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Pulling electric wire

Pulling overhead conductor

power generation
Book: 'With development of new solid state technology, high voltage transmission of DC power (HVDC) has become more attractive.
DC transmission may be advantageous vrs AC transmission for more than 500 Km overhead line, and 50 Km underground line' Singh

Co-generation is growing market as demand for reliable energy grows.
Book by Singh covers the basics, and the engineering math. Future business and industry leaders should be aware of the complexity and variability of electricity.

Buy Related Books:
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3-phase power generation book at Amazon
Electric Power generation books at Amazon
3-phase wiring books at Amazon
Overhead conductor

Resource:
Basic How to wire 3-phase with illustrations and .pdf resources
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Electric supply trailer
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Electric supply trailer

Trailer carries hardware needed to install electric lines
Power wire puller
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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

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
Resource:
Overhead installation guide
Puller
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Puller

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 sheaves (pulley)

Electric supply trailer
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Sheave 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
A shield has been added over the top of live hot wires on other side, in even a wire drops from above
spun concrete pole

Tensioner and spun concrete pole

puller

Puller and spun concrete pole

distribution pull ropes
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Pull ropes

Ropes are laid out at base of pole, and go up side of pole and through sheaves on side of pole.
In the early morning, the freeway is shut down for a few minutes during the pull across all lanes of traffic.
The linemen run across with the ropes, and connect to wire on the other side.
The wire on other side is already in the sheaves and ready to go.

The puller begins to pull the wire
The tensioner keeps wires from freely rolling off the reel.
The wire never touches ground as it comes across.
The tnesioner ensure that the pulling power does not stretch and deform shape of wire.
A deformed and bent wire will not perform corectly on the distribution grid, and must be replaced.
The pull takes two minutes according to lineman, who was proud of their work and achievement.

Dirt frequently gets on the wire as it lays on the ground waiting to be pulled.
Dirt will cause wire to run hot and cause loss of efficiency.
However experience proves that the dirt will wash off in the rain, and not cause a long-term issue.

The spun concrete pole is set in concrete.

Resource
Spun concrete poles
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.

Resource:
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.

The number of strands on wire in photo is 19, ranging from 1.4 to 1.8" in diameter.
Overhead wire can have 70-127 strands and 2.3" or more in diameter, and made from a variety of aluminum alloys. 12mm˛ to 750 mm˛
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:
Ampacities-of-overhead-conductor
Overhead-Installation-Guide
4_overhead_conductors
Mechanical-Design-of-Overhead-Lines
Advanced-Conductors-for-Overhead-Transmission
Design-overhead-distribution

overhead_conductors1
Overhead-aluminum-conductor
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

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 main issue. Galvanized wire is 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 about 3/4" in diameter

Looking at them while standing on the ground, they look small.
But they are large, heavy wires...
These are not the largest wires.

These 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 about 3/4" diameter

9-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
Resource:
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
Resource:
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

Resource:
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

Resource:
3-phase electric
Household electric service
Why you need ground
Formulas-for-Ohms-law
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.

Resource:
Why you need ground
Standoff for ground wire
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Ground wire

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


Resource:
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.
neutral connection
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Neutral connection

Compare with images above:
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

Electricity leaves power plant What is 3-phase electric: power plant to end user

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