Sunday December 17 2017

Power Company explains Wednesday blackout

Uganda Electricity Transmission Company

Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) has attributed the blackout on Wednesday to a system failure in the Bujagali transmission switchyard. FILE PHOTO 

By Nelson Wesonga

Kampala. Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) has attributed the blackout on Wednesday to a system failure in the Bujagali transmission switchyard.

According to a UETCL statement, one of the equipment at the switchyard exploded causing damage to one of the transformers in the switchyard.

This, according to the statement signed off by UETCL’s senior public relations officer, Kenneth Otim, resulted ‘into a system fault and all generator units at the Bujagali hydropower plant in Jinja went off’.
The statement does not say what equipment exploded.

According to SCRIBD, switchyards have bus bars, which connect generators and the main transformers in power plants.
The other equipment in switchyards are the insulators, lightning arrestors, earth system, control panels, transformer, circuit breakers and arching horns, to mention by a few.

By diverting the current generated by lightning to the ground, lightning arrestors protect electricity generation plants from the damaging effect of lighting.

In case of either an overload or short circuit, the circuit breakers interrupt continuity of power supply to protect electrical equipment from damage.

Following the blackout, electricity distribution company Umeme, via social networking site, Twitter, informed its customers: “…we are aware of the outage in many areas. Our supplier @uetcl investigating the matter…”
Many power consumers had taken to the Internet to express their concern with the outage.

Some said their mobile phone batteries were running low, thus needed charging – which was then hard.

For homeowners who have refrigerators and some perishables like milk and fish, whenever power goes off, they worry the items will go bad.

As for manufacturers and entertainment joints, power outages mean they have to turn on diesel generators to run their plants and taverns respectively.

Unit for unit, electricity is cheaper than diesel.
UETCL said that the Uganda power system was re-energised by the interconnection with the Kenya system at Tororo, which was extended to the Bujagali and Nalubale transmission switchyards.

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