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How is GIS Useful in Pole Loading Analysis?

Prior to any energy loading, there has to be a physical examination of the pole. Pole loading analysis identifies the forces acting on a pole and analyzes its structural integrity. All the electrical regulatory bodies, including NESC (National Electric Safety Code), go through a weight load analysis for the pole and determine how much weight can the pole take.

A few years down the line, Pole loading analysis jobs were a rarity, with engineering contractors typically needing just a few loading specialists who can evaluate existing and proposed conditions on poles. A pole loading analysis is required to ensure that all the safety compliances are met and the pole can take the load of new attachments.  

What is Pole Loading Analysis?

Pole loading analysis starts with the survey of existing poles or with build specifications for new lines. For the telecommunication companies who want to attach additional equipment to the utility poles, it’s more important to know and follow the codes and regulations. The measurements are recorded on a pole head sheet or profile sheet. Height, cable type, cable owner, pole type, pole class, pole location, adjacent spans, crossing, etc are noted for later use. 

After the pole survey is completed, the information is handed over to a pole loading professional for analysis. This step involves pole loading software such as PoleForeman, O-Calc, and SPIDA. The load on the pole is calculated and analyzed over the software and if the pole’s load exceeds what it can handle, either the build must be changed or the pole needs to be replaced. 

Why is Pole Loading Analysis Necessary?

It’s required to analyze the pole because of safety concerns. If the pole is overloaded, it can fail, causing serious injury, as well as property damage. If a pole fails the loading analysis, the proposed build should be changed, or additional measures should be taken to counter the load, or the pole needs to be replaced by a new one.  

Pole loading analysis is becoming increasingly important for the increase in the number of situations that legally require it. Additionally, depending on the local weather, some utility poles that don’t have communication wires attached also require pole loading analysis for wind or ice load.

Top 7 Benefits of Pole Loading Analysis:

  • Enhance your existing pole loading expertise and resources.
  • Locate and replace overloaded poles prior to failure.
  • Locate and resolve illegal foreign attachments. 
  • Increase system reliability and public safety. 
  • Incorporate pole loading as part of the 3rd party application process. 
  • Ensure your calculations are accurate to support proper designing. 
  • Meet the guidelines of regulatory authorities for pole loading (related to storms, winds, fires & hurricanes)

The Usefulness of GIS in Pole Loading Analysis:

GIS and remote sensing technology based electricity distribution system planning strategy is an approach to determine an optimum routing. The main purpose of a utility pole is to supply the power demand with good quality of serviceBusiness Management Articles, through proper planning of the system. This has led to the development of methods that can be used to aid the decision-making process for selecting the best alternative.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Pole loading analysis has seen greater use in recent years with the increase in demand for safety. It makes your attachment applications get better and shows the pole owner that you care about their grid and makes you better equipped to handle disputes regarding the power (electric) utility pole. It will ensure the safety of people and public properties.



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