Title:
TRI-POLE TRANSMISSION TOWER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tri-pole transmission tower includes a tower having multiple truss tower sections. The multiple tower sections have a central vertical axis as well as a cross section having circular, triangular, polygonal, or any other similar shape. The multiple tower sections are of differing perimeters. Stacking the smaller circumference or smaller perimeter sections on top of larger circumference or larger perimeter sections results in the tower “stepping” as it is constructed from the foundation to its peak. Thus, the perimeter of the nearest to the ground section of the tower is larger than the section sitting directly above it, and that section has a larger perimeter than the section of the tower sitting directly above it, and so on until the peak of the tower is reached.



Inventors:
Nicholson, David (Newburgh, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/532634
Publication Date:
03/20/2008
Filing Date:
09/18/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E02D27/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
IHEZIE, JOSHUA K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOODARD, EMHARDT, MORIARTY, MCNETT & HENRY LLP (111 MONUMENT CIRCLE, SUITE 3700, INDIANAPOLIS, IN, 46204-5137, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A structure for supporting utility and telecommunication equipment, comprising: a foundation; a tower on the foundation, the tower having a base tower section and a plurality of sections such that each section of the plurality is stacked on top of a lower section; wherein the base section has a larger perimeter than a section above the base section such that a step is formed between the larger perimeter base and a smaller perimeter section above the base section; and wherein a section of the tower comprises a truss.

2. The structure of claim 1 and further comprising a wrap surrounding the tower.

3. The structure of claim 2 and wherein the wrap is composed of plastic.

4. The structure of claim 3 and wherein the plastic polycarbonate.

5. The structure of claim 2 and wherein the wrap has a step configuration.

6. The structure of claim 1 and wherein each section comprises a proximal end and a distal end, each end having a polygonal shape.

7. The structure of claim 1 and wherein each section comprises a proximal end and a distal end, each end having a circular shape.

8. The structure of claim 1 and wherein each section comprises a proximal end and a distal end, each end having a triangular shape.

9. The structure of claim 1 and wherein each section comprises legs.

10. The structure of claim 9 and wherein the legs are 30 feet in length.

11. The structure of claim 1 and wherein the tower has a height of at least 100 feet above the foundation.

12. The structure of claim 1 and further comprising a radio antenna attached to the tower.

13. A method of installing a transmission tower, comprising placing a base section onto a foundation, the base section having a first perimeter; stacking a plurality of sections on the base section, at least one of the plurality of sections having a perimeter that is smaller than the first perimeter such that the stacking of the plurality of sections forms a step; and wherein one of the sections of the base section or the plurality of sections comprises a truss.

14. The method of claim 12 and further comprising attaching a radio antenna to the tower.

15. The method of claim 12 and wherein the stacking results in a tower that has a height of at least 100 feet above the foundation.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field

The present disclosure is generally directed to structures for supporting utility and telecommunication equipment. More particularly, but not exclusively, the present disclosure describes transmission towers for supporting telecommunication equipment, including antenna and wires.

2. Description of Related Art

A typical monopole tower used in the telecommunications industry allows for transmission lines to run up the inside of the structure. This arrangement is such that the first carrier on the monopole remains protected while second and subsequent installations of transmission lines may be damaged upon installation. Further, these lines are generally inaccessible to service once installed and must be changed out completely if a problem arises. The same antenna mounts that are used on self supporting towers and guyed towers are not usable with monopoles or hexagonal poles. Another deficiency of the monopole is that installers of the monopole typically have hesitation with respect to climbing the monopole.

Therefore, this field of art is in need of an invention to address some of the deficiencies present. The present invention presents many advantages and is preferable over prior towers in this field for a variety of reasons. The present invention allows for less problematic and easier installation and hanging of transmission lines. Further, typical service performed by technicians is less stressful and straining, especially in light of technicians having a disdain for climbing monopoles. The upkeep, maintenance, and installation are thus made less undesirable for the technician. Protection of the transmission lines also is served. Transmission lines in the present invention are not susceptible to damage upon installation of later transmission lines. Further, these lines are generally accessible to service once installed and do not necessarily have to be changed out completely if a problem arises. Lastly, the same antenna mounts that are used on self supporting towers and guyed towers are usable with the present invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY

To address the current needs and improving upon prior technology, the present invention contemplates a structure for supporting utility and telecommunication equipment. More particularly, but not exclusively, the present disclosure describes transmission towers for supporting telecommunication equipment, including antenna and wires.

Certain embodiments of present invention are provided that combine the traditional fabrication techniques of lattice type structures with the typical monopole structures to create a tower that is composed of multiple tower sections. It is desired that multiple straight truss or lattice tower sections be fabricated. The multiple tower sections have a central vertical axis as well as a cross section having circular, triangular, polygonal, or any other similar shape. The multiple tower sections are of differing circumferences in the case of circular shaped cross sections, or are of differing perimeters in the case of polygonal or other shapes. Stacking the smaller circumference or smaller perimeter sections on top of larger circumference or larger perimeter sections results in the tower “stepping” as it is constructed from the ground to its peak. Thus, the circumference or perimeter of the nearest to the ground section of the tower is larger than the section sitting directly above it, and that section has a larger circumference or perimeter than the section of the tower sitting directly above it, and so on until the peak of the tower is reached.

It is also contemplated that certain embodiments of the present invention include a foundation to which the tower would be fixedly attached. The foundation would be composed of concrete or any other suitable material for the construction of a foundation needed to support such a transmission tower. Further, the multiple tower sections, and thus the tower in its entirety, could be optionally concealed within a shell or a plastic wrap, for example a polycarbonate or a Lexan® brand plastic, such that upon observing the tower, the lattice structure tower sections would be covered by the shell or wrap. The shell or wrap would serve as a shroud and, among other things, would protect the lattice structure sections and any internal components from weather, wind, earth movements, and other environmental factors. It further conceals communication equipment, including transmission lines, from passersby. The shell or wrap is internally secured to and supported by the lattice structure and has a cylindrical, polygonal, or other shape. A finished transmission tower is thus characterized by a lattice structure attached to a foundation and is optionally covered by a shell or wrap and is created as a finished tower with the aesthetic appearance of a monopole.

The present invention is further designed to support the weight of telecommunication equipment as well as to be sustainable to environment forces that may exert themselves on the tower, such as weather, wind, and earth movements.

The present invention envisions the use of construction materials such as metal alloys, including steel, for the lattice structure and preferably a plastic, such as Lexan® brand plastic for the shell or wrap, while other construction materials and plastics are further contemplated.

Numerous advantages and additional aspects of the present invention will be apparent from the description of the preferred embodiments and drawings that follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevation view of a first embodiment of the tri-pole transmission tower.

FIG. 2 is an elevation view of a second embodiment of the tri-pole transmission tower.

FIG. 3 is a top view of a first section of the tri-pole transmission tower.

FIG. 3a is a top view of a second section of the tri-pole transmission tower.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the tri-pole transmission tower that illustrates a first way of stepping.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the tri-pole transmission tower that illustrates a second way of stepping.

FIG. 6 is a top view of the tri-pole transmission tower that illustrates a third way of stepping.

FIG. 7 is a top view of the tri-pole transmission tower that illustrates a hexagonal cross section of the tri-pole transmission tower.

FIG. 8 is a top view of the tri-pole transmission tower that illustrates a circular cross section of the tri-pole transmission tower.

FIG. 9 is a top view of the tri-pole transmission tower that illustrates a triangular cross section of the tri-pole transmission tower.

FIG. 10 is a side view of a section of the tri-pole transmission tower that illustrates a circular truss arrangement.

FIG. 11 is a side view of a section of the tri-pole transmission tower that illustrates a horizontal truss arrangement.

FIG. 12 is a side view of a section of the tri-pole transmission tower that illustrates a zigzag truss arrangement.

FIG. 13 is a side view of a section of the tri-pole transmission tower that illustrates a double zigzag truss arrangement.

FIG. 14 is an elevation view of the tri-pole transmission tower illustrating a first embodiment of a wrap for the tower.

FIG. 15 is an elevation view of the tri-pole transmission tower illustrating a second embodiment of a wrap for the tower.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

For the purpose of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Such alterations and further modifications in the illustrated device and such further applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated therein as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention relates are contemplated as within the scope of the invention

The present invention generally concerns a structure for supporting utility and telecommunication equipment and specifically contemplates transmission towers for supporting telecommunication equipment, including antenna and wires.

Certain embodiments of present invention are provided that combine the traditional fabrication techniques of lattice type structures with the typical monopole structures to create a tower that is composed of multiple tower sections. It is desired that multiple truss or lattice tower sections be fabricated. The multiple tower sections have a central vertical axis as well as a cross section having circular, triangular, polygonal, or any other similar shape. The multiple tower sections are of differing circumferences in the case of circular shaped cross sections, or are of differing perimeters in the case of polygonal or other shapes. Stacking the smaller circumference or smaller perimeter sections on top of larger circumference or larger perimeter sections results in the tower “stepping” as it is constructed from the ground to its peak. Thus, in one embodiment, the circumference or perimeter of the nearest to the ground section of the tower is larger than the section sitting directly above it, and that section has a larger circumference or perimeter than the section of the tower sitting directly above it, and so on until the peak of the tower is reached. However, it should be understood that consecutively stacked sections could also be of the same perimeter, and thus no stepping would occur between such stacked sections.

It is also contemplated that certain embodiments of the present invention include a foundation to which the tower would be fixedly attached. The foundation would be composed of concrete or any other suitable material for the construction of a foundation needed to support such a transmission tower. Further, the multiple tower sections, and thus the tower in its entirety, could be optionally concealed within a shell or wrap made of a plastic, for example polycarbonate or other plastic like Lexan® brand plastic, such that upon observing the tower, the lattice structure tower sections would be covered by the shell or wrap. The shell or wrap would serve as a shroud and, among other things, would protect the lattice structure sections and any internal components from weather, wind, earth movements, and other environmental factors. It further conceals communication equipment, including transmission lines, from passersby. The shell or wrap is internally secured to and supported by the lattice structure and has a cylindrical, polygonal, or other shape. A finished transmission tower is thus characterized by a lattice structure attached to a foundation and is optionally covered by a shell or wrap and is created as a finished tower with the aesthetic appearance of a monopole.

The present invention is further designed to support the weight of telecommunication equipment as well as to be sustainable to environment forces that may exert themselves on the tower, such as weather, wind, and earth movements.

The present invention envisions the use of construction materials such as metal alloys, including steel, for the lattice structure and preferably a plastic, such as Lexan® plastic for the shell or wrap, while other construction materials and plastics are further contemplated.

A method of constructing and installing the tri-pole transmission tower is also contemplated. A tower is contemplated to be of any one of many heights and includes towers with a height of 100 feet and higher. Such a method would result in a constructed tower that is usable for a variety of telecommunication equipment.

Referring now to the Figures, exemplary embodiments are shown and will be described herein. FIG. 1 illustrates an elevation view of one embodiment of the tri-pole transmission tower. A tower 10 is constructed according to one embodiment of the present invention. Tower 10 sits on foundation 11, which is composed of concrete or another material suitable for the stability needed as a foundation. Tower 10 may be attached to the foundation in any number of ways, including by bolts, by adhesion, or by any other means suitable for supporting a tower.

The tower sections are shown in FIG. 1 as base section 12, section 13, section, 14, section 15, and section 16. These sections make up the structure of the transmission tower. Each of the tower sections 12 through 16 has a central vertical axis that is linear with each of the other tower sections such that the tower sections have central positions relative to one another. In other words, the center point of each cross section of each tower section is linear with the center point of each other tower section. However, it is envisioned that each center point of each tower section does not need to be linear and may be nonlinear. A linear arrangement results in the most symmetrical arrangement and is easiest to install. Further, each tower section has a distal end and a proximal end. Each of these ends has its own shape that represents the cross sectional shape of each tower section.

The cross sectional shape of each lattice tower section has a multitude of potential shapes. Such potential shapes include circular, triangular, polygonal, or any other similar shape. The shapes of each lattice tower section are preferably the same throughout, such that if section 12 has a circular cross section, sections 13 through 16 will have a circular cross section as well. FIGS. 7, 8, and 9 illustrate a sample of the potential cross sections without limitation. FIG. 7 shows a hexagonal cross section 70. In this arrangement, base section 71 has a larger perimeter than tower section 72, which has a larger perimeter than tower section 73, which is the tower section that is the farthest distance from the foundation. It should be understood however that more tower sections may be included beyond those that are shown such that consecutively stacked sections of the same perimeter would not result in a step between such stacked sections. Further, more tower sections may be included that have a smaller perimeter than those that are shown. FIG. 8 illustrates a similar configuration to FIG. 7 except that the cross section 80 of the tower sections is circular. Thus, base section 81 has a larger perimeter than that of tower section 82, which has a larger perimeter than that of tower section 83. Again, it should be understood as above that more tower sections may be included—those resulting in consecutive stacked tower sections having the same diameter as well as those having a smaller perimeter than those shown. FIG. 9 illustrates a similar configuration to FIGS. 7 and 8 except that the cross section 90 of the tower sections is triangular. Thus, base section 91 has a larger perimeter than that of tower section 92, which has a larger perimeter than that of tower section 93. Again, it should be understood as above that more tower sections may be included—those resulting in consecutive stacked tower sections having the same diameter as well as those having a smaller perimeter than those shown.

Each tower section is constructed and installed relative to the other tower sections. In FIG. 1, tower section 12 is situated on the foundation. Section 12, assuming it as having a rectangular cross section and thus having an overall prism shape, has a length 31 as in FIG. 3 and a width 32 as in FIG. 3 and thus a resulting perimeter of two times the length 31 plus two times the width 32. However, as FIG. 3a illustrates, if a section 35 is constructed that is not polygonal or circular and thus does not have all sides connecting, an effective perimeter is contemplated. An effective perimeter as shown in FIG. 3a is the sum of the lengths 35a, 35b, and 35c. The perimeter of tower section 12 is thus the starting point for constructing and installing the tower sections 13 through 16. Tower section 12 will be constructed such that its resulting perimeter will be less than that of tower section 13. Thus, as shown in FIG. 1, the central axis of tower section 13 is linear with that of tower section 12 and results in the two tower sections being a “step” since the perimeter of tower section 12 is larger than that of tower section 13. Further, tower section 14 has a smaller perimeter than that of tower section 13 such that tower sections 13 and 14 create a “step” as well. Tower section 15 has a smaller perimeter than that of tower section 14 such that tower sections 14 and 15 create a “step.” Finally, as shown in FIG. 1, tower section 16 has a smaller perimeter than that of tower section 15 such that tower sections 15 and 16 create a “step.” FIG. 1, while showing only five tower sections, is not limiting the present invention in the number of tower sections. It should be understood that as few has two tower sections could be constructed and installed or as many tower sections as is reasonably needed for such a transmission tower could be constructed and installed. It should further be understood that it is contemplated that additional tower sections may be included within the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 1 such that consecutive tower sections have the same perimeter and thus do not create a step. Therefore, it is envisioned that another tower section of, for example, the same perimeter as section 12 be installed directly above section 12 and would result in consecutive sections having the same perimeter. A consecutive perimeter arrangement may exist at any point in the tower's arrangement of tower sections.

Further in FIG. 1, trusses 17 of tower section 12 are shown. Additional trusses of tower sections 13 through 16 are also shown and are of the same general arrangement as those of tower section 12. The trusses of the present invention are generally one of several configurations. FIGS. 10 through 13 illustrate the potential configurations of the trusses. FIG. 10 shows a tower section 100 with a circular arrangement of trusses 101. FIG. 11 illustrates a tower section 110 with horizontal trusses 111 that connect leg 112 with leg 113. FIG. 12 shows a tower section 120 with one type of zigzag truss 121 arrangement that connects leg 122 with leg 123. FIG. 13 illustrates a tower section 130 with a second type of zigzag truss that includes two separate truss zigzags 131 and 132 that connect legs 133 and 134. Among the configurations that the trusses 17 of FIG. 1 and the trusses in FIG. 2 take include those that are illustrated in FIGS. 10 through 13. However, it should be understood that the arrangement could be other such truss designs without limitation.

Leg 18 of FIG. 1 provides the outermost support of the transmission tower for each of the tower sections. Legs of the tower sections preferably are thirty (30) feet in length. However, it is understood that leg lengths of virtually any length are contemplated and such lengths would depend primarily on the stability needed for the particular transmission equipment that will be used on the tower as well as the environment in which the tower will be placed. Legs are further present in each of the tower sections above the base section in FIG. 1 as well as each of the tower sections in FIG. 2. The legs of the present invention are further illustrated in FIGS. 10 through 13, which show a single tower section. The legs of each tower section are connected by the trusses of each tower section as discussed above.

With further regard to the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, a transmission tower 20 is constructed from a foundation 21 and lattice tower sections 22, 23, 24, and 25. The tower sections in this embodiment are similarly constructed and installed as in FIG. 1 such that the step-like characteristic is preserved. However, this embodiment further includes a spacer area. The spacer area 26 of tower section 22 is constructed as a middle sector of tower section 22. It optionally is present to divide the tower section 22 exactly in half such that one-half of the tower section 22 is below the spacer area and one-half of the tower section 22 is above the spacer area, but it is further envisioned that the spacer area is not limited as such. The spacer area 26 could be situated such that more than half of the tower section 22 would be below the spacer area 26, or it could be situated such that less than half of the tower section 22 would be below spacer area 26. As FIG. 2 shows, each of the tower sections 22 through 25 has spacer areas 26 through 29, respectively. As with the embodiment in FIG. 1, it is contemplated that as few as two tower sections or as many tower sections as is reasonably needed would be constructed and installed as is shown in the embodiment of FIG. 2, and thus it is not meant to be limited to four tower sections. It should further be understood that it is contemplated that additional tower sections may be included within the arrangement illustrated in FIG. 2 such that consecutive tower sections have the same perimeter and thus do not create a step. Therefore, it is envisioned that another tower section of, for example, the same perimeter as section 22 be installed directly above section 22 and would result in consecutive sections having the same perimeter. A consecutive perimeter arrangement may exist at any point in the tower's arrangement of tower sections.

FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 show top views of different embodiments of the transmission tower. FIG. 4 shows an arrangement 40 of a typical embodiment such that each of the tower sections 41 through 44 has a prism shape. As explained with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2, each tower section has a smaller perimeter than the tower section below it. FIG. 4 shows rectangular cross sections of the tower sections such that with each tower section that is above a lower tower section, the higher tower section has a smaller length and a smaller width. A smaller length and a smaller width result in a smaller perimeter and thus the tower as a whole being configured in a step-like fashion. Thus, base section 41 has the largest perimeter followed in decreasing perimeter by tower section 42, 43, and 44. However, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, either one of the width or length could be the same as lower tower sections while the other of the width or length is shorter than lower tower sections. This arrangement too results in the tower as a whole being configured in a step-like fashion. FIG. 5 shows arrangement 50 having similarly sized widths of the tower sections 51 through 54. However, the lengths decrease in size beginning with base section 51 and continuing with tower sections 52, 53, and 54. A similar arrangement would result if instead the tower section lengths were similarly sized with differing tower widths. As FIG. 6 illustrates, the step arrangement 60 may only occur on one side of the tower with sections 61 through 64.

FIGS. 14 and 15 illustrate an optional shell or a wrap for the tri-pole transmission tower. Upon observing the tower in FIGS. 1 or 2, the truss or lattice structure tower sections would be covered by the shell or wrap. In a first embodiment shown in FIG. 14, the wrap 140 is constructed such that it follows the stepping configuration of the tri-pole tower. In a second embodiment shown in FIG. 15, the wrap 150 is shown to be a tapered wrap. It does not step as the tower does but instead begins from the foundation and tapers as it reaches the height of the tower. The shell or wrap serves as a shroud and, among other things, protects the lattice structure sections and any internal components from weather, wind, earth movements, and other environmental factors. The shell or wrap also encloses communication equipment, including transmission lines, from passersby and generally protects as above. The shell or wrap is internally secured to and supported by the truss or lattice structure and has a cylindrical, triangular, polygonal, or other shape. Such a wrap is preferably made of plastic, and more particularly polycarbonate, such as Lexan® brand plastic. However, other materials may also be used.

While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only selected embodiments have been shown and described and that all changes, modifications and equivalents that come within the spirit of the inventions described heretofore and/or defined by the following claims are desired to be protected.