Protecting your home is part of our mission
Larry Taylor, Engineering Technology Supervisor, has been with MTEMC for 15 years, so he’s seen it all, including outages caused by “cold load pickup.” Cold load pickup actually has little to do with the temperature; it’s more like a “cold” start of a car engine, which creates a temporary current five to eight times more than normal operating current.
Larry explains, “It occurs on the distribution circuit when it is re-energized after an extended outage.” Which is an engineer’s way of saying that there can be a temporary overload when the MTEMC system is “restarted” after an outage because all of the electric appliances and electronics inside the members’ homes create a high power demand when they restart. But why should you care? Because after an outage is restored, you may experience a second outage within a few minutes. The second outage is typically brief to allow the houses to come on in stages and prevent additional outages caused by an overload of electronics drawing power.
We are extremely familiar with this phenomenon and have set our own protective relays to avoid the situation. From the members’ perspective, they might not realize the distribution system is designed with this protection in place. Larry adds, “Prevention of cold load pickup outages is pretty much invisible to our members.” He also points out that advanced meters give MTEMC system operators more information and faster response times to member outages.
Larry is one of many engineers working to improve the reliability and safety of your power delivery system. Our engineering team is constantly working to create, maintain and upgrade the MTEMC electrical grid to give our members the best service possible. He also reminds members of the importance of reporting power outages on the myMTEMC app or by phone. Hearing from those affected by an outage is still important.
Larry says, “Our reliability numbers are way above the national average, and we’re improving every day.
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