Duke Energy Installing Self-Healing Power Lines in Florida

August 02, 2019

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

If Duke Energy (News - Alert) has its way, its utility customers in Florida won’t have to worry about power outages soon.  It’s been installing new technology on its power system that effectively creates self-healing lines and hopes to have 80% of its customers in the state covered within 10 years.

The company explains it by comparing the technology to a car GPS system, which automatically adjusts routes to avoid traffic delays.  Similarly, power is rerouted around damaged equipment and downed lined to reduce the impact on customers.  Some 200,000 customers benefitted from the new tech last year, which covers about a third of its Florida customers.

According to the company, when an outage occurs, power may flash or may be out for a few seconds while the rerouting takes place.  

Of course, this doesn’t mean the end of power outages, since they will still impact those customers closest to damage where rerouting isn’t possible.  Its impact can also be limited by bigger outage situations, such as storms, where there may be several or many points of disruption, or when power is out at a major distribution point or substation.  

But, for many situations, this can be a tremendous help, ensuring heating and cooling, medical equipment, and other critical powered equipment continues to function properly.  Businesses and consumers, alike, will undoubtedly enjoy not having to deal with as many outages that disrupt their daily activities and workflows.

What it doesn’t do, though, it eliminate risk of electrical damage at the moment of an outage or from power fluctuations, which can happen at any time.  These can send higher than normal voltage into equipment, including business systems, damaging them and taking them offline until repairs can be made.  Anyone who has experienced this kind of outage knows well the disruption it can cause businesses.

But, there’s already a solution for that, as well.  Power protection systems are specifically designed to eliminate power fluctuations in incoming current that can fry circuits.  Before power is distributed to technology within a business, it is regulated to ensure only approved voltage is delivered.  For any business that relies on its technology – and that’s pretty much every business today – a power protection system is a must. 

Edited by Erik Linask

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