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FEA To Replace Circuit Breakers

FEA To Replace  Circuit Breakers
FEA chief executive officer Hasmukh Patel.
May 05
11:00 2017

The Fiji Electricity Authority will be replacing its existing circuit breaker in the Central Division.

Fiji Electricity Authority CEO, Hasmukh Patel, said this during a press conference yesterday.

The new circuit breaker will be connected and commissioned at 10pm on Saturday until 8am on Sunday.

Mr Patel said the existing circuit breaker had been in service for almost 35 years and needed to be changed, as part of the half life Refurbishment work.

FEA will be replacing the old 132,000V circuit breakers at Cunningham Rd substation.

“We have already started most of the work but the final connectivity will take place now,” Mr Patel said.

“We will have to connect it with the existing powerline from Wailoa to Suva. In order to connect that line, we will have to switch off the line  because the hydro power will be cut off, as the line is big and therefore, we will have to depend on the diesel stations.

“We will not be getting any hydro power from Monasavu to Suva. So we will be depending on our diesel generators that will be installed in the Central Division to supply to all the customers in Viti Levu.”

The diesel power stations that will used during the installation process this weekend are Kinoya, Deuba, Rokobili and Korovou.

“We do not anticipate any supply interruptions to our customers in the Central Division,” Mr Patel said.

“We have enough diesel capacity to meet the demand during these hours from Saturday until Sunday.

“But in the event where we do have failure in one of our diesel generating set, then there could be an interruption of supply to some customers for a short time while we get back on our feet.”

He added if there would be any interruption, it would be a minor one.

“The change of the circuit breaker at the Cunnigham Rd substation necessitates an outage on the 132000 volt transmission line that transmits power from the Monasavu hydro scheme to Suva,” Mr Patel said.

Shutting off the line would enable FEA to change the circuit breaker at Cunningham Rd substation, he added.

 

WESTERN

A similar exercise will be carried out in the Western Division next week, whereby a circuit breaker at the 132,000V Vuda substation will be replaced.

“The entire exercise, both this week and next week will cost us over a million dollars. The installation of the new circuit breakers are to protect our power lines in the event where we have faults in our power lines,” Mr Patel said.

“These circuit breakers are very important because they protect the powerlines from further damage.”

The diesel power stations that will be used are, Sigatoka, Qeleloa, Nadi,Vuda, and Rakiraki.

 

OUTAGE ON WEDNESDAY

“We would like to apologise to our customers for the outage on Wednesday. It affected the entire Viti Levu. We had a severe lightning strike in our 132,000V transmission line between Wailoa Power Station and Suva,” Mr Patel said.

He said there were overseas contractors who were presently working on the steel towers that supported the transmission line.

“They are carrying out basically rust removal and painting work together with some of the FEA people and they are in Waibau,” he said.

“They are working at a particular tower and just a few towers away, there was a severe lightning that struck the powerlines which actually resulted in the power outage to the customers in the Central and Western divisions yesterday.”

Mr Patel said once the new circuit breakers were installed, FEA anticipated that when a lightning strikes a powerline, the new circuit breaker would be able to close very quickly.

“These new circuit breakers have inherited in them a facility called ‘auto reclose’ facility.

“Customers will not have any damages to their appliances or nothing of that sort when the power is normalised.”

He said a lightning strike would normally not last for a second, so the circuit breakers were designed in a manner that if there was a lightning strike, it would open momentarily and try to close again.

He said customers may face a little flicker but would not experience a normal outage as customers had been experiencing in the past few weeks.

Feedback:  monica.aguilar@fijisun.com.fj

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