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How are power towers arranged?

Как устроены опоры ЛЭП?

Power line (PTL) is one of the components of the electrical network, a system of power equipment designed to transmit electricity through electric current. Also, the electrical line in the composition of such a system that goes beyond the power plant or substation. There are air and cable power lines. Recently, gas insulated lines (GIL) have become popular. Transmission lines also transmit information using high-frequency signals (according to expert estimates, in the CIS, about 60,000 HF channels are used over power lines) and FOCLs. They are used for dispatch control, telemetry data transmission, relay protection signals and emergency control. It is also noteworthy that in the 1985s, the development of transmission lines reaching a height of 70 meters were carried out.

An overhead power line pylon (power line pylon) is a structure for holding wires and, if available, overhead protection cables of an overhead power line and fiber-optic communication lines at a given distance from the ground surface and from each other.

What could be the ordinary power lines? Power transmission towers - one of the most common engineering structures, and they are all the time before our eyes. However, in this area, too, has its technological subtleties and even room for technological progress. Not very noticeable for us overhead power lines acquire a new look and a new design.

Most often, we imagine a power transmission line support in the form of a grid construction. About 30 years ago it was the only option, and even today they continue to be built. A set of metal corners is brought to the construction site and, step by step, a support is screwed out of these typical elements. Then comes the crane and puts the structure vertically. This process takes quite a lot of time, which affects the timing of laying lines, and these supports themselves with dull lattice silhouettes are very short-lived. The reason is poor corrosion protection. The technological imperfection of such a support complements the simple concrete foundation. If it is done in bad faith, for example using a solution of inadequate quality, then after a while the concrete will crack, water will fall into the cracks. Several cycles of freezing and thawing, and the foundation must be redone or seriously repaired.

Tubes instead of corners

We asked the representatives of PJSC ROSSETI that the alternative is replacing traditional ferrous metal supports. “In our company, which is the largest electric grid operator in Russia,” says a specialist of this organization, “we have long tried to find a solution to the problems associated with lattice supports, and in the late 1990s we began to switch to faceted supports. These are cylindrical racks of a curved profile, actually pipes, having a polyhedron shape in cross section. In addition, we began to apply new methods of corrosion protection, mainly the method of hot-dip galvanizing. This is an electrochemical method of applying a protective coating on the metal. In an aggressive environment, the zinc layer becomes thinner, but the bearing part of the support remains intact. ”

Как устроены опоры ЛЭП?
Electricity pylons, we usually imagine that way. However, the classic lattice design is gradually giving way to more progressive versions - multi-faceted supports and supports made of composite materials.

In addition to greater durability, new supports are also distinguished by ease of installation. No corners need to be screwed anymore: the tubular elements of the future support are simply inserted into each other, then the connection is fixed. Mount such a design can be eight to ten times faster than to collect lattice. The corresponding transformations have also undergone foundations. Instead of the usual concrete began to use the so-called pile-shell. The structure is lowered into the ground, the counter flange is attached to it, and the support itself is already placed on it. The estimated service life of such supports is up to 70 years, that is, approximately two times longer than that of lattice ones.

Why wires are buzzing

And the wires? They hang high above the ground and from a distance look like thick monolithic cables. In fact, high-voltage wires are retinues of wire. Conventional and ubiquitous wire has a steel core, which provides structural strength and is surrounded by aluminum wire, the so-called external layers, through which the current load is transmitted. Grease is laid between steel and aluminum. It is needed in order to reduce the friction between steel and aluminum - materials with different thermal expansion coefficients. But since the aluminum wire has a circular cross-section, the coils do not fit tightly against each other, the surface of the wire has a pronounced relief. This deficiency has two consequences. Firstly, moisture penetrates into the gap between the turns and washes away lubricant. Friction increases and conditions for corrosion are created. As a result, the service life of such a wire is not more than 12 years. To extend the service life, the wire is sometimes put on repair cuffs, which can also cause problems (more on this later). In addition, this design of the wire contributes to the creation near the air line well-distinguishable hum. It occurs because the alternating voltage of 50 Hz gives rise to an alternating magnetic field, which causes the individual wires in the wire to vibrate, which causes them to collide with each other, and we hear a characteristic buzz. In the EU, such noise is considered acoustic pollution, and it is fought. Now this struggle has begun with us.

“We now want to replace the old wires with wires of the new design that we are developing,” said the representative of Rosseti PJSC. - This is also steel-aluminum wire, but the wire there does not apply a circular cross section, but rather a trapezoid. Having turned it turns out dense, and the surface of a wire smooth, without cracks. There is almost no moisture to get inside, the lubricant does not wash out, the core does not rust, and the service life of such a wire is approaching thirty years. Wires of similar construction are already used in countries such as Finland and Austria. There are lines with new wires in Russia - in the Kaluga region. This line "Orbit-Sputnik" length of 37 km. And there the wires have not just a smooth surface, but also another core. It is made not of steel, but of fiberglass. Such a wire is lighter, but stronger in tearing than ordinary steel-aluminum. ”

However, the latest design achievement in this area can be considered a wire created by the American concern 3M. In these wires, the carrying capacity is ensured only by conductive layers. There is no core, but the poviv themselves are reinforced with aluminum oxide, thus achieving high strength. This wire has an excellent carrying capacity, and with standard supports it can withstand spans up to 700 m long (standard 250x300 m) due to its strength and low weight. In addition, the wire is very resistant to heat loads, which leads to its use in the southern US states and, for example, in Italy. However, the wire from 3M has one significant drawback - the price is too high.

Как устроены опоры ЛЭП?
The original "designer" supports serve as an undoubted decoration of the landscape, but they are unlikely to be widely distributed. The priority of power grid companies is the reliability of power transmission, rather than expensive “sculptures”.

Ice and strings

Overhead power lines have their natural enemies. One of these is wire icing. Especially this disaster is typical for the southern regions of Russia. At a temperature of about zero, drizzle frost falls on the wire and freezes on it. A crystal cap is formed on the top of the wire. But this is only the beginning. The cap under its weight gradually turns the wire, substituting the other side to the freezing moisture. Sooner or later, an ice coupling will form around the wire, and if the coupling weight exceeds 200 kg per meter, the wire will break and someone will be left without light. Rosseti has its own ice-fighting know-how. The line section with icy wires is disconnected from the line, but connected to a DC source. When using direct current, the ohmic resistance of the wire can be practically ignored and currents can be passed, say, twice as strong as the calculated value for alternating current. The wire heats up and the ice melts. Wires dump unnecessary freight. But if the wires have repair clutches, then additional resistance occurs, and then the wire may burn out.

Another enemy is high-frequency and low-frequency vibrations. The tensioned wire of the overhead line is a string that, when exposed to the wind, begins to vibrate at a high frequency. If this frequency coincides with the natural frequency of the wire and the amplitude coincides, the wire may break. To cope with this problem, special devices are installed on the lines - vibration dampers, having the form of a rope with two weights. This design, which has its own oscillation frequency, upsets amplitudes and dampens vibrations.

With the low-frequency oscillations associated with such a harmful effect as the "wire dancing." When a break occurs on the line (for example, due to the formation of ice), there are oscillations of wires that go a wave further, after several spans. As a result, five to seven supports that make up the anchor span (the distance between two supports with rigid wire fastening) may bend or even fall. A well-known means of combating "dancing" is to establish interfacial struts between adjacent wires. In the presence of a spacer wires will mutually dampen their vibrations. Another option is the use of supports on the line of composite materials, in particular of fiberglass. Unlike metal supports, the composite has the property of elastic deformation and can easily “play back” the vibrations of the wires, bending down and then restoring the vertical position. Such a support can prevent the cascade fall of a whole line segment.

Как устроены опоры ЛЭП?
The photo clearly shows the difference between the traditional high-voltage wire and the wire of a new design. Instead of round wire, a pre-deformed wire was used, and the core of the steel core was taken by a composite core.


Of course, there are all sorts of unique cases associated with the laying of overhead lines. For example, when installing supports in a flooded soil or in permafrost conditions, conventional piles for the foundation will not work. Then screw piles are used, which are screwed into the ground as a screw in order to achieve the strongest possible foundation. A special case is the passage of power lines wide water barriers. Special high-rise supports are used there, which weigh ten times more than usual and have a height of 250x270 m. Since the span length can be more than two kilometers, a special wire with a reinforced core is used, which is additionally supported by a load line. This is how, for example, the transition of power lines through the Kama with a span of 2250 m.

A separate group of supports are structures designed not only to hold the wires, but also to carry a certain aesthetic value, such as sculpture-supports. In 2006, Rosseti initiated a project to develop supports with an original design. There were interesting works, but their authors, designers, often could not assess the feasibility and adaptability of the engineering embodiment of these structures. In general, it must be said that the supports in which an artistic concept is embedded, such as figure supports in Sochi, are usually installed not on the initiative of grid companies, but on the order of some third-party commercial or government organizations. For example, in the United States popular support in the form of the letter M, stylized logo of the fast food network "McDonald's".

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