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power cable skates

Simplified method of laying power cables
  [vote for,

Rather than loading spools of cable onto trucks, with all the complexities of uncoiling and jointing, not to mention the extra road traffic, why not just drag it along the side of the road from start to end on rollerskates?
james_what, Apr 23 2008

Prototype http://www.dragginj...mages/Dragging3.jpg
[normzone, Apr 23 2008]


       If you mean put the cable on rollerskates, might take a whole lot of skates. If you mean for a person on rollerskates dragging one end of a long cable ... no, nevermind. -
csea, Apr 23 2008

       Have you ever actually watched them do this. They attach a big roller assembly to the first pole(where the truck with the spool is sitting) then thy install rollers on each pole where there is a turn to be negotiated. They attach the end of the cable to the cable in place then using a winch they roll in the old cable while the new cable pays off the roller. In this way the new cable is ready to attach and fix in place. With your idea the cable is now laying on the side of the road, it now has to be lifted into place at each pole and may have to cross over other wires to get there, additionally this is a big problem if the wire needs to reside on the outside(away from the road) of the pole as it now has to be lifted all the way up and over. The truck installing the cable would have to travel from pole to pole and set up each time to set the cable(a heavy lifting operation). This would actually cause additional disruption rather than 2 fixed vehicles and then one rolling along attaching the cable in place which can be done on the role by one truck.   

       In addition your idea would require a massive number of roller skates that would need to be stored, attached to the cable, then removed from the cable and restored thus increasing the labor required for the job.   

       Another issue is abrasion and corners, if the cable is dragged it will want to pull straight through corners requiring some way to fix the cable to the outside of the corner, also the cable sheath could be come damaged or abraded being dragged along the ground. It would be far better for the truck to pay out the cable while driving so these effects are reduced.   

       There would still be an equal amount of joining to be done using either system so there is no change in this, uncoiling the cable is actually quite easy and does not add to the complexity of either way to do this job so again a non-issue. In short your idea is really not very good or very well thought out in my opinion.
jhomrighaus, Apr 23 2008

       It's tongue-in-cheek of course, but I've been studying the economics of Underground vs Overhead 400kV transmission lines in the Highlands of Scotland for most of the day. Significant factors in underground cabling cost are cable thickness, jointing and the amount you can get on the back of a lorry, given the minimum bend radius of the cable.
james_what, Apr 23 2008

       The solution, in that case, is to dig a very small trench (tunelling through the odd Cairngorm or Highland). Then stand at one end of the trench with a large vat of molten aluminium, and simply fill.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 23 2008

       There's a need to insulate the cable(s), not to mention a shortage of volunteers to carry vats of molten aluminium across the Highlands, but that's more along the lines I was thinking.   

       This activity is expensive, and any ways of laying it for less than £8M per mile will be of great interest to the utilities, councils and nature lobbies.   

       A combination of taking the factory to the site, or some sort of cross country conveyor belt might just bake this problem. Could the partly constructed cable power its own manufacture?   

       It's a monster issue given the Highlands' "green" generating capability, the present lack of wigglewidth for getting the power south and the scenic impact of 400kV pylons.
james_what, Apr 23 2008

       //any ways of laying it for less than £8M per mile will .....// Can you wait while I fetch my coat and a spade?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 23 2008

       This would be worth giving up the day job. The prices quoted are crazy - £200 a metre for concrete-lined trenching for example?   

       It's a million pounds a klik going overhead, and the u/ground's quoted to be at least five times that. The main trunk is 235 km long, from inland in Beauly down to Denny in Stirlingshire.   

       There may be some political posturing going on here. Personally, I think not having pylons in the Highlands would easily outweigh the extra cost. Who knows, the Halfcablery might yet resolve all.
james_what, Apr 24 2008

       The requirements for insulation, heat dissipation, and servicing contribute to the increased cost of underground cabling.
Texticle, Apr 24 2008

       I don't think this needs a radical new invention. It sounds like a not-very- complex job which is being made needlessly expensive.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 24 2008


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