5 Ways Animals Cause Fires and How Wildlife Covers Can Help

Posted by Ed LeRouzic on Apr 24, 2020 11:15:00 AM

Looking at recent data from California utilities, about one in ten ignition causes can be traced back to animals either directly or indirectly. That amounts to a significant number of wildfires caused by animal contact alone.

Here are five ways wildlife can cause fires near power lines.

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Topics: Distribution, Substation, Wildfire Mitigation, Wildlife Mitigation

Fire Protection Coating: How to Protect Wooden Utility Poles from Wildfires

Posted by Haley Engel on Apr 17, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Utilities recognize that wooden poles are vulnerable to fire. However, replacing millions of wooden poles with metal or composite ones isn’t realistic from a cost and labor perspective. Reinforcing wooden poles with passive fire protection options is a promising alternative. To maintain the benefits of wood poles, utilities are choosing to deploy passive fire protection solutions in high risk fire areas, controlled burn zones, and active fire paths. This can reduce the duration and cost associated with power outages after a fire. There are two leading options for protecting wooden poles from wildfires: coatings and wraps. These products offer different benefits in terms of serviceability, ease of installation and removal, and breathability.

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Topics: Distribution, Wildfire Mitigation

Underground Cable Accessories Installation: Proper Torque for Separable Connectors

Posted by Tamera Weedon on Apr 9, 2020 8:15:00 AM

A common cause of power quality issues in underground systems is the improper torquing of underground separable connectors. During the installation of these products, achieving proper connections is one of the most important yet overlooked step in the installation process.

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Topics: Cable Accessories, Underground Separable Connectors, Safety

CHANCE® Lineman Grade Tools™ Additional Cleaning to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Posted by Jeff Kopp on Apr 6, 2020 9:19:47 AM

During this time of heightened concern for cleanliness, here are some guidelines for additional cleaning of your CHANCE tools, without compromising the integrity of the equipment. It is recommended that you continue to follow safe working practices, increased hygiene, and proper distancing as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OSHA, federal, state and local health departments, and your company’s work practices and procedures. 

Enhanced Cleaning Instructions*
Fiberglass Hotsticks, Instruments, Meters, Rubber and Plastic Cover-Up, Rubber Blankets, and Cable Jacket:

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Topics: Lineman Grade Tools, Safety

Components of a Reliable Polymer Compound

Posted by Haley Engel on Mar 25, 2020 3:20:00 PM

Polymer compounds suitable for electrical insulation can consist of 10 or more ingredients which can be broken down to three major categories. These include the base polymer, fillers which can make up nearly 50% of the total compound, and active additives. Compounding of an elastomer with fillers and additives to achieve the desired results for a given application is critical. The components are carefully selected to enhance field performance and ease of manufacture.

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Topics: Distribution, Arresters

Ensure Long-Term Reliability of Polymer for High Voltage Insulation

Posted by Haley Engel on Mar 19, 2020 11:35:00 AM

After defining the characteristics required of an ideal polymer housing material, the next step is to develop an appropriate test protocol. Good polymer compounds used for high voltage insulation should be tested for the ability to resist tracking, erosion, corona, and ultra-violet (UV) radiation exposure to ensure long term reliability. The section below provides a high-level overview of the key test procedures defined to achieve the previously mentioned characteristics. The testing regime, outlined in Table 1, allows various materials to be evaluated and led to the optimum material selection for electrical insulation applications.

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Topics: Distribution, Arresters

More Than Hydrophobicity: Ideal Polymer Characteristics for Distribution Arresters

Posted by Haley Engel on Mar 11, 2020 4:15:00 PM

It’s a commonly held belief that the single most important characteristic for insulating materials is hydrophobicity, the ability to shed water or cause water films to bead, breaking up the potential leakage current path. Because the polymer housing is the primary defense for system critical distribution equipment, there are several other important polymer characteristics worth taking into consideration.

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Topics: Distribution, Arresters

Why Use “H” Rated Clamps for Temporary Grounding

Posted by Billy Webber on Feb 28, 2020 10:42:09 AM

Prior to 2009, ASTM F855, Standard Specifications for Temporary Protective Grounds to Be Used on De-energized Electric Power Lines and Equipment only included one table indicating the specifics to which ground set designs were to be tested. This “Table 1” was based on a near symmetrical current, limiting the circuit inductive reactance to resistance (X/R) ratio to a maximum of approximately 1.8 (20% asymmetry).

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Topics: Lineman Grade Tools, Safety, Temporary Grounding

Thermal Diffusion Galvanizing or TDG Method Tested and Proven

Posted by Jeff Butler on Feb 4, 2020 9:00:00 AM

TDG or thermal diffusion galvanizing is a method of applying a uniform, sacrificial, zinc and iron alloy coating using a metallurgical vapor diffusion process. Hubbell Power Systems, Inc. has investigated this method for use in the coating of end fittings for distribution insulators and the results show improved performance over traditional hot dipped galvanizing (HDG). In addition to improved anti-corrosive performance, TDG is a more environmentally friendly process due to its virtually zero-waste system.

Testing the Thermal Diffusion Galvanizing or TDG Method

Governing insulator standards ANSI C29, as of now, do not define standard prototype or quality conformance tests due to a change in galvanizing method. Because of this, Hubbell Power Systems treated the TDG end fittings as a different material and went through the prototype test requirements per the relevant insulator standards. In addition, samples were tested in a salt fog chamber according to ASTM B117 and mechanical testing of effective crimp trials were conducted to ensure process capability.

For change of metal end fitting materials in polymer distribution suspension insulators, also known as PDIs, the following prototype tests were required per ANSI C29.13:

  • Water Penetration Test
  • Power Arc Test
  • Tensile Load Test
  • Torsional Load Test
  • Thermal Mechanical Test

Testing was completed primarily at the ISO 17025 accredited Hubbell Power Systems high voltage test facility in Wadsworth, OH and all testing passed successfully.

The anti-corrosion performance of the samples from the ASTM B117 salt fog chamber located in our Centralia, MO lab is shown below by comparing standard HDG end fittings and TDG end fittings. After 4,000 hours of salt fog exposure, the HDG samples are thoroughly covered with deep penetrating corrosion, while the TDG samples show corrosion only in limited areas with minimal penetration. 


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Topics: Insulators

Helical Pile Foundations in Coastal Area

Posted by Tim Staelens on Jan 3, 2020 11:42:45 AM

Electric Utility Engineers who design and maintain transmission lines face many challenges including weak, soft soils that can’t bear much weight and aggressive soil that corrodes metal. Whether you are facing Virginia’s Coastal Plain or western Colorado’s Mancos Shale, CHANCE® offers protection to ensure the helical foundations and anchors beneath transmission towers will function properly and withstand the test of time.

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Topics: Construction