Why Are There More Power Outages In The Summer?
When does the power shut down the most? When the temperatures begin to rise.
Why? It’s quite simple.
When temperatures and humidity begin to rise, we turn on our air conditioners in droves. Air conditioners require a lot of power to operate, and that power supply is only generated at a few places around the country.
Transmission lines carry power from these few power points to all different destinations. These transmission lines are just wires, and wires have limited capacity. When these wires heat up, their capacity goes down. Which means as temperatures rise, their capabilities decrease.
Add in the fact as these wires operate, their natural tendency is to heat up with use.
With heat, the metal conductor in the line expands, causing it to droop. If the line falls too much, it comes closer to the ground, in some cases making connection with the foliage, resulting in a short circuit that snaps the power to that line off.
With a line now out of service, it means other lines in the area must pull more of the weight.
Not only is the line operating at heavier capacity because of more energy use, but more power is also demanded through the wire because others in the area have shut down.
All of this adds up to potential problems for the entire system.
And it’s not just lost power, it’s also a loss of magnetic or reactive power that has the potential to bring down the system too. Reactive power is designed to keep our voltage stable at predesigned levels. With this increases in power demand, and the changes in the system due to heat, the amount of reactive power falls as well. When voltage decreases below the designed levels, you’ll start to see your lights dim in your offices and homes. Even if you can’t see it, your appliances feel it. These spikes cause wear and tear on the motors and shorten their life spans.
What can we do?
Luckily, the Smart Grid is a national effort to modernize our electrical grid system, to make it more reliable and more efficient in the process. These controls are constantly being upgraded with new technology and new resources to ensure we have the most up to date power system possible.
You can also invest in a whole house surge protection system to ensure every appliance in your home has a buffer between the power supply and the appliance, to reduce the chance for spikes that will shorten the lifespan or potentially destroy it altogether.
Call R.S. Andrews for Atlanta Electrical Service
Do you want to install a whole house surge protection system in Atlanta? Call R.S. Andrews!