Clearing and extension of ROWs along power lines are a prerequisite of reliable energy supply to customers of the Smolensk region, a significant challenge in preparing for the autumn-winter operation period. These activities are aimed at reducing failures and improving the efficiency of power facilities.
Analysis of incidents and failures at grid facilities in recent years shows that falling trees and branches touching wires can become a cause of more than 30% of all interruptions of power lines. Therefore it requires periodic clearing ROWs of overhead lines from trees and shrubs.
The results of checks of the ROWs for compliance with the requirements of the Electrical Installations Code formed the basis for developing a plan for clearing and extending the ROWs in 2014. According to the schedule of work performance the main volume fell in July-September.
To date, the work on clearing and extension of the ROWs, planned for 2014, has been completed. All work on bringing the ROWs to the regulatory state were conducted in strict accordance with the schedule.
For 11 months of this year Smolensk power engineers cleared of trees and shrubs 1,568.25 hectares of ROWs of 6-110 kV lines. The cost of clearing amounted to about 30.42 million rubles.
The extension of ROWs of 6-110 kV overhead lines was carried out in an area of 596.7 hectares.
Along with the clearing and extension of ROWs scattered trees threatening to fall on power lines were cut. From January to November over 1,700 such trees were cut down.
For each section of a ROW along overhead lines the most effective way of clearing was determined. A combination of mechanical (bulldozers) and manual methods is traditional for Smolenskenergo. For manual cutting the branch currently has chainsaws and brush cutters from "Husqvarna" and "STIHL". They are much lighter to domestic counterparts, easy to use and reliable, which can significantly increase labour productivity.
"Much of the power lines in the Smolensk region pass through woodland. Damage to overhead lines due to wire breakage, especially in winter, is most likely to occur because of falling trees," explained Head of production analysis and management of Smolenskenergo Vitaly Golubkov. "That's why we consider the work for clearing and extension of the ROWs a priority in preparation for the autumn-winter 2014-2015 operation period. These activities are aimed at reducing failures and improving the efficiency of the branch and are a prerequisite of reliable energy supply of the Smolensk region."