DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

2015 ETS Structure Conference - Broken Down DIS-TRAN Style

Posted by Wendy Gintz on Nov 16, 2015 2:30:00 PM

Did you take good notes during your sessions at the 2015 Electrical Transmission and Substation Structure Conference. Don't worry, we've got your backs.

Buzz Words from ETS Structure Conference

These are a few of the buzz words remembered by the DIS-TRAN Steel Engineers during the industries most electrifying conference.  While so many of the worlds finest engineers from manufactures, contractors, epc, and utilities from around the world gathered to Talk the Talk, there may have been a few that were not able to participate.  Doesn't make you any less finer in our minds. 

Here we hope to briefly describe some of the sessions that our engineers found most interesting and some of their key take aways.  How often do you get to read the notes of other engineers.  Pretty exciting!

Structural Analysis 1 - Mike Miller, P.E., M.ASCE
Presentations based on the most common engineered structure, tubular steel poles and testing these structures.

  1. It's benefitial to see results of full scale tests, especially when confirmating the designs are adequate.
  2. The prefered is not always the best. Options must be reviewed.
  3. There is simplicity in Slip Joints AND they work.  
  4. Using a non-traditional structure configuration can be a more efficient solution.

Special Design Considerations - Marlon Vogt, P.E., M.ASCE
We are not always only looking at the functionability of a structure but sometimes it's aesthetic value can be a huge issue.  In these  papers a worldwide view on structure aesthetics was discussed.

  1. BOLD (Breakthrough Overhead Line Design) has changed the transmission line needs to be more appealing.
  2. Using the induction heat bending process for bending tapered tubular sections.
  3. The more visual transmission lines are becoming the more emphesis is pused on aesthetics.
  4. Engineers play a key role in the NEPA team providing technical support.
  5. Utilities are researching alternative materials for transmission design and applications.

Structural Analysis 2 - Robert Nickerson, P.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE
Learn how lattice tower analysis is still relevant, the challenges and the eccentric connections of these towers.

  1. The use of graphical analysis can be done with a CAD software along with full scale diagrams can be created.
  2. Two-Deminsional CAD tools have no automatic feature for evaluating eccentricities.  The actual behavior of the structure can can differ from the theoretical model.

Construction Challenges - Dana Crissey, P.E., M.ASCE
Following teams that were faced with challenges and overcame them by thinking innovatively to get their projects done.

  1. Starting from complete scratch involves creating standard/best practices and designs (foundation and structural) from the ground up.
  2. River crossing foundations can be complicated due to the land around the river where the soft adn highly variable soils can decrease accessibility.
  3. Safety can be a challenge and has led to added specifications in the design phase which  incorporate fall protection requirements.

Rerating and Upgrading - Tim Cashman, P.E., M.ASCE
Making the decision of fixing and tearing down lines to rebuild is the questions these papers discuss.  Hightlights from three upgrade projects to overcome congestion.

  1. Increased load requirements calls for improving the existing systems and decisions must be made on how to most effectively accomplish this.
  2. Major considerations are: old vs new codes, life expectancy of the existing structures and should you reinvorce or rebuild.

In conclusion, the theme this year seemed to be focused around Challenges and Solutions.  Of course, that is what Engineering is all about.  Over the last three years, since the last ETS Structure Conference an engineers dream and dread are based on solving problems.  When you think of Creativity we tend to think of Artists, Graphic Designers, Marketers but these Engineers have Creativity mastered the art of engineering.  Whether the challenge was Cost, Time, Design, Right of Way, Aesthetically pleasing to the eye or Environmental they were all addressed by using best practices and thinking outside the box, CREATIVELY.

How have you used what you learned at the ETS Conference during your day to day activities?  What take aways did you have? We would love to hear your point of view.

 Dive Deeper Into the Transmission World

Tags: Engineering, design

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