Utility Explosion Causes NY Airport Power Failure
A transformer exploded at a sub-station in New York. The interruption in power reduced the capability of the airport.
Substation Supplying Airport Fails
The New York Times published the Article "New York Sky Turns Blue After Transformer Explosion"
. On Thursday, December 27, 2018, at approximately 9:12 pm, A loud boom was heard and was followed by humming and a giant blue explosion. Some people who saw it from La Guardia Airport and thought it was a UFO.
The 114th precinct is about a half of a mile away. A deputy inspector reported that he could feel the explosion in his chest. Then, the sky turned blue. Bob McGee of Con Edison, reported that there was not any fire associated with this occurrence. There was an arc flash when transformers tripped off the line at the substation in Astoria. The fire department did not enter the premises because the arc flash was over when they arrived. There were no injuries associated with this event, and the police could not find any evidence of tampering.
When the transformers tripped offline, all electrical services were interrupted to all customers on the associated grid. No flights took off between 9:22 pm and 10:23 pm at La Guardia Airport. However, the emergency generators in the airport assumed the electric load. This prevented any power interruption to air traffic control.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority tweeted that No. 7 train service was disrupted by the power failures. Rikers Island prison complex lost power for less than 1/2 hour. Power was restored and the system was stable late Thursday evening.
The Utility Power Grid
A basic understanding of the utility power grid aids in understanding the failure. It is more effective for power plants to transfer high voltages to substations. The United States transmits up to 500,000 volts on the high voltage grid. The high voltage from the power plant is routed through substations. The substations contain control and distribution panels and step-down transformers. These transformers reduce the voltage to pre-determined levels. When one or more transformers trip off the line, a high voltage arc to ground can occur. Power is interrupted to all customers the transformer serves. The time the power is out is determined by the damage to the system and the availability of replacement components on hand. If five transformers fail and only three replacements exist in the yard, shipping can delay repairs.
Surviving Power Failures
Hospital and airports are among the many industries that have critical power requirements. Industries that must maintain power for human health and safety are mandated to have backup power. Regulations dictate the amount of backup power the facility must have. In addition, facilities such as data centers and municipalities maintain emergency generators in the event of utility failure.
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Diesel Blog Team
| 1/7/2019 12:30:49 PM
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