System Monitoring and Maintenance
At Pioneer Electric, we take system maintenance seriously
Our front-line personnel are dedicated to addressing power quality
issues and ensuring equipment performance. Pioneer Electric is always
monitoring for potential problems or malfunctioning equipment, all the
while performing regular line inspections and pole testing. Our
cooperative invests in regular system maintenance to ensure consistent,
high-quality service for all our members.
Pioneer Electric owns a high-quality infra-red camera that helps
identify potential problems on our electrical system or equipment before
outages occur. We periodically test key equipment and substations,
looking for temperature fluctuations and hot spots. These temperature
anomalies may indicate loose connections and overheating that could
result in equipment failure and outages.
Our utility poles form the backbone of our system's infrastructure,
but they can sometimes be found damaged or weakened both above and below
ground by farm equipment, fire, lightning and general decay. To address
these problems, Pioneer Electric hires an independent contractor to
inspect approximately 5,000 poles annually. An 18-inch hole is dug
around the pole to check for decay and to ensure structural integrity.
If a pole is found in good condition, we will go one step further by
treating it against decay and insect infiltration. If the pole is weak
and threatens the network in any way, it will be replaced.
Pioneer Electric's system gets a regular facelift in the form of new
larger poles, wires and transformers, as well as the addition of
substations. In order to continue to increase capacity and reliability
and meet the growing and changing needs of our member-owners, we will
continue our regular upgrade program in our residential, farm,
commercial and large industrial sectors.
Keeping Trees in Check
Regular tree trimming is vital to ensure system performance and
safety. Pioneer Electric hires an independent contractor to inspect and
cut trees and branches that interfere with our wires and poles. The
entire system is inspected on a 3-year cycle.
System breakers interrupt the flow of electricity in the event of a
broken pole, downed lines, vehicle accidents, storm damage or if farm or
industrial equipment comes in contact with the line. Breakers also
interrupt service in case of a "short" to prevent overload. All breakers
are inspected, tested and repaired on a 3-year cycle.
Network substations are periodically tested and serviced to ensure proper operation. The following substation equipment is tested on a rotational basis: oil circuit reclosers, power transformers, voltage regulators, circuit switches and electronic control equipment.