Hurricane Season is Here: Be Prepared for Transformer Failure

Last year’s hurricane season brought devastating destruction to Puerto Rico, Houston, the Caribbean, and the Southeastern United States, leaving homes flooded, supplies limited, and widespread power outages. The average hurricane season produces 12 named storms with 6 becoming hurricanes, so we need to be prepared each and every year.

Here at Corefficient, we understand the importance of preparing for Hurricanes and other natural disasters that bring high risk for transformer explosions as well as the urgency in which they need to be replaced. We will break down what to expect this hurricane season, why Hurricanes cause transformer explosions, and how best to recover when they do.

What to Expect This Hurricane Season

Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 1st, with the peak falling between mid-August to late October. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, “[predicts] a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms with winds of 39 miles per hour or higher. Five to nine of those could become hurricanes, with winds of 74 m.p.h. or higher, and one to four could develop into major hurricanes, which have winds of 111 m.p.h. or higher,” (New York Times).

Why do Hurricanes cause power system failure?

As seen in the widespread power outages in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, these storms can cause immense transformer damage. The typical reasons for this are:

  1. The initial impact of the storm, i.e. rain and strong winds
  2. Storm surges in coastal areas
  3. Flooding caused by heavy rainfall

In an electrical transformer, there is energy being transferred between circuits, switching between voltages. When there is too much electricity flowing, the surge can cause explosions. In a Hurricane, intense winds and heavy rainfall can damage these transformers and put them at risk of higher energy spikes, leading to explosions.

How Do Transformers Get Restored and Replaced?

Once it is safe to dispatch crews after a storm, they will assess the damage. If a critical transformer is damaged (with no replacement available) they might operate in a reduced state until a replacement is available. If the transformer is damaged beyond repair they must quickly coordinate to try to get a new one installed. These repairs and replacements are usually coordinated by local, state, and in extreme cases, federal governments.

Corefficient provided numerous replacement transformers during last year’s Hurricane season. Our high quality, reliable products combined with fast turnaround time means we are the optimalsource for replacement transformers. If you are a government agency in the market for replacement transformers this Hurricane season, please  visit or contact our sales engineer at (704) 236-2510

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