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The Imperial Irrigation District in Southern California provides electrical power to the Imperial Valley and surrounding areas through a power grid network of over 100 substations. The utility purchased an Orion™ Weather Station with a solar radiation sensor and the Weather MicroServer™ to install at a remote substation regularly impacted by wind storms, flash floods, and extreme summer temperatures.
IID Communications & Control Technician (SCADA & Datacom Unit) Mizael Huereque says that monitoring weather data particularly in peak summer months is important, as high temperatures cause an increase in electricity loads due to air conditioning usage. Because the grid becomes susceptible to failure when overloaded, monitoring temperature helps operators prepare to supply power from secondary substations to sustain increased loads.
“Geographically, this location is also susceptible to high winds,” continued Huereque, who said recent storms downed nearby transmission lines and left locals without power for days. Crews keep an eye on wind data during storms to anticipate and prepare for fallen trees and power lines.
IID operators will also factor in temperature, wind speed, and solar radiation data from the weather station when adjusting transmission line ratings for efficiency and equipment damage mitigation.
Huereque mentioned that “everything went well” when installing the weather station and that the system was working as expected. “The MicroServer was easy to connect with our SCADA system which was a big plus for us,” he said, adding that the IID plans to install more weather stations at other substation sites in the future.
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