Composite light poles are specially engineered for extreme wind
speeds, like those found in mountainous regions
PHOTO COURTESY OF WISCONSIN LIGHTING LAB, INC.
A Lesson from
Composite poles offer a
durable option for on- or
off-slope pole installation
By Philip Gotthelf, Ultra-Tech™ Lighting, LLC
Harry and John are linemen working for the local utility.
Harry says to John, “You know, they’re not making wooden
telephone poles any longer?”
John replies, “Why not?”
Harry responds, “They’re long enough!”
Indeed, wooden telephone poles have been the standard
for carrying above ground electrical services and com-munications
since the telegraph was introduced in 1840.
Wooden telephone poles seemed destined to continue as
the above-ground standard for stringing up wires in Puerto
Rico until Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017
with winds gusting in excess of 200 miles per hour, snapping
almost all wooden utility poles like twigs.
As efforts to rebuild electrical and communications infra-structure
got underway, engineers began asking, “Is it wise to
use wooden telephone poles any longer?”
The apparent vulnerability to wind raised serious
cost-benefit issues on an island that is likely to experience
many more unsettling weather events.
Mountain environments regularly experience high winds
and other conditions that can impinge on above ground elec-trical
and communications infrastructure. This is why the
preferred option is underground conduit.
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