MNNIT scientists develop special method for large transmission line towers - Hindustan Times
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MNNIT scientists develop special method for large transmission line towers

By, Prayagraj
May 16, 2023 06:53 PM IST

In a major achievement, scientists at Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) have developed a special method for putting up large transmission line towers which promises substantial reduction in number of incidents involving these large towers during storms and other natural disasters

In a major achievement, scientists at Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) have developed a special method for putting up large transmission line towers which promises substantial reduction in number of incidents involving these large towers during storms and other natural disasters.

Process for erecting and testing large transmission line towers. (For Representation)
Process for erecting and testing large transmission line towers. (For Representation)

The method, invented by a team led by associate professor of the department of mechanical engineering JC Mohanta along with GC Mohanta has been granted patent for ‘development of stub (base) setting of mechanism for testing of transmission line tower’ by the Office of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, said MNNIT officials.

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Every year, thousands of families experience power cuts due to natural disasters, bad weather or other causes that result in power line faults. A small storm that damages one power line can lead to power outage for hundreds of families and homeowners, causing total disruption in their daily routines.

Transmission lines carry electricity over long distances from power stations. Transmission towers are large structures that support the high-voltage transmission lines. These lines typically feed into a substation and subsequently the power is used by consumers.

“During testing, erection and operation, these transmission towers must be robust. Otherwise, collapse of a single tower not only needs a highly time bound restoration but also can cause causalities and avoidable financial burden on the society,” JC Mohanta said.

Mohanta said the invented method relates to a stub setting mechanism for testing of transmission line towers. “It includes a main bearing bracket and the installation of the stub, rigidly mounted with a hub and pin assembly at its lower end, into a novel bearing mounted with the base plate. The stub setting is a complex phenomenon for testing of transmission line towers,” he said.

During testing, the three-dimensional loads are applied in three mutually orthogonal directions to simulate the mechanical strength of new as well as different design of towers. Since the practical testing of towers involves very complex loading conditions, the strength of the tower is particularly dependent on the proper stub setting method,” he added.

“The accurate tower leg alignment is purely based on the stub setting process. The normal practice of stub setting involves shifting of the base plate to the desired location, based on the tower base distance from foundation rail on which the stubs are mounted by means of electric arc welding. The distance and inclination between the two diagonally positioned stubs are maintained by accurately calculating the tower base and slope,” he said.

The researcher said after that, the stub is temporarily fixed on the base plate by measuring the exact distances from the centre of the tower bed by spot welding. Once the distances between the tower bases, diagonal distances and inclinations of each stub therein are corrected, the final welding is done. In such welding practice selection of welding bid with sufficient thickness is also vital, keeping in mind that the welding strength should be more than the parent metal of stub strength, he added.

“Since the towers with different design, size and base width are subjected to testing in the tower testing station, after testing of each tower, in case of any error, the stubs are cut from the base plate and the surface of the base plate is smoothened again in order to accommodate another stub and the said testing process is repeated, Mohanta said.

“The conventional practice of stub setting for a transmission line tower and it’s testing therein is a very tedious job, which involves substantial time, manpower and resources. To minimise the time frame, cost of testing, material and labour cost for erection of the tower body, our alternate methods is better and robust in every way,” he added.

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