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Old 04-12-2011, 04:18 PM   #1
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Upgraded larger insulator


Our local hydro company (Hydro One Ontario) just replaced/ upgraded the insulators on our poles along our country road... What will this do for us?

Just wondering why it was done.

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Old 04-13-2011, 01:29 PM   #2
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Upgraded larger insulator


You won't notice anything. They might be changing system voltages.

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:53 PM   #3
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Upgraded larger insulator


This is done for the purpose if raising the voltage on the wires attached to the insulators. The lines at the top of the pole are medium tension, usually around 7000-8000 volts to ground but could be as low as 2400 and as high as 30,000. Larger insulators are needed so higher voltages don't jump across to metal or rain-soaked wood framework underneath.

Raising the voltage allows the same wire to carry much more energy (in watts). It will stilil carry the same number of amperes as before for a given allowable voltage drop (representing energy waste) in actual volts. It will carry more amperes as well as the increased voltage for a given allowable voltage drop in percentage of volts, limited by how hot the wire is allowed to get as a result of current passing through it. The energy lost in any section of wire is watts equal to the number of amperes flowing times itself times the resistance of that section aka the number of amperes flowing times the number of volts dropped in that section (the number of volts we start out with does not matter).

Most likely the changeover will cause a brief outage for each customer as each pole transformer is exchanged (if not already) for one that takes both the old voltage and the new voltage, and another brief outage when all the transformers are disconnected, the voltage increased, and all the transformers reconnected using different "taps" so the output voltage (120/240) stays the same. There may or may not be another brief outage when the dual voltage transformer is swapped again for a single higher voltage transformer and the dual voltage transformer is available to be used someplace else for a voltage upgrade.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-13-2011 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:59 PM   #4
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Upgraded larger insulator


You'll only notice if they forget to swap out your transformer. Your lights will be viewable from the international space station, toast will be done in 0.3 seconds, the microwave will cause all planes in a 50 mile radius to lose communication and it will start to smell funny.

It could also be basic maintenance, maybe those insulators were very old and were due for replacement.
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