They are also located in areas that are difficult to access, bushfire-prone terrain to service a small number of customers. Some network operator challenges are making an appropriate level of investment while mitigating bushfire risks resulting from network electrical faults.
Traditional approaches to improving lateral line reliability while minimising investment and operating cost can leave network operators exposed to significant potential liabilities if found responsible for causing bushfires. Ideally, reliability should be improved while reducing bushfire ignition risk without substantial investment.
High-risk and total fire ban bushfire days are primarily determined by the temperature, humidity, prevailing wind conditions and the amount of fuel on the ground to feed the fire. A utility may only experience a few “total fire ban” or “code red” days a year. Still, it is critical to minimise any probability of faults on the electrical network causing ignition of bushfires.