16 sided Communications Mast for Alpine Energy

Alpine Energy is the company responsible for managing the electricity distribution network in South Canterbury, New Zealand. Alpine Energy Ltd, who is owned by the South Canterbury community (Timaru District Holdings, LineTrust South Canterbury, Waimate and Mackenzie District Councils, is in the process of modernising its communications network infrastructure by enhancing the connections between the radio sites at the Tekapo and Twizel Village Substations and their control centre in Timaru.

Two of three brand new communications masts have been designed and supplied by CSP to Alpine for the upgrades with the third, sturdier 16-sided mast, currently being manufactured.

“The mast in the images is the second we have supplied to Alpine Energy in the last 12 months and was installed at the Tekapo substation,” says Jason Ford, Area Sales Manager (Poles) South Island & Lower North Island for CSP. “It is used to link their monitoring equipment at the Tekapo substation to their control centre in Timaru. We currently have a third mast being constructed now which is special because it’s a 16-sided hexadecagonal mast comprising of seven metre sections and something we don’t get requests for very often. The 16-sided design will have bolt on, rather than welded, antenna mounts offering increased flexibility and modularity for our client."

“Basically, going to the hexadecagonal 16-sided, 18m pole with seven metre sections, reduces the wind loading on the mast which means we can take some steel out of the construction, therefore making it lighter while still maintaining strength,” explains Greg Smart, SCADA Communications Engineer for Alpine Energy “This style of mast is far cheaper to transport and easier to handle when it’s being installed.”

“Working with CSP has been really good,” he adds. “They have been open to new ideas in the design process, have suggested welcome improvements and have made many changes to the design, as we were required to do, for the sign off process - without any issues.”

“The collaboration and communication between CSP and ourselves for the design, development, manufacture and delivery through to installation of these large complex pieces of equipment has been very good,” says Greg.