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Distribution Transformer Loss Costs

A car owner must make some important decisions when purchasing a new vehicle—particularly if he or she has not bought one in decades. The features of the hundreds of 2015 models available can seem overwhelming.… read more »

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Alternative Vehicle Options: Upfitted Vans for Utilities

Utility workers and linemen work in one of the most mobile industries in the country. Think about it: utility workers are always moving from one project to the next as efficiently as possible. Since utility… read more »

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Ethernet Cable Selection for Utilities

Electric utilities are constantly searching for the most efficient, reliable and cost-effective methods to deliver electricity to customers. A vision for accomplishing this is the migration of the electrical grid from a reliable, but inflexible… read more »

Moving Smart Grid to the Field

Ben Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail”. This saying certainly holds true for Smart Grid deployments, which can cost utilities several hundred million dollars. Given these high stakes, effective… read more »

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Utility Fleet Tracking Myth Busters

Since global positioning system (GPS) tracking was first introduced to the fleet industry, users have debated whether this technology is beneficial for their fleets. Some of the most common objections include the fear of employee… read more »

Electrical Substations

Grounding System Maintenance Guide

Grounding systems are a crucially important component of any power supply system, because they directly impact public and employee safety, supply system reliability, power quality and life expectancy of power equipment. In spite of their crucial role in safe, reliable, and economic operation of power supply systems, grounding systems do not receive the same level of preventative maintenance as other infrastructure assets. Read more

Power Transformers

Prevent Transformer Shutdown

Power transformers seldom shutdown; however, if a shutdown occurs, the effects would be immediate and devastating to utility operations. According to “An Analysis of Transformer Failures” by William H. Bartley, P.E., on behalf of the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, the average age at the time of failure ranged from only 9.4 to 14.9 years. This revelation is enough to prompt utilities to take a second look at their policies and practices when dealing with transformer failures. This article provides five suggestions that can help point utilities in the right direction. Read more

Smart Grid

Transmission Planning for Grid Security

Recent physical attacks on substations have heightened the industry’s awareness of the necessity for physical security of critical facilities on the bulk power system. The goal of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards is to identify and protect the physical security and cybersecurity of critical electricity infrastructure of North America. Read more

Overhead T&D

Rugged Tablets for Utility Fleet Vehicles

In reports analyzing the response of power utilities to incidents such as Hurricane Sandy, or the more recent ice storms on the east coast, one item has been remarkably consistent—the conclusion that communication requires improvements. The concern is not hard to fathom. Knowing accurately when power will return has an enormous impact on how a family or a business copes with the situation. Read more

Linemen Safety

Enhance Utlity Fleet Tools and Best Practices

Fleet managers working at electric utilities know that for crews to be successful on any jobsite, they need to have access to tools that will help them work safer, smarter, more efficiently and more profitably. In the electric utility industry, a utility truck, whether an aerial device, such as a bucket truck, a digger derrick, or an auger drill, is critical to a crew’s productivity. Read more

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