Home' Christchurch Mail : August 1st 2013 Contents 7
CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, AUGUST 1, 2013
Students power up Tonga
By DANIELA MAOATE-COX
HELPING HANDS: Mubin Abd Rahman, Gavin Austin, Jarrad Raumati and Darren O'Neill examine diesel pipes in Tonga's
TONGA PLANS to source half of
its energy from renewable sources
by 2020 and four students from
the University of Canterbury are
helping the country get there.
Final year electrical engineer-
ing students Darren O'Neill,
Gavin Austin, Jarrad Raumati
and Mubin Abd Rahman have
collaborated with Tonga Power
Limited (TPL) to analyse its
power system. Currently, TPL
relies on imported diesel to
generate the majority of Tonga's
power. The Tongan Government's
Energy Roadmap policy aims to
reduce diesel use.
Tonga Energy Roadmap
communications officer Sitiveni
Finau said the country wanted to
gain independence from the
volatility'' of the oil market and
help mitigate climate change.
Within this roadmap is an
intention to use less fossil fuel,''
Of course, we put out very little
on a worldwide basis -- we hardly
move the needle.''
TPL business development
engineer Nikolasi Fonua said
there were many options to reduce
diesel use, including biomass fuel
like coconut waste, solar farms, or
wind turbines, but they needed
analysis to determine what was
We just don't have [the
resources] at the moment to do
those sorts of analyses,'' he said.
We don't have the time to
basically update our systems to do
that sort of thing.
That's where we need support.''
That analytical support was
provided by the students, who
looked at Tonga's system to
identify weaknesses and areas for
development, and also gained
valuable practical experience on a
complete power grid.
Mr O'Neill created a mathemat-
ical model of the network on
Tonga's main island, Tongatapu,
to help TPL make decisions on
where a project could go and its
He said this opportunity was
not available in New Zealand.
In Tonga, the whole system is
similar to the distribution
network in New Zealand, [but] it
is far smaller and more manage-
able,'' he said.
We couldn't do this for New
Zealand, so it's good to be able to
do this exercise on a complete
Supervising lecturer Professor
Pat Bodger said the relationship
between the students and TPL
was an exchange that had been
fostered through previous solar
panel installations on Tongan
I look at it as an exchange pro-
gramme that we gain a heck of a
lot out of,'' he said.
They (TPL) contribute to our
students' learning. What we will
hope to deliver is not only the
reports, but also the computer
programmes that will allow them
to do this sort of analysis them-
selves, so long as they've got the
Old bridge makes its presence felt
THE REMAINS of a century-old
Avon River bridge have been
unearthed in Colombo St.
Workers from the Stronger
Rebuild Team discovered butt-
resses from the old bridge that
used to span the Avon River on
Colombo St, near the Town Hall,
during repairs to the road over its
replacement. Markings suggested
the red bricks were made by
brickmaker William Neighbour
between 1868 and 1883.
Archaeologist Katharine Wat-
son said the remains were of the
old Avon River bridge abutments.
The bricks have since been
removed to allow repairs to the
Ms Watson said her team had
taken samples and the rest were
likely to be dumped.
There's only so many bricks
you can keep. We've taken a few
samples for future analysis and if
you can cut them open, somebody
can do a chemical analysis in the
future,'' she said.
The same crew from Downer is
working on repairing several
bridges in the city.
Rebuild bus tour
Red Bus is running a new central
city bus tour focusing on the
rebuild in Christchurch. The tour is
a result of collaboration between
Red Bus and Canterbury Museum.
Tours start from outside the
museum on Rolleston Ave ($29
pp) and will take 90 minutes.
Bookings essential at
The city council wants to hear from
people with relatives interred at
Memorial Rose Garden in Ruru
Lawn Cemetery about repairs. The
memorial, built with stone donated
by the Canterbury Association of
Master Monumental Masons and
maintained by the council,
commemorates the 41 people
who died in the 1947 Ballantynes
department store fire. Relatives
who wish to be included on a
contact list for progress on repairs
should call project manager Jo
Grigg on 941 8999. The memorial,
a stone and timber pergola with
plaques listing the victims' names
collapsed in the earthquake. It will
be rebuilt with steel reinforcing
using as much of the original
stone as possible.
Arts Centre repairs
The repair of the old Christchurch
Boys' High building in the Arts
Centre is under way and will cost
about $15 million. Repairs to
other parts of the complex have
been happening for some time
with more buildings being added
to the repair programme as
funding and planning allowed.
The centre's repair programme
is expected to cost about
Michael Andrew Swann, 51, was
scheduled to leave Christchurch
Men's Prison yesterday having
served his time for the defrauding
of almost $17m from the then
Otago District Health Board. He is
being paroled to the Governors
Bay home of businessman and
owner of The Tannery, Alasdair
Cassels. Cassels offered him a
lifeline when another parole
address proved unsuitable.
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