Electricity Today is a leading electrical transmission and distribution magazine distributed subscribe free of charge to North American T&D electric utility engineering, construction and maintenance personnel, and high voltage T&D consulting engineers.
In the Latest Issue
Why not all static UPS systems are created equal
BY KARLA E. BERT, P.E., Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.
In our cloud-based digital world, data must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week—no matter the state of the electrical grid. Computer downtime not only affects production, but also negatively affects customer good will—quickly affecting an organization’s bottom line. In fact, according to the Meta Group, the cost of downtime can average a million dollars per hour for a typical data center. For this reason, Global Industry Analysts, a marketing research firm, predicts that the global uninterruptible power supply (UPS) market will reach $14 billion (USD) by 2017. However, it is important to know that not all static UPS systems are created equal. (more…)
A closer look at animal-caused outages at substations
BY BILL REICHARD, TransGard Systems
Every year, squirrels, raccoons, snakes, and other climbing animals cause substation outages across North America. According to a 2010 University of Minnesota study, the resulting estimated cost to electric utilities is between $15 million and $18 million per year. However, when commercial entities and consumer frustration are taken into consideration, the overall cost of these outages to electric utilities can cost the U.S. economy between $80 billion and $188 billion per year. (more…)
Optimizing conservation benefits through AMI
BY MELODY TOMKOW, Aztech Associates
The conservation benefits of ‘real-time’ electricity consumption information provided by home energy monitors, also known as in-home displays, have been studied repeatedly over the past decade. Recent studies such as the NV Energy’s “2011 Annual Demand Side Management Update Report” report a household electricity consumption reduction of 3.5 percent to nine percent.
How weather affects power quality on the electric grid
BY ALDEN WRIGHT & MARK STEPHENS, Electric Power Research Institute
Utilities have long understood that weather and grid power quality are closely linked. As anyone who keeps up with the news will note, the last few years have seen a significant number of major storms—including Hurricane Sandy, being among the worst—that have caused significant power outages affecting millions of customers, largely in the eastern half of the continental United States.
Although anecdotally it seems these sorts of events —and their impact on reliability—are increasing, do we have any real evidence as to how weather has affected the electrical power grid in the U.S. during the last few years? (more…)
Enhancing protection using directional faulted circuit indicators
BY CHRISTOPHER EVANICH, Thomas & Betts
Underground electrical networks provide reliable service to end users, but create problems for utility personnel in locating faults. Electric utilities who utilize an underground network could spend several weeks trying to locate a fault or potentially not even be able to locate it until a second fault occurs. (more…)
Electrically conductive pastes in high-voltage transformers
BY LISA RINALDO, Prohm-tect
As with other components of North American infrastructure such as wastewater and stormwater systems, much of the continent’s electrical grid faces long-term problems. Aging facilities, rising energy demand, and the need to avoid power outages challenge utilities everywhere.
Perhaps this harsh reality is epitomized with high-voltage power transformers, the kind used to transmit electricity long distances over power lines, as these giants form an integral part of the far-reaching network. (more…)
Removing hazards caused from in-vehicle computing
BY SCOTT BALL, Motion Computing
No utility company would send a worker out in a truck with a known safety defect. North American electric utilities may not realize, however, that by failing to ensure that computing devices are used safely within their vehicles, management could be putting their employees and the public at risk. Even worse, if an accident was to occur, the utility could be held liable. Access to mobile computing is now the rule rather than the exception. (more…)