T&D World Magazine
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S&C Adds Optional Open-Gap Wildlife Protection for Omni-Rupter Switches

Utilities may face fines for incidents resulting in a fatality to protected wildlife.

For electric utilities, protecting overhead distribution switches from damaging contact by squirrels and other climbing animals can be a major problem. Such wildlife intrusions can cause power outages and damage electrical equipment. Moreover, utilities may face fines for incidents resulting in a fatality to protected wildlife.

S&C offers a variety of solutions to protect against damaging wildlife contact with Omni-Rupter Switches. S&C is pleased to introduce optional open-gap wildlife protection to protect against problems associated with smaller climbing animals bridging an open gap on an Omni-Rupter.omni-rupter

The solution consists of painted fiberglass barriers installed on each blade. The barriers force a climbing animal to jump over the insulated panel installed on the blade, making it more difficult for squirrels and other small animals to bridge an open gap. These barriers do not interfere with switch operation, or jumper and cable connections.

The barriers come factory-installed on Omni-Rupters, or they can be installed on existing de-energized and grounded Omni-Rupter switches with the “R4” catalog number suffix, without having to remove them from the utility pole. The barriers install to the blade using a simple mounting bracket.

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