Effective wood preservatives such as Pentachlorophenol and Creosote are widely used in North America. These wood preservatives typically give a long pole lifespan. However, the same poles are often used by several different utilities at once, such as power, telecom & cable, making it a challenge to organise a replacement in the event of pole failure. In these cases, costly reinforcement of the pole is often undertaken to keep decayed poles standing. Many utilities also undertake highly toxic preservative re-treatment of the pole after approximately 20 years to try and prevent further decay occurring. In addition to this, the requirement for regular pole inspection and replacement makes wooden utility poles one of the highest single costs for North American utilities.
In much of North America, the distribution network and utility poles are now reaching the end of their life, leading to many utilities looking to upgrade to a longer life, reduced or no maintenance alternative. Many utilities have looked at composite and steel poles as alternatives to wood. However, higher cost and potential corrosion, osmosis, conductivity and environmental concerns (high CO² emissions for manufacture) have resulted in limited uptake of these alternative materials. These factors have left many utilities with the challenge of how to improve safety and grid hardening at a sensible cost while also reducing their environmental footprint. Polesaver barrier sleeves provide a highly effective, proven and independently tested solution to this problem.
Cost-Benefit of Polesaver Sleeves
Polesaver barrier protection is low in cost and typically adds 1% or less to the total cost of replacing a pole. This cost is an insignificant amount when compared to the relative benefits achieved. Polesaver prevents the low-level ground decay that can start at the ground line after 10 or 15 years, thus maintaining full pole strength over time. Maintaining strength improves safety and grid hardening significantly while eliminating the requirement for costly pole maintenance & repairs.
In parts of North America, severe weather events are frequent and high winds can present a severe threat to poles that have suffered from low-level ground line decay. This decay can start after as little as 10 years in service and occurs typically at the safety critical outer part of the ground line section of the pole. Often this low-level decay is not detected using standard pole test methods, yet the pole may have lost 30% or more of its strength. Polesaver’s proven and tested sleeves make conventional ground line decay impossible – ensuring full strength is maintained over-time, keeping your poles standing in adverse weather conditions.