Why Undergrounding Power Lines Makes Them More Vulnerable to Flood Damage
“Why is undergrounding power lines not recommended for flood-prone areas?”
Undergrounding power lines is a recommended course of action to build resilience against forest fires, storms, and heavy winds. However, this also makes them more prone to flood damage, as they will become submerged in water in the event of one. This is Why Undergrounding Transmission Lines Makes Them More Vulnerable to Flood Damage.
Why Microgrids Would Be Great for Flood Resilience
“Why would microgrids be helpful to protect against floods?”
With the advent of climate change, ocean levels are rising and storms are becoming more powerful. This will make floods occur more frequently, causing continued devastation to critical infrastructure such as the grid. In order to continue to live in this new world, communities will need to adapt their infrastructure around this new reality. One way to accomplish this is to implement microgrids. When the main power system shuts down, batteries and distributed energy resources can ensure that electricity stays running. This is Why Microgrids Would Be Great for Flood Resilience.
How LiDAR Can Be Used for Risk Assessment of Plant Overgrowth near Power lines
“How can we use LiDAR to prevent utility line failure from plant overgrowth?”
When there is too much foliage near a power line, the potential for fire can vastly increase. This means that utility companies will need to continuously monitor their transmission assets to build resilience. This can be extremely expensive to carry out and may not be within the reach of many company’s portfolios. However, what if we could use newer technology to solve this problem? Well, LiDAR has the ability to measure distances between objects and record them into real-time data. And we also know that drones can be used for autonomous scouting operations for a low financial overhead. So what if we were to hook up LiDAR to a drone and use it to monitor a transmission line trail? Well, this is How LiDAR Can Be Used for Risk Assessment of Plant Overgrowth near Power lines. Utilities in California should take note due to the dry conditions causing fertile conditions for forest fires and the close proximity of Silicon Valley.
Image credit greenvalleyintl.com
Should California Only Important Electricity Through HVDC Lines During the Rainy Season?
“Should California only import high voltage electricity from other states at certain times of the year?”
California has ambitious plans with renewable energy. Not only is it the leading market in the United States, but plans to completely decarbonize its energy grid by 2045! However, this may require importing wind energy from Wyoming and Hydropower from the Pacific Northwest. The most efficient way to do this is to use HVDC lines with low levels of resistive losses. However, with the advent of climate change, California is experiencing much more and longer periods of drought. This creates fertile conditions for fires, which can be easily triggered in the case of a power line fault. Given that HVDC lines are at such high voltages, a single slip from one can cause intensive damage. As a result, it might be wise for California to only import electricity during the rainy season. Doing this will increase resilience protection and help stabilize the grid during the less sunny winter days. Since wind and hydro resources are also more plentiful when it rains, it would be a great way for other states to offset their surpluses during this time. This might be unnecessary if advanced fault detection and diagnostic technologies are used, but only studies will be able to say for sure!
Cyclone Idai and Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience
“Why does Cyclone Idai in Mozambique show that cities need to build climate change resilience?”
The Mozambique city of Beira was recently hit by Cyclone Idai. Due to the intensity of the storm and the lack of resources, over 90% of the city was destroyed. The infrastructure was so damaged that metal roofs flew off of buildings. Since catastrophic climate events will rise in the future, cities will need to invest to change how to combat these problems. This is Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience.
Image credit: https://qz.com/africa/1576018/cyclone-idai-mozambique-death-toll-could-rise-to-over-1000/
The Difference Between Reliability and Resilience
“What is the difference between reliability and resilience?”
In the sustainability world, the word resilience is tossed around a lot. However, many times people are actually referring to reliability. Reliability is the measure of how a system can withstand extreme events and resilience is the ability to recuperate from them. This is The Difference Between Reliability and Resilience.
How Trimming Trees Near Transmission Lines Could Increase Infrastructure Resilience
“How could hot areas become more resilient by trimming trees?”
Electrical transmission lines can fault for a variety of reasons. But one of the most common is from being near untrimmed trees. These can fall onto the power lines, causing power disruption. In the case of extreme drought, static buildup can even rupture a fire, as seen in the 2018 Northern Californian Camp Fire. To prevent this, we can simply trim the trees. This allows for increased safety against extreme weather. This is How Trimming Trees Near Transmission Lines Could Increase Infrastructure Resilience in Drought-ridden Areas.