A faster way to restore power? This company thinks so

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Although it hasn't seen much coverage in the press, the past three years has seen an explosion of low-cost sensors for the distribution network. Increasingly, those device do more than monitor and report. Increasingly, they have the intelligence and functionality to take action as well.

 

I wanted you to see this guest post describing one such device as an illustration of the broader trend. This article focuses on one company's products, but I invite you to use the Talk Back form at the bottom of the page to tell us about other products with similar functionality. - Jesse Berst

 

By Ashley Walter

 

While 2014 looks to be a promising year, the first two months seem to have only brought massive amounts of snow and ice. North America has been slammed by storm after storm since early January.

 

Within the first few days of this year, Canada was hit with a blizzard that left residents to deal with rolling blackouts which turned into an outage, leaving some in darkness and cold for days. Around the same time, Indiana was dealing with over 80,000 residents with power outages that took days to correct. More recently, Southern and Northeastern parts of the United States were hit with the worst storm in years that has left nearly 1.2 million homes and business without power, some without power for several days.

 

Often, the power is restored within hours, but in other more severe cases people can be left for days without power. This leaves many asking, “Where will we sleep? What are we going to eat?” Without power, many people are trapped in their homes until it can be restored. Some may go to hotels, or family/friend’s houses that have already have power restored, but with poor or severe driving conditions it’s safer to stay indoors.

 

 Or is it? Without power and heat, temperatures can drop inside homes, sometimes more than ten degrees an hour. If left without power long enough, the temperatures inside the house can be as life threatening as they are outside.