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Cover Story | July 2016

Monopoles shall be used where land is constraint

Devesh Bansal | Director, Skipper Limited

What is the possibility and need of replacing the existing T&D tower infrastructure with monopoles in the years to come?
No replacing required. Both angular towers and monopoles shall coexist. Only for in new installations and at places where enough land is not available, monopoles shall be used.

Are there any global standards evolved for monopoles? What is the status of R&D in monopoles in India?
Unlike US and Europe, in India, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is yet to come out with a standard on manufacturing of monopoles.

What are the categories of monopoles you make for the power sector, any joint venture partner you are associated with and who are your major clients in the power sector?
Skipper Limited has one of the largest designing and manufacturing facility of monopoles in India, armed with global expertise and intellectual power. We can design, manufacture and galvanize monopoles up to 400 kV. Skipper has in-house facilities to design world class poles. We donĀ“t have any venture partner yet.

Our clients include Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), all transmission corporations and state utilities.

When were monopoles introduced for T&D use in India and what is its current size, and what is the lag with which it was introduced here in India when compared to the US and Europe?
The monopoles were first introduced by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) during the year 2008-09. The current market size for monopoles in Indian would be roughly Rs 50 crore.

Monopole was launched in India almost 3 decades after its introduction in US and Europe.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of monopoles when compared to lattice towers in use in T&D sector for several decades now?
Please find the advantages and disadvantages of the monopoles over lattice towers mentioned below.
Advantages:

  • Less right-of-way
  • Smaller footprint, hence less installation area, therefore, lower land rental cost
  • Better appearance
  • Fewer components & fast installation
  • Better reliability under extreme conditions
  • Flexibility in design
  • Reliable performance and long service life

Disadvantages:

  • Its more expensive than lattice towers
  • What are the differences in carrying capacities between monopoles and lattice towers and the frequency levels in a transmission line? Can they be adapted to both AC and DC lines?
    No difference. Yes, they can be adapted for both AC and DC transmission.
    What are the obstacles in spreading the use of monopoles in the current scenario and what are the measures that are required to speed up their adoption on a wider scale?
    The main obstacle in spreading the use of monopoles in the current scenario is typically the higher cost which prevents its application. Awareness about the product and knowledge sessions about monopoles can boost its application.

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