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Name: Diane R.
Status: Other
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: May 2004

What makes power lines "sing" when it gets cold?

I regret that I have no answer for this. I am not familiar with the "singing" phenomenon. High voltage power lines often make a crackling sound, and the answer why can be found by doing an Internet web search.

Bob Erck

Though I am not an expert on this phenomena, I can express a few opinions.

Power lines "sing" when they vibrate. I believe this has nothing to do with the current they are carrying.

I would expect the singing to become more noticeable during cold weather as the wires then contract and the tension increases, raising the frequencies at which they tend to vibrate; the higher frequencies would probably be much more noticeable. It is also true that during winter (when temperatures tend to be colder), there are more frequently high winds which would excite the vibrations of the wires.

Best, Dick Plano, Professor of Physics emeritus, Rutgers University

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