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Properties of transmission towers

I would like to introduce some additional tags for describing specific properties of towers. These things are significant structures in the landscape and for e.g. navigational purposes it would be easier to recognise individual towers if they are more precisely tagged. Furthermore, there are some people genuinely interested in power networks (I'm one of them) who would like to see a more detailed tagging of towers, e.g. in order to render special power maps. The proposed tags are:

  • structure=(lattice,tubular,solid) This tag describes the construction type of a tower. The default value is lattice.
  • material=(steel,wood,concrete,..) The default value is steel but for "solid" towers the material should be defined (normally wood or concrete).
  • design=(one-level,two-level,three-level,waist,h-frame,guyed-v-frame,..) Possible values are:
    • one-level The tower has cross-arms at a single level only (a cross-arm is the horisontal beam on which the insulators are attached).
    • two-level The tower has cross-arms at two levels.
    • donau A common sub-type of the two-level tower. The "Donaumast" is widely used in central Europe.
    • three-level The tower has cross-arms at three levels.
    • barrel A common sub-type of the three-level tower. It is characterized by the middle level cross-arms being longer than the upper and lower cross-arms giving the conductor arrangement a barrel-like shape.
    • (four,five,six,..)-level The tower has cross-arms at four or more levels. These tall towers may carry four or more circuits.
    • delta Also known as delta pylon this tower has a V-shaped top. All conductors are attached to a common cross-beam. It is mostly used for a single circuit.
    • delta_two-level Delta type tower having two cross-beams. Used for three-circuit lines.
    • y-type Like delta tower but center conductor not mounted on a cross-beam. Common type in Denmark.
    • portal This tower type is mostly used for a single circuit. Often used as termination tower.
    • portal_two-level, portal_three-level Two and three level versions of the portal tower.
    • guyed-v This type of guyed tower is mainly used for ultrahigh voltage lines e.g. in North America.
    • bi-pole Known as 'Wintrack' in the Netherlands. A pair of non-touching pylons where the conductors are mounted between the pylons in order to reduce the magnetic field. There are no cross-arms.
    • mono-polar A tower carrying just one conductor. Mostly used as strainer tower at very high voltage.
  • design_name=* When the tower design has been given a specific name by its designer it can be indicated by this tag, e.g. Wintrack (The Netherlands), Eagle (Denmark).
  • height=* The height in meter of the tower if known. This is an established tag.
  • colour=* The colour(s) of a painted tower, e.g. colour=red-white for towers painted to increase visibility to air traffic.
  • tower:strainer=yes A tower where conductor sections terminate at strain insulators, normally built stronger than normal suspension towers. Used e.g. when the line changes direction.
I think the term "tension" risks causing some confusion, as it's also a partly archaic English term for "voltage" --- in particular, "high tension" is still recognized as meaning "high voltage". HillWithSmallFields 20:58, 9 April 2012 (BST)
Good point. There seems to be more terms for the same thing. Wikipedia uses "dead-end tower" and "anchor tower". I'm tempted to change 'tower:tension' to 'tower:dead_end'. Other variations are 'strainer tower' and 'angle tower' (when used for that purpose). --polderrunner 22:09, 9 April 2012 (BST). Changed to "strainer" based on terminology from this wikipedia user page [1].

I plan to add photos of the different tower types to aid mappers in identifying the right type. Before I add these tags to the feature page I would like to have some feedback on these tags. There are more types of towers than listed above (e.g. asymmetric towers, incomplete towers) but I'm not sure of the terminology. --polderrunner 22:46, 5 April 2012 (BST)

There's a small gallery of towers (and some poles) at Tag:power=pole/Gallery; maybe one could add this design list as a numbered list at the bottom there, and state for each picture the design. Or copy the page somewhere with just all the relevant tags for each picture. I thought it would make sense at Tag:power=tower/Gallery with links to the other page, the one that mainly tries to describe why each example is a tower or a pole, so I started it. Feel free to fill in missing ones. Alv 13:26, 7 April 2012 (BST)
Nice, I can probably use a couple of them. I also have my own little gallery with other useful pictures at Denmark/Da:Power_networks --polderrunner 17:26, 7 April 2012 (BST)
I have taken the liberty to update the tags in your gallery. Added some missing designs and removed default values (lattice, steel). I also introduced the undocumented pole version of the tower:* tags. --polderrunner 13:26, 21 April 2012 (BST)

Some open questions:

  • Should the keys structure, material, design and design_name be prefixed by the tower: namespace (such as tower:structure=*)?
  • For some tower designs I don't know the proper English term: E.g. this one IMG 3501-ymast-400kv-800.jpg known in Denmark as "Y-mast". For now I will refer to it as "y-type". In France there is a similar design but with a beam connecting the tops and carrying the middle conductor while cross-arms carry the outer conductors. How are asymmetric towers like this Tower-lattice-60kv.jpg termed?
  • Should cross-arms just carrying earth wires count as a 'level'?

The following changes to the proposal have been made: Designs: waist -> delta, h-frame -> portal. Added design_name. --polderrunner 15:42, 8 April 2012 (BST) Further modifications: Added "barrel", "donau", "delta_two-level", "portal_two-level","y-type","mono-polar" as designs. Changed "tower:tension" to "tower:strainer". --polderrunner 10:48, 19 April 2012 (BST)

Since there haven't been any significant objections to the proposed scheme I have updated the feature page to include an updated version of this scheme together with example pictures. --polderrunner 13:26, 21 April 2012 (BST)

Added tower:type=*

I have just changed the tagging scheme to use tower:type=* instead of the old "tower:anchor=yes" style. This seems to be a more natural way of tagging the functional type of a tower. The tower:type tag is already in use in combination with man_made=tower but this shouldn't cause any problems as the new values only apply to power=tower and won't conflict with the "man_made" towers. The impact of this change is limited as the old style tags haven't been used much except by myself. --polderrunner 21:59, 20 August 2012 (BST)

Further tower designs added

I have added the following tower designs:

  • x-frame (common in Denmark, rare elsewhere)
  • guyed_h-frame (very common in e.g. Scandinavia)
  • triangle (one of the most common asymmmetric tower designs)
  • flag (translation of Belgian, French name for this tower type)

Furthermore, the redundant values h-frame_one-level and portal_one-level have been removed.

Finally, tower=transition has replaced tower=air_to_ground as the attribute for towers having cable terminals. This is in line with the new substation=transition attribute for cable transition stations. --polderrunner (talk) 12:17, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Clarifications to design=monopolar

I made some clarifications to the definition of monopolar tower on the "Designs" section. A monopolar tower is a tower with no cross-arms, but it can carry all phases on one tower like this:
Cavite,Batangasjf0557 09.JPG
not just one phase like the existing picture. There is a discrepancy also with the monopolar tower shown on the image on User:Polderrunner/Maperitive rules/Power tower rules, so I made changes to match the description with the tower shape shown on the image in that page.--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 10:24, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

Well, the three-phase tower you show is in fact a flag design, see the description a little bit further up on the main page. It is stated as having no or only rudimentary cross-arms. Your picture is however not a good example due to the extra circuit terminating at the tower. polderrunner (talk) 06:42, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Looks like that, and I mostly tag such tubular monopolar anchor towers as design=flag. But, since those towers are simply a monopole, with no cross-arms (insulators mounted on the pole itself), I tagged them soon as design=monopolar. There are other monopolar tower designs , like this carrying insulators arranged like a triangle on the pole/tower, unlike the current design documented, where insulators are mounted on cross-arms, like in this picture:
Lagunajf8737 01.JPG
, but should they be tagged as design=triangle, or add a new design, "monopolar_triangle" to the documentation, with an accompanying image, then tag them to towers having such design, whether they are just a tall pole or a lattice structure--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 08:46, 17 October 2016 (UTC)