What a Texas Summer Can Do to Electrical Systems

The summers in Texas can be brutally hot, and as the mercury rises, there is an increased risk to electrical systems. Therefore, before the summer arrives, it’s important to make sure your commercial building’s electrical systems are prepared to handle the extra heat. Working with a commercial electrical service company in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, TX can help ensure things continue to run smoothly at your commercial or industrial building.

When the weather gets hot enough, it can wreak havoc on the power grid. There could be power interruptions, fires, changes in power supply and large-scale blackouts. Texas has already been in the news this year for failures of its electrical grid during extreme weather, but it’s not just extreme cold that can cause power failures and issues—extreme heat can do the same.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the things that are most likely to happen to electrical systems when the heat cranks up in the Texas summer.

Overheating

Transmission lines are tasked with transporting electricity to and from power grids and individual buildings. However, the process of transporting that electricity results in heat generation. The weather conditions could affect those lines as they carry electricity around the grid. When you consider the fact that people consume more energy during particularly hot days or seasons (due to increased air conditioning usage), this could potentially result in overloaded transmission lines.

These lines have limited capacity. A massive surge in power consumption can result in the cables overheating and sustaining damage due to a physical reaction known as “annealing.” The annealing process alters the aluminum parts of the grid, softening and weakening it. The result is reduced efficiency in the transmission lines, and a physically weaker grid that could fall apart.

Surges in power consumption

As mentioned above, Texas often sees surges in electricity use during the summer, because people keep their air conditioning running for longer periods of time. Heat waves can significantly increase energy consumption across the entire grid. When you have large urban areas packed with people who are all using more electricity, that can really put a strain on the electrical system and make it difficult to ensure the entire population is able to get enough power.

Power lines bulging and sagging

Power lines that overheat may begin to sag over time. This likelihood is increased when outdoor weather conditions get particularly hot. The combination of hot air and greater electricity consumption results in the cables heating up and stretching. The more they stretch, the longer they get, which means they’ll begin to sag. This can be dangerous and problematic if they get close to the ground.

Power lines that touch the ground could short circuit, resulting in an interruption of the flow of electricity. Sagging power lines can also compromise the integrity of the utility poles themselves.

All of these issues can occur throughout the summer months in Texas without appropriate preventative maintenance. Owners of commercial buildings or municipalities that manage large-scale electrical infrastructure should take it upon themselves to have their systems inspected before the weather really heats up to make sure they will have utilities that are reliable and safe to use during the summer.

For more information about commercial electrical service in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, TX, contact the team at C&F Electrical today.