Power Pylons of the Future

Project: ResearchResearch Project


PoPyFu targets a unique market opportunity for designdriven
redevelopment of overhead transmission lines (OHTLs),
by developing innovative, composite-based pylons
that enables new, value-added designs and technical solutions.
The lattice towers, which dominate the landscape today,
were developed over 70 years ago without regard to visual
appearance – and, recently, growing opposition to new
projects with the use of traditional towers has emerged. The
current technological alternative, underground cables, is 6 to
12 times more costly and only technically feasible for short
distances. Consequently, TSOs (Transmission System
Operators) have difficulties meeting the growing demand for
development of the network related to the expansion of
alternative and renewable energy solutions.
New material approaches will enable innovative visual
expressions and at the same time - through the integration
of insulators in the pylon design - reduce the size of the
pylons significantly. As a result, new OHTL construction
projects, previously subject to strong community opposition,
can now be realized. This positive effect of new, appealing
visual designs of the OHTLs has been confirmed by TSOs
through a series of projects. Moreover, as the pylons are expected
to be cost-comparable to traditional pylons, they
will provide an alternative for only a fraction of the price for
deployment scenarios where underground cables have so far
been the only alternative.
PoPyFu’s aims at the next generation of design OHTLs with
benefits to both end-users (TSOs) and the public, by
- new design pylons that are smaller, more compact and are
more visually acceptable, that
- further reduce OHTLs construction cost due to an even
smaller and more compact pylon, and
- reduce corona noise and magnetic fields by the use of nonconductive
The project's overall success criteria are to reach a
pylon design in balance with itself and its surroundings,
which is a future competitive alternative to the lattice towers.
The project's result is a production-mature prototype that
demonstrates that the high voltage electrical engineering
and material technology challenges are resolved and
thus providing the basis for commercialization.

Project period: 01-04-2014 – 31-03-2017

Partners: Bystrup Arkitektur og Design Engineering, Tuco Marine Aps, DTU Mekanik
Project leader: Claus Leth Bak, ET, overordnet er det Brian Endahl fra Bystrup.

Funding source:
1. Name of the funding source: HTF
2. Category (choose one of the following categories)
- Public research programme

Project amount (total): 26.470.586,00 kr.
Effective start/end date01/04/201431/12/2018
ID: 241447240