Emergency Power Generators Commissioned

UGFM has just commissioned two fully automated mains power generators that provide emergency power during power failures to both UGFM’s Marysville and Yea transmitters as part of the Reliable Recovery and Emergency Broadcasting Project undertaken by UGFM.

The project is designed to ensure continuous and greater reliablity of broadcasting community information during emergencies that also includes recovery information in situations not currently available during mains power failures for the Marysville, Buxton, Narbethong, Highlands, Flowerdale, Strath Creek and Yea areas by UGFM.

The funding for the project of $24,000 was received through the Marysville & Triangle Community Recovery Committee established following the 2009 Victorian Bushfires. UGFM has also contributed $4,000 of funds to the project as well. Mr Tony Thompson who chaired the MTCRC was pleased to see yet another project completed that provides such a huge benefit to the community.

Previously the only way emergency power could be supplied to operate the transmitters during long term power failures was to actually travel to each transmitter with a portable generator that also needed refuelling every 8-10 hours. This also meant the transmitters could be ‘off-air’ at critical times until someone attended with a generator.

The generators will also supply power to other essential communications systems such as the Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network and Community UHF CB repeater systems co-located with UGFM’s transmitters.

The generators are also particularly important during emergencies when ‘CODE RED’ days occur where some Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) overhead mains power lines could be turned off due to the possible risk of fires being started by them. If power is cut during these vital times emergency information would not be heard, so these two generators will ensure continuation of broadcasts from UGFM.

The project had been delayed by a few months due to availability of the generators that were to be built in Singapore; but due to demand for the equipment meant a long wait for supply so they were built and supplied by the parent company in France taking 12 weeks by ship to arrive. The generator and power switching control equipment built in NSW was specially modified locally and interfaced to telemetry monitoring equipment that UGFM uses to remotely monitor the condition and security of each transmitter site.

The generator for the Yea transmitter who’s signal feeds the Flowerdale transmitter was commissioned in July and due to additional works and equipment required for the Marysville transmitter it was finally commissioned in October.

The new generators are a great asset to the community and gives the UGFM committee of management peace of mind that loss of transmission during a power blackout and in times emergencies are far less likely.