Albemarle EMC Linemen Take Quick Action on Equipment Failure

Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation linemen were able to quickly restore power to a substation in Perquimans County following an outage that occurred last month. About 1,400 members in the county were affected.

At 7:30 a.m., Aug. 8, its Winfall Substation lost power due to equipment failure. A squirrel caused a fault on a down-line transformer, and a recloser that was supposed to disconnect power to the transformer failed to operate. The transformer and the recloser quickly overheated and were destroyed in electrical fires. Supplemental power was rerouted from other substations to restore service to some areas affected by the Winfall Substation outage.

Working through driving rain, co-op linemen were able to replace the damaged equipment and restore power to the Winfall Substation by 12:30 p.m. the same day.

“Our linemen realized the insulators and switches needed a quick but sturdy cleaning solution to remove the charred oil from the equipment,” said Gary Ray, general manager of Albemarle EMC. “Using innovative thinking, the linemen applied a degreaser and physically scrubbed each piece of equipment. Then they used the co-op’s portable steam power washer and a tank of water supplied by a nearby farmer to steam clean the equipment. All of this was accomplished in just a few hours.”

Linemen inspect a recloser that was damaged in an electrical fire.