How Electric Power Grid Systems Work

power lines and transformers delivering electricity across a vast distance

An electrical grid is a sophisticated yet fascinating and essential system in our daily lives. The electric grid connects and distributes power to many towns and cities miles away from one another. Many things happen behind the scenes to bring forth the electricity in people's homes, businesses, and companies, yet many people don’t usually think much about the electrical grid until a power outage occurs. The electrical grid consists of various parts and systems and keeping these systems functioning properly is important to our everyday lives.

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How to Remove Squirrels from Your House

squirrel on roof of house

Squirrels look adorable when they're playing in your yard, but your attitude will likely change if they find their way inside your home. Not only do squirrels inside your house make you and your household pets crazy, but they can also cause substantial damage to your home. In Indiana, a newly built community center dealt with $300,000 worth of squirrel damage.

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Copper Wiring in Substations and Why It’s Stolen

copper wire used in power line

When it comes to wiring substations, there are two choices of wire: copper and aluminum. Copper wiring is the preferred choice to use in substations as it’s not only an excellent conductor, copper wires are also easier to work with, seldom require repairs, and are very versatile. The biggest problem with copper wiring, however, is that it's frequently stolen.

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Overarching Cyber Security Threats

squirrel running across power line in Missouri

In the 21st century, we depend on technology and electricity every day. Breaches in cyber security, along with damage to power lines and other forms of technology, can cause significant disruptions to our lives. Traditional security measures paired with Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard can help protect against threats from both hackers and wild animals.

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The Best Way to Protect Automated Power Systems

automated substation providing power

Automated power systems are a powerful and increasingly prevalent way to control and manage important power services. These systems are vital to keeping electricity flowing throughout homes and businesses. Any damage done to them could be harmful to day to day life and cost a lot of money for repairs in the process. Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard can help protect these systems and prevent outages in your area.

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Safety Tips to Remember When Using a Power Generator

portable power generator providing electricity

For those who live in more rural areas, you probably have your fair share of problems that aren't too common in a city. One such problem being less reliable power. Often times during a power outage, people who live out of town or in the country are less of a priority when it comes to getting their power restored and when that happens, having a backup generator can be necessary. Power outages can happen from bad weather or damage caused by wild animals. Though protecting your home from power outages due to weather can be difficult, Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard can help protect your home's power from damage caused by squirrels or other critters.

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Creating Usable Electricity from Sustainable Energy

field of solar panels generating electricity

In order to ensure that using electricity will continue to be possible, it is important to explore forms of electricity created by renewable resources. Sustainable energy from the sun, wind, and other natural sources produce power and protect the earth by producing significantly less air pollution than fossil fuel. With electricity being produced, no matter what form, delivering that power to people and companies across the world is important. Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard help protect against outages caused by wild animals.

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Smart Grids: An Effort to Deliver Reliable Power

smart grid power lines running across the country

The smart grid is the future hope of delivering energy to consumers. It holds the potential for two-way communication, monitoring and analysis with features that include automatic adjustments, and the optimization of power delivery with minimal outages, shorter recovery times and the ability to reroute power to where it is needed most. With the help of Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard, outages would be few and far between.

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The Low Down on Different Types of Utility Poles

wood utility pole

When it comes to utility poles, there are three different types utility companies choose from: composite, steel, and wood poles. Each material comes with pros and cons of their own. No matter what type of poles are used near your home or business, Critter Guard’s Pole Guard can help protect your pole from damage caused by squirrels or other critters.

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Protecting Snakes from Electrical Lines

brown snake slithering on deck

Power lines can be extremely dangerous to snakes and other critters. At Critter Guard, we care about protecting snakes from electrical lines and our Line Guard and Pole Guard systems are simple ways to discourage snakes from crawling onto your utility poles and power lines.

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Trees, Squirrels, and the Biggest Blackout in U.S. History

a critter running across a power line between trees

Can one small glitch in the U.S. power grid create a domino effect causing cascading darkness throughout the country? The 2003 Northeast Blackout, the largest power failure in U.S. history, almost did--affecting 50 million people for two days, costing $6 billion and six deaths.

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How Substation Automation Works

pole guard protecting substation powered by IEDs

Power System Automation

Power system automation is the act of using computers and intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) to generate and deliver power. The automated system inside the substation receives various forms of input and uses those to monitor and control the power delivery system. Power system automation controls functioning and supervision responsibilities in the same way that an operator would.

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How Power Outages are Measured

power outage in city caused by animal

One animal's misfortune can affect an entire community's ability to function. Because of this, it is important to implement safeguards against such accidents from ever happening. This is where Critter Guard comes through to not only protect consumers from inconvenient power outages that can affect their livelihood, but the critters as well.

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Creating and Maintaining Overhead Lines

maintained overhead power lines

Overhead power lines were created long ago, and we have seen multiple transformations of electrical lines since. Fast forward to 2019, and they've become higher in voltage and remain a low-cost solution for large masses of electrical energy. The conductors are the most commonly used source for overhead power lines, which should be protected from damage to retain a steady power source. The two most used metals for the conductors are aluminum and copper, with copper being the standard for electrical conductivity. A benefit of copper is that it is more conductive than aluminum, as aluminum is only about 61% as conductive as copper.

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Protecting Sloths from Power Lines

sloth hanging from tree

Sloths may be beautiful animals, but their instinctive need to climb and hang from branches can lead them to do so on power lines. Sloths and other animals that interact with power lines can easily be electrocuted and cause power outages in the process. Critter Guard's Line Guards and Pole Guards are designed to prevent sloths from accessing power lines.

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Curious Animals Can Damage Electric Systems

squirrel against green background

Proper maintenance is one of the most important keys to making sure the power doesn't go out during the next big storm. Regular utility inspections are required to make sure the lines and power poles haven't been damaged by time, weather, and critters such as squirrels, rodents, birds, and other animals.

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The Importance of Substation Design

view of substation

Preserving power for the individuals and communities dependent upon it is critical to life, health, and safety. An integral part of accomplishing this objective comes in the form of proper substation design and protection from squirrel and critter damage. Answering a series of questions allows us to identify how substation design affects those who depend upon it.

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What Are Transformer Ratings?

transformer delivering electricity

There are many factors that determine the lifespan of a transformer and its ability to efficiently deliver electricity to its customers. The quality of the product, as well as the standard of care given to the transformer, will both affect whether a transformer will produce expected results or if it will have to be replaced earlier than expected, leading to increased costs to the customer. Proper maintenance, compliance with transformer ratings, and protection from outside elements, including from squirrel and rodent damage, are all important parts of ensuring you get the maximum lifespan out of a transformer.

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Monitoring Electricity with Smart Meters

smart meter

Smart devices and the Internet of Things have been popular the past few years, but how does a smart meter differ from the older-style meters still in use in most places? A smart meter is a digital device without any moving parts that records electric energy consumption just like an older-style meter; however, it communicates monitoring and billing information directly to the electric utility company. Smart meters record energy consumption hourly, if not more frequently, and typically send daily reports that can be very helpful in locating the source of problems, such as a blown transformer or damaged components by critters. Additionally, smart meters allow two-way communication between the meter and the central utility company system. Collectively, the meter and system are referred to as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). The meter communicates either wirelessly or via a fixed-wire connection.

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Transmission Lines in Transmission Systems

power cables at sunset

Power companies must consider a lot to ensure the successful, consistent operation of an electrical grid, and transmission lines are just one part of that system. Power transmission lines are used for electricity to be transported from generation sources (such as wind or solar farms, coal, or natural gas power plants) to its destination (like your home or business). They must meet technical specifications that obey the laws of physics as well as deal with what nature throws at them, whether it be lightning strikes or critters bent on chewing through that wire. Various strategies can be implemented to minimize such risks to service continuity, but why are components, specifically transmission lines, so important?

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