Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L), Morristown, is installing 1,700 new “TripSaver” automated reclosing devices on power lines across its service territory to help limit the frequency and duration of service interruptions. The electrical device works like a circuit breaker in a home with the added benefit of automatically re-energizing a power line within seconds to keep power safely flowing to customers.
This work is part of the $97 million JCP&L Reliability Plus Infrastructure Investment Program, with a special focus on addressing tree damage to the distribution system caused by severe weather events and reducing the frequency and duration of power outages.
“TripSaver installations are just one of many JCP&L Reliability Plus enhancements designed to help reduce the frequency of power outages and modernize the electric grid for JCP&L’s customers,” said Jim Fakult, president of JCP&L. “The addition of these devices will make restoring service an automatic process rather than sending a crew to investigate. This new technology is safer, more efficient and cost effective.”
TripSavers are installed on local neighborhood power lines that branch from the main power line serving an area. When there is a temporary issue on the neighborhood line, such as a tree limb blowing into the line, the TripSaver responds in seconds, sensing when the branch is gone and automatically re-energizing the line to prevent an extended outage in the neighborhood. It also safely isolates the outage from the main power line, helping to avoid outages to customers across a larger area.
If the TripSaver senses a more serious issue, like a fallen tree on the power line, it will isolate the outage to that area and limit the total number of affected customers. The device’s smart technology will quickly pinpoint the location of the fault and help utility personnel better understand the cause of the outage to help speed restoration.
To determine the best locations for TripSaver installations, engineers reviewed protections on the lines as well as outage patterns across JCP&L’s service territory and identified areas that would most benefit. The company is on track to complete 1,700 installations on 310 circuits by the end of 2020.
JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers multiple New Jersey counties.
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