US scientists develop new transformer protection barrier
USA, Idaho: Scientists from the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have developed and demonstrated a new ballistic barrier system to protect electricity substations from potential attacks.
The patent-pending transformer protection barrier is designed to protect substations from threats such as bullets, vehicles laden with explosives and tornado-strength winds, U.S. Department of Energy said in a statement.
The development follows the launch of new standards for physical security of critical substations by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as result of 2013 attack on a substation in California where 17 transformers got damaged.
The new barriers system is also part of the lab’s aim to protect nation’s critical infrastructure including the grid, while making them more reliable, safe and resilient.
Each barrier unit consists of four components: an A-shaped frame, two armour cassettes that slide into the frame, and the “top hat” — an optional armour extension.
“The unit will withstand 50-caliber rounds — the standard will probably not require this level of protection,” INL defense systems materials technology and physical analysis department head Chad Landon said.