Electric utility systems are more likely to witness disruption during storm season. This situation occurs mainly due to a combination of high winds and heavy rain. America’s aging grid also contributes to an unreliable power supply. Storm-related outages adversely affect businesses though lost orders, damage to equipment and inventory, and low productivity during downtimes.
6 Ways to Shield Your Home and Business from an Inconsistent Electric Supply
Storm-related outages are estimated to cost the economy tens of billions of dollars annually. The following measures can help you reduce or avert losses:
1. Invest in UPS Systems
If you’re in an area that’s prone to thunderstorms, a lightning strike might cause a potentially costly power surge. UPSs protect sensitive hardware such as servers, data switches, and telecommunications equipment from damage. Through power line conditioning, they adjust electric output so that it remains consistent even when there’s either a spike or lag.
Other than electronic hardware, UPSs also protect the sensitive data they hold. Depending on their capacity, they can keep your systems running hours into an outage. Their software also allows a gradual shutdown of connected devices.
To avoid unexpected losses, connect your most delicate equipment to UPS systems with sufficient battery backup. APC and Tripp Lite are two of the most dependable power backup manufacturers in the market.
2. Tree Trimming Around Power Lines
Falling branches and trees are a primary cause of storm-related power outages. To avoid damage to power transmission lines, it’s advisable to trim overgrown vegetation around them. This is a sensitive job that requires specialized tools and lots of experience. Power utilities have trained staff or contractors for this specific task.
If you notice potentially disruptive vegetation around your neighborhood, inform local authorities or your power provider. If the trees are inside your property, hire a tree service firm with the relevant trimming expertise.
3. Install A Backup Generator
Apart from being a reliable source of backup power, generators have other benefits. They have relatively affordable upfront costs and are widely available, which makes it easy to buy, install, and maintain. This convenience makes generators the essential source of alternative power supply during brownouts, blackouts, and other electric faults.
Propane, gasoline, and diesel are the main types of fuel that are converted into electric power. Depending on your needs, you can choose from three options:
- Portable generator: These use combustion engines to power limited equipment. Their biggest advantage is the ability to use them in remote sites.
- Inverter generator: It produces electricity in three phases. The first is AC output, which it converts to DC, after which it inverts to AC. Inverter generators maintain a constant flow of current to ensure reliability during use.
- Standby generator: These generators are permanently stationed around your home or business premises. Other than power loss sensors, they have an automatic transfer switch that ensures outages don’t last longer than 10 seconds. If used in conjunction with UPS devices, you’ll never experience data loss, network failure, and other associated problems.
4. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems
This solution is also known as cogeneration. It captures the heat created during standard electricity generation and uses it for cooling, heating, and steam generation. It significantly improves efficiency, especially in facilities that have huge thermal loads and require massive cooling such as data centers. Cogeneration results in long-term cost savings due to improved fuel efficiency. CHP systems are also more reliable than diesel generators.
5. Consider Fuel Cell Technology
Rather than combustion, fuel cells generate electricity through electrochemical reactions. Hydrogen is the main fuel used. Their scalable nature provides power in various situations, ranging from small devices to entire facilities. You can stack more fuel cells as your power needs rise.
Other than electricity, heat and water are the only other byproducts, which makes them an environmentally friendly option.
Compared to other backup systems such as generators, fuel cells are cleaner, quieter, and require lower maintenance. They last longer and are more stable than batteries. They also have higher operating efficiencies, wider temperature range, and minimal moving parts.
6. Use Predictive Analytics
Big Data can help you avoid storm-related outages in various ways. AI accurately analyzes factors such as vegetation density, outage history, weather patterns, and infrastructure age. This intelligent scrutiny allows you to predict the next storm and create a practical disaster response plan.
Other than reducing the length and impact of outages, data analytics can prevent outages entirely. For example, a utility company can clear an area with dense vegetation or update old infrastructure. When a storm occurs, it reduces the chances of falling trees damaging transmission lines or power equipment failing.
Hummingbird Networks offers a wide array of products and services to prevent power disruption or complete outages. Apart from sale and installation, we also provide warranties, maintenance, and consultation on how to improve fuel efficiency. Our expertise and experience in the IT industry are vital to helping you create reliable power management strategies. Please contact us today for more details.