High Voltage Installation Requirements According to Safety Obligations

April 28, 2017


Electricity behaves differently when it passes into the higher power ranges. There are special switchgear buildings that manage the dangerously high voltages. Occupied by lines of spring-loaded switches and oil-filled circuit breakers, this is a surprisingly large setup, one that employs a lot of equipment. Let's take a gander at the high voltage installation requirements that come into play when these power distribution sites need work done.

Safety Prerequisites

Power distribution lines act differently when higher voltages are carried on their conductive channels. Did you know that overhead cables have to be a certain distance apart? If they're too close, a spark can arc between the lines with catastrophic results. High voltage lines and their associative switchgear also remain dangerous when the power is terminated. Capacitive effects trap potentially fatal charges in the gear, so the line has to be discharged before the worker can safely commence his task. What we're saying is that the safety regulations in a high voltage installation scenario require special considerations, so always call on the services of a competent person, someone who has filed all safety permits and work clearance documents, someone who knows how to safely navigate an area that's so electrified, the sound of the current carriers buzz with power.

Following High Voltage Site Regulations

In Australia, we adhere to the AS2067 safety guidelines. These rules protect lives and ensure the work is done according to a stringent set of high voltage guidelines. They cover the clearance requirements we mentioned, so all potential current arcing events are correctly negated. Additionally, there are safety measures that target the installation team in this document. They call for a competent team leader, an overseeing supervisor who's qualified to address all of the issues found in this unique setting. Direct contact conditions are evaluated here, as are the accessibility problems that could hinder the installation work. Safety recommendations thread their way through every page, every chapter of the AS2067-2008 high-voltage installations guide.

The legislative provisions exist to protect worker lives and make sure the job is done right. Electrical terminations top the possible actions taking place in and around this area. They're the cables that connect to high-tension bus bars and switchgear. Then there's the knowledge of how electricity behaves when it reaches a dangerously high voltage to consider. In other words, the power can arc, can create a capacitive charge in the equipment, or it can act in a dozen other exotic ways, so always follow a structured installation methodology, as set in stone in the relevant installation guidelines.

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