In high voltage distribution grids and master grids, power line failures represent by far the major cause of losses and costs.
The challenge for the power distributor is to adopt methods which are able at an early stage to identify potential threats in the form of reduced capacity and lifetimes, and to exploit the opportunities for timely initiatives, investments and knowledge application.
SINTEF Energy is working with:
Study of power line components exposed to mechanical, chemical and electrical stresses, which can affect the lifetime of the overhead transmission line. Current power line components are:
- Dead end clamps
- Suspension systems
- Cross arms (aluminium, wood, steel, composite)
- Towers (wood, steel, composite)
- Foundation and anchoring
- Testing of the mechanical strength of new and old power cord components. Can be combined with power load.
- Improvement of the mechanical and electrical ability to maintain contact the power, through improved design and correct torque.
- The implementation of the type of tests, including dead end joints, suspension clamps, conductors and insulators.
- Condition and lifetime analysis.
- Surveys of the aging processes such as wear, fatigue and corrosion rate.
- Testing of the dynamic response of suspension systems in order to avoid wear and fatigue
- Investigation the mechanical-and electrical strength of insulators.
- Failure analysis.
- Mapping of atmospheric corrosion environment and its salt deposit density.
- Development and evaluation of inspection methods.
SINTEF Energy has following relevant laboratories and equipment
- Universal mechanical test equipment (200kN).
- Salt mist chamber.
- Jig for bending tests of about 20m long poles.
- Jig for bending tests of cross arms.
- Jig for testing the dynamic response in suspension systems due to vibration and wind.
- Jig for stress strain testing of clamps. Measurement of "spring constant" improving the creep properties.