Tropical heat can cause power failures in Friesland

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Grid operator Liander warns residents of Friesland that there is a greater chance of power failures in the coming days. A specific aging component in the power grid could overheat due to the tropical heat, causing a power outage.

Older so-called neckaldite joints connect two cables together and can according to Liander can cause malfunctions at high temperatures in combination with persistent drought, especially if the connecting piece has already been damaged during excavation work. Overheating can cause these sleeves to ‘fail’, leaving an area without power.

The grid operator specifically mentions Friesland as a risk area, because relatively many of these old connecting pieces are still used here. According to the network operator, Nekaldite joints are being structurally replaced by new connecting pieces and Liander will continue to do so in Friesland ‘in the coming years’. The northern province has long been one of the problem areas as far as the Dutch electricity grid is concerned.

The company is also building a Smart Cable Guard in the network ‘in more and more places’. This device can recognize future failures at an early stage, so that an actual power failure can be prevented. This would have prevented ‘several power failures’ since 2018.

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