A Towering Beauty

Trans­mis­sion towers that are smaller, quicker to install, and simply more attrac­tive could be appearing on the scene very soon.

Time and again, trans­mis­sion towers are viewed as “spoil­ing the land­scape” and become the subject of oppo­si­tion by many. And with more and more towers required to advance the energy revo­lu­tion, these lev­els of resis­tance to them could even be set to increase. With the Composite Pylon, BYSTRUP is aiming to offer an alter­na­tive to conven­tional trans­mis­sion towers whose appear­ance is less than attrac­tive. For this ambi­tious project, the Danish design company has joined forces with Valmont SM, Nexans, Dervaux, and Power Compos­ites (PC).

“We are delighted to be part of this exciting project. The Composite Pylon aims to make a contri­bu­tion that will accel­erate the expan­sion and conver­sion of power grids—something that is urgently needed to drive the energy revo­lu­tion forward,” says Matthias Domm, Tech­nical Project Manager at PC. Together, all five project part­ners submitted an appli­ca­tion to the EU for a new pylon design that would blend into the land­scape better. Approval was granted in November 2019 and three proto­types are now being produced.

Hollow composite insu­la­tors encased in sili­cone form the cross-arms of the Composite Pylon devel­oped by Rein­hausen Power Compos­ites and produced by Rein­hausen France.

Attrac­tive, compact, and erected in next to no time — the Composite Pylon is set to drive forward the grid expan­sion that the energy revo­lu­tion needs

The pylons are designed to be erected every 360 meters and conduct 2×400 kV or more

PC is respon­sible for the cross-arms—a key element of the pylons. These consist of hollow composite insu­la­tors encased in sili­cone and have a design that enables them to not only absorb the loads of the over­head line conduc­tors and convey these to the tower, but also provide elec­trical insu­la­tion at the same time. This means that no addi­tional suspen­sion insu­la­tors are required, as they would be on conven­tional steel lattice towers. As a result, the Composite Pylon is consid­er­ably smaller than 56 meters.

Further bene­fits include the fact that the pylons are easier to main­tain and quicker to install—the aim is that it should be possible to erect a pylon in one day. The pylons do not require the large foun­da­tions that conven­tional 400 kV towers do and are easy to trans­port by heli­copter, meaning that it will be possible to place the pylons of the future in diffi­cult-to-access loca­tions. Three of the new pylons are set to be erected in Denmark for demon­stra­tion purposes in 2021. A number of oper­a­tors are already consid­ering inte­grating some of the first models into their existing grid in order to test them out. 


Do you have any ques­tions about hollow composite insu­la­tors?
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