Managing Orion’s power poles and overhead line design

We have a long running relationship with Orion to help the company maintain their pole stock including a database of Orion’s 100,000+ poles.

Orion has had a long-term partnership with WSP Opus for managing their power poles and overhead line design. WSP Opus has extensive experience in pole asset management and overhead line design. We assess poles and determine loading and capacity using a programme we have developed in house, which emails a report with required remedial work.

The programme enables us to do design and loading checks on any pole for any line configuration. We also maintain a database of Orion’s 100,000+ poles.

By focusing on distribution rather than transmission, we filled a gap where lines companies no longer maintained their own design teams, and had limited access to design standards. We produced Orion’s overhead lines design standard, a supporting manual and design examples.

We had a member on the committee drafting the AS/NZS overhead line design standard, and ahead of its release provided an extensive review on behalf of seven lines companies.

Pole stock is a significant part of lines companies’ assets. To manage an ageing network under tight budgetary constraints and changing regulations calls for sound management. We also gave Orion detailed reports on their requirements for the additional high-speed fibre network loading, to inform cost estimates for upgrade and installation. 

Following major snowfall in 2006, Orion engaged WSP Opus to review their design including risks associated with adverse weather. This highlighted the robustness of their network and informed snow and ice loadings for the AS/NZS 7000 design standard. Other briefs have involved evaluating pole failure under wind and ice loading.