The fu­ture def­i­nitely be­longs to a greater us­age of mono­poles, says Devesh Bansal - Direc­tor, Skip­per Ltd.

Says Devesh Bansal - Direc­tor, Skip­per Ltd, in con­ver­sa­tion with R Srinivasan.

Power Watch India - - CONTENTS -

Your views on min­i­mal us­age of mono­poles in In­dia even though they’ve been around since 2010 and their us­age as compared to coun­tries world-wide that have adopted them for many years now.

Glob­ally, mono­poles have been in use in the trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion (T&D) and tele­com sec­tors for over 50 years. How­ever, mono­poles were first in­tro­duced in In­dia by Pow­erGrid Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia dur­ing 20082009. In spite of its ad­van­tages of sav­ing space and time for grid man­agers and the dis­com, it is yet to take off in In­dian mar­kets. This is es­pe­cially rel­e­vant for ur­ban parts of the coun­try where mono­poles are also eco­nom­i­cal, due to a lesser space re­quire­ment.

One more ma­jor rea­son for a de­layed ap­pli­ca­tion is be­cause of lack of aware­ness among de­ci­sion-mak­ers and util­ity per­son­nel. Few other rea­sons for lesser us­age of mono­poles are be­cause of its weight and need of su­pe­rior en­gi­neer­ing to build the same.

Com­ment on po­ten­tial of the mar­ket for mono­poles.

The most com­mon prob­lem faced by trans­mis­sion util­i­ties th­ese days are lay­ing the trans­mis­sion lines in ur­ban ar­eas of the coun­try due to se­vere Right of Way (ROW) and cor­ri­dor width is­sues. This is due to non-avail­abil­ity of land and space re­quired by con­ven­tional lat­tice tow­ers. The cur­rent solution is in­tro­duc­tion of mono­poles that oc­cupy 70% lesser space than tra­di­tional lat­tice tow­ers. Thus there is enor­mous po­ten­tial await­ing mono­poles in the trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion sec­tor. For this rea­son it­self, mono­poles are be­ing widely used in the tele­com in­dus­try, es­pe­cially in ex­pen­sive ur­ban cen­tres where ROW is­sues ex­ist.

What are their ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages as compared to lat­tice tow­ers?

Trans­mis­sion mono­poles are the lat­est ad­di­tion to over­head trans­mis­sion lines and con­sid­ered to be a re­place­ment for ex­ist­ing lat­tice tow­ers. A ma­jor ad­van­tage of mono­poles is that it of­fers a ma­jor solution to cor­ri­dor width and ROW prob­lems that are faced in land ac­qui­si­tion. Here are a list of ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of mono­poles over con­ven­tional lat­tice tow­ers.

Ad­van­tages

- Avail­abil­ity of space - Space con­sumed by a mono­pole compared to a lat­tice struc­ture of same ca­pac­ity is al­most 70% less. Hence

mono­pole struc­tures be­come suit­able for heav­ily pop­u­lated and con­gested ar­eas like met­ros and other cities.

- Easy in­stal­la­tion - As the num­ber of fit­tings for mono­poles are much lesser than lat­tice tower struc­tures, the chances of fail­ure are lesser. - De­sign­ing – Due to their flex­i­bil­ity, poles are sub­jected to lesser wind loads as compared to tower struc­tures.

- Shorter project de­liv­ery – Due to lesser num­ber of fit­tings, in­stal­la­tion is 3 - 4 times faster - Aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing – As they oc­cupy lesser space, mono­poles are more aes­thetic in ap­pear­ance. - Pro­tec­tion against van­dal­ism – Since poles are con­tin­uum types, they are re­sis­tant to van­dal­ism. Dis­ad­van­tages:

- Ex­pen­sive – The cost of man­u­fac­tur­ing mono­poles is higher as compared to lat­tice tow­ers - Since mono­poles are Can­tilever struc­tures, the base is crit­i­cal

- Difficulty in trans­porta­tion – Mono­poles re­quire heavy cranes

- Lim­its trans­mis­sion of high volt­age cur­rent – Man­u­fac­tur­ing lim­i­ta­tions for volt­age higher than 765 kV or higher

What fac­tors make them more ex­pen­sive though they have lesser units and joints?

Con­sid­er­ing mono­poles to be sin­gle-pole struc­ture, virtue of de­sign and the process of man­u­fac­tur­ing mono­poles makes it more ex­pen­sive than con­ven­tional lat­tice tow­ers.

What mea­sures has the com­pany taken to in­crease aware­ness lev­els?

Skip­per Ltd has one of the largest de­sign­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity of mono­poles in In­dia. We can de­sign, man­u­fac­ture and gal­vanise mono­poles up to 400 kV. Skip­per has in-house fa­cil­i­ties to de­sign world-class poles. Con­sid­er­ing lesser aware­ness be­ing one of the prime rea­sons of mono­poles not be­ing widely used in In­dia, at Skip­per we chose to do sev­eral pre­sen­ta­tions to util­i­ties, pro­mot­ing through ad­ver­tise­ments and ad­ver­to­ri­als and cir­cu­lat­ing col­lat­er­als, based on mono­pole us­age.

By roughly when do you ex­pect its wide­spread us­age in In­dia?

Till a decade from now we ex­pect both an­gu­lar tow­ers and mono­poles to co­ex­ist. Only for new in­stal­la­tions and at places where enough land is not avail­able, mono­poles shall be used. How­ever con­sid­er­ing the po­ten­tial of the prod­uct we do ex­pect a sub­stan­tial growth in the num­ber of projects in the com­ing few years.

Your view on the mono­poles seg­ment this year and in the years to come.

The in­dus­try is at a nascent stage in In­dia but the fu­ture def­i­nitely be­longs to greater us­age of mono­poles. Once util­ity own­ers start appreciating the ben­e­fits that mono­poles ac­cord, it will surely see a multi-fold in­crease in us­age.

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