At Cresatech, our business is copper theft detection. This story from San Francisco last year illustrates the hazards of undetected copper theft on a substation.
It can be expensive to do, but the cost of doing nothing is worse than the cost of doing this.
Investigators noted “experienced thieves” (look for a discussion on the types of copper thieves in a later article) only stole $100 worth of copper.
It would be considered pretty-theft and relatively simple to repair. In this case, however, the actual copper theft wasn’t the major problem. What happened when the theft went undetected could have been tragic. After some U.C. Berkley buildings lost power and explosion erupted. Onlookers could see flames two stories high. Fortunately, only minor injuries were reported.
It is noted that energy companies are frustrated with the ongoing copper theft, and until recently there has been little strategy and no investment to solve the problem. When the founders of Cresatech CuTS® began beta testing, the goal was to develop technology that would meet many ideals. CuTS® suite has many talking points- minimal false positives, low cost, easily deployed- but the most important may be real time alerting.
As substation copper theft struggles in the marketplace are ongoing, demand for CuTS® products are growing to protect assets but more often now, as a security investment and capital improvement.
San Francisco, CA