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From Substation Faults to Animal Interference: Understanding Power Outages

Different types of animals find electrical wiring attractive for their daily activities. Small animals, like snakes, are drawn to the heat and shelter generated by transformers. Others use it as a highway to move around and avoid ground predators. Due to their height and protection, some b irds consider them a good place to build nests. Curious animals like squirrels and raccoons see them as an invitation to explore. For these reasons, power outages caused by animal interference are common.

Last month in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, USA, there were three power outages in one month. The latest incident was caused by a turkey vulture landing on a metal breaker, which opened a circuit breaker at the North Lebanon substation. This incident affected nearly 4,700 Met-Ed customers for several hours and led to another outage a week later.

Turkey Volture
Turkey Volture

Can Power Outages Caused by Animal Interference Be Prevented?

Accidents caused by animals are unpredictable, making electric companies difficult to prevent entirely. When they happen, it takes time to restore the power line to full operation. Electric companies do a great job responding as quickly as possible, but it takes an invaluable amount of time because the extent of the damage caused by the animal is unknown until the site is assessed.

Thanks to measures taken, like the animal outage protective covers, to prevent power outages due to animal interference, many electric companies have managed to reduce outages significantly. To prevent these interferences, measures must be estimated after evaluating the power line and determining what steps can be taken to use animal outage protective covers. The history of interruptions, geography and environment, climate patterns, design, and materials used are some of the things evaluated. Importantly, the well-being of local wildlife is also considered.

Can Prevention Measures for Animal-Related Power Outages Be Environmentally Responsible?

Yes, yes, and yes. Respect for wildlife is a priority, and measures should be implemented with care and consideration. By using non-invasive devices, such as the animal outage protective covers, providing nesting alternatives, and employing advanced monitoring technologies, it is possible to protect both the electrical infrastructure and the area's biodiversity. The balance between preventing power outages and protecting local wildlife is achievable.

At MidsunIKM, we are committed to animal protection. Our team's experience and dedication allow us to offer solutions that increase the reliability of the power supply while being environmentally collaborative. To learn more about how we can help reduce the risk of animal-related power outages, please contact us here.


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