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Pylon Design Competition - 26/08/15

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Expedition co-founder Chris Wise was on the jury panel for the recent Pylon Design Competition.

The short film here shows competition winner Bystrup‘s first prototype pylons in the wild at the National Grid test centre.. they are only about 60% of the height of a normal lattice. In the green landscape, Chris argued for Corten or International Orange (Golden Gate colour), but they are still playing with that aspect.

National Grid are committed to use these on “some” new lines, especially those that trundle through national parks as they try to get power back from wind farms and hydro schemes. They are about 50% more in first cost than a lattice tower, but that will come down with quantity.  They can be put up in a day and have the same, or lower, embodied energy.  Installation access is via an internal ladder/stair rather than by climbing up a diagonal lattice in a gale in Netherdale.

All of the other 5 finalists had much greater embodied energy than the 1936 lattice pylon, which counted heavily against them in the jury sessions.

As a comparison, it costs 10 to 20 times more than the 1936 lattice to bury cables below ground… and that would put up everyone’s electricity bills… you pay your money and take your choice!