July 2018 NewsFlash - AGA

July 2018 NewsFlash

  • 27-07-2018

  • News

AGA NewsFlash

2018 AGA Gas Industry Forum

Colin Poulter Retires

Open – Flued Space Heaters

NSW Prohibition Order

Turning Tap Water into Power

Yum Char Trolleys

Standards Update

2018 AGA Gas Industry Forum & AGM

This year’s Forum will be held at Oaks on Collins in Melbourne on 27th & 28th November.  Please mark these dates in your diary.


Proceedings will commence with the Annual General Meeting of AGA Members in the afternoon of Tuesday 27th November, followed by cocktails and a Gala Welcome Dinner for Members and Forum Delegates.  An exciting program is being developed for the Industry Forum which will be held on 28th November followed by a relaxing dinner to catch up with friends and colleagues at one of Melbourne’s iconic restaurants.

Each year the AGA Industry Forum is getting bigger and better so we recommend you register and book accommodation early.  

Colin Poulter Retires after 50 years in the gas industry

Colin Poulter has taken retirement after 50 years in the gas industry, 30 of which working for System Control Engineering (SCE). Colin is a well-known contributor in the gas industry known for his extensive experience, knowledge and loyalty.

Colin started working in the Gas Industry back in 1968 when he accepted a Gas Fitting apprenticeship with the Gas & Fuel Corporation, where he went on to become a Licensed Plumber/Gasfitter. In later years he resumed studies and graduated with a Certificate of ‘Higher Gas Technician‘ from Swinburne.
During his years with the Gas & Fuel, Colin worked in many areas of the industry, including Domestic Service, Commercial Service, Energy Management Centre, and then became a Type B Industrial Safety Inspector in the Industrial Safety Group.

Colin stared with SCE in 1988 assuming various roles and was promoted soon after to Senior Manager within the group. When he joined, SCE was primarily an Industrial Gas Component and Engineering organisation. Colin saw an opportunity in the early 1990’s to move into the Residential and Commercial component markets. As a result of Colin’s vision, today SCE is one of the largest component suppliers to the OEM appliance manufacturers. During his years at SCE Colin also was a member of the AG 3814 Committee (Industrial & Commercial) for over 10 years . Before retiring Colin held the Title of ‘National Sales Manager OEM Gas Division‘.

Colin is married and says that without the support of his wife Vicki he would never have been able to have forged a successful career in the Gas Industry. Colin has two daughters, Lyndal & Kelly as well as two Grandchildren Drue and Sam. He hopes to spend more time with family, do some serious fishing, and see more of Australia.

Open – Flued Space Heaters

Following an incident involving an Vulcan Heritage open-flued space heater, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) commissioned laboratory testing of a further three bands of open-flued space heaters. The test results indicated that all three heaters failed to meet the requirements of the Australian Standard AS/NZS 5263. As a result of these findings, ESV requested similar testing for 22 certified open-flued space heaters and Type 2 decorative effect appliances. Of the 22 appliances tested, 13 were found to be non-compliant. AGA is working closely with the manufacturers to address these issues as quickly as possible.

Open-flued space heaters draw air for combustion from the room in which they are installed and exhaust the products of combustion to outside via a flue fitted with a flue cowl. As the flue cowl can be subjected to the eddy effects of wind around the cowl, AS/NZS 5263 has “forced downdraught” requirements to cater for conditions whereby the passage of combustion products travelling up the flue is momentarily interrupted by a downdraught wind in the flue. The standard is silent, however, when it comes to sustained “induced downdraught” conditions caused by the operation of extraction fans and range-hoods in the home which can result in a negative pressure inside the home.

This matter has been considered by the Standards Australia AG-001 Committee which has formed a Working Group to consider the effects of sustained “induced downdraught” conditions and fast-track the development of new requirements which will be incorporated in AS/NZS 5263. AGA is represented on the Working Group and has established a special calibrated test room to assist the Working Group with its work.

NSW Prohibition Order for Area Heaters Revoked

NSW Fair Trading recently gazetted an order to revoke the Prohibition Order for area heaters that has been in force since 2014. This has been actioned under the Gas Supply (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2012 and removes the previous order.

Now, the sale of area heaters that are certified in accordance to AS5263.1.4:2017 will be permitted without the need to apply for any further exemptions. Furthermore, NSW Fair Trading have aligned with the definition of an area heater as stipulated in AS 5263.1.4:2017.

Turning Tap Water into Power

ATCO Gas Australia has received a $1.5 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of a $3.3 million project to turn water into power. The trial project will kick off at ATCO’s Jandakot facility in Western Australia, using excess solar power to separate the hydrogen and oxygen molecules from tap water (H2O). Excess solar power is directed to an electrolysis unit, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, which is then stored for use as the fuel for a back-up generator. This would be used as a last resort if the batteries are exhausted. ATCO plans to explore ways to feed the hydrogen into a natural gas pipeline and, if successful, this could prove to be a valuable supplement to WA’s gas supplies. In announcing the grant, Federal Assistant Environment Minister Melissa Price said the project was the first hydrogen micro-grid facility in Australia.

“Australia has the potential to develop a thriving renewable hydrogen market, delivering secure, reliable, affordable and low-emissions energy to households and industry,” she said.

If successful the trial could pave the way for large-scale use of the technology, potentially replacing natural gas as a primary power source, even in the plants that power major cities, according to ARENA Chief Executive, Ivor Frischknecht. Mr Frischknecht said the $1.5 million grant would also help ATCO trial the use of hydrogen for use in gas-burning household appliances. “Green hydrogen offers opportunities to provide carbon-free energy to cities and towns, while leveraging existing natural gas infrastructure,” he said.

Yum Char Trolleys

As mentioned in our October 2017 NewsFlash, it was brought to AGA’s attention that some gas-fired Yum Char trolleys do not incorporate basic safety features and may put the safety of restaurant patrons and staff at risk.

AGA initiated a program to write a technical safety specification for gas-fired Yum Char trolleys, and has now completed this task. AGA has provided the technical safety specification to the gas technical regulators and to the AG-001 Standards Australia committee. Following recent meetings, we expect that the relevant commercial catering appliance Standard will be updated to incorporate requirements for gas-fired Yum Char trolleys.

While this process is underway, AGA can accept Applications for the certification of gas-fired Yum Char trolleys under a special Gas Technical Regulators Committee safety case.
Please contact your AGA Client Manager for further information.

Latest Standards Updates

AS 4618 (Gas Appliance Regulators);

 and

AS 4621 (Regulator for use with liquefied petroleum – Vapour phase)

Are out for public comment, both will be ending on 14th September 2018.

If you would like to submit any comments, you may forward them to our Group Manager, Technical Operations, Mr Bill (Vasilios) Tabourlos [btabourlos@aga.asn.au], or directly through the Standards Australia website: Click Here