Over 70 thousand kilometers is the equivalent to two round trips between Brazil and China. This is also the average distance traveled by Neoenergia‘s field teams every year for carrying out preventive maintenance services in the networks of the concession areas of its four distributors – Coelba (BA), Celpe (PE), Cosern (RN) and Elektro (SP/MS).
The four Neoenergia’s group concessionaires have over 8.7 million poles and the purpose of the preventive maintenance activities is to detect if there is a need for repair or replacement of the structures. In this sense, according to the plan guidelines, field teams inspect several stretches in the five states where the company has activities. The planning considers network technical criteria including poles, transformers, conductors and further components.
“We work strategically to maintains and improve our assets, generating safety to our customers, energy quality and continuity in the supply. We prepared a network maintenance and expansion plan based on studies and real field data provided by the different company’s areas. Over the year, we carry out the actions provided for in our maintenance plan in addition to performing actions to expand our network capacity, such as the replacement of poles, cabling and transformers. The initiatives are reflected in the quality of the services provided to our customers”, says Jader Carneiro, Neoenergia’s Networks and Substations manager.
In average, 21 thousand poles are replaced peach year only under the preventive maintenance plan. The initiative is part of the company’s year plan for inspection of feeders - a set covering poles, transformers and cabling - ensuring that these remain in perfect condition.
Aiming at providing quality services to our consumers, in addition to the preventive maintenance plan, replacement of poles may also be made due to traffic accidents that harm the structures or under actions for improvement, whereby the company has a strategy for improvement and expansion of networks, reviewed on an yearly basis. In this case, the main reason is the increased network capacity requiring the construction of new feeders or adjustments to the existing ones.
The distribution planning is carried out on an yearly basis. The main actions include the replacement of networks in areas with high people gatherings, such as school and event places, and the installation of equipment featuring sensors to promote self-healing, i.e., the automatic resetting of the networks for the highest number possible of customers, in the event of interruptions in the energy supply.
The poles on the streets are not all the same and not all are installed by the energy concessionaire. For the poles included in the distributors’ assets, these may be part of the low (between 200 V to 13,800 V), medium (between 13,800V and 34,500V) and high voltage (between 69,000V and 138,000V) networks. Neoenergia controls all of its poles, which can be geo-located according to a code recorded therein, thus easing the maintenance or emergency repair works.
The average height of a distribution network pole is 11 meters and the distance between them is around 40 meters, but these aspects may vary according to the location and technical requirements. Poles are made up of concrete or fiberglass covered with polyester. For ensuring its stability, part of the structure is buried into the ground during the installation - for example, in 11-m high poles, around 2 meters must stay underground.