Monday, July 26, 2010

Blame the Squirrel, not the Doves

This is a stock photo, not the actual perpetrator.

Not too long ago, a raccoon wreaked havoc in the Medical District. On Friday, it was a squirrel that caused a stir, this time downtown. (There were reports of several dead doves, possibly pigeons, in the area, but they were either victims of the squirrel's shenanigans or their own at an earlier date.)

Memphis has been the victim of two unusual events in as many months.

Friday's outage was caused by a flash over, or an unintended electric arc, like a bolt of lightning that jumps past an insulator. This is made possible through a temporary "bridge" such as an animal, in this case, a squirrel. Rarely does it cause a long outage. Usually it is just a millisecond flicker. If the equipment monitoring system sees a long event - say two eye blinks - it opens special high speed switches to separate the problem area from the rest of the system.

Last Friday was an odd event that we don't have often. A squirrel bridged some bus insulators, which are nonconducting standoffs that keep the high voltage from jumping like a lighting bolt through the air. (We must have a thousand of these in our system.) It was repaired quickly, but SUB 3 is a network station with underground transmission and it takes a little longer to get the power flowing again.

Read more about our animal mitigation efforts here.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...