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Q & A: frozen power lines

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Most recent answer: 01/29/2015
what happens when the power transmission lines are freezed?. Is the power transmission effected?.
- zenith (age 23)

Ordinary metals (copper, aluminum) lose electrical resistivity as they cool down. The reason is that there are fewer thermal sound waves to scatter the electrons that carry the electrical current, allowing it to flow more freely. So transmission lines should work slightly better when they're cold.

One exception is during an ice storm. When too much ice freezes on a power line the extra weight can break the line. It makes a spectacular visual display, but is dangerous and inconvenient.

Mike W.

(published on 01/29/2015)

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