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National Grid steps into the future with new pylon design

National Grid engineers have provided the first glimpse of what the next generation of overhead power lines may look like.

They completed the installation of two huge diamond-shaped insulators on the ‘suspension’ version of the prototype T-Pylon design.

The two 2.5t, 13m by 8m ‘earrings’ hang either side of the pylon’s T-bar.

Two versions of the 35m-tall pylon have now been erected in Denmark at the home of steel firm DS SM, which is a partnering National Grid and the pylon’s Danish designer Bystrup in the venture.

Nationl Grid

Future look: Testing of the new pylon is ongoing

In April a beefier ‘tension’ version of the pylon, which will be used where power lines have to be pulled round corners, was erected. This tension version has a 4-tonne steel ‘tubular diamond’ structure which connects to each end of the mast and is tied back to the main monopole.

The slimmer suspension version, which will be used on straight runs, was erected in February. The insulators, which are made out of toughened rubber with metal connection, have just been added.

The installations have undergone extensive electrical and load testing.

T-Pylon development manager Peter Botsoe told NCE: “The electrical testing has gone well and we are reviewing the data.

“In terms of loading we are very confident the structure will withstand everything the UK weather will throw at it,” Botsoe added.

A public consultation will be held before any new-style pylons are built. If they get the green light, the T-pylons will not replace the existing iconic lattice pylons, but be used for new low carbon generation connections.

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