An electricity transmission tower, often called a hydro pole or just a pylon in British English, is a high, round structure, typically a steel pole structure, used as a support for an electricity transmission line. In its most popular form, the transmission tower is constructed with numerous rung-like rungs, or columns, of metal-reinforced steel. Electricity is transmitted from the electrical distribution network, or main line, to the many connecting points at the base of the pole. Many times the entire structure is made from one piece of metal tubing or steel reinforcement, rather than separate sections of metal tubing.
The transmission of electricity over long distances requires high-voltage conductors carrying large amounts of current. These are usually wound around coils to protect them from the corrosive effects of salt spray and oxidation. Sometimes these are wound on their own, in an enclosed environment, such as inside a plastic sleeve, but this is not necessary. Many high-voltage conductors in use today are wound on their own because it reduces the cost of installation and operation.
There are two types of high voltage electricity transmission towers. One type is the arcing horn system, and the other type is the multi-line wind tunnel system. Arcing horns are very large and tall structures that are often constructed on site using concrete foundations. Many arcing horns are circular, because the larger the core diameter of the windings, the more resistance the conductor can withstand before the insulator becomes saturated.
A small coil is wrapped around the metal core, much like a rubber band is wrapped around a balloon. When the conductors come into contact with each other, the friction causes the ring to expand until the entire coil is destroyed. The insulator is then ruined and the power line insulators must be replaced. The strength of a conductor determines how long it will last. Copper is one of the most resistant metals, which is why so many electrical conductors are wound on their own.
Strategy to protect your tower
One learning strategy to protect your tower is by installing low-emission ground source heaters around your facility. Ground source heaters are able to reduce the harmful effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by power lines. This information is available online in many different formats and I encourage you to do your research and find the format that works best for you. It should also be noted that some states have regulations against placing ground source heaters on structures that also house electrical systems.
Electromagnetic fields emitted by high-voltage transmission lines can also cause health issues. Exposure to electromagnetic fields over time has shown to increase a person's risk of developing certain types of cancer. As well, low-voltage electric power lines are more susceptible to vandalism and theft. Prevention is the best defense against this problem and the best place to start is with the towers.
After the towers are built, the proper precautions must be taken to protect them from vandalism and theft. A good practice is to place guardrails on top of the towers, as well as on all sides of the facility. This is one method in which to help prevent vandalism from occurring, as well as help protect the valuable electric circuits contained within. A proper code is important for the protection of voltage regulation and frequency protection.
As well, the top of the tower must be kept clean to prevent corrosion. When cleaning the top of the tower, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, using an old toothbrush or cotton buds dipped in chlorine-water is not a good practice. These methods can over time damage the integrity of the metal, which in turn can lead to premature failure of the power transmission. It is important to periodically inspect and repair the power transmission for this very reason.