Inspecting transmission-line insulators can be tricky work, especially at higher voltages. Current methods often mean that line workers must be very close to the insulator while lines are still energized.
For safety reasons, many utilities prefer not to have employees work on energized transmission lines, according to Andrew Phillips, technical director of transmission and substations at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
“The work staff could be compromised and they could get hurt,” he says.
EPRI was contacted by utility members who said they wanted to be able to perform live work on composite insulators but were unsure if it could be done under current conditions.
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