Pylon of the Month - January 2012
Pylon of the Month - May 2012

Pylon of the Month - March 2012


This month's pylon comes from Afganistan and at a height of around 3800m above sea level, I'm pretty certain that the pylon in the background of the picture is the highest pylon to feature on Pylon of the Month. Are there any higher pylons anywhere in the world? Answers in an e-mail to Pylon of the Month please.  It is located along the Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul transmission line, where it runs over the Salang pass which links Northern Afghanistan to Southern Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Also along this line is the Chimtala substation. There is lots of information about this substation here, but a direct quote may fill in a few details for those without the time to read more deeply:

A terminal link of Afghanistan's North East Power System (NEPS), the Chimtala substation is an infrastructure project funded by India as part of its assistance package to the Afghanistan Government. Located near Afghanistan's capital Kabul, the substation imports power from Uzbekistan to Kabul.

From my perspective as a physicist, there are more exciting details about how the electricity is transmitted using a Double Circuit transmission line. They use the acronym DC for this, but as this also stands for Direct Current (as opposed to Alternating Current or AC), I can see scope for confusion here. I'll put it on my list of things I need to understand more deeply.  So here is the quote:

The 220/110/20kV substation supplies additional power from the 220kV Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul double circuit (DC) transmission line. Passing over the Salang Range at an altitude of 3,800m, the transmission line is 202km long.

So this month, Pylon of the Month has brought you some beautiful mountain scenery, a dash of advanced electrical theory and story of things getting better in a troubled part of the world. How am I going to top that next month?


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As regards pylon altitude, from 3,800m you still have some way to go! Here's a link to someone's pylon snap in El Alto, Bolivia, at over 4,000m.


The Double Circuit explanation is quite straightforward: it simply means that the pylon carries two three-phase circuits, hence six conductors, and most common in the UK anyway.


Great pylon ! (biased I know) A great diplomatic feat you didn't bring in the tension caused in the region by indian supported infrastructure developments like this... pylon politics, the CASA-1000 transmission project and the excitement of digital metering in Kabul. Maybe next month ?

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