WHAT IS IT? A rigid thermal plastic coil that wraps around sections of transmission and distribution lines to offset the “galloping” effect of power lines. This occurs when strong winds combine with ice-coated lines, causing power outages.
This spring, OPPD started installing air-flow spoilers in some areas of the service territory that have proven most susceptible to the galloping effect.
Problems occur when ice forms on lines, creating an aerodynamic teardrop shape. This makes the lines easier to sail and move – sometimes as much as two and three feet – when winds are blowing at 15 mph or more.
The galloping lines can cause outages when the lines swing and make contact with each other, the electricity jumps between two lines that come near each other, or even weaken the poles and structures that hold up the lines.
Weakened poles can break, causing outages and dangerous downed wire situations as was the case in Saunders County this past winter.
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