Carbon calculator highlights wood pole, crossarm benefits

Utilities eager to tell customers about their commitment to the environment now have a new tool that quantifies the green benefits of preservative-treated wood poles and crossarms.

CarbonCalcThe Technical Bulletin Calculating Carbon in Wood Utility Poles and Crossarms details how to calculate the amount of carbon sequestered in a utility's inventory of wood utility poles and crossarms. The calculations take into account of the volume and mass of the wood, as well as the mass of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere while the wood is in service.

The Wood Utility Pole & Crossarm Calculator is available in an online version or as a downloadable Excel-based calculator. It calculates the volume and mass of the wood, as well as the mass of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere for a utility's inventory of wood utility poles and crossarms.

The calculator allows utilities to determine the amount of carbon residing in their inventory of poles and crossarms. The number of utility poles can be entered using pull-down selections for the class and length based on the standard ANSI pole sizes. Crossarm data is entered by its actual dimensions. Up to 30 different sizes of poles can be entered.

The calculator automatically determines the total volume and mass of the wood, the mass of carbon in Imperial and metric tons and the mass of carbon dioxide removed by using wood. The data can be entered into the online EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator that can convert carbon data into real world examples of the environmental benefits, such as miles driven by an automobile or barrels of oil consumed.

Click here to download the calculator and Technical Bulletin.

New video series explains national wood pole standards

NtlStd-1A detailed overview of the national standards that guide the design and use of wood utility poles is now available in a special three-part video series.

The National Wood Pole Standards video series is an expanded version the most downloaded technical document on the website. Commentary is provided by Nelson Bingel, chair of the ASC O5 Committee, which oversees pole standards. Bingel also chairs the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC).

Each video is between 16 and 19 minutes long. Part 1 reviews the standards guiding the production and use of wood utility poles, the scope of those standards and the unique strengths and loading for wood poles. Part 2 discusses wood pole species, applied loads, pole circumferences, and groundline and height stresses. Part 3 reviews the NESC, grades of construction, transverse loading and other design factors.

The videos can be played in preview window on your computer. There are also links to view the videos on YouTube.

Click on play to learn more about wood pole standards.

See real story on impact of wood poles on the environment

PoleEnviroExplore recent studies confirming that preservative migrating from preserved wood utility poles pose minimal risk to the environment or human health in a new Technical Bulletin.

The bulletin Preserved Wood Utility Poles and the Environment details the extensive research into how much preservative moves from utility poles over time and how it compares to federal standards and limits. The 12-page report details previous scientific research and recent studies by the Alaska Dept. of Transportation showing preservatives that do move stay within a few inches of the pole, posing minimal risk to groundwater, surrounding soil or wildlife.

Tables in the report provide context for wood preservative components released into the environment, showing natural background levels as well as EPA guidelines.

Find out more about the minimal risk wood utility poles pose to the environment.

Energize your community outreach with customized coloring book

ColorBookUtilities can get an assist in expanding their community affairs activities and communicating important safety information on overhead lines with a special low-cost, customized coloring book.

The 16-page book Electricity from Tree to Me is designed for children from kindergarten through elementary school. It explains how wood utility poles are made from sustainable and renewable trees and includes important safety messages for about overhead lines, including what to do if lines are on the ground.

The book is designed to be customized with utility information on the inside cover page and the back cover. The pages can feature colored artwork, such as a utility or company logo, so it can be integrated into utility community affairs programs.

Utility specific coloring books can be ordered for about $1 each for 1,000 copies or more. Quantities of 500 and 750 are also available at a discounted price.

Click here to learn more about the coloring book.


Benefits of wood crossarms detailed

For as long as there have been wood poles, there have been wood crossarms. The often overlooked benefits of wood crossarms compared to alternative materials our outlined in a new publication Wood Crossarms: Six Overlooked Benefits from a Century of Performance.

The one-page technical sheet reviews the extensive performance record of wood crossarms, which can be found throughout North America. Wood crossarms are a vital component that carry wires and other equipment to bring electricity to the continent.

Common misperceptions, such as wood crossarms are heavier, are explored in the sheet. It also notes that alternative materials are often three to four times more expensive than wood for crossarms that are functionally equivalent.

Click here to review the crossarm publication.




Discover high cost of hiding power lines

Hiding power lines underground is significantly more expensive than using overhead systems, potentially costing utility customers millions of dollars. The high cost of going underground and other potential issues with burying lines are explored in a new Technical Bulletin Undergrounding: Hidden Lines, Hidden Costs.

The new bulletin reviews government studies that show moving lines underground cost as much as 10 to 20 times more than overhead systems using utility poles. It also explores the supposed improved reliability of underground systems and the potential safety issues when such systems fail.

Click here to review the Technical Bulletin.