SMUD Uses Helicopter to Install ClampStar Unit After IR Inspection Identifies Hot Splice

Jim Wilhelm, Tower Patrol T&D Assets, Distribution Services Lineman for Sacramento Municipal Utility District said “Installation was difficult due to the movement of the helicopter, but allowed us to do this over a deep gorge, not accessible from a bucket truck. Had we not had ClampStar, this would have required a minimum of an 8 hour outage on the line, purchasing wheel (backup) power, letting the line down to the ground and changing out the splice and adding about 150’ of conductor in the “old” conventional manner of repair.

It would have been even easier if we could have worked it with the skid board on the chopper, but because it was the middle phase, it required the work be done suspended 60 feet below the aircraft. It is significantly more difficult to hover steady in this position, as the pilot has no close reference point on which to fix his position.”

Installing ClampStar from 60' below the chopper
Installing ClampStar from 60′ below the chopper

“With ClampStar, not only did we save many thousands of dollars and many man-hours but got the extra benefit of having a superior connection, much better than we would have if we had put yet another connector up in place of the one that had already failed!” Click to see photos.

So, what do you think ?