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Unburnable power poles get the lights back on

Tuesday, 15 January 2013 14:15
The bushfires burning throughout the Eastern States will ignite power utility interest in equipment suited to withstand extreme weather conditions and to help prevent power outages when fire strikes. Unburnable poles are an important component of systems able to quickly restore power supplies after the fire has passed.

The new Titan power pole made by Dulhunty Poles Pty Ltd in Geelong, Victoria, stands alone as unburnable and non conductive. Fire testing to stringent criteria set down by the Energy Networks Association has been carried out on both Titan and wood poles. The new pole is the only non wood pole to have been subjected to this test and the only pole not to be made unusable by the test.

The Titan factory was built in Victoria because of a perceived need created by the Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009. The special plant was opened by Premier Ted Baillieu in 2011 and several thousand poles have been exported to the Pacific region. Surprisingly, no poles have been bought by any of the Victorian power authorities. In contrast, NSW power utilities have conducted extensive trials and are well advanced in their assessment of the pole. Tasmanian authorities are also aware of the poles and may consider using them in the recovery process now underway in that state.

The pole is made using a patented material first developed for crucibles in ferrous foundries. The material withstands the effect of molten steel and will cope with the intense heat of Australian bushfires preventing loss of power poles and speeding the reconnection of electricity.

Although the Dulhunty Poles product is a little more expensive to manufacture, its superior strength to weight ratio and impregnability to rust, rot and termites make it competitive with all others on an installed cost or whole of life basis.

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For further information, contact Tony Wingrove at Dulhunty Poles Pty Ltd, 35 Buckley Grove, Moolap 3224 on 03 5248 1661 or 0411 120 696