The Pennsylvania Power Co. is installing 120 new "TripSaver" automated reclosing devices on power lines across Crawford, Lawrence and Mercer counties 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.
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.
"TripSavers allow us to automatically restore service to customers rather than sending a crew to investigate, which is especially helpful in rural areas," said Ed Shuttleworth, regional president of Ohio Edison and Penn Power. "This automated technology is safer and saves time and money."
To determine the best locations for these devices, utility personnel reviewed outage patterns across Penn Power's service area and identified outage-prone areas in Crawford, Lawrence and Mercer counties that would benefit from a TripSaver. The company is on track to complete all 120 installations by late fall of this year.