The 3 Major Hurdles Between You and Expedient Fire Mitigation

Comprehensive strategies for fire mitigation have become essential for electric power providers in high fire risk areas. So far in 2021, the NIFC in the United States has recorded wildfire activity across 13 states, where 82 large fires have burned 1,174,486 acres. Federal data provided by the Congressional Research Service shows that the average acreage per year consumed by wildfire has doubled since the 1990s. According to recent updates from the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System, residents from fire-affected communities across Canada are currently being evacuated as a precautionary measure.

The sparks that ignite fires can come from many sources, but, according to analysis from the Colombia Center for Global Energy Policy, one of the critical identified sources is the electric distribution grid. With the ongoing threat of wildfires impacting public safety, solutions are needed to help prevent these fires before they happen. The tools available are rapidly evolving; as a result, identifying the best solutions to various fire mitigation challenges can be daunting. By putting to use many years of experience and expertise, G&W Electric has identified three major hurdles facing those who strive to achieve expedient and practical fire mitigation solutions. 

Challenge 1:  Flashover mitigation and ignition risk from aging equipment

Solution: Rejuvenation

Whenever possible, fire prevention solutions should incorporate innovative features that can now be factory-installed on new products or added to existing equipment. This is particularly true of system-hardening features, which minimize flashovers caused by environmental factors such as high winds, lightning and wildlife contact. While every system’s needs are different, examining existing equipment in high fire risk areas should be evaluated to mitigate the probability of spark ignition.

Challenge 2: Slow response to system faults

Solution: Up to Date Technology

Quick and effective responses to wildfire threats are made possible by enhanced system protection technology. Advanced solutions of today can integrate with your existing distribution system, including sectionalizing high fire threat areas, dynamic protection schemes, and fast fault clearing.

Challenge 3: Detection of downed conductors

Solution: Fortification

Downed conductors can now be reliably detected using a combination of high impedance fault detection, broken conductor logic, and loss of voltage (LOV) protection. The best solution is to utilize products like G&W Electric’s low ratio 200:1 CTs, which detect and trip on low currents where it’s needed most: in remote, high-risk areas vulnerable to fire. 

When it comes to these challenges, strategic design with your unique needs in mind is the best way to rejuvenate, update, and fortify your system. Find solutions that integrate advanced technology into your existing system for minimal disruption to operations. G&W Electric has decades of experience engineering distribution solutions that minimize flashover threats in areas with high wildfire risk. We will continue to share that knowledge and expertise to create solutions for a safer future. To learn more, consult our white paper, Fire Mitigation for Distribution, or register to view our webinar, Realize Fast Results for Fire Mitigation. To consult with G&W Electric directly, use our new Find a Representative tool today.