Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Disaster mitigation using smart grid application


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

Disaster mitigation using smart grid application

  1. 1. Running Head: DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION 1 Disaster Mitigation Using Smart Grid Application Name: Institution: Date:
  2. 2. 2 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION Abstract Fire has been a common phenomenon in Australia for thousands of years. It has been a major factor in the shaping of much of the continent’s landscape. Many fires are believed to have been started by lightning. For many years, many residents of this continent have suffered fire losses severally. Some of these losses include burning of vast grasslands that have been used for hunting purposes while others use. Fire is also useful as the residents use it for clearing their tracks which were initially dense vegetation. There are only a few comprehensive records that show the events of bush fire outbreak in the region. Due to this reason, there is so little that is known pertaining to the cause and the effects that followed these fires. Lack of this critical information has led to different allegations about the causes of these fires from different groups of people. Among the many bushfires that have ever happened in this continent include that of January 21st 1997. The fire is believed to have Brocken in the Dandedong Ranges and caused three major fatalities. One was that the fire brought down 42 houses while burning 400 hectares of land. Other areas that were affected by this particular fire included Eldon, Arthurs Seat, Gippsland, State Park and Creswick (Martin, 2010). In January 9, 1998, there was another fatal bushfire which was reported on New Years Eve. The fire continued to burn for more than ten days and is believed to have burnt a total of 32,000 hectares of land. Among the part that was consumed by this fire were 22, 000 hectares of land which was in Alpine National Park. Another 10, 000 hectares that was burnt down was part of Carey River State Forest. It is suspected that the fire was caused by campfire. In December, 2002, there occurred another bush fire that was later named the Big Desert Fire. The fire occurred in two phases-one phase was in the Big Desert Wilderness Park that
  3. 3. 3 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION occurred on December 17. The fire was fanned by the availability of dry fuel and the poor weather condition in the region. The two fires later joined and consumed 181, 400 hectares of private property. The fire was however put off by rain that fell on the area on 31 December. In the year 2003, eight fires were started in eastern Victoria. All these fires were unable to be contained as they were very furious and spread at a very high rate. The fires joined together to form a huge fire burning for more than 59 days without being in a position to be contained. The fires are reported to have burnt over 1.3 million acres including 41 homes and more than 9, 000 livestock belonging to the residents living in the neighborhood. Many thousands of fencing was also destroyed as a result (Martin, 2010). The areas that were highly affected included Bright, Mt Buffalo, Benambra, Dinner Plain and Omeo. Between 2005 and 2006, there were more than 500 bushfire break outs across Victoria. This is the period between the New Year’s Eve and the beginning of February 2006. In these fires, there were four major fatalities. More than fifty seven homesteads were destroyed and other 359 farm buildings also lost. A total of 64, 000 stocks were also lost (Au et al. 2009). According to reports, the fire destroyed more than 160, 000 hectares of land. It is approximated that more 60% of this land was public land while the rest was privately owned. Between 2006 and 2007, fire agents from Australia responded to more than 1,000 across Victoria and the surrounding areas. The total piece of land that was destroyed by these fires both privately and publicly owned was 1, 200, 000 hectares. The two fires that are believed to have been the toughest were the Great Divide North fire and the Great Divide South fire. Though the fires were very furious, they were contained by the end of February the same year. The two fires are recorded to have burnt a total of 1,048,238 hectares of land which was entirely public land. Above all, the worst bushfire that has ever happened in Australia happened on February 7, 2009.
  4. 4. 4 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION More than 173 people lost their lives. The fires also directly affected more than 78 communities and many towns left unrecognizable. More than 2,000 properties were also consumed by the fires including 61 businesses. Other public amenities that were destroyed by the fires include schools, police stations, kindergartens, community halls, churches, fire and emergency services facilities and sporting clubs. Our study will major on this particular bushfire that happened in Kinglake area. This fire is believed to be the biggest that has ever happened. Effects of Bushfires in Kinglake King Lake West is a small geographical region which is located at the upper parts of Great Dividing Range. It is estimated to be about 65 km north of Melbourne. It acts as the gateway to the well known King Lake National Park. There are many residents living around this area on both sides of the Pine Ridge Road. This means that in case of a bush fire outbreak, the communities usually suffer the consequences. This was the case that has been happening for a reasonable period of time (Au et al. 2009). Around the area there is also a huge Macedonian church and a sporting oval for the community that has been standing for years. According to reports that were provided by residents living around this area, the composition of all the households which are situated around this area are somewhat varied. Some of them are retirees who either have been working in or around King Lake. According to a report given by one of the residents, most of the people living in the neighborhood are not well off and live in abject poverty and especially those living around Pine Ridge Road. Most of them confessed to be living in this particular neighborhood just because of how they enjoy the natural environment that is here and the reason that they are very close to a national park. Other residents however gave different views for living in this particular area.
  5. 5. 5 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION Terrain The terrain here is gentle but drops steeply on the Southern part that leads to the escarpment. This gives it a very good visual impression. A good number of residents took the advantage of this terrain to build and settle along this escarpment (Martin, 2010). Vegetation King Lake can be said to be highly covered by temperate Eucalypt trees in almost all sections except the northern parts of King Lake National Park. The park has however undergone a great period of drought that has made the forests very dry for the last few years. Houses of residents living around were mostly surrounded by shrubs and tall ornament trees, shrubs or garden tress. This made it very delicate for fire extinguishers to put off fire in case of a fire outbreak. Dwellings Many houses around this area are constructed from bricks and iron roofs. Some are however roofed by tiles though not very popular. Not all houses are also made from these materials as some are built from fibro-cement sheeting with some bricks to decorate the structures. Others are also timber structures while other are made of mud bricks which are mounted on wooden beams and posts (Au et al. 2009). Statistical Data In this strategy 173 were confirmed to have died, 500 were injured while more than 72 were hospitalized. 2,029 houses are also believed to have been destroyed where 78 towns were affected by the strategy, 450,000 hectares of land was burnt down and 7,500 people were left homeless. Among the public entities that were destroyed include 5 schools, a kindergarten and
  6. 6. 6 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION three sporting clubs. A total of 9, 450 insurance claims were filed which gave a total of $1.2B (Luke & McArthur, 1978). Key affected areas and the number of deaths at each area Around King Lake area: Kinglake West (7), Kinglake (38), Flowerdale (8), Strathewen, Steels Creek (10), Eaglehawk(27), Wandong, Whittlesea (2), Humevale (7), Upper Plenty (1), Reedy Creek (1), Yarra Glen (1). Maryville area: Narbethong (4), Marysville (34), Cambarville (1), Koornalla (4), Callignee (4), Jeeralang Junction (1) and Churchill (2). Bendigo: Eaglehawk (1) Beechworth area: Mudgegonga (2), (Ahmet et al. 2009) Other Fires Horsharm, Bunyip State Park, Delburn, Wilsons Promontory, Redesdale, Healesville, O’Shannassy & Armstrong Creek, Daylesford, Upway, Otways, Narre Warren, Traralgon, Horsham, Weerite & Coleraine. Main Substations and Effects of Power Blackouts There are several substations that have been mounted around Kinglake area. These stations are meant to provide an alternative in case there is a power blackout or a shortage in power supply. Some of these substations are used to step down electricity while others are meant to step it up. Among the many places where these substations have been mounted include Hurst Bridge where even the railway network has been electrified around Eltham area to ease transport of fire fighters. The idea of electrifying was catalyzed with the fact that there was inadequacy of power supply in the area (Martin, 2010). Another substation is situated in Melbourne which is
  7. 7. 7 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION believed to have a national significance as it was the first large electricity supply network which was then preceded by other few substations in the country. There is also a substation that is erected at Diamon Creek. Though the substation took long to be constructed, it was finally working as it received most of its power supply from Greensborough (Schmitt, 2005). Another substation is situated in Wattle Glen which was meant to back the substation at Eltham. Finally there exists a substation at Kinglake zone. This substation supplies energy to hotels, shops and CFA station that is in the neighborhood (Ahmet et al. 2009). Together with the many substations that have been constructed to help contain the challenge of power blackout, Energy Safe Victoria has also been in the front line in the implementation of many electricity measures. Some of them include helping in sourcing electrical workers and electricians for most of the bushfire affected areas. Consequences Blackouts may be very influential especially to commercial and administrative centers. Most critical amenities such as hospitals, water and sewerage systems and fire responder systems should be connected to power back up as they may cause uncounted loss in case of a slight blackout. However, these stations only have fuel that can only last for a few hours from the time of power black out (Brotherhood et al. 1990). Immediately there is a blackout in a particular area, it is not possible to purchase any goods without using cash as all electronic payments are made impossible. A blackout that lasts for 3 to 6 hours means that most fuel stations and refinery industries are forced to stop their businesses. This leaves the public without any fuel to use for their cars or even power back up generators. Melting furnaces will already be counting huge losses in case there is 4 to 5 years of power blackout as the production can not be reversed (Lunt, 2000).
  8. 8. 8 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION Governments in areas affected by continuously power blackout should come up with emergency fuel storages. This will help in keeping alive those facilities that are very critical to the society. This fuel should be enough to go for several weeks or even a month (Brotherhood et al. 1990). A month without electricity means that transport, water supply, emergency services, chemical production and critical manufacturing faces widespread outages within the area that has been affected. Loss of water supply due to a power blackout may lead to many cascading impacts that may seem fatal to peoples’ lives. Schools, hospitals, nursing homes, offices and restaurants all depend on water for their operations (Ahmet et al. 2009). Water is also used for sanitation, drinking, cooling and heating systems among other things used in these facilities. Most manufacturing industries use water as one of the ingredient in their production process or to transport the waste to sewerage treatment points. Fire fighters also use water in carrying out fire emergency response. It is thus important for them to access sufficient water for them to be in a position to fight the spread of fire (Lunt, 2000). Without power supply, it would be impossible for heating systems to operate. During cold seasons like winter, homes may freeze to temperatures that are below freezing level which might be unfavorable for human survival. Thus people living in areas which are affected by such phenomenon use electricity to heat and warm their homes using open fires. In case there is a fire outbreak due to these open fires, it might be impossible for fire emergency response to put the fire off in case there is no water after a blackout (Johns, 2009). Drones as an infrastructure for fighting Bushfires Wildfires have been in the increase in the last few years. Fighting these fires has remained to be an old school game which in many times depends on maps drawn on papers.
  9. 9. 9 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION Using modern technologies in areas that are mostly affected by these fires has been a real challenge. The use of new unmanned drones could be the new solution to this challenge (Aisbett et al. 2007). This might help in management of bushfires and thus change the nature this fight has been for many years. The use of this technology helps the firefighters and the communities living around these areas as they can provide more information for fewer costs. This technology is also safe as it does not put any human being in any harm as not pilots are required. Fire fighting has been known to be a tricky game for a long period of time. It is always hard to locate the intensity and the direction a particular fire is taking. The direction of a fire might change within a few seconds and this becomes a real challenge to fire fighters. The use of drones can help in gathering more information about the fire at hand than other forms of fire fighting techniques. They efficiently send information they gather quickly to fire fighters at the ground. The fire fighters thus can be able to react in accordance to the information given and know where to start (Luke & McArthur, 1978). In most areas, fire fighters are usually sent to fight fire with tablets and smart phones. Through these gadgets they can acquire and send information to one another while managing a fire outbreak (Aisbett et al. 2007). In areas where internet connection is weak, the use of these gadgets can be interrupted leading to poor communication. Bushfires are known to occur in rural areas where the terrain is poor and the sending of signals differs from one particular area to the other. Drones are designed in a way that they can provide internal signals even in dead zones making them ideal for use in almost all terrains. .Where internet connections are good, a lot of information pertaining fire outbreaks may be given to fire fighters. Most manned airplanes were initially not installed with communication gadgets and took pictures about the affected areas (Schmitt, 2005). This particular information
  10. 10. 10 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION seemed to be so outdated because most of these manned helicopters took pictures and other infrared images in trying to map fire perimeters (Johns, 2009). This is obviously risky and costly. This makes the fire fighters to fly over the bushfire either once or twice each day. Drones, on the other hand are cheaper in comparison to manned planes and helicopters. More than one drone can even be launched at once. One drone is estimated to cost as little as $2,000 to fight fire for eight hours. A manned helicopter goes for only an hour for the same cost. Drones can stay working for a day or even days which is not possible for manned planes (FitzGerald & Brida, 2012). Drones are designed to use infrared technology that allows them to see through the smoke. They also have the capability of flying in some extreme conditions which are dangerous for tankers and manned helicopters (Johns, 2009). They also have special sensors that enable them sense a slight temperature difference in objects. They have features that give real-time data where the images captured are downloaded by fire fighters at the ground. The information is then interpreted and necessary measures taken (Aisbett et al. 2007). The technology can thus be taken to be the next fire fighting tool. It is much cheaper and more reliable. The technology also can apply both in rural and urban fires as it can work even in very extreme conditions.
  12. 12. 12 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION References Au, T. A., Parker, K., Thornton, R., Gordon, A., Stephenson, C., & Tooley, C. (2009). 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission interim report 2: priorities for building in bushfire prone areas. Melbourne: 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, 2009., 4. Aisbett, B., Phillips, M., Sargeant, M., Gilbert, B., & Nichols, D. (2007). Fighting with fire--how bushfire suppression can impact on fire fighters' health.Australian family physician, 36(12), 994-997. Ahmet, H., Hygienist, S. O., & Victoria, W. Management of Occupational Hygiene Hazards Arising from the February. (2009) Victorian Bushfires. Johns, D. A. (2009). A day like no other: Black Saturday on the Kinglake Ranges. Victoria: D & B Johns. Brotherhood, J. R., Budd, G. M., Jeffery, S. E., Hendrie, A. L., Beasley, F. A., Costin, B. P., & Zhien, W. (1990). Fire fighters' exposure to carbon monoxide during Australian bushfires. The American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, 51(4), 234-240. Fitzgerald, A., & Brida, N. (2012). Watson's Creek habitat link, Kinglake National Park: revegetation following the 2009 Black Saturday fires. Melbourne: Department of Sustainability and Environment. Lunt, K. (2000). Build your own robot!. AK Peters. Luke, R. H., & McArthur, A. G. (1978). Bush fires in Australia. Bush Fires in Australia.
  13. 13. 13 DISASTER MITIGATION USING SMART GRID APPLICATION Schmitt, E. (2005). US Drones Crowd Iraq's Skies to Fight Insurgents. The New York Times, 154(53175). Martin, J. (2010). Disaster planning and gender mainstreaming: Black Saturday bushfires. New Community Quarterly, 8(1), 3-9.