Stilisierte weiße Masten auf tiefblauem Grund.

Mobilising line construction

A pylon for all seasons

When Amprion erects new pylons, it’s not absolutely essential to take the line in question out of service. Thanks to what are known as “temporary loading arrangements”, expansion of the grid progresses without putting the grid under any additional load.

Just suppose an important motorway is closed completely for a period of weeks for construction work – a horrible thought for commuters and traffic planners alike. How do you divert the traffic? Can nearby motorways take up the extra load? Or is there a real threat of massive traffic jams that bring the entire region to a standstill?

Grid planners at Amprion have similar worries when they think about the extent of grid expan­sion essential in the wake of the energy revolution. Hundreds of pylons along vital transmission routes have to and will be renewed in the coming years. Shutting down these lines during the con­struction work would lead to real bottlenecks in the already heavily loaded power grid. Amprion therefore intends to use “temporary loading arrangements” at sensitive construction sites within the grid: mobile pylons that make it possible to run the power lines around the construction sites, like a temporary bypass.

Like between Kruckel, near Dortmund, and Dauersberg in the Rhineland-Palatinate. This power line is part of an important north-south link that will in future increasingly transport wind power from the north to the consumption centres in the south. Starting in 2021, a 126-kilometre stretch of the existing overhead line is to be upgraded in order to transmit electricity in the future at a voltage of 380 instead of 220 kilovolts. This will significantly increase the transmission capacity of the line. During the planning phase, it quickly became clear that the power line will have to remain in operation during this upgrade work.

Temporary load arrangements are a flexible and practical solution to this problem. This is because the mobile pylons are erected right next to the existing pylons and take over their conductor cables for a limited period. They follow a modular

principle and can be adapted to any application. This was a crucial design feature Amprion paid special attention to when its technicians collab­orated with external engineering consultants to develop this new type of pylon. The new temporary load arrangements have been undergoing trials since 2018, and 2021 will see the commencement of large-scale deployment between Kruckel and Dauersberg – with more than 100 mobile pylons being installed.

Text: Meike Pedack