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As a critical part of their Wildfire Mitigation Plan, Bear Valley Electric Service, Inc. (BVES) in California installed 20 Orion™ Weather Stations throughout their system.
At 6800-ft elevation, with heavy forests and steep terrain, the area is considered high fire risk. With fire season growing more extreme statewide, the utility has put a new wildfire mitigation plan in place. Including vegetation management and equipment upgrades, operational improvements involve managing circuit controllers during fault conditions when re-energizing might be dangerous, as well as proactive shutoff (de-energization) during extremely high-risk weather conditions.
Real-time meteorological data at the various locations can be monitored via a phone app, offering “instant data that experts can analyze when time is short.”
Eric Cardella, Engineering Supervisor, says, “In terms of fire safety, that’s important so that we can monitor the relative humidities, the temperature, the wind speeds and wind gusts.”
In addition to Orion sensor modules with ultrasonic wind measurement, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and rainfall sensors, BVES’s weather stations include wireless cell modem communication and Weather MicroServer devices housed in weatherproof enclosures. For monitoring in the field, crews utilize the Weather Monitor App through the Cloud Weather Server.
Check out BVE's Wildfire Mitigation Plan video below. Orion weather stations feature at about 1:20.
“Instant data that experts can analyze when time is short... In terms of fire safety, that’s important so that we can monitor the relative humidities, the temperature, the wind speeds and wind gusts.”
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