While driving down a country road and checking out the scenery, people often look at power lines and wonder how they work.
Nodak utilizes many different pieces of equipment to get you the reliable power you need. The green box next to the pole is an underground junction box. The source of power is the overhead line. Nodak taps power off the overhead line, through a lightning arrester and connects to an underground riser. Power is run to the underground junction box we sometimes refer to as a sectionalizing pedestal. They have up to four connection points that can distribute underground lines. Also at the top of this pole is an Oil Circuit Recloser (OCR). These devices sense an Amperage value above their rating and trip open that section of power line. They operate much the same as a circuit breaker in your home except they can open and close automatically.
A high amperage value could be the results of a tree branch in the power line, contact with farming equipment, an animal contact or lightning. The recloser is set to three or four operations depending on the installation. If an object gets into the power line, the recloser will open and after a couple of seconds it will close back in. If the object is still present in the line, it will open again. After the three or four operations, if the object is still in the power line, the line will remain off and that section of line will have a power outage.If the object is no longer present in the line, the line will continue to deliver power. This is the reason members experience blink outages. Without the recloser, more members would be out of power for a longer period of time.
This only covers a few major pieces of equipment we use to keep your power on. Some other vital equipment we use includes highside and lowside breakers and voltage regulators. This process also does not cover the maintenance we must perform and personnel it takes to ensure the infrastructure we have put in place stays in top condition. This includes our vegetation management program, line and substation inspections and other critical programs.