Partnership Produces Rapid Overhead Deployment Trailer

Responding to a recognized need from a long time ComEd employee, Sauber Manufacturing Company’s engineering team designed and built the patent pending Rapid Overhead Deployment Trailer, designed to reduce restoration times from broken pole outages and speed planned work.

Jan 1st, 2018
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Responding to a recognized need from a long time ComEd employee, Sauber Manufacturing Company’s engineering team designed and built the patent pending Rapid Overhead Deployment Trailer, designed to reduce restoration times from broken pole outages and speed planned work.

At ComEd, Sr. Methods Specialist Milan Krpan said: “We parallel dispatch generators to underground cable fault outages to restore customers first and then complete permanent repairs later. Why can’t we do something similar for broken pole outages?”

The Dixon Illinois reporting center covers a rural area in north western Illinois that experiences a large number of broken pole outages. The idea was to respond to broken pole outages by using an extendable utility pole on an easy-to-tow trailer to hold up the power lines while they are energized until a replacement pole can be permanently installed.

ComEd brought Krpan’s idea to Jim Sauber of Sauber Mfg Co., a utility equipment manufacturer that ComEd has had a longstanding partnership with. Shortly afterwards, the Rapid Overhead Deployment Trailer was designed and a prototype was built by Sauber.

Sauber finished the initial prototype, and ComEd received the trailer in October 2017 and began field testing it immediately. The design of the trailer has exceeded all expectations and is performing well in initial testing. The trailer can be towed with a one-ton pickup and can extend the boom up to 41 feet to temporarily replace nearly all poles on most distribution systems. The fiberglass pole section can be mounted with standard cross arms and insulators, and has space for two circuits on the pole (3 phase) or used with readily available fiberglass cross arms and rollers—commonly referred to as a Christmas tree. The unit comes with a wireless remote-control console so the operator doesn’t need to stand next to the trailer when deploying it. The system uses a compact hydraulic power source to deploy the outriggers and boom of the trailer, freeing it from the need for an external power supply or line truck. Counterbalance valves on all cylinders prevent actuation in the event of pressure loss or hydraulic failure.

ComEd estimates a significant Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI) reduction from reducing the time to restore all customers impacted by broken pole outages. Initial conservative estimates with these trailers used on 25 percent of the broken pole outages show a system wide CAIDI reduction of 0.25 minutes. There are labor savings associated with avoiding calling out crews after hours or disrupting planned work, because this solution allows permanent pole repairs to be finished on the next regularly scheduled shift. The primary benefit is faster customer restoration and the corresponding improvements to customer satisfaction scores. The trailer will also be tested in the City of Chicago where poles must be replaced in their existing holes, often in tight quarters such as alley ways. Field crews believe this trailer will make planned pole replacement work more efficient, and the trailer will replace the much costlier bucket truck alternative to do this work in the future.

• Can be towed behind a one-ton pickup,

• Designed and tested to 21,778 ft-lb moment load,

• Will support two separate three-phase circuits of 477mcm al,

• Up to 40-foot boom height,

• Onboard hydraulic power supplying 3,000 psi at 4 gpm, and

• Third stage fiberglass pultrusion boom has continuous rotation for “clocking” crossarm positioning relative to wire path.

Following field testing in each of ComEd’s four regions, the distribution operations division of ComEd plans to purchase additional trailers and place them in the field offices where CAIDI can most directly be improved. Should a major event occur affecting a single area, these units can also be deployed in mass to a targeted area for immediate response as well.

In addition to downed or broken poles, the unit has potential to assist in repair-in-place crews, substation temporary by-pass operations, and situations where line trucks are limited or unavailable. UP

Availability: Units are available for delivery beginning in Q2, 2018. Please contact your Sauber sales representative at Sauber Mfg. Co. or visit www.SauberMfg.com.

Technical information and operation videos are available at www.SauberMfg.com.

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