The hazards associated with power transmission cables can be effectively reduced with the right approach from electric utilities.
FREMONT, CA: High-power transmission cables have been instrumental in delivering electricity to the masses. However, they have also been a cause of concern due to the hazards they have caused. Today, the electric utilities are considering ways to prevent instances of accidents and fires, which have resulted in losses over the years. With technological advances and alternative methods of power transmission, safer infrastructure is on the cards. Apart from preventing mishaps, these advances can help make transmission cables less prone to damages resulting from natural calamities, and thus minimize the breakdowns and outages. To prepare a comprehensive strategy towards safer power lines, electric utilities can take the following approach.
• Assessment of Hazards
Understanding of the issues is the first step towards finding a plausible solution. Electric utilities need to draw up data-backed reports regarding safety hazards that have occurred over the years. These reports can be instrumental in gaining analytical insights into various types of power line problems that particular regions have faced. The vulnerabilities, although general in nature, sometimes vary from one location to another. Identifying risk-prone areas can be highly rewarding from the perspective of designing a safety plan.
• Training and Protecting Workers
Maintenance workers, as well as engineers responsible for on-site operations, should be equipped with the know-how and the safety gear to handle the high-power cables. Safety essentials and best practices evolve continuously. There have been developments in equipment and wearables, which can enhance worker safety significantly. Advanced training methods, with backing from AR/VR, are essential to give the best working knowledge to mechanics working with power lines.
• Considering Alternatives Like Undergrounding
Undergrounding of existing overhead power lines is a costly affair. However, the benefits of undergrounding are significant. From preventing electrocutions from avoiding fires, everything is possible with underground cabling. In addition to that, utilities can benefit from lesser maintenance costs in the long run, since underground cables are reasonably protected from external factors like weather.
By modernizing the power lines simultaneously with other infrastructure like grids, electric utilities can pave the way for enhanced safety and reduced losses.