Vegetation intrusion causes problems with electric power lines through a variety of mechanisms. Outage reporting systems typically include “vegetation” as a broad cause category for tracking outage statistics, but improved understanding of vegetation-related issues requires tracking of the precise root causes of vegetation events. This white paper overviews multiple vegetation-related mechanisms common to overhead power lines. It does not purport to examine every possible scenario.
Vegetation can interfere with secondary service conductors (i.e., less than 1 kV), primary distribution conductors (i.e., 1 kV through 35 kV), or transmission and sub-transmission conductors (i.e., above 35 kV). This white paper focuses on vegetation interfering with primary distribution conductors.