Storm Joint is a new overhead line (OHL) repair process. The new method means we can repair faults safely, and restore power quicker during a storm.
Storms can cause a significant volume of faults on electricity networks, many of which affect the high voltage (HV) overhead line (OHL) network. This results in power outages, which potentially leaves customers vulnerable and without electricity until a mobile generator can be connected, or repairs are carried out and the network is made safe. Due to the nature of overhead faults, currently only a certain number of highly qualified engineers are able to complete the work.
Storm Joint is a simple new process that helps our engineers to safely repair faults faster.
A new temporary overhead line repair process that can be performed fully from the ground is to be trialled as part of the storm joint technical project.
Storm joint means we can train a wider range of staff to work on OHL faults during a storm, when it gets really busy, to minimise disruption to our customers by minimising the length of power cuts, which we measure as an aggregated stat called ‘Customer Minutes Lost’ (CMLs). Crucially, storm joint provides a quick, safe, temporary repair to get our customers back online quickly.
The new method involves using a specialist joint, called a storm joint, in combination with a pulley system to reconnect and lift the damaged overhead cables. This method of fixing overhead cables has never been tried in the UK before.
The equipment requires minimal training and can massively improve safety for our operational staff and improve their experience when they’re working with overhead lines.
We have successfully demonstrated that the new method can be carried out. We have trained a team in Bury St Edmunds who can now carry out this process during a storm.
We have created a new training course and video which can be used to train more engineers on how to use the storm joint tools and follow the procedure for fixing the overhead lines.