Pittsburgh Areas Experience Short Power Interruption

June 25, 2015

By Casey Houser - Contributing Writer

Many businesses and consumers were without power for a short period this week in the Pittsburgh downtown, North Side, and Manchester regions of the city.

Duquesne Light, the utility company responsible for those sections of the city, experienced a breaker failure at its Brunots Island substation which is located on the Ohio River. This, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, resulted in a drop in power that affected approximately 1,000 people and could have caused those individuals to be without electric for as long as 15 minutes.

Ashlee Yingling, the spokeswoman for Duquesne Light, said the 15-minute figure was likely a worst-case scenario in this outage because multiple substations were available to pick up the slack. Brunots Island is not the only substation to deliver power to those areas, so they are available to continue to feed electricity and reportedly worked properly in Tuesday's incident.

Short drops in power are not always a huge concern for consumers. However, businesses in charge of saving lives such as hospitals like Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh must have systems in place for dealing with even the most brief outages. In this case, Allegheny General spokesman Dan Laurent reported that its backup generators acted as they were designed.

“The backup system worked exactly how it should and operations were not impacted,” he told the Post-Gazette.

Minuteman Power Technologies is among those companies that construct such generators. At around this time last year, TMC (News - Alert) reported on the launch of the Para Systems EnTerra 3-Phase Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) which is part of the Minuteman line of products. This just one in a number of products that Minuteman produces which can help all types of companies deal with a sudden loss of power.

Businesses such as hospitals, financial institutions, grocers and others could all find use for these sorts of products. Indeed, IT departments of any large corporation may find them necessary to save computer systems from failure. In the case of the EnTerra UPS, critical systems can gain up to 37 minutes of additional power. Other systems built for specific industries such as education, telecom, or security can work for similar or longer periods depending on the type of application.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson