With the summer heat, everyone is using their A/C's and causing power outages in NYC. Are these outages happening at a local level, like a small substation, or is it possible to see something more catastrophic? I live outside of Pittsburgh, and from what I understand, we have plenty of power to go around because they built plants for the electric furnaces for the steel mills, but by the time they were built, the steel mills left. My main question is can we expect a huge power outage like the one that hit New York and other states a few years ago, or maybe just a few substations going down? -Josh
Josh: From New Jersey (papers & discussion w/utility):
Montclair (Suburban Town); 'Downtown Business Area, underground dist., overloaded feeders, manhole fires, failures. Estimated re-power was approx. a2-a8 hrs for all affected. Same areas got hit with violent t'storms, approx 1 week ago; extensive tree damage, lines down, etc.
Area I live in (Brick) has been holding steady, to which I say Thanks.
Staten Island NY had severe problems last few days, along with Queens, NY again. Our utility sent numerous crews to help out.
We must have a lineman on the forum that has details.
Re: Any info on Power Outages#68316 08/03/0607:32 PM08/03/0607:32 PM
Apparently, in my neigborhood the POCO has updated a transformer that used to blow on the hottest day of the year, every year. We just had the hottest day of the year 3 DAYS IN A ROW and no blackouts here. But NJ has had a few.
Re: Any info on Power Outages#68317 08/03/0607:50 PM08/03/0607:50 PM
IMO it could be intentional voltage reductions or rolling blackouts, overloads or weather (as in lines falling on trees). To date this summer, any outages experienced in rural MidWesten Ontario have been due to the effects of wind/lightning storms.
Re: Any info on Power Outages#68318 08/03/0610:07 PM08/03/0610:07 PM
In NYC, the POCO is purposefully reducing voltage by 8% in some cases, to reduce power consumption (lots of resistive loads).
Bob, You have me hanging on your last word, I'm excited. What could Gore have possibly said regarding this problem. I realize he said "I took the initiative in creating the Internet.", but can he reduce power distribution outages by inventing something ..... like wireless power distribution or something?
Re: Any info on Power Outages#68321 08/04/0602:02 PM08/04/0602:02 PM
Let's face it... POCO's play fast and loose with the rules. We have to follow code, but the POCO's do anything they want.
Perfect recent in the case of the "utility in question" example: POCO comes out to reset a CB on a pole XFMR that keeps tripping. The XFMR feeds two commercial buildings. Solution? Simply replace the 150KVA with a 225KVA! Of course, none of the feeders are upsized, so what happens? A nice manhole explosion and the building loses power.
The reason the CB kept tripping was the insulation rotted away in the manhole, resulting in an intermittent fault. But the 500 MCM cable (parallel feed) was no longer a match for that 225 KVA XFMR, so when the fault occurred, instead of trip they got boom.
Residential is even worse. 60-100A service upgrades to 200A are almost always done without upgrading feeders. You feel kind of stupid connecting a big fat 3/0 to a puny #2, but that's what done.
Heck in my house, I got a 2/0 copper feeder coming into a J-box, which feeds 2 of my neighbors via #4 or #2 (I forget which now, it's sealed) aluminum, which in turn feeds their neighbors with #4 or #2 as well. I'd hate to be the ones on the end of the line. So here I got a 3/0 copper connected to a #4 or #2 aluminum from the POCO and all is good in their book.
Now I realize that services often do not reach their maximum potential load, but the POCO should size their equipment to deal with such load. Anything less is what leads to the problems we're been seeing. A good place to start would be to force the POCO to follow the NEC just like the rest of us have to.
Re: Any info on Power Outages#68322 08/04/0605:01 PM08/04/0605:01 PM