1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
This project gives the insight on the design and construction of a transmission power line vandalism detector system. Vandalism means destructive action. It is a hateful and deliberate defacement/destruction of somebody else’s property or national assets like thehigh-voltage transmission power lines, transmission towers and distribution transformers, etc.The high-voltage transmission power lines strung from support towers form the backbone of the nation’s electric power grid. Many of those 158,000 miles of lines, supported by nearly 800,000 towers, run through isolated areas as they deliver electricity from generating plants to cities. These high-voltage transmission power lines around the world are vulnerable to terrorism, vandalism, physical deterioration and extreme weather. Every year in Nigeria bad citizens vandalize the power line, towers, transformers, generators and other power transmission/distribution facilities. This causes frequent power failure and power surge that seriously affects over 50 million business firms and manufacturing industries in the country. These companies depend on electricity power supply from the power line for their productions. If the power line is vandalized, some of their machines cannot be powered on a generator then income, investments and commodities worth billions of Naira will be lost. If electricity is available during the power line vandalism incident, the lives and properties of the people within the area can be affected as a result of electric shocks, power surge and fire outbreak, etc. Vandalism is now largely driven by the soaring values of copper and aluminum in the international metals market due to increased world market demand fueled by China and India’s growth in industrialization. Consequently, the vandals now operate in wellorganized syndicates complete with offices and hierarchy and accumulate large volumes of stolen materials which they eventually consign for export as scrap. Transformer oil, copper and aluminum are the main targets of these vandals. The uses of the stolen transformer oil are:
- Mixed with diesel and sold as fuel,
- Used as fuel for industrial furnaces and as cooling for welding sets,
- Mixed with vegetable oil and sold as cooking oil.
- Used as a cosmetic and treatment for wounds.
- On the other hand, copper and aluminum have been in the past been used on a minimum scale by the informal sector for welding sets but are now mainly exported as scrap. It is this later use that is behind the recent escalation of vandalism.