Know-how from half a world away might carry some aid to components of the Bay Space and Northern California served by PG&E.

PG&E is testing know-how already being piloted in Australia that might de-energize an influence line that falls and comes into contact with one thing like a tree limb or the bottom.

RELATED: Bay Area braces for another potential round of PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs

“The mission seeks to show the advantages of what is known as Fast Earth Fault Limiter Know-how,” mentioned Paul Doherty, a spokesman with PG&E.

The aim is to stop the ignition of a wildfire, like the sort which have brought on a lot destruction in Northern California lately.

“We see this as having potential advantages of considerably decreasing the vitality in a single line to floor faults,” defined Doherty. “Now meaning a wire down occasion.”

PG&E engineers are presently testing the REFCL system at its facility in San Ramon. The utility hopes to hold that testing out to the sphere subsequent yr by putting in it at its substation in Calistoga.

LIST: Areas affected by PG&E power outage in California

If profitable, the REFCL know-how could possibly be deployed all through PG&E’s system within the coming years, maybe lowering the necessity for expansive Public Security Energy Shutoffs in future excessive wind conditions.

“One factor I believe is vital to grasp about distribution methods is that they’re all completely different,” mentioned Sascha von Meier, a professor {of electrical} engineering and pc science at U.C. Berkeley.

“They’re actually idiosyncratic and that is why there needs to be a variety of analysis and testing on these completely different applied sciences within the specific context the place they are going to be deployed, as a result of it isn’t going to be the identical in Australia or the U.S., and even on completely different distribution circuits inside PG&E’s territory.”

For the most recent tales about PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff go here.

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