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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What to Do with Substation Fires

electrical power substation

Substation fires can be among the most intimidating destructive forces, and there are a number of ways they can get started, depending on the equipment used. The fires are commonly caused by hazards such as a mechanical failure combined with a combustible source, water getting into the system, or even an insulation failure. Many times, squirrels, rodents, raccoons, and other critters are culprits in damage, when they climb into substation plants via unprotected electrical lines and utility poles. These fires are exceptionally dangerous because of their potential for explosions, due in part to leaking oil that causes hazardous smoke. There can also be loose wires that aren't insulated, which could cause shock or electrocution. So, what actions should someone take should they encounter a substation fire?

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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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