SOH – Switchboard Maintenance

Sydney_Opera_House_Night In February 2013 Southern Cross Switchboards was awarded the contract for the Annual Maintenance of the existing selected switchboards in the Main Plant, Business Critical Plant and the Data Centre Plant with the Sydney Opera House.

This project consisted of two stages. The first stage was a full audit of the assets. All site work for stage one took place onsite on the 27.02.13 carried out between 6.30am – 4:00pm. A full condition audit and thermal scan was conducted during this stage on the listed assets located within the Main Plant, Business Critical Plant and Data Centre Plant.

The stage 1 audit involved the following:

  • Visual inspection for defects in the local environment such as clear access, cleanliness and WHS compliance.
  • Visual Inspection of the general, emergency and exit lighting in the switchboard areas to ensure that they are in good working order and free from any defects.
  • Visual inspections and examination of the enclosures, metering/indicating equipment as well as the escutcheons are in presentable order and paintwork is intact.
  • Visual check of switchboards to ensure adequate ventilation is available as well as free from blockages and free from ingress of vermin.
  • A review of the switchboard enclosures protection rating, mounting plates and forms of segregation as appropriate was carried out.
  • The enclosure was also examined to ensure all labelling is correct with consistent circuit schedules attached and all labels are correctly fixed in place.
  • A thermal scan of the busbar and chassis system was conducted to ensure no components were experiencing above normal temperatures (indicating potential faults) while in operation.
  • The condition of the busbar and chassis system was also examined for adequate clearance for the expected fault levels and pollution degrees.
  • Visual inspection of the busbar support and their conditions, bus bar connections and insulation ensuring they were free from deterioration.
  • Visual inspection to confirm MEN link and Earth neutral system integrity.
  • Visually checks were performed on the existing cable supports, fixings, cable end boxes and cable terminations verifying they are suitable, mechanically sound and free from deterioration or oxidation.
  • Visual examination of cable clearances to ensure they are adequate and meet or exceed appropriate standards.
  • Thermally scanning of all cable joints to ensure no cables or terminations were experiencing above normal temperatures which could indicate possible faults.
  • Visual inspection of all switchgear for cleanliness.
  • Thermal scanning was carried out on the switchgear while in operation to locate overheating (if any) which could indicate potential faults.
  • Examination of metering functions to ensure they are providing accurate readings.
  • Review the condition of the switchboards within the scope and assessed whether the switchboards comply with current relevant regulatory and Australian standards.

Stage Two consisted of repair and preventative maintenance as well as any rectification works being carried out arising from the audit in Stage 1 Sydney Opera House Annual Switchboard Maintenance Contract. The repair and preventative maintenance work was undertaken on the 29.03.13 (Good Friday) between the hours of 0.00am – 11.00am.

Undertaking this project Southern Cross Switchboards (Australia) Pty Ltd understood the importance and historical significance of the Sydney Opera House in our society.

We understood that the works could impact public areas that have sensitive operational environments. We had considered the impact of the project on the local environment encompassing the safety and comfort of all employees and the many thousands of visitors to the site on a daily basis. Prime importance to us was to minimise the impact of our work to the public as well as the many other commercial operations that occur throughout the site. We programmed the Stage 1 works to minimise disruption to organised events by closely liaising with Opera House management on a scheduled and need be basis. We fully understood the environment in which we worked within, and we programmed our works to complete the project as efficiently as possible. We liaised closely with the Opera House management to ensure they were completely satisfied with our innovative methods and safe working procedures.

We pride ourselves in being an Australian owned company and a project such as this has been  another great opportunity for us to proudly perform our works and leave the Sydney Opera House better for our having been there. We have a very successful track record of completing projects on time and on budget. We have experienced managers through to hard working and conscientious staff. These employees have been responsible for the successful completion of many challenging projects for high profile clients. We have vast experience managing projects of a sensitive nature and we would welcome the opportunity to complete another project for the Sydney Opera House or any other project of that nature.


Value: $41k

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