As communities sprawled around urban centers during the 20th century, the need to power all of our living spaces caused a proliferation of power lines above our heads. Many writers who lived through the baby boom era described how modernity was robbing them of their right to have beautiful vistas. Everywhere they looked, according to them, their view was crisscrossed by thick overhead distribution electrical wires.
I remember watching the movie Brazil and how they depicted a future where everything had to be covered with a web of electrical wires, ducts, and pipes.
Fortunately, electrical companies slowly moved towards underground distribution systems, taking advantage of aluminum triplex electrical wires for solid burial or underground ducting.
But, does underground distribution offer any other advantages over overhead wires other than aesthetically pleasing skylines?
Overhead Transmission Lines Are Vulnerable To Elements
It is not uncommon to experience power outages during heavy storms. The reason is not that powerlines can’t withstand water or wind. They´re in fact quite solid. The problem is that storms usually cause trees to fall on top of distribution lines. Frozen water sometimes accumulates on top of the lines and the weight sometimes causes them to break. Additionally, drivers who lose control of their cars due to poor weather conditions sometimes plow into poles.
All these events or conditions cause our overhead distribution system to be vulnerable and unreliable, even under light rain. This is not a problem for buried transmission lines as they are impervious to the elements.
Overhead Electrical Wires Are Not As Safe
No matter the cause, downed power lines are always dangerous. Passers-by and animals are at risk whenever there are problems with overhead transmission lines. Underground power lines hardly ever pose a threat to communities or animals, especially if they are properly installed. Aluminum UD (underground distribution) triplex electrical wires provide a safe and reliable energy supply for both residential and commercial environments. Being completely isolated from damage caused by elements, falling debris, accidents, and other issues.
Underground Transmission Is More Cost-Effective
One of the main reasons cities and electrical companies chose overhead distribution lines was because creating the trenches that would lead the lines was more costly than just hanging the wires. Aerial wiring is also more accessible for maintenance, and this was also an important factor to consider when providing a whole region with power.
However, overhead transmission lines require regular nearby tree trimming and landscaping. These costs will add up with time, going well beyond the initial costs of installing underground distribution lines. One might argue that underground lines are difficult to service or replace in case of failure. However, older lines have a service life of over 30 years, and today´s aluminum triplex wires are a lot more resistant and reliable. They are insulated with crosslinked polyethylene which makes them completely safe, moisture resistant, and easy to install and replace. Their resistance is way lower, making them ideal for long-distance transmission.
However, sometimes overhead transmission is unavoidable or even desirable. With proper construction practices, an overhead system will not clutter the view and offer a solid and reliable transmission. Aluminum triplex electrical wires are also widely used for overhead conditions due to their tolerances to heavy loads and conductive properties.
In terms of performance, underground distribution provides the best performance in almost every situation. EWSC Wires offers the best electrical wires for underground and overhead power transmission. Check their immense catalog of electrical wires and supplies, or contact them directly to find out the best solution for your particular project.