditional approach of waiting for our customers to tell us there is a problem to a much more proactive customer interaction. The Customer Hub design was founded on customer research conducted by Sydney Water and customer service industry partners, comprising of customer journey mapping and testing, and design of solutions with customer focus groups. The Hub’s design was focused on addressing some of the key pain points that customers have when they are affected by a Sydney Water service fault. Our research clearly showed that customers value being notified before and/or during a service interruption, as well as being kept informed of progress on an issue they have reported and having first point resolution to avoid repeat problems/contacts. The project comprised of people, process and technology elements, and was delivered on time and on budget in September 2017. The Customer Hub commenced as a pilot covering the western population of Sydney (approximately one million people) and is now moving to full implementation covering the entire Sydney Water customer base (over five million people).

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

PEOPLE The Customer Hub team was formed from three previously siloed teams. The team includes customer service representatives from the contact centre; planners, schedulers and dispatchers from our maintenance business; and a team of customer advocates. These teams were combined and co-located under a single point of leadership and strategic direction. In addition, a new 24/7 role was created: Customer Duty Managers (CDMs). CDMs are managers providing ‘day of operations’ leadership, not only to Hub staff, but for all Sydney Water operations and maintenance activities. They ensure that the daily impact on our customers is minimised and customers are proactively informed. PROCESS The Customer Hub processes were developed using agile project methodology in parallel with the development of the technology that supports each process. The principle customer outcomes delivered by the process changes implemented through the Customer Hub include: minimised customer impact associated with water outages, pro-active notification of reactive repairs/burst water mains, real-time measurement of customer experience, real-time service recovery of any negative experiences, and proactive case management of individual customer circumstances. TECHNOLOGY The technology elements of the Customer Hub were developed by Sydney Water’s in-house Digital Business team along with subject matter experts from Sydney Water’s operational teams. Agile project methodology was used in parallel with the development and refinement of new processes. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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Sydney Water Customer Hub — towards an enhanced customer experience

The in-house project team had a high level of personal investment in the project’s success and benefited from very active sponsorship from Sydney Water’s CIO and GM Customer Delivery. In addition to this personal investment, the key technology tool (Spatial Hub) was developed by making a prototype available to all staff and crowd-sourcing ideas. Staff were able to see their ideas incorporated with a very quick turn around, which resulted in a high level of staff engagement and a significantly improved product. By the time the tool was officially released, there was already a community of over 200 users within Sydney Water. The technology deliverables for the Customer Hub comprised of a geospatial situational awareness tool (Spatial Hub), new online channels of choice for customers, a SMS/email customer notification and feedback platform, integration with existing systems, and the initiation of an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor pilot. The biggest technology advance achieved by the Customer Hub team was the development of the geospatial tool. Spatial Hub simplifies Sydney Water’s complex water and wastewater networks and makes it very easy to firstly identify and then minimise the customer impact of any maintenance work.

RESULTS Customer impact The use of Spatial Hub to minimise the customer impact of water outages has resulted in the Customer Hub being able to avoid or mitigate the impact of water outages at over 63,000 properties. This is a reduction of approximately 25 per cent in the number of properties affected by water interruptions.

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Proactive communications The customer notification system that was built has been used to provide over 40,000 customers with advance notice of water interruptions or information updates relating to a burst water main. The system has also been used to keep over 18,000 customers informed of progress on reported faults. Our real-time customer feedback tells us that over 80 per cent of respondents were satisfied or extremely satisfied that they were kept informed. Customer feedback Customer feedback is now obtained in real time at various points in the service fault customer journey. The feedback is measured by an advocacy score and a review of verbatim comments. The customer advocacy score being used by the Customer Hub is based on a Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a measurement of the difference between the number of promoters (scores of nine or ten out of ten) and the number of detractors (six or below out of ten). A NPS above zero is desirable and a NPS of 50 is considered excellent. As of September 2018, the score measured by Customer Hub is 48. The current response rate for surveys is 13 per cent. An organisation employing NPS would generally anticipate a seven per cent response rate. Proactive case management Since the commencement of the Customer Hub pilot, over 900 customers have been proactively case managed through the resolution of an issue that has affected them (eg. a driveway has been excavated to repair a water main or a repeat fault). Under the traditional approach, these customers would have contacted us multiple times and in many cases, would have escalated their issue to a complaint.

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Real-time experience recovery While some customers do report having an unsatisfactory experience with Sydney Water (characterised by a score of six or below out of ten in their real-time feedback), the Customer Hub now contacts these customers in real time to explore how we can recover the customer experience. This has avoided issues being escalated to complaints and, in many cases, has resulted in the customer becoming a Sydney Water advocate. Channels of choice Additional web channels have been provided as part of the development of the Customer Hub that allow customers to report leaks, view current water outages and register to receive notifications online. Since the pilot commenced, over 14,000 leaks have been reported online, with customer feedback reflecting that this easy reporting process is highly valued. Internet of Things The Customer Hub is piloting the use of sensors connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) to better understand network performance and potentially identify asset problems before they become customer issues. The IoT pilot is in its infancy, but sewer blockages have already been identified before they resulted in a customer, community or environmental impact.

RETAIL, BILLING AND CRM

Sydney Water Customer Hub — towards an enhanced customer experience

Cultural change One of the major changes delivered by the Customer Hub has been cultural. Our schedulers and planners are now operating in a way that is much more customer centric and they look forward to receiving positive feedback from customers. Our Customer Service Representatives are now gaining a detailed knowledge of how the hydraulic network operates and are better able to help reduce the impact on customers. Positive feedback gained in real time from customers is used to provide direct feedback and positive reinforcement for all members of the team, improving their feeling of relevance to the end-to-end customer experience. The positive feeling by all members of the Hub team is reflected in the team’s culture survey results, which are excellent.

NEXT STEPS A permanent Customer Hub team will be established by December 2018, expanding coverage to the entire Sydney Water customer base of over five million people. We will co-locate with our System Operations Centre (SCADA monitoring) and look to further leverage technology such as IoT sensor networks and machine learning to improve our predictive capability. Our ultimate aim is to be ‘ahead of the game’ so that we are rectifying any problems before our customers even know about it. It’s a very exciting time for Sydney Water.

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GROUNDBREAKING TRIAL TRANSFORMING THE FUTURE OF THE GRID A small island at the bottom of Tasmania is trialling a cutting-edge future grid where the electricity network also participates as a customer — and it could have big impacts for the rest of the country.

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he vision of the CONSORT Bruny Island Battery Trial is simple, ‘In the future customers will have batteries. When we have a network problem the solution is already there, we just need to start paying customers to solve it for us'. And there is a network problem on Bruny Island. The thin electricity cable that supplies the island gets overloaded on public holidays when tourists come to visit. Historically, TasNetworks — the state-owned electricity network — managed this overload using diesel generation. But since the first customer-owned battery was installed last year, TasNetworks has been able to buy energy from participants, reducing the amount of diesel needed or eliminating its need completely for some peaks.

TRIALLING THE SOLUTION CONSORT is a collaborative research project involving The Australian National University, The University of Sydney, University of Tasmania, battery control software business Reposit Power and network provider TasNetworks. The three-year trial, which commenced in January 2016

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and was awarded $2.9 million in funding by Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), incorporates several research objectives: 1. The Australian National University is researching new improved algorithms for network management using distributed energy storage. The results of this research will be used to improve the autonomous operation of energy storage 2. The University of Sydney is investigating what tariff structures best reflect the value of energy storage to the networks and what incentives are required for customers to install and use batteries in the most beneficial way for both networks and customers 3. The University of Tasmania is investigating the social aspects of energy storage and how it influences customer behaviour To address how batteries can be used by households to manage their energy, a Reposit controller, developed by energy management provider Reposit Power, has been installed at each of the 40 participating households. The system is the crucial conduit in connecting customers to the WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


SMART GRIDS

grid so they can actively trade the energy they produce and store with TasNetworks. This technology will help actively keep the network within voltage and capacity limits, reducing the reliance on diesel generation during peak season, and enabling battery owners and networks to work together to maximise the value of solar energy.

“This is a surprisingly difficult problem as we need to be able to accurately predict what is going to happen tomorrow,” Ms Jones said. “For Bruny Island, this is driven by so many local issues, like how many people are visiting the island, the weather or any events that might be running. NAC solves these problems for us.”

FULLY AUTOMATED ALGORITHM The fully automated Network-Aware Coordination (NAC) system, an algorithm that optimises the battery response to network constraints, is the first of its kind. It coordinates batteries equipped with Reposit controllers to support the network when and where it is needed. In the future, it may also have the capacity to integrate EVs, smart appliances and other distributed resources as they come online. Senior Network Innovation Engineer, Laura Jones, said the algorithm answers the question; now we have all of these resources, what is the best way to orchestrate them to resolve the problem?

ADAPTING TO INDUSTRY CHANGE The trial comes at a time in Australia when there is an increasing uptake in customer-owned solar and storage. This transformation has inspired TasNetworks to aspire to a more dynamic, intelligent electricity network, one where its use can be increased to maximise the value of the investment into it. The trial gives TasNetworks an idea of the data it needs from customers to be able to run the electricity network closer to its limits in the future. Ms Jones said the trial has transferable learnings for other areas of Tasmania and potentially the rest of Australia. “The Bruny trial is to test a future. And we have learned so much in creating this future on Bruny Island,” Ms Jones said.

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Groundbreaking trial transforming the future of the grid

HOW TASNETWORKS IS INCORPORATING SMART GRID CAPABILITIES INTO ITS NETWORK: •

Formed a close relationship with local technology companies to rapidly prototype sensors or intelligent devices at low cost, allowing it to monitor parts of the network it never could before Trialling a low-cost LoRa communications network. This network provides great coverage, is low cost and is low power enough that a battery-operated sensor can still last 10 years or more Exploring new relationships with customers that allow them to become active participants in the network, and get rewarded when they support it Building new expert systems to manage all this participation, both to orchestrate participants and provide oversight to ensure they will not cause network problems by participating in other markets

“Some of the things we have learned we will be applying directly to the rest of our network, while others will require more development and thought.”

THE HUMBLE ADVANTAGE Ms Jones said the benefits of a smarter grid are not just lower energy bills for customers (by avoiding the need to build new or augment the existing electricity network), but a more humble advantage less considered by electricity networks: customer satisfaction. “There is a component of allowing customers to do the things they want to on our network. This could be things like peer-peer trading, participating in energy markets, or other services they value,” Ms Jones said. TasNetworks’ pursuit of customer satisfaction in the trial is what saw it win the Business Community Engagement Award at the 2018 Clean Energy Council Awards in July. The high level of customer satisfaction from the participants in the trial so far is what leads TasNetworks to

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believe that it offers a realistic vision of the energy grid of the future. “The trial provides a peek into a future electricity network where everyone can benefit. We think it is realistic, but there is much change required before we can get there,” Ms Jones said. “There are other possible futures of course. For example, in the one where there is no grid participation from customers, we need to build much more network and it will be much harder to turn off the old fossil fuel-based generators. I think the one we’re testing is much better.” The project is already building an evidence base to improve the way distributed energy resources like rooftop solar and batteries can be integrated into the wider network. Bruny Island presents an opportunity to guide the rest of Australia on how batteries should be put to their best use in the future. To learn more about the CONSORT Bruny Island Battery Trial, visit brunybatterytrial.org.

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Utility Partner Solutions

WISH YOUR FIELD TECHNICIANS HAD MORE “WRENCH TIME”? GIVE THEM BETTER MOBILE TECH TOOLS by Bob Ashenbrenner

Did you know that nearly half of field service technicians claim “paperwork and administrative tasks” are the worst part of their day? Or that despite the “digitalisation” of the field service sector, technicians still waste an unacceptable amount of time looking for information to do their jobs? These revelations, uncovered in The Service Council’s report Field Service in 2016: The Technician's Perspective, clearly indicate that it’s not enough to just digitise some forms if you’re striving for greater technician productivity and workflow efficiency.

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es, digitalisation can redefine, or even refine, the workflow. Removing impediments to work (redefining the workflow) and ensuring that more actions are done accurately (refining the workflow) can have a big payoff from the start, while providing the framework to later add more capabilities. Many field service organisations are struggling to turn this “possibility” into a reality for three primary reasons: 1. Under utilisation of existing mobile technologies 2. Solving only one issue with technology, in the name of focus, and subsequently only creating more data silos and workflow disruptions 3. Under estimation of technician’s technology interest and skill set To improve the quality of your service, introduce more sustainable business practices, and secure higher customer service ratings, you must do these three things: 1. Take the time to consider how your mobility solution can, and should, work cohesively with other IT and operational technology (OT) systems in your organisation. Digitalisation is about more than replicating paper-based processes in a paperless format. Yes, you will give workers more “wrench time” — more time to fix things — once you remove the burden of paper. Think about how much more your technicians can accomplish when you remove simple impediments to work and add new capabilities. Something as simple as fingerprint authentication can remove the hurdle of typing in passwords, resulting in more use of the mobile device because it is now easy and not a hassle. How much longer they could work without disruptions if they had a hot-swappable battery or a handheld capable of automatically connecting across a host of wireless communications networks. How much more revenue they could generate if they could access a customer’s history — or provide and complete service recommendations — on the spot. More importantly,

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2.

3.

think of how much time and resources you would save if you could incrementally refine your digital workflows without having to completely reengineer business processes, rewrite software or replace hardware and accessories every time. Make sure you have a reliable mobility solution in place to take advantage of IoT, augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI) predictive tools. Otherwise, it will be challenging for field crews to access, interpret and apply the data being generated by these advanced technologies. The data produced by a sensor won’t reach them if they don’t have a reliable rugged tablet, handheld or 2-in-1 type device in hand to interface with the back-office systems and advanced technologies in the field. And, augmented reality overlays are dependent on the accuracy and availability of data transmitted by the tech’s mobile device. In fact, the case studies listed on www.xploretech.com clearly prove that mobile technology is the baseline investment required for the majority of digital transformation projects. Involve field service technicians of all ages and ranks in your technology evaluation process, whether it’s a new rugged tablet or new workflow software that you’re thinking about standardising on. Their experience — and input — is invaluable in determining whether or not the technology you think is great will really be great for them. After all, The Service Council study confirmed that “Technicians like to work and prefer the removal of all obstacles to getting work done". They also like “learning about new tools and technologies". It isn’t just a Millennial sentiment either. Career field service professionals have an uncanny grasp on the “tools” they need at their disposal to get to the right place, at the right time — and to get the job done right the first time.

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SMART GRIDS

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ARE DEMAND RESPONSE PILOTS TRYING TO ANSWER

THE WRONG QUESTIONS?

by Wayne Pales, General Manager of Technology Strategy at the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and Director of the Chapel Group

In recent years there have been hundreds of demand response pilots. In places such as California, they have moved beyond pilots and have been scaling out demand response for several years. As a result of these pilots and large-scale programs, we know that if approached in a certain way, demand response works.

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n Australia, I believe we can safely assume demand response will become an integral part of how we operate our markets and our grid. Setting demand response policy is new ground for our rule makers so we can expect a number of course corrections in the next few years, but the general direction can be predicted with a high level of confidence. Given this trend, what should electricity distribution businesses be doing to prepare? I recently attended a presentation from an Australian electricity distributor where they were sharing their experiences from a recent demand response pilot. I regularly attend such sessions, both here in Australia and overseas, to stay abreast of developments in demand response. As often is the case, the team presenting their findings were very passionate, the work they had delivered was of high quality, and they were understandably proud of what they had achieved. My concern is that distribution businesses in Australia continue to structure pilots that yield the same results as most other demand response sharing sessions I have attended over the years. To be precise, lessons being shared in 2018 are almost identical to those I learnt when I first became involved in demand response back in 2012. We know from hundreds of programs globally that with effective consumer engagement, people will participate in demand response in sufficient numbers to materially impact peak demand. We know certain consumer segments will respond better than others. We know that, despite people's

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stated desire to do the right thing by the environment, the majority are driven first and foremost by the dollar. These, and other lessons, have been learnt over the years to the point that we can now be confident how a pilot will turn out, based on its design. I am not suggesting we don't have things still to learn, quite the opposite. In a recent blog post1 I asserted that as you scale out demand response, you must retain the ‘test and learn’ culture developed during the early pilot stage. With ever-changing consumer awareness and expectations, a changing regulatory landscape, and rapidly changing technology, your organisation must be in continuous learning mode. What I am suggesting is distribution businesses need to accept that a lot of the questions they are testing for have been repeatedly answered, and instead they should be seeking answers to some of the harder questions, the questions that can only be answered at scale. Such a recommendation may understandably be met with pushback from those in the senior ranks of distribution businesses. Why should distribution businesses adopt demand response at scale when the rules are not yet asking for this? Why cannibalise core business now when there is no immediate need to? These are sensible questions to be asking, and none of us know with certainty what the right decision is.

https://www.waynepales.com/scale-the-final-stage-of-the-class-framework-for-demand-response/

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SMART GRIDS

However, if we look at trends in other industries, we can see patterns where incumbents ‘missed the boat’ because they didn’t act quickly enough. If you consider the revenue profile of a typical Australian distributor, I will hypothesise that the risk on revenue would not be material over the next few years if they were to start scaling out demand response, at least not until rule changes come through that compensate them for heading in such a direction. On the flip side, I believe the benefits to positioning oneself in such a leadership position would be significant. So what questions should distribution businesses be trying to answer? The following are a couple of questions that always go unanswered in small-scale pilots: 1. What is the price point a distributor can hit to make demand response as cost effective as possible? As you start your journey, you should initially expect quite a high cost per kW reduction as you need to make investments in systems, people, consumer engagement etc. Over time you should be striving to explore ways to drive these costs down, and this can only be done at scale. 2. How will you ensure consumers sign up to your demand response program? I emphasise the word your because in geographies where there is only one utility, the challenge is how to get consumers to participate in the one demand response program. In Australia, we can expect a future where energy aggregators and retailers,

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as well as distributors, are all vying for the same consumer. Distributors have several disadvantages that they need to overcome now before the market becomes overcrowded. Firstly, consumers have a relationship, or at least an awareness, of retailers as that is who sends them a bill, they do not have a relationship with distribution businesses. So distributors need to not only raise awareness, but create a level of trust with consumers. Secondly, until very recently, distribution businesses had no real concept of a consumer as their organisations were focused on the supply of energy to a supply point. Distribution businesses have long journeys ahead of them to become truly consumer centric and be able to compete against those companies born with consumer centricity in their DNA. These and many other questions are the ones distribution businesses need to answer now. By doing so they will be better informed to influence policy, better informed to position themselves to generate value at scale, and better informed to know how they want to play in a market that will get very crowded, very quickly. It is time to accept that demand response works. Distribution businesses cannot afford to continue to run pilots that ask questions we already know the answers to. Is it time for Australian distribution businesses to make the bold decision and scale out demand response?

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TRANSFORMERS & SUBSTATIONS

Substation upgrades

SECURE SUPPLY FOR QUEENSLAND Powerlink is undertaking a targeted program of substation upgrades across Queensland as a cost-effective solution to safeguard network reliability and delay, or avoid, the need to build new infrastructure. Projects in the Dysart, Gold Coast and Moranbah regions have now reached important milestones.

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TRANSFORMERS & SUBSTATIONS

Substation upgrades secure supply for Queensland

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fter serving the community since 1974, an upgrade of the Dysart Substation in Central Queensland has commenced. The $20.8 million upgrade further secures electricity supply for a number of coal mines, the regional rail network, the Dysart township and neighbouring rural communities. Powerlink Chief Executive, Merryn York, said that the upgrade work was necessary to extend the substation’s technical service life. “This rebuild will not only ensure the ongoing reliability of the region’s power supply but prepare it to meet the future energy needs of the community and industry, particularly with more renewables connecting into the network,” Ms York said. “Powerlink’s work involves an extensive asset overhaul including the installation of two new 132/66kv transformers, substantial switchgear replacement, and upgrading of substation internal roads and the emergency response helipad.” The main challenge for the project is coordinating work around the availability of outages which requires detailed planning. The upgrade is expected to be completed in mid-2020 and will support up to 33 jobs.

KEEPING SUPPLY SECURE DURING THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES A $25 million upgrade of the Mudgeeraba Substation on the Gold Coast has improved the security and reliability of the electricity supply for the Commonwealth Games and for the wider Gold Coast region into the future. The substation is one of two main supply hubs into the Gold Coast region with the upgrade requiring Powerlink to meet tight technical deadlines to ensure that major components were completed before the Commonwealth Games. Ms York said work began in 2016 and involved an upgrade of primary and secondary systems that are critical to operating and monitoring Powerlink assets. “The upgrade supported up to 50 jobs and included the installation of a new transformer, control building and fencing,” Ms York said. “I was proud that Powerlink could play an integral part in the success of the Commonwealth Games.”

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CRITICAL COMPONENT OF CENTRAL QUEENSLAND’S ELECTRICITY TRANSMISSION SUPPLY UPGRADED Powerlink’s Moranbah Substation has received a $22 million upgrade after close to 50 years in service to meet the future energy needs of the region and its strong industry base. The substation is an important hub in Central Queensland and provides electricity to the mining town of Moranbah and surrounding coal mines in the Bowen Basin. “The project had its challenges due to restricted site access and tight electrical clearances, requiring our team to meticulously plan the delivery and installation of equipment,” Ms York said. “Works included the installation of two new transformers and a capacitor bank as well as decommissioning of a third transformer at the site.” Powerlink is a State Government-owned corporation, which owns, develops, operates and maintains the high voltage electricity transmission network that extends 1700km from north of Cairns to the New South Wales border.

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A smart roadmap for

TRANSMISSION LINE RELOCATION When Centennial Coal announced plans to extend the underground operations of its Mandalong Mine, the impact on existing above-ground power infrastructure had to be considered. Relocation of a section of transmission line offered the best solution, with Zinfra utilising its strong capabilities in the power sector to deliver an excellent outcome on a complex and challenging project.

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“It was a combined effort between Zinfra, TransGrid and Centennial Coal to ensure that our works had minimal impact on the surrounding land owners, both in regards to noise and also the traffic going in and out.”

MINIMAL COMMUNITY IMPACT THROUGH STRONG STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT Zinfra gained possession of the site on 9 October 2017 and achieved practical completion mid-September 2018, ahead of the expected 12 month construction period. Ms Hampson said that proactive and effective stakeholder management was essential throughout the project, as the works were impacting on a number of the neighbouring properties.

AN OUTSTANDING EXAMPLE OF SAFETY AND QUALITY Helicopters were used during the stringing process due to the hilly terrain which posed additional challenges when installing the new line. “There was a section of the line that wasn’t cleared underneath, so we were pulling conductors over trees. The line was also on quite a sharp angle for a couple of the towers which is challenging when you’re trying to feed the conductors through,” Ms Hampson said. The project underwent rigorous safety and quality checks, passing both with flying colours. “The site was well managed by an experienced Construction Manager and highly skilled subcontractors. There was ongoing safety monitoring — we provided monthly safety and quality audit documentation to TransGrid, and Centennial also conducted weekly site inspections,” Ms Hampson said. “During this project, we had three quality audits. There was an external auditor employed by TransGrid, an internal audit carried out by Zinfra’s safety team, and an additional corporate audit that was undertaken by the Zinfra head office. “The report detailing the outcome of the corporate audit was well received by all, and circulated within Zinfra as a leading example of what other projects should be aiming for in terms of overall safety reviews. “Furthermore, the project achieved a runner-up place in an internal competition run by TransGrid based on customer satisfaction. The result was really pleasing, considering it was another Zinfra project that took first place.” For more information on Zinfra’s services and capabilities, please visit www.zinfra.com.au.

arlier this year, Zinfra was engaged by TransGrid to relocate a 2.4km section of its 330kV transmission line (TL24), including the removal of 12 existing steel towers and the installation of eight new steel towers situated on a new alignment, to enable the extension plans for the mine. This section of transmission line represented a significant constraint to the plan to extend the southern area of Centennial Coal’s Mandalong Mine in New South Wales. A feasibility study carried out by TransGrid had confirmed that the best way to manage subsidence-related impacts on its infrastructure within the mine’s Southern Extension Area was to relocate the relevant section of TL24. The complex project involved the following key stages: establishment of access tracks and clearing of the required 60m wide easement; construction of the tower foundations and establishment of towers for the new section of TL24; stringing and cutting-in of lines on the new section of TL24; the removal of redundant TL24 structures, and the remediation of existing easements. “The main focus in a lot of our work, especially in transmission lines, is outage dates. With a line deviation, the major outage date is the cut-in, where the new section of the line is connected to the existing line and energised, and we successfully completed our works on the original cut-in dates,” Zinfra Project Manager, Rebecca Hampson, said.

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ZINFRA. BUILDING REPUTATIONS

Sylvester de Almeida Project Manager - Jemena “Introducing new technology is always challenging and increases risk, so when we were appointing a service provider to design, build and commission the first two zone substations in the Jemena distribution network to use the new IEC61850 substation automation system, we had to get it right. Affirming our decision, Zinfra successfully delivered the project, leveraging its extensive experience and expertise in zone substation projects, along with its highly capable skills in design, construction and commissioning. Testament to the quality of the work, the project won the AIPM state Project Management Achievement Award (PMAA) for the Construction/Engineering category.�

www.zinfra.com.au


CORROSION

WHY ALL PROJECT M DESIGNING AGAINST C Corrosion can have significant economic, structural and performance impacts on critical infrastructure across numerous sectors. Understanding its impact and knowing how to prevent it is an essential part of an organisation’s asset management strategy. A panel discussion at the recent Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure 2018 conference in Sydney, looked at the importance of design criteria and material selection in preventing corrosion.

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ne of the highlights from the conference was a dedicated stream on corrosion featuring a panel of Australian Corrosion Association (ACA) experts. Much of the dialogue from this panel centred around the need to build corrosion protection and management into a project at the design stage. “We need to get it right at the design stage. So once the design has considered the effects of corrosion, then the asset management plan can implement the directions of what’s in the design,” Jim Hickey, Electrolysis Engineering Officer, Network Test and Measurement at Ausgrid, said. “We also need to make sure we use qualified, competent staff to carry out the maintenance. If we try to outsource and contract out the responsibility of the maintenance, then without that control I think it can lead to unsatisfactory outcomes.” Andrew Jones, Senior Asset Integrity Engineer at CNC Project Management, said that the other key thing was to make sure that you actually got what you had designed. “I know that in some instances,

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on projects, the project team will go and try to save money by using some inferior product, which does not deliver the required outcome, causes long-term operations and maintenance issues, and has the potential to cost more money over time. “So, they’ll think, ‘Oh, I’ve got this cheaper product, it does the same job,’ but it doesn’t at the end of the day. So, you create this massive problem for yourself if you don’t do it right.”

ENSURING QUALITY CONTROL Brad Dockrill, Director of Vinsi Partners Consulting Engineers, added that sometimes Project Managers will be working on some sort of KPI system, where there are bonuses related to money and the saving of money, which can negatively impact the project in terms of quality. “Don’t just accept that what’s been put on the specification and drawings is what you’ve been provided with. You really need to understand the materials you’re playing with, and not just materials, but the quality of the material. Then you’ve at least got a chance to try to manage your asset

appropriately within a budget.” Simon Krismer, Principal Consultant at Krismer Consulting, also agreed that a key step in managing corrosion is quality control, something that he feels is often overlooked during that design/ manufacture stage. “The problem with corrosion is that if it happens, it doesn’t happen overnight. People see a bit of flaking paint, a little bit of rust and say ‘it’s not important, we’ve got other things to spend the budget on’. “A spot repair at the time is going to be cheaper than letting it rust, letting that damage develop, letting it stand and then have a bigger issue to deal with down the track,” Mr Krismer said.

SOURCING THE CORRECT MATERIALS FOR THE JOB Concerns around the quality of materials available and holding suppliers accountable also featured prominently in the discussion. “If we look at stainless steel, say 316 for example, it should contain at least two per cent molybdenum, which gives you that pitting resistance and extra corrosion resistance. But let’s

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CORROSION

MANAGERS SHOULD BE CORROSION SIMON KRISMER, PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT AT KRISMER CONSULTING

ANDREW JONES, SENIOR ASSET INTEGRITY ENGINEER AT CNC PROJECT MANAGEMENT

say you want to save costs by reducing the amount of molybdenum, because molybdenum is expensive, so you put in the absolute bare minimum. Maybe now you’re not quite getting the corrosion performance that you need,” Mr Krismer said. “You can also have slight variations where sulphur and so on is a bit higher than it should be, on a real analysis. So there’s definite problems with the quality of materials, and traceability as well.” Buying from overseas manufacturers can also come with its own set of problems. “You might order a widget and you get something that has been cast to look exactly like that widget, but then you find out that it hasn’t been heat treated,” Mr Krismer said. “It’s important to know what you’re getting and, from a design perspective, being very clear about what you’re ordering.

BRAD DOCKRILL, DIRECTOR OF VINSI PARTNERS CONSULTING ENGINEERS

“So for example, you might need more than the right chemical composition, you might also need specific thermomechanical processing properties, heat treatment conditions or mechanical property criteria. It’s important to get to that granular level of detail, otherwise you don’t have a comeback.”

IMPROVING THE WAY ASSETS ARE MANAGED Mr Dockrill also touched on the use of ongoing preventative work to help prevent corrosion in older assets. “I think there’s a short-term and a long-term approach, depending on your budgetary constraints. One shortterm option would be using potable water to wash down your exposed steel structure to remove (or at least minimise) the salts. “Afterwards, you can go and test for salts to establish when the next washing cycle is required, and you’re

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

JIM HICKEY, ELECTROLYSIS ENGINEERING OFFICER, NETWORK TEST AND MEASUREMENT AT AUSGRID

prolonging the life of the structure as is without spending a great deal of money. The long-term solution would be looking at protective coatings.” For some organisations, engaging a corrosion expert to carry out a risk assessment and develop a management plan can offer them access to expertise and untapped resources that they might not have internally. A list of credible corrosion experts can be found through the Australian Corrosion Association (ACA). Mr Dockrill commented that while the development of new technologies and materials is essential to ensure continuous improvement in the way assets are managed, there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution. “I think everyone wants the latest, greatest, iPhone type, new material, thinking it’s going to be the silver bullet solution, and it’s not. It’s not viable to build all our assets out of carbon fibre or graphene, or whatever the WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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CORROSION

Why all Project Managers should be designing against corrosion

latest wonder material is, you need to look at what materials are best suited to your design purpose, the specific environmental conditions and your operational constraints.”

GETTING IT RIGHT AT THE START Mr Krismer said organisations who are aware of the potential for corrosion and the effect it’ll have on their asset management and maintenance costs understand that the cheapest option

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isn’t always the best option. “Sometimes spending a few extra dollars on the right paint specification, the right preparation, quality control etc will prevent so many issues down the track, and then you actually know that your asset is going to be pretty much trouble free for a known period of time. Then you need appropriate maintenance strategies and inspection plans, and to be able to tie it into the overarching asset management plan.

“Corrosion is one of those things which just flies under the radar, and no one really gives it due consideration, except in exceedingly high-risk industries like pipelines where you make frontpage news when it does go wrong. Corrosion does permeate all aspects though, and I don’t really know any infrastructure which is not susceptible to corrosion in one way or another.”

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CORROSION

SELECTING THE RIGHT COATING

FOR STEEL STRUCTURES Owners and operators of high-value assets need to understand the cost implications of ignoring the effects of corrosion that pose a threat to all infrastructure through the degradation of structures such as buildings, pipelines and towers. The economic impact of corrosion represents an annual cost of many billions of dollars to the economy.

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ome of the advantages of planning for corrosion control and mitigation at the design phase include extending the life of an asset—thus making it more profitable—and reducing maintenance time and overall costs. According to Craig Ross, Director of Napier Sandblasting (NSB) in New Zealand, some construction contractors have sought to save money on infrastructure projects by using substandard coatings with the result that some assets are already showing signs of fatigue and distress. “While the majority of the cowboy coatings applicators that applied poor coating systems have gone, many of their structures already require remediation,” Mr Ross said. “Luckily changes in regulations and better enforcement of standards means that new designs should have a much longer operational life.” Justin Rigby, coatings consultant at Remedy Asset Protection, added that steel structures within industrial facilities are usually located in ‘aggressive’ environments. “Domestic steel assets do not face the same stresses as offshore or maritime structures,” Mr Rigby said.

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“Coastal and maritime areas are harsh and corrosive environments for all structures, but more so for steel ones,” Mr Ross added. Mr Rigby stated the best way to protect an asset from corrosion is to select a corrosion resistant metal or to apply a protective coating as a barrier to separate the structural steel from the corrosive parts of the environment, such as moisture, oxygen and pollutants. Cathodic protection is one technology that can be used to impress a current into a structure to alter the surface reactive characteristics of a metal to minimise corrosion.

IT’S ALL IN THE PLANNING According to Mr Rigby, it is important that a protective coating project is carefully planned. Protective coating projects are usually unsuccessful for relatively simple reasons. Planners often do not fully comprehend the technical complexity of many coating projects, especially if the coating is to be applied to an existing steel structure; even more so if the site is in a remote location. As a consequence, they fail to invest the time and resources to manage it effectively which results in substantial

cost implications when things go wrong. Protective coatings are not just paint. Coatings are engineered products that undergo rigorous testing and refinement to provide specific properties that will protect a structure from its service environment. “The most important considerations are the operating environment and choice of the appropriate coating,” Mr Rigby said. “A simplistic analogy would be that an asset is plastic coated.” There is a wide selection of coating products available to the market so it is essential that the appropriate coating system is chosen. There is no single product that meets every coating situation, as the desired attributes may be mutually exclusive, and a compromise may need to be made. Modern technology has developed active pigments which are being incorporated into primers to provide additional protection. Active anticorrosive pigments are added to primers which can give further protection for areas with coating damage in addition to their barrier effect. These pigments prevent corrosion of a metal substrate by building up permanently passive conditions at

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CORROSION

the metal surface and/or by a build-up of solid compounds which fill the damaged area of the coating. It is important to be flexible and adaptable when developing protective coating projects. While identifying areas of risk at the start of a project is an extra expense, it will help ensure a project's success. Managed well, a protective coatings project can provide owners with great outcomes.

A RANGE OF FACTORS TO CONSIDER The Australasian Corrosion Association (ACA) works with companies like Remedy and NSB, along with academia, to research all aspects of corrosion in order to provide an extensive knowledge base that supports best practice in corrosion management, thereby ensuring all impacts of corrosion are responsibly managed, the environment is protected, public safety enhanced and economies improved. “The quality of the finished project is dependent on how skillfully and effectively a coating is applied,” Mr Rigby said. The technicians chosen to apply a coating must have the appropriate skills. Obvious selection criteria are experience with the protective material and the equipment used to apply it to a structure. A less obvious criterion, especially for any sort of tower structure, is abseiling skills; technicians might have to be in a harness and suspended in mid-air which requires a particular mix of physical and psychological attributes. There are many standards relating to the application of protective surface coatings but sometimes compromises may need to be made. When planning protective coatings it is important to take account of factors such as the geography, access to the asset and climate, all of which impact the cost of the project. According to Rigby, there are a range of quality tests available that comply with Australian and international standards, many of which are covered in the ACA's NACE Inspector courses. A good coating specification will

reference AS/NZ 2312 as a minimum and categorise the service environment according to its corrosivity and then nominate a coating system based on the desired design life of the coating. The cost to coat an asset with an appropriate and effective protective material varies depending on whether it is applied in a workshop or on site and averages between $80 and $300 per square metre. “This is a relatively minor cost compared to the cost of not coating the steel,” Mr Ross said. “However cost is very much relative to what the required durability expectation is, the level of aesthetics required and how harsh the environment is.” If the asset is in a remote location, it will be necessary to select the most cost effective means of transporting materials and personnel to the site. Additionally, remote sites may be

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

exposed to climatic extremes which impact on applying a coating. For example, monsoonal rains in tropical regions would make it difficult to spray a coating on to any type of structure. The health and safety analysis of a project must look at how to effectively protect an asset and address any environmental considerations. It must also consider how to properly apply the coating to minimise its effects on the surrounding areas as well as protect the technician. The latest advances in corrosion mitigation will be discussed in the upcoming Corrosion and Prevention 2018 conference hosted by the ACA in Adelaide this November. Corrosion and Prevention 2018 is the largest corrosion conference and exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere. For further information please visit: conference.corrosion.com.au.

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CORROSION

Utility Partner Solutions

RESTORING POWERLINE POLES TO FULL STRENGTH Timber poles lose structural capacity for a number of reasons. These include decay, fungi causing shell rot and heart rot in the groundline area, insect damage, mechanical damage and deterioration/splitting of the pole tops. All these factors need to be considered when assessing a pole for its ability to continue to safely support the load potential.

L

ogsys Power Services offers non-intrusive wood pole reinforcement systems for the repair of distribution and transmission poles, designed by Osmose Utilities Services Inc. The Osmose C-Truss® and C2-Truss® systems restore the required strength of a pole in the critical groundline area. Most poles can be restored for a cost that is approximately 10–15 per cent of the cost for a new pole replacement. When poles are reinforced, the mechanism used to attach the steel truss to the pole becomes a critical component of the final structural repair system. The use of high-strength banding has the distinct advantage of transferring the load and subsequently creating far lower bearing stresses on the timber, compared to a system that uses bolting. Logsys Power Services also offers an Osmose designed solution for overloaded poles. The Osmo-ET-Truss™ can upgrade pole strength by up to three pole classes, at approximately 30 per cent of the cost of pole replacement. The ET-Truss also uses the same high-strength banding technology as the C-Truss and C2-Truss. Osmose pole restoration and strengthening systems have been successfully installed on poles for more than 50 years. In 2014, Logsys Power Services brought these technologies to Australia and New Zealand. Earlier this year, Western Power awarded Logsys Power Services a tender to

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reinforce over 20,000 distribution and transmission wood poles for the 2018/2019 financial year.

The repaired structure:

EXTENDING THE LIFE OF STEEL STRUCTURES Do your transmission towers look like this?

Like the degradation of timber poles from decay and fungi, steel towers, monopoles and streetlights will suffer groundline strength loss from corrosion. This corrosion is caused by contact with soil, moisture, oxygen and other environmental factors. While galvanising does provide protection to steel from corrosion, the severity of these environmental conditions will ultimately determine the life span of the steel structure.

Logsys Power Services is associated with the Australian Corrosion Association and has trained asset inspectors to assist utilities with identifying corrosion and corrosive environments, and propose corrective measures when needed. Corrective measures for steel towers are uniquely designed by experienced professional engineers and approved by the utility. Our patented iNjectapole® system is used for streetlight reinforcing and is a structurally certified pole repair system providing many years of life extension to the pole. For more information, visit www.logsys.com.au or call 08 9301 4911.

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C-Truss Versus C2-Truss

The Osmo-C-Truss systems typically restore transmission and larger distribution-size poles. The patented C2-Truss systems restore common distribution size poles with an optimized design that moves the shear center closer to the pole resulting in less twist under load, while utilizing higher strength steel for a lighter truss. The result is a more efficient, lighter weight, lower cost truss.

Common

Common

C-Truss

Ultimate Strength to AS/NZS 7000

C2-Truss

Ultimate Strength to AS/NZS 7000

C-1080 C-1180 C-1280 C-1380

135 kNm 155 kNm 170 kNm 190 kNm

C2-3610-5 C2-4910-5 C2-5610-5 C2-7110-5

45 kNm 65 kNm 85 kNm 105 kNm

Sizes

Sizes

Trussing Options

Thin Shell & High Decay

High Decay Solution

Standard Solution

Thin Shell Solution

Truss solutions can be adapted based on pole conditions. For more severe decay (thinner shell applications), double trussses can be utilized to restore poles to the capacity required by AS/NZS 7000. For decay that has progressed beyond standard installation heights, a taller truss is the best solution.

Upgrade Pole Capacity with the ET-Truss The Osmo-ET-Truss works in conjunction with sound wood poles to create a combined capacity greater than the original pole class rating. • Upgrade pole capacity by 1, 2, 3, or more classes. • Save money - the cost is often 1/3 or less than the cost of replacement. • Avoid the extra effort and delays associated with coordinating change-outs. • Upgrade an entire line without service interruption.

Logsys Power Services is an authorized distributor of Osmose. CALL

+61 (8) 9301-4911 |

EMAIL

johan@logsys.com.au |

WEBSITE

www.logsys.com.au


CORROSION

ADDRESSING CORR AUSTRALIA’S MOST Corrosion often occurs on assets that are out of sight, such as buried water pipes or reinforcement within structures, and failure to detect and manage corrosion can cause irreversible damage to these assets. Melbourne Water, one of Victoria’s largest water authorities, has a number of strategies to manage and mitigate corrosion across its water and sewer networks.

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elbourne Water owns large and complex infrastructure which provides essential services and benefits to more than five million Melburnians. Mark McLean, Area Lead – Transfer, Water (Civil) Asset Management, Asset Management Services at Melbourne Water, said that corrosion protection is a vital part of any asset management strategy. “Management and mitigation of corrosion is seen as a core function of asset management and maximising asset life for Melbourne Water to ensure the least community cost of maintaining and operating our assets.” Abhi Sulur – Acting Team Leader, Civil Sewerage Asset Management at Melbourne Water, added that it is important that whole-of-life costs are kept to a minimum and that return on investments are maximised. “To achieve this, robust asset management practices will need to be in place to manage the lifecycle costs. Failure to do so could potentially result in; increased risks associated with asset failures; failure to meet levels of service and obligations to customers; and an increase in whole-of-life costs as a result of significant renewal costs brought forward to manage the risk,” Mr Sulur said. The integration of digital technologies is also playing a role in Melbourne Water’s successful corrosion management. “The use of Ground Penetrating Radar has proven to be a valuable source of information around corrosion. The technology is improving and is becoming cost effective,” Mr Sulur said. “Use of GPS information has also improved and assisted in data collection for condition monitoring, as well as assisting in finding buried corrosion assets. Melbourne Water has also started using new remote data loggers to reduce the frequency of attending sites and improve the ability to obtain instantaneous data remotely,” Mr McLean commented.

UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF CORROSION ON WATER INFRASTRUCTURE Melbourne Water continues to improve its corrosion protection on every structure with metallic materials (steel pipes, steel main, concrete with rebar, pumps) through use of corrosion protection systems, barrier coatings and appropriate material selection.

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CORROSION

ROSION RISKS IN T LIVEABLE CITY The utility is also heavily involved with the Victorian Electrolysis Committee on mitigating stray traction corrosion caused by electrified train and tram networks. “Material and coating selection are critical, as is jointing and electrical continuity for our pipelines and structures when constructing new assets. Cathodic protection systems are the main criterion when building new assets which contain metallic components,” Mr McLean said. “For all of our metallic pipeline systems and some reinforced concrete structures, we use a combination of Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP) and Sacrificial Anode systems, and insulated flanges to allow for discrete management of our assets. These are being installed across Melbourne Water assets to mitigate the corrosion related issues. “An IoT monitoring system is also being installed to monitor ICCP systems to improve the response time to these systems operating outside of desired output ranges.” Investigation into corrosion related issues, such as coating defect surveys and direct current voltage gradient methods, is key to ensuring an effective corrosion protection regime is in place as part of the commissioning process. Mr McLean said that Melbourne Water recently installed a new Hybrid Anode Cathodic Protection system on 7km of a reinforced concrete retaining walls system. “The installation was completed in December 2017 and currently is in the commissioning stage. Melbourne Water is intending to continue to monitor its performance as part of an ongoing trial to maximise the system’s effectiveness and refine how these types of systems can be efficiently installed and maintained,” Mr McLean said.

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

A SEWER PERSPECTIVE Through its renewals program, Melbourne Water is working on a number of projects to rehabilitate sewerage infrastructure, using technologies such as slip lining and spiral wound/CIPP as a barrier to protect concrete assets. “The methods used are conventional relining techniques to rehabilitate sewer structures. On large sewerage pipeline infrastructure, Melbourne Water has installed corrosion pins which allow for annual measurements on loss of concrete to be undertaken,” Mr Sulur said. “Materials such as Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) pipes are currently used in sewerage related infrastructure to manage corrosion and new concrete structures other than pipes have a corrosion barrier such as High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) installed. “IoT monitoring has also allowed for a quick deployment to monitor flow conditions when working in live environments.” The utility is participating in a $3 million research project into smart lining for pipes funded by the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects stream, led by the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and delivered in partnership with a team of manufacturers, applicators, utilities and research organisations. “Melbourne Water is developing a bespoke condition monitoring tool to provide data that will assist decision-making around the impact of corrosion on assets,” Mr Sulur said. While the project will be a huge leap forward in the development of smart technologies for the water industry, Mr Sulur believes that many corrosion risks can be effectively managed with the current rehabilitation and renewal methods available. “The important factor is to identify the renewal or rehabilitation requirements before significant deterioration occurs. Early detection will provide a number of cost-effective solutions to manage the risk.”

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PIPELINE INTEGRITY

Utility Partner Solutions

VIEGA’S PIPEWORK SOLUTIONS

REDUCE LABOUR TIME BY 75 PER CENT

Named after the revered Australian tennis great, Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena enjoys international fame as the main venue for the Australian Open — the first Grand Slam event of each calendar year. Officially opened in January 1988 at a cost of $94 million, the facility has become one of the world’s favourite sporting and entertainment destinations.

I

n June 2015, it was announced that the arena would undergo a complete multi-million-dollar refurbishment under the management of Lend Lease Building Contractors. The initiative is part of a $700+ million Melbourne Park Redevelopment project designed to significantly enhance every aspect of the audience experience and rejuvenate the external design.

KEEPING IT IN THE BALLPARK With the facility remaining operational throughout the refurbishment, the renovations and extensions will be opened progressively over the next four years of construction, with completion expected in 2020. Not surprisingly, it’s a program that presents a series of unique logistical challenges. “The obvious challenge that contractors faced on this job was time, and having to adhere to the Tennis Centre’s tight schedule,” explains Viega Planning Consultant, Richard Andrew. “There was quite a bit of pipework involved. As well as toilets, showers and kiosks, piping infrastructure also had to be provided for new coaching, massage and medical areas. In order to get the job done, contractors were actually working two shifts per day.” THE NEED FOR SPEED With the ability to meet stringent project deadlines crucial, Viega’s world-renowned Propress technology was the obvious choice when it came to installing a reliable pipework solution. “With such a tight schedule, our products were perfect for the job,” Richard said. “Propress enables a very quick install, saving 75 per cent of labour time. And there’s no need to rely on somebody’s ability or skill to weld. It’s really just a case of putting it together, pressing it, and getting a certain joint each time. The other advantage is that installation can be done by

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one person — not two. They can also work on a ladder or a scissor lift and put our systems together safely.” Wilson Plumbing and Draining Project Manager, Jamie Morison, said the Propress system (which can be installed without a hot works permit) enabled contractors to carry out installation quickly and effectively. "The need for welding in tight areas, which can easily trigger smoke alarms, is negated when using Viega,” Jamie explained. “There are a lot of advantages to installing Viega, such as its reliability, quality, and the fact it is so easy to use. Viega is an awesome product and because it saves us a lot of time we use it on the majority of our projects.”

EASY TO CHECK The ability to easily locate leak points and un-pressed fittings during the testing phase (via Viega's patented Smart Connect-Feature) is another key feature that qualified Propress as a perfect fit for the project. When the fitting is pressed, the Smart Connect feature is closed, forming a permanent leak-proof joint. If the connection does have a leak, a ‘dry’ leakage test will reveal a visible pressure decrease over the entire pressure range from 2.2kPa to 300kPa. If the leakage test is carried out with water, this visibly escapes from the un-pressed fittings in the pressure range of 100kPa to 650kPa. THE RIGHT ADVICE In addition to providing the actual Propress system, Viega also offered detailed product training for installing contractors, as well as ongoing technical advice and project management. “We visited the site on three occasions and went through installation procedures and made sure the guys were installing it properly,” Richard said. “We also oversaw progress of the work and made recommendations as we went.” WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


PIPELINE INTEGRITY

EXTENDING ASSET LIFE

USING INNOVATIVE LINING TECHNIQUES Most utilities use a combination of metallic and non-metallic pipe materials in their network and often the biggest challenge for pipe integrity is related to the corrosion of metallic pipelines. The recent introduction of relining systems for pressure mains has provided a unique opportunity for Queensland Urban Utilities to trial the new technology to extend the life of pipes in its network.

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ith vast kilometres of pipeline networks in Australia, utilities are all faced with a common challenge to understand the condition of pipes and when they need to be replaced. Many of Queensland Urban Utilities' larger trunk pipelines are mild steel, which utilise cathodic protection systems and reliable coating systems to mitigate the potential for corrosion. Cast iron and ductile iron systems used in the network rely on protective bitumen coatings and polyethylene sleeving systems, depending on the age of the asset. These pipelines are susceptible to external corrosion and as such condition assessment is required periodically. While pipe integrity tools continue to improve and are crucial in maintaining critical pipeline infrastructure, they are not always practical to employ in the greater reticulation network. Queensland Urban Utilities Principal Civil Engineer, Scott Stevens, said the utility uses a variety of methods to undertake condition assessments that are tailored to the material type, pipe accessibility and expected corrosion levels. “In some circumstances we undertake external inspections at discrete locations using ultrasonic testing, broadband electro-magnetic scanning or magnetic flux leakage. This provides a snapshot of the pipe condition at nominated locations. We target the investigations to locations where environmental factors are conducive to corrosion,” Mr Stevens said.

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PIPELINE INTEGRITY

Extending asset life using innovative lining techniques

“Most of these methods can be employed in the field while the main is still online, including acoustic and transient sensory methods and tethered-in-pipe leak detection which don’t require the pipeline to be exhumed. “We have also used in-pipe scanning tools for large rising mains to understand the extent of internal corrosion from hydrogen sulphide gas, however, this requires the pipeline to be taken offline, drained and cleaned to permit access.” Mr Stevens said Queensland Urban Utilities has previously undertaken physical testing of aged cast iron pipes after they have been removed from the field. The pipes are blasted to remove graphitisation and fully mapped to understand the variance in wall thickness and corrosion pit depths. The pipes then undergo a suite of mechanical testing to understand the characteristic strength of the material and corrosion rates, to input into structural and predictive failure models.

RELINING OFFERING AN ALTERNATIVE TO REPLACEMENT Pipe relining technologies have been available for rehabilitation of gravity pipelines for some time and are proven means to enhance the structural integrity and extend the life of an asset.

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Using this technology, kilometres of cast iron and bonded asbestos cement water pipelines can be relined instead of using traditional replacement methods that require excavation. Queensland Urban Utilities has been trialling various products in the market to gain a better understanding of their application in the field, installation process, advantages and constraints. “Where applicable, we are looking to use these technologies as an alternative to traditional replacement. As with any trenchless technology, relining is ideal for certain circumstances and we will always need to use a variety of different technologies,” Mr Stevens said. In a recent trial, Queensland Urban Utilities used new Primus Line technology to reline 1.8km of water mains at Redbank Plains in Ipswich, making it the longest and largest stretch of pipe to be relined using this method in Australia. Queensland Urban Utilities Water Network Program Director, Gavin Flood, said he believed relining technology was an important tool in the trenchless toolbox. “Relining has been used in the sewerage industry for years, but it’s only been in the past 12 months that Australian water utilities have begun implementing this technology for potable water pipes,” Mr Flood said. “Relining is quicker and can be more cost effective than traditional alternatives and importantly, it minimises disruption to the community and the environment. “Depending on the technology, it’s possible to reline up to 650m of pipe per day compared with 40m using excavation. Plus, we’ve found it has potential savings of up to 40 per cent in capital costs. “Instead of our crew spending six months digging up the existing main and replacing it with a new one, we were able to complete the project at Redbank Plains in a matter of weeks.”

KEEP ON TRIALLING Queensland Urban Utilities has undertaken trials with both structural and non-structural relining solutions. Typically the trial applications have been on trunk water mains, which are susceptible to leaking joints rather than structural barrel failure. These systems have proven to be quick, efficient and cost-effective alternatives. Where the condition of the host pipe is structurally sound for external loading and frequency of pipeline appurtenances is lower, the utility used non-structural lining systems capable of taking internal pressure. “Where the pipeline condition is largely unknown or not practical to assess, we’ve trialled structural lining systems. These systems have been targeted at reticulation size mains and we’ve found them to be an effective alternative to traditional replacement,” Mr Stevens said “We are undertaking further trials with various materials to gain better insight into how we can use these lining techniques in our capital works program in the future.” The industry is constantly developing new and innovative ways to solve known problems, however, not all innovations are suitable for every application. “It is vital to have a good understanding of the technology, its intended application and the asset condition, balanced with robust engineering judgement,” Mr Stevens said. As accurate field data collection improves, it will provide better insight for predictive modelling and data assessment, and help asset owners better understand the health of their network and inform their investment strategy. “I expect to see advancements in condition asset methods and tools, or the application of existing technologies to specific industry needs,” Mr Stevens said.

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PIPELINE INTEGRITY

Utility Partner Solutions

PROVING PIPES CAN LAST FOR LONGER

Pipe lining technology has the potential to substantially increase the service life of pipes by up to 50 years at lower cost. Pipe Segment Technology is an innovative new lining system, offering a range of benefits including fast installation, construction from transparent material and suitability for live loads, such as culverts under road and rail networks.

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$3 million research project into smart lining for pipes, funded by the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects stream, will explore the use of relining technology to deliver more reliable water and wastewater services, and lessen customer disruption through reduced repairs and replacements. Led by the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), the project will enable collaboration between manufacturers, applicators, utilities and research organisations to improve specifications, standards, products and services. One organisation, Aussie Trenchless, is already at the forefront of pipe lining technology and has just released a new man entry lining system. Aussie Trenchless’ Pipe Segment Technology (PST) method is ideal for man entry pipeline rehabilitation of gravity sewer mains. PST is easy to build and fast to implement in man entry pipelines.

The system’s lining panels are made of polypropylene (PP) material, providing a smooth surface with excellent hydraulic performance characteristics. This compound means the liner is transparent, so there is no guesswork on grouting levels during the rehabilitation. PST can be installed in any shape of pipeline: round, eggshaped or box culverts. The installation can continue in low flow conditions, however it can be interrupted if wet weather flows occur. The assembly of the PP sections, positioning and finishing can be carried out from the mid-point of the pipe to each access end, allowing two crews to complete the installation in less time. The ring stiffness of PST can also be enhanced by attaching circumferential bars, which makes the product suitable for installation in deep sewers.

PST METHOD

SEWER & STORMWATER MAN ENTRY PIPE The PST Man Entry Lining Method is a nimble segmental polypropylene lining system offering many unique benefits. PST METHOD OVERVIEW •

Assembly of the PP sections, positioning & finishing can be carried out from the pipe mid-point out to each access end allowing two crews to complete the works faster.

The PP materials are transparent so no more guess work on grouting levels

The PST System is suitable for deep installations as the ring stiffness can be enhanced by attaching circumferential bar stiffeners

The PST System is suitable for live loads such as culvert works under road & rail networks

Suitable for pipe sizes from DN1000 to DN2800

Suitable for Oviform & Box Culverts

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

+61 418 691 989 6/58 Box Road, Taren Point NSW 2229 PO Box 2386 Taren Point NSW 2229 enquiries@aussietrenchless.com TM

www.aussietrenchless.com

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LEAK DETECTION

Utility Partner Solutions

Making the business case FOR AUTOMATIC METER READING by Mark Halliwell, Taggle Systems

In 2011, Mackay Regional Council took what were then the first courageous steps towards using Taggle’s recently developed Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) to collect data from its entire water meter fleet. The council’s success in transforming its water business, recognised by both national and international awards, has been spoken and written about many times over the following years.

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ince then, Taggle has worked with 30 councils and water utilities around Australia that have chosen to use the company’s network-as-a-service for their own Automatic Meter Reading (AMR), smart water or digital metering projects. While perhaps not as high profile as the Mackay story, many of these utilities have also had their successes. All of them had to work through some level of business case validation to secure project funding and, importantly, almost all of them did not require a grant or similar funding. In many cases, decision makers had no difficulty in demonstrating a positive business case for their project, citing savings in meter reading costs, customer-side water loss mitigation, non-revenue water reduction and other tangible benefits as being sufficient to justify their investment. For those water service providers, local councils and water utilities that are considering AMR as a means by which to modernise their water and wastewater systems, there are a number of intangible or less obvious benefits to be considered. Usually, the first impact made by an AMR system is the identification of leaks on customers’ premises. When a council calls or writes to a customer advising them of a potential leak and gives them the opportunity to save money on wasted water or, worse, property damage resulting from a leak, the reaction is almost always very positive. Letters have been written to councils and local newspapers praising council for its actions, creating a very positive image of the council in its community. How much would a council need to spend on a marketing campaign to achieve a similar outcome? With hourly data from water meters and other sensors (pressure, sewer overflow etc) acquired by radio, workforce resources are available for other tasks. In many cases, improved workforce utilisation is not considered in the business case evaluation. Not having staff engaged in meter

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reading, special reads and the like can have the effect of adding extra people (FTEs in HR jargon) to the workforce. No longer having staff or contractors travelling the shire every few months to read meters reduces exposure to hazards such as aggressive dogs, snakes and spiders that lead to workplace health and safety (WHS) issues. Reducing WHS related incidents lead to less time lost, reduced administration costs and a better work environment for staff. What about vehicle costs? How many kilometres are travelled by utility vehicles every year in relation to meter reads or other tasks that could be achieved using a LPWAN? What about fuel and maintenance costs or extending the life of vehicle assets? Speaking of assets, could the ability to manage pressure in water pipes help to reduce the potential for leaks and extend their life? While the cost of capital is currently at historic lows, being able to increase the life of major assets such as pipelines or water treatment plants through reduced pressure or better demand management makes a big contribution to long-term financial health. This is where Chief Financial Officers really need to take more of an interest in what can be achieved with AMR and wider data acquisition using LPWAN technology. Finally, using AMR and other data provides an opportunity to better understand the community’s water use behaviour, and develop and measure new approaches to water and wastewater system management. A customer portal that shows people how much water they’ve used can also provide opportunities to engage with customers, which for some councils has played a big part in their efforts to reduce community water consumption. AMR business cases cannot be successfully developed in isolation. How projects might benefit other parts of the organisation must be considered to avoid marginal business cases when a wider perspective might have resulted in a more positive outcome. Maybe it’s time to start looking at the bigger picture. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


LEAK DETECTION

SMART WATER NETWORK ENHANCING

LEAK DETECTION

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LEAK DETECTION

SA Water is embarking on a pilot project that will make Penneshaw the first town in South Australia to be 100 per cent connected to the utility’s smart water network. We caught up with SA Water’s Manager of Strategic Asset Management, Dr Helen Edmonds, who is the architect of the smart network program, to get the latest update.

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ince beginning in August 2018, SA Water has successfully installed over 300 smart meters at properties in Penneshaw, along with the installation of two flow and pressure sensors in the main supply network. The shift towards smart water meters is fuelled by the utility’s drive to empower customers by providing them with the information they need to manage their water consumption and repair leaks earlier. “It’s about empowering customers to manage their water use and their water bills, giving them access to more information about when and where they're using it. It helps them in looking for ways to save water, but also allows them to check for leaks on their property,” Dr Edmonds said. “At the moment if a customer has a leak, they don't know about it until the three month meter reading, and that can be quite a lot of money for some of them. The pilot project gives them data hourly, weekly, monthly, whatever they need to be able to look for these leaks.”

LEARNINGS FROM THE CBD TRIAL The Penneshaw project follows the successful trial of a $4 million smart water network in the Adelaide CBD, which has been live since July 2017. This network includes 100 smart meters at 70 business customer sites, and a combined 336 flow meters, pressure, water quality and leak detection sensors. The Adelaide CBD trial enabled the utility to address challenges faced in the implementation of the technology in order to continue rolling out the meters in different locations. “None of what we installed in the CBD trial is new, it’s all well-proven sensors and technology. It was just the time frame we had to put it in that was the challenge,” Dr Edmonds said. “We only had a few months so we were always going to get hiccups where things weren't communicating quite right. We found a lot of things that we couldn’t transmit data through like cast iron lids on chambers. “It was just about slowly working through how we could get signals out of chambers. That involved digging holes in the sides of the chambers, different antennas and different communications technology. “The other thing was the integration of all the different elements we put in. The team worked together to work through each problem, trial solutions and find something that worked.” The data is collected through 305 acoustic leak detection sensors, 34 pressure sensors of which 23 are transient loggers, 11 flow meters, three water quality monitors, and 100 smart meters on customer connections. The information is transmitted over long-term evolution and narrow band technologies to an analytics platform, at five to 15 minute intervals.

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Smart water network enhancing leak detection

DR HELEN EDMONDS, MANAGER OF STRATEGIC ASSET MANAGEMENT, SA WATER

Dr Edmonds said there have been a number of situations where customers have been able to identify leaks on their property and identify them within hours rather than months. “We moved from a reactive approach to a proactive approach to maintenance. In a typical year we used to get about 40 failures in the CBD, historically they would have been big failures shutting down roads. In the first year of operation, we had 17 sudden failures, and we had 22 that we were able to identify with the acoustic sensors and fix overnight.” In September 2018, SA Water's adoption of smart water network technology was recognised with a bronze prize at the International Water Association's Project Innovation Awards in Tokyo. The international award follows a number of other accolades for SA Water's smart network, including two awards at the 2018 Australian Internet of Things Awards, as well as the title of 2018 Australian Digital Utility of the Year, awarded jointly to SA Water and Horizon Power.

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PENNESHAW PILOT PROGRAM Penneshaw was selected for the pilot project due to the small and contained nature of the local water main network. The area’s topography also allowed for radio transmission to securely relay the information from meter to portal. SA Water installed 300 of the 200HT Hybrid smart meters made by Honeywell Elster, each featuring a digital reading display, 15-year battery life and an integrated Taggle Byron™ wireless radio transmitter. “We used Taggle for the smart meters in the CBD and again for Penneshaw, the difference being that in the CBD we attached a communications device into the existing meters. In Penneshaw we’re actually changing out existing meters for meters with inbuilt communications — so they’re smart meters,” Dr Edmonds said. “By the end of October 2018, we will have all the technology in place, so we’ll start looking at what's happening and what it’s telling us. We’ll also start giving customers access to the portal in the next couple of months. “From there, we’ll start working with customers to understand what they want from a portal, what data do they want to see, what's useful and what’s not useful, so that helps us tailor the portal in the future.” THE BIGGER PICTURE Dr Edmonds said the rollout of smart meters on a larger scale is completely feasible, it just takes time. “It's not something you can offer to customers and say ‘okay you want a smart meter’, and that’s because of the communications piece. You have to make sure the communications are rolled out in parallel with the meters. “The future of water utilities is definitely heading towards digitisation but it’s where it makes sense to do so. We look at it from a customer perspective. We look for customer benefits in the digital rollout, if there is no customer benefit then we shouldn’t be doing it. Ultimately the customer is at the heart of everything that we do. “Even the work we’ve done in the CBD was driven by minimising disruption to locals and the community. The rollouts we’re doing are all about minimising water loss and costs to customers by reducing failures in the network. SA Water will continue to listen to what the customer wants and expects, and that will shape the direction we go.”

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WAST E WAT E R

Striving towards

ENERGY-EFFICIENT WASTEWATER TREATMENT

As the Boneo Water Recycling Plant (WRP) is nearing its capacity, South East Water is investing $130 million to upgrade the plant to ensure the future treatment of wastewater for the southern Mornington Peninsula. The new, energy-efficient water treatment and recycling infrastructure will support population growth, protect the local environment and maximise recycled water production. UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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outh East Water provides water, sewerage and recycled water services to over 1.6 million people living and working in Melbourne's south east. The upgrade of the Boneo WRP will enable an additional 16,000 properties in the area to connect to South East Water’s Peninsula ECO scheme, a reticulated pressure sewer network helping to replace septic tanks and mini treatment plants, a known cause of groundwater and waterway pollution on the southern peninsula. During the summer months, peak flows into the Boneo WRP increase by up to 50 per cent. Currently, the WRP treats an average wastewater inflow of ten Megalitres per day (ML/d), increasing to 15ML/d during the summer period. The major upgrade is part of the masterplan to meet growth in the area for the next 30 years (up to 2050).

LOW-ENERGY, HIGH-EFFICIENCY UPGRADE The concept design stage evaluated four process options; the selected option is an anaerobic process followed by nutrient removal in the existing bioreactors via the nitrite-shunt nutrient removal process — an emerging WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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Striving towards energy-efficient wastewater treatment

technology which significantly reduces the electricity required to treat the wastewater. This technology recovers carbon for energy generation on site through the incorporation of a co generation plant. Removal of carbon will significantly reduce energy consumption to help South East Water achieve its emissions reductions target of 45 per cent by 2025, and will have the potential for the plant to become carbon positive. The upgrade will include the capture of biogas generated during the treatment process to power the plant’s operations. Both technologies will assist in reducing South East Water’s reliance on grid electricity in the treatment process. Terri Benson, Managing Director at South East Water, said the Boneo WRP upgrade will support the continued growth of the Mornington Peninsula as a place to live, work and play, while helping to maintain its pristine environment. “It will also move us significantly closer to our emissions reduction targets, and our commitment to customers to protect our environment.”

JOINT VENTURE AWARDED UPGRADE CONTRACT South East Water has appointed the John Holland SUEZ Beca (JHSB) joint venture to upgrade the plant. The upgrade will be delivered through a design, build, operate and maintain contract, with JHSB operating the plant for ten years to enable knowledge sharing and collaboration. The project will incorporate the latest available technology, including automation, will be used to achieve world-class operations and maintenance practices. South East Water has

THE NEW FACILITY WILL HAVE A NUMBER OF KEY TREATMENT OBJECTIVES INCLUDING: • • • • • • •

Production of 'fit-for-purpose' effluent High level of plant reliability >99.7 per cent Reduction in total nitrogen No visual impact at discharge An energy efficient plant Reduction of odour Minimise impact on the local community

engaged with a broad range of community and stakeholder groups throughout the planning process. This includes a partnership with Melbourne Water and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to revitalise a section of the Tootgarook Wetlands adjacent to the plant, which is home to over 120 different bird species, some of which are threatened or endangered. Already more than 57,000 new plants have been planted. It is expected that 160 new jobs and ten new apprenticeships will be created for the design, build, operation and maintenance of the plant. South East Water anticipates works to commence in March 2019, with the upgrades in operation by January 2020.

NETWORK SERVICES

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WAST E WAT E R

Can you get an online DO sensor which is calibration-free, has a long-life and requires minimal maintenance ?

With WTW you can!

The WTW FDO 700 IQ optical dissolved oxygen sensor is factory calibrated and does not need re-calibration on site. Very easy to install and maintain and ideal for wastewater treatment plants, this sensor has a sensor-cap that lasts for 3-5 years! The FDO 700 IQ has a unique 45deg angled sensor-cap that ensures high accuracy measurements.

O2

TODAY! CONTACT US for special deal limited-time

Xylem Water Solutions - Analytics +61 1300 995 362 salesAus@xyleminc.com www.xylem-analytics.com.au

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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WAST E WAT E R

Utility Partner Solutions

Innovation and efficiency in REAL-TIME CHLORINE ANALYSIS With wastewater or drinking water management, or for food processing, water quality and accurate chlorine levels are vital. The Thermo Scientific™ Orion™ Chlorine XP water analyser is designed to provide accurate, stable, multi parameter measurements all with minimal maintenance in the one unit. Design features help minimise the need for periodic cleaning and calibration, and offer compatibility with many applications and disinfectant processes. The XP utilises an optical DPD-reagent based measurement technology that can be configured to use the least amount of reagents while maintaining outstanding accuracy.

RELIABLE MEASUREMENT FOR MANY APPLICATIONS The Chlorine XP analyser provides reliable real-time chlorine measurement with features to suit clean water and dirty water alike. For potable water plants that do not operate 24 hours a day, the Chlorine XP will detect a loss of flow and “pause”. This will save on reagents, and avoiding spurious incorrect readings and nuisance operator call-out alarms until the flow is re-established. For wastewater applications with turbid or coloured effluent, the analyser’s auto-clean function ensures that the measuring cell is cleaned after each measuring cycle. This provides reliable results without the need for manual intervention. As an added benefit, the Chlorine XP can measure free chlorine, total chlorine and pH in the one analyser, reducing the cost and need for multiple instruments. In food and beverage industries with water treatment that uses reverse osmosis (RO), measuring the absence of

chlorine prior to the water entering the RO membranes is essential to protect membrane integrity. The Chlorine XP analyser provides low level measurement (10ppb) without the potential detection delay experienced by some technologies such as amperometric probes.

LOW MAINTENANCE AND COST EFFICIENT The Chlorine XP’s measuring cycle interval is flexible and can be set to suit the application, from two minutes to ten minutes, allowing the cost of reagents to be optimised. With a cycle that is under five minutes, you can start the unit and potentially come back eight weeks later to change the reagents. A “low reagent” alarm also helps monitor reagent levels. The “dry” electronics section is separated from the “wet” section, which assists with avoiding internal corrosion problems; coupled with light source self-calibration, these features support a long instrument life.

For more information, visit www.thermofisher.com.au/chlorineXP, or call 1300 735 292.

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Reliable, repeatable chlorine measurement Multiparameter water quality analysis Offering unique benefits the Thermo Scientific™ Orion™ Chlorine XP™ delivers cost effective, accurate and stable water quality measurement. • Self-cleaning • Simultaneously measures free chlorine, total chlorine & pH • Minimal maintenance With applications in potable water, wastewater, power generation, food and beverage, the Chlorine XP provides outstanding performance and reliable measurement in almost any industry. Thermo Scientific Orion Chlorine XP

Call: 1300 735 292 Email: infowaterau@thermofisher.com

Find out more at thermofisher.com.au/chlorinexp © 2018 Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. All rights reserved. Trademarks used are owned as indicated on thermofisher.co.nz/trademarks. 1536559714


WAST E WAT E R

Utility Partner Solutions

THE END OF PRIMARY SEDIMENTATION TANKS IN WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS? It was in the late 19th century when some cities began to utilise sedimentation systems to treat sewage. This remained the only means of treatment until the discovery of the activated sludge process in 1912.

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edimentation systems, more commonly referred to as primary sedimentation tanks or clarifiers, are still used today. They are still incorporated into the design concepts and planning for future sewage treatment plants as they allow an initial Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) reduction of approximately 40 per cent, increasing the efficiency of the downstream secondary stage of treatment. Now there is new technology available that can replace clarifiers and operate with more efficiency. The HUBER LIQUID Drum was developed as part of a research project on alternative technologies contributing towards energy utilisation. The LIQUID technology is an extension of the popular ROTAMAT Screening Process, which is proven in over 4000 references. It is now distributed throughout Australia by Hydroflux Epco as an innovative alternative to primary clarifiers. It reduces the amount of space required for a clarifying tank by up to 90 per cent while reducing energy use and the high investment costs. The system uses a fine mesh with 0.1 to 0.2mm holes in a star pattern to increase the effective surface area of the drum. This allows similar suspended solids removal rates when compared to conventional primary clarifiers. The benefits of the HUBER LIQUID Drum include: • freeing up space and land with a 90 per cent reduction in the space required compared to a clarifier • its performance is as good as, or better than, sedimentation • major savings in capital costs for installation • the use of gravity to capture sludge in a wash press for thickening by four to six per cent without using polymer • the ability to repurpose existing clarifying tanks; for example, they could be reconfigured into aeration basins

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HOW IT WORKS The HUBER LIQUID Drum is an in-channel fine screen that uses a drum with a mesh profile to separate fine solids from the sewage flow. It is typically installed in a concrete channel downstream of the inlet works. It is provided with a main frame, channel seal plate, covers, spray system and main drive. As the fine solids accumulate on the screen face, the headloss gradually increases due to the blinding of the drum. At a preset headloss, the drum rotates through a wash recycle and the solids wash into a trough, before being sluiced out of the machine for further processing. The mesh geometry provides low headloss values, and the drum sizing and water levels are configured to reduce headloss values across the total screen. Spray water is used for washing the drum in a low and high pressure system. Reclaimed effluent can be used for this purpose. The discharge of the screened sewage gravitates to the next process step. The solids washed from the drum are sluiced from an internal trough. Typically, these solids are pumped for digestion or can be thickened using a HUBER WAP LIQUID Press.

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WAT E R

SCIENCE

TECHNOLOGY


Mr. Andrew Mortlock Aquasol Pty Ltd.

The flow rate through the filter has increased dramatically and the very discoloured and silty river water is coming out of the filter with a turbidity well below 1 NTU – which is very impressive. The clients are very happy!


Advantages of using DMI-65® for Power Generation: Pretreatment for Boilers and Cooling Tower Water IRON AND MANGANESE BUILDUP Build up of iron and manganese in boilers and cooling towers results in very high maintenance overheads, loss of production and potentially system failure. DMI-65® efficiently removes dissolved iron to the almost undetectable levels as low as 0.005mg/L and manganese to 0.001mg/L as well as particulate, effectively removing this risk. REDUCED COSTS The total cost of the iron and manganese removal water filtration system is significantly less than alternative solutions, the effectiveness, but relative simplicity, of DMI65® based systems reduces the upfront capital expenditure on plant complexity as well as the ongoing operational expenditure in chemicals, power and backwash waste water recovery. HIGH FLOW RATES The infused technology of DMI-65® promotes the highest oxidation rate of any catalytic filtration media. This permits a significantly higher water flow rate to achieve the same level of iron and manganese removal. DMI-65 can operate at linear filtration velocities up to twice that of conventional media with a corresponding reduction in capital equipment costs. HIGH LOAD CAPACITY DMI-65® also has higher iron and manganese load capacity which can extend the duration of filter runs and the time between backwashing, thereby reducing downtime, operating expense and wastage. REGENERATION NOT REQUIRED The media operates with a continuous injection of sodium hypochlorite at low residual levels (0.1 to 0.3mg/L) which eliminates the need for Potassium Permanganate. WIDE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT Stable and satisfactory performance at pH 5.8 to 8.6 and a maximum operating temperature of 113° F (45°C) reduces the need for investment to alter the operating environment. LONG LIFE DMI-65® is not consumed in the process giving it an expected operational life of up to 10 years, providing considerable advantages over other processes or media. The media does not display a decaying capacity to do its catalytic work. Over the 5 to 10 year period, through many backwashing operations of the bed to remove retained solids, an attrition loss of the media occurs by contact between particles and mechanical abrasion.

“Advanced Filtration Media”

www.dmi65.com info@dmi65.com +61 1300 303 281


W AT E R INDUSTRY SAFETY

PREVENTION LED — “Come over here mate — pop this headset on, hold these two controls and have a look around.” It’s not exactly your traditional conversation about safety at Melbourne Water — and that’s precisely the point.

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ictoria’s water wholesaler has successfully integrated virtual reality into its suite of workplace safety training. Standard VR just wasn’t enough for Melbourne Water and Deakin University, so they designed and developed their own system in Melbourne. The technology allows operators to interact with one another in the same ‘virtual space’ from anywhere in the world, bringing a new level of interactivity, flexibility and safety to workplace training. It also does away with the need for controllers by using Infrared Hand Tracking Technology.

Ben Horan is a Mechatronics Engineer and has focused on becoming one of the world's leading authorities in Virtual Reality. He is the Director of Deakin University's CADET Lab and is constantly pushing the limits of available technology.

Scott McMillan has a trade background as an Electrical and Instrumentation Technician. He has specialised in the advanced treatment of wastewater which has taken him to remote workplaces like Antarctica and the Cocos Islands. Scott now works in the Melbourne Water Safety Group and looks at new technologies and how they can improve training outcomes for field staff.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT DEAKIN UNIVERSITY, BEN HORAN, AND SAFETY MANAGER TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION AT MELBOURNE WATER, SCOTT MCMILLAN, DURING THE SNAKE BITE TRAINING.

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W AT E R INDUSTRY SAFETY

HOW VIRTUAL REALITY IS RESHAPING THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT SAFETY The innovation was awarded by Victoria’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulator as ‘best solution to a specific workplace Health & Safety issue’ in late 2017. “People learn and engage with information in different ways so it was important that we tailored our approach,” said Melbourne Water’s Technology and Innovation Safety Manager, Scott McMillan. “It’s that ‘learning by doing’ approach — this platform allows our operational staff to learn without being exposed to the risks associated with some of the hazardous work that we undertake to keep Melbourne’s water and sewers running.” The platform, designed in collaboration with Deakin University, has been used to identify design defects and OHS risks during planning phases of major capital projects. Traditionally, two-dimensional drawings and threedimension modelling were used during design and hazard detection processes. This raised challenges for technicians and operators as they tried to contextualise the finished plant and offer feedback regarding safety or operability issues to the designers, constructors and project managers. “We were finding that some hazards were identified after the asset was operational, which is not ideal because there’s potential safety issues, increased costs and difficult fixes post-construction,” Mr McMillan said. “We knew we needed to engage the operations and maintenance technicians in a more immersive way and so we thought a virtual reality system could help us to bridge that gap, and show the technicians what the proposed designed would look like in as close as possible to a real world space.” Mr McMillan said that the potential applications of this technology for people living and working in regional and remote locations are significant.

WIOA, with the support of Melbourne Water, is hosting the inaugural Water Industry Safety Event (WISE) on Wednesday 24 October 2018. The event will focus on water industry safety scenarios with a view to sharing and learning from one another’s experiences. Melbourne Water began this initiative with WIOA in May 2018 as part of its generative safety strategy

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

SAFETY MANAGER TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION AT MELBOURNE WATER, SCOTT MCMILLAN, USING VR TO TRAIN STAFF ON HOW TO TREAT A SNAKE BITE.

“We are very excited about this because there is enormous potential to provide immersive learning experiences on location instead of people travelling long distances to learn new skills.” Melbourne Water is currently using VR to: • Enhance its identification of design defects and OHS risks during the planning phase of capital projects • Train staff on management of ozone, a dangerous chemical used in the wastewater treatment process • Train staff on how to respond to and treat a snake bite

which is focused on looking for ways to lead safety and create a vibrant health and safety community internally as well as externally. On the day before the conference, Melbourne Water has also offered participants the opportunity to take a tour of either Eastern Treatment Plant, Western Treatment Plant or the Winneke Treatment Plant.

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SAFETY

Utility Partner Solutions

Twice as safe

UNDER PRESSURE In processing facilities in the chemical, pharmaceutical and energy industries, the main focus today, more than ever, is on safety. That’s why SIL, or Safety Integrity Level, is becoming more and more important, providing modern process instrumentation with a coherent concept that can minimise potentially high risks to people and the environment.

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EGADIF 85, a differential pressure transmitter developed especially with safety in mind, is VEGA’s new component for reliable, continuous control and monitoring of industrial processes. Its strengths lie not only in functional safety, but also in the option of measuring differential and static pressure simultaneously with just one instrument. Housed in a compact single-chamber case, the transmitter is designed for economic efficiency and installation with low space requirements. These features are flanked by particularly simple, intelligent operation; a real plus in terms of error avoidance. VEGADIF 85 is now qualified and approved according to SIL-2 (SIL-3) for manufacturing processes that depend on certified components, simple, user-friendly operation and permanently transparent processes. It can be parameterised conveniently via cable connection as well as wirelessly via Bluetooth. Its measured values can be integrated into the existing processes in no time at all — always in a form suitable to the respective conditions and requirements.

UNAFFECTED BY STEAM Differential pressure, a robust and universal measuring principle, is used in many processes, especially for gases or steam. The pressure difference is determined by means of an orifice disc that narrows the flow in a pipe at a predetermined point. Flowing steam or gas builds up a higher pressure in front of the constriction point than behind it. The difference between the two values — before and after the restriction

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— can be used to deduce the absolute quantity of gas that flows through. Differential pressure transmitters are characterised by their high accuracy in measuring flow rates, even at pressures of only a few mbar. They also handle extreme temperatures with no problem. VEGA rounds out these advantages with a large number of available measuring ranges. Many different process fittings are available in conjunction with single or double sided chemical seals; denoted as CSS or CSB respectively. With this high-performance line of products, highly accurate fail-safe measurements can be realised even under the most challenging conditions.

DIFFERENTIAL AND STATIC PRESSURE WITH ONE INSTRUMENT VEGADIF 85 sensors are equipped with a second, piezoresistive detector, making them the first transmitters of their kind that can measure both differential pressure and static pressure — and they can easily handle these two different measuring tasks in parallel. For example, they ensure a high degree of fail-safety in pipelines by determining the dynamic pressure and the superimposed static pressure at the same time; a measuring task that always required two separate pressure transmitters — until now. WHERE BLUETOOTH MAKES SENSE There are many ways to simplify processes, however it is important to strike the right balance between safety and convenience. Wireless data transmission can offer real added

value in cases where access to data is difficult. With intuitive simplicity, Bluetooth makes operation more flexible via smartphone, tablet or PC and provides transparency in wideranging applications. Bluetooth is now available as an option for the new generation of differential pressure transmitters. Since it is part of the tried-andtrusted modular VEGA instrument platform plics®, it implements safety precautions at various levels already proven in the field. These include current encryption modes at the interface level, i.e. via PC or smartphone, as well as the necessary access codes that protect the sensor from unauthorised access. By the way, Bluetooth is also something for older systems; the current display and adjustment module PLICSCOM is downward compatible for the majority of VEGA measuring instruments manufactured since 2002 and now operating in the field.

FLAMEPROOF HOUSING In process engineering applications, pressure transmitters have to withstand environments where flammable gases, vapours or mists can escape from closed systems. Under certain conditions, with oxygen from the air mixed in in the right proportion, there is a great risk of explosion. The electronics used in VEGADIF 85 are 100 per cent intrinsically safe and flameproof according to ATEX, IECEx and CSA. This means that the instruments can be safely adjusted at any time, even during operation in hazardous areas.

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Low-cost level measurement. Radar sensor for water management. Reliable level measurement in water treatment facilities, pump stations and rain overflow basins. Open channel flow measurement and water level monitoring.

VEGAPULS WL S 61 ▪ Measuring range up to 8 m ▪ Can be used outdoors without restriction ▪ Flood-proof IP 68 housing ▪ Operation via Bluetooth with Smartphone, tablet or PC

Further information: www.vega.com/wls61

Phone 1800 817 135


SAFETY

Utility Partner Solutions

THE AUSSIE INVENTION KEEPING

WORKSITES SAFE AND GENERATING EFFICIENCIES FOR PLANT OPERATORS

No matter what sector you work in, time is money and this is never so obvious as when it comes to moving plant and machinery on or in between sites. Equally, when preparing to start each shift, the process of conducting ‘pre-starts’ can also be cumbersome.

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ome may see these pre-start safety checks as annoying or overly complex, but managing the potential risks associated with using plant equipment is extremely important because the wellbeing of every operator, workmate and visitor on a worksite depends on it. It also ensures business continuity which is important for owners, shareholders and suppliers. An Australian business has revolutionised the way that machinery owners and operators manage the process of ensuring equipment is safe to use. What started as a Structured Query Language (SQL) database used to identify faults and compile risk assessments on plant equipment being auctioned in Wagga Wagga, NSW, has now grown to become the world’s largest plant and equipment safety platform — Plant Assessor. Plant Assessor is now used by more than 1500 businesses and organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand to help capture and share machinery information, ensure equipment is safe to use and is accompanied by the right safety information. This cloud-based platform was a world first when launched in 2004 and has evolved to become the leading product of its type, now holding detailed safety and compliance data for more than 105,000 makes and models of plant and equipment. Because it is model specific, Plant Assessor contains a massive amount of intellectual property related to each machine, from specifications to detailed pre-start checks, risk surveys and risk assessment reports.

SPECIALISTS IN UTILITY EQUIPMENT AND OPERATIONS Plant Assessor is relevant to anyone who owns, operates, hires, imports, distributes, retails or auctions machinery and is used by businesses in every sector of industry, from sole traders running one machine through to the biggest construction, infrastructure, utilities, services and government organisations in Australia.

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The platform has been used by a broad range of organisations in the utilities space for more than ten years and is used by major players including Ausgrid, ACTEW AGL, Transgrid, Sydney Water, SA Power Networks, SUEZ, Service Stream, Broadspectrum, Ventia and Downer Group, most tier one construction contractors, and more than 150 local councils. As a result, Plant Assessor includes a massive range of specialised equipment utilised by utilities and waste specialists such as power distributors (borer erectors, truck mounted EWPs, cable tensioners, cable pulling winches, jinkers and pole extractors), water providers (sewer cleaners, pump stations, vac trucks) and waste businesses (mobile compactors, fixed auger and blade compactors, walking floor trailers, conveyors, balers, compaction loading systems, sweepers, bin lifters, trommel screens and hook bin bodies). These utility businesses have access to non-generic risk assessments, safe operating procedures and pre-start checks for the unique equipment that they use in their operations. Plant Assessor is constantly updated with new machines, specifications, legislative and other requirements, so you are always up to date.

GET IT FOR FREE TODAY The good news is, anyone can set up a Plant Assessor membership for free, add unlimited machines and users, and use our non-generic, machine-specific digital pre-start checks for free — forever. Plant Assessor can be accessed at any time on any device, saving time and increasing productivity. Premium features can be used on a machine-by-machine basis and long-term commitment discounts are available for larger users along with training, support and the other professional services required to implement a comprehensive enterprise wide system. If you’d like to know more about how Plant Assessor can help you manage machinery safety in your business and make your life easier, contact Plant Assessor on 1300 728 852 or visit assessor.com.au WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


HDD

Protecting property and preserving wildlife with

TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGY

Yarra Valley Water encountered numerous challenges during the installation of a $40 million project that will shift the suburb of Donvale from the use of aging septic tanks to a modern sewerage system. To tackle the challenging ground conditions and the major impact it would cause to customers, Yarra Valley Water had to rethink its approach and come up with new sewer designs that, where possible, moved the sewer alignment out of customers’ properties and into the nearby road reserve.

YARRA VALLEY WATER PROJECT MANAGER DEAN ANDERSON INSPECTS THE 400MM DIAMETER SEWER PIPES LAID OUT IN PREPARATION FOR BEING PULLED INTO THE GROUND NEAR OBAN ROAD, DONVALE. IMAGE BY RYAN O'HEHIR.

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HDD IMAGES BY RYAN O'HEHIR.

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

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Protecting property and preserving wildlife with trenchless technology

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new reticulated sewer system in Donvale will help around 1200 local properties disconnect from aging septic tanks. A four kilometre long sewer pipeline, predominantly along the Mullum Mullum Creek, will form the backbone of the new sewerage network. In one such case, a 470m long section of the Donvale Branch Sewer was to pass through four separate properties. The proposed construction method involved creating large and sometimes deep shafts excavated in each of these properties and in close proximity to the houses. In some cases, these excavations would have been as close as nine metres from the edge of the house. During the early stages of the project, challenging ground conditions made it clear that the initial design of the 470m section of the sewer would be risky to construct, and would represent a big impact to customers and their properties. Variable ground conditions are generally more likely to occur along watercourses and if encountered, can increase the risk of things going wrong when using trenchless construction techniques, especially the risk of boring equipment becoming jammed underground.

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD An alternative pipeline alignment that moved the section of the sewer within nearby Oban Road was adopted. “Taking the opportunity to further refine our sewer design was an example of our commitment to truly put our customers at the centre of our business and understand the impact our actions and decisions can have on our customers,” Project Manager at Yarra Valley Water, Dean Anderson, said. The new alignment offered Yarra Valley Water the ability to utilise Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) instead of microtunnelling, which had initially been considered for this section. Yarra Valley Water’s contract partners MFJ Constructions,

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Pezzimenti Trenchless and AHD Trenchless used trenchless construction techniques for the entire four kilometre long branch sewer. “Constructing a new sewerage network in an existing suburb can be very challenging. We greatly value the support we’ve received from our contract partners in delivering the Donvale Sewerage Project in a way which represents the least impact to the community and to the local environment,” Mr Anderson said. HDD allowed for the construction of a 470m long section in one go from a single location, whereas the microtunnelling method would have limited the construction to only 100m sections at a time. HDD also removed the need to create large shafts within each of the four properties which meant customers’ properties would no longer be directly impacted by the installation. Three sewer maintenance holes were also taken out of nearby properties and shifted to the road reserve. This means access to the properties is no longer needed to perform sewer maintenance, reducing any future impacts even further. As well as addressing the impact to customers, the new design also reduced impact to the surrounding environment. A tree near one of the initially proposed shafts is home to a particular species of owl known as the Powerful Owl which is listed as "threatened" under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988). Excavating shafts and operating boring equipment directly under the tree as was first proposed was likely to have impacted the owl and possibly resulted in the loss of the tree as well. The new design eliminated the need to put the habitat at risk. The section of the sewer along Oban Road is now complete with minimal disruption to road users. Construction of the sewer project began in November 2015 and is expected to be progressively completed by the middle of 2019. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


HDD

Utility Partner Solutions

GETTING THE JOB DONE WITH

MODERN, RELIABLE EQUIPMENT

HELPING TO DRIVE THE COMPANY ETHOS Underground Network Services is able to provide a high standard of service as the company has invested in a large fleet of trucks and equipment, giving it the resources it needs to face almost any challenge and get the job done, whilst exceeding customers’ expectations, and Vermeer play a vital role in this. “Our business prides itself on reliability and consistency in a high risk and often reactive environment. The Vermeer equipment we have invested in supports our company to deliver on this ethos to our clients and, as a result, fits with our core values as a company,” Shaun Harwood said. “Our management and support team have over 30 years’ experience in the HDD industry, which gives us the ability to select the most suitable equipment for each project day in and day out.” INVESTING IN THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT Mr Harwood said there were a number of reasons the company decided to purchase Vermeer equipment. “The industry reputation that Vermeer Australia holds and the past experience our team has had with them, gave us confidence to purchase Vermeer equipment,” Mr Harwood said.

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“Vermeer has a history of constant improvement and this has led to equipment that has a reputation of getting the job done across a wide variety of conditions. This is important to UNS. “Our sales team worked closely with Vermeer’s product specialists throughout the buying process. The industry knowledge of the Vermeer team gave us the tools we needed to select the right equipment to meet our needs.”

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HDD

Utility Partner Solutions

Underground Network Services (UNS) is based in South East Queensland, and specialises in civil construction and the installation of underground assets using trenchless technology and excavation. UNS services various markets across Australia, including telecommunications, water and wastewater, gas and electricity. It is committed to providing all clients with a high standard of underground asset installation services, and the key to achieving this is with the use of modern equipment and receiving strong support from suppliers.

remote schools. UNS is also an accredited Multi-technology Integrated Master Agreement (MIMA) and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) delivery partner for the NBN. “Our three HDD rigs are currently working primarily on the NBN rollout in New South Wales and Queensland, helping to connect every residential home and business across Australia to high-speed broadband.”

UNS has a large fleet of Vermeer equipment on hand including three HDD machines (D20x22II, D36X50 and D36X50DR), two vacuum excavators (VSK70-800HD and VSK100-1600HDXT), and two mixing systems (MX-125 and MX-240). These machines are used on a variety of projects such as connecting customers to the telecommunications network, and working on projects for the Department of Education to install power and communications at local and UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

BUILDING A STRONG RELATIONSHIP Mr Harwood said having strong relationships with the company’s suppliers is important to maintain a positive reputation in the industry. “Our reputation is everything to us, to both secure new work and build strong relationships with our existing clients. We have grown to be the largest contractor of our type in our locality on this basis. This would not have been possible without strong support from all of our suppliers who, through open communication, can and will go the extra mile to support us. We consider Vermeer to be one of those relationships,” Mr Harwood said. “We have built a strong relationship with the local Vermeer team and this gives us the confidence that we will get immediate support when we need it.”

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HDD AND MICROTUNNELLING KEY TOOLS IN CREATING WATER GRID Regional Victorian water corporation Gippsland Water services more than 61,000 domestic customers as well as major facilities in the power, dairy and paper industries. The utility maintains more than 2000km of water and 1700km of sewer pipelines, but has been consistently faced with the challenge of maintaining reliable supply to scattered towns and centres.

THE MICROTUNNELLING BORING MACHINE IN PLACE IN THE 7.5M DEEP LAUNCH PIT.

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ippsland Water has committed to establishing a water grid in its growth areas. A water grid overcomes the historical problems of limited stand alone water systems serving individual towns by providing multiple options to supply each community, ensuring reliability of high-quality water for residents and industry. This professional approach to water resource planning has required a commitment to long-term infrastructure investment. A major project under this scheme

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is the construction of the Moe to Warragul interconnect pipeline. The total project is to interconnect the existing supply under the Tarago water supply system with the Moe system. This involves a new 375mm diameter pipeline over the 14.5km from Yarragon to Warragul. New booster pump stations are being installed at Darnum and Trafalgar West. The first stage of the project, from Yarragon to Darnum, was completed in 2012 at a cost of $5 million. The critical second stage, covering the 8.3km

from Darnum to Warragul, is currently being undertaken by Gippsland Water’s principal contractor, Jaydo, and is nearing completion. Capacity will be up to 8ML daily and the cost of stage two is $10 million. Warragul and nearby Drouin are rapidly growing communities approximately 100km east of Melbourne. The local Tarago system was not designed for the current population growth and places the communities at risk of seasonal water restrictions. An interconnection

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between Moe and Tarago will allow water transfer between the systems, improving the reliability of supply for both major regional centres as well as several smaller communities between the towns.

USING TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE SUBSIDENCE RISKS Construction of the second stage of the pipeline project required crossing a major dual-carriage freeway, the main Gippsland rail line and three rivers. Open trench construction was not possible for these crossings. Investigations by the Gippsland Water assets team led to the decision to use microtunnelling to go under the railway and freeway, and horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to go under the rivers. “A major concern was the possibility of subsidence under the railway,” said Wayne Ward, Senior Engineer, Project Delivery at Gippsland Water. “We needed a system that meant that there was always a fully supported bore as we went under the line. The railway was adjacent to the freeway, so it made sense to microtunnel under both at the same time. “Microtunnelling, boring and placing a sleeve pipe in the same action, meaning that the surrounding earth is always fully supported. There is no requirement for compaction and no risk of subsidence. “But a different solution was required for the river crossings. Unlike the flat line required to go under the railway and freeway, the river crossings were in comparatively steep gullies. We needed a flexible system that could go down and up these slopes. “It also provided the least disturbance to sensitive environmental and cultural areas.” As well as the rivers, the route crossed areas of Aboriginal cultural heritage and habitat for native flora and fauna found only in Gippsland, including the Giant Gippsland Earthworm and Warragul Burrowing Crayfish. “HDD provided the easiest and most appropriate solution. The flexibility this allowed in boring made it ideal for the hilly country of west Gippsland,” Mr Ward said.

THE HDD PROCESS INVOLVED PULLING THE FLEXIBLE PIPE THROUGH THE ENLARGED BOREHOLE. THE BREAK-AWAY SWIVEL CONNECTOR IS USED TO AVOID STRESSING THE PIPE.

HDD involves steering a small diameter drill head to bore horizontally underground. Depth and direction can be easily controlled. Once this process is complete, a large diameter ream is pulled back through the borehole, enlarging it to the required pipe diameter. A flexible water pipe is then pulled into place through the length of the borehole. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe was installed as the product pipe in this case. A break-away swivel connector between the reaming head and the pipe ensures that if the pulling force is greater than the maximum allowed for the new pipe, the break-away swivel will disconnect before damaging the pipe. Mr Ward said HDD was very successful for placing the pipe under the rivers.

UTILITY • NOVEMBER 2018

“In total, four HDD drives were required for the crossings. These ranged in length from 100m to 180m. Importantly, all work was done from the surface. “In comparison, the microtunnelling required shafts 7.5m deep to be constructed before the tunnelling could commence. “You need to choose the best method for each situation, but HDD has a lot of benefits if the option is there.” Stage two construction is nearing completion with testing and commissioning to continue throughout the year. “We are on track to have the full Yarragon to Warragul interconnector operational in 2019, ensuring local communities will have more surety of a reliable high-quality water supply,” Mr Ward said.

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Utility Partner Solutions

WATER CORPORATION SELECTS PE100 HSCR FOR

GROUNDWATER REPLENISHMENT PIPELINE

The new recharge pipeline in Perth is set to help further reduce the city’s reliance on climate dependent water sources as part of Water Corporation’s Groundwater Replenishment Scheme expansion. Qenos Alkadyne HCR193B, Australia’s first polyethylene PE100 with high stress crack resistance (HSCR), was specified by Water Corporation as the pipe material used with horizontal directional drilling (HDD) for this critical project to maximise asset lifetime.

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o diversify Perth’s water supply in response to the impacts of climate change, Water Corporation is currently operating a Groundwater Replenishment Scheme that recharges drinking-quality recycled water back into the groundwater system. Water Corporation is currently expanding the scheme to double its capacity to treat and recharge up to a total of 28 gigalitres of water per year. At the heart of the scheme is the Advanced Water Recycling Plant in Craigie, which further treats secondary treated wastewater to drinking water quality using

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ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet processes. This water is currently recharged into Perth’s deep Leederville and Yarragadee aquifers via on-site recharge bores. The scheme replenishes groundwater levels to be later abstracted throughout the region without any evaporative losses. The second stage of the scheme will see the duplication of the Advanced Water Recycling Plant, construction of four new recharge bores and four new monitoring bores across two offsite locations, and construction of the 13km recharge pipeline connecting the plant with the bores. The pipeline will run mostly alongside the Yellagonga Regional Park but also crosses it at two locations. Given the environmental sensitivity of these crossings, pipeline installation by horizontal directional drilling (HDD) was selected for those sections. Water Corporation Project Engineer, Wing Leung, explains, “As an alternative to open trenching through certain environmentally sensitive sections of the Regional Park, we chose to construct these sections via HDD of polyethylene pipe.” Polyethylene’s flexibility combined with high integrity connections through butt welding make it the material of choice for HDD. Durability and integrity of the pipeline network is of utmost importance for Water Corporation, which is why they specified the latest generation PE100 HSCR — Qenos Alkadyne HCR193B — for the horizontally drilled sections of the pipeline. The material’s superior WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


resistance to cracks induced by scratches and notches on the pipe potentially introduced during installation or through rock or root impingement during service life, is expected to prolong the asset’s lifetime. The DN800mm pipe needs to withstand both internal and external forces, as well as high tensile forces during pullback through the 570m and 1300m long bores, which is why a high wall thickness of more than 90mm was selected. The inherent low slump properties of Alkadyne HCR193B enabled the trouble-free production of this challenging pipe dimension within tight tolerances at Perth-based manufacturer Enviropipes. Piloting of the two bores proceeded well ahead of schedule, facilitated by the sandy ground conditions and experience of trenchless specialist contractor, Pipeline Drillers. The pipe segments of 12m each were joined together using two track-mounted welding machines achieving a throughput of six welds a day using single low pressure welding. The 570m section was pulled through in August and at the time of writing, the 1300m long section is scheduled for completion in October 2018. The remainder of the 13km pipeline will be completed using open trench and microtunnelling methods. Alkadyne HCR193B features enhanced resistance to cracks while still having the capability to handle a wide

HDD

Utility Partner Solutions

range of dimensions. Water Corporation is in the process of requiring all polyethylene pipework used for potable water in its network to perform better than standard PE100. Part of this will include enhanced crack resistance performance characteristics, which Alkadyne HCR193B can provide. Senior Engineer at Water Corporation, Angus Adams, comments, “This pipe material was specified to improve asset life and durability, which are key parameters when considering whole-of-life costs and maintaining supply to our customers.”

ENGINEERED TO OUTPERFORM

High Stress Crack Resistant PE100 Pipe Resin Reduced wall thickness Lower installation and maintenance costs

Increased pipe service life

qenos.com

1800 063 573


EQUIPMENT R E N TA L

Utility Partner Solutions

AUSTRALIANS DO IT THEIR WAY Australia is a unique country — it is the driest continent and the most under populated. In spite of that, it has vast resources that enable its small population of only 25 million to be the base of a very vibrant and innovative rental industry.

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nternationally known Australian rental giants like Kennards and Coates Hire are at the cutting edge of hire industry expertise and have turned Australia into a 'renting nation'. Australian Pump Industries (Aussie Pumps) works with the rental industry to develop products that are 'hire proof'. One of its maxims is that nobody on a construction site has ever heard the words, “Go easy on that hire machine, Kevin!” That cavalier attitude on the way equipment is treated on site has led to the evolution of a range of trash pumps, trailer mounted highpressure pumps for dust suppression and fire fighting, as well as a line of heavy duty pressure cleaners designed to be 'hire proof'. This makes them ideal for sewer bypass or emergency flood mitigation.

TOUGH PUMPS FOR TOUGH SITUATIONS When it comes to trash pumps, Australian Pump Industries follows much the same process. In Australia, nobody will pick up or carry a trash pump on a worksite, with OHS rules stringently enforced. If a pump needs to be moved, an excavator will pick it up by the frame, take it to where it needs to go and drop it not too gently into the new location. This means that conventional trash pumps with light duty steel frames wind up looking like train wrecks! Australian Pump Industries has developed its 'Site Boss' and 'Mine Boss' trash pump range to satisfy the requirement for machines that

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AUSTRALIAN PUMP INDUSTRIES’ 4” DIESEL TRASH PUMPS ARE BUILT TO DEAL WITH HARD KNOCKS ON THE JOB!

can withstand these demanding applications. That product range extends from 2” all the way through to big 6” trash pumps capable of moving up to 6,000lpm! The 'big fellas' are normally skid or trailer mounted. The main advantage of these pumps is the big front port that can open up the belly of the pump in a matter of seconds, meaning that in the event of a 'choke' the pump can be cleaned out quickly, without special tools, and without disconnecting hoses or pipework. The 2” to 4” pumps all come with super heavy duty 38mm galvanised steel frames with integrated lifting bar. Fire extinguisher and battery isolation with e-stop are all standard equipment on the ‘mine-spec’ version. Trolley mounted configurations for the 4” pump are optional. The Australian Pump Industries product line has evolved over a period of years based on the experiences of the Australian mining economy. “The mining industry is a big driver

for our development programs. When it comes to dust suppression we work with the major manufacturers of mobile tankers and supply pumps especially configured for the rental industry. Coates Hire are big users of our product,” Mr Hales said. “The Australian experience can be summarised as some of the toughest operating conditions mixed in with ‘nottoo-careful’ handling on site. Designing out failure points that take into account those two features has really helped. Australian Pump Industries has developed products that are now used in mine sites in Kazakhstan, the SomaliKenya border and even copper mines in the Andes! “Some of these sites are even more primitive than the Australian experience but our equipment seems to stand up better than equivalents made in the US or Europe.” Further information on the complete pump hire package is available from Australian Pump Industries at info@aussiepumps.com.au.

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RTU FOR INTELLIGENT TELECONTROL Scalable Controllers/Couplers for RTU Applications SUBSTATIONS

OFFSHORE

ELECTRICAL

WAGO Telecontrol RTUs provide an All-in-One System for Measurement, Regulation, Control and Telecontrol: • • • • • • GAS

RENEWABLES

DNP 3.0 standards IEC 60870-5-101/-103/-104 IEC 61400-25 IEC 61850-7-420 (Server/Client) MODBUS, CANopen, PROFIBUS, Devicenet MMS and GOOSE

WATER

CYBER SECURITY Advantages of WAGO’s solution: •

The PFC100 and PFC200 are characterized by cross-platform real-time Linux

The PFC controllers use an open-source operating system that can be scaled, updated and supports tools such as Rsync

The Linux® foundation supports essential security protocols and is constantly being enhanced

Support for CODESYS PLC runtime

Interface and fieldbus diversity: CANopen, PROFIBUS DP, DeviceNet, MODBUS TCP, IEC 60870, IEC 61850 and DNP 3.0

Maximum security requirements per ISO 27000 series

On-board VPN functionality: VPN tunnel possible via IPsec or OpenVPN directly

Data encoding in the controller directly via SSL/TLS 1.2 encryption

Parallel data access: Data transmission to the cloud via an MQTT or OPC UA, also wireless

WAGO meets all relevant guidelines in the area of IT security

There can be serious consequences for energy producers if they aren’t securely connected to the Internet. Cybercriminals can use system controllers to hack into control centers and shut them down, jeopardizing the power supply and even threatening wide-range blackouts in a worst-case scenario. The good news: Operators now know the dangers and cybersecurity is becoming more important. WAGO controllers will play a crucial role in your company’s security policies and procedures. PC-based operating systems must receive weekly security updates as they do not otherwise provide sufficient cybersecurity; the hardened firmware of a WAGO controller, however, does meet the corresponding security requirements. IEC 60870/ 61850/61400

T: (03) 8791 6300 E: sales.anz@wago.com W: website at www.wago.com.au

LON®


MICROTUNNELLING

What are the benefits of selecting an unbiased expert for a trenchless project?

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here is no one-size-fits-all method of trenchless pipeline installation because every project is different; there are different ground conditions, different design tolerances and project specifications, and different types and diameters of pipes. This means that in order to have the best chance of a successful pipeline installation, it is important to get an experienced contractor who can provide unbiased advice on the best method and pipe for your installation. The reality is there are numerous trenchless methods of pipeline installation available, and these will be suited to some projects more than others. Selecting the best method for the prevailing conditions and specifications has various benefits as it will not only increase the chance of a successful installation, but also has the potential for time and cost savings to be realised. However, more often than not, this is not the case and the best installation method is not used. This comes down to one key factor – clients are not seeking the input of an unbiased expert. If a client approaches a contractor that only specialises in one method of trenchless installation, of course the contractor is going to highlight all the positives that their construction method has, while downplaying — or not mentioning — the negatives. This means the client will have a limited view and will not be able to consider the bigger, overall picture,

and is less likely to select the most appropriate trenchless method. So what exactly can an unbiased expert provide advice on? Different methods of installation There are a range of trenchless methods of pipeline installation offered by contractors outside of the traditional horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and microtunnelling, including auger boring and pipe jacking. If a contractor is able to offer several of these methods, they can present the pros and cons to the client of the different techniques and allow them to make an informed decision. This means the most appropriate technique is more likely to be used and that the job will be done right the first time, and project time and costs can be kept low as there’s less chance of something going wrong during the installation process. Selecting the right pipe Pipe selection is also important for an installation, as different materials will affect accuracy, as well as impact skin friction and installation costs. However, pipe selection can also be limited depending on the installation method. For example, CC-GRP or RCP can be used for pipe jacking. CC-GRP in particular is preferred for this method as it is manufactured with tight tolerances — allowing accuracy to be maintained during and after installation — and provides maximum strength and minimal skin friction.

HDPE is most commonly used for HDD installations, but some microtunnelling machines — such as the Vermeer AXIS guided boring system — can now install it via a pullback method. While it has low skin friction, the pipe requires a trail out trench which is detrimental to the shaft construction and the overall keyhole pipeline advantage, as well as accuracy. PVC and PP pipes are typically limited to either being installed within a casing pipe or requiring consistent, selfsupporting ground, as the pipes in their typical format do not allow for jacking, and the joint can deform under load. The diameter of the pipe will also impact the risk and cost of a project and the installation method that can be used. In installations requiring diameters under 300mm, contractors are limited to using more displacement styled machines. These have limited capabilities in varied ground conditions or the pipe needs to be installed within a sleeve, as well as be centralised and grouted. For pipe diameters greater than 300mm, contractors can utilise a greater range of equipment through a maximal range of ground conditions. This reduces risk and increases the chance of a successful outcome. So, selecting an unbiased trenchless contractor is extremely important to ensure your project is done right the first time, and the risks of project time and cost blowouts are reduced.

ABOUT STUART HARRISON Global microtunnelling pioneer Stuart Harrison is the Managing Director of Edge Underground, where he specialises in on-grade microtunnelling installations with millimetre accuracy. Stuart is also the inventor of the Vermeer AXIS Guided Boring system, and he is constantly working to improve the effectiveness of this and other trenchless systems used in the installation of gravity sewers. To discuss your next microtunnelling installation, contact Stuart on

1300 JACKED or at stuart@edgeunderground.co

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Save the dates & join us at one of our 2019

Water Industry Operations Conference & Exhibitions

NSW

3 & 4 April Orange

All personnel involved in the operation and maintenance of urban, rural and industrial water related infrastructure for the management, conveyance, treatment, discharge and reuse of water and trade wastes should attend these conferences. WIOA stages annual conference in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, providing a forum for individuals involved in water operations to: • Listen and learn from the experience of others through the latest “operational” technical and research based information provided in platform and poster presentations. • View and discuss the latest advances in technical equipment, products and services with equipment manufacturers, suppliers and industry consultants • Update their knowledge and skills through interaction with fellow water industry employees.

QLD

5 & 6 June TBC

VIC

4 & 5 Sept Bendigo Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Take advantage of the opportunity to position your company as a leader in water management by aligning your company as a supporter of the leading industry association serving the needs of operators in the water industry. For more information on exhibiting or sponsorship, visit the conference website.

www.wioaconferences.org.au

E info@wioa.org.au

P 03 5821 6744


SECTION

EDITORIAL SCHEDULE Article title

FEBRUARY 2019

SALES DEADLINE 7 DECEMBER 2018

EVENT DISTRIBUTION

Advertisers’ index Absafe ........................................................................ 31 AHD Trenchless........................................................... 16

WIOA NSW

DIGITAL UTILITIES

POWER AUSTRALIA

MAJOR FEATURES

SPECIAL FOCUS

BIG DATA CYBER SECURITY

MAPPING, GIS & SURVEYING

EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY

SOLAR

UTILITY LOCATION

PUMPS, VALVES & FILTERS

DAMS

SEWER REHABILITATION

SWITCHGEAR

SYDNEY WATER

EMBEDDED NETWORKS

Comdain Infrastructure ................................................. 7

DISTRIBUTED GENERATION

DeployPartners ........................................................... 27

AMS Instrumentation & Calibration ........................... 22 Aussie Trenchless ....................................................... 67 Australian Pump Industries (Aussie Pumps) ............... 93

DRONES

Cadia Group ................................................................ 21

SALES DEADLINE 22 MARCH 2019

MAY 2019

Bintech Systems ......................................................... 14

Echo Managed Services ............................................. 33 Edge Underground ..................................................... 55 FLIR Systems Australia ............................................... 47

EVENT DISTRIBUTION

Future Engineering & Communication ........................ 19

WIOA QLD

OZWATER

MAJOR FEATURES

SPECIAL FOCUS

WATER MANAGEMENT DEMAND MANAGEMENT

INSPECTION, CCTV & CONDITION ASSESSMENT

ENERGY NETWORKS

MOBILITY VEGETATION MANAGEMENT

STORAGE

Harrybilt Engineering & Welding Services .................. 20

EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY

Hydroflux ................................................................... 79

SMART METERS

Iplex Pipelines Australia ...........................................OBC

MICROTUNNELLING

kwik-ZIP ...................................................................... 41

Interflow ....................................................................... 9

Lanco Group .............................................................. 13 Logsys Power Services............................................... 59

IRRIGATION

National Construction Equipment Convention 2018 ....... IBC

SALES DEADLINE 28 JUNE 2019

AUGUST 2019

NCH Australia ..............................................................11 NHP Electrical Engineering Products .......................... 15 Pezzimenti Trenchless ................................................ 18

EVENT DISTRIBUTION

Piping Specialty Supply Service ................................. 69

ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

WIOA BENDIGO

MAJOR FEATURES

SPECIAL FOCUS

WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

GAS PIPELINES TRENCHLESS

PIPE & CONDUIT

RENEWABLES

TECHNOLOGY

CABLES

STORMWATER

IOT AND SCADA

EXCAVATION

ASSET MANAGEMENT

DRAIN CLEANING

SUEZ...................................................................... 84-85

DAMAGE PREVENTION

Taggle Systems ......................................................... 68

WASTE MANAGEMENT

Thermo Fisher Scientific Australia ............................. 77

Plant Assessor ............................................................ 89 Primus Line................................................................. 65

EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY

Projex Group ............................................................... 23 Qenos ........................................................................ 99 QMAX Pumping systems ........................................... 37 Quantum Filtration Medium .................................. 80-81

Total Drain Cleaning Services ................................... 2-3

NOVEMBER 2019

SALES DEADLINE 27 SEPTEMBER 2019

Utility Fusion ............................................................... 12 VEGA Australia............................................................ 87

EVENT DISTRIBUTION

Veolia Water Technologies ............................................74

CORROSION AND PREVENTION

Vermeer ....................................................................IFC

MAJOR FEATURES

SPECIAL FOCUS

SMART GRIDS RETAIL, BILLING & CRM

TRANSFORMERS & SUBSTATIONS

CORROSION

PIPELINE INTEGRITY LEAK DETECTION SAFETY

Viega ........................................................................... 63

EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY

WAGO .......................................................................101

EQUIPMENT RENTAL

Water Industry Operations Conference & Exhibitions .......103

HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONAL DRILLING (HDD)

Wilson Transformer .................................................... 49

CABLE PLOUGHING

Xplore Technologies/Zebra .......................................... 43 Xylem.......................................................................... 75 Zinfra........................................................................... 51

104

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IPLEX PIPELINES SPECIALISTS IN CUSTOMISED INFRASTRUCTURE SOLUTIONS

TRENCHLESS

As the exclusive distributor of the Australian manufactured Flowtite® Glass Reinforced Polymers (GRP) Pipe and Fittings, Iplex are your infrastructure supply chain partners, delivering customised solutions for open trench and trenchless pipeline projects.

CIVIL

CIVIL 13 10 86

DESIGN@IPLEXPIPELINES.COM.AU

IPLEX.COM.AU

Flowtite® Glass Reinforced Polymers (GRP) Pipe and Fittings are proudly manufactured by RPC Pipe Systems.

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