How is FRP Used in Utility Markets?
The demand for cost-effective composite material solutions is on the rise in the utility industry. FRP is increasing in popularity as a replacement for the traditional wood and metals in power transmission towers, cross-arms, and distribution poles in addition to the strength members in the aluminum conductor cables they support. This blog post will outline the details and benefits of using FRP in this market.
The Benefits of Using FRP
Composite-reinforced cabling has a much higher electrical capacity than the traditional steel-cored cables which are comparable in weight and size. This higher capacity could lead to a reduction in energy demands associated with coal and gas-fired electrical power plants which would minimize the pollutants associated. This means that utility markets could increase the levels of power supply through the existing grid.
FRP products are not subject to rot, rust, or spall and they are not impacted by termites or woodpeckers. FRP products do not leach chemicals into the environment and would not be dangerous for human contact.
Unlike wooden poles, FRP products are designed with a low coefficient of variation and can be customized to suit individual specifications. FRP is highly durable and reliable, particularly in comparison to traditional utility poles made from treated wood.
FRP has a high strength-to-weight ratio and its lightweight properties mean it is beneficial for applications with limited access. It is highly durable and weatherproof, and it will not take on moisture, mold, or mildew.
Using FRP Containment in Utility Applications
FRP can be used for a range of aspects of utility applications such as cross arms, transformer housing, containment, and poles.
At Strongwell, we manufacture a Secondary Containment System and a Utility Cover System which is well suited for use in electrical substation applications. These are low in electrical conductivity and simple to install.
Our COMPOSLITE® Secondary Containment Systems work well in applications in which the containment of solid or liquid materials is necessary. This lightweight, high-strength FRP containment system is simpler and more cost-effective to install than concrete containment options. FRP can also be easily put in place and removed, with minimal installation costs and maintenance requirements.
FRP Power Poles from Strongwell
Our FRP transmission poles have been used by Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, with a high-profile transmission line installed to the electric facility. The facility needed simple and fast installation and Strongwell’s FRP poles were selected due to their durability and lightweight attributes.
Their lightweight nature means that specialized equipment such as a crane is not required to place the FRP poles in the correct position. Additionally, our FRP poles work double duty as they can support transmission lines and lighting. This means that no further lighting poles will need to be installed.
Our FRP Composite poles have also been used by the Tennessee Valley Authority in an area that was challenging to access by road. As our FRP poles are lightweight, they could be transported into position using a helicopter.