Cost effective mitigation of wildfire risk generated by power lines

K. Deuar
Kris Deuar & Associates, Inc.,
United States

Keywords: resilience, sustainability, cost savings, power lines

Summary:

The recently developed Micro-Stress Pole Testing (MSPT) technology can save a lot of money by elimination of costly replacements of poles which are prematurely rejected by presently used inaccurate pole inspection methods. Having been extremely accurate the MSPT can uniquely identify additional reservoir of pole strength based on the following facts: 1. The standard values of wood fiber strength represent the 5th percentile obtained from laboratory break tests. It means that 95% of poles have the actual wood fiber strength greater than the standard value used for determining pole strength (and quite often it is twice as strong). 2. Many poles installed in the past are significantly oversized (stronger than need be). The above ability of the MSPT has been consistently proven by many pilot tests and validation pole break tests. Regarding the urgent need to reduce the risk of wildfires the MSPT appears to be an ideal tool to accurately check and minimize the number of poles which must be replaced for stronger poles capable to safely support new larger and heavier insulated wires. Money saved in this way can be used for wider and faster application of insulated wires at no additional cost.