New SEL Invention Prevents Wildfires By Cutting Electricity To Downed Power Lines Before They Hit The Ground

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories based in Pullman has invented a new solution to help prevent wildfires caused by downed power lines.

SEL’s new falling conductor protection solution turns off the electricity to a broken power line before it hits the ground.  The patented algorithms used in an SEL Real-Time Automation Controller will decrease wildfire risks from downed lines.  The solution cuts the power to a broken line within a few hundred milliseconds.

The solution has been successfully field tested by San Diego Gas & Electric.  The California utility plans to implement the new SEL solution in its high fire threat areas by 2026.

SEL designs and manufactures digital relays and control systems for the power industry worldwide.