Alternative Energy News

More than 40 ‘pole-top’ fires caused power outages in San Antonio Thursday, CPS Energy says [Video]

A CPS Energy spokesperson says heavier rain will clean dirty insulators, likely preventing more fires this weekend.

SAN ANTONIO — Burning utility poles forced CPS Energy to cut power to neighborhoods across San Antonio Thursday. 

Firefighters and utility crews responded to more than 40 such fires before 5 p.m., according to CPS Energy vice president of system operations and reliability LeeRoy Perez. 

Thursday morning’s mist mixed with dirt accumulated on power lines. The wet coating provided a pathway for electricity to travel from hot wires, over coiled insulation, onto wooden utility poles. 

“As it does that, it begins to create a lot of energy at the top of poles,” Perez said. “It begins to create what we call ‘pole-top’ fires.”

The effect is called “tracking.”

🌧️UPDATE (NOON): Today’s light rain has caused several pole fires due to ‘tracking,’ a reaction when rain/humidity is mixed with dust/dirt buildup on equipment causing electricity to ‘track over.’


📸: …

Watch/Read More