TasNetworks Pty Ltd
Engineering Officer – Transmission Lines
I am member of the Asset Engineering team and my role involves the asset management of transmission lines.
TasNetworks is a Tasmanian state-owned corporation that supplies power from the generation source to homes and businesses through a network of transmission towers, substations and powerlines.
• Build, maintain and operate the network
• Establish new connections where infrastructure does not currently exist
• Respond to, and repair, outages and faults
• Operate and maintain a 24-hour fault call centre
• Read, replace and repair your meter
• Provide education, advice and information about electrical safety
• Deliver nationally accredited training to lineworker apprentices, contracts and sub-contractors, local councils and civil construction organisations
• Own and operate a telecommunications business that serves customers in the electricity industry and other industries
Part of my role is in the management and prevention of corrosion on transmission towers. To undertake this we have programs in place to monitor above and below ground corrosion. The above ground program is a visual inspection whilst the below ground program involves several components including half-cell testing and calculation of a risk integrity factor, which is then calibrated by undertaking a few foundation dig ups to determine work required.
Favourite Corrosion Project
The project that I have enjoyed has been working with consultants to develop a way of accurately predicting below ground condition of steel foundations on transmission towers without having to dig up every tower.
This project has now been going on for many years and a methodology has been developed to determine a risk factor for each structure taking into account age, soil conditions, resistivity readings and half-cell results.
Once the risk factor has been determined a small number of foundations are excavated to calibrate the results.
The use of this methodology has ensured that operating and capital expenditure is optimised with only those foundations requiring replacement or refurbishment are done.
Issues Facing the Industry
• The shortage of young professionals and para-professionals entering the engineering industry with a focus on corrosion.
• Utilities are being expected to reduce operating and capital costs whilst the Assets they maintain are ageing. This reduction means that better ways have to be found to extend the life of these assets by corrosion prevention.
• The cost of corrosion is increasing and Governments need to be aware corrosion needs to be managed for the protection of all.
The ACA has allowed me to meet other professionals in the corrosion industry and enabled me to further my knowledge on corrosion and how to mitigate it.
The ACA provides training, mentoring, scholarships, seminars and conferences and encourages young people to be involved in corrosion prevention.