Critter Guard Blog

Read more and stay up-to-date about Critter Guard news, products, and tips!

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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How Drones Are Helping Power Utility Companies

quadcopter drone in flight

Keeping squirrels and rodents from damaging your power lines is a top priority for Critter Guard, but these pests are not the only thing to worry about when it comes to keeping the power on. Heavy rainfall, high-speed winds, and debris caused by major weather events can also wreak havoc on a power system. Maintaining the grid calls for regular inspection of potentially damaged equipment to ensure its continued integrity. In recent years, drones have become a safe and cost-effective way of inspecting the grid.

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Why Are Power Lines Overhead and Not Underground?

eletrical lines and pylon trusses at sunrise

Most people have probably stopped noticing overhead power lines a long time ago; they just feel part of the landscape now. But have you ever wondered why our power lines are up there in the first place? Sure, they're out of the way, but the same would be true if we put them in underground conduits, so why do we still send them skywards?

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What is Undergrounding?

underground utility line construction in middle of street

When you think of electric power lines, you probably envision overhead lines. Held up by utility poles, they're such a part of your life that you probably don't notice them until one goes down. However, while overhead lines get the job done, there areas of improvement to see our power delivered, not from above, but from below ground. This process of burying power lines is called undergrounding. While it is not the norm now, it is becoming more common.

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How Do Transmission Lines Work?

transmission lines strung between utility poles and electric pylon trusses

Transmission lines are a vital component in the modern electric system. But what are these lines? How do they work? And what measures help ensure they keep working? The Critter Guard team works with transmission lines every day, with intelligently-designed line- and pole-protecting systems to help prevent rodent damage to the lines, which can cause power outages. We know these lines are crucial and to not overlook them until it's too late.

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Pick the Right Surge Protector for Your Electronics

close-up of surge protector with computer outlet indicator

When everything is going right, all power is on, and no electric lines are tampered from meddling squirrels, electricity can flow and power your electrical devices. Your electronics are important to you, so protect them with a good surge protector. When it comes to buying a surge protector, here are some things you should know.

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Crucial Role and Protection of Substations

substation unit in daytime

Throughout the nation, local electric companies have substations positioned throughout their service areas. An electrical substation is a group of electrical equipment within an electrical network that safely delivers electricity to customers within a given area. Key components found in a substation include electrical power transformers, instrument transformers, busbars, and other components. These key components are essential for maintaining and delivering electricity to customers linked to the substation. They are easily damaged though, especially from clawing, chewing squirrels, so it is important to protect them and keep critters at bay.

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Adopting a Smart Grid

cityscape at night with network node connection graphics in sky

The demand for clean energy is increasing every day as the appetite for electricity from various households and establishments swells. Replacing the conventional electrical grid with a smart grid is critical towards the long-term provision of clean energy, for the latter allows automatic devices, consumers, and operators to monitor consumption in real-time and better understand their need for energy.

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Fiber Optics: Technology Worth Protecting

lit up fiber strands of fiber optic cable

Fiber optics is one of the newer technologies in Internet and communication services. The installation and use of fiber for a homeowner's Internet service have been touted and the source of envy for those that don't yet have the option. They're an investment that should be protected, but what is the fuss about?

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