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National Grid electricity supply: Part 6.3 Comparing advantages and disadvantages of overhead power lines versus underground cables for a national grid power supply system

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6.3 Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of overhead power lines versus underground cables for a national grid electrical power supply system

The comparison table below addresses these issues.

COMPARISON Installation

- cost

Installation

- ease of

Environmental impact

- visual impact

Environmental impact

- the land itself

Maintenance and reliability
Overhead power lines lower, simple erection of pylons and linking cables carrying the high voltage current relatively easy, simple erection job considerable, miles of pylons and cables stretching across the countryside - controversial in designated areas of outstanding natural beauty slight - foundations of pylons much more needed and much less reliable - weather damage eg from frost, snow, corrosion of structure
Underground cables much higher, costly trenches and insulated cables much more work, all that digging and filling! minimal, not really seen at all considerable, but temporary - digging trenches is disturbing the land, but no lasting damage much less and more reliable, not affected by weather BUT not as easy to trace and access if fault develops
 

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Keywords, phrases and learning objectives for National Grid electricity supply

Be able to compare the advantages and disadvantages of overhead power lines versus underground cables for a national grid power electricity supply system.


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