Grid Temperature Monitoring
The impacts of extreme temperatures on grid components can range from financial losses, increased emissions and customer dissatisfaction to wildfires, extended outages and other damaged assets. These impacts are preventable with accurate insights.
The Utility Problem
With the ever-increasing presence of climate change, extreme weather events featuring extreme temperatures are occurring more frequently. In addition, with the increasing occurrence of wildfires over recent years, grid assets can experience much higher temperatures. Grid assets will often have operating temperature ranges in which they will operate most efficiently and safely. Suppose the temperature reaches certain thresholds (different for different grid assets). In that case, it could result in the following: operating inefficiently, causing an outage, causing a wildfire or causing damage to other grid assets.
Mechanical and electrical components are designed to operate within certain conditions, and when these conditions are not met, the components will operate at much lower efficiencies. This not only causes reductions in profits for the utility but also results in more emissions as more energy needs to be produced to meet consumption demands. There are multiple potential impacts if a grid asset breaks, such as causing an outage which will cause losses for the utility and reduce customer satisfaction. If the temperature is extreme enough, this can cause the grid asset to fail. Additionally, failure could result in damage to another grid asset which would again cause losses or cause a wildfire by a spark, etc.
Overall, the impacts of extreme temperatures on grid components can range from financial losses, increased emissions and customer dissatisfaction to wildfires, extended outages and other damaged assets. With this in mind, grid temperature monitoring should be a priority for utilities as extreme weather events and wildfires become more common. It is important to note that many utilities are installing more and more temperature-measuring IoT sensors, which has given some awareness of the grid, but a more in-depth analysis could prove very beneficial.
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