Wildfire risk mitigation strategies key focus for Siemens at DISTRIBUTECH

Siemens has identified the increasing risk of wildfires as a megatrend that needs to be considered when designing future communities. Wildfire mitigation strategy and solutions will be a key focus for the company at DISTRIBUTECH 2020, held in San Antonio, Texas, from January 28 – 30. There, subject matter experts will present on developing real-time mitigation risk strategies and highlight system hardening product offerings.

As part of a Knowledge Hub session on digitalizing the grid, Siemens experts will be discussing how adopting a holistic wildfire mitigation strategy can benefit utilities, municipalities, and those who reside in their communities. This will take place in booth 3563 on the exhibit floor on January 29, from 10:30 – 11 am.

In addition, Siemens will also feature two of its overhead power distribution solutions for rapid-fault detection and isolation to help offset wildfire risk in booth 2408 in Hall H: the compact modular recloser (CMR) and Fusesaverà¢â€ž- medium-voltage outdoor circuit breaker. Both offer lower cost of ownership, compact design, and fast installation time when compared to traditional solutions. With its negligible maintenance and 25-year pole-top life, the CMR eliminates up to five traditional recloser maintenance cycles. And the Fusesaver circuit breaker has a fault clearing time of only 10 milliseconds (or less than one cycle) – which is one-third to one-fifth that of traditional reclosers.

Several other wildfire mitigation solutions will also be displayed in the booth, including Siemens Type 3EK medium-voltage surge arresters with arc protection system (APS) for distribution networks. Installed at each end of the surge arrester, the APS generates a magnetic force that contains the arc, mitigating the creation of molten material. These arresters are in compliance with the Cal Fire Prevention Field Guide, passed all required testing and have been awarded permanent exemption.

Siemens experts will give in-booth presentations that highlight these products’ other features, advantages, and benefits throughout the show, at booth 2408 in Hall H. Presentation topics and times will be posted at the booth’s reception desk.


The risk of year-round wildfire exposure correlates to continued population growth, with climate change, forest management, and aging electrical infrastructure further exacerbating the problem. And with more people and new homes come more power transmission lines, substations, transformers and other electrical infrastructure that cross through lands subject to wildfire risks.

As the frequency of wildfires escalates, they become more destructive in terms of loss of life and property. The National Interagency Fire Center estimated that wildfire damage to single-family homes in California could exceed $240 billion, with nine of the 10 largest recorded wildfires occurring just within the last two decades.

Regulators, electric utilities, municipalities, funding agencies, and technology providers all play a role in wildfire mitigation planning, prevention, and protection. Companies like Siemens continue to fine-tune wildfire mitigation solutions that provide electric power system owners with the means to mitigate ignition risks, analyze and respond to environmental hazards, and improve network monitoring and control for proactive planning and response.

To learn more about Siemens’s wildfire mitigation solution offerings, please stop by our DISTRIBUTECH 2020 booth 2408 in Hall H. 

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(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the online POWERGEN+ series. He is a 13-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a longtime newspaper journalist and trade publication editor. Walton can be reached at 918-831-9177 and rod.walton@clarionevents.com).

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