There’s an expression: ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Obviously, not everyone will agree that something is particularly beautiful or particularly offensive. Nonetheless, when it comes to aesthetics, there are certain norms such that probably 90 per cent of us find something is agreeable to look at or not. These norms cover design elements such as symmetry, shape, style and proportion.
That said, INMR presents its selection of the most bizarre power structures seen over its nearly 30 years reporting on overhead lines across the globe. These are referred to as ‘bizarre’ so as not to offend too much, but one could equally say they are lacking any aesthetic appeal.
Why is this relevant to an industry where key benchmarks in line design have traditionally been cost, life expectancy and reliability? It is relevant because the current public distaste for overhead lines is a direct result of how power lines have looked in the past and how they continue to look today. If there is to be any hope of obtaining approvals for much needed new overhead lines in coming years, visual impact will have to rank high on the checklist of requirements.
To balance this article, next week, INMR WEEKLY TECHNICAL REVIEW will present its selection of power line structures that deserve a winning grade from the perspective of aesthetics.
Editor’s Note: Next week, INMR will present potent examples that show power line structures can succeed in complementing, not damaging, their surroundings.