This paper presents a new approach to the minimum weight optimization of transmission towers, which consists of formulating the optimization problem in a net weight objective function with no constraints. Genetic algorithms are employed to perform the optimization. Instead of using the well known penalty function method to account for design constraints, the constraints are integrated in to the objective function. By selecting cross-sections inside the objective function ensures that the structure, being optimized, is always in full compliance with standard codes of practice for strength assessment of transmission towers.
The paper is primarily concerned with practical aspects of transmission tower design and the method is presented with examples based on accepted codes of practice and realistic tower designs. The problem is formulated for a full size transmission tower, where selected portions of tower topology and geometry are optimized, including a cross-sectional optimization from a set of commercially available steel sections.