Summer is officially upon us, and many of you are making last minute vacation plans while some are packing your cars for that much needed rest and relaxation. You can be assured that Duke Energy’s nuclear plants also have prepared for the summer months to ensure that customers continue to receive reliable electricity when they need it the most as the temperatures rise.
Preparations for hot weather actually begin long before the mercury climbs. Engineers, operators and maintenance team members at Duke Energy’s nuclear plants work together to verify, inspect, clean and monitor plant cooling systems such as fans, pumps and heat exchangers to maximize cooling capacity and identify any potential issues that could affect the reliability of providing safe, clean electricity.
“It’s critical that our systems themselves are operating at their top performance because we know that in the hot weather months, a bigger demand will be placed on the system. But the heat itself can also be taxing if the system has not been prepared for such conditions,” said Kevin Gary, of Duke Energy’s Fleet Operations.
Nuclear plants are designed to generate baseload electricity on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week. The preparations for hot weather are very similar to what teammates do on a regular basis when it comes to safety and reliability; however, during these critical months, they place a special focus on planned activities to enure cooling systems are capable of full cooling performance.
Customers will see the benefits of these hot weather preparations when it comes to the reliability of their electricity during the months when the company sees some of its highest demand. Customers can also help ensure reliability by following a few energy saving tips such as, raising your air conditioning thermostat by just 2 degrees. This not only helps the power system, it can also reduce cooling costs by as much as 5 percent. For more information on energy saving tips visit: http://www.duke-energy.com/north-carolina/savings/Summer_Energy_Saving_Tips.asp.