Punjab power dept’s secret of reducing outages during repairs — an Insulated Aerial Boom

The Punjab State Power Transmission Corporation Limited (PSPTCL) has come up with a novel solution to repair high tension wires without having to disconnect supply to the same.

The state power corporation, in a first for Punjab, has purchased an Insulated Aerial Boom — an equipment mounted on a truck, which is capable of carrying out repairs in high tension wires without disconnection — at a cost of Rs 7.5 crore. The equipment was made operational in February this year, officials said.

Shamsher Singh, the operator of Hotline and Safety Wing of the power department told The Indian Express that with the new equipment it had become easier for them to mend active high tension wires without having to resort to power cuts. He added that they at present can repair 132 KV and 220 KV lines and in the future will also try and repair 400 KV lines.

Singh further added that the crew which operates the machine was trained in Telangana and they had a team of around 17 people who are deployed with the Insulated Aerial Boom to repair the active lines.

When asked if other PSPTCL staff would be trained to handle the equipment, Singh said that other too have a working knowledge of handling the machine.

Prodded about the mechanisms on which the machine works, Singh said that a team of six was needed to operate the Insulated Aerial Boom.

“One person, who repairs the line, is made to wear an insulated suit as a protection from electric shock. the rest of the team stays on the ground and operate the machine which keeps an eye on voltage fluctuation and other safety measures. The equipment has been mounted on a truck for easy mobility.

“The high tension wires, additionally, are connected to a stick to absorb any possible electric shocks, as an additional safety measure,” Shamsher Singh added.

An officer of the PSPTCL said that the truck started operating in Punjab in February and at present is the only such machine in the state. The officer added that in the past when they had to repair the high tension wires, there used to be power outages at many sub-stations affecting people. The new technique now has helped them reduce the same.

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