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Cover Story | July 2016

Factors like space And aesthetics important for replacement

Kailash K Agarwal | Chief Executive Officer -Pole Division, Transrail Lighting Limited

What is the possibility and need of replacing the existing T&D tower infrastructure with monopoles in the years to come?
As far as need for replacement of existing T&D tower with monopole is concerned, it depends on the factors like space and aesthetic requirement for monopoles to be installed in developing urban areas. And for rural area it will be a requirement where RoW problems exist, especially in agriculture lands and land requirement for transmission along the highways.

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?

We offer following categories of Monoples for the Power Transmission:
  • Transmission monopoles: (66kV, 132kV, 220 kV & 400 kV)
  • Distribution poles: (11 kV, 33 kV)

We do not have any JV partner, and our major clients are state utilities and distribution companies apart from large private industries.

When were monopoles introduced for T&D use in India, and what is the lag with which it was introduced in India when compared to the US and EU?
In United States, the use of transmission monopole started in early 1960s and accepted in 1970 and ยด80s. It would be difficult for us to comment on when it was started in India but we have started our first project for using Monopoles in 2009/2010.

What are the differences between monopoles and lattice towers?
The current carrying capacities of monopoles and angular towers will be similar for a particular voltage class/ particular conductor selected. Yes, monoples can also be adapted for both AC and DC lines.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of monopoles when compared to lattice towers in use in T&D sector for several decades now?
What are the obstacles in spreading the use of monopoles in the current scenario and what are the measures required to speed up their adoption on a wider scale?
Various utilities still feel comfortable with conventional technology of using lattice tower structures. The mind set of user need to be changed for use of monopole technology which has various advantages as mentioned above. The utilities in India need to give chance to manufacturers having capability and experience of doing monopoles. The cost of monopole as compared to angular towers are also more, which is also an obstacle for adoption for monopoles in India. But if we consider the factors like faster installation time and lesser space requirement reducing RoW constraints, it may turn out to be economical.

Are there any global standards evolved for monopoles? What is the status of R&D in monopoles in India?
For monopoles, we are using ASCE 48-05 and ASCE 48-11. The software which we are using for design of these monopoles is PLS POLE SOFTWARE, which produces design in line with ASCE 48-05/ASCE 48-11.

Manual on Transmission Tower from CBIP (Central board for Irrigation and Power) Manual is also providing details for fabrication and design requirements of transmission monopole.

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