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Electric Pole Types

Electric Pole Types

The line supports used for transmission and distribution of electric power are types including wooden poles, steel poles, R.C.C. poles, and lattice steel towers. The choice of supporting structure for a particular case depends upon the line span. The cross-sectional area, line voltage, cost, and local conditions. The different types of support described below

Wooden Poles

These are made of seasoned wood (sal or chair) and are suitable for lines of a moderate cross-sectional area and of relatively shorter spans, say up to 60 meters. Such supports are cheap, easily available, provide insulating properties, and, therefore, are widely used for distribution purposes in rural areas as an economic proposition. The wooden poles generally tend to rot below ground level, causing foundation failure. In order to prevent this, the portion of the pole below the ground level is impregnated with preservative compounds like creosote oil. Double pole structures of the 'A' or H' type are often used to obtain a higher transverse strength that could be economically provided by means of single poles.

Wooden Poles Disadvantages

  1. The tendency to rot below the ground level

  2. Comparatively smaller life (20 25 years)

  3. Cannot be used for voltages higher than 20 kV

  4. Less mechanical strength.

  5. Require periodical inspection.

Steel poles

Steel poles are often used as a substitute for wooden poles. The steel poles have great mechanical strength that's why it uses for longer spans (approximately 50 to 80 meters). These are costlier and the steel poles required a foundation of concrete and paint to protect them from a chemical reaction. These poles are generally used for distribution purposes in urban areas. The steel poles may be used for the distribution voltage up to 33 kV. Steel poles are heavier as compared to wooden poles. The average life of steel poles is 40 years.

The steel poles are of three types

  1. Rail poles

  2. Tubular poles

  3. Rolled steel joints

RCC Poles (Reinforced Cement Concrete)

The reinforced concrete poles have become very popular as line supports in recent years reused for systems up to 33 kV, and have greater mechanical strength, and longer life permit longer spans (80-200 m) than steel poles. Moreover, they give a good outlook,  require little maintenance, and have good insulating properties.

The figure shows R.C.C. poles for the single and double circuit. The holes in the poles facilitate the climbing of poles and at the same time reduce the weight of line supports
The main difficulty with the use of these poles is the high cost of transport owing to their heavy weight. Therefore, such poles are often manufactured at the site in order to avoid the heavy cost of transportation.

Steel towers

In practice, wooden, steel, and reinforced concrete poles are used for distribution purposes at low voltages. However, for long-distance transmission at a higher voltage (66 kV or above), steel towers are invariably employed. Steel towers have greater mechanical strength, longer life, can withstand most severe climatic conditions, and permit the use of longer spans (300 m or above). The risk of interrupted service due to broken or punctured insulation is considerably reduced owing to longer spans.

A tower footing arc is usually grounded by driving rods into the earth. This minimizes lightning troubles as each tower acts as a lightning conductor. These towers are used for transmitting huge power at high voltage levels, i.e., 132 kV, 220 kV, 400 kV, 765 kV, etc. The figure shows a single-circuit tower. However, at a moderate additional cost, the double-circuit tower can be provided as shown in the figure. The double circuit has the advantage that it ensures continuity of supply. In case there is a breakdown of one circuit, the continuity of supply can be maintained by the other circuit.

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