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Installing overhead conductor
Installing power poles
Pulling electric wire
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Installing overhead conductor
Installing power poles
Pulling electric wire
Electric supply trailer
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Electric supply trailer
Trailer carries hardware needed to install electric lines

Resource pdf:
Look in Electric power pole photos 2016
Power wire puller
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4-drum Puller
Puller sits back away from freeway
Pre-assembled 2x8 wood deck is laid to prevent sinking in the mud after frequent rains
In the south Texas region, wood decks are used by oil seismic crews etc, and construction of all types
Wet soil is also low resistance to ground... the wood deck adds measure of safety for me working with electric cable
Dense clay soils as shown here are also less resistant to ground.
The less resistance the ground has, the greater conductivity. Less resistance is good for grounding each pole, but damp dense salty soils also make the risk higher for construction cranes working on new freeway. The potential field that develop around an electrified machine is much broader and more more dangerous over wider area.

4 ropes ... each rope attached to a spool

The ratio of the distance to the first structure and the height to the first stringing sheave should be three to one (3:1)
Correct tension must be kept on the wire during pulling so the wire is not damaged
Tensioner is located on other side of highway,,, and keeps correct tension on the wire as it is being pulled across... too little tension and the line drops... too much tension and the line can splay (the cable strands spread apart)
Overhead installation guide
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Puller has 4 spools of rope.
Rope is run up to sheaves (pulleys) on the pole, and then over to wires on other pole.
Ropes are tied to wires on other pole.
Puller pulls the ropes and wire from pole to pole
Electric supply trailer
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Puller and two poles:
Each pole is on opposite side of freeway
With 4 ropes
... ropes start at the puller,
... and then up to sheaves (pulleys) mounted on the pole.
... then the ropes lay across live high voltage wires in this instance.
... freeway is closed briefly early Sunday morning
... men run the ropes across the highway.
.. they tie ropes onto wires.
... the wire on other side are on 4 spools.
... there are 3 large Hot wires and 1 smaller Neutral wire
 ... puller pulls the rope and wire back across the freeway
... over the top of the hot wires .
... the men secure new wires to insulators on the pole.
..  both sides of freeway are finished.. 2 minutes
... freeway open few minutes later
... wire cannot be left in the sheaves longer than 24 hours or it can damage the conductor ..
... the puller and wire must be
Pull electric wire
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Ropes, pole and cable blocks or sheaves (pulley)
Electric supply trailer
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Sheave or cable block attached to pole
4 sheaves are attached to side of pole
The ropes loop over the sheaves
The width of the sheave is based on the width of the wire.
The sheave cannot be too narrow that it damages the shape of the wire
pole on other side
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Pole on other side
4 sheaves are attached to side of pole
The wires loop over the sheaves, waiting for the rope to be tied.
Once the rope is tied to wire, the puller brings the wire across the freeway.
The tensioner is located on other side of freeway.
Tensioner makes sure there is not too much slack in the wire, not too tight that the puller bends the wire.
A shield has been added over the top of live hot wires on other side, in event a wire drops from above
Neutral and static wire
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Neutral / static wire and hot wire
The power company is installing 3 Hot wires and 1 Neutral wire.
This is required for distribution of electric power
When the Neutral wire is located on top of pole, it is also called a static wire.
Static wire is defense against lightning strike, and catches the excess voltage and redirects it to ground.

Neutral is always smaller than Hot wire.
One reason is economy.
Wire size and material is a balance of cost and performance
For example, copper wire might be a better conductor for transmission and distribution...
... but copper wire is too expensive, and too heavy and too soft for long spans between poles.
Aluminum-covered steel wire is strong and relatively inexpensive, and it performs the job, so it is better choice than copper.

3-phase electric: power plant to end user
Electric supply trailer
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Aluminum wire and aluminum-alloy steel wire
Freshly cut wire has dislodged some of the strands.... strands are splayed open
This design of stranded wire is called concentric round, since each strand is the identical, each is round, and cable is round.
Air space between strands can be reduced by compacting aluminum into trapezoidal shape for smaller wire size.

This is example of #600 aluminum wire. The number of strands on wire in photo is 37, and .775" in diameter.
Overhead wire can have 70-127 strands and 2.3" or more in diameter, and made from a variety of aluminum alloys.
Household wire can be 7-19 strands and less than 1/4" across

Wire size and material is a balance of cost and performance
For example, copper wire might be a better conductor for transmission and distribution...
... but copper wire is too expensive, and too soft for long spans between poles.

Aluminum wire is relatively inexpensive, and it performs the job equal to copper, so it is better choice than copper.

Zinc coated and aluminum coated steel wire is used where temperatures exceed 200 F
Resource pdf:

Conductor examples Conductor examples
Different conductors are chosen for different applications
Illustration is general  depiction of materials and not exact numbers of strands or types of cores or shapes of wire configuration.

Choice of conductor is always a balance of electrical efficiency and cost of materials

Galvanized steel wire surrounded by aluminum wire is used for long spans. ACSR ACAR
Steel wire is strong, but a poor conductor. The aluminum wire carries most of the electricity.
The 'skin effect' causes most of the current to flow close to the surface of the wire.

The wire that is pulled across the freeway on this job is #795 steel core surrounded by aluminum, 37 strand, .89" diameter

For shorter spans, up to 50 meters, with high load demand, all-aluminum wire is used. AAC AAAC

For rural areas with few customers, price of conductor becomes important issue. Galvanized wire is often used.
Galvanized steel is a poor choice of conductor for areas with high load

Overhead conductors can last at least 40 years
Electric supply trailer
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The hot wires on this distribution line are .775" in diameter
Looking at power lines while standing on the ground, they look small.
But up close, they are large, heavy-duty wires...

These particular wires are on a distribution line serving several neighborhoods, sewer treatment facility, cell phone towers, and small businesses including fast food, gas stations, a small assembly plant etc.
Electric supply trailer
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Hot wires
Each transmission and distribution pole has 3 hot wires and one neutral
The key head is 1-1/16"/ wire is .774" diameter
37-strand aluminum overhead conductor
wire and wire ties
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Wire ties and wire
Wire ties are used to attach the wire to the insulator at each pole.
Wire ties are prefabricated for each wire size
Rubber insulator is inserted on the wire or on the tie to prevent wire from touching insulator.
Insulators are made from variety of materials including glass.
When viewing electric repair trucks and supply trailers on the road, you can see the pre-fabricated ties hanging on back of vehicle
new power wires
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Next day: New overhead conductors across freeway
The line tension and sag must be calculated.
Wind load, ice load, expansion caused by temperature, clearance above road, elongation-over-time, age, number of hours exposure to loads.... each is a factor.
This installation in South Texas is subject to hurricane force winds, 50 miles from the coast.  

Each wire has a rating based on maximum conductor strength when energized
Conductors for overhead transmission wires
Hot wires connect on pole
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Hot from North side of freeway attaches to South side
Suspension clamp is tightened against wire using 4 bolts.
Wire is bent downward.
The bend in wire adds a mechanical resistance to slippage of wire
The bend also pulls the Hot wire away from the insulator.
The Hot wire is connected to Hot wire on pole.

Suspension clamp is connected to insulator.
Insulator is bolted to steel pole

Long suspension spans use aluminum-coated steel wire or steel cored aluminum ACSR
Aluminum wire will sag more than steel wire over long spans.
Steel coated aluminum wire is used.
The steel carries mechanical strength while aluminum strands carry bulk of current
Poor conductivity of steel makes it a poor choice for long distance transmission of high voltage.
Galvanized steel is used in rural areas with few customers on the line because it is less expensive.
suspension clamp
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Suspension clamp and strain insulator
Suspension clamp has 4 bolts that are tightened against wire.
The clamp holds wire and keeps it from slipping.
Used when suspending wire across long distance or at pole located at corner

Strain insulator vrs suspension insulator
Mechanical design overhead lines
Hot wires connect on pole
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Original non-photoshopped photo
Suspension clamp and strain insulator
This lighter-weight version of assembly shown above.
Power company installed new poles for freeway construction
When new poles were wired and energized, the old poles were taken down.
Hardware was removed from old poles.
This assembly was left along freeway .... I picked it up from the ditch, photographed it following day, and returned it to the ditch.
Surprising was that the fins on the insulator were rubber material, as was the coating around the insulator.
The fins are for dissipating heat

neutral connection
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Neutral connection at top of pole
:Neutral from pole north of freeway, tied to Neutral line on south pole using 2 compression fittings
Neutral connected to top cap insulator using side tie
Additional wiring
Electric supply trailer
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Electric supply trailer carries additional rolls of wire
Various sizes of wire for installation at homes and businesses.
The supply trailer is used each day for variety of jobs.
For example there is a length of triples wire that is used for home installation and repair
Distribution pole
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Distribution pole assembled on ground
Poles are delivered without hardware, and dropped in location where each will be set
Linemen install hardware on each pole
Each type of pole is assembled to specification.
For example the polymer riser (insulator) must be set at specific distance from bottom of pole, and from each other.
The distance from polymer riser to pole is specified.
The number and location of guy wires. The size and application of ground wire.

Wood poles are used for spans up to 50 meters.
Wood poles rot underground after 20-25 years
Cannot be used for voltages higher than 20 Kv

Mechanical design of overhead power
Neutral compression connection to ground wire
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Distribution pole assembled on ground
top of power pole
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Top of power pole
A shackle insulator has been added to pole.
This is a type of strain insulator that lets linemen install a short line to another pole for local service
Guy wire connection
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Guy wire connection
Power pole tool
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Power pole tool: Cant Hook
Linemen use ordinary tools: drill, wrench, stapler
They also use specialized tools such as the tool shown (cant hook) that is made specifically to roll the pole, or keep it from rolling.
They use climbing spikes and safety belt when ascending and descending pole.
power pole tool- cnnt hook
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Cant Hook
Standoff for ground wire
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Standoff for ground wire
Extra length of ground wire looped back in toward the pole will be attached to Neutral wire at top of pole
Standoff for ground wire
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Standoff for ground wire
Each wooden pole on the distribution grid has a ground wire that travels down the side of pole.
Standoffs are used to keep the ground wire away from hot wires
And help prevent possible arcing from the hot to metal parts on the pole and then to ground.
Once the ground is below the height of the hot wires, the ground wire is attached directly to pole.
Bottom of pole, the ground wire enters the soil

3-phase electric
Household electric service
Why you need ground
Standoff for ground wire
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Standoff for ground wire with ground wire attached
Extra wire will be connected to Neutral wire at top of pole
Neutral compression connection to ground wire
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Neutral compression connection to ground wire
Every pole has a ground wire.
The ground wire always connects to Neutral
Then the ground wire runs down side of pole to the soil when a ground connection is made
Each ground is based on type of pole, height, location, type of soil etc

Neutral wire runs from pole to pole across the entire grid.
Ground wire is connected to neutral using a compression coupling.

before installation, both conductors are cleaned with wire brush and coated with inhibitor
Neutral compression connection to ground wire
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Ground wire runs full length of pole.
Here is the connection point between the copper ground wire and the aluminum-coated steel wire that runs to top of pole
On some pole, the copper wire is used for full length of ground.
In this instance, the aluminum-coated steel or aluminum wire is used since it is cheaper.
The bare copper wire is #6.
Copper can never be installed above the aluminum to prevent copper salts from washing down on aluminum.
Neutral compression connection to ground wire
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Ground at bottom of power pole: Butt coil
Depth of pole into ground is determined by engineers during planning stage
Once the pole is set in the soil, the weight of pole helps the ground make contact with soil
Using a coil of wire on the the bottom or butt of the pole is common technique.
Using a butt plate is another method.

A butt coil is made from the #6 copper wire that is stapled to side of pole.
The copper wire is coiled on the bottom, and pieces cross each other to maximize contact.
In addition to the coil, a ground rod is also driven into the soil to depth that is specified by engineer.
Depth of ground rod is based on resistivity and dampness of soil.
The ground must reach soil that is permanently damp... and below the frost line
This installation is done in a damp Texas coastal region with clay soil.
Dense soil such as clay has less resistance to ground than dry rocky soil.
The best soils are dense, non-frozen, clay. The worse soils are loosely compacted gravel with a permafrost.
Grounding specifications vary by soil, type of pole, voltage, etc.

Why you need ground
Standoff for ground wire
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Ground wire
electric pole parts
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Ground wire runs full length of pole
Ground wire from top of pole is connected to copper ground wire at bottom of pole
CAUTION... a ground wire might be energized... touching or disconnecting the ground is extreme danger.
This applies to power line at distribution pole, transmission towers, and ground connections in your home..

Why you need ground
Connect electric wire to insulator
Electric supply trailer
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Top cap
Top cap is one type of insulator used to keep wire away from pole.
Wire can be attached to top of cap, or on side
Top cap is type of insulator used to keep wire from touching the pole

Insulators are required to withstand mechanical and electrical stress.
Electrical stress is caused by line voltage... failure is caused by a crack or puncture and flashover.

Higher voltage/ the greater the cost of insulator
Over 33Kv, a suspension insulator is used instead of a pin type insulator

Mechanical design of overhead power
Electric supply trailer
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Top cap and side tie
Top cap sitting on disturbed soil near freeway construction.
Prefabricated tie partially om the cap
Tie has rubber insulator to hold wire away from insulator
Electric supply trailer
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Wire, side tie, top cap.
Same image as above, photoshopped. with photo of Neutral wire
Electric supply trailer
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Connect electric wire to insulator
Simulation of connection using photoshop.
The tie wire is wrapped 1 turn around cap
Rubber insulator forms a barrier between wire and cap
Tie is twisted around the wire.

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