I worked for a large electric utility for a while

by Kymation

Not in Kentucky though. The nominal battery voltage in our plants was 100 VDC, but it probably got to 110 or more when fully charged. Power was run to the live-front panels on open busses. Of course there were no fuses.

The bus bars were normally covered with a non-conductive material to prevent problems if something was dropped onto them. These had to be removed if you were doing any work that needed connection to power. Connections were made by drilling a hole in the bus and soldering a wire in. Of course this is all done live.

One technician had the bad habit of smoking on the job. He was working on the top of a panel, standing on a ladder, so he set his ashtray on the convenient row of busses across the middle of the panel. Usually not a problem, but this time he had somehow managed to replace his usual ceramic ashtray with one made of aluminum. He managed to survive, but he had to find a new job afterwards. Utilities take a dim view of mistakes like that.

Posted on Nov 3, 2017, 7:20 PM

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