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Things electrical that go pop and phizzz in the wind

Things electrical that go pop and phizzz in the wind

Old Sep 16th 2004, 3:43 pm
  #1  
Franklin
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Exclamation Things electrical that go pop and phizzz in the wind

Things electrical that go pop and phizzz in the wind; anyone else noticed the way trees up and down streets interact with above-ground power lines? :scared:

A strong wind can cause damage to the power lines and overload the transformers. The transformers (if that is what they are) are attached to telegraph poles that often lean at strange angles like old cemetery headstones.

Anyone else wonder about this strange way of delivering electricity to homes up and down the land? Along the east coast strong winds cause widespread downing of power lines along streets. It probably costs more to bury the power lines, but isn't it worth it? Other countries manage to avoid using street power lines, including countries that are not plagued with a hurricane season.

Don’t get me wrong. I love trees, but trees and power lines do not mix! :scared:

Last edited by Patent Attorney; Sep 16th 2004 at 4:07 pm.
 
Old Sep 16th 2004, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Things electrical that go pop and phizzz in the wind

Originally Posted by Patent Attorney
Things electrical that go pop and phizzz in the wind; anyone else noticed the way trees up and down streets interact with above-ground power lines? :scared:

A strong wind can cause damage to the power lines and overload the transformers. The transformers (if that is what they are) are attached to telegraph poles that often lean at strange angles like old cemetery headstones.
<<snip>>
Tell me about it...

I won't forget the icestorm of winter 2002 when I had no power for nearly 8 days. Fewer residents of the area who'd have experienced loss of electricity if the utility companies trimmed back the trees and bushes...
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Old Sep 16th 2004, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Things electrical that go pop and phizzz in the wind

Underground lines are indeed more expensive than overhead. by a factor of several times. Consider that in most parts of the U.S. the buildings served are spread out over a larger area than in Britain, and that adds up to a big difference in cost. Overhead lines are obviously more susceptible to storm damage, but balanced against that is the fact that they are much more accessible for repairs or for adding extra services. If you have to dig up the road every time you need to add a service to a new home, it costs a lot more (as well as being much more inconvenient in most cases).

The transformers (if that is what they are)
There are other devices mounted on poles, but if you're referring to the round, can-shaped (in North America) units then yes, they are transformers which convert the incoming high voltage down to the 120/240 volts used in your home.

One noticeable difference between the American and British distribution systems is that in the U.K. we tend to use a few larger transformers which then feed a large group of houses (except in rural areas where buildings are in odd ones and twos). By comparison, American distribution tends to use a much larger quantity of smaller transformers, each feeding only a few houses at most.

There is still a lot of overhead distribution in rural England (e.g. the part of Norfolk in which I live). There has been a move toward putting more underground in recent years, especially where a completely new development is being built. I understand that a similar trend is starting to emerge in the U.S., but bearing in mind the much higher proportion of overhead local distribution in America to begin with, it's likely to be a long while before you notice any big changes.

And yes, trees and bushes really should be cut back away from overhead lines. There are a couple of poles in a nearby village here which have vines/creepers of some sort covering them completely. There is a pole under this lot, somewhere!

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Old Sep 16th 2004, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Things electrical that go pop and phizzz in the wind

Originally Posted by PBC_1966
Underground lines are indeed more expensive than overhead. by a factor of several times. Consider that in most parts of the U.S. the buildings served are spread out over a larger area than in Britain, and that adds up to a big difference in cost. Overhead lines are obviously more susceptible to storm damage, but balanced against that is the fact that they are much more accessible for repairs or for adding extra services. If you have to dig up the road every time you need to add a service to a new home, it costs a lot more (as well as being much more inconvenient in most cases).
All valid reasons for them above ground, but there still god awful to look at aren't they...ruin a perfectly nice country view many atime....which is a shame...
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