Overhead Line Design Issues


The design of wildlife outage protection products for high voltage power systems may appear to be quite simple but rather it is quite complicated. We tested our first insulator conductor covers and deterrents at a high voltage lab in 2001. Dry and wet flashover test was conducted as well as partial discharge tests according to IEEE 4 and ASTM C-29.1. These wildlife protective covers must not interfere with the dielectric properties of the insulator that they are interfacing with. These covers must also remain fixed or in place and not roll over or become dislodged during periods of high winds exposing the energized conductor or parts. Adequate clearances from ground planes, supporting members of the structure, and electrical clearances need to be engineered in the design of these insulating guards. They should fit a multitude of products, i.e. various sizes of a pin, post or clamp top insulators or fused cutouts porcelain and polymer. These bird guards need to be UV resistant, track resistant, puncture-resistant for the voltage that they are being applied, and not cause or contribute to structure failure, i.e. pole fires due to high levels of leakage current or short the leakage distance of the insulators. Our snap-fit pins provide a secure, mechanical method to prevent these bird guards from blowing off the power equipment they are installed on. The insulator conductor covers are designed to “sit up” on top of the insulator and not jeopardize the leakage distance of the insulator. They do NOT cover the entire insulator. The design does not “short” or jeopardize the leakage distance and flashover values of the insulator.
Designed to installed “hot” or while the circuit is energized with approved live line tools or personal protection equipment.
During the design process, we collaborated with a number of utilities to ensure these wildlife protection products, the materials, and design, would meet their approval and acceptance for use on their power lines. Prototypes would be made, lineman would hot stick and install the products at test facilities and after final approval, tooling would be procured.
We invite your comments, suggestions, and questions. Feel free to contact us anytime with your wildlife issues. We’ve helped numerous utilities, Fortune 100 companies, US Military and Energy Providers with wildlife-related issues, Avian Protection Plans and other electrical issues.
Eco Electrical Systems wildlife outage protection products are intended and designed for inadvertent contact by wildlife. They are not intended or designed to be used as insulating protection for employees or the general public from electrically energized equipment.

The majority of wildlife related outage issues occur on equipment structures, i.e. transformer poles, transformer banks, capacitor banks, regulators, reclosers, etc.

Raptors will perch on crossarms, pole tops, equipment, phases, jumpers, and equipment to hunt and also consume their prey. As you can see in the photo to the right this Swainsons Hawk is sitting in a very dangerous area of the structure. The jumpers have a tubing installed but there are openings in the tubing very close to the bird. The top section of the cutouts are exposed, the top section of the arrestors are exposed and the ground lead of the arrestors is very close to the birds tail. All a recipe for failure.

Birds will defecate on arrestors, cutouts, bushings, terminations, insulators, and anything else they are perched above. This excrement/contamination will eventually cause a failure. Configure the jumper leads so the birds are not perching above the cutouts, arrestors, and bushings. Position the jumpers to the sides when they exit the cutouts, arrestors, etc.


Hawk in Danger

Methods Utilized for the Prevention of Wood Structure Fires Caused by Leakage Currents

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