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The end of an era: Liddell Power Station shuts down after 52 years of electricity generation

While the days of Liddell Power Station electricity production have come to an end, the fire panels will remain in place during the decommissioning and demolition process that is expected to be completed in November 2024. These fire panels, which have been diligently serviced by Wormald over many years, have been an essential component of the facility’s safety system, providing early detection and response to any potential fire hazard.

Fire protection systems—such as sprinklers, fire alarms, and extinguishers—can help prevent fires from starting and can quickly contain and suppress them if they do. These systems not only protect people but also help prevent disruptions to the power supply, which is critical for many aspects of modern life.

The power station’s commitment to safety is exemplified by the continuous upgrades made to its fire service monitoring system, with the fire panels standing out as a significant improvement. This dedication to safety serves as a reminder to always choose reliable equipment that can stand the test of time.

Protecting the Liddell Power Station from fire

Over the course of its 52-year lifespan, the Liddell Power Station underwent three upgrades to its fire panels. The original system, which operated on 50V DC, was replaced in 1992 with “Cerberus Pyrotronics” peripheral devices that cover 600 points across the site.

Fast forward to 1996, when the system was upgrade to introduced graphics that let operators zoom into the alarm location and easily review alarms, faults, and isolate traffic. The current fire panel has been in operation for 27 years now, and its reliability is unquestionable.

Despite the longevity of the system, some peripheral devices from the original 1992 installation are still in use today, which speaks to the durability and quality of the equipment and Wormald’s commitment to meticulous service. Additionally, there are smoke detectors located in difficult-to-access areas, such as under the floor in the plant control room and coal handling plant switchboard cubicles, that have never failed.

It’s worth noting that the Liddell Power Station’s fire panel was fitted with XLD loop driver cards instead of the alarm line driver (ALD) type, which is unique to this site.

Liddell Power Station has a long-standing tradition of valuing its people, whether they are internal employees or contractors. The facility has always embraced teamwork, with workers taking pride in everything they do, going above and beyond as it’s part of the company’s DNA. Karl Herzog has been servicing Liddell’s fire panels for 32 years, while Mark Cavicchia has been servicing the panels for approximately 20 years, which is testament to the company’s commitment to building long-lasting relationships with its contractors.

Fire panel subject matter experts at Liddell Power Station plant control room: AGL’s Andrew Pain (middle), Wormald’s Mark Cavicchia (left) and Karl Herzog (right).

Understanding the fire hazard risks in power stations

Like all industrial worksites, fires at power stations are a real risk that must be managed. Electrical equipment carries energy and comprises combustible materials in the form of insulation which can result in a smoldering, slow-growth fire that can eventually become self-sustaining while growing exponentially.

Wormald services and supplies fire equipment and fire systems, while also providing businesses with complete fire safety training all around Australia. Our solutions also include servicing, maintenance, and testing to ensure your equipment and systems are always in good working order.

For more information on how Wormald can help protect your organisation, contact the team today.