Power outages during monsoon season

Monsoon season in Phuket means increased amount of heavy thunderstorms. High winds causes tree brances to fall on the power lines. This can cause electric shortcuts and the lights go out among with the air conditioning and fans.

When I first moved to live in Phuket (for real, not just a diving season), a heavy storm often resulted as few hours power outtage. Now the situation has improved hugely. I get maybe 4-5 power outages per year. These shortages don't last long. Normal problem to fix time has been around 1-2 hours. It's good to call the electric company when this happens to make sure that the electric provider knows the problem.

One thing to learn from these cuts. Sometimes it depends, how the power goes off to how wide the power outage is and how long it will get the power back.

The closest power line fuse to your home is the fuce cutout or cut-out-fuse.

The main purpose of these fuses is to separate the shortcut area and limit the power outage to small area. To repair these fuses, the electricians have to take the fuse down, replace copper core inside of the fuse and then plug the fuse back in. Time to fix in Phuket is about 1 hour, specially if you live close by to a hotel, which shares the same area of electricity. This is the most common cause of power outage in Phuket. It's also quite easy and cheap fix. Costs is few hundred bahts per pop.



When one of these blows, the is an audible BANG. The fuse core gets hot, air surrounding the core heats up and expands. When the fuse finally blows out, inside air pressure is released and causes the loud bang. 

 

Power off, power on, power off, power on - BANG - and darkness

When this happens, the Recloser has kicked in. The purpose of the recloser is to try to keep the electricity on, in cases that the power line shortcut is very temporarily, normally a tree branch falling to the lines and drops to the ground. I'm just guessing, but when the reclosers kicks in, the electric company assumes that the problem is within the higher voltage power lines and therefore knows that the outtage is widespread. This should be very high priority to fix. 

Really wide area outtages

I have only experienced this once. Few years back, one of the main powerlines from Central Thailand to South broke down. The whole Southern Thailand had an power outtage for few hours. The first symptom of these kind of events is that the ADSL line goes quiet, even if you have UPS or other backup power to keep the internet connection on. It starts to be scary if the mobile connection goes down as well. I'm not sure, but if I recall correctly, the mobile network kept working due the Southern Thailand outage. 

 

Phuket provincial electricity authority (PEA) removing bamboo and other trees from the power line as preventative measure at Ao Por

Phuket provincial electricity authority (PEA) removing bamboos and other trees from the powerline as preventative measure at Ao Por

Bamboos are nice, but they also grow very fast and can cause problems. The electric company have to do constant maintenance to protect the wires

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recloser

 

The good guys, who make sure that we keep cool in our homes by taking care of the power gridPhuket Electrician working to avoid power outtages. The good guys, who make sure that we keep cool in our homes by taking care of the power grid



Another common cause for power outages are Golden tree snakes, which climb to the power poles and cause shortcuts. 



Golden tree snake causes power outtages in Phuket, Thailand