Mr Emmanuel Appoe, Tema Regional Engineer for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has explained that the Company does not intentionally create power outages whenever it rains as perceived by customers.
Mr Appoe speaking to Ghana News Agency during a tour of the ECG-Tema Sub-station H, at the Tema Industrial area debunked the assertion and explained that it happened when there were cracks in the insulators on the feeders that carried power to the various communities.
He said because the company’s equipment were at the mercy of the weather, cracks developed in the insulators overtime which could trigger the feeder to go off as a form of protecting property.
Mr Appoe said the power distribution system was connected in a way that when a fault was detected on a feeder, it sent a signal to the sub-station and the power would automatically cut to prevent any power related accidents.
He said “if there is an insulator which is cracked it loses its integrity in terms of insulating the voltage so all the load that passed through it to ground would be seen by the system as a fault and then trigger it to go off”.
The ECG Tema Regional Engineer said since all electrical gadgets in the world discharge current to the earth without it becoming electrically charged, the same way lightning which were electrical discharges from clouds also had to discharge to earth.
Mr Appoe explained that the lightning wanted the shortest route to earth and therefore found the electrical equipment of the ECG convenient as they earthed them (equipment).
He added that “lightning normally discharges through our systems so the arrester on our transformers, if lightening surge pass through the transformer, it will burn it so there is an arrester which will arrest the discharge due to lightening to the ground, but because people go and cut the earth, and also due to some cracks in the insulators, when the lightning struck the lines, the source see the lightening discharge as a fault and trip the feeder to save people who are on it.”
He noted that to have less occurrence of that, the Company had teams that patrolled the various feeders pole by pole to identify any faulty insulators, adding that such faulty insulators had to be parted and taken one by one for repairs.
Mr Appoe said to check and repair identified cracked insulators and embark on other maintenance, the Company do periodic power outages for some hours to work on them to ensure that the lights stayed on for clients no matter the weather condition.