What is an electrical tower?
An electrical tower is a reticular structure made of steel that functions as an aerial support for transmission lines for electrical power distribution, whether high or low voltage. Depending on its use or the voltage of the distributed energy, it can vary in shape and size.
The height of an electrical tower can range from 15 meters to 55 meters, though there are some types, usually for distributing high voltage currents, that can reach 300 meters. Its height and robustness are to cope with the environmental adversities to which it is subjected without the power lines being affected, nor the safety of the people, animals, or objects around it.
What are the features of an electrical tower?
- It is part of an electrical grid system and is used for power distribution via transmission lines from the power stations to substations.
- It differs from public electric utility poles since the latter are used to support medium or low voltage distribution and transmission lines, transporting energy from substations to final consumption points. This means that electrical towers are at an earlier point in transporting energy than utility poles.
- An electrical tower can support voltages of 23,000 to 69,000 volts.
- Electrical towers support the weight of electrically conductive wires, keeping them off the ground and transmitting their weight and force to the tower’s foundations.
- An electrical tower’s design accounts for factors specific to the structure, such as the mechanical and electrical tension and the number of conductors connected, as well as external factors like the wind, rain and other phenomena, as well as the soil composition and the towers’ anchoring to it.
What types of electrical towers are there?
Electrical towers can be:
- Suspension tower: these support the conductors suspended from the tower. They have the same mechanical tension on each side.
- Anchor tower: they give the line stability and firmness, and they limit its potential destruction when a conductor or support breaks for any of several reasons.
- Angle tower: this is used to hold the conductive wires at angles.
- End-of-line tower: they are able to withstand voltages generated by the same electrical distribution line, so it represents an anchor point of high resistance.
- Secial towers: these are usually created and used to cross over railway lines, waterways, or telecommunications lines.
What does an electrical tower need to work?
For an electrical tower to work properly, it must have two key parts:
- Voltage: this is the pressure of a power source through an electrical circuit that enables the flow of a current. To withstand high voltages, power lines require a lot of space between their towers.
- System of cables and wiring: this is the set of overhead cables that function as the transmission tower’s conductors for electricity. They are made of steel-reinforced aluminum and are usually grouped in three routes to help electricity travel as efficiently as possible. Electrical towers have a pair of solitary, smaller cables that play the role of absorbing or deflecting any lightning, transferring excess electricity to the ground.