Power interruptions have a cost implication to both consumers and power utility companies. Hence, companies in the energy industry need to establish the actual cost of power outages because they affect their operations and reputation as well. Additionally, it is important to mention that large-scale power failure is a rare occurrence, so exploding figures when referring to a few cases is not an accurate representation of the real damage cost of power outages. When power is created, it is transmitted from one region to another through a three-phase transmission line. The line leads the power to a substation that further converts the voltage to higher voltages for long distance transmission. Substations are a vital part of city power grids since they ensure customers get consistent voltage and compensate for lost power during transmission.
A standard transmission distance amounts to 300 miles, while long mileage will go up to 15,000 miles, making substations quite vital in the transmission process. For such high voltage power to be essential in businesses and homes, it needs to be stepped down. Stepping down may occur in various phases in different types of substations.
A power substation consists of a transformer “Bus” to further step-down power, the “bus” helps in power distribution, and circuit breakers that switch off power in case of an overload or a fire. Finally, to get the power into the house, a transformer drum is required to convert the voltage to 7,200 volts or less. Transformers come in different sizes to serve different purposes. However, they have one common goal, stabilizing power voltage to prevent the destruction that would be caused by high voltage current.
It is needless to say that consumers will not pay for power over the period that an outage lasts. As a result, that will translate to losses for power utility companies and the cost, in this case, is quite significant in some cases. On the other hand, there is also the cost that utility companies incur because of damage to physical components after an interruption in power supply.
The cost of such components is the primary consideration when these damages occur since power supply companies must bear the burden of servicing or replacing the same. Any of these options can run to millions of dollars depending on the extent of the damage to the component or equipment in question.
Some power outage costs do not necessarily affect utility firms directly. These include the cost implication of computer-based financial trade operations that cannot run without power, manufacturing companies making losses because they are incapable of operating at such times and the cost of stalling businesses that greatly depend on energy for communication. Each of these considerations makes it difficult to estimate the correct cost of power failure for individuals who lack necessary insight. Also, there is the probability of leaving out some critical aspects among these that are worth evaluating. A company like Award One Electrical can help you manage power outages.
Time and Duration
Power outage costs will vary depending on when it happens, and the period it lasts. For instance, it is more expensive if there is a power interruption when some businesses are experiencing high traffic than when the rush slows down. On the other hand, power outage cost is higher when it lasts an extended period because standalone diesel-power generators may fail at some point. Eventually, businesses grind to a halt when such generators fail.