Abbas Ali wrote:
At present, I don't think power supply companies in Pakistan like Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) use helicopters to test/check long distance high tension power wires, poles etc.. In TV and newspaper ads, I've not seen WAPDA using helicopters. Probably WAPDA will consider introducing helicopters in their inventory to perform high tension power wires maintenance work in future?
Btw, I remember watching a documentary programme on National Geographic or Discovery channel in which they showed small helicopters used by linesmen to inspect long distance high tension power lines in some western country probably it was United States.
The pilot brought chopper very close to wires and a lineman sitting at one of the doors of the chopper used some rod-like equipment to actually touch wires and perform some tests/checks. Small sparks also erupted while those tests/checks.
It is routine in Pakistan to repair EHV transmission lines live using Helicopters. Its not rocket science and WAPDA has been doing it for many decades. Most of EHV lines (500KV, 220KV etc) in Pakistan are copper. Aluminum cables are used in distribution systems. Like 11KV and below.
Much of the Pakistan's energy system losses are due to ill-designed distribution system. It was mostly built with USAID funds and thus designed and supervised by USAID. While Americans themselves use single voltage lines to feed rural areas - Americans have been advising rest of the world including WAPDA to lay three phase systems for rural electrification - thus, multiplying the transformer and line losses by three. Rural areas load is small enough that it can be fed using a single conductor and single phase transformers.
Yes, there is revenue pilferage and electricity theft but I am talking about distribution system line losses itself.