BC Hydro at Work

Cranbrook transmission crews complete complex work in the Kootenays

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BC Hydro power line technicians from Cranbrook recently completed a significant maintenance project on a 500 kilovolt line in the West Kootenay region. The specialized crew used helicopters to help install more than 1,800 spacer dampers and 250 arcing horns on the high voltage towers and wires.

On high voltage power lines, spacer dampers hold the individual bundled wires apart. The new spacer dampers have high grade rubber to absorb vibration, wind and the impact of inclement weather. It is anticipated they will extend the lifespan of the lines by 70 years.

New arcing horns were also installed as part of this project. Arcing horns protect the insulators from lightning damage, which are designed to prevent insulator damage and reduce maintenance costs.

To complete the work, power line technicians climbed the towers or landed on the top of the towers using a helicopter, and lowered themselves into buggies. The buggies were hung on the wires and moved along the line using specialized gas powered motorized pullers. Tools and materials were transported to the crews via helicopters.

The work is part of an ongoing provincial project. BC Hydro will replace thousands space dampers and arcing horns across the province this year. This particular work was completed this month.

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