Mobile substation on the move
Upgrading and maintenance work on Powerco’s 115 zone substations will be streamlined with the delivery of a new mobile substation this week.
The striking $2.2 million vehicle was built in Greymouth where it was partially wrapped with Powerco branding. It was trialled on the Westpower network two weeks ago before leaving for its Whanganui base where it will be further tested.
Service Delivery and Systems Operations general manager, Ian Skipworth, said the mobile would be a valuable tool for Powerco.
“It will simply allow us to bypass zone substations during planned maintenance and upgrades,” he said.
“From a safety angle contractors will no longer work near live equipment, it removes the pressure to complete maintenance within a scheduled outage time and the complexity of providing a back-feed supply is not an issue any more.”
Eliminating the need for planned outages during substation work was a game changer.
“The mobile substation can also be connected to the network without any interruption to supply. That is good news for communities who have suffered in the past. Hiring expensive standby generators during will no longer be necessary.”
It also means the SAIDI and SAIFI impact will be minimized for our customers when substation work is undertaken. A team of Downer contractors would be trained to operate the mobile for Powerco.
“Only seven of those 29 companies own their own mobile substations. Those that don’t have already shown interest in using ours.”
The mobile was designed by Mitton ElectroNet in Christchurch and built by sister company, ElectroNet Services
Power bypasses zone substations and flows through the mobile
Allows safe maintenance and installation work on zone substations
No disruption during switching from normal supply to the mobile substation
Eliminates the need for lengthy planned outages during substation work
Can be deployed in the event of major unplanned substation faults
Powerco maintains 115 zone substations on its network
Mobile substation weighs 38 tonne and is 15.7m long
Specifications allow unrestricted movement on New Zealand roads
Engineered to withstand the shocks of road travel
Trained team of contractors oversee each mobile installation
Only takes a day to set mobile up at most sites