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Summer Heat Waves and the Grid

Constant Technologies

Much of the country faced crippling heat waves this summer, with record-high temperatures in July. Despite the extreme heat, much of the electric grid across the U.S. remained up even while demand skyrocketed.

Even when power outages are not caused by the heat, however, having no electricity makes for added complications. High-heat conditions can pose a significant threat to health; it’s important that cooling systems remain operable when summer is at its peak. This summer alone, power outages were reported across the country in major areas like Long Island, NY and Philadelphia. The heat and lack of electricity meant that 300 residents of a senior center in Philadelphia had to be evacuated this July.

To prevent the serious risks that can come with outages in during heat waves, the integrity and health 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 such as electricity, natural gas, and heating oil. In the summer, however, much of the cooling load is shouldered solely by the electrical grid.

Because of the unique stresses placed upon the grid in the summer months, there are systems in place to prevent it from going down during extreme temperatures.

To keep a simple, manageable blackout from becoming a cascading event, constant monitoring and several levels of redundancy should be built in to 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 that will require. It is also important to prepare backups and contingency plans in case of unexpected incidents.

For electrical control rooms as well as other mission critical environments like NOCs and Security Ops centers, round-the-clock monitoring and layers of redundancies ensure that critical operations continue to run even under worst-case circumstances. The design and operation of these spaces is pivotal to proper functioning.

To learn how Constant creates operations center AV systems with fail safe backups and designs furniture and layout to enable collaboration, 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 of experience, we can work with sensitive environments in the public and private sectors. Constant designs and installs projects of all scopes and sizes around the world. We also offer long-term service and support. We create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.