Wildfires pose a significant threat to the electrical utility system. Overhead utility structures are critical to system performance during and after fire events. One FRP composite pole manufacturer, RS Technologies, set out to design a full-scale fire test that was representative of wildfires moving through a utility line right-of-way. The post-fire exposure evaluation included full-scale vertical bend tests to quantify any strength loss as a result of the fire exposure. Southern California Edison has approved a non-conductive FRP composite pole as a key component of their wildfire mitigation plan that helps prevent fire ignition and is resilient to wildfires. Thousands of composite poles have been installed in high fire-risk areas. Many of these poles have been exposed to intense fires, performing successfully in accordance with their design and as predicted by full-scale fire test results. For SCE, the deployment of proven fire-resistant composite poles has delivered a fire-hardened electrical grid.
- An understanding of wildfire performance requirements, current wildfire exposure test methodologies for FRP composite utility poles and performance criteria that are now becoming the industry standard.
- Utility pole wildfire performance evaluation strategies used by Southern California Edison (SCE) to craft their wildfire mitigation plan (WMP).
- The real-world performance evaluation of FRP composite poles in wildfire situations.