go to top scroll for more


Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_SPEN0008
Title Environmentally Acceptable Wood Pole Pre-treatment Alternatives to Creosote (APPEAL)
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 100%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 50%;
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
SP Energy Networks
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 March 2016
End Date 01 September 2018
Duration 30 months
Total Grant Value £330,032
Industrial Sectors Power
Region Scotland
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , SP Energy Networks (100.000%)
Web Site http://www.smarternetworks.org/project/NIA_SPEN0008
Objectives Stage 1: Literature Review A detailed literature review of existing or novel preservative types offering at least 2 candidates (and low creosote alternative) as potential replacements for creosote (offering similar or greater decay prevention for timbers in Use Class 4 (ground contact)) for progression to testing at Stage 2. Recommended detailed project outline for Stage 2 (number of treatments, replicates and recommended duration of accelerated testing). Stage 2: Accelerated Testing Successful construction of fungal cellar facility and test bed deterioration results for timber posts/stakes treated with Stage 1 candidate preservatives and creosote (high & low retention). Pole lifetime will be predicted based on three samples of the specimens. Stage 3: Final Report Provision of final report detailing the outcomes of project Stages 1 and 2 and providing recommendations for further work with regard to any changes to existing treatment protocols and industry adoption. The fungal cellar is constructed and operated successfully (i.e. provides the required high temperature - high humidity environment. The test method is proven to be effective and valid. The environmental variables are held constant across samples during the test. The test provides estimated lifetimes for the samples, (whether preservatives, ground-line wraps or other treatments) with reasonable confidence intervals
Abstract Creosote is the pre-treatment preservative of choice for UK Over-Head Line (OHL) wood poles and provides poles with a service life of 45-55 years. There are millions of these poles in GB. Creosote for amateur use was banned in the UK in 2003 and industrial creosote now has to conform to certain formulation restrictions. Further revision is planned for 2018 (EU Directive 2011/71/EU) and if this results in a full ban it will cause severe disruption to the supply of timber OHL supports and render UK energy provision more expensive unless a replacement preservative type which can provide similar efficacy is in place. Identification of this alternative to creosote will therefore help to keep the cost of the Distribution system down, realised in lower costs for customers. The project identifies a suitable preservative by firstly reviewing the literature in the area to identify candidate preservative types. It then tests these preservatives by carrying out an accelerated-ageing test of wood poles treated with different preservatives; and assessing the results by analysing samples at different times during the testNote : Project Documents may be available via the ENA Smarter Networks Portal using the Website link above
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/08/18