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Category Archives: Infrastructure & Technologies

Infrastructure & Technologies

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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Infrastructure & Technologies

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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Infrastructure & Technologies

Electrical Connectors for Overhead Lines

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Utility distribution systems utilize a variety of connectors to join and attach overhead conductors. These components are simple and relatively inexpensive; however, due to their critical function and the large number of components utilized in the electrical system, they deserve some consideration from the maintenance perspective. Read more

Infrastructure & Technologies

Utility Pole Showdown: Wood vs. Steel

IMG_4392 - Linemen in Bucket

A recent study that takes an in-depth look at the environmental performance of wood and steel utility poles challenges current perceptions on the sustainability advantages of wood poles when compared with steel poles. Read more

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