In early 2020 we conducted a trial to see whether we could extend the life of some of our wooden poles more effectively using a new technique.
The trial was conducted in the Whanganui region, with 200 poles tested and selected for reinforcing.The reinforcing was conducted in partnership with Logsys and involved strengthening the pole with steel trusses applied using a pneumatic ram.
Reinforcing poles using trusses is not new, however this technique – developed in the United States – is. In the past trusses were bolted to the pole, however drilling the bolt hole often introduced microbes, leading to internal rot and requiring replacement of the pole.
With the trial complete, the Asset team studied the data and monitored the poles before deciding to adopt this technique to reinforce other wooden poles in our network.
It’s estimated that poles will have up to another 20 years’ service once they’ve been reinforced in this way.
About 36,000 of the 265,000 poles in our network are wooden, so having an effective way of reinforcing them helps ensure we run our network safely and cost-effectively. It also allows us to extend the life of assets in areas where land use is changing, and demand for supply is reducing, allowing us to focus our resources in areas where demand is growing.
Link to our glossary
Extending the life of the wooden poles in our network so we can run our network safely and cost-effectively.
A trial of a new steel truss reinforcement technique in 200 poles across Whanganui.
Ensuring we use the best techniques to maintain our wooden pole assets so we can get the most out of them.
Construct new substation building
Route for new circuit between Arapuni and Putaruru confirmed
Planned power cut during this period
Construction of the circuit and new transformer at Putaruru substation
We strive to minimise impact in the design and placement of network infrastructure and we’re still planning and consulting on the route for the new circuit. The circuit will be a mix of overhead lines – which you will see, and underground cable – which you won’t see. You’ll also see a new building at our Putaruru substation, replacing the ageing existing building there.
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