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Trialing Long Lasting Tower Paints

This is an innovative project carried out in consortium with other network operators which includes SP Energy Networks, Northern Power Grid, Scottish Power Energy Networks and UK Power Networks.

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/04/2016
End date: 02/07/2018
Budget: £279,899

There are around 88,000 electricity towers, or pylons, in the UK. These towers are usually made of steel and require painting to ensure that the structures do not corrode. The towers need to be painted on a regular basis to ensure their suitability for the future. Network operators spend a significant amount of money painting and maintaining towers, usually on a twelve yearly basis with ‘Electricity Company Approved’ coatings.

The scope of this project is to undertake laboratory tests and practical trial applications of six proposed new coatings (identified during a recent Energy Innovation Centre, EIC ‘Call for Innovation’) on a sample of pylons, sufficient to measure the suitability and performance of the coatings in this UK application. The project also undertakes additional testing such that successful coatings can be adopted quickly into business as usual.

New coating systems could be adopted fairly quickly into Business as Usual (BaU) through tendered procurement specifications for painting companies if they meet the goals of ‘Electricity Company Approved’ specification.

This project is developing a new coating that could be applied on electricity towers which will last longer and reduce maintenance cost for DNOs.

  1. Surface preparation techniques necessary to support the longest coating lifetimes;
  2. The laboratory-predicted performance of new coating systems relative to that in use today;
  3. The real-life performance of new coating systems on pylons and whether they can achieve a reduction in lifecycle costs;
  4. The lowest life-cycle cost coating for use on pylons and its recoat interval.

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