The T-pylon design is shorter and smaller
than lattice pylons which are typically 50m
high and weigh 30 tonne.
E
LECTRICITY PYLONS –
the towering steel giants
that support overhead
power lines – have long been
considered an industrial eyesore
with the steel lattice design
typical of the British landscape
remaining largely unchanged for
the better part of a century.
In 2011 the Royal Institute of
British Architects (RIBA), on
behalf of the Department of
Energy & Climate Change and
National Grid in the United
Kingdom, held a competition to
find a new generation electricity
pylon inviting entrants to design
a pylon that had the potential
to deliver for future generations
while preserving the beauty of
the natural landscape.
The winning entry was a T-pylon
design proposed by Danish
architectural and engineering
company Bystrup. Weighing
20 tonne and standing at 32
metres (105 ft) tall the monopole
design is considerably shorter
and smaller than the lattice pylon
structure making it less intrusive.
Since the design competition,
National Grid has worked with
other engineers and partners
to turn the T-pylon design into
reality making sure it could cope
with all the stresses normally
placed on a pylon.
In April 2015, a span of six of the
new T-pylons was constructed
at the National Grid training
academy in Eakring featuring
nine different steel node castings
manufactured by Bradken
ranging in weight from 12kg to
1.8 tonne.
Bradken’s Scunthorpe foundry
supplied castings used to form
the corner connections on the
diamond structure and also the
U shaped node connecting the
diamond to the steel tower while
the Darlaston foundry produced
structural castings and cast steel
tongues used on the ‘double
diamond’ structure.
However Bradken’s involvement
in the project actually started
12 months before an order was
placed, assisting in the finer
design detail and supporting
Bystrup with critical information
to finalise their winning design.
On the development of
the T-pylon design David
Wright, Director of Electricity
Transmission Asset Management
at National Grid said, “We
developed the new style of pylon
so that we could have a 21st
century design to offer as we
plan new transmission routes.
The T-pylon is not a replacement
for the steel lattice pylon but
it’s a new option and in some
landscapes its shorter height
and sleeker appearance can offer
real advantages.”
The building of the training
line of T-pylons will be the first
opportunity to see the new
design in the landscape. But it’s
not the first time atypical pylon
designs have been introduced.
Around the world energy
providers and designers are
looking at novel ways of making
pylon designs more attractive.
A drive along the M5 motorway
in Újhartyán, Hungary, will lead
to the sight of electrical pylons
shaped like clowns installed by
MAVIR, the Hungarian electricity
transmission system operator.
A Mickey Mouse shaped pylon
can be seen along the I4 near
the town of Celebration, Florida
in the United States, just outside
of Walt Disney World Resort.
7
GLOBALEYES / EDITION 16
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