The development of a guideline to assist with compiling asset management plans for transmission lines.
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The overhead transmission line is a fundamental component in the power supply system as it links electricity supply to the various points on the electrical network. Failure of the transmission overhead line will result in interruption of supply and depending on the network configuration may result in long term outages. It is therefore essential that the overhead transmission line asset is inspected and maintained regularly to prevent premature failure. Newer approaches to maintenance management are required to improve the overhead transmission lines performance and reduce the cost and risk associated with the asset. Asset management is seen as the process that can be adopted to enhance overall management of the overhead transmission line. The review of maintenance practices of various Utility’s and that of a pilot site made up of selected lines within Eskom’s North East Transmission Grid revealed numerous shortcomings in the current practices largely due to the application of traditional (non-holistic) methods. This situation supports the development of asset management plans which will cater for improvement in performance, reduction in the risk and cost and achieving service level targets. This research has used asset management principles to design a guideline in the form of a flowchart for effective maintenance management for overhead transmission lines. The key benefits/advantages of the maintenance management guideline are as follows: It is closed loop and process driven. Decision making is more scientific because it requires the use of historical performance data, detailed asset condition information and encourages quantitative analysis. Promotes defect and condition assessment tracking via the condition database. Rather than focusing mainly on defect management, the asset manager will be directed towards the performance specifications and the condition database to establish individual action plans which can be prioritized against short, medium and long term improvement plans per specific asset.