Top five U.S. states with the longest power outages

Most Americans have lost their power at one point or another. Here are the top-five states with the longest average power outages, and a few power outage preparedness tips for you and your family. 

After a long day at the office, many Americans relax by watching TV… watching over 2.5 hours of TV to be exact 1. But imagine coming home to no power. How would you spend your free time? 

Being without power is a very real possibly for most Americans. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Electric Power Industry Report, every state in the U.S. experienced a power outage in 2017. While the average U.S. power outage lasts over seven hours, residents of the following five states experienced power outages lasting at least twice that long:

Top five states with longest power outages
The average duration of a power outage in the U.S. was seven-plus hours according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration

Maine: Maine led the nation in length and frequency of power outages 2, with average power outage lasting 40 hours. While severe weather, winter storms in Maine’s case, was the leading cause of these outages, the slower than expected pace of the local utility company to restore service caused a public outcry. 

Florida: It is said that wherever you are in Florida you are less than 60 miles away from ocean. While Floridians and visitors enjoy the sand, sea and sun, they also experience more hurricanes than any other state. In fact, about a quarter of all hurricanes that hit the U.S. Mainland hit Florida. In 2017, category 4 Hurricane Irma hit Cudjoe Key and left 7.7 million people in the state without power at some point. 

New Hampshire: Mount Washington peaks at 6,288 ft and offers breath taking scenes for viewers whether it is summer or winter. But if you plan to visit the Granite State in the winter, consider packing a flashlight and comfort items in case of a power outage. In October 2017, a winter storm left one third of New Hampshire without electricity for several hours to days 3

Georgia: With more than 10 million residents and one of world’s busiest airports, Georgia consumes more electricity than most other states and has more to lose if faced with power outages. Yet Georgia residents experienced an average of 17 hours without power in 2017, partially due to Hurricane Irma leaving more than a million residents in the dark. 

Vermont: Forests and snow, two things most of us imagine thinking of Vermont. Vermont gets lots of snow, more than 80 inches per year to be accurate 4, and is one of the most heavily forested states. A combination of dense forests and heavy snowfall makes falling tree limbs a key reason for power outages averaging 15 hours.

Preparedness is Key to Protecting Your Family and Home During a Power Outage

  1. Take inventory of items you need that require electricity, including security systems and medical devices. Speak to your medical profession about a back up plan for medical devices requiring electricity and medications requiring refrigeration. 
  2. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home and by operating portable generators outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. 
  3. Weather is the leading cause of power outages in the U.S. Sign up for local weather alerts and follow your local news providers to stay up-to-date on weather systems impacting your area. Take two minutes to watch preparation tips for every season and type of disaster from meteorologist Cheryl Nelson, Disaster Preparedness Advisor for Cummins.
  4. Create a disaster prep kit for each member of your family to ensure their safety and comfort during a power outage. A basic kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food and battery-powered flashlights. 
  5. Consider purchasing a home generator to ensure vital medical equipment and appliances like sump pumps stay on during a power outage.

A home standby generator like the Cummins Quiet Connect Series turns on automatically the moment an outage occurs to power your entire home or just select appliances, based on your power needs and budget. For families with basic power needs or minimal risk of power outage, a Cummins Onan portable generator may be the right choice. Use our online generator size calculator to understand how much power your family needs.

For more power outage safety tips, check out our weather prep tips page. And visit homegenerators.cummins.com to learn more about backup power options for your home, including criteria for determining whether a portable or standby generator is the right choice for your needs and an online calculator to help you understand how much power your family consumes. 

References: 
1 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019, June 19). American Time Use Survey Summary. [Report]. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov
2 U.S. Energy Information Agency. (2018, Nov 30). Average U.S. electricity customer interruptions totaled nearly 8 hours in 2017. [Article]. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov/
3 Tuohy, D. (2017, Nov 3). Top 5 Power Outages in New Hampshire. [Article]. Retrieved from https://www.nhpr.org/
4 National Weather Service. (n.d.). Historical Monthly Snowfall - Burlington, VT. [Data Table]. Retrieved from https://www.weather.gov/ 
 

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

More power generation for Aga Khan Hospital's growing needs

With rapid growth in various segments of the health sector, the foundation required more power generation for their existing powerhouse.
With rapid growth in various segments of the health sector, the foundation required more power generation for their existing powerhouse.

When the Aga Khan Hospital and Medical College Foundation (Pakistan) Ltd. in Karachi required a reliable standby power system, it turned to its reliable partner in the power generation industry, Cummins, with authorized local distributor Orient Energy Systems. With rapid growth in various segments of the health sector, the foundation required more power generation for their existing powerhouse, thus upgrading their system from 1 MW to 1.6 MW for their upcoming projects. OES provided complete engineering and installation support of the Cummins C2200D5 generator set. 

A regular customer, Cummins strong brand reputation and The Power of One™ concept – that all major components are design, manufactured and supported by Cummins – were key factors for the customer’s continued partnership, along with customer support and execution from OES. Cummins is the only global company that designs and manufactures totally integrated generator sets and power generation systems, bringing engineering leadership, knowledge and experience to all the critical elements of both generator sets and complete power systems: engine, alternators and controls so that they all work together through seamless integration.

For more information on healthcare power solutions, visit cummins.com
 

Anisha George

As a Marketing Communications Specialist, Anisha supports marketing, communications and event management for Africa and Middle East regions. Prior to joining Cummins in 2011, she gained industry experience working in the event management field. anisha.george@cummins.com 

Common ground: Two themes emerge in annual Microgrid Challenge

Lowering carbon emissions through the use of energy storage systems and low-emission generators was the name of the game in Cummins' most recent microgrid competition. 

Cummins recently teamed with ESTECO to co-sponsor the Microgrid Design Competition. The competition attracted teams of engineers from 56 universities representing 15 countries around the world.

As part of the competition rules, the competitors had to design the best microgrid with reduced overall costs and minimized carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. While developing their designs, the teams had to consider the operating conditions and other constraints at the Cummins Megasite in Phaltan, India; such as the need for varying amounts of energy during the day and night.

"The challenge was to design the most cost and energy-efficient hybrid microgrid to supply energy to our Cummins campus in India," said Gary Johansen, Executive Director of Power Systems Engineering at Cummins. "The winning team, FESB Energetika from the University of Split, Croatia, deployed various renewable sources and use case scenarios to lower carbon emissions and optimize costs in their proposal." 

Cummins ESTECO Microgrid Design Competition - Winning team
Pictured here is the winning team, FESB Energetika, from the University of Split, Croatia. 

Microgrids optimize the use of renewable energy sources to minimize carbon emissions

Proposals from the various teams varied greatly, with each leveraging different combinations of renewable sources to lower carbon emissions.

For example, team FESB Energetika leveraged a mix of water, solar and wind to optimize the energy supply, and explored the use of excess power to generate hydrogen for fuel cells. Meanwhile, team Polimi Energy built their microgrid design with solar as the core, deploying a well-defined grid control logic. Third place-winner, team Polimi Power, focused on realistic problem constraints and applied a clear dispatch strategy as a part of the microgrid system. 

Intermittent nature of renewables addressed through energy storage systems and low emission generators

Teams optimized their microgrid designs by using both stationary storage units and low emission generator sets to address the intermittent nature of renewables. Stationary storage units are designed to store the excess energy while renewables are up and running and re-deploy the stored energy when the campus’ energy needs exceed renewable generation. Low emission generators are used in microgrid designs either to power, when needed, the campus directly or to charge the stationary storage units. 

Each of the 56 teams should be applauded for their efforts to tackle what Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger calls the "challenge of our age." More specifically, these teams created designs to meet the world’s sustainability needs and grow the economy at the same time. Congratulations to FESB Energetika, Polimi Energy and Polimi Power for their award-winning designs.

To learn more about trends in microgrids and distributed generation, follow Cummins  on Facebook and LinkedIn. To learn more about how Cummins is powering a world that’s “Always On,” visit here.

Think your friends and colleagues would like this content? Share on LinkedIn and Facebook.
 

 

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

One day without data centers equals the loss of three everyday conveniences

Data Center Image

Think your daily routine doesn't rely heavily on data centers? Think again. 

While Tom’s two kids are finishing breakfast, he checks his email, then today’s traffic on his phone. He listens to “Planet Money” while they drive to school before he prepares for the worst part of his commute. Tom hasn’t even reached the office, but he’s already utilized a service three times that most people are oblivious to – and it’s not the internet.

It’s the data center few people see, but billions of people depend on to keep their phones and other devices connected. A Nielsen study estimates 3.4 billion people around the world spend on average six and a half hours online per day. 

While one day without data centers would impact most of our daily activities, below are three modern conveniences we would lose.

1. Streaming your favorite show or movie

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have over 300 million subscribers around the world, and streaming has become the new norm of watching movies and TV shows. This increasing popularity of streaming resulted in  Netflix alone  accounting for 15% of the total downstream volume of traffic across the entire internet. Purchasing Consumption Use

2: Shopping online for every day needs

Online commerce introduced us to hassle-free shopping anywhere and anytime. In 2018, over one billion people compared prices, read others’ reviews and ordered online. In the U.S., Amazon Prime alone has over 100 million subscribers, over two thirds of American households. 

3: Catching up with friends on social media

Getting news updates, re-connecting with friends from childhood or discovering new friends with common interests, social media offers various benefits to all users. Users like social media enough to spend over two hours on average per day, about 15% of the time we are awake. 

Whether it is spending time on social media or streaming movies, a combination of technologies helps us enjoy our connected lives, and data centers are the little-known part of this infrastructure. Data centers store, process and distribute data to enable our daily need for connectivity.

Every day we drive the need for more data centers, making them one of the largest consumers of energy. In 2016, data centers around the world collectively consumed more electricity than the world’s fifth largest economy; the United Kingdom. And this is why Cummins is putting its brightest minds into delivering technologies that can make data centers more sustainable.

Making data centers more energy efficientElectricity Use Breakdown Image

Typically, a data center acquires energy in the form of electricity from the power grid. While this brings the advantage of convenience, it also has an often-overlooked environmental cost. This cost is due to the inefficiencies in centrally producing the electricity and distributing it through large geographies, where there are transmission and distribution losses.

Cummins has partnered with Microsoft and McKinstry to evaluate the potential of fuel cells in improving efficiency, reducing emissions and cutting costs. Powering datacenters with natural gas-powered fuel cells could improve energy efficiency by preventing these losses. When the fuel cells deliver the savings, the result is less environmental impact in powering ever expanding data centers.

Learn more about Cummins and how our products power data centers around the world

Join us at the 7x24 Exchange Fall Conference in Phoenix and Data Center Dynamics in London, to find out how Cummins can partner with you to keep your data center Always On.

If you are interested in career opportunities relevant to the data center industry, check out internship and employment opportunities with Cummins, where you can partner with our customers in the data center industry. 

To learn more about data centers and their role in our connected lives, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. To learn more about data center power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Combating noise pollution with generator sets as quiet as rainfall

Why your generator should be as quiet as rainfall

Noise pollution is no laughing matter. Take a brief look at the process behind making some of the quietest generator sets on the market, and how Cummins is committed to combating environmental noise. 

If you admire Parisians who have the luxury of sipping their coffee with a direct view of the Eiffel Tower, consider this: The average Parisian has a hearing loss equivalent to adding more than 15 years their actual age. In its defense, Paris is not unusual; most residents in other cities face the same challenge at varying levels.

Environmental noise is a growing concern, and it's one of the reasons Cummins is working hard to make its products the quietest in the market. Here’s why you and everyone you know should take noise pollution seriously:

  • Hearing loss: Hearing loss is the most common and well-documented impact of noise pollution. In cities, transportation and construction are two primary offenders when it comes to noise levels that could be dangerous for residents.
  • Stress and depression: Often overlooked, noise pollution can result and stress and depression. And both have their own adverse impacts on overall health.
  • Impact on the broader ecosystem: High noise levels can negatively impact the ecosystem. Marine life, for example, can experience noise pollution through ship engines, oil drilling and more, affecting everything from reproduction to defense mechanisms.  
Fridley, Minnesota is home to Cummins' Acoustical Technology Center, seen here.
Fridley, Minnesota is home to Cummins' Acoustical Technology Center, seen here. 

When it comes to addressing noise pollution and making some of the quietest products on the market, Cummins has an advantage: An acoustic testing center unlike just about any other in the world.

With sound-absorbing acoustical wedges that line the building's walls and distinctive curved ceiling, Cummins' Acoustical Technology Center (ATC) in Fridley, Minnesota is large enough to house over 20 school buses. The building is engineered to eliminate unwanted noise, leaving just the sound from the product to be precisely measured.

Let’s see how a combination of this facility, our people and technologies bring innovations in helping make Cummins generators - and the world - a little bit quieter. 

One of the quietest high horse power generators in the world

An enclosed generator set powered by a Cummins QSK78 engine is roughly the size of two school buses and generates enough electricity to power over 200 houses. Perhaps even more impressive is that the amount of noise it generates is the equivalent to that of rainfall (~50dBA @ 7 meters from the surface of the enclosure). You can reduce the noise produced by the generator set even further to levels that are lower than a typical human conversation level by equipping it with ultra-silent enclosures.

"A mix of technologies help us deliver these ultra-quiet products, and at the center of these innovations is the company’s trade secret element, Ducted Cavity Acoustic Material (DCAM)," said Dr. Shashikant More, Engineering Manger and Global Subject Matter Expert (SME) at Cummins. "This material is one of the lightest in the world in its class, over 200 times lighter than cotton, and is sometimes referred as ‘As light as cloud!’ due to its light weight. DCAM helps us to effectively absorb noise while keeping enclosure footprint minimal." 

Homes featuring backup generators as quiet as normal human conversation

It is becoming increasingly common for homeowners to have generators to power their entire home during an outage. This trend is fueled by a combination of an increasing number of power outages and our growing dependence on electricity in modern lives.   

Infographic: Every day noises we are exposed to could cause harm
The every day noises that humans are exposed to could cause serious harm to our hearing.

Cummins QuietConnect whole house generators produce approximately the same level of sound as a normal conversation. This product allows homeowners to power their entire home with little noise pollution. 

Whether it is the larger or smaller generator sets, innovations continue to help Cummins foster prosperous lives while minimizing its impact to the environment. Whether it is a reduction of noise, harmful exhaust gases or fuel consumption, there is a team of diverse and talented individuals working at Cummins to bring the next innovation to life.   

To read similar stories, follow Cummins on Facebook and connect on LinkedIn, and learn more about how Cummins is powering a world that’s "Always On."
 

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

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