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

ANZAC 2015: Anzac Messages

24 Apr 2015 News
Anzac Day 'We will remember them'   The Anzac Day messages: "One hundred years ago, the newly formed Anzac forces landed at... more

Advancing New Zealand's bilateral and trade relationship with Poland

21 Apr 2015 News
A parliamentary delegation led by the Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter, has been advancing the bilateral and trade relationship with... more

Business

Oracle-owned boatbuilder has had two government grants

23 Apr 2015 Business News By Fiona Rotherham
  Oracle-owned boatbuilder has had two government grants in three years April 23 (BusinessDesk) - Core Builders Composites,... more

Alex Swney pleads guilty to $2.5M fraud charge

21 Apr 2015 Business News
  Alex Swney pleads guilty to fraud charge over $2.5 mln of payments April 21 (BusinessDesk) - Alex Swney, former chief... more

Living

A Kiwi's guide to ANZAC in Europe - our list of events across the UK, Ireland and beyond

24 Apr 2015 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
Tomorrow marks the 100th ANZAC Day, and if you are a Kiwi or Aussie far from home there are plenty of events on to enable you both to... more

London is getting its first NZ wine shop - NZ Cellar crowdfunding closes 121% funded

23 Apr 2015 Food & Wine
The New Zealand Cellar’s crowdfunding campaign has ended and they are delighted to report that the project raised... more

Property

New process for red zone Crown offers

21 Apr 2015 Property
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to... more

NZ house prices rise 8% in March, led by 13% Auckland jump

14 Apr 2015 Property By Tina Morrison
April 14 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand residential property prices rose in March, led by Auckland where housing supply isn't meeting... more

Migration

NZ migration hits new annual record in March

23 Apr 2015 Migration By Tina Morrison
April 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand migration hit a new annual record in March, as more students arrived from India and China and... more

PM plays down claim war criminals are living in NZ

2 Mar 2015 Migration
Prime Minister John Key says he is not aware of any suspected war criminals from the former Yugoslavia in New Zealand. The claim that... more

Travel

Air NZ's Houston link paves way for United Airlines tie-up

17 Apr 2015 Travel & Tourism By Fiona Rotherham
  Air NZ's Houston service paves the way for partnership with United Airlines, analysts say April 17 (BusinessDesk) - Air New... more

Wellington Airport revised fees 'just within' OK range

17 Apr 2015 Travel & Tourism By Tina Morrison
  Wellington Airport's revised fees are 'just within' acceptable range of returns, regulator says April 17 (BusinessDesk) -... more

Sport

Price and Wesko Nail the Dressage at Kentucky

25 Apr 2015 Equestrian
Kiwi eventer Tim Price and Wesko have delivered their best-ever dressage score to sit at the front of the field this morning at the... more

ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres

25 Apr 2015 Sailing
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres: Burling and Tuke still lead, one more day of fleet racing At the end of day three at ISAF Sailing ... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the hair-pulling finale and Gallipoli

24 Apr 2015 Column
  Gordon Campbell on the hair-pulling finale, and the real hero of Gallipoli Don’t know about you, but when hi-jinks and... more

Gordon Campbell on UE pass rates & university dropout rates

14 Apr 2015 Opinion
Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been ... more

Kiwi Success

Fonterra reshuffles management team

24 Apr 2015 Appointments By Fiona Rotherham
  Fonterra reshuffles management team to speed up value-add strategy April 24 (BusinessDesk) - Fonterra Cooperative Group, the... more

TVNZ and RNZ appointments announced

23 Apr 2015 Appointments
New Zealand Government TVNZ and RNZ appointments announced Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams today announced the appointment of Sussan... more

Recruitment

Apprenticeship scheme launched

18 Apr 2015 Recruitment
The He Toki ki te Mahi Apprenticeship Training Trust was launched by Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Key at Rehua Marae in ... more

Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage

17 Apr 2015 Recruitment
KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New... more