UK transmission system owner and operator National Grid has recently completed live-line training of six linemen, using Narec’s Clothier HV testing and technology development laboratories in Hebburn, South Tyneside, to mirror live-line working conditions in the field.

The three-day training program took place inside the Clothier Laboratories and involved setting up mock transmission lines, towers and associated equipment. The conductor was then energized to 240 kV, and the National Grid linemen lifted onto the live-line using a crane.

Chris Land, specialist techniques engineer at National Grid, said, “Narec’s unique UHV test facility allows us to get a feel for and better understand high-voltage effects, which complements other training modules on de-energized overhead line installations.

“Live line working will play an increasingly important role in National Grid’s operations, providing greater flexibility of access to the high voltage network to support Britain’s move toward more low-carbon and renewable generation.”

Live-line working is a practice employed by transmission and distribution owners, whereby linemen perform operations on energized electricity infrastructure. The necessity for live working on transmission and distribution circuits arises from the need to maintain connected electricity corridors during repairs, maintenance or circuit modification activities. With the ever-increasing flows across the electricity network, some critical circuit outages can be difficult to achieve.