TILBURY, ONTARIO and CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA, May 24, 2019 – RS Technologies Inc. ("RS") is pleased to report that IP Australia, Australia's patent authority, has awarded RS a patent for its Fire Shield™ innovation (Patent Number 2015271602).
The RS Fire Shield is a product that protects wood utility poles from the harmful effects of fires. The primary benefits of preserving utility poles with fire shields are increased electric grid resiliency and reliability.
The fire shield is manufactured using the same method and composite material as RS's award-winning composite utility poles. The fire shield will protect wood poles from moderate to severe wildfires in which they would not normally be expected to survive if left unprotected. Likewise, when used with an RS composite utility pole, the fire shield allows RS poles to survive extreme wildfire events.
As a result of wildfires travelling through forested areas at high speeds, utility poles in a fire's path are typically exposed to flames for 60 to 90 seconds, often at temperatures in excess of 1,850°F [1,000°C]. Further, wood poles ignite easily and continue to burn well after the wildfire has passed through, often resulting in eventual pole failure and power supply disruption.
RS fire shields have been tested and proven to be effective in protecting wood utility poles from severe wildfire exposure conditions of up to 120 seconds in duration. When installed on an RS composite pole, the Fire shield™ extends the RS pole's ability to resist the effects of fire from two minutes to three minutes, with the three-minute exposure period considered to replicate an extreme wildfire condition. Whether shielding a wood or an RS composite pole, the fire shield functions as a sacrificial barrier during a fire exposure event, then allowing for the removal and replacement of the damaged shield to again fortify the underlying pole asset prior to the occurrence of any next fire event.
The costs of purchasing and deploying the RS Fire Shield in a utility's grid are materially offset by protecting the overhead line utility pole structure from failure during wildfire events. The financial costs of replacing burned and charred wood poles are significant, often including both higher labour and material costs due to short-term supply shortages and the nature of emergency response operations. Public safety, workforce fatigue, overtime costs and additional logistical challenges and costs are other factors that merit consideration by utilities entrusted with the responsibility of assessing and delivering on the best ways to harden their grids against the effects of fires and storm events. Additional cost savings can be captured by replacing sacrificial fire shields as part of a normal post-fire inspection program that occurs prior to the regrowth of the fuel load that would contribute towards any future wildfire event.
In the development of its fire shield, the company completed an extensive array of full-scale wildfire testing.
RS Technologies Inc. (RS) designs and manufactures the world’s highest performing composite utility poles that are safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than wood, steel and concrete poles. RS poles are used in transmission (up to 345kV), distribution and communication applications, are environmentally friendly and often deliver the lowest total installed and lifecycle cost solution of any pole on the market. With installations dating back to 2003, RS has over 450 customers in 28 countries and is ISO 9001:2015 registered. More information on RS and its poles is available at RSpoles.com.
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