NEW equipment is being installed on overhead power lines to make electricity supplies more reliable.
The device, which looks like a grey box, contains sophisticated electronics which can detect if there is a problem, such as a tree branch caught on the line.
It automatically makes the line ‘dead’ where the fault exists, sectionalising the line and allowing the circuit to be restored up to that point, so that some customers can have power again.
The work is being carried out next week in nearby Westfield.
Colin Barden, head of network operations in the south east, said: “In the past, when a tree branch or lightning fleetingly affected our overhead line system, all properties served by that circuit would remain off supply until a restoration team reached the scene to either replace fuses or fix the damage, which could take several hours. To improve this over the years we have taken advantage of new technology to help us cope better with temporary problems.”
UK Power Networks said the £20,000 project will benefit nearly 400 customers.