High Temperatures Spark Power Concerns

June 23, 2017

By Andrew Bindelglass - Contributing Writer

It’s only June (and officially only a few days since the start of summer), but this year’s summer is shaping up to be a record breaking one. Temperatures in the American South West climbed into the 120s last week, and a similar heat wave was recorded across the San Francisco Bay Area. Temperatures were so hot that the National Weather Service was required to issue an official heat warning on a number of days. Trains were forced to run at reduced speeds and frequency, and many planes were grounded, unable to fly altogether. Several people tragically lost their lives due to overheating.

Another place where the impact of this extreme heat can be felt is in the electric grid. First of all, heat requires nearly all electrical applications to pull more power from the grid, because they need that power to keep themselves from overheating and melting down. In addition, more electrical applications tend to be in use during periods of higher temperatures because people often turn to appliances to cool themselves down. Fans, refrigerators, freezers, and air-conditioning units all tend to get more use during periods of extreme heat, and all of them pull relatively large amounts of power from the grid.

All of this need for power can put the electrical grid under tremendous strain, which is only multiplied by the fact that it too is working in extreme heat. For this reason, heat like this can all too easily lead to unexpected power outages. These outages, and the surges associated with them, can corrupt and delete data that is being transmitted and can destroy hardware from the inside out.

Businesses should use this extreme heat wave as an opportunity to examine their power protection and UPS systems. Do they even have one? These systems can help mitigate the risk associated with these sudden power outages by protecting against surges and allowing devices to run on limited power for a short amount of time (enough time and power to shut down safely after an outage). As this extreme weather continues, businesses should look long and hard at implementing one of these systems for themselves.

Edited by Alicia Young

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