How to Avoid the Unseen Grid Threat: Buckling

 

What it is and why it matters

 

It was a seemingly normal spring day in the western United States when 26 utility poles crashed onto a busy six lane street. One of the poles barely missed a passing cyclist, while the crossarm of another landed between a couple driving their car. The two were trapped in their car for over an hour while rescue crews worked to de-energize the power lines and free the couple from their vehicle.

Apart from one report of lightning that turned out to be an electrical flash, it was typical April weather for the region—light rain with a maximum wind speed of less than 50 mph, certainly nothing that would normally bring down utility poles. What, then, led to this disastrous utility pole failure?

Download this important white paper on what every electric utility or telecommunications provider with wood pole overhead lines should know about buckling.

 

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