Recognizing climate change in electricity network design

Heavy snow over the Italian Dolomites in late 2013 left tourists enduring an extended blackout in one of Europe’s most exclusive winter resorts. Then, in spring 2015, central Italy was hit by a major storm with over a meter of snow combined with strong winds that left over 200,000 customers without power for hours. 

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December 1, 2021 | Teboho Setena

Power supplier Eskom is counting the costs relating to bad weather damaging infrastructure in the southern Free State.

These costs include repairs after a storm wreaked havoc on the night of Tuesday, 23 November, affecting power supply.

Stefanie Jansen van Rensburg, spokesperson for Eskom, said about 67 poles in these areas fell over and that outages affected both customers in town and those in rural areas.

“More than 1 500 conductors on different feeders were damaged during the storm, affecting more than 250 rural customers – and the town of Jagersfontein was left without supply,” said Jansen van Rensburg.

She said the storm, bringing heavy rains, made access problematic for Eskom technical teams that battled wet and muddy terrain to repair and restore supply.

Jansen van Rensburg said the supplier was yet to quantify the costs arising from the bad weather.

Members of the public are urged to report overhead power cables that have been damaged, have collapsed or are low-hanging as a result of stormy weather conditions, vandalism and illegal connections.

“Such cable can be life-threatening to people or animals who come into contact with it,” said Jansen van Rensburg.

Such increasingly frequent weather extremes across the globe raise the question of how best to deal with events that severely impact energy systems.

Projections about climate change indicate that power systems will be exposed to ever-increasing threats that have the potential to jeopardize continuity and quality of supply. This leads to the question: how best to deal with heightened risk?

Impact of climate change, infrastructure, damage to overhead wires is common these days. Among the threats that impact overhead lines, perhaps the most critical is ‘wet snow’. Wet snowfalls are characterized by snowflakes with high liquid water content (LWC) that adhere easily to the external surface of conductors and ground wires. 

Therefore, cables are laid under the ground. These cables may be attacked by several species of rodents, rats, termites, ants, or gophers.

There are different methods used to lay cables in electrical systems. Normally in the electrical system, most of the high voltage cables are laid under the ground. The cables can be installed in ducts.

While utmost precaution is taken while installing the best available cables in the market, one major point to be considered is the pest attacks on these cables.

The fact about all rodents is that they have incisors that never stop growing. They gnaw continuously to keep their choppers in check. Otherwise, their teeth would grow to such an impractical length that they would starve and die. Insects such as termites and ants equally contribute to damaging cables. When termites encounter a cable, in addition to biting, they also secrete formic acid, which severely corrodes the cable insulation and sheath, causing the cable insulation performance to decline or even short-circuit. Therefore, in the laying regulations formulated by the cable use department, there are clear provisions on anti-termite measures for cable lines.

Our products Rodrepel™Termirepel™, and CombirepelTM are one of a kind. Rodrepel™ can be described as a rodent aversive, while Termirepel™ is a termite and insect aversive, while CombirepelTM works on the combined mechanism of Rodrepel™ and Termirepel™ and acts like a rat, insect, animal, and bird aversive.

The product is available in the form of masterbatches and can be incorporated into various base polymers. But this product is even much more than that. It works on the mechanism of repellence. It does not kill the target species that are rodents and other pests but only repels them.

These Masterbatches can produce a cable based on HDPE or PVC and other polymers at 1/3rd the cost, against cables produced with other Engineered Polymers like Nylon or bulky armored cables.

This product also has a very good shelf life and does not leach out in the environment, thus being totally safe for usage. Last but definitely not least this product is also stable at high temperatures.

We also have topical applications like liquid concentrate, lacquer, and sprays that can be used near and over-installed near applications. But the use of masterbatch incorporated cables is highly recommended for underground applications.

So basically, this product is low toxic, low hazardous, and completely eco-friendly. And when the world needs a greener solution for each and every aspect of life, this product comes as a breath of fresh air.

Our products are REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), RoHS2 and RoHS3, APVMA, NEA – Singapore compliant, and are also FIFRA (Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act) exempted. Ours are the first and only products in the world that are compliant with European Union’s Biocidal Product Regulation (EU BPR).

Contact us at and get the best remedies to combat the pest menace.

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