Insulator pressure washers. It is designed to remove dirt, pollution, contamination, molds and the like from overhead power line insulators with the power on using the low conductivity. To prevent flashovers which can damage power line equipment, cleaning is necessary. An insulator washer unit usually mounts in truck chassis. On electrical context, flashovers are a high voltage shorts to earth across the power line insulators. Improving the power line life, blasting the lines with a stream of high-pressure water removes contamination. Some forms of atmospheric pollution such as smog, rain, dust and salt deposits can cause damage seriously as well as issues on maintenance with the power transmission lines. The moisture absorbing pollutants on the insulators on the power lines can also significantly reduce its effectiveness. Especially for the high voltage, the film of contamination or pollution such dust or dirt that develops on the string surface holds some moisture that a conductive path starts to form. Build-up on these contaminations can develop into growth such as mold & mildew which can cause melt-down, expensive failure and arcing. Preventing chain reaction towards failure, pressure washing cleans it back up to full insulating value. Audio wise a dirty high voltage line sizzles more than a clean high voltage line does.
Components that consists the Insulator Pressure Washer’s basic design are the following:
- Centrifugal water pump
- Power source
- Stainless steel water storage tank
- Electrical grounds for the washing system and wash gun
- High pressure dead-man type water wash gun
- High pressure water hose
Typically, insulator pressure washers have a nozzle pressure between 500-750 psi and a pump pressure of about 1000 PSI. They have about 60 gallons per minute flow rate which is classified as high flow rate necessary in providing fast and consistent cleaning of the insulators.
There are several basic design layouts of insulator washers:
- Chassis mount for mounting on truck bed
- Trailer mount for use in electricity substations
- Helicopter mounted units
- Aerial platform mount for mounting on trucks that have aerial platforms
Robust design is a must have system with insulator washers as they are used outdoors and often in adverse climates. The electric towers to be washed must be able to be accessed by the washing unit, so if the towers are in rough terrain or off road, in such condition truck chassis (4x4, 6x4, 6x6) may be required.