Tas firm wins $500k grant

A Tasmanian manufacturing company has been awarded nearly $500,000 to trial a new system that will improve the efficiency of electrical rail and tram lines.

In a statement Climate Change, Industry and Innovation Minister Greg Combet said Dunham Holdings, trading as Hivotech, had won a grant of up to $499,748 to develop its Network Integrity Management System.


The grant will be taken from the carbon tax-funded Clean Technology Innovation Program, and Combet said the new system could improve maintenance efficiency on tram and rail lines.


This is a great example of a clever Tasmanian business coming up with a solution to a world-wide problem. Hivotech's system could virtually eliminate the laborious and expensive physical maintenance cycle for electrical railway and tramlines,” he said.


This grant will allow electrical railway and tramline operators to remotely identify the location of faults in the network and target their maintenance effort.”


The main element of the new system centres on a monitoring unit placed at the top of power grid support poles every 2km for rail and 500m for trams.


The units measure the condition of the electrical network at that point, and could be used to target maintenance to the areas that need it.


Rail networks operate a 45-day maintenance cycle to inspect every insulator and joint. The annual maintenance budget for the Australian electric rail industry as a whole is more than $3 billion,” the Department said.

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