The Powerbeam Advantage

  Proven track record, used by utility companies for over 30 years

  Our systems are installed in locations which have been battered by category 5 cyclones, and Powerbeam has stood strong

  Over 100,000 Powerbeam’s in use all over Australia

  Available in 4 Sizes to suit all applications

   Engineered and tested to meet AS/NZ 7000:2010 

  The most economical method to re-instate an aging utility pole

   Simple to install, up to 30 a day is possible with one team and a machine

The Powerbeam reinstatement system is made up of three main components:

  • A range of compound fabricated beams with a hollow reinforcing spine
  • Specifically designed back plates.
  • Tapered connectors.
  • These components are used together with bolts and stainless steel strapping to form sound structures. If a wooden pole should fail, at or above the upper end of the beam, collapse is usually sudden and without warning. For obvious reason this is not desirable and is to be avoided at all costs.
  • All Powerbeam systems have been designed to fail in a ductile manner with tests clearly demonstrating this.
  • Tests show that the beam is still able to support the weight of the pole even though it is leaning at an angle of 50 degrees or more to the vertical. With this significant design feature there is plenty of warning and time to to corrective action.

Powerbeams are a series of steel beams, suitable for the reinstatement of up to 75% of existing wooden utility poles, from lightly laden to massive key pole structures.

Utilities have found they can extend the life and upgrade the class of pole at the same time. The unique patented Powerbeam system has been used by Utilities in Australia and New Zealand for more than 15 years, and one utility is already saving at least $1 million per month.The unique design method of the Powerbeam makes it possible to use lighter and more efficient structures.

Powerbeam can economically convert a pole that is at the end of its useful life to a reinstated composite pole with double the original life expectancy. Powerbeam is not a pole repair system but rather a pole reinstatement system.

Wooden poles can be reinstated for around one third the cost of pole replacement, typically by a two man crew averaging 8 poles a day, and reinstated live without any interruption to the power supply.

The Powerbeams (the reinstatement of which raises the fulcrum point of the pole from groundline to the top of the Powerbeam), have been designed so that the bending capacity in all directions is approximately equal. This means that the beams can be placed at the most convenient position around the pole, thus avoiding underground services and above ground assets (see Powerbeam reinstated in-line and the raised fulcrum point illustrations).The Powerbeam has been designed to fail in a ductile manner and University tests clearly demonstrate this.

Field tests show that the Powerbeam is still able to support the weight of the pole even when it is leaning at an angle of 50 degrees or more to the vertical. With this mode of collapse, there is adequate warning and time for remedial steps to be taken before catastrophic collapse occurs.

The Powerbeam’s unique design has been developed, with proven success by utilities internationally, and has endured, even under extreme conditions including fire and flood (see photographs below, taken by Ergon Energy Corporation Limited in Queensland, Australia).

For further information regarding our vast range of Powerbeams click on the Contact us link on the main menu bar.

Important features of the Powerbeam are:

The main function of the beam is to bridge the gap between the sound sections of the pole below and above ground level.

Therefore the bending and torsional strength of the beam have to be sufficient to withstand the various loads arising from wind. conductors, maintenance, etc., normally applied to a pole. The bending strength is provided by the cross section acting as a beam with two principal axes of bending.

The torsional strength, which is required both during erection of a powerline and when a single conductor fails, is provided mainly by the beam’s tubular spine.

Extensive Testing

All Powerbeam systems (supporting components separately) have been extensively tested to destruction. both in laboratory conditions and in the field where gradual failures were observed.

Professor Noel Murray:

“It is important when testing to consider all modes of failure. The omission of only one failure mode from this scrutiny can lead to collapse of the structure.
The history of structural engineering has many examples in which the failure of one small element has lead to the collapse of the much larger structure.
In the case of the Powerbeam Reinstatement system the potential failure modes of bending in all directions, torsion about the axis of the pole, buckling and warping have all been considered”.

The ultimate strength of each Powerbeam system was calculated using plastic theory and the results were confirmed by field testing.

Installation of Powerbeam

The Powerbeam Installation process is quick, efficient, and is a go anywhere system. The Powerbeam offers approximately the same strength in all directions.

This enhances installation capabilities by placing the beam in the most convenient position around the pole thus avoiding underground services and above ground assets.

The articulated tractor rig makes it possible for installations to be performed in suburban and built up areas, off-road rural situations including steep gradients or even flooded marshlands.

The installation rigs are manned by two man teams who are extensively trained to adhere to regulatory requirements and OH&S.
It is usual for an installation crew to complete 16-20 reinstatements a day.

A summary of Powerbeam features:

  • The installation of Powerbeam is a simple and cost effective process.
  • The compound structure of the Powerbeam provides a range of strength capacities sufficient to reinstate power and communication poles of all sizes.
  • Powerbeam is not restricted by unidirectional characteristics and can he used anywhere on the circumference of the pole. This makes if possible to reinstate most timber poles. including those with extensive assets attached.
  • In most cases one single Powerbeam can restore a pole asset to its former strength.
  • Designed to provide the same strength and bending properties in all directions
  • Heavy-duty robust construction.
  • Hot dip galvanised to provide corrosion free long life.
  • Guaranteed for 20 years (conditions apply) or the life of the pole assets.
  • Speed of installation and asset reinstatement provides rapid network security and reliability.
  • As only one Powerbeam is generally required it can be installed in the most convenient location around a pole thereby avoiding underground services and other above ground assets.
  • Improved operational efficiency as less technical, scheduling and planning staff are required compared with organising outages. As 95% of a pole asset
  • extending above ground is generally in good condition the Powerbeam system provides maximisation of asset utilisation extending the life of existing assets.
    Improved productivity, twice as many assets can be reinstated than replaced within the same time frame.
  • Pole asset reinstatement is maintained as a regular operation and being pro-active this avoids possible power disruptions.
  • In today’s contestable marketplace where supply reliability and continuity is all important, reinstatement and the speed of installation contributes significantly towards the integrity, security and reliability of the network system, providing supply reliability and decreases unplanned outages due to asset failures.
  • The Powerbeam system contributes dramatically towards meeting increased pressure and the reinstatement work is conducted quickly and without interruption.
    Installation of the Powerbeam is more efficient and cost effective, providing considerable savings as compared to pole replacement.