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Clean Tech strikes a winner again

7th May 2013

One of the federal government's clean initiatives strikes a winner again with its latest funding grant.

The government's Clean Technology Investment Program is an $800 million fund that provides grants to companies looking to invest in clean technology or improve energy efficiency, with funding beginning at $25,000 with no maximum limit. 

Previous recipients of the grant have included Adelaide Ice Services, who received close to $90,000 from the associated $200 million Food and Foundries Program, in order to install a solar rooftop system and save up to $20,000 in energy costs annually.

This was to achieve the aim of reducing carbon emissions and energy costs, while increasing the company's competitiveness in the industry.

Another associated program, the $200 million Clean Technology Innovation program, in this case funded a manufacturing company in Burnie, Tasmania with a grant of $499,748.

The Clean Technology Innovation Program is a competitive initiative leading to the development of new clean technologies.

Dunham Holdings (trading as Hivotech) will put the funds towards a world-first monitoring system that will improve levels of energy efficiency of electrical railway and tramlines.

The system is named the Network Integrity Management System (NIMS).

Now, Hivotech will develop its technology which involves monitoring units mounted at the top of power grid support poles every two kilometres in the case of rail, and every 500 metres for trams.

These monitoring units assess the condition of the network at each point - particularly the insulators which support the electrical power transmission wires. 

"This will make it easier to detect faults and reduce power leakages, improving energy efficiency and cutting emissions," said Sid Sidebottom, federal member for Braddon.

Mr Sidebottom, also commented that his grant will allow electrical railway and tramline operators to remotely identify where any faults may be in the network, so they can specifically target its maintenance efforts to these areas.

"This is a great example of a clever Tasmanian business coming up with a solution to a worldwide problem. Hivotech's system could virtually eliminate the laborious and expensive physical maintenance cycle for electrical railway and tramlines," said Greg Combet, minister for climate change, industry and innovation.

Currently, rail networks employ a 45 day maintenance cycle, where each insulator and joint is inspected. This accumulates to a national electric rail maintenance budget of $3 billion, which could be greatly reduced by such technology.  

Posted by Mike Peacock

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