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Voltage Conversions Make for a Reliable System

 Voltage Conversions Make for a Reliable System

Sam Houston Electric Cooperative maintains a continuous focus on improving the distribution system that supplies its consumer-members with safe and reliable electricity.

Employees carefully monitor the capacity of the lines across the system. When an area of power lines is nearing its capacity, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative has two options—increase the diameter of the wires or complete a voltage conversion.

“Increasing the diameter of the wires means putting out brand-new lines, which is very costly,” said Kabe Murphy, grid manager. “Instead, in some areas, we are able to change the voltage, which costs less and is just as effective.”

The conversion to a higher voltage in an area is accompanied by a decrease in the current flowing through the lines, which, according to Murphy, helps increase the usable life span of the power lines in the area and improves the Co-op’s ability to redirect the flow of power to consumer-members during outages.

“The Security substation was selected for the conversion as part of a multiyear plan to prepare for more rapid growth in the areas from Conroe east to Cleveland and Liberty,” said engineer Trent Tamplin.

Crews will work this month around the Security area to update the transformers to match this conversion process.

“Members will receive a call from the Cooperative notifying them of an anticipated outage if they are in the affected area,” Tamplin said. “The outage is expected to last four hours. We encourage all members to log on to their mySamHouston account and update their contact information so they can receive these notifications.”

The Co-op has plans for more voltage conversions throughout the system over the next few years near Peach Creek and Caney Creek.

“An outage like this takes careful preparation and teamwork across many departments,” Tamplin said, noting that similar successful conversions have recently been completed near Rye, Moss Hill, Tarkington and Shepherd.