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Aus state deploys new tech to reduce powerline-ignited bushfires

Bushfires threaten lives, homes in Western Australia.(photo: Facebook/Department of Fire and Emergency Services)

Melbourne, June 16 (IANS) The government of Australia’s Victoria state announced on Friday that 44 cutting-edge Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters (REFCLs) will be ready before summer to reduce the risk of bushfires caused by powerlines.

“The final REFCL, in the Australian Energy Regulator-approved A$682 million ($469 million) program, will be complete ahead of summer 2023,” the Victoria government noted in a statement.

According to the statement, a REFCL is a giant “safety switch” that can shut off power and significantly limits the energy flow when the powerline comes into contact with vegetation, reports Xinhua news agency.

During the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, some REFCLs were activated 57 times on total fire ban days, of which 33 were triggered by faults that could have led to catastrophic bushfires.

The state government noted that the utilization of REFCL for bushfire prevention is one of the world’s first practices and the technology has been put to test in some fire-prone parts of the US.

The Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter technology is proven technology and will increase public safety and power reliability while driving Victorian and international innovation in powerline fault mitigation, said Lily D’Ambrosio, Victoria’s minister for energy and resources.

“We live in one of the most bushfire-prone regions of the world and we know climate change is driving greater bushfire risk – investment in REFCL technology will reduce bushfire risk and keep communities safe,” D’Ambrosio added.

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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