T&D World Magazine
First European Grid Company Installs New Type of High-Voltage Pylon

First European Grid Company Installs New Type of High-Voltage Pylon

Europe’s first cross border Transmission System Operator TenneT installed the first three new, innovative high-voltage pylons today in the west of the Netherlands. Six of these pylons, known as Wintrack, will be installed in total. The innovative design consists of two slender pylons from which the high-voltage wires are suspended.

Volker Wessels Telecom Network Solutions are responsible for the construction of the pylons, which have been designed by Zwarts & Jansma Architects in collaboration with the research agency KEMA. TenneT is building a high-voltage substation along the A12 motorway near The Hague (Bleiswijk) that will form part of a large-scale grid expansion in the Randstad conurbation.

Wintrack pylons
The pylons are painted in light grey in accordance with the most common color of the Dutch sky as this allows the pylons to become integrated into the landscape.

  • The diameter of the pylons ranges from 2.4 m on the underside to 0.5 m at a height of 57 m.
  • Number of tubular sections per pylon: 2.
  • Length of tubular section: 28.5 m.
  • Weight of bottom-most tubular section: 40 ton.
  • Weight of topmost tubular section: 13 ton.
  • Pylon material: steel (S355).

The tallest type of Wintrack pylon is 65 m tall.

Reduced magnetic field
The Wintrack concept consists of pairs of pylons (referred to as ‘bi-pole’) whereby the wire bundles between the poles (conductors) are secured above one other. This means that, in contrast to the familiar lattice towers currently in operation, pylons have no broad arms from which the conductors hang next to each other. The high-voltage wires also hang closer together than in existing high-voltage pylons, thus reducing the intensity of the magnetic field generated along the route of the high-voltage connection. As a result of the Wintrack concept, optimum use can be made of the space available around high voltage lines.

Constructed by Heijmans, the foundations consist of a reinforced concrete slab with a reinforced concrete dump for each pylon that is built on a vibration-free installed pile construction. The concrete dumps have also been provided with extra reinforcement and produced with a higher quality of concrete in order to bear the required load.

TenneT wants the new pylons to be employed on a large-scale basis in infrastructural projects throughout the Netherlands. More than 450 km of new high-voltage overhead lines will be constructed over the coming years in the north, east and west of the country.

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