Unusual Causes of Power Blackouts in 2011   5 Mar 2012

Rugby flags and bunting have beaten animals, extreme weather, faulty equipment and vehicle accidents to be named the most unusual cause of power blackouts in Australia and New Zealand during 2011. The flags were responsible for two power outages in Auckland during the 2011 Rugby World Cup celebrations. The first occurred when underground power lines were cut while erecting a flagpole and the second when bunting was flung into above ground electrical wires.

A possum in overhead wires at Hastings, New Zealand, took second place honours when it caused a brief outage affecting more than 8,000 people, while the third most unusual cause of a power interruption was awarded to the large seagull that took down more than 700 metres of power lines at Stanmore Bay also in New Zealand.

In total there were 112 reported power outages which affected more than one million people across Australia and New Zealand during the past twelve months. The average duration of each outage was just over seven hours. The findings are contained in the Australian and New Zealand Blackout Tracker Annual Report for 2011, an annual compilation of reported power outages prepared by diversified industrial manufacturer, Eaton Industries.

The most significant outages for the year were largely the result of natural disasters and weather extremes. The two outages with greatest impact were the destructive Christchurch earthquake in February and an outage due to a fault of unknown origin in Auckland in December. Both affected approximately 200,000 people. Other major outages occurred as a result of Cyclone Yasi in Townsville, during the Brisbane storms and Cyclone Bianca in Perth.

Data centres showed slightly less impact from power outages in 2011 with only two centres reporting problems compared to three in 2010. The first occurred at the Polaris data centre in Springfield, Queensland when mains power was lost for a number of hours and the facility did not move to redundant supplies. The second involved Virgin Blue's data centre and resulted in interruptions to the company's check-in and online bookings systems.

“Data centres are the focal point of IT and business activity, so when a data centre is not operating, many businesses simply cease to function. This means the financial effects of even a brief outage can be significant,” says Michael Mallia, Senior Product Line Manager Power Quality - Asia Pacific Electrical Sector, Eaton. “Companies should look very carefully not just at their own power protection plans but also at whether their data centre is properly equipped with surge protectors, uninterruptible power supplies and generators. It's simple risk management. ”

New South Wales reported the greatest number of outages (27) followed by the New Zealand South Island (21), Queensland (20), New Zealand North Island (15), Western Australia (12), Victoria (10), South Australia (5) and the Northern Territory (2). No outages were reported in the Australian Capital Territory.

To download the entire annual report, please visit www.eaton.com/blackouttracker . To learn about Eaton’s line of power quality products and services, visit Eaton’s Web site at www.eaton.com/powerquality

(Eaton)

 

 

 

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

EQC Anniversary a milestone for New Zealand

28 Jan 2015 News
New Zealand Government EQC Anniversary a milestone for New Zealand   The 70th anniversary since the Earthquake and War Damage ... more

Labour's Little promises to back NZ small business

28 Jan 2015 Politics By Paul McBeth
  Labour's Little promises to back NZ small business in drive to lower unemployment Jan. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Labour Party... more

Business

NZ govt to spend $650M on school upgrades, repairs in 2015

28 Jan 2015 Business News By Paul McBeth
Jan. 28 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand government expects to spend $650 million this year upgrading and maintaining its $8.32 ... more

MARKET CLOSE: NZX 50 charts new record high, led by Spark

26 Jan 2015 Business News
By Paul McBeth Jan. 26 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose to a new record close as holidays in Auckland and Australia kept... more

Living

Te Papa marks 175th anniversary of signing of Treaty

28 Jan 2015 Lifestyle
Te Papa Te Papa marks 175th anniversary of signing of Treaty of Waitangi   Te Papa’s programme to mark the 175th ... more

Could That Wetland Photo Win You An Overseas Trip?

26 Jan 2015 Arts
Local entries into an international photo competition for young people to mark World Wetland Day are encouraged by Hawke’s Bay... more

Property

Housing warning: It's an Ireland repeat

23 Jan 2015 Property
NZ expert sees factors behind Irish house crash happening here. Precisely the same factors that plunged Ireland into its housing... more

A building block for your future

21 Jan 2015 Property
A rare big block of Bay of Plenty development land in Ohauti, about 10 minutes' drive south of the Tauranga CBD, is to be auctioned... more

Migration

Free new Kiwi workshops return for fresh season

23 Jan 2015 Migration
Newcomer settlement support agency Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) is kick-starting the New Year with the return of its ... more

Overstayer numbers at record low

22 Dec 2014 Migration
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes new figures showing New Zealand overstayer numbers are at the lowest since 2000. A... more

Travel

Fifteen New Zealand spots to visit in 2015

23 Jan 2015 NZ Tourism
Need some inspiration for the year ahead? Here are some brilliant things to do around the country. 1. Crankworx The world's... more

Holiday parks making most of sunshine

22 Jan 2015 NZ Tourism
Holiday parks are reaping the benefits of the great holiday weather, starting the new year with record-equalling confidence... more

Sport

Equine industry joins GIA biosecurity agreement

26 Jan 2015 Equestrian
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed a fourth primary industry to the GIA partnership today. The New Zealand Equine... more

Christy Prior Claims X Games Bronze Medal

26 Jan 2015 Sport
Aspen, USA, 25 January 2015 – Cardrona NZ snowboarder Christy Prior has this morning claimed New Zealand’s second medal... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the Sabin case, and pressures on Greece and coyotes

28 Jan 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
  Brain fades are one thing, but the brain freeze that seems to have beset the Prime Minister over the Mike Sabin affair is... more

Gordon Campbell on Saudi Arabia and Islamic State

23 Jan 2015 Column
So the US has been holding talks in London this week with its 21 coalition allies, on how best to co-ordinate the military response... more

Kiwi Success

New Zealand scientist receives top award in China

16 Jan 2015 People
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed the news that Kiwi scientist Dr Phil Rolston has been awarded the Chinese ... more

Graham Shaw, Peter Huljich join Pushpay board

13 Jan 2015 Appointments
By Suze Metherell Jan. 13 (BusinessDesk) - Graham Shaw and Peter Huljich have joined Pushpay Holdings' board as part of the... more

Recruitment

Tainui's Mike Pohio resigns

23 Jan 2015 Recruitment
By Fiona Rotherham Jan. 23 (BusinessDesk) - Mike Pohio, chief executive of Tainui Group Holdings, has resigned after eight years at... more

Manufacturing activity rises to decade high in December

22 Jan 2015 Recruitment
By Suze Metherell Jan. 22 (BusinessDesk) - Activity in New Zealand's manufacturing sector rose last month to its highest level in a... more