The power lineman use clamp stick (insulated tool) to closing a transformer on energized high-voltage electric power lines. The power lineman must be trained because it is a risky job.

An Australian-first pole fixture device, developed by Northern Territory’s Power and Water, will allow for the replacement of up to 15,000 corroded power poles in Alice Springs; without interrupting consumer power supply.

The bases of more than 850 power poles around the town now have already been replaced using an innovative pole fixture device that makes the work safer, faster and able to be done without interrupting the power supply to surrounding customers.

The pole fixture is the first of its kind in the utilities sector in Australia and was developed by Power and Water to streamline the pole replacement program, which involves lifting and replacing the corroded bases of some 1,500 power poles.

Power Services Senior Manager Service Delivery South, Gavin Kahl, said the technology had delivered greater efficiencies and reduced disruptions for the replacement program.

“We have undertaken a program of power pole replacements in Alice Springs over several years,” Mr Kahl said.

“By using the fixture, which holds the pole in place with a large mechanical jaw while the base is replaced and the new concrete footing sets, we have quickly and efficiently repaired a majority of the damaged poles, mostly without having to disconnect the power supply.”

The corroded poles were identified after flooding of the Todd River in 2015, when a power pole was washed out and collapsed. A comprehensive investigation identified that due to soil salinity, hundreds of power poles were at risk in Alice Springs.

“We’re very proud of this innovation that enables us to continue to safely deliver uninterrupted power supply while undertaking these essential maintenance works to shore up the power distribution network in Alice Springs,” Mr Kahl said

There are another 700 pole bases to be replaced as part of the current program, which is expected to be completed in 2024.

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