colorful map indicating heat wave

Heat Waves and the Need for Weather Monitoring

It’s all over the headlines: record temperatures expected. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, all 48 contiguous states experienced above-normal temperatures during the first half of 2020. Experts expect this trend to continue, especially as we enter into the hottest parts of the year.

All over the world, heat waves are starting to set in: San Antonio, TX expects triple digit temperatures through the beginning of this month. Western Europe has just experienced a heatwave that broke records in Spain and saw the third hottest day in UK history.

With temperature fluctuations come a number of potentially serious risks. Monitoring the weather, including storms, heat waves, and other extremes, is important to many different industries. From energy and utilities to aircraft operations to insurance, severe weather affects communities and industries alike.

Heat waves and the grid

Severe heat in particular can cause disruptions to the grid through blackouts and brownouts as well as pose a health risk to the community. Even when power outages are not caused by the heat, lack of electricity alongside the heat can cause serious complications. High-heat conditions can pose a significant threat to health. It’s vital that cooling systems remain operable when summer is at its peak in order for people to remain safe.

To prevent the serious risks that can come with outages during heat waves, the integrity of the grid is very important.  Not only do high-heat conditions threaten health and well-being; they can also be debilitating to the power grids themselves, increasing the chance of outages.  High temperatures are taxing on transmission lines, which can swell with heat. In addition, the electrical grid bears more of the burden during summer. In winter, the load for supplying heat is distributed among a few sources. These include electricity, natural gas, and heating oil. During the summer months, however, the electrical grid shoulders much of the cooling load.

In order to keep blackouts from becoming cascading events, constant monitoring and several levels of redundancy should  feature in the plan for grid management. System operators must constantly be ready for an emergency, particularly in the hot summer months. The foundation of all reliable operations, whether for the grid or another mission critical function, is planning. In the instance of power grids, planning involves estimating the demand for electricity and the resources required. It is also important to prepare backups and contingency plans in case of unexpected incidents.

Operations center design for effective monitoring of severe weather conditions

For electrical control rooms and emergency operations centers as well as other mission critical environments, round-the-clock monitoring and redundancies ensure that critical operations continue to run even under worst-case circumstances. The design and operation of these spaces is pivotal to tracking and responding to severe weather.

Operations center design should help, not hinder, operations to allow for quick and efficient coordination and response. These spaces serve as the central hub of incident preparation and response. Operators must be able to gather and share critical information, coordinate response initiatives, and manage personnel across various departments. The operations center design should not distract from the vital roles performed in the space; rather it should make those roles easier to perform.

Public safety in the event of a heatwave can depend on a mission critical center running at peak efficiency. Staff must be able to display a variety of data on the command center video wall so that information can quickly be aggregated, analyzed, and shared to make real-time decisions. The technology must be impeccably reliable with redundancies in place to prevent information loss in the case of a power outage. Because of an operation center’s mission critical tasks, it is important to work with an integrator that can recommend the most reliable products so your technology weathers through the toughest conditions.

The operations center furniture solutions used in your mission critical installation can also contribute to efficiency. Space design and furniture arrangements should facilitate coordination between operators and allow a clear view to the data display wall for every person in the room. Additionally, the shifts during an emergency can be long and grueling. Furniture and video wall positions should be determined with ergonomics in mind so that operators can work without the added distraction of avoidable discomfort.

Constant Technologies is an ideal partner to provide you with these mission critical solutions. From ergonomic operations center furniture to video wall integration to spatial design, our expert team has years of experience optimizing these spaces for 24/7 use. Our project managers work with you from the initial concept all the way through the completion of the project. Whether you need furniture solutions, video wall installation, or both, our experience is unmatched. Most importantly, we always strive to go above and beyond to provide the best operations center for our clients.

To make sure your operations center is ready for round-the-clock use as severe weather conditions ramp up, contact us today.

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About Constant:

Constant Technologies, Inc. provides AV integration for 24/7 video walls and custom operation center furniture. With 30+years experience we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs, installs and services projects of all scopes and sizes around the world. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.