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
Utility implements new system to expedite restoration process
BY BILL PERRY, MARCH 24 Media LLC
Assembling and deploying utility crews for major events is often a manual, cumbersome process for utilities. When executives or the media ask the status of crews in the wake of storms, it can take some storm centers up to four hours to pinpoint the location and status of crews.
“Where are the crews?” is a perennial question that directly affects restoration costs and time. To answer that question, Iberdrola USA (IUSA) has been collecting data to gauge more effectively the restoration costs and address information requests from executive management and regulators. (more…)
Improve protection with a layered security approach
BY ERIC BYRES, Belden Inc.
An age-old joke in the North American power industry states that if Alexander Graham Bell walked in the room today, he would not recognize the telephone, the technology, or its business model. However, if Thomas Edison walked in, he would still understand the current state of electricity and power generation and distribution. Utility engineers have one of the hardest jobs in the world: delivering safe, reliable power, at all times—and that does not mean just keeping the lights on by protecting against extreme weather or failed equipment. (more…)
Leveraging AMI to improve grid reliability and outage response
BY TIM WOLF, Itron
Getting a handle on overall grid reliability and outage trends for the entire U.S. can be challenging. Despite generally high reliability numbers, power outages are occurring more frequently and the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that outages cost the American economy as much $150 billion per year. Unfortunately, outages are affecting more people and lasting longer than just a decade ago. These facts are due, at least in part, to a combination of underinvestment in the power grid over the past quarter century, continually increasing demand for electricity among businesses and consumers, and the more frequent occurrence of severe storms.
GOING DARK MORE OFTEN
According to the University of Minnesota Center for Smart Grid Technologies, 349 significant power outages occurred between 2005 and 2009 in the U.S.,each of which affected at least 50,000 consumers. The number of outages is more than double the number of comparable outages that occurred from 2000 to 2004, and more than eight times the number of outages of that scale that occurred from 1991 to 1995.
Lessons learned and importance of data surveys
BY CLAYTON JAMISON UYEDE, UTS Consultants
Back in 2004, the Electrical Safety Authority, the workplace safety regulator for the Province of Ontario, issued new regulation that gave utilities the option of having their poles analyzed and certified by a professional engineer. Ontario Regulation 22/04: “Electrical Distribution Safety” provided wording for pole owners to have any third-party attachment application analyzed and certified by a professional engineer for the entire pole and not just the third-party attachment. (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…)