Snow and Outages

Jan 15, 2013  Comment

 Today's question: I note there've been a few power outages lately in Dawson City caused, we are told, by snow on the transmission line. Exactly what does snow do on a powerline to cause an outage?

Answer: Thanks for the question. With heavy snow or ice, the transmission lines can sag and can then slap together, especially if there's wind accompanying the snow. When the two lines meet, that causes an outage.

Also, there can be small cracks in insulators, undetected by us until a time when there's melting snow. The melt (water) can get inside the insulator, causing an outage.

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