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Category Archives: Overhead T&D

Overhead T&D

Mission: Critical – The pros and cons of diesel rotary versus static systems

Operator in control room

Mission critical facilities are broadly defined as containing any operation that, if interrupted, will cause a negative impact on business activities, ranging from losing revenue to jeopardizing legal conformity to (in extreme cases) loss of life. Data centers, call centers, hospitals, manufacturing processes and military installations are the more common types of buildings that could be considered mission critical.

 

The role of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in these applications is clear; there must be a temporary power bridge to support the load between the loss of utility and the transfer to diesel generator.  The computerized equipment such as server, storage and network devices that run these processes are sensitive to fluctuations in power quality. As a solution, these fluctuations are mitigated with the use of a UPS system.  These UPS systems can be divided into two broad categories based on their method of energy storage:

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Overhead T&D

CIP Compliance Yields Security Complacency

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As the big push behind NERC CIP v5/v6 comes to some form of “conclusion”, most U.S. utility executives are breathing a huge sigh of relief. Their efforts to make their high and medium impact facilities compliant are finally completing.  However for some insiders, there is a concern that a state of compliance complacency is now manifesting in the U.S.

  • The expectation is that billions of dollars in compliance spending should have realized “enough” improvements in security … “for now”
  • Some larger utilities refute the need to spend any additional money on compliance motivated security improvements.

As a result, the industry is moving slowly to meet the requirements for low impact facilities, systems and assets, consequently it may also be delaying other critical security initiatives.  This will likely have undesired consequences.

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Overhead T&D

Lightning Strikes

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In Canada, lightning flashes occur about 2.34 million times a year; with the highest levels of concentration during the summer months.

While most lightning on earth is ground-to-cloud,  recent research has identified that the majority of lightning events to tall structures, such as wind turbines, occur in the presents of ground-to-cloud leaders – upward lightning.  More importantly, the majority of ground-to-cloud leaders transpire following a sudden change in electric field initiated by either cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-air or cloud-to-ground discharges.

Since the late 1990’s, the utility grade wind turbine sector has identified lightening events as a significant risk factor.  Today, many standards and guidelines (such as IEC 61400-24:2010) exist; however, the majority of lightning-protection-system standards and guidelines utilized by the wind turbine industry do not address upward moving lightning.

 

Overhead T&D

Outage Management Review: When the Lights Go Out

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The occurrence of severe weather events is on the rise at an alarming rate. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, extreme weather events that used to happen once every 40 years now occur as frequently as every six years in some regions; severe weather is expected to become even more frequent over the next four decades due to the effects of climate change. Read more

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