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How to protect power substations against animal invasion



Every year, animals such as opossums and hedgehogs cause interruptions in the electricity supply in power substations throughout Brazil. The damages caused by these invasions can range from damage to the distributor's assets to fatal accidents and financial compensation for affected customers.


Occurrences recorded between 2017 and 2020 in a power substation in the interior of Minas Gerais reveal that more than 450,000 consumers were directly affected by interruptions caused by animals that accessed the distributor's facilities, equivalent to an average of almost 10,000 customers per month during the analysis period.


This problem is not unique to Brazil. According to a study by the University of Minnesota, US power companies have an estimated cost of $18 million per year due to interruptions caused by squirrels, raccoons, and snakes. When considering consumer frustrations, the total value of these interruptions could cost the US economy between $80 billion and $188 billion per year.


Distributors are recognizing that the cost of repairing the company's reputation is much higher than the investment in protecting the facilities and are taking measures to install solutions that keep animals away.


How to reduce animal invasions in power substations


According to security expert Hen Harel, CEO of Ôguen, an effective way to mitigate animal invasions is to use security radars capable of detecting the presence of these beings in the perimeter of the property in advance.


"Substations are a source of heat and shelter for a variety of animal species, so they are persistent in entering these facilities. The problem is that they can burn breakers, generate short circuits, and destroy expensive equipment. To identify the arrival of animals on a property, we use Magos radars. They can cover an area of ​​up to 600,000 m² with a single device and detect the presence of animals, humans, and vehicles up to 1,000 meters away from the perimeter. In this way, central monitoring operators can promptly respond to prevent these animals from invading the location, avoiding losses for the distributor," the expert explained.

Ôguen is a leader in vertical perimeter protection for energy in Brazil, already protecting hundreds of substations throughout the national territory, ensuring peace of mind for customers in any weather and lighting conditions.


For engineer Kleber Reis, commercial and operations director of Ôguen, physical barriers are often not enough to prevent animal approach. "It is important for substations to have walls or fences around the perimeter, but this strategy is not enough, just like cameras and alarms, as they are susceptible to errors, especially in dark environments and rainy times. Magos radars are advanced civil sensors, capable of covering large areas in any light and weather condition, without failures. In addition, the solution is embedded with artificial intelligence capable of distinguishing targets, classifying them as boats, drones, humans, vehicles, and animals, so the operator knows in advance what is trying to invade the property," said Kleber.


To learn more about how radars work and if they are ideal for your project, visit: www.oguen.com or contact us at +55 11 93389-8133.

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