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Ask The Experts Blog

I am working in power distribution utility in Jharkhand, India. The place where I am working, Fault in overheadline because of bird is common. Please advise me how to over come this bird fault.

Hi Rishi,

The bird problem is an issue for all power grid operators around the world.  In America they use automatic re-closers that will automatically wait a few seconds and then re-energize a faulted line.  If it was a bird that caused the original fault, the second time the line is energized, the bird will be gone (fallen or burned off the line) and the line will run fine.  If the line faults a second time, it is obviously not a bird causing the problem and the line is kept closed until repairmen can go out and fix it.

These automatic re-closers are why Step Voltage hazards are life threatening to humans.  It’s obvious why Touch Voltages are dangerous, but Step Voltages are often thought of as only damaging and not life-threatening.  When a person is walking near a substation or tower that suffers a fault, the Step Voltages will enter and exit through the legs causing the person to fall down on to the ground.  Damaging, but usually not life-threatening.  However, when the automatic re-closers engage, the person is now laying on the ground.  The second fault will send energy through the persons head and out the feet.  This is deadly indeed and this is why we consider Step Voltages to be life-threatening.

Another option for reducing bird damage is of course is to install wooden landing pads for the birds on each and every pole.  This only works for the lower voltage distribution lines and will not for the higher voltage transmission lines.

Of course, this subject is definitely out of our area of expertise.  We would suggest that you find someone to consult with that has far more experience in this matter than we have.

Good luck!

The Engineering Team at E&S Grounding Solutions

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