Transient faults comprise the majority cause of unscheduled power interruptions over the service areas of Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative. Based on the data from the Transmission and Distribution Department of ZAMCELCO, from 481 unscheduled power interruptions recorded from July to August 2020, 293 of these were caused by transient faults, or about 60% of the total number recorded unscheduled power interruptions.
The transient fault is a fault that is no longer present if power is disconnected for a short period of time. Among the typical examples of transient faults are momentary tree or branch contact with the power lines, especially during bad weather and vegetation and animal contact with the power lines. This type of fault is hard to locate, as the technical personnel needs to physically inspect the entire power lines to determine the source and cause of power trip-off.
Other causes of unscheduled power interruptions are conking out of line hardware, such as broken primary line, primary jumper, SF6 breaker, busted transformer, busted primary fuse, broken or inclined primary pole, or crossarm, power fluctuation, and as requested by the troubleshooters to hasten their repair work.
However, the number of minutes of unscheduled power interruption for the past 3 months has been decreasing.
Looking at the summary of unscheduled power interruptions for June 2020, the recorded minutes of unscheduled power interruption was 13,578.
A month later, it was down to 3,365 minutes and by August it was 3,745 minutes. Under the leadership of Engineer Gannymede Tiu, General Manager of the new ZAMCELCO, and Henry Rophen Virola, the Chief Management Officer, the new ZAMCELCO is seriously addressing this problem. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, the Transmission and Distribution Department has been conducting extensive right-of-way clearing operations in pre-identified areas, trimming branches of trees, and removing vegetation that comes into contact with the power lines.
However, the new ZAMCELCO has decided to limit the right-of-way clearing operations during Saturday and Sunday, so as not to affect the online classes of private schools.
The new ZAMCELCO also procured at least 200 new distribution transformers to replace the old units, which have been worn out over time. Newline reclosers were also procured and about to be installed in different power feeders to isolate a service area affected by power interruption. At least 500 electric poles were also made available to replace the old and rotten poles. Aside from these, the feeder rehabilitation program was also laid down under the new management of ZAMCELCO.