Since 2008, power equipment provider Eaton has collated and released an annual report called the Eaton Blackout Tracker. This report compiles annual power outage causes and associated impacts in the United States. The report’s purpose is to provide greater awareness of the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid, the types of losses outages can cause, and the importance of managing risks associated with outages. The most-recent 2017 Blackout Tracker Report compiles data from more than 3,500 outages across all 50 states. This report is based on reported power outages from various news services, newspaper reports, websites and personal accounts. The 2017 report marks the 10th and final year that Eaton will provide this report. Here are the 5 main takeaways to pay attention to when reviewing this year’s report. Continue reading “5 Takeaways from Eaton’s 2017 Blackout Tracker Report” »
As a follow up to our Lighting inverter series, this article will focus on the components of a lighting inverter and how they may differ from a UPS. UPS systems are typically used for critical power applications where both power conditioning and uninterrupted power is required. They typically have shorter run time and rely on batteries to keep the system running in the event of an outage. While there are UPS systems that are UL924 approved, a UPS is typically used in non-lighting applications such as data centers, hospitals and other critical environments, keeping your servers, computers and other equipment operational in the event of a power outage. A lighting inverter is similar to a line-interactive UPS, where the unit passes utility power to support systems until there is an outage, then draws from batteries to provide power during the outage window.
When you think of power outages in this country, you generally think of weather related incidents and natural disasters – things like floods, fire, ice storms, heat waves and tornadoes.
It’s true, many power outages can be attributed to these events. However, believe it or not, many of the power outages that occur in the US are not the result of bad weather, but instead the result of squirrels and other small animals.
Yes, squirrels! And incidents seem to be on the rise. In fact, the number of incidents has significantly risen since we last touched on the squirrel issue in 2014. This squirrel problem is noteworthy enough that there is even a tongue-in-cheek website devoted to tracking power outages, or “cyber squirrel attacks” across the world: http://cybersquirrel1.com/ Even the Eaton Blackout Tracker lists animal related outages as causing 5% of all outages country-wide.
The recent headlines about power failures at prisons emphasized just how dependent high-security facilities are on emergency power. It’s why we follow these four best practices in facilities where safety depends on power for mission-critical systems. Continue reading “Four Ways to Lower Risk of Power Failure in High-Security Facilities” »