When It Comes to Power Protection - the Birds Don't Have It

April 06, 2016

By Susan J. Campbell - Power Protection Contributing Editor

Scrolling through Facebook (News - Alert) the other day, I came upon a story about a woman who had lived off the grid for the past 30 years. She not only had no connection to the outer world in terms of technology, she also lived without access to power, telecommunications or even a car. She truly lived off the grid and considered it a source of her lifelong happiness.

I can’t say that I would find happiness without power. The idea that I can’t do something I plan to do within a certain period of time generally incites frustration and not peacefulness. I am the type of person for whom power protection was created – to ensure I can keep working even when the power access isn’t 100 percent reliable. And one thing we know for sure – even the smallest of things can throw off our access to power.

Case in point, a recent piece in the Telluride Daily Planet highlighted how a tiny bird was able to short out a large system. The irony of the story is that a month earlier, an 800-pound boulder is what it took to knock out the power. Even worse – that outage was easier and more quickly resolved than the recent problem created by the small foul.

According to the report, the small bird flew into the system at the Telluride substation on Tuesday morning, March 29. This activity triggered a power outage that began at 7:50 a.m. and lasted almost 90 minutes. Information from the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office shows that the outage affected Telluride, parts of the Mountain Village and the Ski Ranches. The biggest challenge here – no one really knows how the bird got into the substation in order to prevent the problem again in the future.

Alex Shelley, communications executive at San Miguel Power Association, shared with the Telluride Daily Planet, “It just seems like nature finds a way. We have avian protection all over those facilities, so we were looking at it and trying to figure out how a bird got in there.” Shelley went on to say that wire structures are in place to prevent birds from landing on the electrical wires, which are also covered with rubber coating to protect the system and birds. As is true in power protection, however, no solution is 100 percent foolproof.

This story is just another in the long line of situations where access to power can become interrupted. That’s why it’s important to have uninterruptible power supply solutions, ensuring you can keep going no matter what the birds are up to. And while this bird didn’t make it, you can put power protection in place to be sure your work does.