Power Outage Caused by Mylar Balloon

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL


Topics:  Electrical, Laboratory

Overhead transmission and distribution systems normally are equipped to deal with intermittent faults (caused by wild life and/or vegetation) by means of opening a breaker (de-energizing the line) followed by breaker reclosing, ideally without causing power outages. Therefore, as a result of a Mylar balloon coming in contact with two transmission conductors, several divisions at Argonne, experienced a varying in length power disruption which triggered an investigation/evaluation of existing electrical relay protection and its weaknesses.

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