NNSL Photo/Graphic


Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Frosty wires cause brief power outages

Galit Rodan
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An accumulation of frost on power lines outside the Niven Lake substation caused flickering lights and brief power outages throughout Yellowknife Sunday and Monday, said Duane Morgan, manager of Northland Utilities.

NNSL photo/graphic

Recent frost buildup in the city caused power lines to sag earlier this week, making them susceptible to transient faults. - Galit Rodan/NNSl file photo

"We just found the problem," said Morgan around 11:30 a.m. Monday. "Our guys have been out patrolling the lines all morning."

Morgan said the outages happened once Sunday and three times Monday morning.

"Lines get weighted up with ice and frost and start to sag and then when the wind blows, when they touch, they go phase to phase," explained Morgan. "It's what they refer to as a transient fault."

Morgan said though overhead faults and difficulties are usually quite easy to spot, transient or intermittent faults like this one are "extremely hard to find".

Northland Utilities sent out three crews Monday morning, who were able to narrow down the source of the fault to a few different locations. Finally, a crew near the Niven Lake substation actually saw the wires touch, Morgan said.

Morgan said the crew was in the process of knocking the frost off the lines and he expected the problem to be resolved by noon Monday.

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.