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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Power utilities go high tech in an attempt to stop copper theives

The Globe and Mail has an interesting article about the power utilities in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia turning to DataDot technology to deter thieves from stealing copper grounding wire from substations. The technology involves painting tiny micro dots onto the wire, the dots can then be uniquely identified by a code that is laser etched onto them. This allows the utility to identify the wire as their own and may serve as a deterrent. In my opinion, it will only really aid police in identifying wire as being stolen, after the fact, and will help in prosecution. Which, I guess, in turn helps to deter the thieves. I don't expect the scrap metal dealers will be examining the wire they purchase with microscopes. The technology though is quite interesting and the manufacturer describes many uses, mostly from the recovery standpoint.