Earthquakes can cause a lot of destruction in just a few seconds, but if they shake hard enough to shut down the power grid, the level of damage is greatly amplified. Without power, it takes longer for emergency response teams to put out fires, get to injured people and secure the impacted area.
Our Control Technologies business already provides dampers and isolators that soften the blow of earthquakes at power plant turbines and keep them from experiencing structural damage that would shut down operations. Now, CT has teamed with the Power Transmission Division of Siemens AG to create a new product that protects the network of high-voltage transmission substations that carry electricity long-distances out into all the communities.
The solution reduces stress on these substations by up to 50 to 80 percent by combining two technologies – wire ropes and visco-elastic dampers – into a single solution that Siemens can offer as part of its turnkey substation installation offering.
Here's how the CT seismic shock system works. The wire ropes support the weight of the substation's multi-ton circuit breakers and fixed series capacitors. The visco-elastic dampers – which look like huge shock absorbers – are installed to ensure the wire ropes maintain the proper level of stiffness and frequency, in addition to adding an extra level of protection.
"This is an important new offering, because the world needs a way to manage seismic situations, and securing the power grid is a crucial component of that effort," says Peter Bauer, Managing Director of Control Technologies in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.