T&D World Magazine

Tasmanian Invention Detects Potentially Lethal Electrical Faults

Aurora Energy has publicly launched a device invented by its employees to detect a dangerous electrical fault that has challenged the electricity industry worldwide for decades. The world-first invention – named CablePI (as in Private Investigator) – detects a type of electrical fault known in the electrical services industry as a “broken neutral”, a relatively common but potentially lethal problem.

“Broken neutrals are potentially life-threatening and have the capacity to direct dangerous voltages into household objects,’’ Aurora Chief Executive Officer Dr. Peter Davis said at the launch in Hobart. “In the interests of public electrical safety, Aurora will begin distribution of these devices in two Tasmanian communities next week before a statewide rollout to all Aurora customer households.

“Tasmanians can be proud that this device has been invented right here by Aurora employees and I am optimistic that the CablePI will one day be a household name not only in this State, but throughout Australia and beyond," Davis said.

Broken neutrals are commonly the cause of the phenomena known as “tingling taps”, where dangerous voltages can affect household plumbing fixtures and appliances. There are a number of cases of electric shock experienced each year in Tasmania as a result of broken neutrals.

The CablePI has been tested successfully by Aurora employees over recent months and will be rolled out initially for residents of South Hobart and Smithton over the next two weeks. Aurora will provide the free devices to more than 200,000 Tasmanian customers and many industries later this year. The CablePI is a small device, about the size of a typical air freshener, which can be plugged into a normal electrical power point to detect broken neutrals.

The device is considered so promising that Aurora Energy, has set up a subsidiary company EziKey Group Pty Ltd, licensed to commercialize the international patent for the product. “I am hopeful that the CablePI will one day be as common as a smoke alarm and regarded as just as important by Tasmanians,’’ Davis said. “At Aurora Energy we pride ourselves on putting the customer first and nothing is more important to us than safety. We believe the CablePI will be an important step in ensuring the safety of all Aurora customers with the potential for real lasting benefits to the Tasmanian community and economy."

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