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Unipole Conductor Systems Maintenance

VAHLE Unipole Conductors require very little maintenance. The following checklist will help to maintain the reliability of the installation; it may be modified in accordance with on-site conditions. Follow proper safety procedures prior (i.e. lock-out, tag-out) to making any modifications or repairs on the system or collectors.

1) Visually inspect Conductors at 4-week-intervals. Check for and repair the following items:

  • Locating and spacing of compact hangers
  • Alignment at switches, turntables, lift stations etc.
  • Correct gaps at joint splices (plug in joints only)
  • Correct gaps at expansion sections
  • Loose wires
  • Damaged insulation
  • Fit of splice joint covers etc.
  • Wear or damage due to arcing especially at transfer or entry/exit sections.

Sparking may occur on systems where the collector assembly enters and/or exits the conductor system via a funnel. The size of the spark would depend on the potential (current) on the conductors at the time of entry or exit. Minor sparking is acceptable and should have no detrimental effect to the operation of the system. Component life of the funnel and brush wear may be reduced.

It is important clean excess graphite (collector) dust especially at funnels. The combination of excess dust and arching could cause a fire hazard.

To eliminate arching a switched or power-up/power down zone(s) would need to be added to the system configuration.

2.) Inspect current collectors at 8-week-intervals:

  • All moving parts, linkages, springs etc.
  • Contact brush for excessive or uneven wear, vacuum off graphite dust if required.
  • Electrical connection of wires.
  • Replace worn or damaged contact brushes

Unipole Cleaning Systems

Cleaning Collector Assemblies

These are to be used to scour away any deposits on the conductor rail such as oxidation. The cleaning collectors should only be used as required to clean conductors. Visual inspections of the system should be preformed monthly on the system (see maintenance instructions). The cleaning collectors are to be used only as needed (i.e. installed and for several circuits of the system and removed). The cleaning pads on the collector assembly can be changed as required with replacement pads. The cleaning collector is not designed to remove debris from the collector rail. It is designed to clean the contact surface of the conductor.

The cleaning collector cannot be used when there is excess collector dust in the rail as this could cause electrical problems at isolation sectionsor transfer areas. The dust must first be removed (see also RG 10 Conductor Vacuum system).

Example of cleaning collectors with cleaning pads

The RG Conductor Vacuum System

This system is to be used to remove loose debris such as collector dust from the conductor rail.

The RG 10 can be installed on a standard carrier, as required, and provides an integrated vacuum cleaning system for the Unipole conductor installation. The system will vacuum dust and graphite residue out of the individual conductors (up to 10 pole).

The RG Vacuum system is avialable for the U10 - U 15 and VKS conductor systems.

Example Arrangement of ARG 10 Vacuum System on Monorail

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