Polymer insulators, when properly handled and installed, are, for the most part, providing the desired operating characteristics. However, units that have been damaged as a result of mishandling during storage, transportation and installation have a far higher risk of premature failure.

Alabama Power Co.'s Dave Mitchell chaired the EPRI Overhead Transmission Insulator Task Force that addressed these issues. The task force, with 23 member utilities, identified that documentation and training procedures are key to successful application of polymer insulators in their companies.

Reviewing current procedures and training at several utilities, the task force found some documentation on handling available from insulator manufacturers and professional organizations. Still, utilities were lacking the resources to directly aid in the training of field crews or in developing handling procedures.

To meet this need, EPRI developed three resources for its members: Educational Video on Storing Transporting and Installing Polymer Insulators; Viewing Guide for Educational Video; and Practical Guide for Establishing Procedures for Storing, Transporting and Installing Polymer Insulators.

To date, 43 EPRI member utilities have materials in their hands, most having incorporated the guides and videos into their training programs.
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