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500kV Switch Opening and the Resulting Arc

Holy crap.  The video below is of a 500kV switch opening at a substation in Nevada.  One of the great guys and gals over at The Light Network posted the video and another user posted a TON of information on what was happening in the video.  Thanks to Phil Heid for the video post, and Sean Harding for the great info on the clip’s history.

A small tidbit from Sean’s information:

This video clip was captured by Neil Brady, the maintenance foreman of the 500 kV Eldorado Substation near Boulder City, Nevada at the time of the event. It shows a three-phase motorized air disconnect switcher attempting to open high voltage being supplied to a large three phase shunt line reactor. The line reactor is the huge gray transformer-like object behind the truck at the far right at the end of the clip. Line reactors are large iron core coils (inductors) which are used to counteract the effects of line capacitance on long Extra High Voltage (EHV) transmission lines.

The Light Network rocks.