Settle a debate.......orange balls.

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Campo Kenny

Settle a debate.......orange balls.

Postby Campo Kenny » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:18 am

The orange plastic balls on power lines over motorways. What are they for specifically?

I reckon they are for safety if a line comes down, i.e. shock etc. but a friend thinks they are to warn aircraft/helicopters etc. of danger.

Anyone know for sure?

Kenny

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Colinm
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Postby Colinm » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:19 am

also heard they were to stop birds flying into the power lines :cry:

Campo Kenny

Postby Campo Kenny » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:20 am

Quick reply Col, cheers..............OH suggested that too, but I rejected it out of hand 8) ......now you've said it I'm taking it as a possibility!

Kenny

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Postby Colinm » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:23 am

I reckon that if they are for aircraft, its a bit late by the time the pilot would see them! :cry:

Campo Kenny

Postby Campo Kenny » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:24 am

I was just thinking that if a line did come down on top of a car the ball would insulate it :? ......maybe not though.hence the question.
I agree with you about aircraft too.

Kenny

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Colinm
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Postby Colinm » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:28 am

not trying to pick holes in your argument, kenny, but, they have the balls along the lines even through fields, forests etc, where there would be no cars! Also, aren't the four tyres of the car better insulation than someones balls! :lol:

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Postby Grouser » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:31 am

Maybe for helicopters rather than planes.
Grouser

Campo Kenny

Postby Campo Kenny » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:33 am

Colin :D

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Postby Grouser » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:41 am

Have a look at this.

Image

Seen on the Costa
Summer 05
Grouser

Campo Kenny

Postby Campo Kenny » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:44 am

Is that as close as it looks or an optical illusion? :shock:
I note the lack of orange balls too.

Kenny

PS Did you take that pic Grouse?

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Postby El Cid » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:47 am

It's the new eco friendly chopper. It runs off batteries and it's just having an in flight refuel!

Sid

Campo Kenny

Postby Campo Kenny » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:51 am

El Cid wrote:It's the new eco friendly chopper. It runs off batteries and it's just having an in flight refuel!

Sid


The anne summers thread is actually on a different page Sid. :wink:

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Postby Grouser » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:51 am

Pretty much as close as it looks, though it was taken with a telephoto so that compresses the perspective a bit. I posted a question about what it might be doing a while ago. Seemingly it is blowing dust off the insulators, hence the little cloud at the end of the nozzle poking out the side of the copter.
Yes it's mine.
Maybe the balls are out of the frame.
Grouser

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Postby j4mes » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:30 pm

i don't think it's just planes and copters it warns (if's it's for them at all) ..it's everyone else....those crazy guys with parachutes and bigs fans strapped to thier back.....hang gliders.....etc etc

Don

Postby Don » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:35 pm

100% positive, the orange balls are to divert birds such as swans and storks away from the power lines after quite a few got injured or killed some years back. A win win situation really, the balls save bird lives and avoid the occasional outage caused by a large bird shorting out a circuit.

No need to phone a friend on this one.

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Postby j4mes » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:39 pm

slightly off subject, but remaining with birds....

Where we used to live in the UK, there was a new shopping center built along with a large multi story car park....for effect, they painted ALL of the parking spaces blue which did look quite nice...

However an awful lot of ducks, geese and swans landed on the roof level (supposedly thinking the large blue mass was water!)....

After only about 3 months it was repainted, and just the outside of each space was blue!!!

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country boy
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Postby country boy » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:47 pm

:? I'm sorry but they are for road safety, to stop drivers suddenly noticing the power lines and taking inappropriate action!

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Postby bob » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:00 pm


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country boy
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Postby country boy » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:14 pm

:? That's cheating :!:

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Postby pete_l » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:38 pm

The balls work by dampening resonances induced by wind blowing across the wires. Without them, the wires could swing dangerously - building up amplitude until they eventually touch and arc. This only happens under very specific circumstances: wind speed and direction have to be just right and maintained for some time.

Talking about danger to birds. One thing that does kill a lot of birds are wind farms. Typically, they get the larger birds and in some places are having a measurable effect on their numbers. It's not all "green"


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