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Prevents Ground Rot in Timber Fence Posts
Prevents Ground Rot in Timber Utility Poles
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COSE participated in this expo organized by the New Vision Group in order to introduce the concept to Uganda’s agricultural sector and other interested groups like the financial institutions.
This expo was to demonstrate how Post saver ground line sleeves are proven to protect the vulnerable part of the fence posts from ground rot and termites attack to the farming community in Uganda from 16th-18th March, 2018.
The expo that attracted thousands of participants was very instrumental in educating the Ugandan public how Post Saver is the new way to enhance productivity of the materials used on the farmer like building poles and related accessories durable and cost effective. The learners and show goers were able to get firsthand information about Post Saver.
The benefits of Post Saver are enormous and agricultural sector players shall find it a worthwhile and real time investment seen from the interest at the expo.
The new technology involves putting sleeves at the top and bottom of the posts.
Post saver can be applied on posts when fencing animal farms, Putting up poultry houses, stand posts that hold passion fruits, tomatoes while growing.
Application of the sleeve.
· Put the sleeve on the post
· Heat it with gas and a blow torch to make sleeve water and air tight on the pole.
· Then you can put your post in the ground.
· Make sure the sleeve is 5cm above the ground.
The Expo in its second year running was as a result of the high turn up in the first edition in 2017 in Kampala organized by the NVG and its partners both local and international. To gain and showcase its products COSE was able to introduce the concept of Post Saver in Uganda.
The participants were introduced to the concept of Post Saver, use of gas and installation of the poles. COSE’s chief executive officer, Mr. Simon Sekiwunga, participated in the Expo and Over 160 companies exhibited from Uganda and 15 were from Netherlands.
The traditional method of distributing electricity is via overhead cables, supported at a safe height on insulators affixed to a support pole or structure. This method of power transmission is relatively low in cost, flexible and easy to install. When faults occur, it is easy to visually inspect the line and find the fault, be it a broken cable or pole. On the downside, this system is vulnerable to damage from bad weather, falling trees and cable theft. Where wooden poles are used to support the overhead line, the effects of ground decay and termite attack can limit pole life to 25 years, in the harsh ground conditions that are typical on the African continent.
Alternative pole materials are available which have a range of benefits and drawbacks. Concrete poles are generally more expensive and heavier than wooden poles, making them difficult to handle and use, especially on sites where access is difficult, such as outlying, hilly or swampy areas. Concrete poles are also prone to failure as a result of corrosion of the reinforcing bars and, also, concrete “cancer” which can occur over time, typically limiting life to around 35 years. Composite poles overcome many of these problems; they are low in weight and offer consistent high strength.
On the downside, they are generally more expensive than wooden poles; they can suffer from failure due to Osmosis at the in-ground section, resulting in a loss of strength and also exhibit poor fire resistance when exposed to bush fires. Composite poles along with steel and concrete have relatively poor environmental credentials. These alternative materials are also subject to market variations in the price of oil and steel as we have seen in the recent drop in price for composite and concrete poles in many of the countries we supply to. Arguably, these lower prices are not sustainable in the long term because oil and steel prices will inevitably rise at some point. The hydrocarbon used to produce a wooden pole is relatively much lower than alternative materials so variations in oil prices have a much lower impact on costs going forwards.
Laying cables underground addresses the vulnerabilities of the overhead power lines, albeit at generally higher cost and with the vulnerability of damage from excavation. Also, we are told it can be more difficult to find faults in the event of a cable failure. This method is a realistic option in urban areas but the costs of installing this type of power distribution in rural areas is generally prohibitive, especially where ground conditions make excavation difficult or where woodland, excavated farmland, roads, rivers or uneven ground make access and excavation difficult.
In many of the countries we work in, wood is still the material choice for utility poles. It is a readily available, low cost, natural material that literally “grows on trees” and that also has excellent environmental credentials.
In most countries, the pole supply industry is long established, bringing substantial employment to rural areas in forestry, tree harvesting, timber transportation, conversion and preservative treating.
On the downside, wooden poles are generally perceived to have a shorter life than alternative materials and to be “low tech and old fashioned” as there have been no new developments in this technology for at least 50 years. As a result of this, some utilities feel wooden poles have “had their day” and that they should be looking at modern “high tech” engineered alternatives.
We believe that with some small changes and improvements, wood can continue to be the material of choice for utility poles. In the following section, we set out the benefits of using ground line barrier sleeves in achieving this objective.
The purpose of the Expo was to introduce the concept of Post Saver in the Ugandan agricultural sector and to the players and inform the public the advantages of using this technology. The lead team was from COSE Electrical Services Ltd., Kampala.
50 installation engineers attended a 2 day training session organized my Umeme at its headquarters in Kampala, Uganda. The purpose of the training was to demonstrate the benefits of applying a Polesaver sleeve to wooden utility poles.
Peter Williams, Director of Global Business Development for Polesaver UK, commenced the two day event with a formal presentation which educated the delegates about the threats of ground-line decay on wooden poles, and how this threat can be prevented. Simply by applying a Polesaver sleeve to the pole at the correct place, ground-rot and core-rot can be eliminated, resulting in the pole having a significantly extended service life.
The classroom session ended with an informative questions and answers session.
The following day, all of the installation engineers took part in a practical exercise of applying the sleeves to poles in Umeme’s pole yard.
They were taught the safety principles of working with LPG gas bottles and the safe use of gas torches. This was followed by a practical demonstration on how to correctly apply Polesaver sleeves to poles. During the course of the day, each delegate was given the opportunity of applying several sleeves to poles.
Polesaver’s Director Peter Williams assessed their level of competence. At the end of the day, everyone, without exception had achieved the standard necessary to apply Polesaver sleeves correctly.
Certificates of competence were presented to each participant.
Umeme’s project manager, Mr Dan Tumuhimbise, announced to the team that he was delighted with the level of success they had achieved after only one day’s training.
He said, that by using Polesaver sleeves, it aligned extremely well with Umeme’s core values of Safety, Customer Service and Innovation.
Furthermore, he said that Umeme were always looking for better ways to do things, and, by adopting Polesaver sleeves, this clearly shows that Umeme are embracing new technology. Poles, with Polesaver applied, will be safer and the electrical networks they support will be more reliable, thus leading to greater customer service.
Mr. PJ McGarrigle, Umeme’s Network Asset Manager, addressed the engineers at the end of the day. He explained that, currently, some poles in Uganda are lasting only a very short time (typically, between 2 and 5 years). He said that this was unsustainable and, therefore, something had to be done.
By adopting Polesaver as standard on all future pole installations, it will ensure that Umeme’s wooden pole network will last for many, many years and thus prove to be excellent value for money, as well as offering a safer and more reliable network.
Mr. Kevin Bwire, Network Asset Information Manager, said that the RFID technology incorporated into the Polesaver sleeves, would enable Umeme to map out and manage its pole network successfully.
The RFID technology enables companies to identify the exact GPS location of each pole in its network. Also, additional information can be assigned to the company’s database, for example, date of installation, who supplied the pole, type of preservative used and schedule of future inspections.
Photographs of the pole can also be uploaded to the company’s asset tracking database, to enable engineers to track the condition of each pole in its network.
Mr Dan Tumuhimbise said that Umeme intended to start the national roll out of Polesaver with effect from 26th June 2017. From this date onward, all poles erected by Umeme will have a Polesaver sleeve applied.
Peter Williams of Polesaver, added that he was impressed with the overall enthusiasm, dedication and pride the Umeme installation team had demonstrated during the two day training programme.