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Working Live on Transmission Line Structures

By Phill Feltham

Developing protective coating maintenance strategies


Aging of the electrical transmission infrastructure has resulted in an increased need for maintenance to ensure a reliable supply of power to customers who have higher expectations than ever before. Further complicating the situation is an increase in electrical congestion and the financial implications of shutting down a supply or network line for extended periods of time to carry out the required maintenance. In response to these system, financial, and customer demands, many utilities are led to perform maintenance on energized transmission lines.

As one travels throughout North America and takes a close look at the many transmission structures, it is evident that there is, or will be, a necessity to invest in reinstating protective coating to prevent any further deterioration.

The potential consequences of performing this “live line” work has led to a need to document and collate technologies, methods, and approaches for recoating transmission structures without having to schedule a line outage.

Note that many utilities have initiated transmission line structure coating programs based on in-house research without the availability of industry standards for many of the situations addressed.

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