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Balloon Safety in the Sky: IEEE P2845 Trial Use Std for Testing & Evaluating Dielectric Performance of Balloons in Contact with Distribution Power Lines

August 22, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

This standard is applicable to celebratory balloons that are comparable in size and shape to what are commonly referred to as foil balloons, which are available in retail stores and are filled with helium or a gas that is lighter-than-air. The test procedures evaluate the dielectric performance of celebratory balloons in contact with simulated energized overhead distribution power lines with the intent of minimizing balloon caused power system outages (or electrical faults). The scope is limited to distribution system voltages of 38 kV or less and only single balloons.

Metallic foil balloons that are inflated with helium or a lighter-than-air gas pose a significant risk to overhead electric distribution power lines. The metallic foil can conduct electricity, which can result in a fault condition. An additional failure mechanism occurs if the helium gas ionizes under high enough voltage electric fields which can also result in faults. These faults can result in power outages and also become a fire ignition risk. In recognition of the importance of the identified issue, the IEEE Distribution Reliability Working Group supported the establishment of a Task Force to advance study and efforts undertaken by utilties (largely based in California) with support and study performed by Georgia Tech’s NEETRAC. This Task Force has developed this IEEE P2845 trial-use standard which is in the process of being published by the end of 2023.

Speaker(s): Christian Henderson, Dean Borchardt,


11:30 am – Noon Virtual Social & Welcome Back to SF PES!
Noon – 1:00 pm IEEE P2845 Technical Presentation
1:00 – 1:30 pm Additional Meeting & Social Time

Virtual: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/367307


August 22, 2023
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
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Virtual: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/367307


IEEE Santa Clara Valley Chapter
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