There are many things that can cause a power outage, wildlife is one of those. Animal intrusion into utility and industrial substations causes a significant number of outages that are highly preventable. In fact, this issue represents up to 20% of all power outages, which are avoidable if utilities and industrial customers implement effective protection measures.
Mice, squirrels, snakes or birds
Above-ground cables are putting animals at risk of electrocution, collision and loss of habitat. Animals like mice or rats, squirrels and snakes seek out substations for food and shelter.
Birds are the most common cause of animal faults on both transmission systems and air-insulated substations. It’s estimated that some 25% of juvenile and 6% of adult stork die annually from electrocutions and power line collisions. The risk of collision is highest with thin or low-hanging wires in sensitive areas, especially for large birds with limited maneuverability and those migrating at night or in large flocks.
5 Tips for Prevention:
Whether you have one piece of electrical equipment in a back closet or multiple substations to oversee, protecting electrical equipment and animals from suffering it’s easy following some simple tips to increase your electrical system’s reliability.
Tip 1: Clean up!
Keep the area clear of overgrowth vegetation and trash, those things can attract rodents looking for food and shelter. Remember that pests attract other pests!
Tip 2: Seal up!
Try to close all openings using materials that cannot be nibbled by mice or other rodents to seal up your equipment. Don’t underestimate the smaller holes, a mouse can enter an opening the width of your finger and insects can get into even smaller spaces. In that case, prevention never hurts and sealing conduit openings too can avoid pests move from one piece of equipment to another.
Tip 3: Insulate
This is key for preventing animal exposure to voltage; cover energized conductors to insulate them. You can use materials such as silicone boots and tape to wrap either outdoor and indoor equipment.
Tip 4: Perform Electrical Preventive Maintenance
Be on the lookout for droppings, nests, or other signs that your equipment is inhabited and support your maintenance basis by connecting the equipment to the cloud. Remote monitoring services allow you to keep track of your electrical distribution assets, so you can schedule your periodic inspections based on the regular analytical. The goal is to minimize breakdowns finding issues early and correcting them before it causes major damage.
Tip 5: Modernize your equipment.
Keep your electrical equipment upgrade, you have many options to do so without expense and hassle of replacing it. The fact of modernizing components improves power system reliability and lower life-cycle costs. Also, extends its useful life.