In shielding attire, secured by a safety harness, Wang Pan is skillfully reinforcing fittings on high-voltage wires more than 30 meters above the ground. These high-voltage lines transport electricity for the entire city of Wuhan, hanging 220-kilovolt high-voltage wires with a voltage a thousand times that of household electricity. Any approach within 6 meters poses a risk of electric shock. Graduating from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Applied Electronics (EEA), Tsinghua University, Wang Pan actively immersed himself in this field, cultivating for many years.
Down-to-Earth: From Idealism to Reality
Even in his first year at Tsinghua University, Wang Pan’s senior, who had been working for years in the power grid company, shared his work experiences and insights with Wang Pan.
“Being able to integrate one’s own value with the collective and national values is an era’s fortune and also the fortune of us Tsinghua students.”
Since then, Wang Pan harbored the seed to enter the power grid sector.
In 2016, adorned with the aura of EEA, Tsinghua University, Wang Pan joined State Grid Wuhan Power Supply Company.
The comprehensive education at Tsinghua expanded his vision, instilled a spirit of academic exploration, and provided a guiding value system, giving him the confidence he needed.
However, the habits of excellence and perfectionism cultivated during his studies sometimes made him overly meticulous about details. The high expectations from those around him, thinking he should excel in everything quickly and efficiently, added invisible pressure.
Throughout his years of study, Wang Pan lived in a relatively idealized environment, viewing the world through idealistic eyes. However, it was only after entering the workforce that he truly encountered these things, learning practical skills.
Upon joining State Grid Wuhan Power Supply Company, the first task was to undergo a safety protocol examination, requiring the memorization of every safety detail in the job. Wang Pan chose not to take shortcuts, instead dedicating himself to diligent memorization. This realization also dawned on him that a seemingly simple job on the surface could encompass such a broad and intricate depth, demanding a mastery of numerous aspects.
Upon joining the grassroots power grid work, he spent the first month simply walking along the power lines with his mentors, inspecting defects and hazards on high-voltage lines. During this process, he gradually became more grounded. His first challenge was finding the way. The high-voltage towers on the patrol route were located in remote areas of the city. Even with the help of map navigation, it was challenging to find the specific locations on-site. His mentors, relying solely on the tower numbers, could easily locate them. This greatly impressed Wang Pan.
Climbing heights: Restarting live-line work after 11 years
In the first three years after joining in 2016, Wang Pan worked in the transmission line inspection team.
In the fourth year, during a rotation in a managerial position, he deeply participated in technical renovations, power grid planning, epidemic prevention support, flood control, and other tasks.
By the fifth year, to better utilize his technical expertise, he volunteered to transfer to the live-line team, taking on the live-line maintenance of 447 transmission lines ranging from 110 to 220 kilovolts in Wuhan.
The last live-line operation on the transmission lines by Wuhan Power Supply Company was 11 years ago, posing significant safety risks. But after systematic learning at Tsinghua University, Wang Pan solidly grasped professional knowledge, and his thorough understanding of principles eliminated the unknown fears. This made him more daring to face dangers than the average person.
When Wang Pan joined the live-line team, everything started from scratch. Twelve days of training, over ten practical exercises, numerous routine operations — six months later, a brand-new live-line operation team had taken shape.
The traditional method of live-line work on the towers involved climbing along a 20 to 30-meter insulating soft ladder, which was physically demanding. Initially, Wang Pan’s physical fitness wasn’t sufficient, but he quickly overcame it.
“The moment I first touched the high-voltage wire left a deep impression on me!” Wang Pan said. “Although I was well aware of the principles and risks, and well-prepared, reaching out to grab the wire still brought a momentary sense of trance.”
If touching the wire faced the risk of electric shock, riding the wire faced the risk of falling from a height. The wire was thin, with no handrails nearby, and balance relied solely on abdominal strength.
Wang Pan admitted that he felt uneasy the first time he rode the wire, but once the die was cast, there was no turning back.
“In fact, after going up, I found it wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined,” Wang Pan said. “The most challenging part is in one’s imagination. You should face fear directly, climb up, and conquer it.”
Live-line work gave Wang Pan a profound sense of self-identity. High-voltage lines are the lifelines of the city’s electricity. When he quickly eliminated power grid risks through live-line work, he felt an unprecedented sense of achievement.
This direct connection between his work and his sense of value supported him all the way to today.
“The Most Outstanding Electric Power Worker”: Practicing and Continuing
Currently, Wang Pan serves as the deputy team leader of the live-line team at the Transmission Inspection Branch of State Grid Wuhan Power Supply Company, and he is also a core member of the “Starry Innovation Studio.”
He actively promotes innovative applications, using electric elevators instead of soft ladders to enter the electric field, reducing operation time by 50%. Using drones for 3D modeling reduces the verification error of safety distances to within 5 centimeters, effectively ensuring operation safety.
Faced with the severe situation of ensuring power supply in Wuhan, he strictly implements the requirement of zero power outage maintenance. He completed 68 live-line maintenance tasks, resolved 11 emergency defects on 220-kilovolt lines, avoided a power loss of 3.6 million kilowatt-hours, and protected 270,000 households from power outages.
Now, he has received multiple honors, including the Wuhan May 1st Labor Medal, Labor Model and honor of “The Most Outstanding Electric Power Worker” of State Grid Hubei Electric Power Co., Ltd.
In the future, he will continue to do well in team member skill training, assessment, rewards and punishments, etc., leading the whole team as a pioneer in learning and research, and promoting innovation and development of live-line operations toward a high level and standardization.
“Work for Fifty Years for the Country’s Healthy,” these words hanging in Tsinghua’s playground initially seemed like an interesting slogan to Wang Pan. Now, he has engraved this sentence into his heart and put it into action.
Even though he has been away from Tsinghua for many years, he has been consistently practicing the precious spirit of building the country.
“This year, the company welcomed three new employees who had just graduated from university,” Wang Pan said. “Seeing myself in them from years ago, I want to provide as much help as possible for them to quickly adapt to their roles.”
“I hope all students can maintain their original aspirations, study seriously in school, lay a solid foundation for future talent development, integrate personal development with the destiny of the nation, and find the meaning of life on a broader stage.”
This article is reproduced from the official WeChat account of Tsinghua University.