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Re: [ksurf] How I started a forest fire with my kite

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  • theflyingtinman
    ... That sounds like a low, or domestic voltage power line. (a short cable that runs between a transformer and a house) Relatively safe ... but power lines
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 5, 2003
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      --- In kitesurf@yahoogroups.com, mdavido@a... wrote:
      > lol and i thought i was close to powerlines when i was 60+ ft. away...
      > although if you have ever been in a tree high up near powerlines you would see that
      > there is one thick cable (to hold up the lines) and another insulated cable
      > (about the thickness of an extension cord). i have even touched it, and know
      > that there is no current on the out side. The risk would come if you were to
      > punchure a hold or cut the black insulated wire. mabye its different out
      > west, i dont know but thats just my experence.

      That sounds like a low, or 'domestic' voltage power line. (a short cable
      that runs between a transformer and a house) Relatively safe ... but power
      lines come in a whole variety of voltages and cable types. Some insulated
      some not.

      The very dangerous high-voltage transmission lines (which transmit power
      over long distances from the power stations) are uninsulated (mostly because
      a few millimeters of plastic woudn't be any use at all against hundreds
      of thousands of volts. That kind of voltage could drive deadly current
      through your kite lines (even if dry) and your body, if you flew a kite
      into them. They are always on high pylons but some transmission lines are
      well within reach of kitelines.

      Medium voltage distribution lines (thousands or tens of thousands of
      volts - the kind that run between substations or from substations to
      transformers) may be insulated but are most often not insulated.
      That voltage may not be capable of killing you through dry kitelines but
      could easily do so through wet or damp lines and would have no problem
      frying you if you if you got dragged up onto them. Just pulling those
      conductors together (or close) by wrapping a kiteline around them will
      cause violent arcing, destroy your gear and probably cause fires.

      It a good idea to keep kites as far as possible from power lines,
      especially if you are not sure of the differences between
      transmission lines, distribution lines and domestic overhead cables.

      Steve T.
    • Chris Glazier
      ... you would see that ... insulated cable ... it, and know ... Yes Steve T has it right. That is undoubtedly just a power line feeding a house or small
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 5, 2003
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        > --- In kitesurf@yahoogroups.com, mdavido@a... wrote:
        > > although if you have ever been in a tree high up near powerlines
        you would see that
        > > there is one thick cable (to hold up the lines) and another
        insulated cable
        > > (about the thickness of an extension cord). i have even touched
        it, and know
        > > that there is no current on the out side.

        Yes Steve T has it right. That is undoubtedly just a power line
        feeding a house or small building. These generally carry only 110 or
        220 volts (which is seldom fatal) and they are always well insulated.

        Look closely at a common telephone pole and you can often see 3
        distinct levels of wires. The lowest level is telephone and
        cablevision which is harmless. The medium level has 110 and 220volt
        lines which run to houses. Then at least 3 meters above that are the
        very dangerous high voltage lines of maybe 12 kilovolts (which is
        normally fatal). These are not insulated wires. They always sit on
        glass or ceramic insulators near the very top of the pole.

        Kite lines are made of spectra which is polyester and is a good
        insulator. If this were not true we would have many dead kiters from
        powerline incidents. Even kite lines wet with fresh water probably
        will not conduct electrity since fresh water is not a good
        conductor. I am not so sure however about a kite line that is
        soaking wet with salt water since salt water does conduct.

        There are often 2 or 3 or these high voltage lines running in
        parallel at the top of the pole. If they touch each other, a short
        circuit occurs and a small explosion happens as these wires
        vaporize.

        Obviously kites should not be flown near power lines.

        Chris G
        Electrical Engineer
      • gordon mitchell
        Hi, i recently saw a friend s lines hit the high tension wires on top a pole. There was a terrific flash and all four kite lines burnt through totally.He was
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 6, 2003
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          Hi, i recently saw a friend's lines hit the high tension wires on top a pole. There was a terrific flash and all four kite lines burnt through totally.He was ok, except for shell shock. mitch

          theflyingtinman <theflyingtinman@...> wrote:--- In kitesurf@yahoogroups.com, mdavido@a... wrote:
          > lol and i thought i was close to powerlines when i was 60+ ft. away...
          > although if you have ever been in a tree high up near powerlines you would see that
          > there is one thick cable (to hold up the lines) and another insulated cable
          > (about the thickness of an extension cord). i have even touched it, and know
          > that there is no current on the out side. The risk would come if you were to
          > punchure a hold or cut the black insulated wire. mabye its different out
          > west, i dont know but thats just my experence.

          That sounds like a low, or 'domestic' voltage power line. (a short cable
          that runs between a transformer and a house) Relatively safe ... but power
          lines come in a whole variety of voltages and cable types. Some insulated
          some not.

          The very dangerous high-voltage transmission lines (which transmit power
          over long distances from the power stations) are uninsulated (mostly because
          a few millimeters of plastic woudn't be any use at all against hundreds
          of thousands of volts. That kind of voltage could drive deadly current
          through your kite lines (even if dry) and your body, if you flew a kite
          into them. They are always on high pylons but some transmission lines are
          well within reach of kitelines.

          Medium voltage distribution lines (thousands or tens of thousands of
          volts - the kind that run between substations or from substations to
          transformers) may be insulated but are most often not insulated.
          That voltage may not be capable of killing you through dry kitelines but
          could easily do so through wet or damp lines and would have no problem
          frying you if you if you got dragged up onto them. Just pulling those
          conductors together (or close) by wrapping a kiteline around them will
          cause violent arcing, destroy your gear and probably cause fires.

          It a good idea to keep kites as far as possible from power lines,
          especially if you are not sure of the differences between
          transmission lines, distribution lines and domestic overhead cables.

          Steve T.




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