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Heat Waves Threaten Outages – How Control Centers Respond

Stifling heat waves have rolled across the US several times this summer, with still more expected to come.

Temperature fluctuations – and especially extreme heat– can cause a  number of potentially serious problems. Monitoring weather conditions including heat waves, storms, and other extremes can prove important to many different industries. Energy and utilities are especially affected by severe summer weather.

In addition to posing a health risk to the community, severe heat can cause disruptions to the power grid, resulting in blackouts and brownouts.

The risks that come with outages during heat waves can be serious. Power outages alongside high-heat conditions can pose a serious threat to health. When summer heat is at its peak, it is vital that cooling systems remain operable so people can remain safe.

To protect communities during a heat wave, the integrity of the grid is very important. High-heat conditions don’t just threaten health; they can also be debilitating to the physical infrastructure of power grids. Temperatures can be taxing on transmission lines, which 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 like electricity, natural gas, and heating oil. During the summer months, however, the electrical grid shoulders much of the cooling load.

To keep blackouts from becoming a cascading event, the plan for grid management needs to feature constant monitoring and several levels of redundancy. At all times but especially during the hot summer months, system operators must be constantly prepared to deal with an emergency.

Effective design for control rooms dealing with heat waves

From electrical control rooms to emergency operations centers, round-the clock monitoring and built-in redundancies ensure that critical services continue to run even through worst-case circumstances. The design and operation of these spaces is pivotal to responding to any complications caused by severe heat waves.

The design of a control room should contribute to efficient operations. Control room operators need to gather and share critical information, coordinate response, and manage personnel with little room for error.

In the event of a heatwave, public safety can depend on control rooms running at their peak. A video wall allows staff to display a variety of data so teams can quickly aggregate, analyze, and share information to make real-time decisions. The technology chosen for such a task needs to be reliable and installed with redundancies in place to prevent information loss in the case of an outage. Because of a control room’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 furniture solutions used in your control room 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 a critical incident 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 mission critical control room solutions. From ergonomic operations center furniture and spatial design to video wall integration, 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.

To make sure your control room is ready for round-the-clock use in the face of heat waves, contact us today for a free design and budget consultation.

 

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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 and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around in the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.