The poles, accompanied by cables and connectors, form the elementary items for the existence of the power distribution network. Insulators, transformers and fuse snowwring scans are some of the equipment that complement the structure that will ensure the quality and safety of the entire system, being fundamental items for the flow of energy to reach the places of consumption. Considering the concession areas of the five distributors of Neoenergia, in Coelba (BA), Celpe (PE), Cosern (RN), Elektro (SP/MS) and Neoenergia CEB-D (DF), there are over 10 million poles, spread over five states and the Federal District. But what is the role of the electric pole within the power grid and what are the features of such common and essential structures for power carriage?
The power grid pole has an average height of 11 meters, and are made of concrete or polyester-coated fiberglass. In order to ensure stability, part of the structure is buried during installation - for an 11-meter-long pole, for example, around two meters are be buried. Depending on ground conditions, components are often used to help fix the pole, such as precast concrete shackles, as well as pouring concrete in the trenches around the base of the pole. This is done in order to contribute to the installation process and ensure the structure and grid stability.
Every year, Neoenergia's distribution companies carry out a preventive plan for grid maintenance and expansion, which considers the grid's technical criteria, including poles, transformers, conduits and other components. An average of 21 thousand poles are replaced every year, taking only the preventive maintenance plan into account. The activities are part of the company's annual planning to inspect power suppliers - assembly that includes poles, transformers, and cables - ensuring proper functioning. Furthermore, Neoenergia has control over all its poles via geolocation by an embedded code, thus streamlining maintenance work or emergency repairs.
Neoenergia's Grids and Substations Superintendent, Jader Carneiro, highlights the strategic importance of grid maintenance and expansion planning in order to maintain and improve the company's assets. "Actions are taken based on studies and real field data provided by several areas of the company. From then on, actions are carried out to increase grid capacity, such as replacement of poles, cables, and transformers, as well as preventive maintenance plans. This way we generate safety to our customers, securing energy quality and continuous supply," he says.