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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Ferguson

08 | Why do conductors sag and sway? Power Line Systems, Otto Lynch, President and CEO **CEU**

** 0.5 CEU credit from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) available to Utility Arborist Association members. Complete the questionnaire on the UAA website here. **

This episode features an interview is with a Professional Engineer, Otto Lynch, President & CEO of Power Line Systems. Conductors can move during the course of a day under different electrical loading and weather scenarios, a phenomenon known as sag and sway, which is not always well understood. Sag and sway can have a major impact on vegetation management as the movement envelope needs to be taken into account to ensure that acceptable clearances between conductors and vegetation are maintained during all operating conditions. In today’s episode Otto provides a 101 on sag and sway and the impact this has on the work of UVM staff. We cover several topics in detail including:

  • What conductors are made of and why they expand and contract with temperature

  • How expansion and contraction affects tension and sag

  • Weather and electrical load variables that contribute to sag and sway (blow out)

  • Why knowing the conductor movement envelope is essential for UVM

  • Structure deflection in response to weather

  • The impact of ice storms on sag and sway, including conductor elongation

  • The role of PLS-CADD in modeling clearances

  • Thoughts on the future direction of technology

We hope that you find this episode of The UVM Podcast helpful. If you have any feedback on the episode or suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover in future episodes, please feel free to get in contact at

Otto can be found on LinkedIN here and the PLS-CADD website is here.

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