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Forecasting and Alerting for High Winds

Routine field maintenance, repairs or construction are daily activities for utility operations. Mitigating safety risks to field crews is always a top priority. That includes risks from severe and rapidly changing weather. Crews working in bucket trucks, cranes or even helicopters are extremely sensitive to high winds and changing wind patterns. Cranes and bucket trucks each have their safe operating parameters and the risk is exacerbated by nearby vegetation and electrical conductors being affected by the strong winds. A combination that can result in injury or death.

FORECAST METHODS

Aerial linemen doing high voltage power line inspection or work from a helicopter run the risk of being swept off the helicopter platform, into a utility pole or onto a utility line itself if wind speed increases while work is being performed. Even while harnessed, these events can still lead to significant risk for these linemen and the helicopter crew. Furthermore, extreme winds impact equipment being hauled. At a minimum, extreme winds can delay the job and increase expenses, or lead to more expensive equipment damage.

Strong winds can also be a concern to power line stability and service. High winds may cause power lines to swing together or rope. This swinging or roping motion can lead to power lines contacting, which may result in a fault or line trip that interrupts service. High or extreme winds can also damage and blow tree limbs or entire trees into power lines causing damage to the pole or line. This can be extremely dangerous if the public is near or come across a live downed line, or if these lines spark fires during a high wind event.

Downed power pole due to high winds
Forecast Summary

FORECAST SUMMARY

The Indji Watch Forecast Summary provides users with a seven-day forecast for high sustained wind, wind gusts and other environmental conditions. The forecast locations are chosen by the user to best reflect the forecast for their grid operation locations and known problem areas within their service territory. These can be viewed daily or hourly. These hourly updated forecasts power the Indji Watch high wind alerts.

FORECAST ALERTING

Having accurate forecasts of wind speed in user chosen areas in relation to their utility assets is critical for maintenance planning, scheduling and team safety. With Indji Watch, users have the ability to set extreme high wind thresholds important to their organization. Indji Watch will monitor the set parameters and alert users if these thresholds are forecast to be exceeded in the next few hours or even 48 hours in advance, so users can focus on important operational matters instead of watching the weather. Users can choose to receive and view alerts via desktop, tablet or smart phone.

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