Shortlisted entries 2012

8. Upgrading the iconic overhead line tower
Christos Zachariades

Overhead line towers are an iconic feature of the UK landscape and will be for many more years. However, to supply increasing electricity demands, solutions are needed that can increase the amount of power which can be transported through an overhead line circuit. Building a new overhead line is costly and if using traditional technology would increase the tower size. Researchers at the University have been developing an alternative which would see insulating cross-arms being used to reduce the tower dimensions. It is a solution that can be retrofitted on existing towers allowing more power flow without changing the structure size. The technology is not only more economical but aso reduces the environmental impact associated with erecting a new line. The photograph shows an insulating cross-arm (right-middle) installed at a high altitude trial site in Scotland where its performance is being studied under extreme weather conditions.

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