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By Sarabel Amador-Nelson, Jack Harley
non-flammable aerosol fluid

Same day switching avoids the extended outages and human and equipment costs associated with inoperable and broken switches.
The vast majority of air break disconnect and ground switches in electric power networks typically receive no appreciable maintenance. This invariably results in the inability to operate switches when needed. A pretreatment method is now available that is safe to use on energized switches. It consists of a remote radio-controlled hot stick tool and a non-flammable aerosol fluid engineered to dissolve the corrosion and dried grease deposits that often inhibit switch movement. The method has been shown to reliably restore normal function and operation to previously inoperable air disconnect switches.
During a test phase, the tool was used to apply fluid to a variety of types and voltages of known inoperable switches in varying environmental conditions. Switching functions were successfully restored in a short time to allow same day switching activities. Testing shows that the use of the pretreatment method will reduce the mechanical force exerted on switch equipment by up to 50 percent during opening, resulting in less stress exerted on switches and insulators. The improved ergonomics of the tool and method also display a positive effect for the switchman, reducing physical impact of striking activity by nearly 40 percent.
This method may help to extend the life of switching equipment and contribute to reduction in work force injury claims related to switching activities.

Read full article in the Special SUBSTATIONS Issue.

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