november 2008

project 03-08

Underground Distribution System Design Guide

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PROJECT 03-08

Underground Distribution System Design Guide
Prepared by Edward S. Thomas, PE Utility Electrical Consultants, PC 620 N.West St., Suite 103 Raleigh, NC 27603-5938 and Bill Dorsett Booth & Associates, Inc. 1011 Schaub Drive Raleigh, NC 27606 for Cooperative Research Network National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 4301 Wilson Boulevard Arlington, Virginia 22203-1860

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), founded in 1942, is the national service organization supporting more than 900 electric cooperatives and public power districts in 47 states. Electric cooperatives own and operate more than 42 percent of the distribution lines in the nation and provide power to 40 million people (12 percent of the population).

© Underground Distribution System Design Guide
Copyright © 2008, by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without prior written approval of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, except that reasonable portions may be reproduced or quoted as part of a review or other story about this publication.

Legal Notice
This work contains findings that are general in nature. Readers are reminded to perform due diligence in applying these findings to their specific needs, as it is not possible for NRECA to have sufficient understanding of any specific situation to ensure applicability of the findings in all cases. Neither the authors nor NRECA assume liability for how readers may use, interpret, or apply the information, analysis, templates, and guidance herein or with respect to the use of, or damages resulting from the use of, any information, apparatus, method, or process contained herein. In addition, the authors and NRECA make no warranty or representation that the use of these contents does not infringe on privately held rights. This work product constitutes the intellectual property of NRECA and its suppliers, as the case may be, and contains Confidential Information. As such, this work product must be handled in accordance with the CRN Policy Statement on Confidential Information.

Contact:

Edward S. Thomas, PE Utility Electrical Consultants, PC 620 N.West St., Suite 103 Raleigh, NC 27603-5938 Phone: 919.821.1410 Fax: 919.821.2417

Bill Dorsett Booth & Associates, Inc. 1011 Schaub Drive Raleigh, NC 27606 Phone: 919.851.8770 Fax: 919.859.5918

Contents – iii

con t e n t s
Section 1 Design of an Underground Distribution System System Components Types of UD Systems Reliability of UD Systems Design Considerations for System Operation and Maintenance Future Upgrades and Replacements Economic Comparison of System Configurations UD Loss Economics Steps for Layout of a UD System Summary and Recommendations Cable Selection Typical Cable Configuration Conductor Size Designations Conductor Materials and Configuration Cable Insulation Materials Insulation Fabrication Conductor Shields and Insulation Shields Cable Specification and Purchasing Cable Acceptance Summary and Recommendations Underground System Sectionalizing General Sectionalizing Philosophy Overcurrent Protection of Cable System Effect of Inrush Current on Sectionalizing Devices Selection of Underground Sectionalizing Equipment Faulted-Circuit Indicators Summary and Recommendations Equipment Loading Primary Cable Ampacity Pad-Mounted Transformer Sizing Summary and Recommendations Grounding and Surge Protection Cable Grounding System Function Factors Affecting Cable Grounding System Performance Counterpoise Application for Insulated Jacketed Cable System Ground Resistance Measurement and Calculation Underground System Surge Protection Summary and Recommendations 1 2 6 14 17 19 20 32 38 50 51 51 53 53 57 60 64 74 77 77 79 79 88 96 100 105 118 121 121 144 163 165 166 177 188 192 207 236

Section 2

Section 3

Section 4

Section 5

i v – C o n t en t s

c o n te n t s
Section 6 Ferroresonance Allowable Overvoltages During Ferroresonance Distribution Transformer Connections Qualitative Description of Ferroresonance Ferroresonance When Switching at the Primary Terminals of Overhead and Underground Transformer Banks Ferroresonance with Cable-Fed Three-Phase Transformers with Delta or Ungrounded-Wye Connected Primary Windings Ferroresonance with Cable-Fed Three-Phase Transformers with Grounded-Wye Primary Winding and Five-Legged Core Ferroresonance with Cable-Fed Three-Phase Transformers with Grounded-Wye Primary Windings and Triplex Construction Ferroresonance in Underground Feeders Having More Than One Transformer Summary of Techniques for Preventing Ferroresonance in Underground Systems Summary and Recommendations References Cathodic Protection Requirements Special Note Introduction What to Protect Where to Protect Types of Cathodic Protection Systems Amount of Cathodic Protection Cathodic Protection Design with Galvanic Anodes Cathodic Protection Installation and Follow-Up Calculation of Resistence to Ground Summary and Recommendations Direct-Buried System Design Trench Construction Considerations Trench Design Components Trench Layout/Routing Considerations Depth of Burial Joint-Occupancy Trenches Summary and Recommendations Conduit System Design Conduit System Design Cable Pulling Summary and Recommendations 239 240 241 242 252 254 260 266 270 273 276 279 281 281 281 282 282 285 286 287 294 296 297 299 299 300 303 304 307 309 311 311 332 341

Section 7

Section 8

Section 9

Contents – v

con t e n t s
Section 10 Joints, Elbows, and Terminations Joints, Elbows, and Terminations for 200-Ampere Primary Circuits Joints, Elbows, and Terminations for 600-Ampere Primary Circuits Joints, and Terminations for Secondary Circuits Summary and Recommendations Cable Testing Reasons for and Benefits of Cable Testing by the User Primary Cable Tests by the User Secondary Cable Tests by the User Tests by the Cable Manufacturer Summary and Recommendations Calculations for Reliability Studies Reliability Index Acceptability Criteria Calculation of Reliability Importance of Sectionalizing Transformer and Secondary Voltage Drop Voltage Flicker Sample Specification UGC2 for 600-Volt Secondary Underground Power Cable Scope General Specifications Referenced Specifications Conductor Insulation Tests Miscellaneous Markings Multiconductor Cable Assemblies Checklist for Information Requirements Project Information Checklist 343 344 353 355 357 359 359 359 369 370 372 373 373 374 374 375 377 385

Section 11

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

389 389 390 390 391 391 392 393 393 393 395 395

Appendix D

v i – C o n t en t s

c o n t e nt s
Appendix E Sample Specification for 15-, 25-, and 35-kV Primary Underground Medium Voltage Concentric Neutral Cable (Specification UGC1) Purpose General Specifications Referenced Specifications Conductor Conductor Shield (Stress Control Layer) Insulation Insulation Shielding Concentric Neutral Conductor Overall Outer Jacket Dimensional Tolerances Tests Miscellaneous Allowable Short Circuit Currents for Solid Dielectric Insulated Cables Ampacity Tables Industry Specifications Component Manufacturers Cable-Pulling Examples

397 397 397 398 399 400 400 400 401 401 402 402 403 405 415 425 427 431 435

Appendix F Appendix G Appendix H Appendix I Appendix J Abbreviations

Illust r a ti o n s – v i i

illustra t i o ns
FIGURE 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 UD System Components Schematics for Different Types of Switchgear Flat Pad for Equipment Mounting Ground Sleeve Box Pad for Equipment Mounting Underground Substation Circuit Exit Radial Main Feeder Radial Main Feeder with Faulted Cable Section Open-Loop Feeder Open-Loop Feeder with Faulted Cable Section Radial Feeder Open-Loop Feeder in Shopping Center Multiple-Loop System Area Lighting System Loop-Feed Design of UD System Under Normal Conditions Loop-Feed Design of UD System with Damaged Cable Section Open-Loop System, 37-Lot Subdivision Open-Loop System, Single Residential Consumer Single-Phase Sub-Feeder Three-Phase Sub-Feeder Front Property Placement Back Property Placement Methods for Providing Secondary Service Road Crossing to Feed Secondary Pedestal Service and Transformer Layout for 75-Lot Subdivision Primary Cable Layout for 75-Lot Subdivision Minimum Required Working Space Sample Easement Staking Sheet for Service to a Commercial Consumer Jacketed Concentric Neutral Cable Bare Concentric Neutral Cable Medium-Voltage Power Cable with Tape Shield and L.C. Shield Concentric Lay Strand Options Standard Strand Arrangements for Multilayer Conductors Comparative Hot Creep vs. Temperatures for Cable Insulation Materials General Layout of a Cable Extrusion Line Typical Extrusion Methods Capacitive and Dielectric Loss Current Flow in Insulation Shield Cable Identification Markings PAGE 2 3 5 5 5 6 7 8 9 9 10 11 11 12 16 16 21 22 24 25 28 28 31 40 40 42 43 47 49 52 52 52 56 56 60 62 63 66 73

Starts per Hour.5 4.8 3.9 3.7 3. Type “L” Recloser Curves for Cable Protection Current Limiting Fuses for Padmounted Switching Cabinets Inrush Current Resulting from Operation of Three-Phase Recloser Inrush Current Resulting from Operation of Single-Phase Recloser Trip Response for Peak-Current-Sensitive Units Trip Response for 450A and 800A FCIs Trip-Set Characteristics for Adaptive-Trip FCI FCI Placement on Overhead Feeder with Underground Segment FCI Placement on Three-Phase Underground Feeder FCI Placement for Single-Phase Open Loop FCI Placement for Underground Subdivision with Three-Phase Source Current-Reset FCI Low-Voltage-Reset FCI High-Voltage-Reset FCI Time-Reset FCI Correct Placement of FCI Sensor Incorrect Placement of FCI Sensor Reset FCI Ratio of Shield Loss to Conductor DC Loss at 90°C as a Function of Shield Resistance.2 4. Pad-Mounted Transformer Actual Load Cycle and Equivalent Load Cycle Thermal Equivalent Load Cycle Case Temperature Measurement Location—Pad-Mounted Distribution Transformer Relationship Among NEMA Starting Code Letters. and Transformer kVA per Motor HP for Transformer Thermal Considerations Maximum Motor Starts per Hour for Transformer Mechanical Considerations PAGE 82 82 86 88 90 104 107 107 108 109 110 111 111 112 112 113 114 114 115 116 116 117 4.16 3.2 3.10 4.15 3.1 3.11 3.15 4.13 3. Maintained Spacing Direct-Buried Duct Bank Installation Using Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit Single-Phase U-Guard Installation with Vented Base Three-Phase Cable Installation Configurations 138.v i i i – Il l u st r a t i o n s i l l us t r a tions FIGURE 3.22 4.11 4.12 4.3 4.6 4.8 4.4 3. Moisture Content for Various Soil Types Thermal Resistivity of Soil at Various Locations Effect of Depth on Soil Temperatures as Influenced by Seasonal Temperature Variations Trefoil or Triangular Cable Configuration Flat Conductor Configuration.3 3.9 4. Typical Dead-Front.19 3.14 4.5 3.13 4. Single-Phase.18 3.10 3.20 3.12 3.17 3.1 Symmetrical Current Asymmetrical Short-Circuit Current Sample Distribution Circuit with Typical Locations of Sectionalizing Devices Show Cross Section of Cable Showing Components Subject to Through-Fault Damage Example of 70-Ampere.4 4.6 3. 1/C 35-kV Aluminum Power Cables in Triplexed Formation Relationship Between Load Factor and Loss Factor Per Unit Thermal Resistivity vs.21 3.14 3.16 124 125 127 127 128 130 130 132 136 423 145 147 147 159 160 162 .7 4.

15 5.34 5.4 5.and Shunt-Gapped MOV Distribution Arresters PAGE 169 171 171 173 173 174 175 175 178 180 181 182 183 183 185 185 186 187 187 188 189 190 193 193 193 195 195 195 196 198 198 201 203 203 208 209 210 210 . Underground Primary Cable Counterpoise 60-Hz Resistance Variation with Length and Different Soil Resistivities Effect of Length on Transient Surge Impedance of Counterpoise Counterpoise Application to Reduce Jacket Voltage Earth Resistance Correct Ground Resistance Test Setup Incorrect Ground Resistance Test Setup Clamp-On Ground Resistance Tester Circuit Diagram for Multigrounded System Ground Resistance Test Setup for Clamp-On Tester Setup for Soil Resistivity Test Effects of Moisture on Soil Resistivity Effects of Salt Content on Resistivity in Soil Containing 30 Percent Moisture Coefficient K1 for Ground Resistance Calculations Grouping of Four Ground Rods with 16-Foot Spacing Grouping of Four Ground Rods with 5-Foot Spacing Types of Arresters and Their Construction Comparison of Nonlinear Characteristics of SiC and MOV Valve Elements Effect of Fast Rise Times on IR Discharge Series.31 5.38 Typical Distribution Transformer Core Form Design and Neutral Grounding Circuit Variation of Surge Impedance with Surge Current for Various Values of 60-Cycle Resistance Surge Characteristics of Various Ground Rods Arrester Lead Length for Two Riser Pole Installations Three-Phase Installation Showing Optimum Riser Pole Arrester Lead Connections Typical Primary and Secondary Underground Installation Schematic Diagram Showing Surge Current Paths After Lightning Arrester Discharge Maximum Jacket Voltage (Neutral to Ground) Produced by Lightning Current Surge in Ground Rod BCN Cable Riser Pole Installation Surge Arrester Discharge Paths Ground Rod Being Driven by Hydraulic Tool Resistance of Vertical Ground Rods as a Function of Length and Diameter Resistance of Multiple Ground Rods Installation of Three Rods for a Riser Pole Ground Installation of Four Rods for a Riser Pole Ground Grounding Assembly for Pad-Mounted Single-Phase Transformers Grounding Grid for Pad-Mounted Equipment Installation Installation of JCN Connection in Above-Grade Pedestal Grounding Assembly for JCN Underground Primary Cable Intermediate Grounding Assembly.14 5.11 5.17 5.13 5.24 5.33 5.3 5.22 5.6 5.25 5.29 5.19 5.Illus t r at i o n s – i x illustra t i o ns FIGURE 5.18 5.27 5.7 5.32 5.5 5. 5.9 5.37 5.2 5.16 5.35 5.23 5.8 5.28 5.26 5.30 5.20 5.36 5.12 5.1 5.10 5.21.

60 5.50 5.10 6.3 6.55 5.9 6.40 5.48 5.61 6.4 6.42 5.1 6.6 6.2 6.52 5.56 5.11 Dead-Front Arrester Elbow Configuration Dead-Front Surge Arresters Temporary 60-Hz Overvoltage Capability Curves—Typical MOV Distribution Arrester Typical Test Current Waveshape—Sinusoidal Wavefront Lightning Rise Time to Peak Arrester Lead Length Equal to Three Feet Arrester Lead Length Equal to 1.39 5.58 5.47 5.43 5.54 5.45 5.5 6.51 5.59 5.53 5.x – Il lu s t ra t io n s i l l us t r a tions FIGURE 5.5 Feet Zero Arrester Lead Length Representation of Distributed Parameter Distribution Line Change in Surge Impedance at a Junction Point—Effect on Traveling Voltage Wave Traveling Wave Behavior at Junction Points Terminated with Various Surge Impedances Traveling Waves at a Cable Open-End Point Terminated by an MOV Arrester Arrester Locations Cable-End Arresters at Open Point Arrester Upstream from Open Point (Third Arrester) Two Elbow Arresters and a Feed-Through Elbow Arrester and Parking Stand Arrester Bushing Arrester and Parking Stand Arrester Elbow Arrester on Feed-Through Insert on Transformer Upstream from Open Point Bushing Arrester on Transformer Upstream from Open Point Lateral Tap Cable-End Arrester (Radial Feed Circuit) Tap-Point Arrester Typical Underground Subdivision Loop Feed with Open Point Transformer Connections for Four-Wire Wye and Four-Wire Delta Services Series RLC Circuit with Sinusoidal Excitation Cable-Fed Three-Phase Transformer Susceptible to Ferroresonance Conductor Spacings for an Overhead Line on an Eight-Foot Crossarm Equivalent Capacitance Network for an Overhead Multigrounded Neutral Line Cross Section of a Multiwire Concentric Neutral Cable Floating-Wye/Delta Transformer Bank with Fused Cutouts at Primary Terminals Three-Phase Cable-Fed Transformer with a Delta-Connected Primary Winding Voltage and Current Waveforms During Ferroresonance with a 150-kVA Delta Grounded-Wye Bank Five-Legged Wound-Type Core with Grounded-Wye Primary Windings Three-Phase Cable-Fed Transformer with a Grounded-Wye Primary Winding on a Five-Legged Core PAGE 211 212 215 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 227 230 231 231 232 232 232 232 232 232 232 242 243 245 247 247 248 253 255 255 260 262 .8 6.49 5.41 5.44 5.46 5.57 5.7 6.

12 Open-Phase Voltage Waveforms with Five-Legged Core Grounded-Wye Transformers Overhead System Supplying a Cable-Fed Grounded-Wye Transformer on a Five-Legged Core Triplex-Type Wound Core with Grounded-Wye Primary Windings Cable-Fed Triplex-Core Transformer with Grounded-Wye Primary Windings Circuit with “S” Cable Sections and “N” Five-Legged Core Grounded-Wye Primary Transformers Circuit Configuration for Switching Example 6.17 6.3 9.6 7.15 6.14 6.8 9.7 7.13 6.2 8.1 7.18 7.7 9.16 6.4 9.1 8.6 9.3 8.1 9.2 7.4 9.11 9.5 7.4 7.11 8.10 7.5 9.9 7.2 9.Illus t r at i o n s – x i illustra t i o ns FIGURE PAGE 6.10 9.8 7.2 Preferred Location of Duct Lines in Roadways Typical Manhole Configurations Rectangular Manhole Construction Details Rectangular Manhole Installation Details Octagonal Manhole Construction Details Octagonal Manhole Installation Details Cable/Conduit Friction and Pulling Tension Cable Configurations in Conduit Sidewall Bearing Pressure 262 267 269 269 270 271 274 282 283 283 284 284 284 285 287 295 295 295 301 302 305 308 316 319 319 326 326 327 328 329 330 333 334 336 .9 9.2 Single-Line Diagram of a Portion of a UD System Dissimilar Metal Effects Between Buried Metals Connected to the Neutral of an Electric Distribution Line Electric System Map Shaded to Show Corrosive Soil Locations Measurement of Potential to a Copper-Copper Sulfate Half Cell Dissimilar Metal Effects Between Copper and Steel Dissimilar Soil Effects on Buried Copper Wires Measurement of Earth Resistivity with a Four-Terminal Ground Tester Potentials of a Copper-Steel Couple Before and After Connecting a Zinc Anode Equivalent Circuit for a Galvanic Anode Connected to the Electric Neutral Anode Positioning Anode Connector Test Station Connector Typical Trench Warning Tape Cable Route Marker Burial Depth Requirements Joint Trench Use Typical Duct Configurations Typical Duct Line and Manhole Arrangement Typical Arrangements for System in Figure 9.12 6.3 7.

17 10.16 10.19 10.3 Voltage Stress Concentration Voltage Stress Distribution in a Typical Premolded Joint Housing Premolded Permanent Straight Joint for Primary Cables Jacket Replacement Assembly (Method C) Premolded Permanent Wye Joint for Primary Cables Dead-Break Elbow for Primary Cables Load-Break Elbow for Primary Cables Typical 200-Ampere Elbow Accessories Heat-Shrink Jacket Seal at Elbow Premolded Indoor Termination (Slip-On Stress Cone) for Primary Cables Premolded Integral Indoor/Outdoor Termination for Primary Cables Premolded Modular Indoor/Outdoor Termination with Separate Skirts for Primary Cables Porcelain Indoor/Outdoor Terminal for Primary Cables Cold-Shrink Indoor/Outdoor Termination for Primary Cables Stick-Operable.20 10.1 A.7 10.2 .2 11.9 10.2 B.10 10.4 10.1 B.15 10.22 11.11 10.14 10.1 11.8 10.12 10.13 10.18 10.1 10.5 10.6 10.2 10.x i i – Il l u s t r at i o n s i l l us t r a tions FIGURE PAGE 10.3 10. Dead-Break Elbows Dead-Break 600-Ampere Elbow Connector and Accessories for Primary Cables Housing Assembly Joint for Secondary Cables Cold-Shrink Joint for Secondary Cables Heat-Shrink Joint for Secondary Cables Sealed Stud Termination for Secondary Cables Bus and Rubber Cover Termination for Secondary Cables Housing and Sleeve Assembly Termination for Secondary Cables Test Setup for the Hot Silicone Oil Test Typical Test Setup for the Stripping Test of the Insulation Shield Typical High-Voltage Proof Tester Showing a Sectionalized Discharge Stick for Grounding the Cable Components Affecting Outage Rate to the Consumer Sectionalized UD Area Distance for Various Conductor Arrangements Permissible Voltage Flicker Limits 344 344 345 346 347 348 348 349 349 351 351 351 352 352 353 354 355 355 355 356 356 356 364 365 368 374 376 381 386 A.21 10.

Illustr a ti o n s – x i ii illustra t i o ns FIGURE PAGE F.5 F.8 Aluminum Conductor/Thermoplastic Insulation (PE/HMWPE)— Allowable Short Circuit Currents Based on 75°C Initial Conductor Temperature and 150°C Final Temperature Copper Conductor/Thermoplastic Insulation (PE/HMWPE)— Allowable Short Circuit Currents Based on 75°C Initial Conductor Temperature and 150°C Final Temperature Aluminum Conductor/Thermoset Insulation (TR-XLPE/EPR)— Allowable Short Circuit Currents Based on 90°C Initial Conductor Temperature and 250°C Final Conductor Temperature Copper Conductor/Thermoset Insulation (TR-XLPE/EPR)— Allowable Short Circuit Currents for 90°C Rated Insulation Based on 90°C Initial Conductor Temperature and 250°C Final Conductor Temperature Aluminum Conductor/Thermoplastic Insulation (PE/HMWPE)— Allowable Short Circuit Currents for Conductor to Not Exceed Insulation Emergency Operating Temperature Rating Based on 75°C Initial Conductor Temperature and 90°C Final Conductor Temperature Copper Conductor/Thermoplastic Insulation (PE/HMWPE)— Allowable Short Circuit Currents for Conductor to Not Exceed Insulation Emergency Operating Temperature Rating Based on 75°C Initial Conductor Temperature and 90°C Final Conductor Temperature Aluminum Conductor/Thermoset Insulation (TR-XLPE/EPR)— Allowable Short Circuit Currents for Conductor to Not Exceed Insulation Emergency Operating Temperature Rating Based on 90°C Initial Conductor Temperature and 130°C Final Conductor Temperature Copper Conductor/Thermoset Insulation (TR-XLPE/EPR)— Allowable Short Circuit Currents for Conductor to Not Exceed Insulation Emergency Operating Temperature Rating Based on 90°C Initial Conductor Temperature and 130°C Final Conductor Temperature 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 .1 F.3 F.2 F.7 F.4 F.6 F.

22 2.8 Lamp and Ballast Characteristics—240 Volts Front Versus Rear Property Line Placement Additional Materials for an Open-Loop System Sample Spare Cable Cost.20 1.3 1. °C Values of M for the Limiting Condition Where T2 = 200°C Values of M for the Limiting Condition Where T2 = 350°C Approximate Levels of I2t (Amperes2 x Seconds) That May Result in Destructive Transformer Failure for Internal Faults Approximate Levels of Fault Current Symmetrical (Amperes) That May Result in Destructive Transformer Failure for Internal Faults PAGE 14 17 20 22 23 23 24 25 26 26 26 27 30 30 31 31 32 32 35 36 37 38 53 54 57 59 66 67 71 72 83 91 92 92 92 92 95 95 . Approximate Shield Operating Temperature.16 1.13 1.2 1.6 1. Open-Loop and Spare Cable Systems Single-Phase Sub-Feeder Cost Three-Phase Sub-Feeder Cost 25-kV Versus 15-kV Cable and Components Added Cost of Dual-Voltage Transformers Voltage Conversion Cost at Year 10 Voltage Conversion Cost at Year 20 Option 1—Direct-Buried Cable Option 2—PVC Rigid Conduit Option 3—Cable in HDPE Flexible Conduit Present Worth of Cable Installation Options Separate Service Cables Secondary Pedestal Sample Cable Loss Analysis Sample Secondary Cable Data Savings from Deferred Transformer Energization Savings from Deferred Transformer Installation Dimensional Characteristics of Common Conductors (Standard Concentric-Lay) Conductor Physical and Electrical Characteristics Configurations of 4/0 AWG Aluminum Conductor RUS Insulation Thickness Insulation Shield Strippability Ratings Concentric Neutral Configurations for Common Aluminum Cables Comparison of Jacketing Material Test Data Static Coefficient of Friction for Jacketing Materials in PVC Conduit Multiplying Factors to Determine Asymmetrical Fault Currents Where Symmetrical Fault Currents Are Known Effective Cross-Sectional Area of Shield Values of T1.18 1.4 3.5 3.17 1.3 3. °C.5 2.4 1. Maximum Allowable Shield Transient Temperature.1 1. at Various Conductor Temperatures Values of T2.6 2.14 1.9 1.15 1.11 1.1 3.19 1.7 2.1 2.8 3.7 3.21 1.2 3.10 1.8 1. Commercial Consumer Additional Cost per Kilowatt.5 1.2 2.6 3.7 1.4 2. Single Residential Consumer Sample Radial System Cost.x i v – Ta b l e s tables TABLE 1.12 1.3 2.

75% and 100% Load Factor Pros and Cons of Installing Cable Circuits in Conduit Ampacity Values—15-kV Cable.13 4. Surface Contact Time to Produce Burning NEMA Starting Code Letters Surge Withstand Strengths of Polyethylene Insulating Jackets for 15-kV.23 4.1 4. Direct Buried. Copper Conductor Ampacity Values—15-kV Cable.18 4.4 4.7 4.20 4.5 4. Single Circuit.14 4. Direct Buried. TR-XLPE.10 4. 4.9 4.Ta b l e s – x v tables TABLE 4.6. Single Circuit.12 4. Aluminum Conductor Abstract of ICEA Standards for Maximum Emergency-Load and Short-Circuit-Load Temperatures for Various Insulations Correction Factors to Convert from 25°C Ambient Soil Temperature to 20°C and 30°C Correction Factors for Various Ambient Air Temperatures Typical Ampacities for Various Sizes and Types of 600-Volt Secondary UD Cable—Stranded Aluminum Conductors Average Temperatures for July and August Averaged for the Previous 10 Years Daily Peak Loads Per Unit of Nameplate Rating for Self-Cooled Oil-Immersed Transformers to Give Minimum 20-Year Life Expectancy Application of Single-Phase Distribution Transformers to Serve Residential Consumers—Sample Loading Guide Typical Watts-Per-Square-Foot Factors for Commercial Buildings Typical Electrical Load Power Factor Values Typical Electrical Load Demand Diversity Factor Values Estimated Electrical Demand (Summer) and Energy Consumption (Sample Family Restaurant) Estimated Peak Duration Transformer Loading Capability Table Typical Three-Phase Pad-Mounted Transformer Capacities— Short-Term Overload Capabilities (in kVA) Surface Temperatures Measured at Various Locations on the Cases of Pad-Mounted Transformers.19 4. 25-kV.21 4.11 4. 75% and 100% Load Factor Ampacity Table for 15-kV Aluminum Conductor.24 5.2 5.3 5. Trefoil Configuration. and EPR Insulated Typical Ambient Soil Temperatures at a Depth of 3.8 4.5 Feet Ampacity for 15-kV Copper Conductor.6 Ampacities for Single-Phase Primary Underground Distribution Cable— XLPE.4 5.15 4.2 4.3 4.22 4.16 4. Trefoil Configuration. and 35-kV Class JCN Cable 2007 NESC Ground Rod Requirements for JCN Cable Installations Spacing of Test Probes for Testing Resistance of a Single Ground Rod Spacing of Test Probes for Testing Resistance of an Electrode System Soil Resistivities for Different Soil Types and Geological Formations Effect of Temperature on Soil Resistivity PAGE 123 128 130 131 133 135 135 137 139 139 143 146 148 150 153 153 154 155 156 156 156 159 160 161 176 184 194 194 197 198 .1 5.17 4.5 5.

Surge Voltage Doubled by Reflection Protective Margin. 125 kV. 10 kV.25 PU Maximum Allowed Cable Lengths in 24. 21 kV.11 5. 10-kA Lightning Discharge.14 5.19 220 229 234 234 235 235 5. 76 kV MOV Riser Pole Arrester: Arrester Rating. 95 kV. Equipment BIL. 100 kV Ground Resistance Testers Values for Equivalent Capacitances of an Overhead Line with 4/0 ACSR Phase Conductors and a 1/0 ACSR Neutral Conductor Representative Capacitance and Three-Phase Charging for XLPE Insulated Cables with 175 Mils Insulation Representative Capacitance and Three-Phase Charging or XLPE Insulated Cables with 220 Mils Insulation Representative Capacitance and Three-Phase Charging for XLPE Insulated Cables with 260 Mils Insulation Representative Capacitance and Three-Phase Charging for XLPE Insulated Cables with 345 Mils Insulation Phase-to-Ground Capacitance of Three-Phase Grounded-Wye Capacitor Banks Maximum Allowed Cable Lengths in 12. 3): Arrester Rating. 76 kV MOV Riser Pole Arrester and Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No.9 6.10 5. 9-kV Arresters at Riser Pole Only. Surge Voltage Doubled by Reflection Recommended Arrester Locations MOV Riser Pole Arrester: Arrester Rating.3 6. Equipment BIL. 95 kV. and Riser Pole MOV Arresters Typical Electrical Ratings and Characteristics of Dead-Front Surge Arresters Comparison of Standard Requirements for Surge Arrester Classifications Metal Oxide Surge Arrester Ratings in (kV) rms Protective Margin. 125 kV.10 236 237 248 249 249 250 250 251 265 265 266 272 .17 PAGE 204 209 213 214 215 219 5. 10 kV.8 6.18 5.15 5. 4) and Dead-Front Third Arrester (No.8 5. Aged BIL. Equipment BIL. Aged BIL.7 6.25 PU Transformer and Cable Data for the System of Figure 6.4 6. Equipment BIL.7 5. 100 kV MOV Riser Pole Arrester and Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No.17 5. 24.2 6.47-kV Systems to Limit Open-Phase Voltages to 1. 125 kV.12 Ground Resistance in Varying Soil Resistivities Comparison of Protective Characteristics of Heavy-Duty Distribution Class Silicon Carbide. Aged BIL. 21 kV.9-kV Systems to Limit Open-Phase Voltages to 1.5-kV Systems to Limit Open-Phase Voltages to 1. 10-kA Lightning Discharge. Equipment BIL. 4): Arrester Rating. MOV.x v i – Ta b l e s tables TABLE 5. Aged BIL.1 6. 12. 21 kV.6 6.20 6. 100 kV MOV Riser Pole Arrester Plus Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No.9-kV Underground Distribution System: 125-kV BIL Insulation.9 5.25 PU Maximum Allowed Cable Lengths in 34.47-kV Underground Distribution System: 95-kV BIL Insulation.13 5. 18-kV Arresters at Riser Pole Only.16 5.5 6. 4): Arrester Rating. Aged BIL.

20 9.13 323 9.3 7.10 9.Ta b l e s – x v i i tables TABLE 7. Concentric Neutral Construction 345-Mil Primary Cable: Minimum Size of Conduit Necessary to Accommodate Primary Underground Power Cable: 34.9 9.5-kV Cable— 345-Mil Insulation Wall Conduit Fill—Secondary Cable: Minimum Size of Conduit Necessary to Accommodate 600-Volt Secondary Underground Power Cable Recommended Dynamic Friction Coefficients for Straight Pulls and Bends Using Soap/Water or Polymer Lubricants Inside Bend Radius for 90° Schedule 40 Conduits Recommended Maximum Sidewall Bearing Pressures Cable Configuration for Various Jam Ratios Recommended Maximum Pulling Tension Stress for Pulling Eyes on Copper and Aluminum Conductors Recommended Maximum Pulling Tension Limits for Basket-Type Pulling Grips PAGE 283 286 288 289 290 291 304 309 314 314 314 315 318 320 320 320 320 321 321 322 9.11 9. and Estimated Life Conductance to Ground of BCNs with Effective Diameters as Indicated Minimum Cover Requirements Requirements for Random-Lay Joint Trench Classifications of Plastic Conduit PVC Duct Dimensions—Minimum Wall Thickness Comparison of Characteristics for Four-Inch Size PVC Duct PVC Duct—Impact Strength (Foot-Pounds) PVC Duct Collapse Pressure (PSI) Conduit Fill Conductor Shield Thickness Insulation Shield Thickness Concentric Neutral Thickness—Aluminum Cables Concentric Neutral Thickness—Copper Cables Secondary Cable Insulation Thickness 220-Mil Primary Cable: Minimum Size of Conduit Necessary to Accommodate Primary Underground Power Cable: 15-kV Cable— 220-Mil Insulation Wall.5 7. Output Current.2 9.19 9.2 7.12 Typical DC Potentials in Soil Suggested DC Potentials for Cathodic Protection Calculated Resistance and Conductance to Ground of Individual Ground Rods as Related to Soil Resistivity Potentials to a Copper-Copper Sulfate Half Cell Sacrificial Anode Resistance.1 9.14 324 325 333 335 337 338 339 339 9.15 9.2 9.6 8.1 8.8 9.1 7.7 9.3 9.4 7.4 9.18 9.21 .5 9.6 9. Concentric Neutral Construction 260-Mil Primary Cable: Minimum Size of Conduit Necessary to Accommodate Primary Underground Power Cable: 25-kV Cable— 260-Mil Insulation Wall.16 9.17 9.

Class B Concentric-Strand Aluminum Cables 60 Hz Reactance of Conductors in the Same Conduit Nominal Composite Insulation Layer Thickness (Ruggedized) Nominal Insulation Thickness (Non-Ruggedized) Extruded Conductor Shield Thickness Nominal.1 C.1 B.1 11.6 11.3 E.1 B.8 A.2 Electrical Rating of Elbows Relative Corrosion Resistance of Metal Combinations for Outdoor Terminations Dimensions for Primary Cables to ICEA Specification S-94-649-2000 with Concentric Neutral (Concentric Stranding) Dimensions for Primary Cables to ICEA Specification S-94-649-2000 with Concentric Neutral (Compressed Stranding) Cable Diameter Tolerances Adders for Extruded Insulation Shield (Mils) to Obtain Nominal Diameter Over Insulation Shield of Cable DC Proof-Test Voltages (Conductor to Ground) for Primary Cables Insulation Thickness of Secondary Cables Manufacturers’ Voltage Withstand Tests on Completed Cable Manufacturers’ Voltage Tests on Cables Rated 0 to 600 Volts Acceptable Outage Hours Per Year Per Consumer Allowable Voltage Drop on a 120-Volt Base Resistance of Class B Concentric-Strand Aluminum Cable with Thermosetting and Thermoplastic Insulation for Secondary Distribution Voltages (to 1 kV) at Various Temperatures and Typical Conditions of Installation Corrections for Multiconductor Cables Comparison of Conductor Diameter and Approximate Cable Outside Diameter of Typical Single.4 382 384 392 392 400 400 401 402 .3 11.5 C.1 E.2 11.2 E.x v i i i – Ta b l e s tables TABLE 10.4 11.7 11.1 10. Minimum.4 380 382 B.5 11. and Maximum Insulation Thickness Insulation Shield Thickness for Cables with Wire Neutral Extruded-to-Fill Jacket Thickness PAGE 350 353 11.2 E.3 B.2 361 362 363 363 367 369 371 371 374 377 B.

22 G. No. Auger-Type Boring Tools) Cable Installation Equipment Manufacturers (Primary Circuit Joints. Trench Compactors. No. No.7 G. No. No. Guided Boring Tools.1 Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration Configuration No. Elbows.14 G. No. No. No. Elbow. No.17 G.12 G. No. 1—15-kV Copper 1—15-kV Aluminum 1—25-kV Copper 1—25-kV Aluminum 2—15-kV Copper 2—15-kV Aluminum 2—25-kV Copper 2—25-kV Aluminum 2. No. No. Backhoes. No.4 Cable Installation Equipment Manufacturers (Trenchers.28 G. 3.3 I. No. No. No. No. No.18 G. Track-Mounted Cable Plows. 3-Inch Type DB Conduit—15-kV Aluminum 2. No. 6-Inch Type EB Conduit—15-kV Aluminum 6. and Terminations.2 G.31 G.20 G. No.5-Inch Type DB Conduit—25-kV Aluminum 3—15-kV Copper 3—15-kV Aluminum 3—25-kV Copper 3—25-kV Aluminum 4—15-kV Copper 4—15-kV Aluminum 4—25-kV Copper 4—25-kV Aluminum 5—15-kV Copper 5—15-kV Aluminum 5—25-kV Copper 5—25-kV Aluminum 6—15-kV Copper 6—15-kV Aluminum 6—25-kV Copper 6—25-kV Aluminum 6. No.30 G.1 G. 6-Inch Type EB Conduit—25-kV Aluminum 7—15-kV Copper 7—15-kV Aluminum 7—25-kV Copper 7—25-kV Aluminum PAGE 415 415 416 416 416 416 417 417 417 417 418 418 418 418 419 419 419 419 420 420 420 420 421 421 421 421 422 422 422 422 423 423 I. No. No. Cable Plow. Secondary Circuit Joints and Terminations) Manufacturers of Joint. No.26 G.5 G.9 G. Hydraulic Pipe Pusher.32 I. No.29 G.16 G.24 G. No. No.6 G.8 G.13 G.27 G.15 G.23 G.3 G. No.2 I.4 G.11 G.21 G.10 G. and Termination Accessories and Kits Partial Listing of Cable Testing Equipment Suppliers 427 428 429 429 .25 G. Piercing Tools. No.19 G. No. No.Ta b l e s – x i x tables TABLE G.

10 5. and S3 Open) Attaching a 100-Foot Counterpoise to the Riser Pole Ground Rod and the Other End to a Remote.13 5.16 5.2 Cable Loss Calculations Calculating Losses on Secondary Cables Typical Costs Associated with Transformer Losses Device Rated in Maximum Asymmetrical Current Capacity Device Rated for Maximum Circuit X/R Ratio Determine Minimum Shield Size for Known Through-Fault Current Comparing the Ampacity of Trefoil and Flat-Spaced Configurations Single-Phase UD Cable Ampacities Emergency Overload Rating Cable in Protective Riser Three-Phase Substation Exit Ampacity Average Daily Temperature Selection for a Summer-Peaking Utility Selection of Maximum Permissible Transformer Per-Unit Loading Pad-Mounted Transformer Sizing for New UD Residential Consumers Sizing Commercial Transformers Dedicated Transformer Load No Counterpoise Added (Switches S1. 10 kV MOV Riser Pole Arrester: Arrester Rating.7 5.2 1.4 5.11 5.6 4.14 5.8 4. S2 Open) A Single 8-Foot × 3/4-Inch Ground Rod Driven in Soil with a Resistivity of 250 Ohm-M Two 8-Foot × 3/4-Inch Ground Rods Placed 5 Feet Apart Two Rods Spaced 16 Feet Apart Group of Four Rods Increase in Rod Length Change in Soil Resistivity The Effect of a Two-Layer Soil with a Top-Layer Resistivity of 250 Ohm-M and a Bottom-Layer Soil Resistivity of 50 Ohm-M Counterpoise of #2 AWG Conductor Buried 30 Inches Deep for a Distance of 100 Feet More Conductive Soil Counterpoise Burial Depth Protective Margin Calculation for Riser Pole Application— Industry Standard 4 kA/µs Average Rise Time for Lightning Strokes Assumed MOV Riser Pole Arrester: Arrester Rating. Smaller Resistance (Switch S2 Closed.6 5.8 5.3 4. 21 kV PAGE 35 36 37 83 84 93 131 140 141 141 146 149 151 157 160 191 191 191 201 202 202 203 204 204 205 206 206 206 5. S2.3 3.9 5.1 3.12 5.15 5. S1 and S3 Open) Continuous or Full-Length Counterpoise (Switches S1 and S3 Closed.5 4.2 3.1 1.3 5.1 4.7 4.1 5.4 4.2 4. 10 kV MOV Riser Pole Arrester and Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No.5 5.9 5. 4): Arrester Rating.3 4.17 217 234 234 235 .x x – Ex am p l e s e x a m p l es EXAMPLE 1.

21 kV MOV Riser Pole Arrester Plus Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No.6 7.7 7.2 B.4 G.1 B.1 J. 21 kV Maximum Lengths of Cable Circuit Possible Energizing Multiple-Transformer System with Single-Pole Measuring Earth Resistivity Calculating the Neutral Conductance to Ground Per 1.1 7.2 7.4 7. and Numbers Estimating Neutral Conductance to Ground of BCN Cable Determining Required Shift in Neutral Potential Determining Output Current and Anodes Required Diameter Calculation Transformer Voltage Drop Calculation Secondary Cable Resistance and Reactance Complete Secondary Voltage Drop Calculation Voltage Flicker Calculation Ampacity Reduction for Direct-Buried Versus Conduit Encasement for Flat-Spaced Installation Increase in Ampacity for Duct Bank Installation When Type EB Conduit is Used Versus Schedule 40 Cable Pulling Example 1: Maximum Straight-Pull Distance for Three 25-kV Cables Installed in Five-Inch PVC Conduit Cable Pulling Example 2: Feasibility of Pulling Three 25-kV Cables into a Six-Inch PVC Conduit PAGE 235 236 264 272 284 288 289 289 291 292 292 293 363 379 383 385 387 6. 4): Arrester Rating.3 7.1 6.3 B. Sizes. 4) and Dead-Front Third Arrester (No.19 MOV Riser Pole Arrester and Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No. 3): Arrester Rating.1 G.000 Feet of Cable Determining Required Shift in Potential Calculating Required Anode Output Current Selecting Anode Types.2 417 422 J.2 431 432 .Exa m p l e s – x x i exa m p l e s EXAMPLE 5.2 7.5 7.8 11.1 B.18 5.

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Although some of this popularity is due to aesthetics—eliminating pole lines and overhead conductors and “ugly” tree trimming—greater reliability is the greater attraction. Design efficient systems that will have the lowest reasonable cost for both installation and operation. Stipulate every safety provision to ensure reliability of the system. 3. Future upgrades or replacement. and 4. Consumers facing outages due to wildlife. During the design process. . the engineer must have comprehensive knowledge of the components of a UD system. 2. falling tree limbs. the engineer will have a final plan and staking sheets to give to construction crews. The economics of different system configurations. and ice storms think underground systems more desirable. Unfortunately. many of the present UD systems are less reliable and have more operational problems than do comparable overhead distribution systems. Next. Plan carefully to minimize problems during construction and provide for future operation and replacement of these systems. cooperatives must undertake several comprehensive steps: 1. underground distribution (UD) systems have proved generally popular with electric consumers. On completing this task. To reverse this trend. This section gives the engineer guidelines for designing a high-quality UD system. the engineer must consider the following: • • • • • UD system safety. the engineer must understand how these components can be configured to form different types of UD systems and the special design concerns of each. and • The economics of UD losses.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 1 1 In This Section: Design of an Underground Distribution System System Components Types of UD Systems Reliability of UD Systems Design Considerations Future Upgrades and Replacements Economic Comparison of System Configurations UD Loss Economics Steps for Layout of a UD System Summary and Recommendations Since their introduction. UD system operation and maintenance. Before starting a design. Specify high-quality materials and components. UD system reliability. The final design task is layout of the UD system.

1: UD System Components. some UD systems ment increases the time were total underground systems A typical UD system needed to access the equipwith all components located consists of buried ment and. Because equipment. This requireIn the past. . placed on the surface instead of below ground. the equipment of underground cables and has to be suitable for operation pad-mounted equipment under water.1. with its major system comunderground enclosure. is shown in Figure 1. The pad-mounted equipment is leads to premature equipment failure. A water often accumulates in more reliable system consists these vaults. Primary Voltage Ground Electrode Underground Cable. formers. If the enclosure is full ponents. cables and Because of these problems. Maintenance and operation of the and subject to fewer corrosion problems. Placing transthe duration of any outage. also increases below ground. thus. impractical and unreliable. and celerates the corrosion of this equipment and switches). Moisture also ac(transformers. Secondary Voltage Service Ground FIGURE 1. sectionalizing devices. This equipment usually require a person to enter the type of UD system. of water. the equipment is easier to operate and maintain.2 – Se c t io n 1 1 System Components anyone enters. and switches below ground repad-mounted a total underground system is quires buried vaults. This type of system is very difficult to operate As a result. the water must be pumped out before Cable Termination Surge Arrester Underground Cable Riser Cable Terminations Pad-Mounted Switchgear/ Junction Cabinet Flat Pad Box Pad Ground Line Pad-Mounted Transformer Dead-Front Surge Arrester Cable Splice Ground Electrode Underground Cable. sectionalizing devices.

Section 3. CABLE TERMINATIONS AND JOINTS Cable terminations and joints are other important components of a UD system. PAD-MOUNTED EQUIPMENT The main types of pad-mounted equipment are transformers. RMS Mini-Rupter Cont. The secondary-voltage (600-Volt class) cable carries power from the secondary bushings of the transformer to the consumer.0 27 95 125 200 200 -1 COMPARTMENT -1 COMPARTMENT -2 COMPARTMENT -1 25 PME-4 COMPARTMENT PME-5 -3 COMPARTMENT PMH-6 COMPARTMENT -4 -3 COMPARTMENT -4 COMPARTMENT -3 COMPARTMENT -4 COMPARTMENT -3 COMPARTMENT -4 COMPARTMENT -2 COMPARTMENT -1 COMPARTMENT -2 COMPARTMENT -1 COMPARTMENT -2 COMPARTMENT -1 COMPARTMENT -2 COMPARTMENT -1 PME-9 PME-10 PME-11 PME-12 FIGURE 1. or 35-kV class) cable carries power from a source to the primary bushing of a transformer. fuses.2: Schematics for Different Types of Switchgear. Section 10 describes the different types of terminations and how to use them on a UD system. . 25-. Pad-mounted switchgear usually functions as a combination of switches and sectionalizing devices. The joints provide a way to connect two underground cables.2 shows the schematics for several types of switchgear.4 COMPARTMENT Ampere. protective devices. a single enclosure can provide switching on the main feed and fusing on two taps off the main feed. Cable Selection. The terminations provide a way to connect underground cables to transformer bushings. Max BIL Max 14. switches. For example. 600 600 Short-Circuit MVA 3-Phase Sym. arresters must be properly connected to the cable grounding system. reviews the different types of pad-mounted switchgear. The grounding system must have ground electrodes that are in optimum contact with the soil. Pad-mounted transformers function the same as those overhead. Figure 1. The primary-voltage (15-. describes cable construction and gives guidelines for specifying high-quality cable. 2005. and other devices. Section 2. Adapted from S&C Electric Company. Because of the many configurations possible. this component provides the engineer with many options in the design of a UD system. SURGE ARRESTERS AND GROUNDING ELECTRODES Surge arresters are used to protect underground systems from overvoltages induced by lightning and other transients. at Load Dropping Rated Voltage 600 400 350 540 17. To operate effectively.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 3 1 UNDERGROUND CABLE The most extensive component of a UD system is the underground cable. Underground System Sectionalizing. Examples of ground electrodes are: COMPARTMENT -2 COMPARTMENT -2 COMPARTMENT -3 COMPARTMENT -4 kV Fuse Nom. and switching devices.

Vault and Pad-Mounted Load require more space for cable training. this type of pad is from poking a wire or other well compacted. If the settling is severe. contact with energized parts. A ground sleeve or box pad also provides the The equipment must also attach securely to extra space needed for large-diameter cables. Types of Equipment Mountings The most basic type of equipment mounting is a flat. Ground sleeves are generally limited in their When this happens.3. the mounting surface to prevent it from being Typical installation of a ground sleeve is moved or tipped over by people. or vehicles. only one entry compartment such as three-phase Without proper compaction. Secure attachment is particstalled below the ground surface. pad. or monolithic. Providing additional cable space become a standard for specifying tamper-resishelps minimize these problems. or switchgear. Thus. and switch terminals. ing and cable terminations.12. Detailed information on cable grounding systems and surge protection is contained in Section 5. but is suitable for equipment with tion is proper soil compaction beneath the pad. made of polyethylene) and expose the interior . mounting provides additional space for cables Another important factor in a stable installabelow grade. Figure 1. Doing so prevents persons the pad must be However. The former code has or operate. pads can tilt or warp (if ability to support heavier pieces of equipment.74 (Standard Requirements diameter cables. rigid suropenings for cable access into the equipment enface for supporting pad-mounted equipment. the pad may not support all the equipment weight. requirements of American National Standards Some types of cable installations require more Institute/Institute of Electrical and Electronics space than is available with a flat pad. the soil will settle pad-mounted transformers and junction cabinets. connectors. leaving the pad with little support. animals. This operatives in areas with extended periods of tamper-resistant design helps prevent vandalism cold weather may prefer using a ground sleeve to utility equipment and protect the public from (“basement”) or a box pad instead of a flat pad. lawn shown in Figure 1. Semiconducting jacketed cables. If some of the equipment weight is transferred to the attached cables. Buried counterpoise wires. Because this pad is placed bottom edge of pad-mounted directly on the ground. Another Interrupter Switchgear and Fused Load-Interconsideration is cold weather. Low temperatures rupter Switchgear for Alternating Current Sysmake cables stiffer and more difficult to install tems Up to 38 kV). The ground sleeve is inmowers. there equipment flush to the flat surThe soil beneath is limited space for cable trainface of the supporting pad. For exEngineers (ANSI/IEEE) C57. It closure as shown in Figure is very important to mount the 1.4 – Se c t io n 1 1 • • • • Driven ground rods. The pad’s slick surface makes it easy for three inches above final grade. usually adequate for singleobject into the interior comphase pad-mounted transformpartment of pad-mounted ers and small single-phase equipment and meets the sectionalizing devices. Therefore. cotant pad-mounted equipment enclosures. compartments of transformers. The flat pad provides a EQUIPMENT MOUNTINGS uniform surface for mounting equipment and has Equipment mountings provide a flat.28 (Standard for ample. this settling can damage transformer bushings. fuse cabinets.4. This type of an unsecured piece of equipment to slide.1 shows driven ground rods as the ground electrodes. and erode. large-diameter cables are stiffer and have Pad-Mounted Equipment-Enclosure Integrity) a larger minimum bending radius than do smalland ANSI/IEEE37. and Metallic water or sewer systems. the large-diameter cables for Subsurface. with the ularly important when polyethylene pads are equipment mounting surface elevated two to used.

Minn. FIGURE 1. and Polyethylene. with typically three to six and larger. ercised in making sure the intended application. Because these materials have very different properties. A perimeter lip supports the box pad manufacturer clearly pad-mounted equipment.5).3: Flat Pad for Equipment Mounting.. provides plenty of room to work with the cables. is a box pad (see Figure 1. This is of particular conFiberglass Inc. The states the strength rating of remaining space is open and the box pad walls. cern with box pads. Pad Materials Manufacturers offer a varied selection of pad materials. 2002. This type of pad is ideal for supporting pad-mounted switchgear that has multiple cable entry compartments. for example. Fiberglass-reinforced concrete. . Source: Nordic equipment weight. The material and pad design must have the strength required to support the FIGURE 1. Fiberglass.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 5 1 FIGURE 1.. including the following: • • • • Steel-reinforced concrete. when box pads The box pad is placed in the are used for transformers Pad material must ground rather than on the sur500-kilovolt amperes (kVA) face.4: Ground Sleeve. Care must be exbe suitable for the inches exposed above grade. because all the equipment weight is supported by the outside pad walls. the engineer must carefully select the material type suitable for the intended application. Warren. The third type of mounting and is especially important.5: Box Pad for Equipment Mounting.

A puncture through the polyethylene allows water to enter the pad and rot the wooden braces. each underground substation circuit exit will terminate on a riser pole and feed overhead circuit conductors. A second property to review is the performance of the material outdoors where it is exposed to frost and ultraviolet radiation. meet system operating needs. cable terminations. Section 9 contains information on FIGURE 1. and grounding electrodes. and maintain equipment security. making the area around a substation more attractive and workCable able. grounding electrodes. AlDesign concerns for A special concern for unthough spare cables or backup derground circuit exits is cable substation circuit exits options do not change the risk ampacity. surge arresters. All these factors must be balanced when selecting a pad design for a particular UD system. underground substaSurge Termination Arrester tion circuit exits are protected from ice loading. this type of UD system consists of underground primary-voltage cable. cable terminations. and disconnect switches are commonly Riser Vent referred to as a riser assembly. pads must be of a design that will have long-term durability under adverse conditions. The conduit. These cables carry of cable failure. growth. the Exit Cable circuit outage interrupts power to many consumers.6. Neutral In most cases. Types of UD Systems SUBSTATION CIRCUIT EXITS Disconnect Switches Underground cable is often used for substation circuit exits from distribution substations. the engineer must . the engineer must be particularly concerned Undergroung Circuit with reliability. See Figure 1. wildlife contacts. If the underground cable fails. A final property to review is pad buoyancy. and warpage results. these pads would not be suitable for use in areas that are subject to flooding. may be more reliable than overhead exits. Ground Placing the cable in a conduit system or concreteElectrode encased duct bank helps protect it from mechanical damage.6: Underground Substation duct bank installations. reliability is to install a spare cable or provide backup capability from another source. Cracks or material breakdown lead to a loss of mechanical strength. Some of the polyethylene pads tend to float and can overturn pad-mounted equipment. Underground circuit exits help reduce congestion on poles just outside a substation. Another way to improve Circuit Exit. part of the pad strength is lost. thus. Therefore.6 – Se c t io n 1 1 Also of concern are polyethylene pads with wooden braces. Therefore. and vehicle damage. they do reduce are reliability. Therefore. and ampacity. When designing underground substation circuit exits. system large loads and may operate the power restoration time if close to their ampacity rating. In summary. As an added benefit. The pad materials must not break down or crack from ultraviolet exposure or frigid conditions. only one cable is damaged. When the wooden braces rot. surge arresters. and.

This type of arrangement is shown in Figure 1. To Load Area Junction Box or Switching Cabinet Junction Box or Sectionalizing Switch Primary Voltage Cable To Load Area Substation Junction Box or Sectionalizing Switch To Load Area FIGURE 1. The protective device in the substation clears a fault on a main feeder.7 and may have the following components: • Underground primary-voltage cable. and Section 10 provides information on the types of cable terminations. • Surge arresters. The utility engineer must consider this characteristic when designing a main feeder. A main feeder is that portion of a distribution circuit between the substation and the first in-line overcurrent protective device. • Cable terminations. . MAIN FEEDERS Underground cable can serve as a distribution main feeder. Therefore. This feeder can also serve several load areas by using a junction box or sectionalizing switch with fused taps. a main feeder fault causes an outage to the entire circuit. and • Grounding electrodes. • Pad-mounted junction box or sectionalizing switch. The engineer must also determine the maximum load to be carried by the main feeder in order to select a cable with adequate ampacity and choose the 200-ampere or 600-ampere class of cable terminations. and the resulting ampacity. system growth. power to the circuit may remain off until the cable is repaired. Radial Main Feeder The radial main feeder has one source and delivers power to a load area along a single path. particularly when deciding between a radial or open-loop feeder.7: Radial Main Feeder. Section 4 provides detailed information on cable ampacity.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 7 1 carefully determine the cable operating conditions. Because most faults on an underground main feeder are cable failures and are permanent.

each cooperative must weigh the advantages of these more expensive installations against their costs. the simple radial does have limited operational flexibility and should not be used to serve a large number of consumers. However. For example. Information on comparative system reliability may be found in Appendix A. A concrete-encased duct bank provides substantial mechanical protection from dig-ins and should be considered in areas congested with other underground utilities. This saves substantial time. or by installing a spare cable or conduit in the trench.8 – Se c t io n 1 1 Power On Open Load-Side Switch Junction Box or Sectionalizing Switch Fault Open Power On Substation Power Off Power Off FIGURE 1.8: Radial Main Feeder with Faulted Cable Section. The junction box or sectionalizing switch provides sectionalizing of the load areas and limited sectionalizing of the main feeder. It is possible to improve the reliability of a radial system by installing the cable in a concrete-encased duct bank or in a conduit system. This fault trips the protective device at the substation and interrupts power to all consumers on the faulted circuit. The spare cable or conduit provides no mechanical protection but does decrease restoration time if only one cable is faulted. . particularly when the main feeder is located beneath a roadway. Because the costs of these installation methods vary significantly.8 shows this option. or by opening the load-side switch on the first sectionalizing switch to isolate the faulted cable. A conduit system provides limited mechanical protection. the cooperative cannot restore power to the other consumers until crews repair the cable fault. Under any circumstance.8. it does decrease outage time by allowing the cooperative to replace a section of faulted cable without disturbing the earth surface. Figure 1. The cooperative can restore power to the first load area by placing the faulted cable(s) in a parking stand. Because the radial feeder has no alternative source or path. consider a fault in the second line section as shown in Figure 1.

A cable fault in the second line section interrupts power to all consumers on that circuit. 2 N. 1 Looped-Primary Circuit Substation No.10: Open-Loop Feeder with Faulted Cable Section. Substation No.O. crews can feed the first section from Substation No. as shown in Figure 1. In a sectionalizing switch. utility crews can isolate a faulted cable section and restore power to all consumers. 2 Fault N. Each source provides power along a single path to the designated open point in a junction box or a sectionalizing switch. leaving one of the switches open creates an open point. Because crews can restore power to all Substation No.O. the open point results from placing one set of cables in a parking stand. . Pad-Mounted Transformer Sectionalizing Switch FIGURE 1.O.O. 2. = Normally Open Point Three-Phase.10. The components of this system are the same as those of a radial system. = Normally Open Point Sectionalizing Switch FIGURE 1. N. Pad-Mounted Transformer N. With an open-loop system. The open-loop feeder (see Figure 1. However.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 9 1 Open-Loop Feeder In dense load areas.O. an underground main feeder may tie together two substations. This type of arrangement would operate as an open-loop system. unlike the radial feeder that has only one source. the open-loop feeder has two sources. 1 Looped-Primary Circuit Substation No. 1 and remaining line sections from Substation No.9) provides much higher system availability than does the radial system. After isolating the faulted cable section. N. A main feeder may also tie two circuits from the same substation. In a junction box. Three-Phase.9: Open-Loop Feeder.

fewer consumers than consider an open-loop system. deliver power to consumers. For exambetween it and the protective device at the subple. a fault on a sub-feeder does sults in a power outage to not interrupt power to the entransformers T2 through T5. sub-feeder affects number of consumers increases. Methods for improving reliability include the following: • Changing to an open-loop configuration. also called a load area feeder. As the similar fault on a main feeder. affects The power remains off until fewer consumers than does a A cable fault on a the cable is repaired. load area feeders. SUB-FEEDERS The radial feeder can be extended to serve The more common underground feeder is the submultiple consumers as shown in Figure 1. . • Adding a spare cable or conduit to the trench. a fault between transformers T1 and T2 restation. as already noted. a cable fault interrupts power to all of feeder has at least one stage of sectionalizing consumers beyond the fault location. it is important to judge the benefits of installing duct bank or conduit against the additional cost. However. The two types of feeders it becomes more practical to also have different functions. The radial feeder is usually the most practical way to serve a single consumer. such as a hospital or police station. often requires a more reliable system. tire circuit and. and • Placing the cable in a conduit or duct bank. feeder. in areas congested with underground utilities. Open-loop feeders provide much more operating flexibility than do simple radial feeders.11. Pad-Mounted Transformers Fault Riser Pole T1 Power On Power Off T2 T3 T4 T5 FIGURE 1. the outage time is much shorter than with a radial feeder. System reliability considerations generally dictate open-loop feeders as the preferred design. which comes later Single-Phase. Again. This type However. thus. The basic function of a main does a similar fault The subsection Economic feeder is to deliver power to on a main feeder. As a result. the concrete-encased duct bank will help protect cables from dig-ins. Therefore. The main Comparison of System Confunction of a sub-feeder is to figurations.1 0 – Se c t io n 1 1 load areas before repairing the cable fault. An open-loop feeder also requires that the designer consider the ampacity of the feeder cables while serving all possible loop segments. However. sections of cable on a sub-feeder often terminate in padmounted transformers.11: Radial Feeder. a single consumer with critical loads. which may dictate the use of a larger cable size than otherwise needed. it is not critical to install the cable in a concrete-encased duct bank or conduit. As a result. The sub-feeder can have several configurations ranging from a simple radial feeder to a complex multiloop feeder. Radial Feeder The simplest type of load area feeder is a radial feeder.

O. in this section. provides better system availability. Utility crews can isolate any section of faulted cable and restore power to all transformers. multiple-loop feeders are necessary to improve sectionalizing and to allow the coordination of overcurrent protective devices. Normally Open Point N.O. the open-loop feeder has two sources and. Sectionalizing Switch N. provides information on the economics of radial versus open-loop systems.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 1 1 1 Riser Pole Three-Phase Feeder Riser Pole Three-Phase. therefore.O. Three-Phase. Figure 1.O. A typical multiple-loop system is shown in Figure 1. N. Pad-Mounted Transformers Normally Open Point FIGURE 1. Pad-Mounted Transformer N.O. Open-Loop Feeder As mentioned earlier. FIGURE 1. Multiple-Loop Feeder In heavy load areas.13. Pad-Mounted Transformer Single-Phase. This type of system usually has a sub- .O. This feature makes the open-loop feeder a preferred design for UD systems serving multiple or critical consumers. Legend N. An open-loop feeder also requires that the designer consider the ampacity of the primary cables and devices while serving all possible loop segments. Riser Pole Riser Pole Sectionalizing Switch N.13: Multiple-Loop System. Large subdivisions or commercial shopping areas are ideal applications of open-loop systems.12 shows an openloop feeder in a shopping center. which may dictate the use of a larger cable size than otherwise needed.12: Open-Loop Feeder in Shopping Center.

The engineer needs to develop a plan at the start of the project for eventual (if not actual) street and area lighting. It uses a combination of overhead components (poles and a lighting package) and underground components (underground secondary-voltage cable. The sectionalizing switches on the sub-feeder have fused taps that serve other open-loop feeders. Most secondary cable faults are the result of mechanical damage to the cable. Conduits and pedestals can then be installed at strategic locations that will minimize future trenching in lawns or around consumer facilities. To minimize dig-ins by consumers. This type of UD system is shown in Figure 1. service may be provided through a two-wire duplex underground Lighting Package Pole Cable Riser Ground Electrode Underground Secondary-Voltage Cable FIGURE 1. To properly design this part of the system. Section 4 provides information for making these selections. The conduit offers some mechanical protection. STREET AND AREA LIGHTING Public safety and consumer convenience require street and area lighting in the area served by a large percentage of underground projects.14.1 2 – Se c t io n 1 1 feeder that serves as an open-loop system between two sources. so the engineer must make accommodations in underground systems to include it. Doing so helps prevent cable damage if the consumer installs a fence on the property line. Most cooperatives furnish this service. This arrangement provides excellent system availability. The cooperative may want to consider using the same lighting package that it uses in overhead areas. surge arresters. Doing so will avoid unnecessary duplication of stock and minimize confusion during installation and maintenance. particularly from hand digging. If the lighting package requires a 120-Volt.14: Area Lighting System. the cooperative may particularly want to use conduit in areas congested with other utilities. A third design concern with secondary systems is voltage drop and voltage flicker. As noted. Utilities can minimize mechanical damage by following the proper installation techniques described in Section 9 and by specifying cable with an abrasion-resistant or self-healing insulating jacket (see Section 2). . the engineer must consider reliability. These standard light packages usually operate from 120-Volts single phase or 120/240Volts single phase. two-wire power supply. Street and area lights are generally self-contained units with an integral photoelectric cell for control. which may dictate the use of a larger cable size than otherwise needed. Cable dig-ins by other utilities or consumers also damage cable. and grounding electrodes). A multiple-loop feeder also requires that the designer consider the ampacity of the feeder cables and devices while serving all possible loop segments. cable should be installed two to three feet off the property line. the engineer must first select the appropriate equipment rating and cable ampacity. It also speeds up fault location because the large load area has been sectionalized into small load groups. Second. The engineer must design a system that provides the consumer with acceptable voltage levels throughout the day and during motor starting. TRANSFORMER AND SECONDARY SYSTEMS Pad-mounted transformers and underground secondary-voltage cable constitute the final segment of a UD system. Another method for minimizing dig-in damage is to use conduit. Appendix B lists the acceptable voltage levels and gives methods for calculating voltage drop and flicker.

it should be installed in Satisfactory performance may be achieved with accordance with standard practices for the particcopper conductors as small as No. When this duplex is Where aesthetics are of prime used. If the cooperative has a lighting conductors and be large amount of underground Metallic lighting poles propagated into the secondary street lighting. the pole interior may aluminum conductors. This cable should be still require adequate grounding to avoid probpurchased only with copper conductors No. a ground rod is also recommended. Table 1. they generally of the lighting support bracket. that is attached to a driven ground rod. Each sodium systems. 10 lems with lightning surges. Metallic poles should AWG or larger. With metal poles. UF cables if the cables are shielded from sunType UF (underground feeder) commercial light along their entire length. a much larger portion of the lightning . the lightning must characteristics. cooperatives may either copper or aluminum. It is obvious that the regulator have a relatively low impedance path into the ballasts offer a substantial advantage in allowing earth. 2 AWG. between the pole riser conduit and the bottom If the poles are direct buried. which is also positively connected to may deteriorate where it is exposed to sunlight the neutral of the secondary supply conductors. 6 AWG copper) of highest current draw and lowest power factor. 6 American Wire Gauge (AWG). generally be used as a raceway to conceal the might be considered as a minimum gauge. dix C. eration. In areas ruggedized insulation system and bonded to the with intense lightning activity. possibly No. the ground rod may be eliminated. will be most economical. PVC is recommended as a minimum. U-guards The main limitation on the layout of street are not recommended because irregularities in lighting conductors is voltage drop. as does lights are often among the highest objects in a the acceptable voltage range for satisfactory opsubdivision served by an underground system. or high-pressure between the U-guard and the pole surface. Otherwise. the size should not be cases. In cases of infrequent use or where ruggedisunlight resistance will not be required on Type zed duplex cable is not readily available. have an insulating coating for corrosion protecLighting packages may be installed on wood tion. In ular type of light and the size of the area to be areas where deep frost lines are routine. the height of the fixture mounting should smaller than No. The Type UF cable must be also be directly connected to this same groundrated as sunlight-resistant. As most wood poles may allow the smaller cable used contemporary lighting systems are either merfor lighting service to protrude or be pinched cury vapor. Metal poles will cable may be substituted. choose to install metal lighting poles. not be compromised. On wood tions. If poles. the cable ing system. that serves a lighting installation. Schedule 40 base. purchasing a must be grounded of the transformer and into all twisted duplex cable with a connected services. This system neutral for the cooperative should consider cable will essentially comply installing secondary lightning with the secondary cable speclightning protection arresters on each transformer ification presented in Appenand for public safety. In such When aluminum is used. This is The magnitude and power factor of the starting particularly important because street and area current depend on the type of ballast. the conductor may be importance. polyvinyl chloride (PVC) conduit should poles are installed on a metal screw anchor be used to protect the cable riser. conductor along its entire length. If pole grounding conductors are not inlong runs of small secondary voltage conductors stalled. In these cases.1 gives examples of typical light In cases of lightning strikes. 10 AWG. larger lighted. This is the time pole-grounding conductor (No. If direct-buried poles are installed or if the poles at a height appropriate for the size of the poles are installed on poured concrete foundalamp and the area to be lighted. the most critical case is during wood pole installation must be equipped with a starting of the most distant light.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 1 3 1 current will travel along the cable. metal halide.

In fact.000 Power Factor 55% 54% 90% 34% 42% 90% 90% 90% 90% 90% Allowable Voltage Dip 20% 20% 50% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% without unstable lamp operation. and vehicles.1 1.6 1.9 3.9 1.1 0. all types of high-pressure sodium and metal halide lamps are more sensitive than are mercury vapor lamps to voltage dips.950 21. high power factor reactor 250-watt high-pressure sodium.8 0. The second measure is the average duration of an interruption.1 4 – Se c t io n 1 1 TABLE 1.000 20.7 Size and Type 175-watt mercury vapor. because they draw less current and generally create decreased operating losses.4 2. normal power factor reactor ballast 400-watt mercury vapor.500 27. normal power factor reactor 100-watt high-pressure sodium. Consideration should also be given to selecting 240-volt ballasts as opposed to 120-volt units.3 2.6 5.6 0. MEASUREMENT OF RELIABILITY Reliability is usually measured in two ways.500 9.0 Starting Current (amperes) 2.4 1.8 1.000 9. UD lines and equipment are located where they are not vulnerable to most of the common hazards that cause outages on overhead facilities. weather.1: Lamp and Ballast Characteristics—240 Volts. The first is the frequency of interruptions occurring at a particular point on a system. some animals. These experiences have made it clear that reliability engineering is a necessary part of UD system design. all lighting circuits should be designed for a voltage drop of no more than 10 percent when the largest probable lamp is started. normal power factor reactor ballast 400-watt mercury vapor. Source: General Electric Lighting Systems Product Catalog 1985. Allowable Voltage Fluctuation 240V±5% 240V±5% 240V±13% 240V±5% 240V±5% 240V±5% 240V±5% 240V±5% 240V±10% 240V±10% Operating Current (amperes) 1.500 27. high power factor reactor 250-watt metal halide floodlight.9 1. Moreover. normal power factor reactor ballast 400-watt metal halide floodlight. such as trees.4 3.6 2. Reliability of UD Systems One of the most important advantages of a welldesigned UD system is greater reliability for consumers compared to an overhead system.500 36.6 3. normal power factor reactor 250-watt high-pressure sodium. Outage rates are measured in outages per year. high power factor reactor 400-watt high-pressure sodium.000 21. many early UD systems installed by cooperatives and other utilities turned out to be less reliable than comparable overhead systems. also referred to as the restoration time.500 50. material or design defects in a UD system may reverse the reliability advantage of underground distribution. .9 2. normal power factor reactor ballast Lumens 7. However. regulator ballast 100-watt high-pressure sodium. referred to as the interruption rate or outage rate.0 1. Therefore.

responded to the cable failure problem by issuing a revision of Bulletin 50-70 (U-1). excavate to the point of its failure. Thus. There is generally no need to discriminate in design quality between some parts of the system and others. cooperatives should procure new cable with the requirement that the revised RUS specifications be met. The main specification changes were the following: • Removing all HMWPE cable from approval. however. therefore. The most common causes of failure were electrochemical treeing of the insulation layer and corrosion of the exposed neutral conductors. Any XLPE cable acquired should also be tree retardant (TR-XLPE). The analysis presented in this manual. Furthermore. facilities serving many consumers (or kVA) may need to be designed for higher reliability than should facilities serving few consumers (or kVA).02 and 0. A combination of these two measurements yields the percentage of availability for a particular location on a distribution system. For this discussion. At that time.(EPR) insulated cables provide improved reliability. In December 1987. Section 2 discusses cable selection in detail. the failure rates for commonly used UD primary cables were unacceptable. • Consumer financial losses resulting from interrupted production. The failure rates for cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) and high-molecular-weight polyethylene (HMWPE) cables were approaching 0. respectively. RUS is currently preparing an even further refined U-1 specification to reflect these continuing cable insulation improvements. • Increasing minimum insulation thickness to 220 mils for 15-kV cable and to 345 mils for 25-kV cable. both TR-XLPE. the results of distribution system outages include the following: • Consumer dissatisfaction. the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). All these factors have a serious impact on satisfactory cooperative system operation. Industry tests are continuing to develop information on the expected failure rates for different insulation systems. per consumer. Appendix A provides a method for calculating UD system reliability. Nevertheless. As a consequence of these experiences in the 1980s. • Impairment of other cooperative facilities. studies revealed that these failure rates were continuing to worsen as the cables aged. and • Lost cooperative revenue. Engineers. does not consider this parameter because most cooperative UD systems are fairly uniform in design and consumer concentration. or other causes. CABLE FAILURE RATES In the mid-1980s.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 1 5 1 Outage duration is usually measured in hours. RUS did not disapprove the use of XLPE cable. • Costs to the cooperative of service restoration.and ethylene propylene rubber. almost all faults attributable to underground system components are permanent. Although the order of importance may vary with individual situations. REA Specification for 15-kV and 25-kV Primary Underground Power Cable. Furthermore. Reliability calculations of this type usually do not consider momentary interruptions that are successfully cleared by automatic circuit reclosing operations. and . equipment damage. must be aware of the basic principles of reliability assessment so they can achieve satisfactory but economical UD system designs. Comprehensive reliability analysis also considers the number of consumers or kVA of load each outage affects. leading to the bulletin’s revision. LOOP-FEED DESIGN The time spent to locate an underground cable fault. concerns about XLPE were raised in studies. System reliability undeniably affects many aspects of a cooperative’s service. currently called Rural Utility Services (RUS). As a result of recent vastly improved quality control in cable manufacturing processes.08 per mile per year. This analysis considers only those outages that require manual intervention to restore service. and • Requiring cable to be jacketed. outages are considered to be sustained interruptions. A simple index of reliability used by many utilities is hours of outage per year.

or could create outages on source fusing devices. Damaged Cable Section FIGURE 1.15: Loop-Feed Design of UD System Under Normal Conditions. These actions promptly restore service to all consumers on the cable run. .16: Loop-Feed Design of UD System with Damaged Cable Section. Furthermore. Under loop-feed design. This knowledge covers the field performance records of different types of cables. each cable run serving several pad-mounted transformers is connected with a power supply point on both ends (see Figure 1. appropriate sectionalizing.O. These high current levels could result in exceeding cable and/or termination current-carrying ratings. UD SYSTEM RELIABILITY STUDY Well-designed UD systems can provide improved reliability relative to overhead systems. to achieve high reliability. a repair crew can disconnect both ends of the failed cable section and close the circuit at the normal open point (see Figure 1. the proper application of surge arresters. However. on single-phase UD looped systems. all of which are treated by this manual. the cooperative needs to apply the specialized engineering knowledge gained from many years of experience with underground power distribution.O. if the overhead type of radial distribution system configuration were used for UD. Therefore. the restoration time for most UD outages would be much longer than is typical on overhead systems. Transformer T4 Parking Stand Surge Arresters T2 T5 T4 X3 X1 X2 Copper Ground Conductor To T3 To Ground Rod To T5 FIGURE 1. Transformer T5 Parking Stand Surge Arresters Surge Arresters Transformer T6 Parking Stand X3 X1 X2 To Ground Rod X3 X1 X2 To Ground Rod Copper Ground Conductor To T4 Cable Fault To Riser Plate Front View Showing Isolated. Normally Open Point T3 N. Pad-Mounted Transformer N. This formed loop is opened at some point to allow use of radial overcurrent protection methods and to prevent unwanted power transfers through the cable. and loop-feed designs. It must be noted that it is vitally important for loop-feed UD systems to be fed from two sources of the same feeder circuit out of a substation. If the cable fails. Having the two sources fed from different feeder circuits could cause unexpected high-power flow through the UD system if the sources were tied together during switching operations on the UD loop. it is vitally important that both sources be connected to the same phase for safe operation.1 6 – Se c t io n 1 1 Riser Pole Riser Pole T1 T6 Legend Single-Phase. Pad-Mounted Transformer T2 T5 T3 T4 install a UD cable repair joint is typically much longer than that required to perform a comparable repair on an overhead line.16). The damaged cable can then be repaired or replaced later without causing additional outage time.15). with no switching or sectionalizing devices in between. This difficulty is overcome by using loop-feed design for UD systems. Riser Pole Riser Pole T1 T6 Damaged Cable Section Legend Single-Phase.

It is important that the utility engineer inform the consumer of this advantage of front-line placement. In these cases. Difficult to access for operation and maintenance 3. Often the consumers or developers believe that pad-mounted equipment detracts from the TABLE 1. it is much faster for utility crews to check for tripped fault indicators and to perform cable switching to isolate the faulted cable section. For example. Consumers or developers will have some authority because they must normally give the utility an easement that allows the installation of underground facilities. The engineer needs to be aware of these problems when considering whether to place facilities along the front or rear property line and also must consider the effect of joint-use trench on operation and maintenance activities. The engineer can be guided by this table in selecting the cable route. the location of other utilities. the space allocated for underground utilities is very limited. A final consideration is the power restoration time following an outage. Possible more economical installation if lots share rear property lines 1. . When facilities are located on the front property line. Consumers preference for equipment in backyard 2. operation and maintenance of the system can also be difficult. An economic comparison of front versus rear property line installation is covered later in this section under Economic Comparison of System Configurations. Often reduces outage time 4. preparing the rear of the lot for cable installation can be more costly and time-consuming than preparing the front property line. In addition. this is a joint decision between the utility and the consumer or developer. installing the cable in conduit or installing a spare conduit allows the utility better access when cables have to be repaired or replaced. it is difficult to access a pad-mounted transformer that is surrounded by shrubbery or located too close to fences or buildings. Usually more accessible for installation 3. particularly when there is no service alley or backyards are fenced and have no access gate large enough to accommodate a trencher or backhoe. Potential for damage from vehicles appearance of the property so they prefer the utility to locate facilities along the rear property line instead of in front of their houses.2 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of front and rear property line placement. Greater potential for dig-ins 3. it is difficult to repair a faulted cable that is buried beneath landscaped areas or utility buildings.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 1 7 1 Design Considerations for System Operation and Maintenance The cooperative’s involvement with a UD system does not end after installation. the cooperative must operate and maintain the system throughout its life. Often requires more tree/ brush clearing 2.2: Front Versus Rear Property Line Placement. Usually. More accessible for operation and maintenance 2. subdivision layout. However. Within this common (joint-use) trench. placement along the front property line is more advantageous. or consumer relations may require placement along the rear property line. the utilities may agree to place facilities in a common trench. equipment along the rear property line is usually difficult to access and thus difficult to operate and maintain. In most cases. Section 354. However. Because many components of a UD system are difficult to access. In these areas. More unsightly to consumer 2. FRONT VERSUS REAR PROPERTY LINE PLACEMENT One of the fundamental choices in UD system design is whether to locate facilities along the front property line or along the rear property line. JOINT-USE TRENCH In some areas. Reduces cable replacement costs Placement along rear property line 1. Likewise. Table 1. Location Placement along front property line Advantages 1. The 2007 National Electrical Safety Code (NESC). The installation cost also depends on the subdivision layout and the location of other underground utilities. the rear property line is not usually cleared of trees and may not be to final grade when cable is installed. the different utilities usually maintain a minimum separation of 12 inches. Usually higher cable replacement costs Disadvantages 1. As a result.

such as those below: . must identify who is responsito power cables. If each utility installs its own facilities. Jacketed ble for requesting the location power cables resemble teleof these utilities. telephone. the contract should state that it is transuse. Section 8 of this guide. Direct-Buried System Design. telephone. contains information on the NESC requirements and installation guidelines for joint-use trench. Special backphone cables. operation crews need a • Will a closed trench be reopened? drawing that shows a trench cross section and the location of all facilities within the trench. • Cost of the service if one utility installs all facilities. Operational Precautions Before agreeing to share a common trench.1 8 – Se c t io n 1 1 does allow the random separation (less than 12 inches) of some utilities. provide proper agreements on liability. The the utilities. tion concerns. the contract should address construcCATV utilities. These costs include the following: systems using random separation in Section 354D. This transferability is tract for joint pole use. This type of existing underground facilities trench requires telephone and often creates must be located. The utility that opens the A joint-use trench with rantrench should require copies dom lay of electric. further in Section 8. If select backfill is required. and CATV costs. Joint-occupancy trenches require tremendous • Penalties for temporarily covering or coordination and cooperation from each utility barricading an open trench. Grounding and bonding are discussed • Cost to open and close the trench. then the contract needs to state the required notification period before opening and backfilling a trench. This marking is how the additional cost will be shared among shown as Figure 350-1 in the 2007 NESC. cables creates additional operrandom separation Also before construction. jacketed. any ating problems. of the easements and permits and cable television (CATV) Joint-use trench with before starting construction. the contract should stipulate any consequences. The contract CATV personnel to work next operating problems. If the other utilities receive proper notification but fail to send crews. It Third. Typical Contractual Arrangements • Penalties for reopening a trench. particularly important for joint-use contracts with First. and involved. mits. the contract should define who is responsible for installing the facilities. To help structure these efforts and • Cost adders for select backfill. the contract should state who is reis also helpful to show the presence of joint-use sponsible for acquiring easements and any pertrench on the operating map for the area. the contract should address shared and grounding of electric. which may require • Will the trench be closed or covered crossing other utilities to reach its facilities. mistaken identity. To temporarily? minimize the risk of damaging other facilities • Will the delinquent utility be charged? during excavation. the cooperative should consider the potential for operational problems. primary-voltage cable to have a ble for acquiring the backfill material and decide specific marking on its jacket. This contract would be similar to the conferable to a new owner. It must state the required trench dimensions and arrangement of all utility lines. NESC also has special requirements for bonding Fourth. The NESC requires all directthe contract should identify the party responsiburied. Second. The utility that opens the trench must abide by these dimensions. Each utility will have to maintain its own facilities. The cables must fill and compaction needs be well marked to prevent must be addressed. the cooperative must prepare a contract for joint trench Fifth.

It is much easier to intems in these areas. the engineer needs to adapt stall three cables initially than to install one inithe design to minimize material and equipment tially and two later. These types of prove circuit voltage profile. level is increased. pensive than replacing direct-buried cable and Voltage conversion also requires an increase does not disturb the ground surface. This simple design change eliminates the need to replace all the underground primary voltage cable—a very expensive DIRECT-BURIED VERSUS and time-consuming task. If trenching meththese design changes. following. the cooperative will save money by initially inReplacing cable in a conduit system is less exstalling the higher voltage cable. Before making roadways are very expensive. the cooperative can initially tem is more economical.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 1 9 1 Future Upgrades and Replacements install dual-voltage transformers and sectionalizThe cooperative engineer can improve the deing devices rated for the higher voltage level. engineer should determine if a three-phase feeder is required. most cables need to be replaced of System Configurations (next page) shows that because of a cable failure or external damage. sign of a UD system by anticipating and providThe economics of these changes depend on the ing for future system upgrades. The engineer can perwill operate properly at the lower voltage and form a similar economic comparison for the UD will not have to be changed when the voltage system he or she is designing. parking lots. For these types of subdivisions. An economic evaluaPLACEMENT IN CONDUIT tion under the subsection Economic Comparison At some point. Trenching future upgrades. These conversions are typically three-phase primary circuit. therefore. the considering the use of conduit systems. A three-phase feeder is often helpful for balancing a large amount of singleFUTURE VOLTAGE CONVERSIONS phase load and for providing better sectionalizMany utilities are converting to higher distribuing. presents an economic comcable and cable terminations that are rated for parison of an initial versus delayed installation the higher voltage level. Configurations subsection bein established yards also tends ginning on the next page. To avoid fufor direct-buried cable. nomic study similar to the one Such restoration could include A UD system design described in Future Voltage reseeding grass. To determine which systure changeouts. require a system capacity. thus. or fore the voltage conversion. imclubhouse or sewer lift station. the enods are used. need to refer to the eventually require three-phase power. titled Economic Comparison of SysA simple design change involves installing tem Configurations. repaving. The future subdivision plans may show a tion system voltages to decrease line losses. or should provide for Conversions under the Ecopouring new concrete sidenomic Comparison of System walks or driveways. to create conflicts with property owners. in the insulation level of pad-mounted transthe initial installation costs are higher than those formers and sectionalizing devices. The engineer Most large subdivisions are developed in stages can also plan for future cable replacements by over time. The engineer can help avoid these problems THREE-PHASE VERSUS by planning for future conversions to three-phase SINGLE-PHASE INSTALLATION circuits and higher voltage levels. These two components of a three-phase feeder. scheduled to occur over an extended time. the engineer needs to . The If the engineer thinks the subdivision will engineer will. he should long-range work plan to locate those areas desconsider installing a three-phase feeder instead ignated for future voltage increases. However. The subsection immediately changeout at the time of voltage conversion. the utility must gineer needs to do an ecoalso restore the soil surface. For UD sysof a single-phase feeder. Changes to a subdivision layout and the number of years besystem in established yards. and increase loads are often three-phase and.

00 1.00 1. taxes.00 63. therefore. Some of these economic evaluations compare only initial costs—the purchase cost of the materials and the installation cost for placing these materials into service. 25 kV Trench and Backfill 1/0 AWG A1. In the following examples. The riser assembly in subsequent tables is defined in the same way. The examples in this section use a carrying charge of 12 percent. Economics is not usually the deciding aspect when comparing different configurations. could help prolong cable life in areas with rocky soils or areas congested with other utilities. and fused disconnect switches) for terminating underground cable on a riser pole. maintenance. a carrying charge should be selected appropriate to current economics. TABLE 1.685.00 Installed Total Cost $ 460. The inflation rate used is three percent per year and is not included in the carrying charges. Because an open-loop system always requires more materials than a similar radial system. Present and future load requirements. Economic decisions should be based on the cooperative’s own cost data and not on the costs shown in this subsection. The single-phase riser assembly listed in Table 1. The carrying charges are annual payments needed to support construction funds. surge arresters. However. the initial cost is greater than that of a radial system. Other evaluations consider initial and future costs—operating. Evaluations that consider future costs require use of a carrying charge. those listed in Table 1. Conduit systems may also require larger cable sizes to offset de-rating factors as a result of cable heating. cable terminations.3 includes all materials (conduit. System maintenance and operation. However. The installed-material costs used in these examples can vary significantly from region to region. being aware of the different system costs can help the cooperative engineer make economically sound design decisions. This table also shows the additional costs of these materials. this cost difference is calculated for several types of underground systems.00 237. the conduit system will be more difficult to repair. the examples should be used as guidelines only.00 175.250. Points of comparison include the following: • • • • Service reliability. A conduit system does provide some mechanical protection to the cable and.3: Additional Materials for an Open-Loop System. an appropriate value needs to be selected. Additional Quantity 1 500 ft 500 ft 1 1 1 TOTAL Installed Unit Cost $ 460. This evaluation is difficult because it must quantify the expected life of the cable. However. an open-loop system provides better system availability than a comparable radial system does. when doing comparisons. including loan interest.50 63. If a dig-in should occur. This assembly does not include the pole. Economic Comparison of System Configurations To design an underground distribution system.00 Item Single-Phase Riser Assembly. Only a few examples consider an inflation rate. therefore. the cooperative engineer needs to compare various system configurations.500.00 237.2 0 – Se c t i on 1 1 perform an analysis similar to the one described later in the Direct-Buried Versus Cable in Conduit subsection. 25-kV Underground Cable Elbow Terminator Elbow Arrester Feed-Through Standoff .3. and insurance. Conduit can also protect cable from gophers and prairie dogs. however. LOOP VERSUS RADIAL As noted earlier in this section.00 175. and Economics.00 2.00 3. conduit use in rodent-infested areas will likely prolong cable life. Therefore. Again. The following examples compare several system configurations and show suitable methods for calculating the relative economics of each.00 $ 3. and replacement costs. A conduit system can provide some benefits that are difficult to assign a value to. an open-loop system requires additional underground facilities—at a minimum.

about $1. the cost is $36. OL DC AS 50 50 AY ' KW 520 560' 50 50 460' 50 460' 50 kVA 50 0' ROW NEW DOVER ROAD 400' 50 400' 50 400' 37. Pad-Mounted Transformer Single-Phase. a 37-lot subdivision is shown in Figure 1.17.20 per consumer. an open-loop system to serve a single residential consumer may not be practical. The additional materials for an open-loop system are highlighted and are consistent with those listed in Table 1.3. To provide a more reliable electric system through a loop design. Normally Open Point ROW ROW SR 14 35 (1 00' R OW) ROW FIGURE 1. instead of $100 per lot.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 2 1 1 Subdivisions Subdivisions usually have a high consumer density. Single Residential Consumer It is usually practical to install an open-loop system for a subdivision.O.O.17. then the additional cost remains $3. In both of these examples.145.17: Open-Loop System. consider a 560' N. so the project cost would be $100.685. 37-Lot Subdivision. If an open-loop system can be established with 500 or fewer feet of cable. most subdivision layouts can be easily adapted to the installation of an open-loop system by extending the underground cable from the last transformer to a second riser pole or underground feeder source.40 a year for each consumer in the subdivision. The approximate cost for a radial system is $37.85 per lot. the cooperative can provide a more reliable system with an additional investment of 10 percent or less. To illustrate this. The cost for installing underground facilities will also be similar. As noted. an additional cost of approximately $100 per lot. consider a 100-lot subdivision with lot sizes similar to those in Figure 1.40 per lot. This increases the project cost by $3. this $100 investment has a levelized annual cost of $13. power can be restored to these consumers much faster on an open-loop system than on a radial system. A cable failure here can interrupt power to many consumers. Fortunately. For example. Primary Voltage.5 28 5' Legend Single-Phase.685. However.000 per lot. This improvement will increase consumer satisfaction and promotes a better relationship between the cooperative and the consumer. UD Cable Three-Phase Overhead Line N. In contrast. with a levelized annual cost of only $5. This incremental cost for an open-loop system could decrease considerably for a large subdivision. the cooperative will spend $13. . Assuming a carrying charge of 12 percent and an amortization period of 20 years. For example.000 for a radial system.

00 175. 500’ Riser Pole 500’ Riser Pole Legend Single-Phase. a single transformer may serve several consumers.50 63.O. and $326 per consumer for a spare-cable system. The cost of a spare cable with terminations and arresters is shown in Table 1. an open-loop system. Here. However. an open-loop system costs an additional 77 percent of the cost of the radial system. therefore. Factors entering into this decision should include the type of customer and the difficulty of effecting repairs in a timely manner. = outside diameter . there is not a single simple example to show an economic comparison of a loop versus radial system.00 237. The openloop system in Figure 1. TABLE 1. a dig-in will usually damage only one cable. The radial system costs $4. Instead. which is 41 percent of the total project cost.00 175. UD Cable N. Single Residential Consumer.792. and a spare-cable system The example in Table 1. Single Residential Consumer. A more economical system for a single customer would be a spare cable placed in the same trench and on the same riser pole. Normally Open Point FIGURE 1. Likewise. Additional Quantity 500 ft 1 1 1 1 1 1 Installed Unit Cost $ 2.00 63.D.18: Open-Loop System. Commercial Consumers Commercial consumers are a very diverse group. the following example will compare the costs of a radial system. O. this system is less reliable than is an open-loop system with separate trenches.00 89.00 237. Although the cost for an open-loop or spare-cable system will be the same. Pad-Mounted Transformer Single-Phase. a substantial increase over the 10 percent additional cost for the subdivision. Figure 1. For these situations. Primary Voltage. As a guideline for this evaluation.D.00 73. placing both cables in the same riser exposes both cables to damage whenever the pole is damaged.00 66. Because the spare cable is in the same ditch as the normal feed cable.00 66.2 2 – Se c t i on 1 1 single residential consumer served by 500 feet of 1/0 AWG Al primary underground cable. at a cost of $3.250.18 shows this radial system and also highlights the materials required for an open-loop system. This system provides a 277/480-Volt four-wire N.18 has two separate trenches.4: Sample Spare Cable Cost. ranging from small single-phase consumers to large three-phase consumers. the cooperative must decide if the benefits of improved reliability make the open-loop or spare-cable system a practical choice. If the transformer is serving six consumers. Instead of serving only one consumer.O. Conversion to an open-loop system requires the same materials listed in Table 1. the cooperative engineer needs to examine each case to determine the cost of the desired level of reliability. then the cost drops to $614 per consumer for an open-loop system.3.00 73. both cables are exposed to simultaneous damage during a dig-in.953. the cost is divided among more consumers.00 Installed Total Cost $ 1.00 Item 1/0 AWG A1.00 89. 25-kV Underground Cable Elbow Terminator Feed-Through Standoff Elbow Arrester 25-kV O. Termination Cutout Riser Pole Arrester TOTAL Note. This reduces the additional cost to $1.4.00 $ 1. For this reason.5 considers a 500-foot radial feed to a 300-kVA pad-mounted transformer.685.953.

and the rock or debris content of the primary cable route excavation.5 times that for the residential consumer in a small subdivision. Therefore. The spare cable has terminations and arresters at each end. Table 1.953/225 kW = $8. Open-Loop and Spare Cable Systems.500 ft 1 3 3 3 1 TABLE 1. Table 1. of course. Other Options to Consider In addition to an open-loop design and spare cable design. Consumer Type Residential Commercial Open-Loop System $3. *Spare cable system usually practical only for single transformer installations. this option is only a 13 percent increase over the radial cost. or damage to the riser pole. a dig-in.00 2. each single residential consumer is assumed to have a peak (non-diversified) load of 15 kW. An open-loop system that serves three 225-kW deliveries has an additional cost of $11.00 1.00 Installed Total Cost $ 1.00 Item Three-Phase Riser Assembly.6 compares the added cost per kilowatt for installing an open-loop system and a spare cable system.22/kW $8.00 189. a single residential installation costs nearly 15 times as much per kilowatt.9/14.5: Sample Radial System Cost.00 237. Commercial Consumer.00 171. For purposes of comparison.00 364. Installed Unit Cost $ 1.00 711. A similar strategy would be to place an empty capped duct alongside the primary cable in the trench. The cost of this option is $1. for the installation of a spare cable. 25 kV Trench and Backfill 1/0 AWG A1. For example.59/kW Spare Cable System* $1. as shown in Table 1.00 63. In some cases.332.953/15 kW = $130.522.007/225 kW = $35.505. Providing an open-loop system for the single commercial consumer costs 2. However. These additional materials will cost $8. 300-kVA Transformer Elbow Terminator Elbow Arrester Bushing Inserts Transformer Pad TOTAL Quantity 1 500 ft 1.332. may be the most economical in the long-term because retrenching a cable route after the site has developed is many times more expensive that the original trenching. Doing so also provides a way to compare residential and commercial costs.50 6. depend on the length of the primary cable lateral.6: Additional Cost Per Kilowatt. Instead of 55 percent.505. .522.59/kW. If the open-loop three-phase system serves several commercial consumers. thus increasing the radial system cost by 55 percent. A second option places one spare cable in the same trench as the radial feed. this system is less reliable than an open-loop system because the spare cable could be damaged by a fault in an adjacent cable. These options.00 57. An open-loop system requires an additional riser assembly.5 shows the cost of a radial system to be $14.00 6.953.00 3.4-kV – 480/277-V. but would be useful if one phase of the circuit faulted. the likelihood of future paving over the cable route.4. This single spare cable does not provide total redundancy for the three-phase cable.007.68/kW It is often helpful to consider the cost per kilowatt (kW). service to a three-phase consumer. This would. assume this three-phase installation has a load of 225 kW and the 37-lot subdivision has a diversified load of 7 kW per lot for a total of 259 kW.86/kW instead of $35. 25-kV Underground Cable 24. a second trench. an open-loop system for several three-phase consumers is more practical than is an open-loop system for a single three-phase consumer. As noted before.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 2 3 1 TABLE 1.00 $ 14. other options may be considered for service to particular consumers or for some cooperatives whose underground installation environment requires other strategies.685/259 kW = $14.02/kW $1.750. then the additional cost per kilowatt would decrease. in addition to the spare cable installation.500. and a separate three-phase run of underground primary cable. it may be economically prudent to install the primary cable in duct to a single commercial or residential customer to simplify cable replacement in case of failure.00 364.00 3. or to install a cable-in-conduit system for selected installations.

6 times the cost of a single-phase sub-feeder.19 shows a single-phase sub-feeder with two single-phase sectionalizing cabinets.00 434. as shown in Table 1. Although economics is not the only deciding factor.00 528.752 or $26.898. The three-phase sectionalizing cabinet has three-phase group-operated switches on the incoming and outgoing subfeeder cables.600-foot underground sub-feeder of 1/0 AWG A1 25-kV cable. This cabinet costs $10.00 66.19: Single-Phase Sub-Feeder.216.00 217. This cabinet costs about $2.600. 25-kV.600 ft 2 2 8 THREE-PHASE VERSUS SINGLE-PHASE The decision to install three-phase facilities instead of single-phase is usually based on the following: • Three-phase load requirements.7: Single-Phase Sub-Feeder Cost.00 5. The cost for a similar three-phase sub-feeder increases considerably. or $9.50 2. .7. 25 kV Trench and Backfill 1/0 AWG A1.00 4.608. Item Single-Phase Riser Assembly. a three-phase sub-feeder is 2. For this example. • Load balancing.00 AY KW AS ELM EA ST NEW DOVER ROAD IP IP ROW Riser Pole Legend IP Riser Pole ROW ROW SR 1 435 (1 00' R OW) ROW Single-Phase Sectionalizing Cabinet 1/0 AWG.000. The sectionalizing cabinet allows the sub-feeder to feed through and also provides two fused taps. TABLE 1. UD Cable . and • Sectionalizing and protection requirements. consider a 1.00 2. Figure 1. it is useful to know the cost difference between installing single.600 ft 1.and three-phase systems.00 $ 15.8 shows these costs. It also has two sets of three-phase fused taps. and the total project cost is $41.800. CHARINGTON CT.2 4 – Se c t i on 1 1 BRIDG NE OL DC W RM YA OU Y WA TH WAY EHAM DC T. Table 1. 25-kV Underground Cable Single-Phase Sectionalizing Cabinet Cabinet Pad 1/0 AWG Terminations TOTAL Quantity 2 1. As an example.00 4. se Pha o Tw FIGURE 1.898.00 3.000. The total project cost is $15. Installed Unit Cost $ 460.94 per foot. Figure 1.00 Installed Total Cost $ 920.10 per foot.20 shows a three-phase sub-feeder with two three-phase sectionalizing cabinets.

if future development plans may require the addition of a three-phase feeder along the same route within a few years.50 10.00 3.216.00 Installed Total Cost $ 2.8: Three-Phase Sub-Feeder Cost. Therefore.800 ft 2 2 16 TOTAL Installed Unit Cost $ 1. Additional Quantity 2 1.432.00 400.600 ft 4.752. Assume a three-phase feeder is installed five years after the single-phase feeder is installed. The delayed installation of the underground three-phase line will require trenching in established (landscaped) yards.229.127.752.000. UD Cable . All this work increases the trenching cost from $3 per foot to $8 per foot.332. However. Trenching in an established yard is very costly. This cost added to the cost of a single-phase sub-feeder adds up to a present worth of $44. shrubbery. In addition.20: Three-Phase Sub-Feeder. the trench and backfill cost increases by $8. this cost has a present worth of $28.056.00 4.00 800. 25-kV Underground Cable Three-Phase Sectionalizing Cabinet Cabinet Pad 1/0 AWG Terminations This comparison rather conclusively demonstrates that the decision to install a three-phase sub-feeder should not be made lightly. After trenching. CHARINGTON CT.00 2.664. se Pha o Tw FIGURE 1.00 12. 25 kV Trench and Backfill 1/0 AWG A1. an increase of $5 per foot over the cost shown in Table 1. the conversion of the feeder will require consumer outages that would have been avoided if the three-phase installation had . and the total future cost to install this three-phase feeder is $49.00 1.00 AY KW AS ELM EA ST NEW DOVER ROAD 3P 3P ROW Riser Pole Legend 3P Riser Pole ROW ROW SR 14 35 (1 00' R OW) ROW Single-Phase Sectionalizing Cabinet 1/0 AWG. the comparison changes dramatically.8. With a carrying charge of 12 percent. The trenching cost is $8 per foot.00 $ 41. TABLE 1. 25-kV.800.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 2 5 1 BRIDG NE OL DC W RM YA OU Y WA TH WAY EHAM DC T.00 20. Item Three-Phase Riser Assembly. and utility buildings) before trenching.000. These results show that initially installing a three-phase sub-feeder costs less than does delaying the three-phase installation. the cooperative will need to replace sod or reseed. The cooperative must remove sod and obstructions (fences.00 66.

2 6 – Se c t i on 1 1 been made initially. In light of the relatively low incremental cost for higher voltage cables and accessories. it is wise to install 25-kV instead of 15-kV cable.017. 7.00 94. Cable terminators.00 1. Recent surveys show that the labor for cable replacement often costs $8 per foot or more. Transformer bushing well inserts. 14.9 shows the increase in material cost to be $3.00 0.00 0. Therefore.888. This is particularly true of cable replacement in established subdivisions. • • • • • TABLE 1.4-kV Transformer 37.00 283.00) (533.00 $ 282.017. 7. However.00 1.00 TOTAL 15-kV Unit Cost $ 1.00) — — Quantity Installed Removed — — 8 1 8 1 — — Total Cost Increase $ (3.00 $ 10.00 Unit Cost Increase $ 233.00 48.344.00 23. the cooperative should strongly consider installing it as part of the initial installation.00 Unit Cost $ 0.17. For an economic analysis. In an attempt to avoid the excessive cost of cable replacement.00 94.160. Table 1.10: Added Cost of Dual-Voltage Transformers. Sectionalizing equipment.00 30.387.00 0.00 $ 2.00 Total Cost Increase $ 1. The changeout of these components at the time of voltage conversion is very expensive and requires either a long outage or a series of shorter outages. Doing so does increase the initial material cost over that for 15-kV cable and components.2-kV Transformer 37. consider the 37-lot subdivision of Figure 1.2-kV Transformer 50-kVA.00 Item 50-kVA Transformer 37.393.5-kVA. level of system components.5-kVA Transformer Quantity 8 1 TABLE 1. or $0. Determining the future value of this additional investment requires use of a compound amount factor.5-kVA.00 Item 1/0 AWG A1 Underground Cable Elbow Terminator Bushing Insert Riser Terminator Quantity 4.619.00 30.066.9: 25-kV Versus 15-kV Cable and Components. FUTURE VOLTAGE CONVERSION Conversion to a higher distribution system voltage requires an increase in the insulation Where a future voltage conversion is possible. 25-kV cable and terminations could be installed initially.00 216. these components are the following: Underground primary cable.11: Voltage Conversion Cost at Year 10.00) 13.00 1.864.574.147.28/ft $ 36.00 25. 25-kV Unit Cost $ 2. For an underground distribution system.00 Item 50-kVA.00 1.00 414. Pad-mounted transformers.636.00 $ 3.00 1. 14.69/ft $ 24.045 ft 18 18 2 TABLE 1. the labor cost remains the same. 25-kV Unit Cost $ 1.00 TOTAL 15-kV Unit Cost $ 1.00 Total Cost Increase $ 2. and • Surge arresters.525.349.00 Unit Cost Increase $ 0. it is generally advisable to install a cable suitable for any distribution voltage expected for the area. Unit Salvage $ (580.75 per foot.4-kV Transformer TOTAL Labor Cost $ 94.00 . if future loads may require a three-phase sub-feeder.00 94.59/ft $ 12.00) (439.

Table 1. Howthe utility often disagree about placement of elecever. the transsubdivision lot layout.1037.00 30 percent.424. which 50-kVA. ing better reliability. This rather than install dual-voltage transformers.695. consumers often Again.347 has a present worth of $1. quires a present worth factor. 7.12. the labor cost to install either transformer tric facilities.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 2 7 1 former changeout cost of $10. 14. For a carrying charge of 12 percent. 14.017 has a future value of cal to change out the transformers in the future $3.636 has a present worth of $3. the cooperative should install is less than the present labor cost ($8) for cable 25-kV cable and components. The assumed inflaTransformer tion rate is three percent per 37. thus providtransformers is $2.00 10 years.00 — 8 — 16. or $7. it is more economiinvestment of $3.017 × dual-voltage transformers.370. the total cilities along the front property line where they material cost increase for installing dual-voltage are easier to maintain and operate. The transformer changeyears and a carrying charge of 12 percent.12 shows a similar Transformer analysis for a voltage conversion at 20 years instead of 50-kVA.017 × 3. Therefore.00 (320. the out cost of $16.6463 = $29.864.147. Therefore. The 37-lot subdivision of TABLE 1. if ever. The utility often prefers to place fais the same.00 1. The dual-voltage transformers are As covered earlier in this section.147.017 has a future value of $3.1058 = $9.00) makes it the economical Transformer choice.2-kV $ 115.00) — 1 (205. This conflict will rarely. ples show a method to compare the cost of Determining the present worth of this total refront-lot versus rear-lot placement of facilities.00) Table 1. the present worth facIf one assumes a voltage conversion in 10 tor at 20 years is 0.4-kV 115.425.10 and 1. For a carrying The economics of front versus rear placecharge of 12 percent and a conversion at 10 ment will vary significantly depending on the years.4-kV 115. consider a voltage conversion 10 years prefer placing facilities along the rear property after the initial installation.00) — 8 $ (1.2-kV 115. .11 shows the line. 25-kV underground cable. The present worth Quantity Unit Total Cost of installing dual-voltage Item Labor Cost Unit Cost Salvage Installed Removed Increase transformers is $2.992.322. the initial investshould install 25-kV cable.32 per foot. For a of the initial installation. installing 25-kV cooperative engineer will need to do an analysis cable instead of 15-kV cable is a wise investment. as shown in Table 1.00 year and the salvage value on Transformer the removed transformers is TOTAL $ 16. and ment of $3. in areas where a future age transformers are economically feasible.938.00 0. compound amount factor is 3. this factor is 0.12: Voltage Conversion Cost at Year 20. amount is approximately equal to the present These economic analyses show that it is imcost of 1/0 AWG Al. The initial On the basis of this analysis.5-kVA.877. The following examcent salvage on the removed transformers. It portant to plan for future voltage conversions. For the 37-lot subdivision.103. For conversions occur9. To see if dual-voltreplacement.19 per foot. However. 37. This amount ring after 10 years.10.00 — 1 — 1. the voltage conversion is possible.00 $ (348. then the cooperative voltage conversion in 20 years.5-kVA. 7. cost is altion rate of three percent per year and a 50 perways an aspect to consider.1058. If is very unlikely that this amount will cover even a voltage conversion is planned within 10 years the purchase cost of the cable in 10 years. Another option to consider is installing dualvoltage transformers along with the 25-kV cable FRONT VERSUS REAR PROPERTY and components. consumers and more costly than the 7.00 1. similar to that shown in Tables 1.00 $ 0. be solved cost at the time of conversion assuming an inflaby an economic analysis. 25-kV components. In contrast. or $2.347.2-kV transformers.

UD Cable 600-V Service Cable FIGURE 1. Legend Single-Phase. 1/0 AWG. UD Cable 600-V Service Cable FIGURE 1. Pad-Mounted Transformer ROW ROW SR 14 DC AS AY KW 50 160 ' 180' 240 37.5 ' S ELM A TE DC T. 400' 50 NEW DOVER ROAD ROW OW) 35 (1 00' R ROW .21: Front Property Placement. ' 420' 50 NEW DOVER ROAD 50 ROW OW) 35 (1 00' R ROW . 25-kV. BRIDG NE OL W R YA MO AY HW UT EHAM WAY ' 300 75 75 CHARINGTON CT.22: Back Property Placement. 1/0 AWG. Pad-Mounted Transformer ROW ROW SR 14 DC AY KW AS T.2 8 – Se c t i on 1 1 BRIDG NE OL W R YA 50 MO AY HW UT 605 ’ EHAM WAY 50 5 37. 25-kV. 400' Legend Single-Phase. 640 5 37. . ' 605 400 ' ELM EA ST DC CHARINGTON CT.

it is important that the cooperative engineer perform an economic analysis based on this example but using current costs.75) = $17. 1.15 show the present.675 + . 25-year replacement.886 additional feet of cable and one additional padmounted transformer. and the 30-year cost is $10(1. These extra materials increase the project cost by $11. it is difficult to calculate the cost advantage of operating and maintaining facilities along the front-lot lines. and 30-year replacement costs for the three options. . for HDPE flexible conduit.185) = $25. Both of these methods are expensive: • Trench and backfill labor costs are about $8 per foot.22 show a subdivision where lots share back property lines. or 75 percent.505 at 25 years. the replacement cost is the cost of pulling out the failed cable and pulling in the new cable plus the cost of the new cable. placement along the rear lot lines will actually require more cable and increase the total project cost. and 1. For cable replacement at 25 years. if the cost to replace direct-buried cable is $10 per foot instead of $8 per foot.0588 and for 30 years is 0. In this particular example. and homeowner obstacles.17 and 1. it is impossible to set a dollar amount on the reliability and operational convenience gained by placing facilities along the front-lot lines.0334. placement along the front property line requires 1. For cable replacement at 30 years.17. Restore Surface.20 per foot ($8.13 change to $88.924) = $25.17 shows front-lot placement. other utility congestion. Cost savings are tremendous.0334($21.75) at 25 years $15. However.14. With this type of lot arrangement. • Long-distance boring costs are about $9 to $10 per foot.13. These costs will vary significantly depending on soil conditions. A present worth factor needs to be used to compare these three options. and $96. a small change in the cost for cable replacement can affect the economic choice.16 summarizes the present worth for each option. Because the price of conduit and cable fluctuates. As a result. When the cable is in a conduit system.00 per foot × 1. the 25.407 Table 1. the total values in Table 1.00 per foot ($8. a direct-buried system is the most economical.90) = $19. For this particular subdivision. Figures 1. Because subdivision layouts differ. In contrast.675 + . front-line placement is a practical choice. PVC rigid conduit with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) flexible cable in conduit. In addition. an accurate comparison of costs requires a case-by-case study.13 as Trench.496. For example.069 at 30 years. Much of this cable is direct buried. Thus.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 2 9 1 Figure 1. Backfill. For this type of subdivision. then the 25-year cost is $10(1. This long-term analysis includes an inflation rate of three percent per year. Calculating the installed project cost is straightforward. The following example compares the cost of direct-buried.90) at 30 years These costs are shown in Table 1.0588($20. One way to reduce these cable replacement costs is to install cable in a conduit system.22. For example. however. the cost for replacement of direct-buried cable will vary greatly.00 per foot × 1. placement along the rear property lines requires less cable and fewer transformers. Most subdivisions will be a combination of the two extremes shown in Figures 1. DIRECT-BURIED VERSUS CABLE IN CONDUIT Many utilities are now replacing underground cable that was installed only 15 to 20 years ago. This example uses the 37-lot subdivision of Figure 1. the single payment present worth factor from standard tables for 25 years is 0. Tables 1.862 $24. The soil does not have to be disturbed and other utilities do not have to be located and avoided. For a carrying charge of 12 percent.00 per foot.50 per foot. If $8 per foot is not reasonable. To replace it will require opening a new trench or tunneling with long-distance boring equipment. Therefore. the engineer needs to insert an appropriate cost. landscape.21 and 1.and 30-year replacement costs are the following: $24. the cost to replace direct-buried cable will be as follows: $14. a flexible conduit system has the lowest present worth and is the most economical choice.

135.00 19.13: Option 1—Direct-Buried Cable. Restore Surface 30-Year Replacement 1/0 AWG A1.00/ft 4. it is important for the engineer to select an appropriate cable replacement cost for the economic analysis. these values result in a present worth of $22.248 + .457.045 ft 4.045 ft Unit Installed Cost $ 3. protects the cable from rocky soils.045 ft $ 15.113.045 ft 4.045 ft $ 14.20/ft 4.045 ft $ 0.00 $ 74.75/ft 4.00 $ 28.00/ft 1. the use of a conduit system.48/ft 4. Restore Surface 25-Year Replacement 1/0 AWG A1.045 ft 4.982. Backfill.924.069) = $25.00 TABLE 1.00 $ 80.60/ft Total Installed Cost $ 12. Of course.00 $ 61. flexible or rigid. the flexible conduit is the economical choice for replacement at 30 years. Item Trench and Backfill Present Cost 2-Inch Conduit 1/0 AWG A1.55/ft 2.270.214.00 10. The cost of this select fill material can substantially increase the initial project cost for a direct-buried system. and • Added cable protection provided by a conduit system.185.55/ft Quantity 4.942.00 $ 1. Therefore.045 ft 4.405.00/ft 2.3 0 – Se c t i on 1 1 TABLE 1. 25-kV Underground Cable TOTAL Remove Cable From Duct 25-Year Replacement 1/0 AWG A1. For this reason.347. this economic analysis could not assign a monetary value to the following: • Consumer inconvenience and irritation that results from trenching across established lawns. select fill material must be used for a two-inch minimum of cable bedding and a fourinch cable cover.00 17.780. in most cases.717.630.00 $ 56. it is not suitable for backfill of a direct-buried cable.484. select .00 18. Another consideration for this analysis is the type of native soil.00 $ 22. 25-kV Underground Cable TOTAL 4.045 ft 4.00 6.00 $ 1. 25-kV Underground Cable TOTAL Remove Cable From Duct 30-Year Replacement 1/0 AWG A1.00 19. 25-kV Underground Cable TOTAL Trench. In contrast.045 ft 4. In this case. 25-kV Underground Cable TOTAL 4.698.517.00 $ 10.045 ft Unit Installed Cost $ 3.00 For the 30-year replacement.14: Option 2—PVC Rigid Conduit.50/ft Total Installed Cost $ 12.94/ft 4. Backfill. 25-kV Underground Cable TOTAL Trench.248.38/ft Quantity 4. If the soil is rocky. Item Trench and Backfill Present Cost 1/0 AWG A1.00 $ 21.045 ft $ 0.44/ft 4.00 $ 20.135.0334($96.045 ft 4.922.

trenching. and longdistance boring vary from region to region.00 19.045 ft Unit Installed Cost $ 3.135.23: Methods for Providing Secondary Service.00 25.407.00 12.00 30-Year Replacement $ 24.00 TABLE 1. .924.045 ft $ 0.00 25.55/ft Quantity 4.942.17 lists the cost of providing separate services as shown in method A of backfill is not required.045 ft 4.675.045 ft 4. Present Worth Installation Method Direct Buried PVC Rigid Conduit HDPE Flexible Conduit 25-Year Replacement $ 26.23 shows both methods. Although this analysis is based on a small 37-lot subdivision.15: Option 3—Cable in HDPE Flexible Conduit.780.48/ft 4.109.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 3 1 1 TABLE 1.00 $ 21. a cable fault on an individual service will interrupt power to that consumer only. Adverse soil conditions can quickly shift system economics to favor conduit installations. each cooperative will need to conduct a similar analysis using its cost data. Figure 1. To Secondary Pedestal 200’ 150’ Transformer 4/0 4/0 250’ Transformer #6 150’ 50 10’ 4/0 ’ #6 50 ’ 4/0 4/0 Method A—Seperate Services Method B—Secondary Pedestal FIGURE 1.10/ft Total Installed Cost $ 12.045 ft 4.654. SEPARATE SERVICES VERSUS SECONDARY PEDESTALS In a residential subdivision. In contrast.44/ft 4.045 ft $ 0.00 $ 24.982.185.943.00 29.620.00/ft 3.00 30.00 $ 1.00 $ 1. Service may be provided directly from the transformer or from a secondary pedestal. Table 1. a single pad-mounted transformer often provides electrical service to several consumers. the results show that a conduit system can be an economical choice. Item Trench and Backfill Present Cost Cable in Conduit TOTAL Remove Cable From Duct 25-Year Replacement 1/0 AWG A1. The arrangement that uses a secondary pedestal is less reliable than direct service from the transformer. 25-kV Underground Cable TOTAL Remove Cable From Duct 30-Year Replacement 1/0 AWG A1. surface restoration. The prices for conduit.540.00 $ 20. the initial project cost for the two conduit systems will not increase.00 18. A cable fault on the secondary cable will interrupt power to multiple consumers.16: Present Worth of Cable Installation Options. This analysis compares the initial installation cost only. Therefore.405.94/ft 4. 25-kV Underground Cable TOTAL 4.00 get accurate results.862.

As this example shows. Quantity (ft) 300 300 10 1 3 TOTAL Installed Unit Cost $ 3. 6. The cost of losses is Non-load-dependent losses are constant as derived from a combination of peak-load long as the cable is energized. For UD cables.3 (30 percent) (NRECA Research Project 90-7).00 50. 600-V Triplexed Cable No. figures for a typical cooperative. Load-dependent demand costs and accumulated losses change with the square annual energy costs. Method B of Figure 1. and most of the loss is load-dependent.3 2 – Se c t i on 1 1 TABLE 1. A quantity eratives is contained in the referred to as a loss factor is most power loss is National Rural Electric used to estimate the average load dependent. Cooperative Association’s of load-dependent losses when Distribution System Loss their peak value is known.491.17: Separate Service Cables.03 per kilowattunusual circumstances that non-load-dependent hour (kWh).00 $ 1. 600-V Triplexed Cable No.00/ft 1. is suggested as typical for . loss becomes significant.18: Secondary Pedestal.23. 6. A thorof the loading level. Optimal economic design of distribution primary lines. Item Trench and Backfill 4/0.00 $ 1.450.00 500.00 2. 600-V Triplexed Cable TABLE 1.00 14. per kW per month at a 100 percent ratchet. However.23 shows the use of a secondary pedestal.00 Installed Total Cost $ 900. The sample Cable losses are classified as either load-decooperative purchases wholesale power at $10 pendent or non-load-dependent. the Distribution the system requires that this expense be known System Loss Management Manual provides cost and evaluated.00 42. it is only in the wholesale energy rate is $0.00 Item Trench and Backfill 4/0. The separate services do share a common trench along the front property line. the use of separate service cables is often the economical choice for lots located on the same side of the road as the transformer if the lots are developed at the same time.25/ft Installed Total Cost $ 900.00/ft 1. Management Manual A value of 0.25/ft 0. the use of a secondary pedestal across the road from the transformer may be the economical choice since it requires trenching or tunneling across the road in only one location. losses and their costs to cooptheir average level.25/ft 172.50 172.00 375.18. This cost is shown in Table 1.25/ft 0.50 Figure 1. Quantity (ft) 300 400 200 TOTAL Installed Unit Cost $ 3. 600-V Triplexed Cable Secondary Pedestal Insulated Connectors UD Loss Economics The inevitable loss of some of the power delivCOST OF LOSSES ered through underground cables is an expense In a sample analysis of the cost of losses on for the cooperative. which ough coverage of the types of makes it difficult to determine For UD cables.

1. For a run of three-phase cable. The cost per peak kilowatt for line losses for the sample cooperative is then determined as follows: losses are calculated by the formula shown in Equation 1. CABLE SYSTEM LOSSES An essential step in the economic evaluation of losses is calculating the expected electrical losses for alternative designs. This type of economic comparison is discussed in detail in the Distribution System Loss Management Manual. to the sheath for each cable . sheath.1 WR=3 I2 R L where: WR = Total loss. in amperes Sheath resistance. For a primary UD cable. in mils. in kft Equation 1.05292 log10 S rM where: XM = Sheath reactance. in watts I = Load current. in amperes R = Phase conductor resistance. in mils.2. Annual Demand Cost per kW of Peak Losses $10/kW/month × 12 months = $120/kW Annual Energy Cost per kW of Non-Load-Dependent Peak Losses 8.3 × 860 hours × $0. calculated as shown in Equation 1. Primary Cable Conductor Losses The losses resulting from load current interacting with the conductor resistance (I2R losses) are by far the most significant losses in primary UD cables. in watts Load current. for equilaterally spaced cables rM = Mean radius. Primary Cable Sheath Losses The normal UD practice is to ground cable sheaths at both ends. and dielectric. in ohms per kft Equation 1. in ohms per kft Circuit length.760 hours × $0. a small amount of circulating current will be induced in the cable sheaths. The flow of this current produces a small loss in the sheaths. XM is determined using Equation 1. The loss savings can be compared with the annual carrying charges on the extra investment costs required to achieve lower losses.03/kWh = $79/kW Total Annual Cost per kW of Non-Load-Dependent Peak Losses $120/kW + $263/kW = $383/kW Total Annual Cost per kW of Load-Dependent Peak Losses $120/kW + $79/kW = $199/kW Equation 1. and as a result of cable charging current.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 3 3 1 primary distribution lines when calculating loss factors. these WS = where: WS = I = RS = L = XM = 3 I2 RS L X2M R2S + X2M Total sheath loss. When this is done on three-phase cable runs. losses occur in the conductor. in ohms per kilofoot (kft) L = Circuit length.03/kWh = $263/kW Annual Energy Cost per kW of Load-Dependent Peak Losses 0. in ohms per kft S = Center-to-center spacing.3. in kft Sheath reactance.3 XM = 0.2 The resulting expense per kilowatt of loss can be used to quickly estimate the savings that will result from using UD designs that operate at lower losses.

28 E2 L εt cosφ log10 2T+D D Equation 1. whereas the more common use of the term loss factor deals with losses due to the resistance of the conductor and. in mils where: C = Cable capacitance. Equation 1.4 WD = 8.4. The procedure for calculating charging-current losses begins with determining the cable capacitance per phase with Equation 1. in watts E = Line-to-ground operating voltage. amperes. Cable engineers refer to the product εt cosφ as the cable loss factor. If the cable is delivering current to low power factor load.5.5 C= 7. in kV Finally. in nanoFarads (nF) per kft εt = Dielectric constant of the insulation T = Insulation thickness.6. continuous. therefore. in amperes per kft C = Cable capacitance. therefore. Therefore. charging current per kilofoot of cable length is calculated with Equation 1. These dielectric losses can be calculated using Equation 1. Physical measurements such as diameter and insulation thickness are usually shown on manufacturers’ catalog sheets. Basic electrical data such as voltage. in watts R = Phase conductor resistance. The formula in Equation 1. and resistance are known from the system or can Primary Cable Dielectric Losses Voltage stress on cable insulation produces a slight heating effect that leads to power losses. in kft = Dielectric constant of the insulation εt cosφ = Insulation power factor. in mils D = Conductor diameter. in amperes per kft L = Circuit length.3 4 – Se c t i on 1 1 Equation 1. in kft Data for Cable Loss Calculations Many items of technical data are needed on the cables involved to calculate losses from the above formulas. vary with the magnitude of the load being carried by the cable. in ohms per kft IC = Charging current.000377 C E where: IC = Charging current.7. the charging-current loss is calculated as shown in Equation 1. the charging current will be beneficial because its leading nature will cancel out some of the lagging load current. Equation 1. per unit T = Insulation thickness. in nF per kft E = Line-to-ground operating voltage. Dielectric losses are a consequence of the cable being energized and are. in mils D = Conductor diameter. Primary Cable Charging-Current Losses The capacitance of an underground cable draws charging current that interacts with the conductor resistance to produce a small loss. in mils Next. chargingcurrent losses are of concern for only unloaded cables or those carrying unity power factor loads.4 shows that dielectric losses are directly proportional to the product of εt and cosφ.6 IC = 0.354 εt log10 2T+D D where: WD = Total three-phase dielectric loss.7 WC = R I2C L3 where: WC = Total three-phase charging current loss. in kV L = Circuit length. This use of the term loss factor is completely different from the use of loss factor earlier in this section. .

For pure materials such as TR-XLPE.180 0. Table 1.7 3.2 1/0 A1 373 220 430 1.30 4.3 9.06 4. It is recommended that.0 60 8.640 38.0 60 8.9 0.640 38. Manufacturers’ data sheets often do not give these parameters.180 0.19 shows data and loss calculation results for a typical three-phase cable run.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 3 5 1 easily be found from catalog sheets or standard references. There are often large differences in values for dielectric constant and power factor among various cable types.60 2.180 0.60 2.7 53.863 TR-XLPE 7.35 0.19.093 High-Loss EPR 7. To be sure that the correct values are known.184 0.1: Cable Loss Calculations.0 60 8.06 4.3 9. The spread in values is especially pronounced for the power factor. it is usually necessary to contact engineering specialists on the staff of the manufacturer of each specific cable type.20 0.0 4. cosφ. TABLE 1.27 2.679 0.0 60 8.5 41.180 0.2 1/0 A1 373 220 430 1. and power factor. if comparisons are being EXAMPLE 1.20 0.20 0. The insulation dielectric constant.60 2.394 Low-Loss EPR 7.2 1/0 A1 373 220 430 1. the information may be obtained from standard references. However.7 33. εt.0 60 8.20 0.60 3. Three insulation types are represented at two different temperatures.5 62. are sometimes difficult to determine.180 0.9 0.640 38.640 38.60 2.394 Low-Loss EPR 7. consult the cable manufacturer to get accurate data on the cable being used.35 0. Watts TOTAL LOSS. For actual situations.358 .7 4. however.414 0.2 1/0 A1 373 220 430 1.924 0.4 13. Watts Dielectric Loss. Watts Charging Loss.640 38. most modern insulation types contain additives that affect dielectric constant and power factor. Watts *Insulation Data Courtesy of the Okonite Company @ 50° C High-Loss EPR 7. don’t use the sample data in actual-case calculations. In addition.603 TR-XLPE 7.25 4. @ 25° C Insulation Type Sample Data (E) Line-to-Ground Operating Voltage in kV Conductor Size (D) Diameter in mils (T) Thickness in mils (rM) Mean Radius in mils (S) Center-to-Center Spacing in mils (R) Resistance in Ω/kft (RS) Sheath Resistance in Ω/kft (εt) Dielectric Constant of the Insulation (cosφ pu) Insulation Power Factor per Unit (L) Circuit Length in kft (I) Load Current in Amperes Conductor Loss.20 0. the cable power factor often varies substantially with cable temperature.7 715 0.20 0.0 60 8.4 12.25 4.180 0.2 1/0 A1 373 220 430 1. Sample Cable Loss Analysis.640 38.27 3. Watts Concentric Neutral Loss. This example contains typical data.60 3.2 1/0 A1 373 220 430 1.7 715 0.

20.05 = 361 watts Annual energy losses are determined by using the loss factor: Energy Losses = 0. except in the case of high-loss EPR. Because this loss is nonload-dependent. the annual loss expense per mile as calculated above is typically $84 per mile (0. Sample data are shown in Table 1.400 per year.167 ohms per kft is given by reference tables.22 kW per circuit mile from the results shown on the table. may become significant for extremely long cable runs because these losses increase with the cube of the circuit length. in a total economic evaluation. . such as 40°C. A conductor temperature of 25°C is assumed for underground secondary cables that are not heavily made among cable types. Appendix B to that manual gives annual kilowatt-hour losses for a selection of conductor sizes and loading levels. dielectric. Losses should be quoted for a specific temperature. The dielectric loss differential between normal EPR cable and TR-XLPE cable is approximately 0. However.22 kW/mile × $383/kW). Voltage of Circuit Circuit Length Conductor Peak Load Loss Factor 120/240-V. Secondary Cable Losses For secondary UD cables. Loss control methods for application to secondary designs are the same as described in the NRECA Distribution System Loss Management Manual for either overhead or underground situations.2: Calculating Losses on Secondary Cables. However. the relative values of the three types of losses may become more significant. a resistance of 0. 1/0 AWG. aluminum 85 amperes 20% loaded. for example. TABLE 1. Another important consideration is that small loss differences among alternative cable types can accumulate to a significant expense if an extremely large amount of cable is placed in ser- vice. which no longer seems insignificant. Load on the neutral is assumed to be negligible. When requesting data from cable manufacturers. be as specific as possible about the data being requested. this expense comes to $8. Therefore. compare the data from different sources to confirm the reasonableness of the information for a particular cable type. Appendix D of NRECA CRN Project 90-8 provides a method for evaluating cable losses and life expectancy in the purchasing process.760 hours × 361 watts = 632. under light-load or other unusual conditions.472 watt-hours = 632 kWh The conductor resistance is obtained from standard references. the conductor distance is 300 feet. and the total resistance is 0. This example illustrates how the losses on secondary cables are calculated. Ask the manufacturer for the data from ICEA qualification tests. Charging-current losses. the engineer should use only written data obtained from the manufacturer of that cable type. An excellent source of this data is the cable manufacturer’s Insulated Cable Engineers Association (ICEA) Qualification Report for the particular cable construction. Losses at peak load are calculated as follows: WR = I2 R = 852 × 0. single-phase 150 feet No. Once the figures are obtained. losses other than load-current-related conductor I2R losses are truly insignificant.05 ohms. the cost of additional dielectric losses ($84 per mile) must be compared with any additional life expectancy that might be available from the higher loss insulation system.19 show that sheath. The loss figures in Table 1. and charging-current losses are negligible compared with conductor load-current losses.20: Sample Secondary Cable Data.3 6 – Se c t i on 1 1 EXAMPLE 1. In this case. For 100 circuit miles of installed cable.2 × 8.

If this unit is loaded to 60 kVA at peak dependent or no-load losses on the transformers load. then it is a category. When energized transformers are installed beConsider a 50-kVA pad-mounted transformer having 140 watts of core losses and fore there are consumers to serve. Because The total annual cost of the losses associated with operating this transformer this bushing can be reused elsewhere after the is $194. This expense can be avoided by keepWinding Losses = (60 ÷ 50)2 × 490 watts = 706 watts ing the transformers de-energized until they are needed. in most cases. Close annually.and 100-kVA installations. Annual Loss Feed-Through Annual If hundreds of units are involved.00 $ 20. losses on pada significant expense. core losses represents a net savings. costs about $150.00 $ 11.00 34.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 3 7 1 approximately 20 percent less than this example PAD-MOUNTED TRANSFORMER LOSSES are available from manufacturers. The first ple transformer.21. if the higher As with all types of transefficiency transformer can be formers. Thus. Core Loss Cost = $383/kW × 0. core losses. comprises of transformer losses and the means to control load-dependent losses that become especially the associated expenses to the extent feasible.21: Savings from Deferred Transformer Energization. fore most living units are built and occupied. is not better economic choice in the long run. winding losses. Higher efficiency transformers with losses DEFERMENT OF TRANSFORMER ENERGIZATION New housing developments often require the construction of the electric UD system well beEXAMPLE 1. the avoidance of TABLE 1. Manual provides thorough coverage of the issue The second category.00 For 50.00 20. Despite this expense.140 kW = $54 Installing a de-energized transformer requires Winding Loss Cost = $199/kW × 0. Use of the The losses on pad-mounted transformers used higher efficiency transformer will save about $40 on UD systems are a significant expense. the savings Size Core Losses Cost at Device Net associated with deferred energization could ex(kVA) (watts) $383/kW Annual Cost Savings ceed $8. larger savings can be achieved by deferring the installation 50 140 54. the non-load490 watts of winding losses at nameplate load. as shown by Table 1.706 kW = $140 the use of a feed-through stand-off bushing which.000 annually. transformer losses are year period. the special bushing cost is equivalent to $20 annually at a 12 percent carrying charge rate over a 20-year period. the winding losses will be as follows: represent an expense that is uncompensated by revenue. Service to street lights can be concenWith the annual cost figures given for losses at the beginning of this subsection. 25 82 $ 31.00 service by placing a pedestal containing a feed- . the trated in a small number of transformers to allow annual costs associated with each type of loss can be calculated as follows: the de-energization of most of the units in areas not yet occupied. load dependent and represents a continuous exThe Distribution System Loss Management pense whenever the transformer is energized.3: Typical Costs Associated with Transformer Losses.00 80. purchased for less than a $300 mounted transformers are of price premium over the samtwo distinct types. expensive during peak loads. transformer is placed in service.00 of each transformer not needed for immediate 100 260 100.00 20. which is enough to attention to the management amortize about $300 in initial of losses on any type of transinvestment cost at a 12 percent former is essential to a loss Pad-mounted carrying charge rate over a 20control program.

When alternative UD system designs are considered. this cost is $80 annually.00 $ 120. If hundreds of units are involved.21) Total Deferred Cost Temporary Equipment Annual Cost Net Annual Savings $ 750.22 for three common transformer sizes. the savings may exceed $25.00 310.12) Deferred Annual Core Loss Cost (from Table 1. STEP 4: Select the primary cable route. The cost of the pedestal and device is about $330.00 100 kVA $ 1. STEP 2: Arrange the service and transformer STEP 1.00 174. When the time comes for a transformer to be installed. However.00 $ 210.22: Savings From Deferred Transformer Installation. The overall results are summarized in Table 1.3 8 – Se c t i on 1 1 TABLE 1. including the following: • Site plan with defined lots and utility easements. the engineer must get certain information from the consumer or developer. CONCLUSION Electrical losses on UD systems represent an expense that should be managed to reduce costs. and • Final grading plans. STEP 5: Locate sectionalizing equipment. STEP 6: Visit the project site. • Project schedules. this subsection describes eight design steps: STEP 1: Get the required information. The techniques given here and in the NRECA Distribution System Loss Management Manual provide the necessary calculation methods. Simply routing the cable aboveground at future transformer locations and looping it back into the trench without cutting it can achieve still larger savings.00 54.000 annually. it is necessary to estimate the amount of these losses and their costs. which represents a $40 annual cost at a 12 percent carrying charge rate (0.00 $ 90. • Reliability needs. the annual carrying charges on a transformer are avoided along with the cost of core losses. the net savings can be substantial in the case of larger units.00 120. the cost for exercising this deferment option is $120 annually ($40 + $80). 25 kVA Transformer Price Deferred Transformer Carrying Charges at 12% (Transformer Price x 0.00 190.00 50 kVA $ 1. the cable is de-energized and cut to prepare for the installation of the elbows and transformer. • Location of other underground utilities. An enclosure is then installed to protect the above-ground loop. . and the extra switching that may be required during the final transformer installation does represent an additional expense.00 through device at the future transformer location.00 54. These results show that deferred installation of transformers is not significantly beneficial for 25-kVA units. GET THE REQUIRED INFORMATION Before any design work can be started.00 120.12 × 330 = $40). On the plus side.750. special care must be used to avoid excessive cable bending with this type of installation.00 31. A nonrecoverable labor cost of about $160 is incurred for installing the temporary feed-through pedestal and removing it later.00 120. If the average deferment time is two years. STEP 8: Prepare staking sheets. Steps for Layout of a UD System To help the engineer with layout of a UD system.00 100. STEP 7: Obtain all easements. However.000.00 1.00 121. Therefore. • Load and voltage requirements. layout. STEP 3: Calculate the consumer load and select proper equipment ratings.

a transAND TRANSFORMER LAYOUT former may serve some lots loCommercial and industrial cated across the street. Deinformation. and other public safety cutting and provide additional protection against considerations. In contrast. or installation of a . Each of these consumers fluid in the transformer. It is the engineer’s duty to means longer service conductor lengths and persevere until all required data are collected in more consumers per transformer. The engineer can begin to arrange this service This information is rarely gathered in one and transformer layout after receiving the subdibrief conversation. The secondary associated with these loads. in turn. a final design should not be released pending on lot size. This includes secondary conductors used to feed street and area lights. this information. A consumers usually have heavy Service conductor convenient way to serve sevloads that can include largelength is often eral lots with only one road horsepower motors. the developer. fire It is also advisable to have cable in conduit for rating of the exposed wall. tor length may reduce the number of consumers Otherwise. such enhancements might be achieved for serving consumers on the same side of the by increased separation. well-designed system. utility representatives. former can be in a central locilities. and other number of transformers. However.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 3 9 1 barrier wall or an oil absorption For subdivisions. use of “less flammable” road as the transformer. Often the transformer Unfortunately. the project may encounter unnecesper transformer. transformer.24). presence of wall any roadway crossing to eliminate future street openings. limiting the service conducuntil all information is collected and verified. STEP 2. ARRANGE THE SERVICE In some layouts. To limit crossing is from a secondary the voltage drop and flicker limited by pedestal. final form. contractors. Rather. The engineer should A cable fault on the one secondary cable interuse good judgment and experience in determinrupts power to all the attached consumers. it is usually compiled vision plat. Appendix D contains a cation and provide service to form to use when collecting several consumers. Rather. ing the distance will include building use. Several studies have shown that the through several conversations and meetings with most economical arrangement uses the least consumers. or use materials inefficiently. ing the minimum allowable distance between However. is placed near the building. owner concludes that additional protection is Secondary pedestals are not the ideal method warranted. the transthe layout of underground farecorded plat. Although the engineer can plan many voltage flicker at the consumer’s delivery point aspects of the project on the basis of preliminary often limits the service conductor length. the cost to the cooperative transformers have space for connecting a maxiand its consumers will be greater than for a mum of eight secondary/service conductors. important to get a copy of the For subdivisions. fail to meet conspace in the secondary compartment of the sumer expectations. vehicle traffic. If the utility or the building dig-ins. Another limiting factor is the sary construction difficulties. This design. this decreases service reliability. Most single-phase pad-mounted In any of these cases. voltage flicker. pedestal is supplied by a sinthe transformer should be near gle secondary cable from the those consumers’ delivery transformer (see Figure 1. it is very bed around the transformer. points. the typical resisubdivision plat. This map get a copy of the dential load does not require shows the lot arrangements the transformer to be next to and is necessary for designing site plan and the house. Factors affectcable will be shorter if the cable is in a conduit. the time required to replace the failed the transformer and the building.

This combination of front and rear property line placement is often the most economical layout.25 shows a service and transformer layout for a 75-lot subdivision. AY MW GEHA BRID OL DC AS AY KW BRID NE W R YA MO AY HW UT NEW DOVER ROAD GEHA AY MW ELM E ST C AD T. Note: The three shaded lots indicate the worst locations for voltage drop and flicker. Table 1.2 lists these other criteria and compares the advantages and disadvantages of front versus rear line placement. Transformers located along the front property lines serve the perimeter lots. Figure 1. CHARINGTON CT. The interior lots share back property lines. Legend Single-Phase.25: Service and Transformer Layout for 75-Lot Subdivision. This layout features 13 transformers that serve an average of six consumers each. FIGURE 1. ROW OW) 35 (1 00' R ROW .24: Road Crossing to Feed Secondary Pedestal. it is more economical to serve these lots from transformers located along the rear property lines. Pad-Mounted Transformer Secondary-Voltage Cable Streetlight ROW ROW SR 14 FIGURE 1.4 0 – Se c t i on 1 1 Secondary Pedestal 4/0 Transformer EL A TE MS DC T. the cooperative may allow transformer placement along the front property line only or the rear property line only. Because of criteria other than economics. This improves reliability. therefore. is often more economical than installing a secondary pedestal (see Economic Comparison of System Configurations earlier in this section) and also eliminates maintenance of the secondary pedestal. should have a separate service cable from the transformer.

the circuit impedance consists of the transformer and the secondary/ service cable impedance. or • A unit with a greater kVA rating. After making these selections. the engineer can calculate the expected consumer loads.2. these methods are usually not cost-effective. A low-impedance transformer typically costs more than a standard unit and requires the utility to stock standard and nonstandard transformers.1. By placing the transformer closer to the consumer’s delivery point. . For a subdivision layout. larger motors. the engineer can increase the secondary/service cable size or can parallel two smaller cables.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 4 1 1 STEP 3. Likewise. care must be taken to also maintain load balance among phases on the feeders serving these loads. Information for making these selections is contained in Section 4. Reducing the load current or the circuit impedance reduces the voltage drop. For residential services. the magnitude and frequency of the voltage flicker must be within the permissible levels shown in Figure B. For voltage drop. As load current is usually a fixed value. Voltage drop is a product of load current and circuit impedance. it is not necessary to calculate these values for each consumer. • Increasing the cable size. the engineer must select primary cables with the proper ampacity ratings. On the basis of the calculated load. or • Paralleling cables. Figure 1. However. therefore. If it is not practical to place the transformer closer. it may be more economical to increase the cable size rather than shorten the cable length. the engineer should determine a few worst cases and perform the calculations for these only. when decisions are made concerning these total primary load currents. the engineer will select the following: • A secondary cable with adequate capacity. A transformer with a greater kVA rating costs more and also has higher core (no-load) losses. a transformer in a subdivision will serve multiple deliveries. In reviewing the total primary current for the load to be served. shortening the secondary/service cable lengths in a subdivision requires installing additional transformers. Therefore. The larger secondary/service cables can cost more than primary cable. But instead of serving a single delivery. the engineer must modify the design. the engineer must check for voltage drop and voltage flicker at the consumer’s delivery point. the engineer can shorten the secondary/service cable length. However. The cost of installing and operating these additional transformers may be greater than the cost of increasing the secondary/service cable size. and smaller transformer sizes. Although the primary cable length is increased. In subdivisions. it is more practical to lower the secondary/service cable impedance rather than the transformer impedance by doing the following: • Shortening the cable length. For voltage drop at the consumer’s delivery point. Appendix B contains equations for calculating voltage drop and flicker.25 highlights the worst cases for voltage drop and voltage flicker. and • A primary cable with ampacity based on the expected operating conditions.1. • A transformer with sufficient kVA for the diversified consumer load. The voltage drop must not exceed the maximum values in Table B. the worst cases are a combination of longer secondary/ service lengths. Instead. the engineer must find ways to reduce the circuit impedance. this approach is often economical for single deliveries. For voltage flicker. CALCULATE THE CONSUMER LOAD AND SELECT PROPER EQUIPMENT RATINGS From the information collected in Step 1 and the service and transformer layout of Step 2. particularly those with large secondary/service cables. Equipment Loading. If the calculated voltage drop exceeds the limits in Table B. The engineer can reduce the transformer impedance by selecting the following: • A unit with a lower impedance. the worst cases are the longer secondary/service cables served from transformers having a greater number of connected consumers.

The ridor requires a wider easement than the usual harmonics result from chopping the voltage sine 10-foot easement for electric facilities only. For proflicker during motor starting. this type of reduced voltage starting proximate location of other utilities. Single-Phase. The primary cable flicker to the permissible levels property line. Primary Voltage. each utility occupies its allocated electronic “soft” starter. route should be offset at least shown in Figure B.2. NEW DOVER ROAD ROW OW) SR 14 35 (1 00' R ROW . Legend Single-Phase. cable route at least jects with multiple transformFor large motors.4 2 – Se c t i on 1 1 cable route should be the Reducing the cable impedmost efficient way to serve ance also reduces the voltage Offset the primary all the transformers. engineer must select a primary cable route. One way to accomplish electric system or for other consumers. . which allows each utility to know the apmethods. sions where the developer has defined a wide utility easement on the subdivision plat. Pad-Mounted Transformer ROW ROW DC AS AY KW ELM EA ST DC T. Property owners tors.26: Primary Cable Layout for 75-Lot Subdivision. Unlike conventional space. Within the method of particular concern is the use of an corridor. The engineer needs to review large moerty line. UD Cable FIGURE 1. One this is to establish a utility corridor. the locate its facilities within the street right-of-way. an open-loop feeder is may not limit the voltage 1 to 2 feet from any preferred. Utiliwave to reduce the voltage at the terminals of ties may find this concept works well in subdivithe motor. A utility corproduces harmonics on the electric system. tors and the proposed starting methods to see if The route should also minimize conflict with the arrangements will cause problems on the other buried utilities. a consumer may use a often place fences along their property lines and starting method that reduces the motor inrush could damage buried cable placed on the propcurrent. STEP 4. For situaone to two feet from any tions involving polyphase moproperty line. this method ers. The BRID NE OL W RM YA OU Y WA TH GEHA AY MW CHARINGTON CT. SELECT THE PRIMARY CABLE ROUTE Some developers may ask the cooperative to After locating the transformers and services.

county. It should be noted that placing the cable in the conduit will reduce the cable ampacity. When the governing body decides to widen the road. which includes barricade must not block the riser poles. and to meet very high compaction levels during trench backfill. These high-risk areas needs to be in accessible locations. junction cabinets. sticks. A faulted cable section under a road is difficult to repair or replace unless the cable is in a conduit. jacketed primary cable. or state right-of-way. the coopAfter selecting the primary erative may have to install cable route. requires working space on both sides of the equipment. These private roads are often released to the local city or state road system. the cooperative may have to relocate its facilities at its expense. Most require the utility to file a right-of-way encroachment. Equipment Pad Clear Working Space FIGURE 1. and switchgear. Finally. Another highdesirable locations for sectionalizing devices. equipment doors or obstruct fuse cabinets.26 shows a primary cable route for the 75-lot subdivision. The cooperative can avoid these conflicts by locating its facilities on a private right-of-way off the edge of the city. therefore. Another concern is damage from vehicles. Undersnow removal equipment. therefore.27: Minimum Required Working Space. of the equipment and 10 feet out from the equipment door as shown in Figure 1. LOCATE parking lots. Tall crops can obscure Utility personnel have to operate and mainthe equipment. the required working space. to bury cables at a specified depth.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 4 3 1 Although this is convenient for the developer. If the equipment SECTIONALIZING EQUIPMENT The minimum working cannot be relocated. describes the equipment is covered by snow. the engineer can space extends out some type of barricade around locate the sectionalizing 10 feet from the the equipment. The minimum working space is the width 10' 0" . Padmounted switchgear often has two sets of doors and. Figure 1. Operating must be avoided or adequate protective methods pad-mounted equipment requires enough workmust be used to minimize the chance for equiping space to move elbow terminators with hot ment damage. risk area is a crop field. particularly if the ground System Sectionalizing. This particular cable route has two road crossings. These devices are used to proEquipment located along vide sectionalizing at desired streets and at intersections can be damaged by points within the UD system. This method is acceptable for use with directburied. These governments have rules about utilities located within the road right-of-way. the equipment operating farm equipment. making it invisible to someone tain these devices. However. Cars are likely to bump and damage equipment located in STEP 5. equipment door. this equipment. the selected cable route should minimize the number of road crossings. Section 3. it usually creates future problems for the cooperative.27. A conduit with cable or a spare conduit placed beneath the road allows the cooperative to replace the cable without disturbing the road surface.

or Installation of cable and equipment on sloped • Visible alkali (mineral salts). the use of retaining • Unstable soils. even if the slope is site to identify • Rocky soils.4 4 – Se c t i on 1 1 problems on moderate slopes. Examples of problems with terrain are the following: . slopes. buried slope. cover. One way to because of problems controlling the mechanized protect neutral conductors is to prevent them trenching equipment safely while achieving a from contacting the soil by using jacketed cable. Methods for adapting a design areas for the installation of conductors and deare described under the subheadings below. along with an anchored or encased conduit and more aggressive erosion control techniques. Trenching across sloped terrain is difficult neutrals and ground conductors. or at least use the more moderate slopes This step is very important because it identiwhenever practical. or walls of stone or timber will • Flood plains. the counterpoise and/or ground elecTrenching up or down sloped terrain also has trodes must remain in contact with the soil and control and safety issues with the trenching be protected by another means. along with installing a stable ground are needed. Sloped Terrain • Poorly drained areas. will generally address these STEP 6. the engineer must visit the project site to view the terrain. Visit the project or the use of a compartmental • Corrosive soils. refer to Section 7. vices. more expensive. On more severe slopes. additionally. and the engineer must adapt Although it is not always possible. Unfortunately. terrain presents a number of problems whose severity usually increases with the degree of These soils can corrode unprotected. always practical. be needed along with molded or pre-cast ground sleeves of During the site visit. • Swamps. VISIT THE PROJECT SITE After completing the preliminary layout. For more severe • Sandy soils. lems with both surface erosion of the backfill Cathodic Protection Requirements. the Corrosive Soils engineer can easily modify the preliminary layTerrain features that indicate potentially severely out. Ideally. the engineer will erosion of the soil down to the transformer is relocate the cable or equipment to avoid the minimized. Also provide for adequate level opproblem terrain. fies problems before construction. problem terrain. Installing pad-mounted equipment on sloped terrain requires careful excavation to provide a level terraced surface for a monolithic pad • Sloped terrain. Rememthe proposed cable route and at proposed ber to establish grades in such a manner that equipment locations. Changing the location of equipment and corrosive soils are the following: cable during construction is very time-consuming and. stable excavation whose sides are vertical. relocation is not erating area in front of the equipment. moderate. therefore. For information equipment and. different trenching equipment and techniques will need to be used. Certain types of terrain can make cable installation and equipment placement difficult or impractical. That secand tunneling erosion around the cable or contion explains how to determine if soils are corduit. style pad. the engineer should look sufficient height to span the difference in elevafor these and other adverse terrain types along tion from the high side to the low side. introduces probon corrosion protection. If these problems require relocating cable or equipment. However. Careful attention to tamping and comrosive and what types of cathodic protection paction. the underthe design to reduce installation and mainteground designer should try to avoid sloped nance problems. such as sod. • Streams.

Placing transformers on poles provides extra distance from the ground and may eliminate the problems caused by blowing sand. Another option for protection in a trench is to use a select backfill for a cable bed and covering. Another acceptable installation method is to use a cable plow.2. Rock along the cable route slows installation and increases project cost. In these areas. the exposed metal quickly corrodes. pads with ground sleeves or basements provide better support and more security than a flat pad does. and Steep grades. Visible rock usually indicates underlying rock. Sandy Soils Sandy soils can cause problems in at least three different ways: • Difficulty opening a trench. and • Sandblasting of painted metal surfaces. This condition is improved by using silt fencing or shrubbery as a wind block. This adds substantially to initial cost. the cooperative will have to use special equipment that can penetrate rock. A final consideration in rocky soils is damage to the underground cable. or tunneling.b. If the washing is severe. particularly the cable jacket. but maintenance will be much more practical and economical. Another option is to use overhead primary with underground services as the only underground facilities. Section 352 D. the wind can blow sand and cover pad-mounted equipment. making it difficult to access and operate. installing a wind block does increase the initial project cost and future maintenance expenses. These soils shift easily and are also prone to washing. Cables may also be exposed where soil has washed away from an equipment pad. plowing. Increased burial depths (an additional six to 12 inches) should be considered because covering can be blown away. Either of these can be installed by trenching. When trenchers are used in these conditions. Washing can erode trenches and undermine the support of pad-mounted equipment. The supplemental protection must meet the requirements of the 2007 NESC. If cable cannot be placed at the minimum depth. making it difficult to keep paint on padmounted equipment. these soils are often in areas with a high water table. Sandy soils have little cohesion and usually will not hold a trench open for cable placement. Rocks directly contacting the cable can damage the jacket. • Wind erosion of sand from under equipment. Unstable Soils Some examples of unstable soils are the following: • • • • River banks. Trench erosion can reduce the soil cover and possibly expose a buried cable. the cooperative can make test borings with an anchor auger. Alternatively. rigid steel conduit. However. If rerouting is not practical. Sandy soils shift easily from the wind and can undermine the support of pad-mounted equipment. Unsecured embankments. especially in coastal environments. After the wind-blown sand removes the paint. In addition. or conduit encased in concrete. One solution to this damage is to use stainless steel (or other noncorrosive) equipment cabinets. One way to protect the cable is to use conduit or a cable-in-conduit assembly. it may be hard to maintain the required burial depth. the cooperative should reroute to avoid rocky areas. the .Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 4 5 1 Rocky Soils Rocky soils are often characterized by protruding boulders or rocks lying on the surface. the cooperative must provide supplemental protection such as cable placement in Schedule 40 PVC conduit. Grading by the developer can also show signs of underlying rock. To confirm the presence of underlying rock. As a result. Windy conditions in a sandy environment provide nature’s own sandblasting machine. They also help prevent exposure of cables that enter the equipment. trenches fill with water and are difficult to excavate. therefore. Natural springs. they are often equipped with a cable chute. Because the rock is difficult to penetrate.

Flooding has little effect on Washing can also have the opposite effect. Air-insulated switching cabinets will fail if subTo eliminate these types of problems. this right-of-way must conduit or installing a cable-in-conduit assembly be a minimum of 10 feet wide—five feet on and possibly encasing the conduit with concrete. wet. limited use of another’s real property. these areas can usually be former bushings or cable terminations. traversed with cable. these devices must be supwill have problems maneuverported by pads that will not ing a trencher or a cable plow. flood plains. Dead-front. Inburied cable and should present problems only stead of undermining pads. the property and access a right-of-way strip. The 10-foot width provides enough space equipment at the bottom of steep slopes. recorded on the plat. the easement must be possible flooding is to check before installing any specific in defining the cooptopographical maps that locate underground facilities. the flooded section can be isolated. each side of the centerline of the electrical faciliThe engineer should also avoid placing ties. therefore. equipment on steep slopes. For engineer should consider placing the cable in underground facilities. if the cable section is part of a radial Such corrosion can lead to premature equipsystem. the tion equipment. doing the following minimizes erosion: STEP 7. all affected property owners before installing • Replanting of the slope. By definition.4 6 – Se c t i on 1 1 building codes forbid the placement of strucequipment could shift enough to damage transtures in flood plains. the enmerged in water and. the engineer should consider providing ment failure and possible access to the interior an alternative feed. soil block to prevent soil accumulation around These rights-of-way should also be shown and the equipment. However. pad-mounted Unstable soils can also transformers and dead-front. or any underground facilities. an • Use of equipment pads with ground sleeves easement is a right afforded a person to make or basements. Though most . possibly causing a system back into the open trench. To reduce misunderstandings between the cooperative Flood Plains Get an easement and its property owner memThe best way to evaluate for bers. must not be gineer should avoid routing cable or placing used in areas subject to flooding. If the cable section is part of an open-loop sysProlonged contact with soil deposits causes the tem. it can deposit large if the cable fails while the cable route is flooded. ing. the device Wet soils also tend to collapse may be displaced. OBTAIN ALL EASEMENTS • Proper compaction and crowning of the The cooperative must get an easement from trench. making it difficult to mainment in areas subject to floodtain the equipment. compartments. make installation difficult. ever. As a minimum. Howmetal housing of the equipment to corrode. construction personnel installation difficult. The soil deposits can also block The cooperative may have to place equipthe equipment doors. Otherwise. This easement gives the utility the legal right to enter the If the potential for trench erosion is severe. amounts of soil around a piece of equipment. making it difficult to outage or exposing the interior compartments. float. If this is not practical. If to operate a trencher or other piece of installaequipment must be placed in these areas. maintain proper depth for cable burial. erative’s rights. The easement must define the cooperative will need to construct a water and width and boundaries of this right-of-way strip. If Unstable soils oil-insulated switching cabigrades or embankments are can make nets can operate during occatoo steep or if soils are too sional immersion.

The foregoing notwithstanding. does hereby grant unto__________________________________. privilege. maintain.00) and other good and valuable considerations. The following rights are also granted to Grantee: to enter said premises to inspect said lines. for the purpose of transporting electricity and for the communications purposes of Grantee and its licensees. IN WITNESS WHEREOF. or other obstructions. to include transformers and service connections. and to make alterations and additions thereto. or. that __________________________________________________. its successors. to perform necessary maintenance and repairs. widening.28: Sample Easement. in consideration of the sum of One Dollar ($1. or improvement. has caused this instrument to be signed in its corporate name by its fully authorized officers and its seal to be hereunto affixed by authority of its Board of Directors. Grantee may relocate its electrical facilities and right-of-way strip over the premises to conform to any future highway or street relocation. or other obstructions. structures. and to clear the land within the right-of-way strip and to keep it clear of trees. Witness________________________________________________________________________(SEAL) ________________________________________(SEAL) ________________________________________(SEAL) ________________________________________(SEAL) ______________________________________________ (Corporate Name) ATTEST:____________________________________ By_________________________________________ _________ Secretary _________ (President) Project No. _________________________________________________________________________________________ hereinafter called “Grantor” (whether one or more). and to clear that land outside the right-ofway strip and to keep the area within 10 feet of said door clear of trees.” the right. hereinafter called “Grantee. 20___. either above ground or below ground. All underground facilities are to be installed in accordance with the provisions of Grantee’s Underground Distribution Installment Plan. if corporate. and operate underground lines and conduits with other necessary apparatus and appliances. receipt of a copy of which is acknowledged by Grantor. Facilities at other locations and future extensions of presently constructed facilities are not permitted by this agreement. bounded by lands of: _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ and over and across said premises within a right-of-way strip having a width of _____ feet on each side of a centerline determined by the centerline of the electrical facilities as installed. to construct. structures.Design of an Underground Distribution Sy s t e m – 4 7 1 Sample Easement STATE OF ______________________________ COUNTY OF ____________________________ KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS. __________________________________. and assigns. this _______ day of __________________. and easement to go in and upon that certain land of Grantor (hereinafter “premises”) situated in said County and State. . This right-of-way is given to permit the construction of electrical facilities presently proposed. ________________________ Drawn by ___________________________ FIGURE 1. the Grantor has hereunto set his hand and seal.

maintain. These conflicts are more easily resolved if the easement states that the area within 10 feet of the door of any transformer or cabinet will be kept clear of any obstructions. including getting the signatures of all property owner members of a particular tract or the signatures of appropriate corporate officers. storage buildings. Accurate staking sheets produce accurate system operating maps and accurate permanent plant and accounting records. The easement must be notarized and filed with the appropriate municipal. Another area of conflict is clear space in front of the doors of transformers and sectionalizing cabinets. As noted. After personnel have staked the project. Purchasing and materials personnel use this list to order and stock the necessary materials. . To avoid this problem in a subdivision. maintenance of these devices requires a clear working space 10 feet out from the door (see Figure 1. STEP 8. the cooperative needs only one easement for all the planned underground facilities in the subdivision. The construction drawing could also have details showing how far to offset equipment from the property line and the location of other underground utilities. they must also modify the staking sheet. the engineer will have to attach a separate construction drawing. Because these obstructions must be cleared to repair or replace the underground facilities. particularly if one underground project involves multiple property owners. if owned by a corporation. and replace the electrical facilities located within the right-of-way strip. Any changes made in the field must be shown on the staking sheet. and landscaping. The consumer may consider these devices unattractive and try to hide them with landscaping or a surrounding structure. The staking sheet is used to generate a materials list. structures. or county authority in which the property lies. Figure 1. staking personnel may have to adjust the layout for conflicts with other utilities or for terrain problems. the cooperative cannot maintain the device. thus requiring multiple easements. construction crews will use the staking sheets for information on installing the underground facilities. Underground staking sheets provide important project information to several departments within the cooperative. As a result. Obtaining and recording an easement can be time-consuming. operate. the staking sheet provides enough space for a sketch of the required work. These departments must be able to easily interpret the staking sheet.29 shows a staking sheet for underground service to a commercial consumer. Rights-of-way that were clear during the installation of underground facilities will likely become obstructed as property owners erect fences. it must be filled out completely and correctly. equipment. and street lighting locations and note any conduit or temporary pedestal installations. This construction drawing should show the trench. the easement must specifically define the cooperative’s right to clear the right-of-way. Prepare Staking Sheets The final step is preparing a staking sheet. For subdivision installations. the cooperative is wise to get one easement from the developer before any lots are sold. • The subdivision restrictions define the cooperative easement as transferable to new owners.28 shows a sample easement. These activities require the right-of-way to be clear of trees. For larger projects.27). This way. The staking sheet must agree with the as-built project because these sheets are the basis for the cooperative’s mapping system. While in the field. the engineer can show the required work on a subdivision plat. If the construction crews modify the layout. Figure 1. parish. Staking personnel use the sheets to physically mark the field locations of equipment and trenches. Because the easement is a legal document. Scheduling personnel will use the staking sheet to estimate the manpower and equipment needed to construct the project. and other obstructions. The cooperative will also benefit if the following occur: • The right-of-way strip is shown and recorded on the plat.4 8 – Se c t i on 1 1 the cooperative must have the right to install. For smaller projects.

Source: Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation. Hillsborough. N.C.Desi g n o f a n Un d e rg ro u n d Di s t r i b u t i o n Sy s t e m – 4 9 1 FIGURE 1. H WY 86 SO UT H .29: Staking Sheet for Service to a Commercial Consumer.

A box pad is useful to support pad-mounted switchgear and for installations on slopes or hillsides. transformer and secondary systems. Obtain all easements. 12. 2. The main types of underground systems are the following: • • • • • circuit exits. The UD design can be improved by comparing the economics of different system configurations. the former layout. . Equipment mountings provide support for pad-mounted equipment. Placing facilities along the front property line makes them more accessible for operation and maintenance. location of a joint-use trench must be shown on all operating maps. cable ampacity. main feeders.5 0 – Se c t i on 1 1 Summary and Recommendations 1. reliability. Locate sectionalizing equipment. and conduit installations. 3. In designing a UD system. 7. Select the primary cable route. sub feeders. and street and area lighting. Flat pads are sometimes suitable for single-phase padmounted transformers and small singlephase fuse cabinets. 9. System upgrades should be planned by considering future voltage conversions. 5. Visit the project site. 8. The steps for layout of a UD system are as follows: STEP 1: Get the required information. Prepare staking sheets. voltage drop. 10. safety. STEP 2: Arrange the service and trans- 11. Cable wells used with a flat pad provide more space for cable training and are suitable for three-phase pad-mounted transformers and junction cabinets. Joint-use trench with other utilities requires a contractual arrangement among involved parties. equipment ratings. and voltage flicker must be considered. The UD system should be designed to minimize cable and pad-mounted transformer losses. To minimize these problems. STEP 3: Calculate the consumer load and STEP 4: STEP 5: STEP 6: STEP 7: STEP 8: select proper equipment ratings. 6. A joint-use trench often creates operating problems. three-phase cable installation. 4.

To gain an overview of cable design. The main types of cables used on rural electric systems are primary voltage (15.4/ 24. 14. For instance.5-kV system will be rated 15 kV. The cable must incorporate the most important characteristics of the ideal utility system: low initial cost and high reliability.5 kV.2/12.to 35-kV class) shielded cables and secondary voltage (600-volt class) unshielded cables. The variety of cable features available for the various applications is also addressed. The main components of cables reviewed include the conductor and the insulation system (including shielding).Cable Se l e c t i o n – 5 1 2 In This Section: Typical Cable Configuration Cable Selection Typical Cable Configuration Conductor Size Designations Conductor Materials and Configuration Cable Insulation Materials Insulation Fabrication Conductor Shields and Insulation Shields Cable Specification and Purchasing Cable Acceptance Summary and Recommendations The heart of any underground system is the cable that carries power from the source to the load. Generally.5-kV.5 kV. The concentric neutral and jacket options for primary voltage cables are also covered. Typical system voltages are 7.2/12.4/24. and 19. This section provides an introduction to the technical aspects of electric distribution cables. Such cables are classed by the phase-to-phase voltage of the system on which they are intended to operate.2/12. The focus should be on single-conductor cable because it is the predominant type of cable used in rural and suburban distribution systems in North America. Most of the cables on these systems are of concentric neutral design.9/34. and 19. regardless of whether it is in a single-phase or a three-phase circuit. It addresses the designs and materials most effective in delivering reliable and economical service. cable designed for application on a 7.5-kV grounded wye. Recommendations are included for conditions generally encountered on rural electric systems. the engineer should consider the components of the system.9-kV. 14. The higher voltage cables are used on systems rated 7. It is necessary to pay close attention to the design and manufacture of all cables. Experience with early UD cables has forcefully shown that the lowest-cost cable that can be successfully placed into operation is not necessarily the best choice.9 kV.9/34. the major cable components are the following: .

See Section 4 for more information on sheath currents and cable ampacity. Another special case of the medium-voltage. FIGURE 2. Source: Okonite Company. Use of bare concentric neutral cable is not approved by RUS for use on the systems of its borrowers and has essentially been discontinued except in cases where there are no corrosive conditions and special permission has been obtained. Concentric neutral. Conductor Extruded Conductor Shield Conductor Extruded Conductor Shield Conductor Extruded Conductor Shield Insulation Insulation Insulation Extruded Insulation Shield Extruded Insulation Shield Encapsulated Neutral Conductors Extruded Insulation Shield Bare Neutral Conductors Metallic Tape Shield Jacket Jacket FIGURE 2.1 represents a typical primary cable used in underground distribution and is the configuration currently recommended. The following subsections. ensure an even voltage gradient within the cable.C.) shield or a copper tape shield. Conductor shield. Loss of the neutral wires led to an open neutral circuit. posing serious operational. this cable design fell into disfavor because of substantial corrosion problems affecting the concentric neutral. 2006. single-conductor cable is illustrated in Figure 2.2 shows the arrangement of an underground cable design widely used from the mid1960s to the late 1980s. Insulation.3. thus. and exposure of the concentric neutral to the surrounding earth provided an excellent system ground.) Source: Okonite Company. The main difference from the cable in Figure 2.1.1: Jacketed Concentric Neutral Cable. The purpose of the L.2: Bare Concentric Neutral Cable. loss of neutral conductors caused deterioration of the semiconducting insulation shield and consequent cable failure.5 2 – Se c t i on 2 2 • • • • • • Conductor.C. These are illustrated in Figure 2. It was most often installed as a direct-buried cable. A separate neutral conductor thus must be installed with a circuit to handle return currents. . Figure 2.C. Figure 2. except that it does not have a jacket over the concentric neutral.1. Shield. FIGURE 2. and public safety problems. Insulation shield. However. It is identical in most respects to the cable in Figure 2. reliability. provide an understanding of desirable features for various applications. Variations of this design may be better suited to particular types of installations. 2006. which describe individual components of underground cables in more detail. The major advantage of this configuration is in circuits where loads are relatively high (≥ 300 amperes). Source: Okonite Company. and Jacket.3: Medium-Voltage Power Cable with Tape Shield and L.1 is that the concentric neutral is replaced by a longitudinal corrugated (L. shield or tape shield is to provide a path for capacitive currents and. In addition. (Not RUS accepted.

Each step in this gauge approximates the successive steps in the wire drawing process. and No. Area is calculated as shown in Equation 2.2 0. it compared favorably with . The circular mil system is based on the definition of a circular mil (cmil) as being the area of a wire with a diameter of one mil (0. it was not cost-effective because of the special precautions required during installation and maintenance. has a circular mil equivalency of 211.1662 inch2. In the late 1960s.813 0.258 0. which is always used on conductors larger than 4/0 AWG. 36 AWG.0 127. and also halves the dc resistance.681 0.365 0. and configurations.10 211. It follows that 1.000 inch.Cable Se l e c t i o n – 5 3 2 Conductor Size Designations U. and metric designations for common conductor sizes used in North American distribution cables.00** 1.7854 Diameter (in. which was formerly known as the Brown and Sharpe wire gauge. With a volume resistivity of 1.0050 inch.575 0. with a diameter of 0. A few approximate relationships may be useful: • Each increase of three-gauge numbers doubles the area and the unit weight.0 in. AWG 6* 2* 1/0* 2/0* 4/0* — — — — — * Solid ** Stranded kcmil 26.6 53. Therefore.600 cm and an area of 0. a 4/0 AWG wire. and Canadian use.152 Conductor Materials and Configuration MATERIALS Since the first cable system.1 shows AWG. and also divides the dc resistance by 10.) 0.854 × 10-7 inch2.4 107.999 percent) state.36 105.2749 0.1: Dimensional Characteristics of Common Conductors (Standard Concentric-Lay).1416 r = Radius (in inches) For Area in kcmil.000. The AWG and circular mil systems are now limited to U.1 A = πr2 where: A = Area in square inches π = 3. These materials have appeared in a variety of alloys. circular mil.0 507. use Radius in 1/1.3 33.854 × 10-4 inch2 in solid wire.60 133.0 177.998 1. Empirical history sets the two endpoints: 4/0 AWG. TABLE 2.24 66.S. standards use two systems for designating conductor size.60 250. However.0 380.00** 500. however.3927 0.1967 0. The second system is the circular mil designation. which has a diameter of 0.0005)2 π or 7. tempers.460 inch. only two conductor materials have played a significant role: copper and aluminum. • Each increase of 10 gauge numbers multiplies the area and unit weight by 10.0 kcmil (formerly MCM) is equal to 7.1.1662 0.0206 0.000 circular mils or 1.0521 0. There are 39 equally divided steps between these two sizes. The oldest of these is the AWG. some utilities briefly experimented with sodium as a conductor material.5891 0.162 0. • Each increase of six gauge numbers doubles the diameter.00** Area mm2 13. Table 2.460 inch (4/0 AWG).00** 350.0829 0.00** 750. This system is typically used on conductors up through those with a diameter Equation 2.1045 0.0 253.673 × 10-7 ohm-meters (ohm-m) in its pure (99. of 0. Copper was the first material to play a major role in cable construction. One cmil is (0.460 inch.325 0.460 0.001 inch). with a diameter of 0.S.5 67. circular mil designations may also be applied to conductors of 4/0 AWG and smaller. European designations are based on metric units of square millimeters (mm2). The AWG originated in the mid-19th century.

0 Hard Drawn (H19) 24. Because thermal capacity of conductors and cables is a function of the heat generated by internal conductor losses. Examples include mineshaft riser cables or cables for extremely long pulling .6 times that of matching aluminum conductors.2 percent IACS.7 Hard Drawn 49–67 ksi 97. Supplies were abundant and it could be economically fabricated. in most cases. 1350H19 aluminum has a conductivity of about 61 percent IACS.5–29.2: Conductor Physical and Electrical Characteristics. CONDUCTOR TEMPER Both copper and aluminum conductors are available in various tempers that designate the relative hardness of the metal.0 ksi 61.2 1/2 Hard (H14/H24) 15. As the tensile strength of materials increases. These disadvantages included higher susceptibility to flexural fatigue. but. greater overall cable dimensions. These are discussed more extensively in Section 4 of this manual. the electric industry developed methods to overcome some of the other physical disadvantages of aluminum.724 × 10-7 ohm-m at a temperature of 20°C (68°F).2 for a comparison of common conductor materials. This flexibility not only makes fabrication easier but also improves installation handling.0 Aluminum 3/4 Hard (H16/H26) 17. The use of this metal leads to a larger cross-sectional area and. Comparing this resistivity with the previously mentioned copper volume resistivity shows that.59 times the resistance of the same-size copper conductor. Whereas overhead conductors have generally used harder metal to increase tensile strength and reduce sags. Connections were simple to make and corrosion resistance was good. harddrawn copper has experienced an increase in tensile strength because of work hardening during the drawing process and its conductivity has fallen to 97.655 × 10-7 ohm-m. with the rapid development of the aluminum industry in the first half of the 20th century. To take advantage of this economic benefit. Where high tensile strength is needed for cable pulling. underground conductors have tended to use the lower tempers. The volume resistivity of annealed copper is defined as 1. the conductivity decreases. and cold flow (creep). The lower conductivity is mainly caused by the inherently higher volume resistivity of pure annealed aluminum. the industry uses a measure of relative conductivity that compares a particular metal to annealed electrolytic copper. To simplify the comparison of various conductors. special installations might use harder tempers. Of course. for equal crosssectional areas.0 Note. the high resistivity of natural surface oxides. aluminum will have 1.0 ksi 61. especially for larger cables. This measure is referred to as the International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS). this would only be where high unit stresses would be imposed on the cable conductor during installation or perhaps during cable life. the ampacity of the higher conductivity copper conductors of equal size is approximately 1. because high tensile strength was not usually required. consequently. Aluminum conductors have a volume resistivity of 2. However. Most copper power cables have used soft-drawn copper for its greater flexibility. the additional cost of other project components— such as larger size conduit—does not outweigh the present economic advantage of aluminum conductors.0–22. However.7–97. See Table 2. ksi = thousands of pounds per square inch other metals. For economic reasons. other significant elements determine the exact cable ampacity.0–20. By comparison.5 4 – Se c t i on 2 2 TABLE 2.0 ksi 61. cables now used on underground systems are predominantly aluminum. As an example. Copper Soft Drawn Rated Tensile Strength Conductivity (% IACS) — 100 Medium Drawn 42–60 ksi 96. aluminum became cost-effective for applications in which physical size was not critical.

because high electrical conductivity (low resistivity) is the single most important aspect of underground cable conductors. However. The specifying engineer must consider the mechanical stresses on the cable during installation and service. must be considered when specifying a cable. • Flexibility during operations (elbow switching). Such cables would require customized design for their particular circumstances and are beyond the scope of this manual. Copper wire is covered by ASTM Specifications B-1. Because there are no voids to fill. Perhaps more important. especially tensile strength. The simplest configuration is the solid. Nationally accepted specifications for electrical conductors are found in American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. 3/4-hard temper has a classification of H16 or H26. Pure copper provides the highest conductivity and. The difference between H16 and H26 tempers is that the H16 alloy is only strain-hardened. B-2. various stranding arrangements. CONDUCTOR CONFIGURATION The wire and cable industry offers the electric utility industry a wide variety of standard conductor configurations. and • Longitudinal water migration. including solid conductor. including B-231 (concentric lay conductors) and B-400 (compact round conductors). but it has been partially annealed after strain hardening. Aluminum conductors used in underground cable are addressed in other ASTM standards. The alloy designation derives from the description of aluminum alloys in other applications in which such characteristics as high tensile strength are required. The same aluminum nomenclature system includes designations for temper. This provides a reasonable level of tensile strength. Methods for measuring the most important characteristics of these and other materials can be found in other related ASTM standards.2. it cannot migrate along the cable conductor to other areas of the cable. Copper conductors are almost universally supplied as pure copper. As is well known. All characteristics of aluminum conductors. More information on conductor characteristics can be found in reference books. It was formerly designated as Alloy 1350. there will be no continuing migration of water through the insulation system. if moisture does penetrate the insulation. pure aluminum is generally used. and B-3. Solid conductor is preferred in smaller cable sizes because of its absolute waterblocking capability. For example. The H26 alloy has the same general characteristics. the highest efficiency. Though the decision on conductor configuration alone will not provide the solution to any of these problem areas.Cable Se l e c t i o n – 5 5 2 distances in duct. Because pure copper in its various tempers provides adequate mechanical strength for cable applications. Cable . singlestrand conductor. Aluminum wire is covered by ASTM Specification B-230. there is generally no need for alloyed copper conductors. This gives adequate tensile strength while maintaining a higher degree of flexibility. it is a vital part of the larger process of selecting a cable that will provide high reliability and economy. Aluminum conductors in power cables are generally furnished in the 3/4-hard temper. while not introducing excessive ductility that would lead to creep problems in making durable connections. the stiffness of cable increases as conductor diameter increases. CONDUCTOR ALLOY Aluminum conductor material also is designated by an alloy number. The inhibition of moisture migration is extremely important in reducing insulation deterioration problems so prevalent in underground cables. there is some acceptance of aluminum conductors in the 1/2-hard temper. The alloy designation for electrical aluminum is EC. and filled-strand conductors. therefore. As the conductor cross section increases to 750 kcmil or greater. Each configuration has its own advantages. The engineer selecting a cable design must consider these alternatives and select the option that produces the best cable for the particular application. Elements significantly affected by the conductor configuration include the following: • Flexibility during installation (cable bending and racking). These are also shown in Table 2.

the conductor metal will occupy only 76 to 78 percent of the area enclosed by a circle drawn around the outside of the conductor. compressed strand. 37-Wire the cable and provide an excellent path for moisture migration. Table 2. The reasonable upper limit for solid conductors with 3/4-hard aluminum conductors has generally been found to be 2/0 AWG. stranded conductors are advised.5 6 – Se c t i on 2 2 operate load-break connectors. In conventional stranding. and compact configurations. The solution is the use of Use solid or strandstranded conductors.4. especially where bending in confined spaces is required to . concentric round stranding.3 compares the various stranding characteristics of a common single size of aluminum conductor. Several options in stranded conductors are available. The simplest stranded configuration is the Concentric Stranded Conductor. Above that size. stiffness will increase in proportion to the square of the diameter of the solid conductor.4: Concentric Lay Strand Options. FIGURE 2. First.5. 37-Wire conventional concentric round stranding that uses multiple layers of circular wires. An examination shows that the im1 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 proved flexibility of higher stranding comes at Number of Wires Per Layer the expense of larger diameter. the stranded conductors weigh more because the outer layers must be longer than the conductor axis. Each layer of wires is laid in the opposite direction. Second. In addition. a point will be reached at which the cable will become unmanageable. 37-Wire obviously produces interstices (voids) between the surfaces of the individual wires. the outside diameter of a stranded cable will be greater than for an equivalent solid conductor. force required to achieve the necessary bending. These are illustrated in Figure 2. The filled conductors smaller diameter of the individual strands lowers the total for reliability. The predominant combinations for conventional stranded cable are 1 + 6 = 7. including conventional concentric lay. Therefore. Some of these are illustrated in Figure 2. the voids are continuous along Compact Concentric-Strand Conductor. for a given equivalent metallic cross section of conductor. Compressed-Strand Concentric Conductor.5: Standard Strand Arrangements for Multilayer Conductors. These interstices have two important effects. FIGURE 2. 1 + 6 + 12 = 19. The number of wires in a concentric stranded conductor is defined in ASTM standards as the class of the conductor. and 1 + 6 + 12 + 18 = 37. Details are contained in ASTM Standards B8 (copper) and B231 (aluminum). The first option.

4311 The second stranding option.1055 0. The strand filler is often applied to each of the inner layers during the stranding process. Stranding Class Number of Wires Solid A. Butyl rubber was introduced in 1944 for distribution cable systems.5 198. the conductor is drawn after each layer is applied. the interstices should be filled while the outside of the conductor is left clean. With this design.Cable Se l e c t i o n – 5 7 2 TABLE 2.0756 0. it is important to stop the migration of any moisture that may find its way into the conductor.4228 0./1. Compressed strand reduces the diameter between one-half and three percent. the conductor metal will occupy 81 percent to 83 percent of the area of a circle that encompasses the overall diameter.528 0. is an improvement on the conventional strand arrangement.4). Cable Insulation Materials OVERVIEW OF CABLE INSULATION MATERIALS Early cable insulation materials were mainly natural rubber compounds.522 0. FILLED-STRAND (SEALANT) CONDUCTOR As noted in the previous subsections on conductor configurations.4600 0. The third conductor type (see Figure 2.4311 0.0589 Overall Diameter (in.460 0.4311 0.5 198. Therefore. thus.7 198.4311 0.000 ft 194.) 0. the useful service life of underground cables has been reduced by moisture in the insulation system. This configuration is accomplished by drawing the completed conventional concentric round strand to compress the outer layer of strands after fabrication (see Figure 2. Paper insulation was introduced for power cables about 1890. This has been particularly true where moisture has been present in the conductor interstices and.530 Weight lb. AA B C D 1 7 19 37 61 Individual Wire Diameter (in. However.7 DC Resistance Ω/mile @ 20°C 0.) 0. compressed strand. Cables constructed of HMWPE were introduced in 1948. In the early 1960s.3: Configurations of 4/0 AWG Aluminum Conductor.4) is the compact round design. the industry considered EPR cables to be premium-priced cables and they . One disadvantage is some loss of flexibility because the outside layer is slightly more rigid. EPR (ethylene propylene rubber) insulated cables became available for distribution systems. The trend toward placing electric distribution lines underground was significantly aided in the 1960s by the wide acceptance in the United States of high-molecular-weight polyethylene-insulated cables. These had several advantages over the butyl rubber primary voltage cables predominant in industrial applications. The cable diameter is reduced by about nine percent when compared with the same crosssectional area in a concentric round configuration.1739 0. which greatly reduces the interstices on each layer and brings the metallic cross section up to 92 to 94 percent. In compressed strand. more nearly cylindrical surface. this requirement means the strand filler will be essentially the same as the strand shield except for plasticizers added to improve viscosity. The result is some reduction in diameter and some reduction in the interstices of the outer strand layer. If this approach is used with proper controls.529 0.7 198. The material must be compatible with the conductor and the semiconducting strand (conductor) shield. Often. This configuration also gives a smoother. Impeding moisture migration is most economically accomplished by the addition of a strandfilling material during manufacture to fill all voids within the conductor. had access to the conductor/conductor shield interface.

TR-HMWPE. fitting projects in which duct sizes are restricted just as HMWPE insulation did earlier. These have been introReview the results of where faults can be cleared duced in both high-molecularaccelerated cable life within one minute. The choice of insulation ers began searching for methods to improve the thickness depends on the system connection (eilife of the product. For deltacross-linked polyethylene cable insulation.6 mm) for 25 kV. Cooperative engiyears. and the desire for longer cable compounds. TR-HMWPE is no longer About 1963.000 mile-years. so named because it resisted the life. The tree-retardant characteristic cables became available for distribution installaof the initial TR-XLPE compound was acquired tions in both concentric neutral and convenby adding organic compounds to the basic polytional power configurations. Standards state that the growth of electrochemical 100 percent insulation level is “trees” which led to insulation satisfactory for any system failure. the failure rate for HMWPE canesses are 175 mils (4. it is As a result of escalating polyethylene cable a thermosetting material with a higher allowable failure rates. which apweight polyethylene plies to most installations on (TR-HMWPE or TR-PE) and tests when selecting grounded systems. and use this minimum 100 percent insureached one per 1. It tion.8 mm) for per 1. the reported failure rate of XLPE cables below. like EPR. HMWPE cable continued to be ments in insulation compounds and fabrication popular because of its better technical charactertechniques. In fact. some utilities improve. 260 mils bles rapidly escalated and reached almost eight (6. One hundred percent insulation wall thickSoon thereafter. the system protecment was tree-retardant polyethylene (TR-PE) tion available. along with high dielectric temporary TR-XLPE compounds. These compounds tems. Recognition of 35 kV. The initial ethylene material. advantage of XLPE cable was that. lation wall thickness only for upgrading or retrothe failure rate of XLPE cables rapidly escalated. Because of concerns with the failure of Polymer insulation thicknesses are often inHMWPE and XLPE insulations to deliver the excreased to 133 percent or 173 percent of the valpected design life.5 8 – Se c t i on 2 2 improvement in cable life expectancy as predid not gain wide acceptance. the reported HMWPE failure rate neers must use all available information when had reached about two per 1. longevity of different cable compounds and The failure rate was about one per 1. was considered to be a significant problem. Continuing tests will evaluate the reported failures of HMWPE-insulated cables. these cable equaled HMWPE cable in market share for cables have also enjoyed technical improvedomestic utilities.000 mile-years by 1982. TR-XLPE underground distribution market where initial proved to generally be the superior compound cost was the governing factor before the imporand gained much wider acceptance than did tance of long cable life was recognized. These insulation wall thicknesses are premature insulation breakdown in HMWPE caspecified by the ANSI/ICEA and are referred to bles contributed to the rapidly increasing accepas the 100 percent level. It was 1975 before XLPE tance in UD installations. Since the 1960s. By 1970. History and accelerated life tests istics and lower cost. 133 percent insulation have exhibited a substantial . The initial major developther delta or wye connected).4 mm) for 15 kV. HMWPE possessed a low have shown EPR to be equal or superior to condielectric constant. cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) manufactured. Without quesstrength and very good insulation resistance. In 1966. insulating compounds will continue to also cost less than XLPE. especially in the dicted by accelerated testing methods. Many cable users spectance of XLPE as an insulating material.000 milecable fabrication methods. EPR cables have seen wider accepoperating temperature. connected or ungrounded sys(TR-XLPE).000 mile-years and selecting a cable for purchase. cable insulation manufacturues listed above. as discussed 1975. About ify an increased wall thickness. and conduit fill may be exceeded. and 345 mils (8. In about 1980.

This was particularly true in smaller (e. the 133 percent insulation level is recommended by standards where fault-clearing times on wyeconnected systems are in excess of one minute but less than one hour. Hot Creep This is a measure of the plasticity of a material at elevated temperatures. this is not a realistic concern for modern cable manufacturing facilities. 1987. High-temperature aging evaluations usually compare tensile strength and elongation remaining after seven days (168 hours) of exposure to temperatures ranging from 120°C to 180°C (248°F to 356°F). RUS adopted the insulation thickness shown in Table 2. One disadvantage of an increase in insulation thickness is that the additional insulation volume increases the opportunity for contamination. the hot creep is generally measured at 130°C (266°F). dated December 22. For this reason. • Flexure during switching operations for elbow-connected apparatus. This is due to the increased cost of the cable. Some of the pertinent physical properties are listed below. INSULATION MATERIAL CHARACTERISTICS An individual selecting a particular cable insulation should be familiar with the basic physical and electrical characteristics of various materials. The hot creep is determined by measuring the tensile stress (pounds per square inch. 1728F-U1.. prolong cable life. which is the maximum emergency operating temperature. RUS mandates the use of 133 percent insulation thickness (220 mil) for 15 kV class cables. Finally. However. 173 percent insulation is used for cables on a system. For thermosetting insulations.6 for a relative comparison of the hot creep of HMWPE (thermoplastic). the additional insulation. Selecting a cable construction involves compromise as most materials have different strong and weak points. which many utilities find advantageous.2 kV systems proved unsatisfactory in early underground systems. Each of these characteristics affects the suitability of an insulation material for a particular application. This was due to treeing of the insulation which could in part. #2 AWG) conductor sizes. XLPE (thermosetting). Physical characteristics of the insulating layer affect the resistance of a cable to mechanical damage under normal operating conditions. RUS is currently refining its Specifications for Underground Primary Cables in Bulletin No. Voltage Class (kV) 15 25 35 Insulation Thickness (mils) 220 260 345 Thickness Level (%) 133 100 100 . and • External clamping action on risers. • Expansion/contraction in ducts.4 and these will be specified in the pending bulletin. See Figure 2. which may have a clearing time of more than one hour. In this new bulletin. It shows the ability of an insulating material to resist deformation at elevated operating temperatures. usually delta or resistance-grounded.4: RUS Insulation Thickness. which updates and supersedes former Bulletin 50-70 (U1). TABLE 2. It should be noted that the performance of 175-mil direct buried distribution cables on 12. Also. High-Temperature Aging Characteristics Electrical insulation in power cables must retain good physical properties after being subjected to high temperatures.g. Situations imposing mechanical stresses on cable include the following: • Soil pressure in direct-burial installations. and jacket materials needed because of the increased diameter will increase the final installed cable cost. In addition. The additional insulation thickness will also reduce the electrical stress within the insulation and. hence. • Sidewall pressure on cables pulled into conduit. the increased pulling and training effort. or psi) needed to stretch the insulation sample to 200 percent of its original length. shield. and EPR (thermosetting). be attributed to the higher voltage stresses present in the 175-mil insulation.5/ 7.Cable Se l e c t i o n – 5 9 2 thickness is commonly chosen. and the increase in duct size required.

Resin suppliers now employ online pellet inspection devices. Equipment Loading. gels. Secondary cables have similar construction methods. if a cable is mechanically durable but will not withstand the applied voltage. Some manufacturers inspect 100 percent of their product. a new generation of XLPE and TR-XLPE materials that bear designations of extra clean. industry standards must be made on each batch of pellets to ensure cleanliness. • Adhesion between the conductor shield and the insulation. in the case of “ruggedized” styles. In addition to normal quality control sampling. Many aspects of the manufacturing process are very important. the cable no longer serves its intended purpose. Quality control tests that meet. some plants use optical scanning to continuously sample pellets before they enter extruding equipment. Failure to adhere to any of these requirements at any point in the manufacturing process will lead to defective cable that is unsuitable for utility applications. particularly polyethylene compounds. or exceed. possibly two layers. • Smoothness of the conductor shield and conductor. These pellets must be handled very carefully at both the cable plant and at the insulation manufacturing plant to ensure there is no contamination. and dielectric constant. Electrical characteristics include insulation resistance. 250 20 75 90 130 Temperature (°C) FIGURE 2. The cable manufacturer receives insulating and shielding materials. The manufacturing processes generally are similar for different insulation materials and different voltage classes. • Maintenance of uniform dimensions and concentricity along the cable. • Smoothness of the insulation outer surface. and ambers.6: Comparative Hot Creep vs. Some of these are the following: • Purity of the insulation material. Insulation Fabrication All contemporary cables use extruded dielectric insulation. Temperatures for Cable Insulation Materials. From this. • Cleanliness of the conductor shield-insulation interface. ultra clean.6 0 – Se c t i on 2 2 100% Hot Modulus EP XLPE HMWPE ELECTRICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF INSULATION MATERIALS The electrical characteristics of cable insulation are just as important as the physical characteristics. and • Inclusion of agglomerates. insulation power factor. or . Basic electrical characteristics of cable insulation are discussed extensively in Section 4. as pellets. The most complex manufacturer’s process involves primary voltage cables that have not only extruded insulation but also extruded conductor shields and extruded insulation shields. This sampling is beneficial because contaminated pellets are rejected before being extruded into the cable. • Lack of voids in the insulation and shields. • Cleanliness of the insulation–insulation shield interface. but employ only an insulating layer or. • Adhesion between the insulation and the insulation shield. MATERIAL HANDLING One of the most important requirements of cable manufacturing is cleanliness of the raw materials. Adapted from ANSI/ICEA T-28-562. After all.

as well as dedicated. the pellet inspection should take place as close to the manufacturer’s extruder head as possible and not contribute to further contamination. a precise definition of each designation based on per-unit volume contamination is not available. resulting from better dispersion of the acetylene carbon black in the polymer base. Contamination is possible at any step along the way. as most utilities specified these materials in 2004. in turn. especially airborne dust particles. This process is repeated for various layers until the desired cable configuration is achieved. as recent statistics suggest that even the cleanest compound can contain contaminants above 12 mils. and monitoring each run for ambers and gels have improved manufacturing technology. have minimum possible exposure to an uncontrolled environment during the extrusion process. Ideally. many contaminants are missed. nor is a comparison between compound manufacturers. Also available are inspection devices for gels in polymers and for small defects in interfaces. and operating under a sealed loop strategy have helped to ensure a better product. Better dispersed semiconducting shields provide for a much smoother interface between the insulation and the shields. handling systems now use gravity feed and dense phase. The opaque nature of EPR does not permit a similar determination of cleanliness. Cable manufacturers. EXTRUSION AND CURING PROCESSES During cable manufacture. as the material is opaque. The inspection devices remove loose contaminants and surface contaminants as well as pellets containing embedded contaminants. Utility acceptance of the cleaner and smoother compounds has been rapid. have implemented materials-handling systems to prevent contamination during the course of manufacture. Inspection of EPR is more difficult. Currently. delivery systems have dramatically improved over the past 15 years. filtrating all process air and water. The raw material is melted and the liquid polymer is pumped into a die that applies a continuous and uniform layer around the conductor. this latter device does provide an opportunity to identify. cable interface surfaces should. sealed rail cars in good condition. but usually only about two percent of the total amount of compound is inspected. Polyethylene is manufactured by compound suppliers and shipped in pellet form to the cable manufacturers for extrusion onto the full-sized cable. Using dedicated reactors. upgrading reactor clean out and defouling procedures. it is also important to eliminate all possible sources of contamination during the manufacturing of not only the insulation system but also the conductor and insulation shields. Polyethylene manufacturers have focused on material purity. All models come with a self-enclosed air filtration system that provides a Class 1000 environment under a plastic curtain surrounding the unit. Tape inspection devices can also be used for surface inspection of extruded EPR sample tapes. The material is then cured at the proper temperature for the proper time. However. and quality assurance and quality control improvements. This means controlling the contact of possible contaminants. . In addition. Needless to say. improvement in the compounding and process design. and remove interfacial problems before shipment. the various shields and insulating layers are extruded over the conductor. Materials should be exposed as little as possible to the ambient air in the plant. Most manufacturers carry out optical pellet inspection. Although inspection for contaminants is important. For example. locate. pellet inspection devices are available for use at the cable manufacturer’s plant. Supersmooth semiconducting shields were first introduced in 1988. to raw insulation materials or to the cable during extrusion. leading to much longer service life. and these may be removed with 100 percent pellet inspection. Increasing the raw material cleanliness. similarly. Removal of contaminants starts at three mils and optimizes at 12 mils. In addition.Cable Se l e c t i o n – 6 1 2 super clean has emerged. Class 1000 clean rooms have been installed in most cable manufacturing plants and separate handling facilities for insulation and semiconductor materials have been implemented. In addition. Although interfacial inspection does not occur until after the cable is manufactured.

which led to higher water content (5. In steam curing. Extrusion Area – Conductor Shield – Insulation – Insulation Shield Curing Tube Water Cooling Insulated Cable FIGURE 2. Older systems used high-pressure steam for curing. However. where the extruded polymers are cured at a temperature between 218°C (425°F) and 293°C (560°F). especially for polyethylene-based cables.000 parts per million) within the insulation. Pressure in the curing tubes is also maintained between 150 and 300 psi. This temperature and pressure is maintained long enough for cross-linking to take place in the insulation and/or shields. commonly referred to as a water bath or quenching. The result is lower water content (200 ppm) in the insulation. the industry has widely accepted the desirability of dry nitrogen gas curing. However. The cured insulation is then cooled under pressure by cold water. The cable then enters the curing tube. Most EPRs are still made with steam curing in a CV catenary process. It is suspected that this insulation water content may contribute to the development of water trees within polyethylene. Some newer equipment uses dry nitrogen as a heat transfer agent in the curing tube.7 shows the general layout of a cable extrusion line. Figure 2. The conductor enters the process from the pay-off reel. where the shields and insulation are applied. Bare o duct Con r Pay-Off Reel Take-Up Reel . The conductor first passes through the extrusion heads. After curing. the freshly extruded cable passes down the center of a long vulcanizing tube filled with saturated steam at about 20 atmospheres (300 pounds per square inch gauge (psig)) pressure and temperature of about 215°C (419°F). The few cable production lines that use dry gas for both curing and cooling achieve even lower water content (50 ppm). Steam curing is the oldest cross-linking or vulcanizing method employed in any continuous vulcanizing (CV) plant. The significance of the lower water content is still the subject of continuing investigation. the cable enters a cooling zone.6 2 – Se c t i on 2 2 Expediency and quality in cable manufacture can be achieved if the extrusion of different layers is performed simultaneously.7: General Layout of a Cable Extrusion Line. The methods used to cure and cool the cable during manufacture are the subject of much research. some new production lines use dry gas cooling. It is believed that the very lowest water contents are maintained in service only if the cables are completely sealed from moisture. which eliminates insulation contact with water until it has solidified. The industry uses multiple simultaneous extrusion processes.

8(a). A sure as the curing section to prevent void formadisadvantage of this arrangement is the open tion in the insulation. The cable surface temperais most common. ture can be as high as 300°C (572°F). The infrared For UD cable production. 1 to 50 µm in size. Most utilities that speccally heated tube filled with extrusion ify EPR insulation request high-purity nitrogen gas at steam curing or do not specify about 10 atmospheres (150 is preferred.Cable Se l e c t i o n – 6 3 2 Conductor Shield Insulation Insulation Shield Insulated Conductor with Bare Conductor Conductor Shield Added Insulated Conductor Insulated Conductor Insulation Shield First Pass (a) 2 Pass or Dual-Tandem Method Second Pass Insulation Conductor Shield Insulation Shield Bare Conductor Conductor Shield Added Insulated Conductor with Insulation Shield (b) 1 + 2 Triple-Tandem Method Conductor Shield Insulation Shield Bare Conductor Insulated Conductor with Insulation Shield Insulation (c) 3-in-1 Triple Method FIGURE 2.8: Typical Extrusion Methods. 1 to 10 ductor shield and that for the insulation. In addition. psig) pressure. energy emitted by the hot the triple extrusion and the dry tubes is transferred to the cure technology with the catenary arrangement cable components. The cable is cooled by passing through a cooling simplest head configuration is the two-pass (or section containing water under the same presdual-tandem) process shown in Figure 2. whereas steam curing conductor shield surface can be contaminated generates voids of 105/mm3. the cable Sixty percent of the investor-owned utilities now must be returned to a separate extrusion line specify dry curing. by airborne particles. Of the remainder. The cured Extrusion heads are continuing to evolve. on the other advantage in the dry cure techhand. The µm (micrometers) in size. 33 percent . A dry cured insulation space between the application point for the concontains voids in the order of 100/mm3. a curing method at all. consists of an electriTrue triple-tandem nology. are EPR users who gain little Dry curing.

Present practice in extruded insulation cables uses extruded conductor and insulation shields almost exclusively. cables insulated with ethylene propylene rubber could have a semiconducting EPR compound or a similar compound. which allows the most uniform possible distribution of electrical stress. the insulation and the insulation shield are extruded simultaneously as shown in Figure 2. The conductor shield is particularly important in reducing stress concentrations caused by stranded conductors or imperfections on the conductor surface. This more uniform surface was particularly important for gaining cable reliability with polyethylene cable insulation. particles of semiconducting polymer might be left inside electrical connections that would . as shielding material. The latest extrusion configuration is the true triple-head unit. Conductor Shields and Insulation Shields Conductor shields and insulation shields share the function of providing a uniform cylindrical surface on either side of the cable insulation. the conductor shield and the insulation shield both usually consisted of carbonloaded cotton tape. a semiconducting XLPE would be applied for both the conductor shield and the insulation shield. the preferred extrusion method is the triple crosshead line or the true triple-head extruder. By producing a more uniform electrical stress distribution. These could be applied at a lower cost and produce a more uniform surface than could semiconducting cloth tapes. Before the general acceptance of extruded dielectric cables. The insulation shield eliminates nonuniform voltage gradients in the insulation caused by irregular contacts with grounded objects. Otherwise. A major improvement in cable extrusion is the development of the 1 + 2 triple-tandem arrangement. the triple crosshead is now generally accepted in the industry because it minimizes the chance of damage and contamination at the shields and insulation interfaces. shields allow thinner insulation sections to be used with more predictable results. This line features one common crosshead connecting three extruders. if the cable is insulated with cross-linked polyethylene. CONDUCTOR SHIELD For maximum effectiveness. Most manufacturers use EVA for these shields. This combination produces the greatest insulation system component compatibility. Other combinations may be used if elasticity and tensile strength characteristics are compatible.8(b).6 4 – Se c t i on 2 2 for installation of the insulation shield. It is particularly important to have very similar coefficients of thermal expansion to minimize the generation of thermal stresses within the cable at extreme operating temperatures. Simultaneous extrusion eliminates the opportunity for contamination of any interface surface. Though there is still a chance for airborne contamination between the conductor shield head and the insulation/insulation shield head. Because this zone has the highest electrical stresses in the cable and voids will produce insulation deterioration under electrical stress. With its successful development and commercialization. These tapes improved the surface contour of conventional stranded conductors and were generally suitable for use with paper and rubber insulation compounds. such as ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA). it is particularly important to have the minimum number of possible voids in this location. The extruded conductor shield material should strip freely from the conductor without leaving residue to facilitate cable splicing.8(c)]. For instance. Similarly. there is no chance of contamination on the insulation surface. Today. the conductor shield should be firmly bonded to the cable insulation to minimize voids at the interface between these two components. so that the insulation and the semiconductive shields are extruded simultaneously over the conductor. The preferred material is a semiconducting version of the material used for the cable insulation. extruded shields gained favor. With the advent of extruded polyethylene dielectrics. Here. All three compounds are extruded simultaneously in one location in a completely enclosed head [see Figure 2. This is also an opportunity for contamination of a critical interface surface. Most utilities now specify this extrusion method.

18 mm) into the shield of a compatible material insulation interface. this bond will smoothness. the insulation shield The cable insulation shield forms a cylindrical should be free-stripping. it is impractical to achieve and mainformance. to maintain acceptable electrical perinsulation. Tree inception at these points is befective shield and produce a uniform. where splicing or terminations INSULATION SHIELD are required frequently.Cable Se l e c t i o n – 6 5 2 unacceptably impair conducavoid stress concentrations or tivity within the connections. which is essential to avoid nonuniform specifier should note any special conditions of electrical stresses in the insulation. Betant to keep shield resistivity low. such as low splicing temperatures. The conty. Firm bonding the cable may be lower because the cable failwill require cutting the shield from the insulaure rate may be reduced. yet be easy to chaser should strongly consider using the adremove during splicing. The cable sulation.076 mm) are allowed at this contact when the cable is operated at extremely interface. Under uniform cylindrical surface. the cable purgood contact with the insulation. Current concentrations under number of tree initiation sites in the section of the concentric neutral strand also make it imporinsulation with the highest electrical stresses. Typical interface irregularities for these imcentric neutral configuration makes the distance proved conductor shield materials are approxitraveled by the capacitive currents greater and mately one percent of the size found in convenmakes shield uniformity even more important tional shields. certain minimum stripping force will tain the continuous intimate contact required to . This significantly reduces the (see Figure 2. even when the cable is if standard conductor shield bent or compressed. corona-producing voids. The thicknesses are used. cause reducing irregularities and voids in this The cable insulation shield must maintain area will yield longer cable life. conductor shield and five mils will tightly adhere to the insu(0. the insulation shield must carry cable insulation are reduced in size and quanticurrents transversely as well as radially. that most electrochemical trees begin at voids or The cable insulation shield must have unvaryprotrusions near the conductor shield/insulation ing conductivity characteristics to serve as an efinterface. but the total life-cycle cost of make splicing much more difficult. ducting metallic shield directly outside the cable However. theoretically possible to place a uniform conthat may require special stripping characteristics. Therefore. Most electrochemical ANSI/ICEA Specification Therefore. This capabilihas. Research on cable failures has shown design temperatures. developed the concept of a suty is particularly important where a concentric persmooth conductor shield that produces an neutral configuration is used with conductors extruded conductor shield with a much more spaced around the cable circumference. which must be done very carefully to keep a uniform cylindrical outer surface on the insulation. but it will more expensive. the insulation shield these regions and because these irregularities must carry the cable capacitive currents between serve as stress amplifiers when they produce a the insulation shield interface and the grounded nonuniform electrical field. tion. equipotencause of the extremely high electrical stresses in tial surface. therefore.9). Voids of shield will also remain in close up to three mils (0.127 mm) into the insulation. Removal should leave semiconducting surface on the outside of the inno residue on the insulation surface. If the insulation shield is vanced conductor shield systems with improved firmly bonded to the insulation. Although it is cable use. An extruded the conductor shield/ seven mils (0. Protrusions into the these conditions. In addition. Such materials may be slightly produce ideal electrical properties. The cable industry metallic shield tape or conductors. an extruded semitrees begin at voids S-94-649-2000 allows the conconducting insulation shield is ductor shield/insulation interinstalled to evenly distribute or protrusions near face to have protrusions of electrical stresses. lation.

Doing so will produce optimum electrical performance. CONCENTRIC NEUTRALS AND CONDUCTIVE METALLIC SHIELDS Shielded cable systems require not only a semiconducting insulation shield but also a conductive metal shield to function properly. insulation-damaging corona might be produced at the insulation interface. as shown in Table 2. before starting installations of this type. Slightly different limits for stripping tension are used in the sample cable specification contained in Appendix E. However. The metal shield is in intimate contact with the semiconducting insulation shield. Firmly bonded insulation shields should never be used on underground residential systems where cables are frequently terminated.6 6 – Se c t i on 2 2 Concentric Neutral Strand Semiconducting Insulation Shield Capacitive Current Flow Concentric Neutral Strand Insulation Strand Shield Conductor Semiconducting Insulation Shield FIGURE 2. crews must be specially trained and proper tools must be obtained to make satisfactory splices. If a cable system is going to be used in an installation requiring especially high reliability and few splices or terminations. the specifier may use a firmly bonded extruded insulation shield. If the minimum bonding is not maintained. the installation crews may have to warm the insulation shield to an acceptable temperature for splicing and termination. If such conditions are frequently encountered.9: Capacitive and Dielectric Loss Current Flow in Insulation Shield. However. especially in cable bends. the specifier should always remember that long-term performance of the cable is the most important criterion and special installation techniques may be needed under low-temperature conditions. Pending RUS 1728F-U1 specifications for primary cables call for minimum and maximum tension ratings for “strippability” of insulation shields. less extra labor will be needed to make splices. The major functions of the conductive metal shield are the following: • To serve as a grounding means for the semiconducting insulation shield to keep all sections at constant potential.5: Insulation Shield Strippability Ratings. If long cable pulls are used.) 3 6 0 Maximum Removal Tension (lb. TABLE 2. be required. Because good adherence is necessary for satisfactory electrical performance. Cable Insulation Type EPR TR-XLPE Discharge Resistant Minimum Removal Tension (lb. the cable specifier may wish to cite special conditions in the cable specification and call for special low-temperature stripping tests.5.) 18 16 16 .

All other factors the central conductor (full neutral). This Defects in the shield capacitive coupling enables the cable to function system will cause between the central without a separate neutral conconductor and the ductor. Examples of typical shield configurations • In a three-phase circuit. system neutral or the electrical considerations genersurrounding earth. Having full conductivity in the neutral reduces circuit voltage drop. Typical Neutral Configuration Conductor Size #2 AWG Aluminum 1/0 AWG Aluminum 4/0 AWG Aluminum 350 kcmil Aluminum 500 kcmil Aluminum 750 kcmil Aluminum Full Capacity 10 × 14 AWG 16 × 14 AWG 13 × 10 AWG 20 × 10 AWG N/A N/A One-Third Capacity 6 × 14 AWG 6 × 14 AWG 11 × 14 AWG 18 × 14 AWG 16 × 12 AWG 20 × 9 AWG One-Sixth Capacity One-Twelfth Capacity N/A N/A N/A 14 × 16 AWG 20 × 16 AWG 30 × 16 AWG N/A N/A N/A N/A 10 × 16 AWG 10 × 14 AWG . drain wire.C.Cable Se l e c t i o n – 6 7 2 • To serve as a path for to one-half (reduced neutral) currents generated by of the phase conductivity. which reduces the cross section required to produce a full-capacity system neutral to one-third on each cable. connected in parallel. ally mandate that concentric • To serve as an interceptor neutral conductors be copper. Table 2.6: Concentric Neutral Configurations for Common Aluminum Cables. The conductive shield’s failure to properly perReduced neutral capacities are most often form any of these functions will lead to either a used on three-phase circuits. single-phase circuits. particularly in the cable failure or a malfunction of the electric dislarger conductor sizes. thereby reducing as a conductive cable shield and a circuit neuthe cross-sectional area required to maintain tral. of system fault currents in case of a even if the central cable conductor is aluminum. desirable because of the following: A wide variety of conductive shield configurations have been developed for use on cable systems. CONCENTRIC NEUTRALS • In a three-phase system. Typical concentric neutral cables nected neutrals. shield • In a three-phase cable system with interconconfigurations. losses in the cable neutral are will have a neutral conductivity equal to that of caused by circulating currents. and often used on smaller cables that are applied in • To serve as a system neutral (in some cases). Mechanical as well as cable failures. or L. the shield low system losses and neutral-to-earth volt(neutral) has a much larger cross section than is ages under reasonably balanced conditions. tem neutral-to-earth voltage under both normal loads and fault conditions is reduced as well.6 shows concentric neutral sizes often • To provide a grounded metallic object used on distribution cables. Doing so is feasible and tribution system in which the cable is installed. between the energized conductor and the Full-capacity concentric neutrals are most cable exterior. The sysAll these functions are extremely important. or one-third TABLE 2. typical with flat tape. three neutrals are are given below. system neutral return Concentric neutral conductors serve a dual role current should be near zero. dielectric failure. To fulfill this second function.

The circuit ampacity of full-neutral cables in three-phase circuits is also reduced because of these shield losses. Moreover. It is somewhat better than helically applied copper tape shields because the length of the straight joint is less than the helical joint.4 kW/1. Additional information on circuit ampacity rating for various neutral configurations is given in Section 4.C. Because of the small cross section. The shield generally consists of a copper sheet that is installed with its major axis parallel to that of the cable. The tape generally consists of a five-mil (0. shield does provide a limited degree of resistance to water vapor transmission. the elastomer at the lap point does provide a better seal. in cmils b = Tape thickness. Tape shields may be fabricated from bare copper or may be tinned copper. The sheet is then folded around the cable and sealed to itself on the opposite side.2 A = 4bdm × W 2(W – L) where: A = Cross-sectional area. the conductivity of flat copper tape shields is relatively low compared with the central cable conductor. Not only is the temperature change higher in the insulation than it is in the cable shield. shield thicknesses of eight or 10 mils can be furnished. particularly if the cables are not closely grouped. but all dielectrics have a substantially higher coefficient of thermal expansion than that of copper.6 8 – Se c t i on 2 2 being equal. shields as the system neutral will require evaluation of available system fault currents and protective system clearing times. This problem is significant in larger cable sizes. these losses are lower where there is less neutral conductivity.C. shields are commonly available in five-mil thickness but. on a 350-kcmil circuit carrying 390 amperes. However.000 feet to 6.C. The return of the shield to intimate contact as the cable cools is assisted by the external insulating jacket.5 inches center to center. The tape is usually installed with a 12.005-inch) thick copper tape helically applied over the semiconducting insulation shield. L. It is clearly superior to concentric neutral configurations for water vapor transmission.5 percent overlap. The L. Use of L. The tube generally does not have a metal-to-metal connection with the cable insulation shield at this point because allowance must be made for the cable insulation to thermally expand during operation at elevated temperatures. shield has been developed as a way to provide greater conductivity in larger cables. Circumferential corrugations are fabricated in the resulting tube to add flexibility and ensure that the shield will uniformly bend with the cable. a tight fit must be maintained at all times. Equation 2. Therefore. Equation 2.C. The seal applied between the two sides of the copper is usually an adhesive elastomer. in mils dm = Mean diameter.000 feet if a one-third neutral is used instead of a full-capacity neutral. under static pressure. in mils . the elastomeric seal cannot be depended on to prevent moisture from migrating into the cable insulation. Accessories such as shield (neutral) bonding clamps must also be carefully evaluated for long-term continuous current and fault current capacity. shields should be sized to carry expected system neutral currents. Flat Copper Tape This is perhaps the oldest conductive shield configuration. Because the metallic shield must have good contact with the semiconducting insulation shield to function effectively. L. Elevated losses and reduced ampacities are not generally a problem on three-phase circuits of 1/0 AWG aluminum or smaller if the cables are grouped in a single trench. the losses on a circuit with 7. the insulation expansion is accommodated by flexibility in the elastomeric seal. A cable with a one-third neutral has 53 percent of the losses of a cable with a full-capacity neutral if the cables are spaced 7. in mils W = Width of tape.2 gives the effective cross-sectional area of an overlapped tape. Longitudinally Corrugated Shield The L. for applications requiring additional fault current capability. For instance.C. in mils L = Overlap of tape. although.5-inch cable spacing will drop from 12 kW/1.

Cable identification also acquires additional importance. The complete metallic coverage on a cable was originally believed to lessen damage from gophers. as jacketed cables are approximately the same dimension and general appearance as many communication cables and water lines. Most important. . The neutral size ensures the ability to adequately conduct fault currents until protective devices operate. The low resistance between the neutral and earth will significantly reduce the touch potential at the dig-in site. JCN design has achieved wide acceptance as a solution to the concentric neutral corrosion problem. using this type of cable to lessen rodent damage has had mixed results. not to be confused with flat-tape metallic shields. The straps are applied so they abut each other and provide 90 percent metallic coverage over the outside of the cable. When the cable was directly buried. Therefore. the electric utility industry began using the jacketed concentric neutral (JCN) configuration. These straps are about 0. flat-strap neutrals should not be depended on to prevent rodent damage. Furthermore. See Section 5 in the Design Manual for detailed information on system grounding. However. the use of BCN cable has been discontinued except in very special conditions. The bare concentric neutral is also considered the best possible arrangement for personnel safety in case of a dig-in. These problems are all related to corrosion of the exposed cable neutral. The low resistance between neutral and earth meant more of the system neutral current could return to the source by way of the earth.020 to 0. The jacketed configuration reduces access of moisture and corrosive agents to the neutral. thereby reducing current in the concentric neutral and circuit voltage drop. Flat-strap concentric neutrals have found greatest acceptance in areas where rodents damage direct-buried cables. Recent research shows that rodent damage is more effectively limited by increasing the diameter of the object.025 inches (20 to 25 mils) thick and about 0. Bare Concentric Neutral The first widely accepted concentric neutral cables were of a bare concentric neutral (BCN) configuration. The higher conductivity of the concentric neutral will produce lower voltages on the neutral at the fault location. the concentric neutral physical arrangement ensures the object penetrating the cable will have established a good neutral connection before contacting the energized center conductor. the neutral had a significantly reduced cross section after only a few years of service. the utility industry has developed several specialized variations of the basic concentric neutral configurations. In this design. In many cases. In light of all the advantages of BCN cables. the neutral was completely corroded and the only neutral current path was through ground rods. Jacketed Concentric Neutral Because of the very serious problems experienced with BCN cables. This configuration has most of the major advantages of the BCN design except for continuous contact of the neutral with earth.175 inches wide.Cable Se l e c t i o n – 6 9 2 CONCENTRIC NEUTRAL CONFIGURATIONS As experience has been gained with underground installations under a variety of conditions. This condition was totally unsatisfactory from the standpoints of system safety and reliability. the cooperative engineer must give special attention to system grounding if jacketed cables are used. The result was a very effective ground. especially where soil resistivity was low. it is unfortunate that there are major durability problems with this design under many installation conditions. this arrangement had the advantage of exposing the concentric neutral conductors to the surrounding soil. Insulating jackets also interrupt the flow of galvanic corrosion currents between the neutral and other metallic objects. However. In other cases. Therefore.150 to 0. Conductivity of flat-strap neutrals is generally equal to that of the energized conductor. the concentric neutral strands were laid over the semiconducting insulation shield and no jacket was applied. Each of these arrangements has an advantage for a particular set of installation conditions. consist of helically applied flat copper straps. Flat-Strap Concentric Neutrals Flat-strap concentric neutrals. the low resistance between the neutral and earth reduced neutral-to-earth voltages during both normal operations and fault conditions.

electric cable installations. the need for coating neutral wires ration required sacrificial anodes or impressed has disappeared. the cable jacket is the outermost that the aluminum neutrals would resist many layer of material that serves as a barrier to moistypes of soil-induced corrosion. This is an advantage where space is limited. Because this cable to existing systems that already had concentric neutral cables never employ soldered extensive exposure of bare copper concentric connections and butyl rubber is no longer used neutrals. concentric neutrals gained wide acceptance beThis cross-sectional arrangement offered the defcause most flat-tape metallic shields were tinned inite advantage of having steel exposed to the on jacketed cables. The thickness of the flat strap is less than the diameter of the neutral wires. sulated from the surrounding environment. failure of these cables. when the only advantage to be gained is generally accepted wire for bare concentric neuslight savings in initial material cost. The particular configuraconductors was not necessary and. es. It became obvious that For many years. in some castion used a copper center core for conductivity. Because cable jackets are not absolutely moisture proof. the steel was galvanized. Although some laboratory studies showed In most cables. Therefore. with the advent of the exconcentric neutral in direct-buried or conduit tensive underground residential programs. It is unOther Than Copper wise to consider aluminum neutral conductors The predominant material in concentric neutrals for primary cables. During the mid-1970s. In some cases. However. that was a earth in the direct-buried cables instead of copholdover from cables on which butyl rubber inper. As experience has been gained with a wide time to try to solve the bare concentric neutral variety of materials.7 0 – Se c t i on 2 2 Experience with low-voltage insulated cables has shown Always specify that aluminum conductors can copper for concentric be extremely susceptible to corrosion. all power cable designs includaluminum should never be used as an exposed ed a jacket. For durability during periods of centric neutral cable manufacture. trals was copper with a tin or tin-lead alloy coatAnother approach that was used for a limited ing. Bare copper wires are now voltage rectifiers applied to provide protection uniformly accepted as the preferred material for to the neutral. even in a jacketed configurahas always been copper. soldered connections. and the coated copper faUtilities also experienced difficulty in applying cilitated soldering of these thin shields. actually led to higher corrosion rates. whether bare or jacketed. a few utilities briefly experimented with aluminum concentric neutral cables. Systems containing this cable configufor insulation. . It is with a heavy steel coating completely surroundgenerally believed that. The very complex inportant to optimize the design and materials of teractions present on an interconnected neutral the jacket to obtain maximum performance in passing through a variety of soils led to early these important areas. tinned copper atmospheric exposure. For additional information on the concentric neutrals. The exposed steel greatly simplified the apsulation was used and tinning was needed to plication of cathodic protection systems to the avoid corrosion. in the early days of coning the copper. Therefore. the conductor used in this on earlier cables because of the prevalence of neutral construction did carry a premium price. field experience ture and mechanical damage. even an encapsulated aluminum neutral conductor may be subject to long-term Concentric Neutral Materials deterioration from moisture migration. see Section 7. principles of cathodic protection. utilities began installing bare concentric neutral Flat-strap neutral cables should be jacketed. the tion. Also. engineers have determined corrosion problem was the use of a composite that the coating of the copper concentric neutral copper/steel conductor. it is improved quite the opposite. These were applied in a bare configuraCABLE JACKET tion. For many years. tinned copper was used neutral. even if they are inneutral conductors. However. the complete cable diameter will be less.

It is worth noting that.7: Comparison of Jacketing Material Test Data. ** PVC can be specially compounded to pass the Cable Tray Fire Test. the jacket material is very important. TABLE 2.0 350 350 160 * Based on Union Carbide 7708. The material most desirable for jacketing is linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). or they may be JCN cables.700 450 Polyethylene (PE) Physical Properties • Tensile Strength (psi) • Elongation Moisture Transmission 7 Days in 70°C (158°F) Water • Grams/m2/24 hours Flame Resistance 20 Min. electric utility industry now mainly uses jacketed cables.7 shows a comparison of important properties of various compounds. utilities installed BCN UD cables. These may be conventional power cables with flat-tape or drainwire shields. Under any circumstances. In directburied applications and outdoor conduit installations. Table 2. although U. This gas. . Desirable characteristics include abrasion resistance. European and Japanese utilities continued to install only jacketed cables. Recognizing this. Both of these factors were able to strongly influence UD cable life because of the lack of a high-quality cable jacket. If cable is being pulled into a conduit system. this compromise is acceptable.5 >10 Fail Fail Fail** -40 0 -50 0 -10 22. A wide variety of chemical components have been used successfully for cable jacketing. and low moisture permeability. Semiconducting Polyethylene* 1. most utilities specify an outer jacket.730 620 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) 1. particularly in conjunction with surrounding moisture. This material has the best balance of properties for use on underground utility cables. Low chlorine content is an advantage because hydrogen chloride may result from these compounds at the emergency operating temperature of 130°C (266°F). flexibility. Today.000 Btu/Hr • Cable Tray Fire Test Low Temperature Properties Cold Bend Test • Temperature Passed (°C) Chlorine Content (%) Thermal Stability • Initial Temperature of Decomposition (°C) 2.920 350 0. This design eliminated the cable jacket so that the BCN could establish conductive contact with the earth in a direct-buried installation.S. The table shows that polyethylene is preferable in almost all categories except fire resistance. Jackets can be either insulating or semiconducting.8 1.Cable Se l e c t i o n – 7 1 2 cables. a low coefficient of friction with the conduit material is desirable. Engineers eventually learned that the accelerated failure rate of UD cable was largely caused by cable moisture and/or concentric neutral corrosion. at 70. These utilities have experienced much higher distribution system cable reliability than has been typical in the United States. the U. will be detrimental to XLPE and EPR insulating compounds as well as copper neutrals or other metallic shield materials.S.

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TABLE 2.8: Static Coefficient of Friction for Jacketing Materials in PVC Conduit.
Polyvinyl Chloride 0.69 Cross-Linked High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene Polyethylene (XLPE) (HMWPE) 0.75 0.42 Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) 0.42

Another important characteristic of jacketing materials is the coefficient of friction in common pulling situations. Table 2.8 shows the static coefficient of friction of various jacket materials in PVC conduit. Jacket materials used on utility systems should always be sunlight-resistant. Very few installed utility cables have no part of the cable ever exposed to sunlight. Therefore, most cable jacketing compounds will be colored black to eliminate sunlight penetration and, thereby, enhance the natural durability of the basic jacket compound. Jacket Configurations There are two main physical arrangements for cable jackets. The first significant jacket configuration is the encapsulating jacket. This arrangement surrounds the concentric neutral conductors with the jacketing compound. The jacket is extruded directly over the concentric neutral strands. The jacket material fills all areas between concentric neutral strands and establishes close contact with the semiconducting insulation shield. Adequate jacket thickness is placed over the outside of the strands to minimize the chance of strand exposure during installation. The advantage of this encapsulated neutral design is that no spaces exist between neutral strands to allow movement of moisture along the cable. Therefore, any penetration will allow moisture in only one small spot, and probably will expose only one neutral strand at this location. Limiting moisture exposure to only one strand of the concentric neutral will reduce the potential for loss of neutral continuity. The second jacket configuration is an extruded jacket that overlays the metallic shield or concentric neutral. In this arrangement, the jacket is often separated from the tape shield,

drain wires, or concentric neutral by a nonadhering tape. This tape keeps the two layers entirely separate. Where drain wires or concentric neutrals are used under the jacket, this method leaves an annular (ring-shaped) space between the semiconducting insulation shield and the outside jacket. Although this space does contain the metallic wire shield, the spaces between strands become a reservoir for moisture that may enter the jacket through gradual absorption, manufacturing defects, or installation-induced damage. This space also provides an excellent path for migration of moisture along the length of the cable. This moisture is extremely detrimental to the cable by its promotion of electrochemical treeing in the insulation. This moisture also facilitates corrosion attacks on metallic shield strands. Although this jacket configuration is satisfactory for use with metal tape shields, it should not be used with concentric neutral cables that will frequently be exposed to moisture. Semiconducting Jackets The use of insulating jackets on direct-buried cable improves most performance characteristics, with one major exception. Use of an insulating jacket deprives the concentric neutral of its conductive contact with the surrounding earth, thereby relegating all system neutral grounding to driven rods or other electrodes installed along the circuit route. To improve cable grounding with its attendant benefits, a semiconducting cable jacket was introduced. The jacket consists of a semiconducting compound that is extruded in an encapsulating jacket (embedded neutral) configuration. The constructed cable has a radial resistivity of less than 100 meter-ohms and is, therefore, comparable to the conductivity of most soils. This ensures neutral-to-earth current transfer comparable to that of a BCN design. The improvement of conductivity provided by semiconducting jackets between the concentric neutral and the surrounding earth is a significant improvement in overall UD system design. However, there are some disadvantages to the semiconducting jackets. These disadvantages are principally associated with the greater moisture transmission rate of the semiconducting polyethylene compound. The first semiconducting jackets

Cable Se l e c t i o n – 7 3

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had moisture transmission rates approximately 12 times that of LLDPE. At that level, moisture could penetrate the jacket and collect adjacent to the concentric neutral strands. There the moisture had the potential to serve as an electrolyte, forming a galvanic cell between the copper neutral and the carbon in the semiconducting jacket. This could result in deterioration of the neutral. Another aspect of the semiconducting jacketed cable design concerns the possibility of mechanical damage to the jacket during installation, exposing the neutral conductors directly to the soil. In this case, there is the potential for the galvanic attack to be more severe because the ratio of exposed surface areas of the carbon to copper is much greater. There also previously existed concern that the galvanic cell existing between the semiconducting jacket and interconnected subterranean steel objects might be detrimental to the steel. Examples of such objects are anchors, telephone pedestals, and water piping. Tests have been conducted by NEETRAC to demonstrate that accelerated deterioration of interconnected steel is not a significant problem. In summary, utilities should carefully consider all aspects of the system performance before installing semiconducting jackets on direct-buried cable. Though the advantage of lower system resistance to remote earth is desirable and immediate, the potential subtle negative effects are longterm and may have an effect on the useful life of the cable. The utility should consider the particular circumstances of the proposed installation conditions and weigh the merits of each cable jacket option. Cable Jacket Marking External marking of jacketed cable is necessary and serves three major purposes. The first is to provide information on the cable’s characteristics. The conductor size, type and thickness of insulation, and voltage rating must be included. The manufacturer’s name and the year of manufacture must also be included. All these markings must be durable and indented into (or embossed onto) the jacket. The second purpose is to make individual cable identification and accounting easier by applying sequential footage markers to the outside of the jacket. These markings should be applied with the general cable information listed above. These markings, along with reel label data, tell the installer how much cable remains on a reel. The sequential footage markings also help identify a particular cable that may be exposed in the midpoint of a multiconductor run. The third important purpose of external markings is to identify JCN cables as high-voltage cables. If unmarked, JCN cables are indistinguishable from jacketed communications cables. This difference must be made clear to personnel of all utilities. Previous efforts have involved the application of three red stripes in the cable surface. Other schemes have used various patterns of raised ribs on the cable surface. To assist in solving this problem, the NESC (ANSI Standard C2) requires that all electric supply cables have a standard lightning bolt symbol included in the external marking. This symbol is illustrated in Figure 2.10. As with all other exterior markings, it must be durable and indented into (or embossed onto) the cable surface.

Printed Data Clear Space

3H

3H

3H

H

Symbol for Communication Cable
Printed Data Clear Space

3H

3H

3H

H

Symbol for Supply Cable
H = Height of printed characters; determined by cable manufacturer

FIGURE 2.10: Cable Identification Markings. Source: ANSI/IEEE C2 (NESC).

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Cable Specification and Purchasing
Acquisition of satisfactory cable starts with preparing an adequate specification document that fully describes the cable needed. As the preceding topics in this section have shown, there are many options from which to choose. The specification must describe the following: • The cable that will best fulfill system requirements, • The quality control tests that are expected during and after manufacture, and • The packaging and shipping methods to be used. In short, all items of importance to the purchaser must be described either directly or through reference to other industry-standard specifications. Reference to industry-standard specifications can greatly simplify the specification-writing process for both the purchaser and the supplier. Perhaps the most notable examples of widely accepted U.S. cable specifications are those prepared under the auspices of the ANSI/ICEA. ANSI/ICEA Specification S-94-649 covers cables insulated with thermoplastic, cross-linked, and ethylene propylene rubber. This specification is for shielded cables rated five through 46 kV. Within these specifications, there are references to various detailed specifications, such as National Equipment Manufacturers Association and ASTM specifications. Another major specification that affects rural electric cooperatives is RUS Bulletin 1728F-U1. The RUS U1 specification makes extensive reference to ANSI/ICEA Specification S-94-649-2000. U1 is oriented specifically to UD cables up to 35 kV and optional semiconducting outer jackets. As of the writing of this manual, this RUS Bulletin 1728F-U1 is still pending final approval. Compliance with these commonly accepted electric industry specifications assures the purchaser that the manufacturers will be familiar with the general requirements and should have designs and quality control procedures in place to meet the purchaser’s needs. SAMPLE CABLE SPECIFICATIONS The first step when buying any cable is to determine the specific requirements of the project being considered. These requirements can range from routine cable purchases for use in small-capacity, single-phase extensions to specialized cables for substation feeder exits, underwater installations, or other unusual applications. Appendix E contains sample specifications for primary cable. Appendix E addresses cables with both EPR and TR-XLPE insulation. These specifications incorporate many of the features that have been discussed and recommended in this manual. Appendix E shows features to include in specifications for the purchase of single-conductor, medium-voltage cable suitable for rural systems. These specifications are compatible with, and in some cases exceed, the requirements of pending RUS Bulletin 1728F-U1. Because these are general specifications, they are particularly oriented toward the routine cable purchase. These specifications may not include special features needed in a particular project. Therefore, the engineer must closely review these specifications and change them as needed to meet any unusual requirements of a particular project. Appendix C is a sample specification for secondary single-conductor and triplex cables. Three types of insulation are included: standard crosslinked polyethylene, ruggedized cross-linked polyethylene, and self-sealing insulated cables. Because many secondary cable failures are caused by insulation cuts during installation, these tougher insulations are required for reliability. The use of ruggedized secondary cable is recommended. Self-sealing secondary cables contain a viscous material between the outer layer of conductor strands and the inner surface of the insulation. When the insulation is disrupted, the viscous insulating material flows into the cut and restores the integrity of the insulation. This stops the entrance of moisture into the cable and arrests the progress of the typical secondary cable failure. TYPICAL SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS There are certain areas in which purchasers commonly change the specifications to meet their particular needs. Neutral Size One item that affects both the initial and the operating costs of an underground cable is the concentric neutral conductivity. If the neutral selected

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for three-phase installations is too large, both the initial cost and the circulating current losses will be higher. However, on single-phase installations, a larger concentric neutral is needed to carry the neutral return current that may be near the magnitudes of the current in the energized conductor. On single-phase installations, a reduced neutral capacity could produce higher neutral-to-earth voltages and higher losses because of the lower conductivity of the neutral conductor. Conceivably, the reduced-capacity neutral could even be thermally overloaded as the cable approaches normal rated capacity. For these reasons, RUS requires a full-capacity neutral in single-phase installations and allows a one-third (or greater) capacity concentric neutral on three-phase cable installations. This approach ensures that there will be concentric neutral conductivity at least equal to the phase conductor conductivity in both single-phase and threephase installations. The cooperative engineer should consider the typical use of the cable that is being bought when deciding whether to use full-capacity or reduced-capacity neutrals. Length Each purchaser will have different requirements for the length of cable on reels to use on routine installations. Requirements will vary with terrain, the type of equipment used to install cables, and the typical distance between termination points. The cables should be bought in the longest lengths practical for the field crews to use so as to leave less scrap at the reel ends. Constraining factors will be the width and diameter of reels that the cable transport and installation equipment can accommodate. The cooperative engineer must also consider the weight of the full reel when deciding on the standard reel size. As with all other aspects, it is helpful to select the same maximum reel sizes that other cooperatives choose, especially if there is a group purchase arrangement. Doing so makes stocking easier for manufacturers and distributors and consequently reduces the cost for the cooperative. Cold Weather Bending Utilities operating underground systems in cold climates have experienced a variety of flexibility problems with cables caused by the low temperatures. To lessen these problems, the specifier can insert a section requiring a cold bend qualification test. This test will indicate the probability the cable will fail during bending or movement at low temperatures. It is not a measure of cable flexibility. In most cases where the cable operating temperature is always above -17°C (0°F), cable bending problems are not significant. Feeder Cable Shielding Section 4 of this manual shows that high-capacity three-phase cable installations incur much higher losses when high-conductivity concentric neutrals are used. Induced currents that circulate between the neutrals of the three phases cause these losses. Lower conductivity neutral/shield arrangements reduce these losses. Such arrangements not only can reduce the economic loss associated with circulating currents, but also can increase cable ampacity by cutting the amount of heat generated in the neutral/shield. Substation exits or other large feeders generally have better load balance with lower neutral currents. Therefore, reduced concentric neutrals will have adequate thermal capacity, especially if they are supplemented by a separate neutral conductor. Where a high-capacity feeder is being installed, the engineer should give particular attention to the size of the neutral and/or shield specified on the cable. The engineer must also check the magnitude and duration of fault currents on the system when selecting a particular neutral/shield arrangement. Fault current duration is usually not a problem on 200-amp-class single-phase circuits because full-capacity neutrals are used and circuit reclosing is not a factor. However, the other extreme is substation feeder exit cables where there is a desire to reduce neutral capacity to minimize circulating current losses and increase ampacity. In these locations, the fault currents are higher, overcurrent protective devices operate more slowly, and reclosing is often used. All these elements contribute to higher neutral/shield temperatures under cable fault conditions. The neutral/shield component of underground substation feeder exit cables and express feeders must also carry fault currents for all down-line faults. An additional neutral conductor located in the same

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trench or conduit with the insulated cables can supplement this capability. The engineer should pay particular attention to this set of conditions when selecting a reduced neutral size. CABLE PURCHASING PRACTICES Vendor Prequalification Because cable is one of the keys to a reliable and cost-effective underground distribution system and some types of cable defects are not obvious at the time of manufacture and will be recognized only years later, all cable needs to be manufactured by reliable producers. It is in the cooperative’s best interest to review the qualifications of vendors and select those that have a proven capability to produce a high-quality insulated conductor. Prequalification of vendors ensures that all parties quoting on a cable order have a proven ability to produce a high-quality cable meeting a particular specification. Prequalification avoids situations in which a vendor with questionable qualifications submits an unrealistically low price. Under these circumstances, the utility is typically required to honor the bid, which may lead to additional long-term cost through premature cable failure. It is only logical that if most of the utility industry is carefully prequalifying vendors, those found unqualified by others will have lower prices and better lead times because of lower demand for their products. This possibility makes it even more important to participate in an effective vendor prequalification program. Group Purchase One way to simultaneously improve cable prices and quality is to engage in group purchasing of cable. This practice has several advantages to both the vendor and the cooperative. Larger quantities (more than 50,000 feet) often lead to better overall quality control. During the initial part of a cable manufacturing run, larger orders mean that the front and tail ends of a particular run can be scrapped. This additional cost for nonqualifying material is then spread over a larger order, thereby reducing the unit price. Active quality control is an important part of any utility purchasing program. This quality control should include factory visits during major cable purchases to review factory production and testing procedures. To be effective, an individual familiar with cable production and testing methods must be present. Because the expense of this observation is essentially the same for large or small orders, large orders greatly reduce the incremental unit cost for observation. Moreover, with group purchasing, there is a greater chance that a staff engineer from one member of the group will have (or be able to develop) the expertise necessary to effectively perform this function. Group purchasing and larger orders will always lead to a lower unit price. Because all the cable bought under a group plan will be according to a single specification and of the same construction, the manufacturer can achieve economies through the following: • Volume purchases of required material; • Longer, more efficient runs in wire drawing operation; • Longer, more efficient runs in cable extrusion operation; and • Wider distribution of fixed costs associated with a single order. Group purchasing of large cable quantities has a minimum effect on delivery practices. Manufacturers will usually ship parts of the larger order to destinations specified by group members at no extra cost. In some cases, groups have negotiated warehousing arrangements with manufacturers for release of cable on a designated schedule throughout a year. This arrangement reduces the cash flow burden on the cooperative. It also gives the manufacturer additional flexibility by allowing the major production runs to be scheduled at more convenient times. Another advantage to group purchasing on a standardized specification is the feasibility of having a single distribution point where the group maintains a cable stock. The ability to receive large orders coupled with reduced warehouse space requirements at the individual group members’ sites may make this approach reasonable in some cases. This option is particularly attractive when group purchase and stocking of other utility materials is also practiced.

Cable Se l e c t i o n – 7 7

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Cable Acceptance
After a cooperative has analyzed its cable needs, written a comprehensive specification, and followed good purchasing procedures, one critical step remains before installation can begin. This step is the acceptance and inspection of the cable delivered by the manufacturer. Cable acceptance involves several simple and inexpensive steps that can yield big dividends. The cooperative engineer must follow these steps to make sure that a quality product is delivered to installation crews. STEP 1. VISUALLY INSPECT FOR SHIPMENT DAMAGE Visually inspect cable reels for any damage that may have occurred in transit. Signs of possible damage include impressions or nicks on the outside layer of cable or the reel lagging. If possible, this inspection should take place while reels are still on the delivery vehicle. STEP 2. CHECK TAGS Visually check each reel to determine that it has proper tags and labels as described in the specifications. Make sure that information on the reel tags agrees with purchase-order information. For example, be sure that wire size, insulation thickness, neutral configuration, and jacket description all conform to the specifications and purchase order. Cable length should fall within the bounds described by the purchase order. If cable was ordered cut to specific lengths, the engineer should check the tag and sequential jacket markings (if available) to be sure that enough length is available for the required run. STEP 3. CHECK DIMENSIONAL TOLERANCE Make a simple measurement of basic cable dimensions on one reel of each cable size in a shipment to confirm that labeling is correct. Measure these dimensions: • Conductor size and stranding, • Insulation thickness, • Concentric neutral wire size and number of strands, and • Jacket thickness.
Section 11, Cable Testing, gives further information on allowable dimensional tolerances.

STEP 4. CONDUCT CABLE ACCEPTANCE TESTING Once on each order or once for each 50,000 feet of cable, the cooperative should conduct a complete set of dimensional and electrical performance tests on the cable to make sure it complies with the purchase specifications and referenced industry standards. These tests include the following: • • • • Conductor shield resistivity test; Insulation shield resistivity test; Dimensional analysis of all components; Microscopic examination for voids, contaminants, and shield interface protrusions; and • Insulation shield stripping test. An outside laboratory will need to help with these tests. Section 11 gives additional information on these tests.

Summary and Recommendations

Cable systems are one of the most important parts of any underground system. Special care must be used in selecting both primary and secondary cables. Some important points follow: 1. JCN cable must be used for most underground installations. Insulating jackets are preferred. 2. Aluminum central conductors are the economical choice for most underground situations. 3. Solid conductors up to No. 2/0 AWG may be used to eliminate longitudinal moisture migration.

4. All stranded conductors should have strand filling in interstices to eliminate longitudinal moisture migration. 5. Modern TR-XLPE or EPR cables offer reliability superior to that of earlier cables of HMWPE or XLPE. 6. Vendor quality control and manufacturing cleanliness are essential to the production of reliable cable. 7. In heavily loaded three-phase circuits, reduced neutrals will cut losses caused by circulating neutral currents. Reduced neutrals

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will also increase circuit ampacity, particularly where phases are separated. 8. A comprehensive cable specification must be used and received materials inspected for compliance. 9. Initial cost, cost of dielectric losses, and cable life expectancy must be evaluated when making purchasing decisions.

Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 7 9

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In This Section: General Sectionalizing Philosophy

Underground System Sectionalizing

General Sectionalizing Philosophy Overcurrent Protection of Cable System Effect of Inrush Current on Sectionalizing Devices

Selection of Underground Sectionalizing Equipment Faulted Circuit Indicators Summary and Recommendations

The final design and continuous reliable performance of an electrical distribution system depend on many engineering elements. Protective device coordination, overcurrent protection, overvoltage protection, voltage regulation, and service continuity are just a few of the elements that are incorporated. This section addresses the coordination of overcurrent protective devices in underground distribution systems and the coordination of these protective devices with protective devices on interconnected overhead portions of the system. This section is not intended to provide a comprehensive procedure for planning and operating a protection program. Furthermore, the procedure for calculating system fault current is beyond the scope of this section. An excellent reference for designing protection systems and calculating faults is Electrical Distribution System Protection by Cooper Power Systems (1990). Many excellent computer programs are also available for fault current calculation. PURPOSE OF SECTIONALIZING Limit Magnitude of Damage and Injury Short-circuit currents subject a system to both mechanical and thermal stress. Mechanical stress begins at the same time as the initiation of the

fault current and is at its maximum level during the first few cycles when the asymmetrical fault is at a maximum. The ability of system components to withstand mechanical stress is mainly a function of design. Where the maximum available fault exceeds the withstand capability of the system component, the only solutions are the following: • Replace the component with a heavier duty unit, • Modify the circuit configuration to reduce the maximum available fault, or • Use current-limiting protective devices to reduce the let-through current. Thermal stress is a function of the energy released in a system component during a fault that results in rapid heat buildup. The magnitude of energy involved is proportional to current squared multiplied by time (I2t). The traditional approach to reducing thermal damage is to reduce the amount of time a fault is allowed to exist through the careful selection of protective devices and device settings. Where maximum fault levels are so high that the operating time of the protective device must be reduced to an

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coordinated properly, the fault location should be between Optimize reliability by the device that has operated sizing equipment for and the next load-side device. If the maximum number of maximum faults and protective devices that can Contain Fault Damage using enough feasibly be installed are used, One objective of protective protective devices. the length of line between deequipment is to limit damage vices will be relatively short. at the actual fault site. It is This design approach will reoften impossible or impractical strict the amount of line that to completely eliminate its ocmust be searched for a fault. Thoughtful placecurrence. Through the use of protective devices, ment of devices will also help locate faults. For fault current magnitude and fault duration are example, consider a point at which three taps reduced. This reduces, but may not eliminate, branch off a circuit. If a fuse were placed in the damage to the rest of the system from throughmain circuit just before the taps branch off, opfault currents. Thus, most damage is contained eration of the fuse would show that a fault had within the actual location of the fault. occurred in one of the three taps but it would not show which specific tap. However, if a fuse Maximize System Reliability were placed at the beginning of each of the and Power Quality three branches, operation of one of the fuses Adherence to the following guidelines will maxiwould show which of the three taps contained mize system reliability. the fault. Installing the additional fuses in this situation would also improve consumer reliabil• Purchase system components that will withity by reducing the number of consumers interstand maximum calculated through-fault rupted by a fault. currents. Of course, there are practical limitations on • Locate and size protective devices so the the number and location of devices that can be smallest possible portion of the system is deplaced on a circuit. The judicious use of fault inenergized for a permanent fault. dicators between protective devices will help • Size protective devices so they do not permapinpoint a fault location. The application of fault nently open for temporary faults. This indicators is presented later in this section. Fault guideline applies mainly to overhead portions indicators are especially useful where a circuit of a system, as faults on underground systems may sometimes be backfed. In this situation, are usually permanent. protective devices may not coordinate properly and more Additional reliability may be than one device may operate achieved for critical loads by Wise placement of during a fault. Wisely placed use of an automatic transfer fault indicators would be espeswitching arrangement. These protective devices cially useful to narrow down arrangements are expensive and indicators will aid the fault location. and require two or more independent sources of power. in locating faults and OVERVIEW OF FAULTS minimizing outage Aid in Determining The IEEE Standard Dictionary size and duration. Fault Location of Electrical and Electronics Terms (2000) lists several Proper coordination and placedifferent definitions of the ment of protective devices will word fault. The first two help system operators deterdefinitions listed are relevant here: mine a fault location. If protective devices are impracticably short interval, then current-limiting devices can be used to reduce the fault current and the duration.

during single-phase faults on three-phase circuits. leading to loss of service to loads beyond the fault. causing damage within a fraction of a second. a broken wire. the phase-to-neutral voltage on the two unfaulted phases can sometimes increase to a level that can approach the normal phase-to-phase voltage. Open circuits typically do not lead to damage to the electrical system. the word fault is associated with its short-circuit definition only. overhead lines in many instances are connected either on the source side or. they are outside the scope of this section. and allowing nails in reels to damage cable. The IEEE dictionary defines a short circuit as “an abnormal connection (including an arc) of relatively low impedance. normally available protective sectionalizing devices used on electrical distribution systems do not typically detect open circuits. excessive pulling force during installation. • Voltage at the fault and beyond decreases significantly. causing damage. whether made accidentally or intentionally. for example. Throughout the rest of this section. underground devices on systems served by overhead feeders must coordinate with those devices protecting the overhead portions of the system. or an element to fail to perform in a required manner. In addition. An open circuit is any circuit in which the normal continuity of the circuit is interrupted. Causes of Faults Causes of common mechanical failures of underground cables are dig-ins. and is used interchangeably for short circuit. Although protective relays that detect open circuits to some degree are available (and others are currently being developed).” Within the same definition. . less frequently. Extreme weather conditions. The voltage between the generation source and the fault decreases proportionally to the inverse of the line impedance. driving vehicles over laid cable. the protective devices often protect mixed line sections. Also. • Faults typically lead to current levels that exceed the thermal rating of conductor and other system components. This last cause includes sharp bending of cable. a component. • Very little current flows past a fault point. In these cases. This increased voltage on the unfaulted phases stresses the insulation and can lead to failure. Tree limbs or trees falling on the lines. Description of Faults Some of the phenomena associated with a fault are listed below. and thermal insulation failure caused by overloading. and Vehicular damage. or an intermittent connection.” All faults within these two definitions fall within one of two major categories: an open circuit or a short circuit. and improper handling and installation. Although the intent of this section is to focus on the protection of underground systems. Frequently. and even fatalities. • The abnormal low-impedance path can include nonutility property or human beings. Squirrels or large birds. there is a note that the term fault or short-circuit fault is used to describe a short circuit. insulation treeing. the word fault will be used to mean short circuit. For a comparison of the sectionalizing of overhead and underground systems. rodent damage.Underground System Section al iz i n g – 8 1 3 • “A wire or cable fault is a partial or total local failure in the insulation or continuity of a conductor.” • “A component fault is the physical condition that causes a device. a short circuit. walking on cable in a trench. injury. placing or leaving rocks in a position to cause future cable damage. on the load side of underground lines. In addition. it is useful to examine the many causes of faults on overhead distribution lines. Principal causes of electrical faults to underground systems include lightning. depending on the cause. Failure of splices and elbows is also either electrical or mechanical failure. Some of the more common causes are: • • • • • Lightning. between two points of a different potential.

Equation 3. Figure 3. Using a standard symmetrical component notation. then the initial fault current will be highly asymmetrical.2 shows a typical current curve immediately before and after a fault initiation.2 Single-Phase Fault X Ratio = [(2 × X1) + X0] ÷ [(2 × R1) + R0] R where: X1 R1 X0 R0 = = = = Positive sequence reactance Positive sequence resistance Zero sequence reactance Zero sequence resistance FIGURE 3. During an asymmetrical current. the current is symmetrical before the fault initiation. If the fault is initiated near a voltage zero. . then the resulting fault current will be totally symmetrical. the current is asymmetrical for approximately the first three cycles before returning to a symmetrical waveform. As the point on the voltage curve moves from the voltage zero point to the maximum voltage point.2: Asymmetrical Short-Circuit Current. as shown in Figure 3. the current wave is not symmetrical about the zero current line and can be completely above or below the zero line.1 shows the X/R ratio for a three-phase fault.1 Three-Phase Fault X Ratio = X1 ÷ R1 R FIGURE 3.8 2 – Se c t i on 3 3 Symmetrical Versus Asymmetrical Faults The terms symmetrical currents and asymmetrical currents refer to the symmetry of the peaks of the current waves about the zero current line. The degree of asymmetry in the current curve immediately after the initiation of a fault depends on two considerations. The higher the X/R ratio is. A symmetrical current is symmetrical about the zero current line. The first is the time within a cycle that the short circuit occurs.1. Equation 3.2 shows the X/R ratio for a single-phase fault. the greater the asymmetry of the initial fault current is. The other consideration that affects the degree of asymmetry of a fault current is the reactance/resistance (X/R) ratio of the equivalent impedance circuit at the fault location. As the curve shows. A high X/R ratio means the inductance of the circuit is greater than the resistance. Such current symmetry would typically be found in a system under normal operating conditions. Immediately after the fault initiation. If the fault is initiated during a voltage peak. Equation 3. where: X1 = Positive sequence reactance R1 = Positive sequence resistance Total Asymmetrical Current DC Component AD Component Equation 3.1: Symmetrical Current. all other conditions being constant. The positive sequence impedance data (X1 and R1) and zero sequence impedance data (X0 and R0) should be available from a system fault study. the degree of current asymmetry decreases accordingly.

although some fuses may be rated for maximum asymmetrical fault-interrupting capability.116 1.0 “Maximum RMS” Factor for 1/2 Cycle. switches and sectionalizers will have a close-and-latch rating expressed as amperes symmetrical with a maximum X/R ratio.1: Multiplying Factors to Determine Asymmetrical Fault Currents Where Symmetrical Fault Currents Are Known. Table 3.042 1. The maximum asymmetrical fault for this location is 1.015 1.0 15. Mrms* 1.0 20. The multiplying factor Mrms is 1.002 1.600 amperes and an asymmetrical interrupting rating of 12. The rate at which a fault current decays from its asymmetrical waveform to an essentially symmetrical waveform also depends on the X/R ratio.522 1.0 10. The X/R rating shows that the device is able to successfully interrupt or close into the maximum asymmetrical fault current expected for a system with the following: • A maximum available fault current less than or equal to the symmetrical current rating of the device. X/R Ratio 1.504 amperes is less than the asymmetrical interrupting rating of 12.0 8.000 amperes.0 2.189 1. or 11.1: Device Rated in Maximum Asymmetrical Current Capacity. A circuit that has a low X/R ratio (one that is mostly resistive) will decay very quickly. and the maximum asymmetrical fault of 11.383 1. Typical protective devices such as fuses.646 1. A circuit with a high X/R ratio (one that is highly inductive) will take much longer to decay. and • An X/R ratio less than or equal to the rating of the device.0 4.0 40. this value is usually fairly conservative. Where an X/R ratio is used to show the maximum asymmetrical interrupting rating of a device. In other words.0 6.0 100.000 amperes.000 amperes. * Multiply per-phase symmetrical rms short-circuit current by Mrms to obtain momentary per-phase asymmetrical rms fault current. The X/R ratio at this location is 10 and the fuse being considered for this location has a symmetrical interrupting rating of 8.5 2.438 1.0 5.438 × 8.5 3.1 should be useful where devices are rated in asymmetrical currents or where devices are rated in maximum X/R ratios and the actual X/R ratio exceeds the rated value.078 1.438 for an X/R ratio of 10. and reclosers are rated in maximum symmetrical fault-interrupting capability.569 1. breakers.000 in this location is less than the interrupting rating of 8. EXAMPLE 3. The asymmetrical rating is based on the rms (root mean square) value of the maximum asymmetrical fault during the first half cycle of fault current. The calculated maximum symmetrical fault on a system is 8. they will have either a maximum asymmetrical current interrupting capability or a maximum . In addition.600 amperes.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 8 3 3 TABLE 3.000 amperes. therefore.253 1. the device is acceptable. most distribution system X/R ratios would be expected to be less than the rating of this device and fall within its capabilities.0 1.0. The maximum symmetrical fault of 8.305 1. Likewise.697 symmetrical current interrupting rating and a corresponding maximum X/R ratio for the circuit in question.504 amperes.

In other words. some be used to check Maximum faults should be caldevices have different operatculated for both three-phase ing characteristics for phaseinterrupting ratings.500 should be coordinated under normal system amperes symmetrical and 3. the power supplier is calculate phase-to-phase-to-ground faults. operating its system with maximum generation and with its transmission system interconMinimum Available Fault nected to result in a maximum available fault. In this case. Therefore. The maximum connected substation transfault current is also the current formers. Although Table 3. This must be done beThe maximum available fault current is used to cause phase-to-ground faults typically exceed determine if the interrupting capacity of a device three-phase faults in and near delta-to-wyeis adequate.4716 (15 – 10) emergency conditions.438) + 1.569. • When determining the interrupting capability Mrms for X/R of 12 = of devices. • Calculate both maximum three-phase and Maximum Available Fault phase-to-ground faults.522 – 1. Furthermore. will be within acceptable limits. The connected to produce the maximum available actual minimum fault current on any circuit apfault. interpolation can be used to calculate an Mrms factor. If the circuit’s X/R ratio had been dinate devices under emergency conditions 12 or less.3 because of operating restrictions.922 amperes asymmetrical are less than the device configuration.500 amperes with an X/R ratio of 20.1 does not list an X/R ratio of 12. (such as when a circuit is backfed from a nearby substation).000 amperes symmetrical equals an asymmetrinormal conditions.000 amperes symmetrical and a maximum circuit X/R ratio of 12.438 = 1. if a broken conductor . the recloser is acceptable.2. use the maximum expected fault. calculate the maximum fault under The Mrms value of 1. Typical conditions are as follows: taps for which only phase-to-ground faults should be used when devices are coordinated. which. • When considering the coordination of devices.569 times the maximum symmetrical fault current of 2. faults and single-phase-toto-ground faults than for threeground faults. A common example is two substation proaches zero. transformers operating in parallel if such an arrangement is possible and usual. It may not be possible to coorratings. The Mrms factor for the circuit X/R ratio of 20 is 1.8 4 – Se c t i on 3 3 EXAMPLE 3. The maximum fault conditions of 2. Device Rated for Maximum Circuit X/R Ratio. there would have been no need to calculate the respective asymmetrical fault current. the location being considered has a maximum available symmetrical fault current of 2.922. A bolted fault has zero fault resistance (or reactance).500 amperes yields a maximum asymmetrical fault current for the circuit of 3. the circuit. The term minimum available fault current does • Substation transformers and buses are internot accurately describe the desired value. Maximum faults phase faults. The device being considered is a recloser with a maximum interrupting rating of 3. • A bolted fault (both three-phase and phase-toground) is applied at each location to be evaluated. supplier. whereas three-phase magnitude at which the coorfaults typically exceed phaseMaximum available dination of devices is checked to-ground faults further out on fault current should for adequate time clearance. Another reason are calculated using those confor calculating both types of ditions that will lead to the maximum available faults is that most systems have single-phase faults. although not exact. devices cal interrupting rating of 4.4716 × 3. • The maximum fault is available from the power When coordinating devices on vee-phase lines.415 amperes. The Mrms factor of 1. For example. (12 – 10) even if it would occur only under unusual or × (1. In this application. The system engineer should take some precautions when calculating maximum faults: • Do not calculate maximum faults for system configurations that cannot actually exist Equation 3.

it may be necessary to make two sets of fault calculations using the underground fault resistance in one run and the overhead fault resistance in the other run. under a river. This variability should always be considered when determining the system standard protection parameters. such as where a circuit is mostly Many field measurements made on utility sysoverhead with a short section of underground tems in the 1930s were used to develop a plot of (for instance. transformers. install the primary cable in conduit. they frequently either Faults on overhead lines are usually temporary do not vary significantly from the maximum and are best protected by reclosing devices such fault configuration or are not available in the as breakers or reclosers.000-kVA porary faults on the load-side as most faults are base capacity operated in the overhead line. highway. Where circuits are composed of interconnected sections of underground and overhead. 15-kV distribution class. rethe average level was 35 duced protection of the underReclosing is not an ohms. This reduces the time needed to restore mend a value of zero to 10 ohms to calculate minservice in case of a failed cable. tions of greater than 5. some parties recomor both. and other system components. with 10 ohms giving more conservative results. causing a fault that approaches zero amperes. that is. The variables that typically affect the calculated minimum fault are the following: • Available fault current from the source utility or transmission system. imum faults. a valTo compensate for the repermanent. neutrals or metallic shields. circuit. ue of 30 ohms is often used. there are exceptions to this recomand minimum faults. • The configuration of the distribution system and substation buses. which is mainly controlled by the amount of generation online and the transmission system and bus configuration.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 8 5 3 falls on dry sand or a dead. For neer could design the system with a spare cable faults on underground systems with concentric (or cables). and • The fault resistance. or airport glide path). Doing so will minimize restoration time and help distinguish between overhead and underAlthough the effects of the first two variables ground faults. the engioccur on the overhead portion of the system. which is the resistance between the faulted conductor and the return path that must be added to the known impedances of the source. transmission apparent fault resistances versus a percentage of line. the effective fault resistance approaches infinity. should not be discounted. However. mendation. the concept of a minimum fault current actually involves calculating the minimum fault current that can be expected during most of the faults on a system. It is also important to note that site conditions vary widely between utilities and within each distribution system. In this case. Coordinating a fuse faults at that resistance level. A commonly used value ground line section is more advantage on a totally of fault resistance for overhead desirable than frequent operacircuits is 40 ohms. The third variable ground lines are usually permanent. duced protection of the underThese values are for faults that ground line section. For substation of the fuse caused by temunderground system. they are best (fault resistance) usually has the greatest influprotected by nonreclosing devices such as fuses. .3). any location where a transition from overhead to underground cable takes place or in a substation or step-down transformer where the underground circuit originates (see Figure 3. Since faults on underminimum fault configuration. The results showed with in-line reclosers on the source side and the that the median level of fault load side of the fuse might be resistance was 25 ohms and impossible. DESIRABLE LOCATIONS FOR SECTIONALIZING DEVICES Beginning of UD Cable It is normally desirable to place sectionalizing devices at the beginning of underground cables. ence on the difference between the maximum Of course. bone-dry tree.

115 kV–12. To Next Substation N. N. – Normally Open FIGURE 3. Underground Line Breaker or Recloser Fuse Distribution Transformer Switch N.C. – Normally Closed N.5/7.C. .C. N.O. N.C.O.8 6 – Se c t i on 3 3 Main Substation N.O.2 kV GRD WYE 10 miles from Main Substation 5 miles from Main Substation N.O.3: Sample Distribution Circuit with Typical Locations of Sectionalizing Devices Shown. N.O.O. Legend Overhead Line N.

If a recloser or breaker is installed at the beginning of an overhead line that is fed by an underground line. This is particularly the case where several heavily loaded taps are located along the length of the feeder. Using properly installed fault indicators along with solid blade disconnects at each end of the cable will help operating personnel differentiate a cable fault from an overhead fault. On the other hand.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 8 7 3 Another solution is to establish an alternate circuit route to the area that would allow the underground section to be de-energized for repair or maintenance without extended loss of service. mainly because underground faults are usually permanent and can cause widespread damage to cable insulation if not quickly and permanently interrupted. This is also a good location because devices can be readily installed in the switching cabinet. 1. When there is a permanent fault. The fault impedance would be quite high and may require a significant time interval to establish an arc after being extinguished. thereby substantially prolonging the duration of faults on the cable system and making cable damage much more extensive. it is desirable to install sectionalizing devices at the beginning of taps off a main feeder or sub-feeder. 3. the underground line will be subjected to multiple through-faults because of the reclosing action of the recloser or breaker. The purpose of reclosing is to test for the clearing of temporary faults. then any temporary faults would cause a blown fuse and an unnecessary outage and service call. Overhead lines can also be subjected to faults for longer periods without extensive damage. of the taps. A recloser or breaker installed at the beginning of the underground line to coordinate with the load-side recloser or breaker could lead to extensive cable damage during faults internal to the cable system. the recloser or breaker will lock out after the third or fourth interruption. In-line sectionalizing is also recommended where the feeder is so long that the maximum fault currents at the beginning and . Optimum fault protection of such an arrangement is almost impossible to achieve. Transformers Pad-mounted transformers must be fused to protect the system from transformer failures and secondary faults. Alternatively. This type of fault is typically caused by a concentric neutral that is badly corroded or fault damaged. There have also been occurrences of self-clearing cable faults that have allowed reclosing devices to reset between arcing events. Proper transformer fusing reduces the chance of a transformer catastrophically failing. Other Locations Where long underground feeders exist. The cumulative fault duration could lead to thermal damage of the cable and any fuse protecting the cable. 4. Overhead lines are protected by reclosers or breakers that reclose two or three times. and other singleoperation devices. A summary of the problems associated with this type of arrangement follows. A feeder cable fault near the end of the feeder would interrupt service to only some. Underground lines are protected by fuses. rather than all. or a downstream fuse (or sectionalizer) will operate to isolate the permanent fault. Such devices will prevent service on the main feeder or sub-feeder from being interrupted if there is a fault on the tap. 2. if the underground line is protected by a fuse. opens up additional sectionalizing difficulties. single-shot sectionalizers. overhead faults are usually temporary. Taps Off Main Feeders and Sub-Feeders Typically. it may be necessary to install in-line sectionalizing devices at one or more locations between the beginning and end of the feeder. End of Underground Cable Where Continued as Overhead The general use of underground cable followed by a load-side overhead line. It is necessary to keep fuse sizes small enough to limit the energy and duration of any transformer fault that does occur. Reclosing is often successful in avoiding a sustained outage. other than short underground feeder exits at substations.

the fault current in the concentric neutral or metallic shield may split and flow both toward the source and in the opposite direction from the source until it reaches external grounding connections. current will always flow from the source through the phase conductor to the fault location.4). cable shield. Current Paths During a fault. the concentric neutral. The current can then return through several paths with varying percentages of the current flowing in each path.8 8 – Se c t i on 3 3 end of the cable differ appreciably. elbows. causing a fault. the elevated temperatures generated by the higher I2R losses can damage those cable materials that contact the metallic conductors. and the cable jacket (see Figure 3. one of these components may break down as a result of normal voltage stress or normal load current. however. The heat produced by the arc between the phase conductor and neutral. Poorly made splices and other connections are especially susceptible to thermal damage. The exact effects on the various components vary. Short-Term Effects Short-term effects of faults on cable typically involve obvious burn damage around the fault. If cables that have been subjected to severe through-faults repeatedly Phase Conductor Jacket Concentric Neutral/ Metallic Shield Insulation Shield Insulation Strand Shield Strand Fill Locations Susceptible to Overheating Damage from Fault Currents FIGURE 3.4: Cross Section of Cable Showing Components Subject to Through-Fault Damage. there may be enough thermal damage from through-fault current to cause failure of splices. If maximum through-faults fall below the levels shown on the emergency operating temperature rating graphs in Appendix F. a separate ground wire. and earth. during a later fault. This through-fault current increases the temperature of the phase conductor and concentric neutral or metallic shield. In severe faults. Although it may not damage the conductors. . and fittings because of overheating or mechanical forces from large through-faults. Long-Term Effects Long-term effects of faults on cable include deterioration of insulation. The first involves burning at the fault location. and cable. In this instance. a metallic duct system. Where jacketed cable is involved. An in-line device should be sized to operate for a lower fault than for the device at the beginning of the cable. Those materials include conductor and insulation shields. conductor and insulation shields. At some point. These paths can include the metallic shield. Overcurrent Protection of Cable System PHASE CONDUCTOR AND NEUTRAL PROTECTION General Effects of Faults on Cable Damage of underground cable because of fault currents falls into two general categories. Another possibility is that. or other return path can damage all cables and components near the fault. the optimum device at the beginning of the cable might not operate for a fault at the end of the cable. leading to failure at another location. The second category of damage is that caused by a through-fault—that is. then insulation damage should not occur. splices. the primary insulation. the potential results are the same. a component that was weakened during previous faults will fail because of through-fault currents. the fault current flowing through the cable between the source and the fault location. transformer internal buses.

TR-XLPE. This will refor the size cables being used.4 are the basis for the Appendix F curves consider only based on TR-XLPE or EPR insulation. the cable on a system. etc. and IV insulaor other nonreclosing device. The appropriate graph should be used heat generated by both the inner central conducto develop applicable thermal damage curves tor and the outer concentric neutral. caused by a through-fault is If a more conservative approach is desired. Examples of this would incables. the recloser will opshort-circuit temperature rating.03 seconds conservative approach which fully stresses the for each operation and then twice again. curves plotted along with cable-damage curves fail.4 of Apmay have been installed in a manner that rependix F show maximum short-circuit currents sulted in outside mechanical forces continuously for insulated aluminum and copper conductor acting on the cable. Figures F.03 seconds) + (2 × 0. F. .3 and F. The emergency overload temperature mal damage curve. Figures F.1. Single-phase which has a maximum short-circuit temperature faults through concentric neutral cable will have of 250°C. and F. all the cable may need to be replaced.5 through F. The more conservative approach of limiting fault durations such that conductor temperatures only reach the emergency operating Figure 3.) cables with a nominal operating limit (2 × 0. The emergency heat transfer through the conductor shield and operating (or overload) temperature for XLPE.8 time to which a cable is subjected to a fault show allowable fault current durations for the should fall below the thermal damage curve. the fuse total clear tions rated for 90°C normal operation is 130°C curve should fall to the left and below the ther(266°F).Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 8 9 3 for commonly used sizes of TR-XLPE or EPR aluminum caUse thermal damage bles. There are several reasons for considering curves must be developed for the cables in use this more conservative approach. The horizontal axis represents short-circlude rock backfill in the trench and residual cuit current and the vertical axis represents time sidewall pressure in conduit sweeps. they make no allowance for culated by the standard equations. Application of Thermal the total clearing time of the Damage Curve protective devices.2. These curves are sult in an insulation temperature higher than calvery conservative.3. When using an allowable short-circuit rating. F. each of current in the central conductor. the temperature rise calculations used as ent conductor sizes.) cables is 150°C. the The total time to which the cable will be suballowable temperature for thermoplastic (HMWjected to the maximum fault is as follows: PE.07 seconds) of 90°C have a maximum short circuit tempera= 0. EPR. II.5 shows the recloser time-current temperature rating is recommended.1 through F. Figures F. and EPR insulations device—such as a recloser—is used. the total rated for 105°C is 140°C. For conductor to reach the 130°C limit.000 amperes.07 seconds each. damage to the conductor shield and main insuthe cables can be sized to protect against exlation from the heating of the outer surface of ceeding their emergency operating temperatures the conductor. if a 70-ampere Type “L” four-shot Figures F. and EPR Classes I. etc. For the sample 3. When cable is protected with a fuse TR-XLPE. Thermoset (TR-XLPE.000-amcurves when sizing pere short-circuit condition. thermal damage ratings. recloser falls well below the for Insulation System damage time of all the conducThe main effect on cable tor sizes shown. When a multiple-operation for Class III XLPE. There are separate curves for differAlso. example.20 seconds ture of 250°C. limitations. This is a less erate twice with a clearing time of 0. First. insulation.4 contain cable damage (2A2C) recloser is used at a maximum fault curtime-current curves on the basis of the cable rent level of 3. clearing time of 0. In the process of sizing sectionalinstead of the higher short-circuit temperature izing devices to protect cable. with a cable insulation under ideal installation conditions.

it is usually not necessary to review the protection of the neutral.000 30.000 8.02 Type L Recloser A 1.000 10. Type “L” Recloser Curves for Cable Protection.09 .04 .7 .06 .8 .03 B 6.08 . Where a jacketed reduced concentric neutral.000 6.07 .8 .000 .05 . tape shield.200 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 600 540 480 420 360 300 240 180 2 120 1 .600 3.000 50.5: Example of 70-Ampere.000 2.8 4.4 1.0 2.9 .000 20.2 3.400 1.1 .0 5.000 9.6 3.4 .000 40. or longitudinally Time (Cycles.5 .2 .6 . 60-Hertz Basis) Time (Seconds) .2 2A & 2B 12 .4 4.3 60 54 48 42 36 30 24 18 .000 3.000 2.01 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1.6 Current (Amperes) FIGURE 3.000 7.800 250 4/0 3/0 1/0 350 2/0 500 750 #1 #2 20 1.000 5.9 0 – Se c t i on 3 3 Aluminum/XLPE/EPR Short-Circuit Temperature Rating 60 50 40 30 3.000 4. Neutral Protection When a concentric neutral is full size or equivalent to the phase conductor in ampacity or when the concentric neutral is a reduced-size neutral but multiple phases have neutrals operating in parallel.

The effective area of thin. the system engineer should further Heating of the review the effects of a throughI t neutral may be a A= fault on the neutral and the M materials in contact with the limiting factor where concentric neutral or shield. Equation 3. Engineering Data for Copper and Aluminum thermal damage is that portion between a fault Conductor Electrical Cables. ds = Diameter of wires. and the nearest ground point in a jacketed sysFormula for Calculating A tem. . the contact resistance semiconducting shield and the main insulation. or longitudinally with corrugations bles and equations should be applied. Formula 3 may be temperature of the shield.6 give the M values for use Note 2. The only portion of the TABLE 3.Underground System Section al iz i n g – 9 1 3 corrugated shield is used. For example: The effective area of a composite shield consisting of a helically applied tape and a wire serving is the sum of the areas calculated values are constants and depend on the shield from formula 2 (or 3) and formula 1. the normal operating temperature of Note 3. in mils peratures for cables rated five through 69 kV.5 and 3. 2. overlapped (See Note 3) 3.5 and 3. Corrugated tape.27 nwb Although several other metals are sometimes employed as sheath/shield material (see Tables 100 3. in seconds separate ground wire is run M = Constant.3 gives the minimum effective cross-sectional area of metallic shield 4. no allowance is made for heat transAn increase in contact resistance may occur after cable installation during service fer through the jacket or through the insulation exposed to moisture and heat. longitudinally applied 1. helically applied overlapped tapes depends also on the shield.3 shows the approxib = Thickness of tape.2 shows Note 1. These tables are very used to calculate the effective cross-sectional area of the shield for new cable. In those instances in which a t = Time of short circuit. see Tables 3. Table 3. in circular mils than full size or the of connections in the neutral I = Short-circuit current in shield. Adapted from concentric neutral or shield that is subject to Okonite Company. Meaning of Symbols the corresponding formulas for calculating the A = Effective cross-sectional area of shield effective cross-sectional area of various types of B = L. material. percentage various materials. As shown by the tables. in mils Table 3.27 [π (dis + 50) + B] b required for a given fault time. in mils mate normal operating temperature of the shield dis = Diameter over semiconducting insulation shield. not overlapped 1. Wires applied either helically.6). conservative. copper is by far the most com4bdm 2(100 – L) monly used. and the maximum allowable transient the degree of electrical contact resistance of the overlaps. Helically applied flat tape. 1998.6 parallel to the insulated cables. path should also be examined.2: Effective Cross-Sectional Area of Shield.4 shows the maximum allowable trann = Number of serving or braid wires or tapes sient temperatures for shields in contact with L = Overlap of tape.5 and 3. Equation 3. in amperes cable is jacketed. The effective area of composite shields is the sum of the effective areas of the in Equation 3. Table 3.3 may approach infinity where formula 2 would apply. Where the reduced concentric neutral or Type of Shield (See Notes 1 and 2) shield is jacketed and carries the majority of the return fault current for a phase-to-ground fault. tape overlap. the current in the concentric neutrals or shields is typically negligible. as a braid or nds the formulas and procedures in the following taserving. 2 1. in mils for various steady-state conductor operating temdm = Mean diameter of shield. in mils Tables 3. in mils (usually 375) sheaths/shields. w = Width of tape.3. Helically applied tape. where: A = Metallic shield cross-sectional the neutral is less The through-fault capability area. Under these conditions.C. the M components.

071 55 0. °C Shield Material Aluminum Copper 100 0.046 0.044 0.091 70 0. (Thermoplastic Materials = HMWPE. 1989.9 2 – Se c t i on 3 3 TABLE 3.048 0.3: Values of T1. With a deformation-resistant thermoplastic jacket. EPR.) Source: Aluminum Electrical Conductor Handbook.065 75 0.063 80 0. Source: Aluminum Electrical Conductor Handbook. °C/°F 350 200 250 Note. Maximum Allowable Shield Transient Temperature.5: Values of M for the Limiting Condition Where T2 = 200°C. Approximate Shield Operating Temperature.063 0.) Source: Aluminum Electrical Conductor Handbook. °C. For example. Cable Material in Contact With Shield Cross-linked (thermoset) Thermoplastic Deformation-Resistant Thermoplastic T2.059 95 0. 1989.039 0.094 55 0.087 95 0.096 50 0.4: Values of T2. PVC.062 0.073 50 0. a cable having a cross-linked semiconducting shield under the metallic shield and a cross-linked jacket over the metallic shield will have a maximum allowable shield temperature of 350°C. The maximum conductor temperature should not exceed the normal temperature rating of the insulation used. LLDPE. Shield Operating Temperature (T1).093 60 0.070 60 0.041 0.092 68 0.087 90 0. TABLE 3.064 0.097 .068 68 0.043 0. TABLE 3. Shield or Sheath Temperature °C at Conductor Temperature Rated Voltage (kV) 5 15 25 35 46 69 105 100 100 100 95 95 90 100 95 95 95 90 90 85 95 90 90 90 85 85 80 90 85 85 85 80 80 75 85 80 80 80 75 75 70 80 75 75 75 70 70 65 75 70 70 70 65 65 60 70 65 65 65 60 60 55 65 60 60 60 55 55 50 Note.058 0.089 80 0. 1989.059 0. at Various Conductor Temperatures. The temperature of the shield is limited by the material in contact with it.074 TABLE 3.060 0.040 0. (Thermosetting Materials = XLPE.088 85 0. °C Shield Material Aluminum Copper 100 0.057 0. Source: Aluminum Electrical Conductor Handbook.063 0.045 0. Shield Operating Temperature (T1).049 0.042 0.047 0.091 75 0. it will be 250°C. °C.066 70 0.061 90 0.6: Values of M for the Limiting Condition Where T2 = 350°C.062 85 0.061 0. 1989.057 0.060 0.

072 STEP 4. which in this case is deformation-resistant thermoplastic.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 9 3 3 EXAMPLE 3.3333) × (0. From Table 3. The number required for any specific wire size is simply the total cross section calculated in Step 4 divided by the individual wire circular mil area and rounded up to the nearest whole number: Number of 14 AWG wires = 56. A= 10.3. STEP 1. M = 0. Applying Equation 3.8 (Use 14) Similarly.089 where T2 = 350°C Interpolation of these values for M yields M where T2 = 250°C: M= 250 – 200 × (0.758 circular mils.3 may determine the number of any other wire size. M = 0.026) + 0. Determine the approximate shield operating temperature for 90°C conductor temperature (which is the maximum temperature for normal operation of XLPE-insulated cables).5. T1 = 85°C STEP 2. Calculate the required shield cross section for a fault duration of 10 cycles (0.000 amperes for 10 cycles for a 15-kV XLPE cable having an XLPE insulation shield and a deformation-resistant thermoplastic overall jacket.063 M = 0.063 350 – 200 M = (0.758 circular mils 0.167 = 56.063) + 0.110 = 13. Determine the M value for a copper shield with T1 equal to 85°C and T2 equal to 200°C.063 where T2 = 200°C From Table 3.6.2 shows that the effective crosssectional area of a wire shield is equal to nds2. Equation 3. From Table 3.089 – 0. . Determine the maximum allowable shield transient temperature for the cable materials in contact with the shield. Table 3. Determine the size copper wire shield required to carry a fault current of 10. From Table 3.3.4.3: Determine Minimum Shield Size for Known Through-Fault Current. or the number of wires multiplied by the circular mil area of each wire.072 STEP 5.758 ÷ 4. T2 = 250°C STEP 3.167 seconds).000 0. Determine the number and size of the wires necessary to equal or exceed 56.

Although operating such a current-limitload capability of the fuse is in line with the ing fuse will require opening up the transformer expected overload on the cable. current-limiting fuse will provide pickup is long. . current-limiting fuse is that it will operate for Whatever the situation. Therefore. This is rarely a problem use of a bayonet fuse in seexcept where a fuse might be ries with an under-oil current protecting several cables or limiting fuse can overcome several sections of decreasingTransformers can many of these disadvantages. carded or opened for repairs. the fuse characteristics place a partial-range. opens for low-level faults or problem. If the system engirupture as a result of since the replaceable element neer encounters such a large internal faults. the equivalent continuous rating would be about one-half the trip rating. improving protection of the cable as long winding. The rupture can result from the energy released within the tank and the resulting pressure. This general rule would not be used in the following situations: PROTECTION AGAINST PAD-MOUNTED TRANSFORMER TANK RUPTURE Internal Faults as Cause of Rupture Of the very small percentage of transformer tanks that fail by rupture. For electronically controlled reclosers or relayed circuit breakers. tank to replace the fuse. The energy. current or where the duration of the cold-load partial-range. size cable. Because tank rupture cable. The next highest fault is when the primary windings short. which is typically measured in joules. Either of these can also be full fuse sizes on the basis of operating experience. The magnitude of fault current is highest for a fault between the primary leads Philosophy and Theory of Rupture Prevention The basic philosophy of rupture prevention is to prevent ruptures for any and all fault conditions. the obvious solution overloads. the lower the fault current. it is typical to match the continuous rating of the recloser or fuse to the continuous rating of the cable. the magnitude of this fault depends on the impedance of the windings between the fault location and the primary leads. a dry-well canister or clip-mounted. Standard Practices Most fuses begin to melt at approximately twice their continuous rating and series coil-operated oil circuit reclosers also tend to trip at approximately twice their continuous rating. The of the cable in question. a com• Where emergency overloads of the cable can mon solution to preventing tank rupture is to be routinely expected. For these types of devices. the protecting device can be reduced in is usually caused by failure of the transformer size. and the currentis to insert additional fuses limiting element opens for wherever a conductor size high-level faults. range. current-limiting fuse under should be reviewed to make sure the overthe oil. The lowest magnitude of fault occurs because of a short in the secondary windings. change occurs. The disadvantage of using a full-range. substantially more than the maximum load In addition. this is not a problem • In the areas where the cold-load pickup is because the tank will have to be opened anyway. the fuse or device curve all levels of fault current and is much more exshould be kept below the thermal damage curve pensive to replace than an expulsion fuse.9 4 – Se c t i on 3 3 inside a three-phase transformer or between the primary phase lead and ground inside a singlephase transformer. it may be necessary to increase the same result. is proportional to the magnitude of the fault cur• Where the maximum load expected on the rent squared multiplied by the time duration of cable is much less than the capacity of the the fault in seconds (I2t). most rupture because of internal faults. The more windings between the fault location and the primary side of the transformer. The consequences of a rupture are as follows: • Release of oil and the consequent environmental damage. the transformer will need to be disas other coordination criteria can still be met.

0 × 105 1. In these cases.400 5 4.600 2.200 20 1.700 1.400 1.0 × 104 Pad-Mounted Transformers 5.7. the maximum current that overhead and pad-mounted transformers can withstand at typical distribution voltage levels and selected X/R ratios was derived and is shown in Table 3.0 × 105 TABLE 3.7: Approximate Levels of I2t (Amperes2 x Seconds) That May Result in Destructive Transformer Failure for Internal Faults. pad-mounted transformers have a higher withstand value than overhead transformers because of the superior energy absorption capability of a rectangular tank compared with a cylindrical tank.200 1.500 2. a high-level or internal fault builds the pressure too fast for the pressure-relief valve to be effective.2 × 105 6. thus avoiding the development of high internal pressures and tank damage.400 4.700 20 3.7 and 3. However. With the results presented in Table 3. This formula was solved for selected X/R ratios at the transformer rupture levels shown in Table 3.6 × 104 5.800 3.900 1.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 9 5 3 • Ejection of flaming oil and metal parts into the air surrounding the transformer with possible damage to equipment and surroundings.000 1. Equation 3.8 show some possible fault levels that can be used as general guidelines for the fault level at which an overhead or pad-mounted transformer will rupture. Practical Prevention/Reduction of Ruptures Pressure-Relief Valves The pressure inside a transformer tank will increase because of extended periods of overload or low-level faults that are not cleared by the protecting fuse.200 2. However. More important. A pressure-relief valve will release these slow buildups of pressure. In particular.000 1.500 .600 1.100 Pad-Mounted Transformers (X/R Ratio) 2.75 + 105 cos θ) where: IS = Symmetrical fault current that will result in known I2t level IA = Known I2t level that may result in destructive transformer damage θ = Arctan (X/R) TABLE 3.8 cycles. There are no standards for the ability of padmounted transformers to withstand internal pressure from a particular level of fault current. the minimum clearing time for a secondary breaker is approximately 0. and • The possibility of transferring the fault onto the incoming primary lines. Tables 3.400 2.400 10 1. Overhead Transformers (X/R Ratio) System Voltage 15 kV 25 kV 35 kV 2. Equation 3.4 represents an approximate formula for calculating the symmetrical fault current that will result in a known I2t level. the pressure-relief valve cannot protect the tank from damage caused by excessive pressure.5 5. System Voltage 15 kV 25 kV 35 kV Overhead Transformers 1. these levels are by no means an authoritative guide. Generally.700 1. Secondary Breakers Secondary breakers act no faster than do expulsion fuses. or the same as a fuse.000 10 3. these pressures can increase to levels high enough to severely deform the tank and damage bushing seals. Consult the manufacturer of the particular brands of transformers in use on a cooperative’s system for their withstand capability.5 2.7.4 IS = (IA2t) × (18.700 5 2. If unchecked.8: Approximate Levels of Fault Current Symmetrical (Amperes) That May Result in Destructive Transformer Failure for Internal Faults.300 1.0 × 105 3.8.400 3.

8 or calculated 2t required from Equation 3. If the transformer is energized when the supply voltage is zero.000 amperes symmetriers with internal weak-link expulsion fuses may cal current. the maximum total clearing I2t of the fuse must to rupture the transformer. It is understood be less than the I2t withstand capability of the that the external fuse must be capable of interprotected transformer. the use of current-limiting fuses and pressure-relief valves (to vent gas as it is generated) will help reduce this type of violent failure. If Manufacturers of currentthe maximum I2t let-through limiting fuses have available graphs or tables indicating the maximum I2t current as read from Table 3. Where the maximum available and size of the fuse. The fuse ignites the combustible mixture and a violent tank rupture can result. For a very short time after the transformer is first energized. Current-Limiting Fuses Even lower interrupting ratings are typical of Current-limiting fuses are nonexpulsion fuses three-phase transformers.4 is less than the I let-through. A common cause of tank rupture is degeneration of oil into combustible gases as the result of a sustained secondary fault that eventually causes an internal expulsion fuse to operate.000 to 50. as 600 amperes.8 of a cycle. of the fuse is 0. Also controlling the size of the magnetizing inrush current is the point on the volt- age curve of the source at the time the transformer is energized. Estimating Magnetizing Inrush Current Level Calculating the maximum available inrush current for a particular transformer is not feasible.9 6 – Se c t i on 3 3 most ruptures are caused by internal faults that would not be cleared by secondary breakers. Internal fuses rated 14. The size of this magnetizing inrush current depends partially on the residual flux in the core and the impedance of the source. the current flow will be relatively large until the steady-state flux level is reached. Expulsion Fuses Internal fuses typically have a maximum interrupting rating of 3. a current-limiting fuse capable ternal expulsion fuse with of interrupting maximum fault greater interrupting rating or a currents at all or almost all full-range current-limiting fuse locations should be available. the maxicontinuous current rating of against tank rupture. an exground systems. To protect against tank rupture.500 amperes asymmetrical for the weak-link type of fuse rated 7. the inrush current will be zero. Because this type of failure occurs when an expulsion fuse ignites the gas mixture. the only magnetic field in the transformer is that caused by any residual flux. Three-phase 25-kV transforming of about 10. then an expulsion fuse could prevent tank rupture. rupting the maximum available fault current. load current is less than the fuses can protect As with all fuses. mum clearing time for faults the largest current-limiting fuse within the interrupting rating available.2-kV phaseto-ground.4-kV phase-toground typically have a maximum interrupting rating of 2000 amperes asymmetrical for the weak-link type of fuse. Effect of Inrush Current on Sectionalizing Devices TRANSFORMER MAGNETIZING INRUSH CURRENTS When a transformer is first energized. On the majority of underfault level exceeds the rating of the fuse. The maximum interrupting rating have an asymmetrical interrupting rating as low varies depending on the manufacturer. . If the transformer is energized when the supply voltage is at a maximum level. These interrupting ratings vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and should be checked for the particular fuse. Current-limiting should be installed in series Be sure that the maximum with the internal weak link. where phase-to-phase and generally have a maximum interrupting ratfaults may occur. the inrush current will be at a maximum value if there is no residual flux within the core. model.

.1 second as the maximum duration for is a fairly common practice. fall below and to the left of the magnetizing inrush point. Using an undertransformer inrush current levels. This of the magnetizing inrush point. This setting must be above the priate size and relationship to magnetizing current level of the magnetizing inrush current inrush currents. If this fuse is on a large transformer bank This magnetizing inrush current is shown on on a rural system. as the magnetizing inrush current may inrush current level. over a should have curves with all points on the period of time the fuse is gradually damaged. which is a perspective of the protective device when a time delay curve. this coordination is difficult. affected by the magnetizing inrush current. damage can lead to the eventual failure of the fuse for no apparent reason. curve located either above or to the right reducing the effective size of the fuse. Most of these sized fuse on a large pad-mounted transformer use 0. the of magnetizing considered to be eight times fuse may have to be either ininrush current.1-second axis at the appropriate sized. not only should devices protecting The area of concern for breakers is the instantasingle transformers be reviewed for their approneous setting. When a coordination protection scheme is Breakers established. A clear indication of particularly true where these devices protect an improperly set instantaneous level is a breaker loads—such as industrial parks—that may have with a reclosing relay operating once instantaseveral large transformers.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 9 7 3 These calculations require detailed design data Fuses that are not usually available for the transformer The main problem associated with fuses comes in question. All protective devices not cause the fuse to operate the first few times located on the source side of this transformer the transformer is energized. This is unit is less than 0. phase MVA capacity of the transformer or of It is critical at this point to recheck coordinathe transformer bank if three single-phase tion of the new fuse with the source-side detransformers are used. For transformers the size fuse that is normally devices can lead to less than or equal to 3 MVA in used for full capacity. If the breaker relay settings are dead feeder is energized. Current-limiting Effects on Devices fuses are generally not affected if they are parThe main problem associated with magnetizing tial-range fuses. These transformers neously when a transformer is energized and appear to be one large transformer from the then closing on the second operation. This problem typically results that the magnetizing inrush current falls above from choosing devices with operation curves that the operation curve. Below are some of the sized so the operation curve falls above the magproblems associated with particular protective netizing inrush point. vices.1 second. If the tripping because size. the base-rated full-load curcreased in size or replaced rent. Full-range current-limiting fuses inrush current is the unnecessary operation of would be affected if undersized to the point protective devices. breakers typically are not devices. There are many rules of thumb for from using an undersized fuse. One rule of thumb uses of the pad-mounted trans12 times the transformer baseformer and where coordinarated full-load current for tion with the protective device Undersizing protective transformers greater than 3 at the source prevents use of MVA in size. particularly where which the inrush current will flow before dying the present load is much less than the capacity out. the maximum magnetizfuse falls below the magnetizing inrush current is generally ing inrush current point. a time-current coordination curve as a single Fuses are particularly troublesome when underpoint on the 0. However. but tap fuses or feeder protecbecause the operation time of an instantaneous tive devices also should be investigated. The 3-MVA level used in with another fuse of the same this rule of thumb is the threesize but a slower speed.

1 second.1 secthe type of load served and ond in operating time must have a current level of the time of year. In addition. at any instant. of which only half are energized at any one time. a magnetizing inrush point of 0.500 kW. Therefore. For example. not all the load-producing devices will be on at any one time. and water heaters normally cycle on and off.000 kW in cyclical devices.000 amperes simply shows that any Cold-load pickup point on the curve for which can cause protective the operation level is less than Estimating Cold-Load 5. the loads seen upon re-energizing the circuit are 3. Sectionalizers Sectionalizers can be armed by magnetizing inrush current. As cautioned earlier. the cold-load greater than 5. Some of the new sectionalizers are able to differentiate between a magnetizing inrush current and a true fault current. Caution should be taken when re-energizing a feeder after an extended outage because it may be difficult to distinguish between cold-load pickup and an uncorrected fault. Appliances such as air conditioners. This energized state occurs because the parameters that are used to operate these devices— such as air temperature or water temperature (in the case of a water heater)—exit the acceptable range and. feeder breakers may be used to energize the Cold-load pickup also clearly depends on the group of transformers. the normal attenuation of the magnetizing current appears to be a recloser operation to the sectionalizer. In this example. reclosers with electronic controls that have instantaneous trip or lockout accessories must have the instantaneous current setting above the magnetizing inrush current level. For example.1 seconds and 5. greater than 0.g. In most areas.. In other words. This problem is similar to the one with a breaker in that a recloser will operate on the fast curves where a large transformer is located on the circuit and then close in and stay closed when operating on the time-delay curves. pickup during the spring and fall is less than several large pad-mounted transformers should during the summer or winter because many of be treated as one transformer for those instances the cyclical devices such as heaters or air condiin which circuit protective devices or station tioners do not operate during these periods. which is then interrupted by a source-side recloser. refrigerators. therefore. the solution is to simply set the fast curves above the magnetizing inrush point. 30 minutes) and the system is then energized. that is. a percentage of these devices will be in their off cycles. the sectionalizer sees the high current level as a load-side fault. initiate operation of the applicable device. Again. all the cyclical loads will be in an energized state or will go to an energized state upon resumption of the source voltage. heating systems. Application of Sectionalizing Devices Sizing protective devices or their curves to avoid their operation as the result of magnetizing inrush currents is usually simple.000 amperes should be Pickup Currents devices to trip.) If this circuit is de-energized for an extended period (e. Any The magnitude of cold-load point on the protective device pickup varies depending on curve that is less than 0.000-kW load on it may have 500 kW in continuous load such as lights and 3.000 amperes. The load experienced by a system after the resumption of service following an extended outage period is the cold-load pickup. The curves should be chosen so they are located either above or to the right of the magnetizing inrush point. . a circuit that has a 2. COLD-LOAD PICKUP CURRENTS On a typical distribution system that has been energized long enough that the system has reached a steady-state condition.9 8 – Se c t i on 3 3 Reclosers The main problem with reclosers results from the initial fast curves being set below the magnetizing inrush point. geographical location of the utility in question. (Note that these values are used as an example and not intended to show normal values on a system.

the cold-load pickup may be estimated as the following: • Two times full load current for 30 minutes. or natural gas. vary from one circuit to another depending on the type of load on that circuit. The solution here is to simply increase the pickup level of the time-delay curve on the breaker or. the cold-load pickup during the summer is quite significant because of the air-conditioning load. • type of load.1 Where large amounts of resistive heating or air conditioning are in use. Unless the outage is at a time of extreme temperature. a circuit feeding an all-electric housing development will have a higher cold-load pickup than will a feeder into a residential neighborhood where the main heating methods are oil. the cold-load pickup during the winter is probably the most significant. This segmentation is done by opening the feeder that suffered the outage at different points. . picking up a section at a time starting at the end of the feeder nearest the source. However. and • Three times full load current for 30 seconds. in the case of an instantaneous pickup. such as irrigation systems or crop-drying systems. The three most important variables the operator can expect concerning the amount of cold load to be picked up upon service restoration are: • length of outage. it may be that a cold-load pickup will trip the breaker once on instantaneous trip with the breaker then reclose and provide service from that point on. Breakers The breaker may operate if the cold-load pickup is large enough. The practice of putting a time-delay relay on compressor start after an outage is becoming fairly common. In those instances where other restraints prevent this choice. In those instances in which the fast curves fall below the cold-load pickup points but the time-delay curves do not. In general. it may be necessary to segment the system to pick up load after an extended outage. Rule of Thumb 3. some feeders with large loads using large motors. the protective devices will operate for cold-load pickup. and • weather conditions. Furthermore. In some instances. Effects on Devices In general. where the time-current curves for a device fall below the cold-load inrush points. This is particularly true for the fast curves on the recloser. Most cooperatives should have an idea of the cold-load pickup on their systems based on experience. This design approach reduces the initial inrush upon line energization but does not reduce the 30-minute load requirement of Rule of Thumb 3. it may be acceptable to have an instantaneous pickup that trips once on cold-load pickup. and allowing each section to remain energized for long enough for the load to return to its steady-state level before energizing the next section. For example. Where an instantaneous relay is associated with the breaker. Older. to increase the pickup level. of course. Those reclosers with electronic controls may have instantaneous trip devices that should be set above the cold-load pickup current level. an outage of less than 15 minutes will not allow enough time for most of the thermostats to call for heating or cooling. These are rules of thumb and may vary. Also. The effects of cold-load inrush on different types of devices are addressed below. the recloser may trip once or twice on the fast curves and then lock in. propane. electronically controlled reclosers have an accessory that temporarily doubles the amount of current required to trip the recloser. In northern states.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 9 9 3 In the Southeast and Southwest.1. Reclosers Reclosers are similar to breakers in that they will trip if the cold-load pickup points on the timecurrent curves are above the recloser curves. it is desirable to choose devices or particular curves for those devices so the curves fall above or to the right of the coldload inrush points. the cold-load pickup in a system will. may have lesser values of cold-load pickup because these systems may have to be manually restarted. the cold-load pickup during the winter also depends on the percentage of electric as compared with nonelectric heating systems.

Compact. it is very important that all cooperative personnel are aware of that possibility. and other types of system conditions. The disadvantages of fuses are as follows. In many instances. Sectionalizers also have a reset time. • The total clear curves and minimum melt curves overlap at high fault current levels for fuses with current ratings that are close to each other. interrupting service to all consumers beyond the fuse. When larger fuses do not coordinate with source-side devices and cold-load pickup is not expected to occur very frequently. it may be acceptable for reclosers and breakers to trip on their instantaneous or fast curves before locking in permanently. Any standard curve can be used for the cold-load pickup curve. the device curves should be set above or to the right of the cold-load pickup points on the time-current curves. • Fuses cause “single-phasing” on three-phase circuits. In those instances. because of the long duration of cold-load pickup currents. the cold-load pickup current will be insufficient to cause immediate operation of the fuse. The solution is to increase the size of the fuse or to replace the fuse with a fuse of the same size but with a slower operating curve. additional time and current adjustments to the curve. Other features that may be available are a time delay after which the curve returns to the normal curve. in those instances in which the current decreases slowly. especially with expulsion fuses. • The maximum current-interrupting rating is limited. For those sectionalizers that are set for two or more operations before tripping. . Application of Sectionalizing Devices Where possible. • Fuses have no ability to sense low-level ground faults. the time-current curve of the fuse can slightly overlap the cold-load pickup points. and Are easy to replace. • Fuses do not have any reclosing capability. • The number of sizes and types is limited. at best. but will damage the fuse. However. negative sequence. ground. In some instances in which other criteria prevent increasing the pickup level or curves. a current-limiting fuse is the only readily available device that effectively limits fault current and. In addition. thus. the slower speed fuse will generally not work. Subsequent cold-load pickups will further damage the fuse until it eventually blows either during a future cold-load pickup or sometimes simply during times of high load level. it will blow the fuse. the sectionalizer may not even note any counts. Sectionalizers The cold-load pickup current may be sufficient to trigger the sectionalizer. • Expulsion fuses produce hot gases and by-products. along with any trip level. Require little maintenance.1 0 0 – Se c t io n 3 3 Newer electronic controls have a variety of cold-load pickup adjustments. the cold-load pickup current will appear as a fault to the sectionalizer. sectionalizers also require a sharp reduction in current following the actuating current to register as an operation of the source-side protective device. cold-load pickup current will. reduces the destructive failure of transformers and capacitors. Moreover. and cold-load pickup curves for phase. In other words. cold-load pickup typically will not be a problem. Fuses If the cold-load pickup is sufficiently large. In most instances. Selection of Underground Sectionalizing Equipment REVIEW OF OVERCURRENT PROTECTION METHODS Fuses The main advantages of fuses are that they are: • • • • Inexpensive. However. cause one count on the sectionalizer. the pickup level for instantaneous relays or accessories should be set above the highest coldload pickup current level.

Fuses changes as the load increases protective device on particularly lend themselves to over time. • They require separate relays that add to the total expense. 200 amperes). In addition to overan underground protecting underground circurrent functions. Circuit Breakers Most circuit breakers on underground distribution systems are found in substations. enough to cause destructive failure of the transevent recording. the amount of fault damage. • Breakers are rated for more operations Another shortcoming of fuses is that their between maintenance than are reclosers. Some of transformers. may be needed to coordinate with substation The disadvantages of breakers are: breakers or reclosers. and • Breakers can be purchased with maximum • Where the maximum load current exceeds interrupting capability that exceeds that availcurrent ratings of expulsion fuses (typically able in most reclosers. because faults on these functions include over/ this type of system tend to be permanent. reclosing. • They require much more space than fuses do. over/under frequency. • Where the maximum fault current exceeds instantaneous relays are available to provide the fault-interrupting capability of commonly high-speed operation during high fault levels. directional power and/or current. For this reason. • The relays (typically inverse overcurrents on In general. available expulsion fuses. Some of the advantages of breakers follow. reclose is not a limitation on most any known relay function underground circuits and within one relay. • Their relays must be calibrated initially and periodically. • Breakers interrupt all three phases curves do not always coordinate well with upsimultaneously. many of the cuits. and communications. • The types of relays that may be used to control the breakers are available in a wide variety of characteristics. although it is possible to install breakers on platforms on overhead portions of the system or in metal or fiberglass enclosures. at • Breakers are available with ground certain locations. • They require an outside power source (typically a battery). stream breakers or reclosers. Using current-limitimpedance.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 1 0 1 3 • Fuses cannot be controlled or monitored by Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. . The inability of fuses to electronic relays provide alsystem. a breaker or recloser rather than fuses trip protection. Reunder voltage. and ing fuses on pad-mounted transformers is very sync check. sensiclosing on this type of system simply increases tive earth. Proformer for internal faults. the main applia distribution circuit) may be cation for fuses is on radial varied over a wide range of taps that do not require simultime dial settings and pickup Fuses are the most taneous three-phase protection levels to accommodate most frequently used and that are not subject to fresystem conditions and to allow quent temporary faults. a wide variety of metering functions. Other features may include fault beneficial when the maximum fault level is location. negative sequence. The primary condigrammable logic functions can be used to detions that limit the use of expulsion fuses at fine the sequence of responses to almost any certain locations are the following: type of event. • Reclosing relays are available where breakers protect portions of overhead line. particularly on heavily loaded feeders.

although they are seen more frequently Sectionalizers protection. Sectionalizers are fault-sensing unit. as indicated earone less operation than its companion recloser lier. it must be set for is that it does reclose. The main advantage of a recloser tionalizer to work properly. which is an opens. although dc ground system to through-fault damage and posversions are available. fault. The station and on main three-phase lines where the total number of operations for the recloser defollowing apply: pends on whether the majority of the system is overhead or underground. recloses. For a secbution fuses. • They are significantly more expensive than other available devices. a recloser located beThree-phase reclosers can tween the sectionalizer and be supplied with a groundthe source senses a fault. and locks out just before the changeable in pickup level and operating recloser goes through its final close operation. this is not considered an advantage on an or breaker. On an underground system. Reclosers Where three-phase or sinReclosers are available in both High load current. and are frequently used on Ground fault distribution lines. it is versions. gle-phase reclosers are used single-phase and three-phase on underground circuits.1 0 2 – Se c t io n 3 3 • They are harder to operate and maintain than reclosers and. • Ground fault protection is desired. on the same order of magniThe properly coordinated sectude as the maximum load current. Three-phase reclosers and breakers are used for the following: Three-phase protection. typically 120 volts ac. Reclosers are usually less expensive than system. • It is advantageous to use SCADA for both control and status reporting of reclosers. counts each electronically controlled reclosers are also easily recloser operation. particularly. thus. This is a particular to open and reclose until the interrupting limitations. for a permanent underground system. however. The interruptare currently available in both ing rating of most single-phase reclosers is overhead versions and those that can be intypically less than or equal to that of most distristalled in pad-mounted enclosures. able to have the sectionalizer set for only one The electronic reclosers do require an outside operation to limit the exposure of the underpower source. The source-side recloser is used as a circuit protective device inside a subset for two or more operations to lock out. curves. • The load current exceeds the rating of A problem inherent in many of the older sectypical fuses. In other words. • Three-phase protection is desired. simple to disable the reclosing ries-trip versions do not reand feature and have one-shot opquire an outside power source eration of the recloser. on overhead than on underSeveral types of sectionalizers ground systems. and continues not subject to faultadvantage. it is desirbreakers and come with all controls included. fuses. Reclosers are typically sible safety problems. allowing the recloser to successfully reare available with a wide range of SCADA accesclose and continue service to the rest of the sories. advantage on circuits with fault is cleared or it trips for a large load where the minimum maximum number of times phase-to-ground fault may be (usually four) and locks out. The sectionalizer has. tionalizers is that they tend to count magnetizing . The single-phase seHigh fault current. isolated the fault beThree-phase reclosers with electronic control yond it. Three-phase tionalizer senses a fault condition.

or a combination fuse/switch. sure. lock out unnecessarily. This fuse is frequently supplied with a si• They do not interrupt faults and. In addition. The expulsion that provide the dual function fuse will operate for low. must be greater exhaust gases. See Figure 3. Different types of fuses are available. if released within the enclosed than the available fault current. available faults exceed tion between devices is tight. are available in partial-range current-limiting fuses combined with integral pad-mounted form. fault currents than can fuses. Heavily loaded taps often fuses. Again. as they have no the maximum interrupting capacity of expulsion time-current curve. Switches and fuse/switch combinations may be designed for de-energized switching duty only or they may be equipped with an arc suppression device that allows opening and closing the switches under load up to a maximum rated current level. This interrupting rating may be equal to or less than the maximum continuous current rating of the switch or combination fuse/switch. high-level faults can lead to cannot allow another level of coordination. Extreme care should be taken to avoid opening or closing a switch that is carrying current in excess of the interrupting rating. Pad-mounted enclomore expensive current-limiting fuse. the disruptive failure of load-side devices such as transformers. although enclosures can exception of breakers. with the switchgear.) space of a pad-mounted compartment. Another method is to require that the load current drop to essentially zero after the high inrush current. type. Almost any kind of circuit arrangement can be accommodated by a switching enclosure or enclosures. Figure Fuses and Switches 3. lencer that eliminates or reduces venting when can be used in areas with higher available the fuse operates and also muffles any sounds. Another solution for high be purchased with switches fault current level areas is a only or fuses only. fuse in conjunction with an load-interrupting mechanisms expulsion fuse. the operation of a recloser results in zero current while the recloser is open as opposed to inrush or cold-load pickup for which current drops to a normal level. a switch. These sectionalizers use different methods for doing so. One criterion is to check for loss of voltage on the line. A true recloser operation de-energizes the line. therefore. Both fuses sures with up to four or more incoming/outgoing . In addition.6. An • They are less expensive than reclosers expulsion fuse is the most commonly available or breakers. Each incoming/outgoing circuit will pass through a solid bus. Sectionalizers are also useful where coordinaAt some locations. a design engineer should never apply an interrupting device in a location where load will exceed its rating. Other features are also available in existing and new sectionalizers that reduce nuisance tripping.to of a fuse and switch in one moderate-level faults without damaging the device can be purchased. (The shortA silencer is a necessity where fault currents are time-current withstand capability of the relatively high in magnitude and the resulting sectionalizer.6 shows an assortment of Fuses and switches are comMost protective current-limiting fuses that are bined here because both are used in pad-mounted often found in the same enclodevices.Underground System Section a l i z i n g – 1 0 3 3 inrush or cold-load pickup currents as faults and. therefore. Full. Some of the advantages of sectionalizers are as follows: circuits are readily available. Therefore. Sectionalizers are available that are capable of distinguishing between faults and inrush currents such as magnetizing or cold load. a fuse.or partial-range currentPROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT IN limiting fuses are available for PAD-MOUNTED ENCLOSURES use in these locations. however. can be disastrous. allowing the voltage to fall to zero.

reclosers. if not yet available for pad-mounted enclosures. oil switches were available. Sometimes the voltage withstand characteristics of blown partial-range current limiting fuses mandate the simultaneous operation of both fuses so that the open circuit created by the expulsion fuse removes voltage from the partialrange current limiting fuse. but these have essentially been replaced by vacuum switches. Storedenergy operators generally have better switching ratings. may be available in the future. Another type of protective device is the electronic fuse. A control module uses electronic circuitry to sense a fault.000 amperes are available. Another advantage is that the continuous rating of the larger modules exceeds that available in current-limiting fuses. Reclosers Single-phase and three-phase hydraulic and three-phase electronically controlled reclosers are available for pad-mounted enclosures. and control the timecurrent characteristics of the device. Continuous current ratings up to 600 amperes and maximum symmetrical current interrupting capability up to 40. with the current-limiting fuse limiting the length and magnitude of the fault and consequently limiting the total magnitude of energy expended at the fault. • Switches can be equipped with stored-energy operators for local operation. Faultinterrupting capability varies with the current interrupting level of the hydraulic units and is typically 12. initiate tripping. The operation of all types of switches can be controlled by several different means: • These switches can be simply opened or closed manually at the switch location by using hot sticks in energized switches.1 0 4 – Se c t io n 3 3 Vacuum switches are also available from some manufacturers. and other vacuum switches. In addition.000 amperes or higher for the electronically controlled units. An interrupting module interrupts the fault under the control of the control module. the duty cycle of the contacts is greatly increased by the vacuum. as are electronically controlled units with an extensive number of curves and current levels. Hydraulic reclosers with a limited number of curves and current trip levels are available. these vacuum switches can then be coordinated with source-side and load-side devices such as fuses. The interrupting module also has current-limiting capabilities. . will operate for high-level faults. In the past. These switches have contacts in a vacuum bottle which increases the interrupting capacity of the switch to handle higher ranges of fault current. Vacuum interrupters are typically used for increased fault-interrupting capability and increased service life. • Automatic switch operators are also available. which is actually a hybrid device. This sectionalizer is FIGURE 3. Courtesy of Hi-Tech Electric (T&B). The various timecurrent curves available with this device can often provide better coordination with adjacent devices than can traditional thermal fuses. 2007. When equipped with inverse time-current curves.6: Current Limiting Fuses for Pad-Mounted Switching Cabinets. Some manufacturers have overhead SF6 gas-insulated reclosers available that. These can be spring-operated or battery-operated. These may have current-sensing controls with or without inverse time-current curves. Sectionalizers At least one manufacturer makes a single-phase sectionalizer that is designed for installation in a pad-mounted enclosure. This device is available in a range of pickup levels and time-current curves.

such as through an automobile that has damaged a pad-mounted transformer. These could be cooperative personnel working on the line or members of the general public who are in contact accidentally. air-break pad-mounted switchgear is available in either live-front or dead-front styles. Yet another reason is to retry a recloser or vacuum switch after a lockout caused by an overcurrent condition. Live-Front Vs. Once removed. The older. Field personnel responding to a power . two. They could also be individuals who have tampered with an enclosure. Precautions in Remote Operation The most serious danger in remotely closing a device is the possibility of energizing a line or equipment that is in contact with human beings. but often must be operated with insulated sticks on fused positions. The recloser or vacuum switch that opened to isolate the fault is then closed to reestablish service to the remainder of the system. vacuum or oil switches. this practice is not typically routine. Dead-Front Typical air-insulated. On an underground system. Both types of switch are generally operated by external handles on source positions. there are circumstances in which this would be applicable. Another reason is to isolate a faulted portion of the system. Additional information on the application of sectionalizers may be found in Electrical Distribution System Protection by Cooper Power Systems (1990). Switches can be opened to isolate the system section that is suspected of containing the fault. Doing so might be a response to load conditions on the distribution system or to remove load from a transformer or other piece of equipment that is scheduled for maintenance or replacement. REMOTE OPERATION OF SECTIONALIZING EQUIPMENT Reason for Remote Operation There are several reasons to remotely operate a recloser or switch. Dead-front gear generally limits access to energized parts by the use of modular elbow-type terminations. Another instance is where the suspected faulted section has been removed manually and the locked-out device is remote from the fault location. or stress cones for terminating cable.Underground System Section a l i z i n g – 1 0 5 3 intended to work in conjunction with an upstream recloser or breaker and is available in one. A removable barrier just inside the doors provides some level of protection of personnel. and load-break-type switches with motor operators or other types of power operators. circuit breakers. although such an accessory may be field-installed. Only dead-front style switchgear is currently approved for new construction by RUS. One reason is to redistribute load. the lineman is easily exposed to the energized parts. Another danger is re-energizing a faulted line or transformer that will lead to increased equipment damage and possible human injury. FCIs sense the passage of a fault current and display a fault condition. A sectionalizer that is designed to differentiate between a true fault current and a current spike caused by magnetizing inrush or cold-load pickup should be chosen. Another instance is when cold-load pickup current or a switching surge is the suspected cause of the overcurrent condition. traditional live-front style uses standard outdoor porcelain or polymer terminations. The FCIs sense fault current and display fault conditions faulted line section will be located between the last indicator showing a fault condition and the first indicator showing a normal condition. These devices must typically be ordered with a remote open-and-close accessory. however. Devices That Can Be Remotely Operated Devices that can be remotely operated are electronically controlled reclosers. Faulted-Circuit Indicators Faulted-circuit indicators (FCIs) can be used to locate a faulted section of underground primary cable. or three counts before operating configuration. One instance is where the underground circuit feeds overhead taps that are unfused.

The indicator simply responds to any current that Inrush and backfeed exceeds its trip rating. Unfortunately. Reduced crew and equipment cost. Manual reset units will continue to show a fault condition until they are reset by hand. manufacturers have improved the design of FCIs. provide the following advantages: • • • • • • Reduced outage time. properly specified and applied. Many When power is restored to a de-energized line. some manufacturtion and promptly restore fault-locating tool. An operational problem that persists is false tripping caused by backfeed currents. FCIs are available with the following: tripping. and backfeed current. In this situation. For example.1 0 6 – Se c t io n 3 3 application problems can be outage can trace the status of corrected through a better the FCIs and quickly identify The FCI can be understanding of how an the faulted line section. and Improved consumer relations. • An inrush restraint feature to minimize false trips caused by inrush currents. and • Sensors suitable for three-phase use where cables are close together. A current that exceeds the trip rating of an FCI causes the display to show a faulted condition. The inrush current decays to the normal current value after some time. array of automatic timed reset Without FCIs. As a result. Reduced blowing of expensive fuses. the FCI will show a fault condition. This latter method The following information gives guidelines for of fault locating is time-consuming and can proper selection and application of FCIs. • Rugged current sensors that operate in accordance with IEEE Standard 495. As a result. However. and IEEE has approved a guide for testing FCIs (Standard 495). . inrush current. FCIs reliable and can be a valuable fault-locating tool. If this inrush current exceeds the trip rating of an FCI. In response. FALSE TRIPPING An FCI has a sensor to detect the current magnitude present in a cable. • Sensitive current resets and low-voltage resets for use on lightly loaded circuits. the FCI is quite When properly specified and applied. ers now supply FCIs with an power. an inrush current will flow through the cable. These efforts have helped to eliminate some of the operational problems. The types of inrush currents and their decay times are explained above in the subsection Effect of Inrush Current on Sectionalizing Devices. This condition is reviewed in the next subsection. automatic resetting units will change back to a “NORMAL” indication when the inrush current decays to the normal load current level. can then isolate this line secIn addition. RELIABILITY OF FAULTEDCIRCUIT INDICATORS Older designs of FCIs have been plagued with operational and application problems. Reduced stress on system components. inrush and backfeed curcurrents that exceed rents that exceed the trip the trip rating cause rating cause false tripping. field personoptions. They a valuable FCI works and its limitations. which can greatly renel must search for the fault by duce or eliminate problems associated with false sectionalizing and reclosing on the fault until the tripping. faulted line section is located. the sensor cannot distinguish between fault current. Improved system reliability. only the manual reset units continue to show a false trip condition. they have acquired a false reputation with some utilities as being unreliable. Inrush Currents Inrush current is a higher than normal current that occurs when a distribution circuit is energized. When cause cable insulation deterioration.

For example.to 60-cycle delay allows the inrush current to decay to its normal load value. It is difficult to predict the magnitude of inrush current. For example. However. Backfeed Currents Backfeed currents continue to produce false trips and resets of FCIs. normal indication FCI. Backfeed currents can occur on three-phase circuits when a single-phase fault is cleared by a single-phase protective device.Underground System Section a l i z i n g – 1 0 7 3 Three–Phase Recloser A-Phase B-Phase C-Phase Fault FCI 1 Inrush Current FCI 2 FCI 3 FCI 4 Load 1 LEGEND FCI. the cooperative engineer needs to be aware of situations that likely produce backfeed currents. A cable fault in the first cable section is cleared by a fuse. FCI 3 Load 1 FCI 2 Single-Phase Recloser FCI 1 Inrush Current FCI 4 FCI 5 LEGEND the FCI trip rating. Figure 3. Two other situations produce false tripping and obscure a fault location. Usually the recloser locks open before the FCIs can reset. some of the laterals may experience inrush that exceeds .8: Inrush Current Resulting from Operation of Single-Phase Recloser. fault indication Load 2 FIGURE 3. normal indication FCI. A fault on the main line trips the FCIs along the main line. For this reason. a timedelay feature will not alleviate the problem. The recloser or breaker opens and interrupts power to all three phases.8 illustrates this situation. More common backfeed currents result from a delta-connected motor load on a grounded-wye. If this current exceeds the FCI trip ratings. then those FCIs will show a “FAULT” condition. Figure 3. Again. consider an underground system that serves several three-phase transformers. The outage crew now finds FCIs tripped on all three phases. If the circuit impedance is low enough. Therefore. it is difficult to choose an FCI trip rating that is greater than the unknown inrush value. Therefore. a fuse will clear a cable fault on one phase while the other two phases remain energized. For example. phases B and C experience inrush current. backfeed currents can remain on the system for long durations. most manufacturers offer an inrush restraint feature on their FCIs. this discharge current could be large enough to trip FCIs located between the fault and the capacitor bank. To address this situation. This additional cost is easily justified on underground systems that “see” the cycling action of a source-side recloser. When the recloser recloses. unlike inrush currents. it will falsely trip the FCIs between the cable fault and Fault Inrush Current FCI. The 15. Any load-side capacitors connected to the faulted phase may discharge into the fault. Typically. If the current level is high enough. The second situation is when a single-phase recloser protects a main line with one or more laterals.7: Inrush Current Resulting from Operation of Three-Phase Recloser. fault indication FIGURE 3. The other two phases remain energized and continue to supply partial power to any delta-connected motor loads. The inrush restraint feature increases the cost of the FCI by about 35 to 40 percent. grounded-wye transformer. this feature disables the trip response for 15 to 60 cycles following the energization of cable.7 illustrates this phenomenon. The motors produce backfeed currents along the underground cable to the fault location. a fault on phase A trips the FCIs on phase A. During reclosing. the falsely tripped FCIs remain in “FAULT” indication following recloser lockout. The first is when a three-phase recloser or breaker protects the underground cable.

000 4. To meet this criteria. the trip rating should be close to the fault current magnitude. the FCI trip level is usually its range of trip ratings.2 Time (Seconds) . These of current. At long distances from the substation. Because . delta-connected transformers . RMS) FIGURE 3.004 . 880 amperes.7 . this voltage can reach 86 percific cable diameter. For grounded-wye netic field.02 1. an FCI with a trip rating of . . the weaker the maggrounded-wye transformer.000 100 Current (Amperes.000 1. However. The FCI sensor than three amperes.07 .06 .1 0 8 – Se c t io n 3 3 the delta-connected motor load.09 . Most is less.03 .000 3.4 this situation should not occur frequently. Therefore. Thus. Because mum fault current throughout fault current level. Again.04 .08 . FCIs are typically calibrated at a spedelta transformers. these units would not be suitable for grounded-wye.009 . the FCI trip rating should be close to the available minimum fault current level. Most FCIs have an accuracy of ±10 percent.008 . hundreds of amperes and reset Conductor size also affects current level is usually less trip ratings. As a result.000 200 400 300 400 600 800 . The accuracy of the trip rating also affects selection.6 grounded-wye. delta trans1 . This magnetic field is a function of voltage levels can reach 50 percent of the northe radial distance from the conductor. then the trip rating is reduced.007 . If the actual cable diameter cent of the normal line-to-ground voltage. For example. If the available fault current level is unknown. .003 . low-voltage reset units have a minimum reset a large cable diameter increases the trip rating.001 200 500 600 700 800 900 1.005 .1 . voltage that is lower than 86 percent of the The manufacturer should be asked to supply the nominal voltage. . false reset is a more likely mounts around an underground cable and problem than is false tripping. The mal line-to-ground voltage for a grounded-wye. Therefore.400 2.9: Trip Response for Peak-CurrentSensitive Units. 800 amperes could trip for any All FCIs on the faulted phase current in the range of 720 to The FCI trip rating may show a “FAULT” indication.200 1. the available fault current drops substantially.05 .3 SELECTING A TRIP RATING Load and Fault Current Magnitudes The trip rating of an FCI is the current magnitude that causes the FCI to display a fault condition. inrush.002 . A feedback voltsenses the magnetic field produced by the flow age can also exist on the faulted phase. the FCI is more susceptible to false tripping. Likewise.8 formers with delta-connected loads. and backfeed currents.01 . larger the radial distance. it is should be close to These same backfeed curimportant to select an FCI that rents and voltages can also remains sensitive to the minithe available minimum produce false resets. An ideal trip rating is low enough to sense the minimum available fault current and high enough to ignore load.006 . manufacturers suggest a trip rating of two-andone-half to three times the expected load current.5 should not be installed on a distribution system. the available fault current may get close to the magnitude of the load current.9 . the margin between the trip rating and the inrush and backfeed currents is decreased.

The peak-current-sensitive FCI has a response time of two milliseconds. The trip mechanism will release and show a fault indication only if the line current drops to zero. the FCI must see an increase of 130 amperes within a 50-millisecond time or 100 amperes within an 80-millisecond or greater time. If the line current does not drop to zero within 60 seconds. For a minimum fault current of 1.1 0. the FCI must trip at the letthrough peak-current level before the fuse clears the fault. refer to Figure 3. Coordination with Current-Limiting Fuses Some FCIs are peak-current sensitive and will operate within two milliseconds for any current that exceeds the trip rating. Figure 3.10 shows the time-current characteristics for this type of FCI.11. The FCI should also coordinate with a source-side current-limiting fuse.10. If the total clear time of the fuse is faster than the FCI response time. the FCI curve must be to the left of the total clear curve of the fuse at the minimum fault current value. 450A FCI 15E 10 30E 100E 1 Time (Seconds) 0. Like the other types of FCIs. This trip-set and trip-release sequence prevents the FCI from showing a false trip as a result of motor starting load or cold-load pickup. For example.Underground System Section a l i z i n g – 1 0 9 3 cable diameter at which the FCI is calibrated and a correction curve for other cable diameters.000 LEGEND Fuse Minimum Melt Curve Fuse Total Clear Curve FCI Trip Response Curve FIGURE 3.3 seconds (300 milliseconds). If the FCI is not the peak-current type.10. a 450-ampere FCI coordinates with a 30E and a 100E fuse. To coordinate. For example.001 10 800A FCI 100 Current (Amperes) 1. the trip-set condition will reset to normal. . the adaptive-trip FCI must be checked for coordination with upstream protective devices. Instead of tripping at a predetermined current magnitude. the clear time is approximately three milliseconds. its trip response time is a function of the current magnitude.9 shows the response time of peak-sensitive units. These slower devices should be compared with the time-current curves for the source-side protective device.000 10.01 0. For proper coordination with link-type fuses. For example. Figure 3. this device responds to a sudden increase in current followed by a loss of current. the FCI will not show a fault condition.9 and 3.11 shows the increase in current magnitude required to set the trip mechanism.10. The peakcurrent devices will coordinate with all types of fuses. Proper coordination means that the FCI will trip before the fuse clears the fault. Note the difference in the trip response time for the two types. To set the trip mechanism. consider a sensor type B shown in Figure 3. For most current-limiting fuses. The other FCI has a response time of 0.100 amperes or greater.000 amperes. including current-limiting fuses. Figure 3. a 450-ampere FCI will coordinate with a current-limiting fuse that has a let-through current of 1.10: Trip Response for 450A and 800A FCIs. Adaptive-Trip FCI The adaptive-trip FCI does not have a specified trip rating. look at the 800-ampere curve of Figures 3. As shown in Figure 3.

Highway crossings.6 . this FCI will adjust to one display.08 0. Transmission line crossings.06 0. thus changes in the nominal line current. FIGURE 3.1 1 0 – Se c t io n 3 3 Sensor Type 100 80 60 40 M L BD 20 10 8 6 4 WHERE TO LOCATE FCIS For an exact section of faulted cable in an underground system to be located. The display shows Locate FCIs at the the line current within 60 seca “FAULT” indication for a fault source end of each onds. The following subsections show several types of underground systems and the placement of FCIs.000 Current (Amperes) ing overhead feeder. The second set of FCIs on Fisher Pierce Fault Indicator the load side will show a “normal” indication for Model 1547 Adaptive Trip Time Current Curves a fault on the underground cable and a “FAULT” (5A Base Current) indication for a fault on the overhead feeder. an FCI must be placed at the source end of each cable section. This period. and Airport glide path crossings. This feature helps preunderground cable is sectionalvent false trips caused by ized with single-phase devices. The three-phase FCI After the circuit is re-enerhas three current sensors and gized.8 Time (Seconds) . they are usually not fused. whether to use a three-phase FCI or three singlephase FCIs.000 10. upstream reclosers.002 the underground segment. a set of solid-blade disconnects is placed 0. Another consideration for this application is Courtesy of Fisher Pierce Division of Thomas & Betts. 0.4 .12. 0. Because this equipment also provides easy access to the cable.01 Rather.001 fault on the underground cable or on the outgo10 100 1.04 Because these underground segments are part of a main feeder. the location is ideal for FCIs. Some applications of underground segments are the following: • • • • Lake or river crossings. 0.006 A set of FCIs at each cable end will enable 0. indicator is suitable when the straint.02 . Most cable sections terminate in some type of pad-mounted equipment. 2 1 . This arrangement is shown in Figure 3. Underground Segments of Overhead Feeders Overhead feeders may occasionally have segments of underground cable. During this 60-second on any of the three phases.004 workers to determine if a fault has occurred on 0. These underground segments are often installed to avoid overhead line clearance problems. In addiThe single-phase sectionalizing tion.008 at each end of an underground cable section.2 0. showing which underground cable is faulted.11: Trip-Set Characteristics for Adaptive-Trip FCI.1 0. The set of FCIs on the source side will show a “FAULT” indication for a 0. the FCI continuously readjusts itself for device will be open on the faulted phase. the FCI is in trip recable section.

As covered in the preceding subsection. Three-Phase Underground Feeders The most extensive type of underground feeder connects two substations.13 shows this arrangement. If the sectionalizing device has indicators to show the faulted phase. In contrast. Placing an FCI at these locations will locate the exact faulted cable section.12: FCI Placement on Overhead Feeder with Underground Segment. a three-phase sectionalizing device will open on all phases. a set of FCIs must be placed at each end of the underground segment. If the devices are three-phase. the cooperative engineer must consider the load and fault currents during normal and alternate feeds.Underground System Section a l i z i n g – 1 1 1 3 Recloser FCIs Underground Line Segment FCIs FIGURE 3. To select a proper trip rating. however. a set of FCIs is needed on the load end of the underground segment only. In many cases. The use of three single-phase FCIs also works well on underground circuit exits from a distribution substation. For this type of application. the FCIs are placed on the circuit exits and on either the incoming or outgoing cables in each sectionalizing cabinet. A three-phase FCI will show a “FAULT” indication. Another option is to use an adaptive-trip FCI. . Another consideration for this type of system is the choice of a trip rating. A third consideration is the use of a threephase FCI or three single-phase FCIs. In this application. it is better to use three single-phase FCIs. Here. a three-phase FCI is suitable only when the feeder is protected by single-phase sectionalizing devices. it does not indicate which phase. regardless of which phase is faulted.13: FCI Placement on Three-Phase Underground Feeder. However. Figure 3. unless the three-phase protective device has an individual target for each phase. During normal operation. Switchgear 1 Switchgear 3 Substation A FCIs FCIs Substation B Switchgear 2 FIGURE 3. If possible. only the FCI on the faulted cable will show a “FAULT” indication. As this FCI adapts to different line current levels. These segments may contain above-ground sectionalizing points or grounding points. it responds properly during normal and alternate feeds. the only way to identify the faulted phase is to use a single-phase FCI on each cable. Some areas may have very long segments of underground cable. a trip rating should be selected that will respond to the fault current available during normal and alternate feeds. if the protective device does not have phase indicators. this feeder has an open point with each side being fed by a different substation. these circuit exits are protected by a three-phase sectionalizing device.

Normally Open Point FIGURE 3. This arrangement lets field personnel open the cabinet and determine which phase has the faulted cable. Normally Open Point N.O. This arrangement should work properly regardless of the location of the loop open point.15: FCI Placement for Underground Subdivision with Three-Phase Source. These subdivisions often contain multiple singlephase loops and may contain a three-phase underground sub-feeder. Riser Pole Riser Pole Switching Cabinet Switching Cabinet N. Pad-Mounted Transformer FCI N. then FCIs must also be placed on each load-side cable.O.O. In addition to being placed at each transformer.1 1 2 – Se c t io n 3 3 Riser Pole Riser Pole N.14 shows this system with one FCI for each transformer.O.O. LEGEND Three-Phase. or junction cabinet. FIGURE 3. Figure 3. Figure 3. Large subdivisions can be more complicated. Pad-Mounted Transformer Single-Phase. Pad-Mounted Transformer FCI N. Underground Residential Subdivisions An underground residential subdivision usually consists of single-phase transformers and cable operated as an open-loop system.O.15 shows FCI placement in a large subdivision.O. N. sectionalizing. N. If SW1 and SW2 were three-phase junction cabinets without fused taps.14: FCI Placement for Single-Phase Open Loop. FCIs must also be placed in each switching. LEGEND Single-Phase. .

1. this device resets to “NORMAL” when it detects the return of load current in the cable. During a future outage. If this becomes a common occurrence. are very sensitive and can be susceptible to the magnetic fields of nearby cables. the automatic-reset FCIs can be a more reliable fault-locating tool. This device has two other limitations: • No coordination with current-limiting fuses. First. the FCIs are usually located inside pad-mounted enclosures. The lower reset levels. These stray fields can lead to false tripping and resetting in the following applications: FIGURE 3. On an underground system. a load of 30 kW on a 24. Current Reset Current reset is the most common type of automatic reset. this step may be neglected. service personnel must reset this FCI in the field. the normal load current in a single-phase residential subdivision may be less than three amperes. Before selecting a current-reset FCI. crews will soon ignore the fault indicators.5 amperes and less. they must open all enclosures located before the faulted cable section and reset each FCI. The load current must be higher than the reset current level. The device uses the same sensor to detect fault and load current (see Figure 3. and 0. It typically costs half that of the automatic-resetting types. As a result. the use of manual-reset FCIs is not recommended. less desirable when used on an underground system placed along the front property lines.1 ampere. After tripping. crews cannot determine the indicator status without opening each enclosure.9/14. For these reasons. these devices are more likely to show correct indication than is the manual-reset type.16). An FCI with a three-ampere reset level would never reset. 1. Any tripped indicators that service personnel miss will continue to show a “fault” indication. there are trade-offs for this reduction in cost.4-kV system has a current of about two amperes. Each type of automatic reset and how it is best used is described below. Because the reset is automatic. After a crew locates the faulted line section. this FCI cannot be used on underground systems protected by current-limiting fuses.5 amperes. The unit has a flag display housed inside a clear viewing window. As expected. On 35. determine the normal load current. For example. The costs of these different types are very similar. These types have different applications based on their limitations. Because it operates more slowly. . Manufacturers offer many types of automatic reset. Failure to reset an FCI is more likely on an underground than on an overhead system.16: Current-Reset FCI. and • No remote indicator.and 25-kV systems. thus.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 1 1 3 3 SELECTING A RESET METHOD Manual Reset The manual-reset type is the simplest and least expensive FCI. During afterhours power restoration or during inclement weather. Automatic Reset FCIs are also available with automatic reset. FCIs are. these devices can sense when the cable is re-energized and will then reset to a “NORMAL” indication. these indicators will confuse crews and probably increase the time required to locate the faulted cable section. Courtesy of Fisher Pierce Division of Thomas & Betts. Without remote indication. After tripping. The standard reset current levels are three amperes.

Schweitzer Manufacturing Division of SEL. • Three-phase junction cabinets.O.17). Therefore. grounded-wye threeto prevent a false reset caused by a feedback phase transformers.1 1 4 – Se c t io n 3 3 • Single-phase junction cabinets. fields of nearby cables during reset. Most units For three-phase use. . it will reset. As a safety feature. these devices high enough to reset a currentcan be placed in all types of pad-mounted reset FCI. ondary terminal and the circuit Reset subsection on page 113. This FCI is not affected by the magnetic equipment and enclosures. This is described in FCI senses the proper amount FCI is ideal for lightly more detail in the Current of voltage between the secloaded circuits. voltage. types of pad-mounted ing to prevent this problem.18: High-Voltage-Reset FCI. Courtesy of E. • Single-phase fuse cabinets. Figure 3. The resistance probe will limit the fault Current-reset FCIs current if there is a primarycan be placed in all Some of these FCIs can be to-secondary insulation system equipped with magnetic shieldfailure. This effect is described in the Backfeed The voltage sensor will likely cross from the Currents subsection earlier in this section. The current-reset FCIs reideal for lightly loaded circuits quire only a current source to where the load current is not reset. neutral. and • Three-phase switchgear. The current sensor to detect Low-Voltage Reset fault current would not have to be as sensitive as The low-voltage-reset FCI is equipped with a a sensor that must also detect load currents of less probe that connects to the secondary voltage than three amperes to reset. Courtesy of Fisher Pierce Division of Thomas and Betts. The current senquire magnetic shielding to sor has contact with the priThe low-voltage-reset minimize the effect of nearby mary circuit neutral. this device would be suitable for a lightly loaded three-phase circuit. When the cables. terminal of a transformer (see The more sensitive sensors reFigure 3.17: Low-Voltage-Reset FCI. it is imhave reset voltages of 120 volts portant to know the minimum or 277 volts nominal and can be used in singlereset voltage. FIGURE 3. primary to the secondary side of the transformer. The low-voltage-reset FCI is equipment. therefore. this sensor has a lumped resistance probe and 30-kV insulated cable. This value should be high enough phase or grounded-wye.

A second problem occurs on a three-phase system. it is very important the FCI.19).19: Time-Reset FCI.18). Correct placement can be done in one of two ways. If the time period is devices to ensure moisture necessary for too short. The first method is to train the concentric neutral conductors back over themselves on the FIGURE 3. fault current flows through the conductor and a portion returns along the neutral. If an FCI is installed directly over the concentric neutral. Without this shielding. Correct placement of the FCI minimizes these problems. voltage on the faulted phase. SENSOR INSTALLATION Proper Placement on Cable During a phase-to-ground fault. High-Voltage Reset an FCI will falsely reset. the FCI can reset beprotection. these devices must be lithium battery to keep the specified with magnetic shieldreset time during the power ing. is located. If the current is large enough. it will falsely trip the fault indicator. If this feedback most manufacturers recommend replacing the battery. Courtesy of Fisher Pierce Division of Thomas & Betts. fore the faulted cable section For use with three-phase proper operation. During a phase-to-ground fault. At the end of 10 years. spond and check the status of Care must be used on these placement is the FCIs. . If the unit does not have a replaceable battery. In a concentric neutral cable. The high-voltage-reset FCI Time-reset devices mounts on the capacitive test do not respond Time Reset point of an elbow terminator The time-reset FCI resets to (see Figure 3. it must be replaced with a new unit. the resulting magnetic field of the neutral tends to cancel the magnetic field of the conductor. Another concern on pacity of 800 flashing or beeping hours during a three-phase systems is the chance of feedback 10-year operating life. they can be very helpful in some three-phase applications. about three minutes will reset Therefore. This unit is battery powered and has an LED flashing light display. Because these devices will not reset because of feedback voltage or currents. time. it may not detect the fault current because the magnetic field is canceled or reduced. A primary to feedback voltage “NORMAL” after a specified voltage level of five kilovolts or current. An FCI mounted directly over the concentric neutral can sense this current. These units use a systems.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 1 1 5 3 voltage exceeds five kilovolts. regardless of the circuit or greater for a period of conditions (see Figure 3. an outage and to power a flashing LED or beeping FCI can show a false trip or reset caused by curtype of fault indicator. Most batteries have a carents in nearby cables. These devices can be to select a time period that is used only on elbow terminaCorrect FCI sensor long enough for crews to retors with capacitive test points. current can flow in the concentric neutral of the unfaulted phases.

or other means—that a fault condition occurred. cable. respectively.20: Correct Placement of FCI Sensor. A shielded sensor forms a complete magnetic circuit around the conductor to which it attaches.1 1 6 – Se c t io n 3 3 current. susceptible to false trips and resets.17. A sensor that is not magnetically shielded can sense the magnetic field of adjacent conductors. effectively shielding the sensor from nearby magnetic fields. an FCI must show—by a visual display. Instead.19 and 3. the impedance of the tape shield is large enough that it carries very little fault current. these magnetic fields can overlap. FIGURE 3. IEEE Standard 495 requires a test for the effect of adjacent current-carrying conductors. The second method is to train the neutral conductors to the outside of the FCI. The test must verify that the indicator will continue to show “NORMAL” when the sensor is at the manufacturer’s specified distance from an unshielded cable carrying a fault current. pad-mounted equipment.21 illustrate correct and incorrect FCI placement. Therefore. These sensors cannot be used in three-phase equipment.20 and 3.or 10-mil tape. These conditions exist in threephase pad-mounted transformers. and junction cabinets. Adapted from Yeh. 1990. a radio frequency (RF) output. RF FCIs are also significantly more effective Concentric Neutral Must Be Looped Back Through Sensor Core to Cancel Effect of Current in Neutral FIGURE 3. an FCI can be placed directly over a shielded cable without adversely affecting the operation of the FCI. An RF FCI eliminates the need to look for the unit. some closed-core sensors are designed to detect very low current flow. This false indication can be avoided by not using unshielded current sensors in threephase. Figures 3. show FCIs with remote LED and visual flag displays. For a shielded cable with 5. as low as 0.22 shows an FCI with an RF signal output. 1990. thus. Three-phase applications require the use of shielded sensors. The FCI is placed on the cable above the concentric neutral conductors.1 ampere. Figure 3. Figures 3.21: Incorrect Placement of FCI Sensor. The sensor must not be affected by orientation. The FCI is then installed over the portion of the cable where the neutral conductors are overlaid. A fault current on one conductor can produce a magnetic field strong enough to trip the FCIs on the other two conductors. However. Effect of Adjacent Conductor Current The FCI current sensor responds to the magnetic field that results from a fault current flowing through the underground cable. FAULT INDICATION To be of any use. These sensors are extremely sensitive to low magnetic fields and. This is a definite advantage in areas where snow or vegetation may obscure a visual display. When underground cables are close together. sectionalizing cabinets. Adapted from Yeh. the neutral will carry most of the fault .

One type of directional into the enclosure. Another advantage tion. outage crews must open the transformer or switchgear.to three-inch diameter circle. in subterranean vaults. remote mounting kits install in a manner that maintains the integrity of are available. A cable. service. The flashing light is A viewing window for a flag display must easily seen at night but can sometimes be diffibe large enough to expose its face. This opening is then Some FCIs have directional capability. This type of FCI provides some advantage in large subdivisions because crews can first check an FCI in the middle of a cable run and trace the fault from there instead of from the dip pole. motely on the enclosure wall other signal. Most padFigure 3. housed behind a clear viewing window that This mounting method does require installing a ranges from one to three inches in diameter (see viewing window on the enclosure. The display can thus be flag display and LCD readout are typically viewed without opening the piece of equipment. 3.22: Typical Radio Transmitter Unit or can be supplied with a lead to allow remote to Accommodate Up to 12 FCIs. it is suitable for use in pad-mounted transformers only. To view a display that is mounted on E. extreme care must be used in correctly connecting the secondary leads to establish the proper polarity. which requires unlocking when the cable is relatively inaccessible. This size of opening is definitely easier to For existing equipment. A circle is cut powers the flashing light display. Courtesy of mounting. In contrast.19). Remote mounting of the . This process can be timeis that the fault-locating consuming. fying the faulted section of and the LED flashing light. The directional feature is also useful if cable circuits are operating in parallel. These covered with a piece of Plexiglas®. such as a padlock and releasing the captive bolt. the sensor. An internal battery one. There are other models of directional FCIs that do not require a voltage connection. Common types include the reduces the time spent identiflag display. or in diffithe cabinet must be restored to a secure condicult terrain. the equipment enclosure. especially when process is faster because the crew is under pressure to An FCI indicates a crews do not have to open locate the fault and restore fault condition by pad-mounted equipment. Some models of the directional FCI must be connected to a secondaryvoltage bushing or an elbow test point in order to establish the direction of fault current flow. usually a cult to see in bright sunlight. The more usual kind of inMounting the display rea visual display or dication is the visual display.O. through the enclosure wall. Visual displays can be mounted on the sensor FIGURE 3. Schweitzer Manufacturing Division of SEL. The Plexiglas are useful in locations where fault current might provides some protection from impact and entry flow in either direction. the LCD readout.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 1 1 7 3 display that was previously used had an indicator arrow that pointed toward the fault. When this type of FCI requires secondary voltage. Then under bridges.16). the size of the flashing mounted equipment can now be ordered with light is only ¼-inch in diameter (see Figure provisions for mounting FCI remote indicators.

This reduces outage time and improves system reliability. and Immersion corrosion test. these changes in trip characteristics may impair coordination with system overcurrent protection. Another type of FCI output is a contact suitable for input to a distribution SCADA system. Outdoor weathering of plastics test. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Fault Current Withstand FCIs are exposed to high fault currents. This type of FCI has a battery-powered speaker that emits a distinctive tone after the passage of a fault. This approach might be useful in congested areas. Water submersion test. where there are many fault indicators and an opportunity for communication circuits to connect several FCIs to a common SCADA remote terminal unit. this standard requires the following design tests to ensure that FCIs will function in their harsh environments: • • • • • Temperature cycling test. The display mounts directly through the hole. Maximum Continuous Current An FCI must be capable of operation when exposed to the maximum continuous load current. earth burial. A final concern is that the display maintains its state during normal handling in the field. such as shopping centers.1 1 8 – Se c t io n 3 3 flashing LED is possible with a fiber optic cable and requires only a ¼-inch hole. A ¼-inch hole is large enough to probe an object into the padmounted enclosure. An FCI must also operate under a varying range of temperatures. In other areas. Indicators with fixed pickup settings will give false indications if the load current exceeds their rating. and intermittent or continuous water submersion. The cooperative engineer should specify that all FCIs meet the Short-Time Current Test of IEEE Standard 495. The flashing light indicator presents less risk of forced equipment entry. a display mounted on the sensor or a remote flashing light display should be considered. in some cases. Adaptive FCIs have the ability to accommodate increasing load currents. a determined vandal could break through the Plexiglas and gain entry into pad-mounted equipment. However. Environmental Requirements An FCI must operate in harsh environments including direct sunlight. Remote displays allow restoration crews to trace fault indicators faster. Acoustic indicators are usually time-reset with provisions for manual reset during circuit restoration. However. Salt spray test. Application of acoustic FCIs is generally limited to locations where the equipment could be obstructed by snow or vegetation. but. Acoustic annunciation is another specialized type of FCI output. This test requires the display to maintain its indication state when the transformer lid is slammed open or shut. there is no Plexiglas cover. the cooperative engineer should investigate the durability of this device to be sure that it is very difficult to damage or remove. In areas subject to vandalism. IEEE Standard 495 requires an impact resistance test. an FCI must continue to operate properly after being exposed to these high current levels. This is particularly important for indicators with mechanical flags. IEEE Standard 495 requires that FCIs operate properly in an ambient temperature range of -40 to 85°C. To be reliable. thus limiting the effectiveness of visual indicators. In addition. . remote displays of either type are beneficial.

however.Underground System Section a l iz i n g – 1 1 9 3 Summary and Recommendations 1.1 seconds Protective device curves should fall to the right of and above this point to prevent unnecessary tripping. a fault resistance of zero to 10 ohms for underground cable and 30 to 40 ohms for overhead line is recommended. Protective device curves should fall to the right of and above these points to prevent unnecessary tripping. Equation 3. If this is not possible. . Sometimes the maximum interrupting rating of a protective device is rated in asymmetrical amperes but only a symmetrical fault current rating is available. Use Equations 3. 11. 7. 9. Recommended locations are the following: (a) In substations. the temperature increase in the shield during faults may be more critical than the temperature increase in the phase conductor. Fault current values should be available from system fault current study.1 seconds 8 × base-rated full-load current for 0. these points may be modified on the basis of the type of load and local climate. (e) On transformers. current-limiting fuses or circuit reconfiguration should be used to limit the fault. The magnetizing inrush current point for a transformer is estimated as follows: Transformer Size Three-Phase Single-Phase >3 MVA ≤ 3 MVA >1 MVA ≤ 1 MVA Magnetizing Inrush Current 12 × base-rated full-load current for 0. Current-limiting fuses should be used to protect against destructive transformer failure in high-fault areas. Use the cable damage curves in Appendix F to determine if a protective device protects a cable against through-fault damage. Equation 3. A good rule of thumb for cold-load pickup current is the following: (a) Six times full-load current for one second. 5.4 should be used to calculate a corresponding maximum symmetrical fault level. If actual withstand levels of I2t values are known for a particular transformer. When minimum fault is calculated. Several types of protective devices are available for use on an underground system.2 and Table 3. Several of these devices can be operated remotely. 10. 6. (b) Three times full-load current for up to 10 seconds. Proper location of protective devices will limit fault damage and the number of consumers affected by the fault and also help locate the fault. 8. Table 3. (d) On taps off main feeders and sub-feeders.3 and Tables 3. Frequently.8 shows fault levels that may lead to destructive transformer failure for internal faults. Where the neutral/shield is reduced in size or is jacketed. and (f) Within long feeders.6 can be used to evaluate the temperature increase in the concentric neutral or shield during faults. (c) At transitions from underground to overhead. The short-circuit curves are normally used. 4. This coordination may not always be possible.1 to convert from symmetrical to asymmetrical. 2.2 through 3.1 and 3. Zero ohms for underground and 30 ohms for overhead are less conservative and should be used only within the restrictions noted in the Minimum Available Fault subsection and subject to good engineering judgment and knowledge of the system. All load-carrying components should be rated to withstand maximum through-fault currents on the system. the emergency overload curves can be used for a more conservative approach or where the cable is normally operated near its continuous ampacity limit. 3. (b) At the beginning of underground cable. and (c) Two times full-load current for 100 seconds up to 15 minutes. Most of these are available in a pad-mounted type enclosure.

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By reviewing the conditions that affect primary and secondary cable ampacity and the ability of transformers to carry overloads for short periods. Soil temperature to the surrounding environRating of Cable around direct-buried cable or ment sets the actual ampacity conduit should also be considof the cable. the suroperating temperature limits rounding soil may dry out. However. Pad-mounted transformer kVA ratings must be selected to carry highly diverse loads with peaks that may exceed the transformer rating. The ability of tion for an underground the cable to transfer this heat Ampacity = Current circuit. To meet this requirement. If the condition loading the cable to the maximum operating persists for an extended period. Voltage A simple definition of ampacity is the amount of drop is often the deciding element in very long current that a cable can carry under a specific cable runs. it can lead to temperature of the insulation will not shorten thermal instability of the soil. set of circumstances. For short runs and large currents. losses in the form of heat are Maximum insulation tempergenerated in the conductor ature is not the only consideraand insulation. cables must supply the load during peak periods without overheating and within acceptable voltage limits. The current rating or ampacity of primary and secondary cables must be selected to economically serve the load over the lifetime of the installation. the two major system components—cables and transformers— must be sized properly.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 2 1 4 In This Section: Primary Cable Ampacity Equipment Loading Primary Cable Ampacity Pad-Mounted Transformer Sizing Summary and Recommendations For an underground distribution system to be operated reliably and efficiently. through a cable. If cable temperature rises The maximum conductor to an excessive level. ered. which will cause its life. can limit circuit loading to a value less than the . When current flows ampacity is usually the limiting element. causing a large inthe allowable loading of UD cable. although crease in soil thermal resistivity. the engineer will have the tools to design the best UD system to meet various system requirements. Transformers must be designed to carry these temporary overloads while lasting 20 years or more. voltage regulation and flicker higher cable temperatures and shorter cable life. thermal operating limit of the cable.

which lists cables calculated with Equation 4. Power Cable Ampacities. in particular. ampacity will be explained. the temperature change can be 835-1994. Two-conductor. They are Effective thermal resistance between the conductor and used on single-phase or three-phase primary ambient soil. ICEA P-53-426. PC-based ampacity programs ered. Once RC and RT are calculated. micro-ohms per ft If an application arises that is not covered by Conductor current. in °C-cm/Watt underground distribution systems with operating Effective electrical resistance of the conductor. in voltage up to 35 kV. and in directburied situations.1. vee-phase. TC. these programs are sometimes expensive Equation 4. of a cable.1 where: TC = RT = RC = I = . The ampacity rating of a culate ampacity ratings for the cables in their incable is the amount of current (in amperes) that ventories because ampacities for a large range of will cause the temperature of the conductor to cable sizes and installation conditions have alrise from the stated ambient temperature to. An abstract of TC = I2 RC RT these tables is reproduced as Table 4. IEEE 835-1994 or Appendix G should be consulted.” This basic procedure is industry well over the years. On the basis of this definiinstallation conditions and parameters they tion. is also supply cable ampacity ratings for the special given for a particular installation being considinstallations.1. It is compounds and manufacturing processes have used to calculate the maximum conductor temmade the older tables of limited use. three-phase. P-46-426. These tables are fect the rate at which heat is removed from the now quite dated and are valuable only for the surface of the cable. The Insuperature as limited by the lated Conductor Committee of rated operating temperature of the IEEE compiled more upthe insulation. which was issued in 1976. from 600 volts to 500 kV. A newer publication. dated 1962. the effect of shield under various installation and operating condilosses on ampacities in single-conductor cables tions was first published in 1957 in a technical and temperatures in the earth surrounding paper by Neher and McGrath titled “The Calcuburied cables and ducts. Such programs also help to perform sensitivity analyses in which different parameters can be varied to determine –T T their effect on the ampacity of the cable. addressed UD-style A method to accurately compute ampacity cables and. in air. in ducts.1 2 2 – Se c t io n 4 4 In light of these aspects that affect the rating The actual computations are quite involved. the rated operating temperature of cation No. new insulation still used today to calculate cable ampacity. concentric neutral power cables consist of one insulated central conductor Change in conductor temperature in degrees Celsius caused and one copper concentric neutral conductor by current-produced losses (T conductor/T ambient) applied helically over the insulation. a more exact definition of ampacity but engineers will rarely find it necessary to calcanbe formulated. The conductor dated cable ampacity tables Use ampacity tables current required to produce and published IEEE Standard to pick cable ratings. Cable vendors can The change in conductor temperature. the insulation under specific conditions that afVolumes I and II. UnfortuI = conductor ambient RC RT nately. and multiple circuits. The ICEA created Publinot above. Equation calculate ampacities for most cable installation 4. with virtually all combinations of single-phase. in kiloamperes these ampacity tables. lation of the Temperature Rise and Load CapaAlthough these publications have served the bility of Cable Systems.1 can be solved for cable ampacity: arrangements and types of cable. Also. the basic procedure for calculating cable describe. but ready been calculated.

and a condition of thermal runaway may occur. When heat flows through the thermal resistance of the various elements between the conductor and the surrounding soil.” ICEA Publication No. P-53-426 (Reaffirmed 1982). and ICEA S-68-516. NEMA Publication No. Losses occur physically within the cable in its conductor. and neutral. Heat flows outward from where the losses are generated toward the jacket. or ICEA Publication No. NEMA WC 7 (12/84).07 Continuous loading at maximum rating may lead to moisture migration away from the cables and increased soil thermal resistivity.08 In Duct 1. TR-XLPE. See “Power Cable Ampacities. and IEEE Standard 835-1994. ** Two-conductor full-concentric-neutral cable in conduit in air at an ambient temperature of 40°C. it causes a thermal gradient. This conductor temperature must not exceed the operating temperature of the cable insulation system. and soil thermal resistivity rho-90. page XIII. and modified to 25°C ambient earth temperature by multiplying by 0. when added to the ambient temperature of the soil (or air).04 1. Part 8. page 83. 100% LF Copper Aluminum Buried* 200 260 297 339 387 442 504 — — In Duct* 121 155 176 200 227 258 293 — — Duct in Air** 91 118 135 154 176 201 230 — — Buried* 156 203 232 264 302 344 393 437 488 In Duct* 94 121 137 156 177 201 228 255 288 Duct in Air** 71 92 105 120 137 156 179 200 226 * Two-conductor full-concentric-neutral cable in direct burial at an ambient temperature of 25°C. Losses in the insulation and neutral may or may not be negligible. 100% load factor.1: Ampacities for Single-Phase Primary Underground Distribution Cable—XLPE. IEEE Publication No. Conductor Size AWG or kcmil 4 2 1 1/0 2/0 3/0 4/0 250 300 Conductors Rated 15 kV.9636.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 2 3 4 TABLE 4. . P-46-426. CONDITIONS AFFECTING CABLE AMPACITY The maximum ampacity of a concentric neutral UD cable depends on the ability of its surrounding environment to dissipate the heat generated by internal losses. The temperature gradient. WC 50.16 50% Load Factor Buried In Duct 1. no wind. page VI. full sun. insulation. and their purchase cannot be justified by most cooperatives for occasional use. 100% load factor. S-135. equals the final conductor temperature. The multiplying correction factors for load factors of 50% and 75% are as follows: Correction Factors 75% Load Factor Cable Rating kV 15 Buried 1. 90°C. and EPR Insulated.3. page 7. Adapted from ICEA S-66-524. Section 5. Section E. NEMA WC 8 (reaffirmed 1982). depending on the type of insulation and elements associated with the installation of the cable.

the value of the loss is proportional to the square of the voltage. the less the losses will be because of the proportional decrease in current magnitude. They are a function of voltage and are present any time the cable is energized. Current-dependent losses are ohmic losses in the conductor and concentric neutral and vary as the square of the current. For example.2 0. Currentdependent losses are caused by current flow in the central and concentric neutral conductors.05 0 0 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300 325 350 375 Rs (Microohms per Foot) FIGURE 4. Because safety practices require the neutral to be grounded at multiple points along its length. thus. Generally. Losses in the cable concentric neutral occur when voltage is induced on the neutral wires because of the mutual reactance between them and the central conductor. full and 1/3 are the two concentric neutral resistance values specified in RUS Bulletin 1728F-U1 for primary cable.1. whereas 1/3 means the concentric neutral resistance is three times the resistance of the central conductor. losses in the form of heat are produced in the conductor and its surrounding insulation and coverings.000 kcmil.25 Ysc FULL 1. Source: ICEA Publication No. 1/C 35-kV Aluminum Power Cables in Triplexed Formation.3 0.1: Ratio of Shield Loss to Conductor DC Loss (Ysc ) at 90°C as a Function of Shield Resistance (Rs).4 FULL 0. . the induced voltage will cause current to flow in a threephase application. Losses in the central conductor represent the main heat-generating component and are directly related to its ac resistance. It is not usually necessary to calculate the resistance of the concentric neutral because it is expressed as a fraction of the known conductor ac resistance. the ampacity of the cable. P-53-426.15 0. The rate at which the heat is removed from the cable determines the temperature rise within the dielectric and. the greater the neutral resistance for cable sizes below 1.1 FULL . Electrical losses can be divided into two types: current dependent and non-current dependent. adding to the total system loss. This effect is graphically shown in Figure 4. The dielectric loss is present any time the cable is energized. Non-current-dependent losses are due to the presence of the electrical field within the cable dielectric. A full neutral means the neutral and phase conductors have the same resistance. When a cable is energized and current flows.35 0.1 2 4 – Se c t io n 4 4 Electrical Losses One condition that affects cable ampacity is the magnitude of electrical losses. Non-current-dependent losses are caused by losses in the dielectric and charging current loss.000 kcmil 750 kcmil 500 kcmil 350 kcmil 4/0 AWG 1/3 FULL 1/3 1/6 1/3 1/3 FULL 1/6 1/6 1/3 0. These losses are 0.

6 many utility engineers over the years have rePer Unit Load Factor sulted in a relationship between the two values Curve A: Loss Factor = Load Factor that gives a reasonable value of loss factor in Curve B: Loss Factor = (Load Factor)2 terms of its corresponding load factor. which is normally FIGURE 4. B whereas the load factor depends only on the current (assuming constant voltage). done a 24-hour period than if the peak load was apat 100 percent loss factor. Loss calculations a smaller temperature rise if the load varies over involving charging current are. Observations by 0 0. Per Unit.2. Figure 4. The relaCurve C: Loss Factor = 0.7.4 0. proportional to voltage.8 (Load Factor)2 tionship can be expressed by the empirical formula shown in Equation 4. and charging current The relationship between average losses with loss for underground cables load factor and loss factor peak losses. A second element that affects cable ampacity is Charging current losses are caused by the flow the load factor/loss factor of the load. charging erage load to the peak load. Because losses vary as the square of the current.2 Load Factor + 0.0 0. Equadepends on the shape of the tions 1. with curves A and B representing the theoretical limits between 0. losses caused by it are The loss factor is the ratio of the average losses proportional to the square of the voltage. A cable will have any time the cable is energized. This condition occurs when there is 0.2 to the square of the current and the resistance.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 2 5 4 caused by the in-phase components of voltage Load Factor/Loss Factor and current induced in the dielectric. The Although dielectric losses must be considered IEEE ampacity tables are based on loss factors when setting ampacity ratings for UD cables and determined on the basis of losses for the average are factored into the ampacity tables. Loss factor compares current. Charging current shape of the load curve and the thermal resisis a function of cable capacitance and is present tance of the heat transfer path. The loss factor is always less than the load factor except where they are C both unity.2: Relationship Between Load Factor and Loss Factor used for rural feeders.2 0.8 1. the value of the loss factor can vary between the extreme limits 1. to the peak losses over a specified period.2 shows this relationship. defined as the ratio of the avcable capacitance. their effects maximum load over a one-hour period. The effect of a load facthe charging current squared times the ac resistor less than unity is recognized in ampacity and tance of the cable.4 a constant load on the cable. therefore. load duration curve. Because charging current is temperature rise calculations by using loss factor. Load factor is ductor losses. ity tables are based on the projected load factor Equations to calculate conof the circuit. Ampacare more pronounced at transmission voltages. Note that both factors are related to time. Per Unit Loss Factor .6 tween the two curves. Losses are equal to plied for the whole day.0 of load factor and load factor squared.1 through 1. The maxiof charging current and are separate from the real mum temperature rise of a cable depends on the power flow through the cable. Typical load A curves for any distribution feeder will fall be0. are found in Section 1. dielectric loss.8 which the relationship can vary. The loss factor cannot be calculated directly from load factor because losses are proportional 0.

the soil is considered stable.2 . However. Below this moisture level.2. factor could lead to the choice of cable one or Figure 4. An improperly high load the soil is considered thermally unstable.3 shows that. thermal resistivity is basically constant ther because rho depends on many conditions down to low moisture contents of approximately that are not constant through the soil profile and two percent. The thermal resistivity of a soil depends on the Equation 4. Knowing the efsistivity with moisture content for various types fect of the other conditions on cable ampacity will of soils. and. reallow the engineer to make a more informed desistivity rises slowly until a critical moisture level cision about the value of load factor chosen. Rho can be measured dissipate heat under these along a specific route to help High soil thermal conditions is determined by in selecting the proper cable resistivity reduces the particle size distribution size. and adds an extreme thermal resistance to the Because the load factor of a cable determines heat dissipation path. The tendency between soil particles. which creates an Distribution System Loss Management Manual.3 shows the variation of thermal retwo sizes larger than necessary. Certain clay soils tend to dry out and become baked when heated beyond a certain temperature. the thermal resistivity then starts to increase at a much higher rate. Electric Power Soil Thermal Resistivity Research Institute-sponsored research has shown Soil thermal resistivity (rho) is an important elethat. tivity. Choosing a load factor of 100 percent level. the thercan change with the seasons of the year. the lower its thermal resistance and the better its heat-dissipating ability. by the consuming to perform. for well-graded soils such as that have led to reliable performance in the past. limestone screenings (a quarry waste by-prodSelecting an ampacity value is complicated furuct). mal resistivity is shown to quickly increase. Clay is also an A more thorough discussion of load factor example of a soil that shrinks when dry. to a lesser extent. the higher the Loss Factor=0. is reached. increase their thermal resistivity. consideration must be given around the cable increases. measurements (packing efficiency) of the soil are usually difficult and timecable ampacity. If the cable temperature stabilizes at a safe the cable. expressed in degrees Celsius-centimeter As the moisture migrates away from the cable per watt (°C-cm/watt). The paired heat flow through the ability of different soils to earth. Within the masome instances. water fills the gaps ment that affects cable ampacity. Chu. 1980). more than one-half the total trix.1 2 6 – Se c t io n 4 4 type of soil (its texture and mineral content). As the moisture content is reduced. air layer between the soil and the cable surface pages 17–20. Most shape of the particles. heat conduction takes selection of load capabilities of UD cables. In place through a solid soil matrix. As the thermal resistance its ampacity value. Generally. thereby and loss factor may be found in the NRECA losing contact with the cable. the cable temperature to future load factors during the expected life of rises. this drives away the moisture and may permanently This equation is shown as curve C in Figure 4. the particles have only point-to-point conconductor temperature rise is caused by imtact with each other. and the structural arrangement of the soil particles. If the temperagives the minimum ampacity value. with all other ture continues to rise above an acceptable level. Rho is important in the surface for any reason.8(Load Factor)2 moisture content. at high moisture levels. which increases the effecof soil surrounding a buried cable to hinder the tive cross-sectional area available for heat transflow of heat from the cable or conduit surface is fer. and Rhadhakushna.2 Load Factor+0. the moisture content. conditions being equal. thus reducing the thermal resistivity of the a fundamental property called soil thermal resissoil (Boggs. Figure utilities assume soil properties 4.

and October. soil moisture varies with the seasons. September. directly buried duct. 1964). Usually during the cooler months. 160 150 140 130 Thermal Resistivity (°C-cm/Watt) 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 The ampacity tables in Appendix G list cablesoil interface temperatures alongside the current values. In most cases. These interface temperatures show that soil drying around a hot cable can lead to an increase in soil thermal resistivity and increased soil and conductor temperatures. Because thermal resistivity and water content of the soil are interrelated. The greater the depth. Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul 1952 Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec FIGURE 4.3: Thermal Resistivity Versus Moisture Content for Various Soil Types. the moisture content increases with depth. As expected. Chu. Source: EEI Underground Systems Reference Book. Figure 4. Interface temperatures have been used in the past to rate cables because no other simple. dependable method exists. Interface temperature is the temperature attained by the outside surface of directly buried cable. or concrete encasement. Field studies suggest an interface temperature of 50°C to 60°C be used for clay and loam soils and 35°C for sandy soils (Arman et al. experiments were made that investigated the differences in temperature rise for equally loaded cable buried at intermediate depths from three to 20 feet. In most areas of the United States. Years ago..4 shows measured variation of soil thermal resistivity at four locations on a monthly basis.4: Thermal Resistivity of Soil at Various Locations. A higher water content generally leads to a lower thermal resistivity. 1980. rain keeps the soil well saturated. and Rhadhakushna. Soil thermal resistivity changes with moisture content. for a soil of a particular type and a fixed water table level. Utility engineers commonly rate cables on the basis of this method. 1957. The warmer months have less rainfall and the soil dries out. the less the change in moisture during the year.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 2 7 4 210 Crushed Shale 180 Silty Sand Ottawa Sand Thermal Resistivity (°C-cm/Watt) 150 Critical Moisture Content = 120 90 60 Fire Valley Sand Stone Screenings 30 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Percentage Moisture Content FIGURE 4. January through May. the results showed a lower rho and less temperature . The resistivity is shown to generally increase during the hot/ dry months of August. it is reasonable to assume that these two properties will vary with seasonal and climate factors as well. Thermal efficiency of the soil depends mainly on its moisture content. Source: Boggs.

However. Source: EEI Underground Systems Reference Book. Figure 4. P-46-426. The cycle does not vary much from year to year. rise at 20 feet compared with three feet. The earth acts like a heat sink in the summer and returns heat to the air in the winter.5 Feet.5 shows that the temperature change follows essentially a sinusoidal curve that changes with the seasons. Standard industry practice is approximately three feet as an acceptable minimum depth for almost all installations outside urban areas. Measurements show that soil temperature decreases with depth in summer and increases with depth in winter. Ambient Soil Temperature Ambient soil temperature affects UD cable ampacity and must be considered when using ampacity tables. Cyclical temperature changes below ground vary considerably from place to place and must be known for the specific location being considered. Source: ICEA Publication No. Unfavorable native soil conditions near the surface can be overcome for short runs by using a good thermal backfill in the vicinity of the cable. Table 4.2 gives typical temperature ranges that may be used when site-specific data are not available. The ambient temperature is the normal soil temperature at the burial depth of the cable that would exist if the cable were not there. .5 3 Temperature (°C) 10 6. Every ampacity table has been computed for a specific ambient temperature.2: Typical Ambient Soil Temperatures at a Depth of 3. usable temperature ranges may be obtained from the state Department of Agriculture or the agricultural school of a state university. °C Location Northern United States Southern United States Summer 20 to 25 30 to 35 Winter 2 to 15 10 to 20 ambient temperature.5 16 5 0 –5 Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Months Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec FIGURE 4. the increase in cable ampacity could never offset the extra cost of deeper burial. The temperature rise of the cable is added directly to the TABLE 4. 1957. Temperature. If it is not feasible to make temperature measurements at the site. The change of ambient temperature below the earth’s surface is caused by seasonal exchange of solar energy between air and earth.1 2 8 – Se c t io n 4 4 20 Depth Below Surface (Feet) 15 Air 1.5: Effect of Depth on Soil Temperatures as Influenced by Seasonal Temperature Variations.

. For example. voltage differences are produced along the concentric neutrals of the other two phases. thus. 14 AWG copper wires. cable is usually purchased for standard applications with a concentric neutral made up of at least six No. plus the heat-sink quality of the surrounding soil. at depths below 36 inches.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 2 9 4 Daily variations in air temperature produce negligible changes in ambient earth temperatures below one foot. thus. Load current flowing in the other two phases will cancel some of the magnetic field produced by current in one phase. The preceding discussion shows that a threephase installation is more involved in terms of ampacity and that more factors limit its ampacity than for a single-phase circuit. In a balanced three-phase application using concentric neutral cable. • For large conductors. • The variation of ampacity with concentric neutral resistance is generally greater for spaced than for trefoil configurations. neutral losses—are proportional to the mutual reactance of the cable system. No return current means the magnetic field outside the concentric neutral of each phase is not totally canceled out. the smaller the variation of the circuit ampacity with neutral resistance. • The smaller the phase conductor. Another way to reduce circulating current losses is to increase the resistance of the concentric neutral. the arrangement of the phases in relation to each other affects the total system losses and. Safety standards require that the concentric neutrals of all jacketed UD cables be grounded and connected together at both ends of the cable run. a cable with 1/3-neutral would have a concentric neutral resistance three times the phase conductor. In the same way. there is no return current because the phase currents vectorially add to zero at the load. Observations from Ampacity Tables The following general observations can be made from reviewing the 1962 ICEA ampacity tables and IEEE Standard 835-1994 for different installation configurations: • Circulating current losses decrease and ampacities increase with increasing concentric neutral resistance. and at as many intermediate points as required by the NESC. This may be done by reducing the number or size of the wires. Another point that must be considered when spacing cables close together is the mutual heating effect caused by the three conductors. Mutual heating will decrease the load-carrying ability of the system. the current rating of most singlephase UD applications is limited by current-related losses in the conductor and neutral. In addition to the conductor losses and the thermal quality of the soil. However. dielectric loss is usually considered negligible when ampacity is calculated. Voltage differences—and. Investigations have shown that. decreases the ampacity of the cable circuit. Cable Configuration and Circulating Current Various aspects of installation can affect the amount of current a cable can carry. the circuit ampacity. Because the net magnetic field around the phase is not completely canceled. there is a large variation of ampacity with neutral resistance. Engineers recognize that the concentric neutral physically protects the cable. the axial spacing cannot be reduced below one cable diameter. Therefore. it produces a voltage difference along the length of the concentric neutral. ambient soil temperatures lag the air temperature by about two weeks to one month because of the high specific heat of the soil. For singlephase primary UD cable. Industry practice is to list concentric neutral sizes in relation to the resistance of the central conductor. The circulating currents produce heat. This necessary grounding of the neutrals at more than one point creates a cross connection which short-circuits the voltage between them and allows circulating currents to flow.1 shows how the physical arrangement of the phase conductors can affect ampacity. For this reason. The most common way to reduce mutual reactance is to place the cables closer together. This heat. when added to the mutual heating effect of the other conductors in a trench. INSTALLATION CONFIGURATIONS Physical Arrangement of Phases Example 4. so mutual reactance will always exist.

3.3 shows that. Direct Buried. 36” A B C 7. FIGURE 4. three-phase primary circuits using concentric neutral jacketed cable. 75% and 100% Load Factor.4 shows that. For easier comparison of the two installations.6: Trefoil or Triangular Cable Configuration.5” 7.5 inches between phases. Table 4.3 can be made for aluminum conductors. for conductor sizes of 350 kcmil and larger.* Trefoil Configuration (Amperes) Conductor Size 4/0 (1/3 neut) 350 (1/3 neut) 500 (1/3 neut) 750 (1/3 neut) 1.3: Ampacity Table for 15-kV Copper Conductor. excerpts from their ampacity tables are listed in Table 4. Soil rho = 90. Examination of the two configurations of Table 4. as seen in Figure 4.6 is in a closely spaced trefoil or cloverleaf configuration. the trefoil arrangement produces fewer losses and greater ampacity as the load and load factor of the circuit increase. the trefoil configuration gives higher ampacity ratings because circulating current losses are greater when flat spacing is used.1 3 0 – Se c t io n 4 4 EXAMPLE 4. the flat-spaced configuration gives greater ampacity values than does the trefoil. Conductor Temperature = 90°C. Consider two direct-buried.7: Flat Conductor Configuration. Ambient Soil Temperature = 25°C Continued . the spaced configuration gives greater current-carrying capability.5” A table similar to 4. 36” FIGURE 4. Circuit 2 is a flat configuration with “maintained spacing” of approximately 7.7. For 4/0 AWG and smaller conductors. Maintained Spacing. Single Circuit.000 (1/6 neut) 75% Load Factor 404 519 609 696 814 100% Load Factor 360 460 535 608 706 Flat-Spaced Configuration (Amperes) 75% Load Factor 432 516 572 635 705 100% Load Factor 377 448 496 548 605 * IEEE Standard 835-1994 Note.1: Comparing the Ampacity of Trefoil and Flat-Spaced Configurations. for aluminum conductor sizes up to 500 kcmil. Use flat spacing for small conductor installations. Circuit 1 shown in Figure 4. For the larger conductor sizes. TABLE 4.

inattention to detail could lead to a marginal installation after much effort has gone into selecting the right cable and configuration for the project. • When the circulating current losses of the trefoil are measurably greater than the spaced configurations. A duct bank means one or more runs of conduit which are usually encased in concrete that extends the full length of the run. close attention should be paid to the spacing when the cable is laid. the ampacity of the spaced configuration will be more than the trefoil arrangement because of the effect of lower mutual heating. (cont. CONDUIT APPLICATIONS Installation in Conduit or Duct In this manual. . the terms conduit and duct are used interchangeably to mean nonmetallic. the following conclusions can be drawn: • When neutral losses are low in both cases. it is generally better to keep them as close together as possible because the higher circulating currents of the spaced cables provide greater losses and lower ampacities than does the mutual heating effect of the trefoil configuration.) TABLE 4. steel conduit may reach temperatures adequate to cause cable failure by melting. Conductor Temperature = 90°C. Note that if single cables are installed in a spaced configuration in individual steel conduit. the same fields that produce losses in the concentric neutrals will also cause eddy currents and unacceptable heating of the steel. Direct Buried. • For larger size cables. The preceding discussion will prove useful in comparing closely spaced with spaced threephase circuits.1: Comparing the Ampacity of Trefoil and Flat-Spaced Configurations. 75% and 100% Load Factor. Soil rho = 90. their ampacities will be essentially the same. In some cases.4: Ampacity Table for 15-kV Aluminum Conductor. nonmagnetic conduit must be used for high-ampacity circuits where phases are enclosed in individual conduits. The losses of the conduit added to the other losses of the circuit will reduce the ampacity even more. Otherwise.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 3 1 4 EXAMPLE 4. Ambient Soil Temperature = 25°C Conclusions from Ampacity Tables After a comparison of the IEEE Standard 8351994 for trefoil against spaced arrangements with short-circuited and multigrounded concentric neutrals. When an installation specification calls for either a trefoil or maintained spacing (flat horizontal configuration). For this reason. nonmagnetic tubes made primarily of polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene.* Trefoil Configuration (Amperes) Conductor Size 1/0 (full neut) 1/0 (1/3 neut) 4/0 (1/3 neut) 350 (1/3 neut) 500 (1/3 neut) 750 (1/3 neut) 1.000 (1/6 neut) 75% Load Factor 216 216 318 417 502 604 716 100% Load Factor 194 195 284 370 442 529 623 Flat-Spaced Configuration (Amperes) 75% Load Factor 241 247 361 446 513 575 675 100% Load Factor 214 218 311 387 443 498 582 * IEEE Standard 835-1994 Note. Single Circuit.

and why a cable in conduit has less ampacity. it is cable in conduit can be visualLower Cable Ampacity mostly by radiation and conized as four thermal resisvection into the air space. it is strongly recommended that conduit be used because digging trenches in frozen ground can be costly and very time-consuming. In northern climates. For this reason. conduit sizes used by utilities. Thermal resistance of the conduit material. Because cable in conduit has less load-carrying ability than direct-buried cable does. Thermal resistance from the conductor ter heat flow. However.000°C-cm/watt. However. Thermal resistance from the jacket surface ture reached by the insulation for the typical to the inner surface of the conduit wall. conduit applications will be reviewed in more detail. PVC conduit is approximately 480. Articles in the technical press have shown that a few systems are justifying using conduit for all UD installations because cable replacement is much easier. Consideration might be given to de-rating certain plowed-in cables to cable-in-conduit ratings. leaving air pockets. tances in series: The inside diameter of the conduit should be as small as possible for bet1. 3.8: Direct-Buried Duct Bank Installation Using Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit. sidewalks. It should be remembered this same principle might apply to cables installed with a vibratory plow. The air between the cable and the inner conduit surface is the main reason why heat is not absorbed by the soil as efficiently as with direct burial. the inside diameter of surface to the outer jacket surface. In stiff soils the earth may not heal itself tightly back against the cables. The concept can be more easily understood by comparing typical thermal resistivity of the various materials.1 3 2 – Se c t io n 4 4 Paved Driveway Paved Driveway 36” 18” 36” FIGURE 4. or other paved areas (see Figure 4. rather. effective sealing is very difficult to achieve in practice. the thermal resistivity of air is 4. and soil is approximately 90. a conduit has little effect on the final tempera2. Cables are usually installed in ducts where they pass under roadways. The air space acts essentially like an insulating blanket to impede the flow of heat to the surrounding soil. ampacity tables do not list different ampacities and for different conduit sizes. heat transfer Pros and Cons of Cable is not solely by conduction Conduit Installations in Conduit directly from the cable surThe total thermal circuit of a = face to soil. For example. A sealed conduit system is also useful to keep water away from cables to reduce insulation treeing. Once an air interface exists. Laying cable in conduit is being done by many electric utilities. Underground duct is also used to protect the cable from rodent damage. Thermal resistance of the soil. 4. . Conduit can also provide some protection against dig-ins.8). Heat flow through these thermal resistances causes the temperature of the insulation to rise above ambient temperature.

Utilities that prevents natural air circulation around the usually place cable in vertical conduit for procable. and Riser inside diameter. Open at the top and vented at the bottom. Venting risers at ferred installation configuration There are no simple estabis to allow the free flow of air lished methods to rate the top and bottom through the riser. Open at the top and closed at the bottom. 2. The precable installation. which is obriser portion of a cable circuit. When three cables are placed in a single riser. At a conductor temperature of 90°C. Closed at both top and bottom. Certain installations may dictate choosing a large conduit diameter to allow a higher ampacity cable to be installed later. 3.5 summarizes the pros and cons of cable circuits in conduit. the ampacity of all circuits must be reduced. When a single cable or a bundle of three JCN cables is being pulled. 4. the conduit must be large enough to allow unimpeded passage. ment that operates at maximum temperature. A vertical riser can be installed in one of three ways that will affect circuit ampacity. It must be determined if this short secheat transfer capability from tion in a protective riser will the cable surface and inside be the limiting factor in a surface of the riser. increases ampacity. Another cable installation element that needs to be considered in underground applications is Proper venting will greatly increase ampacity the transition from underground to overhead at when compared with a completely closed riser a riser pole (Hartlein and Black. The minimum conduit size required to hold one or more primary cables depends on several elements dictated by the installation. Closing the top reduces the convective tection. .5: Pros and Cons of Installing Cable Circuits in Conduit. 1983). engineers assume that vent at the base. a properly vented riser can the cable section in the riser. Appropriate de-ratincrease ampacity between 10 and 25 percent ing factors based on field and laboratory experiwhen compared with a completely closed riser. Solar radiation. direct-buried applications. Table 4.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 3 3 4 TABLE 4. or Conduit in Air for Riser Pole Applications 3. If more circuits are added to an existing duct bank or trench. based on the principle that the current rating of Direct exposure of the riser to the sun will dea total cable system is limited by the cable segcrease the ampacity of a cable in a vertical riser. Venting method. Laboratory underground direct-buried tests have shown that at a load cable runs cooler than does factor of 100 percent. mutual heating will affect cable conductor temperature. Pros Cable easily replaced (if not fused or frozen) Greater physical protection (for identical cables) Longer life (for identical cables) Provision for load growth (replace with larger cable) Cons Higher installed cost Lower ampacity Cable conductor temperatures in a riser application depend on the following four factors: 1. The higher temperature in the riser means the rating of the composite circuit is limited by the riser segment in three-phase. The installation configurations are listed from higher to lower ampacity values: 1. tained with an open top and a Usually. This method is NESC and good engineering judgment. The inside diameter should be large enough to accommodate any movement by the cable(s) caused by thermal expansion. Additional tests have shown that the heat generated by three cables in a riser will always run hotter than the direct-buried portion of the same circuit. Number of cables in the vertical conduit. three cables can have 30 percent less ampacity than can a single cable in the same riser. ence are then applied to reduce the circuit The vent configuration needs to comply with the ampacity when a riser is present. 2.

For the direct-buried conditions.and small-diamcal run limits the installation for the cable sizes eter risers can range from 2°C to 15°C. so that it’s comand five percent for properly vented risers beparable to that of an isolated conduit in free air. Therefore.7 for aluminum conductors. use the tables for trefoil ing increases riser ampacity over the rating of a cable in isolated conduit in air.1 gives shown in Table 4. and 3 and 5. The cables are direct faces. solar de-rating by comparing its ampacity with four types of factors need be applied only during the hottest underground configurations. For maximum efficiency. As Consider the condition in which two cable cirnoted in a previous subsection. Note that Table 4. Note that for the single-circuit. midsummer (from surface to surface). Conductor tempercells). In addition. Because ampacity tables The effect of the vertical conduit run on unlist conduit-in-air ampacity values at an ambient derground cable ampacity ratings is best shown air temperature of 40°C (104°F). the riser does lows more airflow through the riser. When referring to IEEE 835-1994 for Riser Pole Applications. The comparison is days of the summer. For air installations. will prevent convection heating cable by 15 percent for a completely closed riser from reducing the cable ampacity. the riser limits ampacity for all Substation exits are generally the highest ampaccable sizes and for both types of conductor. Conductor sizes range from total heat dissipation from cable and riser sur4/0 AWG to 1.6 and 4. The Cable in a large-diameter.000 kcmil. whereas ventriser pole applications. tween day and night. to prevent . The influence of solar need be made because of muheating in a riser application tual heating. vented riser will four circuit configurations are shown in Figure consistently operate at a lower temperature than 4. for the buried cona smaller conduit because the larger opening alduit installation configurations. diSubstation Exits rect-buried case. When conduits riser closed at both ends. not limit the ampacity of the double circuit. Because cable in conduit has less air applications are different from their underload-carrying ability than does direct-buried ground counterparts. This is because operating at a load factor of air circulation. ity application of underground primary cable on ICEA and IEEE ampacity tables for conduit-inutility systems. but the larger surface area increases heat dissipation will limit single-circuit applications (shaded by convection and radiation. tions are shown below the ampacity values. ing and that the conduit is not ventilated. riser material buried. Conditions that the sun’s rays and to allow heat to be given off relate to the underground and riser pole installaby the riser surface at a higher rate. singleRadiation heat transfer plays a large role in phase UD cables. the vertiature differences between large.6 for copper conductors and ampacity correction factors for ambient air temTable 4.10 as configurations 1 and 4. peratures other than 40°C and different conducTables 4. buried in conduit. no day throughout the United ampacity. This is a typical decrease riser one conduit diameter apart value for a sunny. Conduit in Air cuits in trefoil arrangement end on a double-circuit riser pole. arrangement made up of two-conductor. even at an elevated ambient tem100 percent can reduce the current rating of perature of 40°C.7 list the ampacity of single tor temperatures. This table can be used for riser and double three-phase circuits in trefoil pole applications. solar radiation was ampacity tables to select cable current ratings for found to decrease riser ampacity. will the same cable carrying the same current in The two tables show that. and configurations shown in the shaded portion of the tables. the cable. correction of ampacity ratings States.1 3 4 – Se c t io n 4 4 that contain up to three curIncident solar radiation per rent-carrying conductors (with unit area is equal to 900 Sun loading will neutral) are kept more than watts/m2. and vertical conduit in should be a light color (gray) to reflect some of air for the riser pole application. both configurations applied in vertical ristables assume there is no wind and no sun loaders will be reviewed in more detail.

TABLE 4.* Direct Buried** Cable Size 4/0 350 500 750 1. or wind 2 Circuits 256 326 383 434 512 * Ampacity values are from IEEE Standard 835-1994. the riser must be open at the top and vented at the bottom. The tables also do not show am- .Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 3 5 4 TABLE 4.10 as configurations 1 and 4. ** Circuit configurations are shown in Figure 4. which is considered conservative for most installations. Instead. ** The above circuit configurations are shown in Figure 4. Conduit-in-air ampacity tables do not list dif- ferent current values for different average air temperatures.* Direct Buried** Cable Size 1/0 4/0 350 500 750 1000 1 Circuit 195 284 370 442 529 623 Underground 90°C conductor temperature 100% load factor 25°C ambient earth temperature 2 Circuits 165 238 307 365 432 506 Riser Pole Vertical Conduit in Air 145 212 276 347 411 508 Buried in Conduit** 1 Circuit 156 228 298 364 437 528 Riser Pole 90°C conductor temperature 40°C average air temperature No solar radiation.6: Ampacity Values—15-kV Cable. venting.7: Ampacity Values—15-kV Cable. Aluminum Conductor. Copper Conductor. respectively. respectively. Trefoil Configuration. Trefoil Configuration. or wind 2 Circuits 140 202 262 318 379 452 * Ampacity values are from IEEE Standard 835-1994. and 3 and 5. and 3 and 5. venting.10 as configurations 1 and 4. the de-rating of riser pole (conduit-in-air) ampacity values resulting from solar effects.000 1 Circuit 360 460 535 608 706 Underground 90°C conductor temperature 100% load factor 25°C ambient earth temperature 2 Circuits 301 381 440 496 573 Riser Pole Vertical Conduit in Air 267 338 409 455 554 Buried in Conduit** 1 Circuit 289 370 439 502 599 Riser Pole 90°C conductor temperature 40°C average air temperature No solar radiation. ampacities are listed for 40°C.

and EPR insulations. because this There is no load factor variation because there is arrangement has few. The insulation temperature limits have been set by standards to maintain the integrity of the insulation for an increased life expectancy. it be installed only the base because an air space is recommended that a 90° is assumed to exist between elbow with a separate end where necessary for the pole and flanges to allow bell be installed three feet increased ampacity. When these type cables are loaded above a conductor operating temperature of 90°C for XLPE. Regardless of whether the riser is conduit or because the thermal time constant for the U-guard. pulling. the load factor is considered to be 100 percent.9). U-guard backing plate is used. . system as exists for buried cable.9: Single-Phase U-Guard Installation with Vented Base. it also helps protect against dig-ins around the base of the pole and minimizes conduit pressures on cable if soil shifts. In a riser. U-guard. for riser applications. the cable is considered overloaded. the conductor temthe pole to prevent mutual heating and minimize perature increases much more quickly than if it the chance of simultaneous damage from vehicwere buried in soil. if any. Thus. TR-XLPE. The elbow/bell end combiairflow and increased cable ampacity for all nation helps prevent cable damage during three-phase and most single-phase installations. it is required to obtain sufficient cable circuit amInstead of circular conduit. and consider as well the maximum operating temperature rating of cable terminations and joints. Many utilities and cable manufacturers are now specifying and rating cables for 105°C as a standard overload temperature. many cooperatives install cable is at the proper depth a vent at the base of U-guard to ensure optimum near the riser pole. significant air gaps no heat-sink cooling effect for the conductor/air (see Figure 4. the cable. Venting fixtures also slightflanged edges that is attached to a pole with lag ly reduce the security of the riser installation and bolts. This is because the venting fixtures are more U-guard for riser pole applications. After the cable is installed. enough air entry to produce a below grade level. cables have been rated for operation at a maximum temperature of 90°C. This instalchimney-cooling effect. as U-guard should be placed on opposite sides of the load increases to a peak. some utilities use pacity. It is used to cover and are more subject to damage by provide suitable protection for outside impact. Cooperatives should weigh carefully the use of this rating.1 3 6 – Se c t io n 4 4 pacity variations caused by different load factors This added feature is particularly important if a for cables suspended in conduit exposed to air. as expensive than normal conduit and require addithe name implies. venting should only be installed where cable/air system is very short. For a double-circuit riser pole. U-guard usually Whether conduit or URiser vents should does not need to be vented at guard is used as a riser. ular impact. Overloading the cable will heat its insulation above its maximum operating temperature limits. Emergency Overload Ratings For years. Emergency FIGURE 4. Howlation will ensure that the ever. is a U-shaped section with tional installation effort.

Three. NEMA. . The ratings have been derived from industry operating experience and could change as newer and better insulation materials become available. Emergency overload ratings are set by ICEA.8: Abstract of ICEA Standards for Maximum Emergency-Load and Short-Circuit-Load Temperatures for Various Insulations. two-conductor. 1989).10.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 3 7 4 TABLE 4. Load factors of 75 percent and 100 percent. The three-phase ampacity tables and associated ampacity ratings for underground distribution cables provided in Appendix G are based on the following conditions: • • • • 60-Hz. 25 kV. concentric neutral. 15 kV. primary UD cables. Lower temperatures for emergency overload conditions may be required because of other types of material used in the cable and in the joints and terminations or because of cable environmental conditions.000 kcmil) • Conductor Sizes I 1/0 AWG Solid Conductor—Aluminum Only—Full Neutral I 4/0 AWG Class B Stranding—Copper and Aluminum I 350 kcmil Class B Stranding—Copper and Aluminum I 500 kcmil Class B Stranding—Copper and Aluminum I 750 kcmil Class B Stranding—Copper and Aluminum I 1. Standards state that the emergency overload conductor temperature of 130°C (or 140°C for the 105°C rating) should not be exceeded for more than 100 hours in any 12 consecutive months nor for more than 500 hours during the lifetime of the cable.8 lists the emergency overload temperatures for the two types of insulation specified by the RUS.000 kcmil Class B Stranding—Copper and Aluminum • Cable Specification I To Meet RUS Cable Specification 1728F-U1: N Insulation: EPR or TR-XLPE N Insulating Outer Jacket N Insulation Thickness: 220 mil @ 15 kV 260 mil @ 25 kV 345 mil @ 35 kV • All concentric neutrals are shorted and grounded at several points in the circuit. as per the National Electrical Safety Code. Installation configurations are shown in Figure 4. and ANSI/IEEE standards. operating temperature limits apply only to the infrequent higher loading of a line caused by an unplanned outage of a nearby cable or load sharing for a nearby substation. AMPACITY TABLES Table 4. • Conductors I Class B Stranding I Copper and Aluminum I 1/3 Concentric Neutral (1/6 for 1. Note. and 35 kV. For these reasons.. single-phase. Cable aging accelerates with high temperatures and accumulates over time in a way similar to aging in transformers. emergency overload ratings always specify both a temperature and a time limit for events over the lifetime of the cable (Aluminum Association Inc. plus temperatures for outdated HMWPE when used as an insulation material.1 lists the ampacities for single-phase UD cable direct buried and in conduit for copper and aluminum conductors. Insulation Thermosetting TR-XLPE and EPR Thermosetting TR-XLPE and EPR HMWPE Normal Operating Temperature (°C) 105 90 75 Emergency-Load Temperature (°C) 140* 130* 95 Short-Circuit Temperature of Cable Conductor (less than 30 seconds) (°C) 250 250 150 * Operation at the emergency overload temperature of 130°C (266°F) and 140°C (284°F) shall not exceed 100 hours in any 12 consecutive months nor more than 500 hours during the lifetime of the cable. Table 4.

1 3 8 – Se c t io n 4 4 Configuration 1 Configuration 2 Configuration 3 Configuration 4 36” 36” 36” A B C 7. • Temperature Limitations I Ambient Soil = 25°C I Conductor = 90°C I Neutral (assumed) = 80°C I Conduit (assumed) = 70°C • Thermal resistivity (rho) of various materials was assumed as follows: I Soil = 90°C-cm/Watt I Insulation and Extruded Shields = 400°C-cm/Watt I Conduit and Duct = 480°C-cm/Watt I Concrete = 85°C-cm/Watt 19” 18” 30” • The ampacities for 15-kV class cable were calculated with 15 kV as the operating voltage. the ampacities will be marginally higher (<1%). To correct ampacities based on maximum conductor temperatures for different ambient temperatures. Adjustment for Changes in Ambient Soil Temperature The ampacities in Appendix G are based on an ambient temperature of 25°C.5” 19”  26.5” Duct Bank 7.5” 7.9 may be used . 5. If 12. PVC conduit.5” 19” 30” Configuration 5 Configuration 6 36” 5” 7.3. The factors shown in Table 4. the following formulas may be used.10: Three-Phase Cable Installation Configurations.5” 19” 19”  19” Duct Bank FIGURE 4.47 kV is used. Maximum fill requirements are 40 percent for three cables in a conduit per pending RUS Specification 1728F-U1. • Conduit I Conduit used in Configurations No. and 7 is Schedule 40.5” 7.5” 18” 36” Configuration 7 5” 7. 6. use the formula shown in Equation 4. • Ratings include dielectric loss and induced ac losses. Adjustments for Changes in Parameters If the engineer needs to make certain changes in parameters to match them with actual site conditions or to do a sensitivity analysis on various parameters.5” 26. 3.

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to correct ampacities based on maximum conductor temperatures for earth ambient temperatures of 20°C or 30°C.

Adjustment for Changes in Ambient Air Temperature To find ampacities for ambient air temperatures other than those found in the individual tables, multiply table values by the correction factors shown in Table 4.10.
Equation 4.3 I' = where: Tc I Ta' I' = = = = Tc – Ta' ×I Tc – 25

Maximum conductor temperature from ampacity table Ampacity shown for Tc at ambient earth temperature of 25°C New ambient earth temperature Adjusted ampacity for ambient earth temperature Ta'

TABLE 4.9: Correction Factors to Convert from 25°C Ambient Soil Temperature to 20°C and 30°C.
Ambient Temperature (°C) Correction Factor (Maximum Conductor Temperature) 75°C 20 30 1.049 0.949 90°C 1.037 0.960

TABLE 4.10: Correction Factors for Various Ambient Air Temperatures. Source: Okonite Company, Engineering Data for Copper and Aluminum Conductor Electrical Cables, Bulletin EHB-90, 1990.
Conductor Temperature (°C) 30°C 75 85 90 100 110 125 130 150 0.97 1.06 1.10 1.17 1.23 1.31 1.33 1.42

Adjustment for Change in Conductor Temperature The ampacities (I') for conductor temperatures other than those included in the tables (e.g., emergency conductor temperatures) can be approximated using the formula in Equation 4.4. When Tc' is greater than Tc, Equation 4.4 will give conservative values because it is based on the ratio of direct-current losses at the two temperatures, whereas the ratio of the ac conductor and concentric neutral losses to dc conductor losses decreases with increasing conductor temperature. For example, the ampacity at 110°C conductor temperature may be as much as five percent higher and at 130°C as much as 10 percent higher than values calculated from Equation 4.4. Deviations from true ampacities will depend on the conductor size, concentric neutral size, and installation configuration. Equation 4.4 is more precise for smaller conductors and higher resistance concentric neutrals (ICEA P-53-426, p. VII, May 1976). Figure 4.10 shows the seven cable installation configurations whose ampacities have been listed in the ampacity tables. Note: The ampacities listed in Appendix G are based on a conductor temperature of 90°C and an ambient soil temperature of 25°C. On the basis of these assumptions, many of the calculated current values may exceed the maximum permissible earth interface temperatures for various types of soils. Experience has shown that interface temperatures of 50°C and 60°C should be

Equation 4.4
Ambient Air Temperature 35°C 0.92 1.01 1.05 1.12 1.19 1.27 1.30 1.39 40°C 0.86 0.96 1.00 1.08 1.15 1.24 1.27 1.36 45°C 0.79 0.90 0.95 1.03 1.11 1.20 1.23 1.33 50°C 0.72 0.84 0.89 0.98 1.06 1.16 1.19 1.30

I' =

Tc' – Ta τc + Tc ×I × Tc – Ta τc + Tc'

where: I' = Ampacity for conductor temperature Tc, in amperes Tc' = New or emergency conductor temperature, in °C Ta = Ambient earth temperature, in °C τc = Magnitude of the difference between 0°C and the zero electrical resistance of copper (234.5°C) or aluminum (228.1°C) Tc = Maximum conductor temperature from ampacity table, in °C

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satisfactory for many types of soils. Unless the soil properties and moisture content of a particular installation are known, ampacity values should be chosen from the “Amperes at 60°C” columns, rather than those from the “Amperes” columns. The three following examples illustrate the concepts covered in this section. EXAMPLE 4.2: Single-Phase UD Cable Ampacities. A cooperative is planning to stock UD cable to meet the growing demand for new 12.47-kV underground installations. This cable will be used with 200-ampere class accessories. The cable will also be used to replace any faulted feeder sections on an as-needed basis. The conductor cable with the most installed circuit miles on the system is 1/0 aluminum. With this in mind, the engineer decided to check the ampacity of 1/0 cable for typical installations that exist on the system to find which cable sections could limit the current rating of an entire cable run. The cooperative direct buries its single-phase cable in all instances except for road crossings and riser pole installations. Go to the beginning of this section to find the ampacity rating for underground installations. Assume an operating conductor temperature of 90°C, soil rho = 90°C-cm/watt, and ambient soil temperature of 20°C. Using Table 4.1, find the ampacity of direct-buried TR-XLPE 1/0 aluminum cable: Ampacity = 264 amperes at 100% load factor As most single-phase circuits do not operate at 100 percent load factor, determine the cable rating at 75 percent and 50 percent load factor using the correction factors contained in Table 4.1: 75% LF = 1.08 × 264 = 285 amperes 50% LF = 1.16 × 264 = 306 amperes The cooperative’s standard installation practice for road crossings is to pull cable through conduit to speed cable change out if it fails. From Table 4.1, the cable rating in direct-buried conduit is as follows: 156 amperes at 100% LF 162 amperes at 75% LF (1.04 × 156) 167 amperes at 50% LF (1.07 × 156) It is assumed that the under-road section is long enough so there is no additional cooling effect from the direct-buried cable on either side of the road. Because the ampacity ratings given in Table 4.1 are for an ambient soil temperature of 25°C, higher values can be expected if the soil temperature is actually 20°C. As Equation 4.3 indicates, the cable ampacity at 20°C can be found by multiplying the existing values by the correction factor: 90 – 20 = 1.0377 90 – 25 Cable ampacity for a soil temperature of 20°C is as follows:
Load Factor 100% 75% 50% Direct Buried 274 298 318 In Duct 162 168 173

For the riser pole cable section, the ampacity value is found in Table 4.1 under the “Duct in Air” column: Ampacity = 120 amperes at 40°C ambient and 100% LF This ampacity value is based on a riser that is closed at the top and bottom with no sun loading and no wind. Previous discussions have shown that venting conduit at top and bottom and leaving the top of U-guard open can increase riser ampacity, whereas solar radiation can reduce its rating. So if sun loading is considered, the riser must be properly vented or a de-rating factor should be applied to the 120-ampere riser rating. Note that solar de-rating will be a factor only for summer loading and when the temperature exceeds 100°F. This analysis shows that the riser pole limits the rating of the total underground circuit. At 100 percent load factor and 20°C ambient soil, direct-buried 1/0 cable ampacity of 274 amperes would be reduced by 57 percent and the 162-ampere rating of cable in duct would be reduced by 26 percent.

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EXAMPLE 4.3: Emergency Overload Rating Cable in Protective Riser. From previous load studies and demand measurements, the engineer knows that the load factor on his heavily loaded loop-feed circuits has never exceeded 75 percent. Given this fact, determine the emergency overload rating of the cable in the protective riser. The conditions necessary to produce maximum current at a riser include a loop-feed installation with the open point near the center of the loop and a cable failure near the opposite riser pole. These conditions are relatively rare and represent an emergency situation that should last for only a short time. From Table 4.10, the conduit-in-air correction factor for an emergency overload conductor temperature of 130°C is 1.27 for an ambient air temperature of 40°C. Therefore, Emergency Riser Rating = 1.27 × 120 = 152 amperes Because the cable is in a riser, no ampacity increase is allowed for 75 percent load factor. Comparing this value with the 75 percent load factor ampacity of the direct-buried and buried duct sections of the cable run shows the duct portion is overloaded by 10 percent and the directburied sections are well within their ratings. Note that, for simple radial feed circuits, the 90°C conductor ampacity rating of a riser should never be exceeded.

EXAMPLE 4.4: Three-Phase Substation Exit Ampacity. The same cooperative from Example 4.2 is planning to install a new 12/16/20-MVA transformer in an existing substation. The addition is needed to support expected load growth in the area and will replace an existing overloaded transformer. Four 12.47-kV feeders will be needed. A 600-ampere recloser will protect each feeder. Because of congestion around the substation, four underground circuit exits that will terminate on two double-circuit riser poles are planned. The cable for each underground exit must be sized to carry, under emergency ratings, the full load of one other circuit in case of a cable failure. Find the appropriate size cable for the application. Assume two three-phase circuits to a riser pole will be installed in two separate trenches. Each of the circuits to a given riser pole will provide emergency backup for the other. Each circuit will be in a single conduit in trefoil configuration, similar to configuration 3 of Figure 4.10. Maximum conductor temperature will be limited to 90°C, soil thermal resistivity (rho) will be 90°C-cm/watt, and load factor will be 75 percent. Maximum feeder loading assuming balanced feeders is approximately 260 amperes. For the contingency condition of a failed cable, the maximum short-time loading would be as follows: 2 × 260 = 520 amperes The smallest cable size to meet the emergency overload current can be found by first calculating the emergency correction factor for a conductor temperature of 130°C from Equation 4.4,

For aluminum conductor, I'130 = 130 – 25 228.1 + 90 × I90 = 1.198 × I90 × 90 – 25 228.1 + 130

For copper conductor, I'130 = 130 – 25 234.5 + 90 × I90 = 1.199 × I90 × 90 – 25 234.5 + 130

Find a copper or aluminum cable from the ampacity tables in Appendix G for configuration 3 (single direct-buried conduit with three conductors) whose 90°C, 75 percent load factor rating when multiplied by 1.2 gives a value approximating 520 amperes (520 ÷ 1.2 = 433 amperes). Cable ampacity ratings at 130°C conductor temperature are as follows:
For Copper 500 kcmil 439 × 1.2 = 527 amperes For Aluminum 750 kcmil 437 × 1.2 = 524 amperes

Continued

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EXAMPLE 4.4: Three-Phase Substation Exit Ampacity. (cont.) The emergency rating of both cables is greater than the 520-ampere emergency requirement. Even if the two conduits had been installed within 18” of each other (Configuration 5), the single circuit in a trench ampacity table is the correct configuration to use in this instance because only one circuit will be energized during the emergency condition. Next, the riser pole current rating should be checked to see if it will limit the cable application. From Tables 4.6 and 4.7, the corresponding riser pole ratings are 409 amperes for copper and 411 amperes for aluminum. Both values are less than their respective buried conduit ratings (439 copper and 437 aluminum). The riser cable 130°C emergency overload rating at 40°C ambient air temperature can be found from Table 4.10. 500 kcmil copper = 1.27 × 411 = 522 amperes 750 kcmil aluminum = 1.27 × 409 = 520 amperes Because the riser emergency rating is less than the buried conduit emergency rating, the riser cable section is the limiting element in the application. The application is a valid emergency situation if it is understood the overload condition will not exceed 100 hours in any 12-month period or 500 hours over the planned life of the installation. This substation exit application is covered by standards because it is an unplanned outage of a nearby cable. Note that the riser must be open at the top and vented at the bottom to provide additional ampacity above the values given in the tables and to compensate for any de-rating caused by solar heating.

• Ambient soil temperature, SECONDARY CABLE AMPACITY and Secondary cables carry power Primary and secondary • Installation configuration: at utilization voltage level from cable ampacities are I Direct buried the pad-mounted distribution I In duct. transformer low-voltage termiaffected by the nals to the service entrance The appropriate secondary same conditions. point for each consumer. The cable size is selected based on many conditions that affect the the amount of load the cable ampacity of primary cable also will serve. In a later subsection apply to secondary cable installations. Among titled Transformer Sizing for Single-Phase Transthese conditions are the following: formers for New Residential Loads, a procedure is • • • • Equation 4.5 Single-Phase: I1φ = Three-Phase: I3φ = where: kVA1φ kVA3φ kVL-L I1φ I3φ = = = = = kVA1φ kVL-L kVA3φ 3 kVL-L Maximum insulation operating temperature, Conductor resistance, Load factor, Soil thermal resistivity, outlined to determine the appropriate transformer size on the basis of the number of connected loads and the diversified demands of each load. Once the expected load and secondary operating voltage are known, the required ampacity for balanced loads can be determined from Equation 4.5. Once the secondary current load is calculated from Equation 4.5, ampacity tables can be consulted to select the proper cable size. Table 4.11 gives the allowable thermal loading for the most common secondary cable sizes in a buried environment for 100 percent load factor, 90°C maximum conductor temperature, 20°C ambient soil temperature, and 90°C-cm/watt soil thermal resistivity. After a secondary cable size is selected from ampacity tables, the application must be checked to ensure that voltage drop and flicker are within acceptable limits. These calculations are covered in detail in Appendix B.

Total load for single-phase applications Total load for three-phase applications Voltage line-to-line, in thousands of volts Single-phase current, in amperes Three-phase current, in amperes

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TABLE 4.11: Typical Ampacities for Various Sizes and Types of 600-Volt Secondary UD Cable—Stranded Aluminum Conductors.
Phase Conductors Size (AWG or kcmil) Insul. Thick. (mils) Size (AWG or kcmil) Neutral Insul. Thick. (mils) Dimensions (mils) SinglePhase Cond. Complete Cable Wt. per 1,000 ft (lb.) Ampacity (amps)* Direct Burial In Buried Conduit Code Word Strand Strand. DUPLEX Bard Claflin Delgado 8 6 4 7 7 7 60 60 60 8 6 4 7 7 7 TRIPLEX Vassar Stephens Ramapo Brenau Bergen Converse Hunter Hollins Rockland Sweetbriar Monmouth Pratt Wesleyan Holyoke Rider 4 2 2 1/0 1/0 2/0 2/0 3/0 3/0 4/0 4/0 250 350 500 500 7 7 7 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 37 37 37 37 60 60 60 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 95 95 95 95 4 4 2 2 1/0 1 2/0 1/0 3/0 2/0 4/0 3/0 4/0 300 350 7 7 7 7 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 37 37 60 60 60 60 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 95 95 345 403 403 512 512 555 555 603 603 658 658 732 831 956 956 745 870 870 1,106 1,106 1,199 1,199 1,302 1,302 1,421 1,421 1,581 1,795 2,065 2,069 191 249 278 387 441 478 535 581 651 709 796 853 1,118 1,544 1,597 125 165 165 215 215 245 245 280 280 315 315 345 415 495 495 90 120 120 160 160 180 180 205 205 240 240 265 320 395 395 60 60 60 262 299 345 524 598 690 76 104 138 70 95 125 55 70 90

QUADRAPLEX Tulsa Dyke Wittenberg Notre Dame Purdue Syracuse Lafayette 4 2 2 1/0 1/0 2/0 2/0 7 7 7 19 19 19 19 60 60 60 80 80 80 80 4 4 2 2 1/0 1 2/0 7 7 7 7 19 19 19 60 60 60 80 80 80 80 345 403 403 512 512 555 555 833 973 973 1,236 1,236 1,340 1,340 255 342 371 534 589 657 713 120 155 155 200 200 225 225 85 115 115 150 150 170 170

Continued

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TABLE 4.11: Typical Ampacities for Various Sizes and Types of 600-Volt Secondary UD Cable—Stranded Aluminum Conductors. (cont.)
Phase Conductors Size (AWG or kcmil) Insul. Thick. (mils) Size (AWG or kcmil) Neutral Insul. Thick. (mils) Dimensions (mils) SinglePhase Cond. Complete Cable Wt. per 1,000 ft (lb.) Ampacity (amps)* Direct Burial In Buried Conduit Code Word Strand Strand. QUADRAPLEX (cont.) Swarthmore Davidson Wake Forest Earlham Slippery Rock 3/0 3/0 4/0 4/0 350 19 19 19 19 37 80 80 80 80 95 1/0 3/0 2/0 4/0 4/0 19 19 19 19 19 80 80 80 80 80 603 603 658 658 831 1,456 1,456 1,588 1,588 2,006 798 868 974 1,061 1,544 250 250 290 290 385 195 195 225 225 305

*Ampacity: 90°C conductor temperature, 20°C ambient temperature, rho 90, 100% load factor Note. Excerpted from Southwire Product Catalog, Section 16, pages 2, 3, and 4, 2003.

Pad-Mounted Transformer Sizing

PAD-MOUNTED TRANSFORMERS LOADING FOR NORMAL LIFE EXPECTANCY The distribution transformer is an essential comIn service, a transformer is not loaded continuponent of the underground distribution system. ously at rated kVA and at a constant temperature. Besides providing transformation from primary Instead, it goes through a daily load cycle with a to secondary voltages, it provides an area for short-time peak load occurring usually during the primary and secondary cable terminations, hottest part of the day. A varying load poses switching and surge protection equipment, and challenges in optimizing a transformer’s full-load overcurrent protective devices, all housed within capability without shortening its useful life. The the transformer enclosure. Because of increased capability of pad-mounted distribution transformUD usage, special pad-mounted distribution ers to carry loads under conditions other than transformers were developed with the above those used to establish nameplate ratings will be features. The term pad comes from the transreviewed later in this section. Because loading formers usually being located guides are based on the averon concrete slabs or pads age winding temperature rise (Fink and Beaty, 1987). above ambient, the load-carryLoading considerations Figure 4.11 shows a typical ing ability of a pole-type transfor pole- and padsingle-phase, pad-mounted former is basically the same as transformer with its cover that of a pad-mounted transmounted transformers open. Two primary bushing former. Standards make no are the same. wells are shown at the upper distinction between the two. left for use with load-break elAdditional information on bows. This dead-front configuloading distribution transformration allows a low-height design to be used in ers can be found in ANSI/IEEE Standard C57.91. residential areas and provides greater safety for Standards assign a distribution transformer a operating personnel. The secondary 240/120rated output that is expressed in kVA. The transvolt bushings with copper studs are shown on former is designed to carry this rated load continthe right. uously over its expected lifetime at an ambient

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on the ability to transfer internal heat to the atmosphere. The capability of the cooling system to rid the transformer of heat depends mainly on the temperature differential between the tank and the ambient air because most pad-mounted transformers do not have forced-air cooling. The ambient air temperature is the most important element in determining how much load a transformer can carry because the temperature rise of the insulation for any load is added to the ambient temperature to determine the actual operating temperature of the transformer. To select daily peak loads from published loading guides, the engineer must predict what the temperature will be during the peaks. The probable ambient temperature for any future month can be estimated from historical weather data from the cooperative’s service area. ANSI/IEEE C57.91 gives two methods to predict temperature for the month involved. One is used to select loads for normal life expectancy and uses average daily temperature (defined as the average of all daily highs and all daily lows) for the month, averaged for several years. The other uses the maximum daily temperature (defined by the standard as the average of the high and low of the hottest day) for the chosen month, averaged over many years. Whenever these two methods are used, it is understood that, during any one day, the maximum temperature may exceed the average values found above. To be conservative, these FIGURE 4.11: Typical Dead-Front, Single-Phase, Pad-Mounted temperatures should be increased by 5°C beTransformer cause insulation does not recover fully after it is overheated. The maximum temperature over a 24-hour period should not exceed the average temperature of 30°C (86°F), without exceeding temperature by more than an average winding tempera10°C, which provides an adeture rise of 65°C. Under these quate safety margin. According conditions, insulation deterioAmbient temperature to the above factors, the estiration and transformer loss of mated temperature should not life are considered normal. Inand load factor set be exceeded for more than a dustry experience has shown transformer loading. few days per month; however, that normal life expectancy if it is, the transformer will not under these conditions should be adversely affected by the be at least 20 years. small incremental loss of life. Heat gain within a transformer is caused by Standard loading tables give ambient temperano-load and winding losses. Keeping the tempertures in 10°C intervals. Estimating peak loads ature rise of the windings below 65°C depends

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EXAMPLE 4.5: Average Daily Temperature Selection for a Summer-Peaking Utility. The procedure to select the average daily temperature for loading distribution transformers is shown in this example. ABC Cooperative is located in the Southeast. As part of an operations review process, the manager and engineer decided to establish a formal procedure to select the proper size pad-mounted distribution transformers for an expected surge in underground installations in its service area. TABLE 4.12: Average Temperatures for July and August Averaged for the Previous 10 Years.
Month July August Average of Temperatures Average (°F) 80.6 81.0 80.8 Average (°C) 27.0 27.2 27.1

The first step in determining the maximum load each transformer can carry is to select an approximate ambient temperature that would be expected on the peak day. This summer peaking cooperative obtained the average July and August temperatures for the previous 10 years from the Weather Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Table 4.12 averages the temperatures found. Adding 5°C to the average, as recommended by ANSI/ IEEE C57.91, gives 27.1°C + 5°C = 32.1°C, which normally should be used for any transformer loading studies. The standard also specifies that the maximum temperature over a 24-hour period should not exceed the

average temperature selected by more than 10°C. Thus, the maximum temperature should not exceed 27.1°C + 10°C = 37.1°C (98.8°F). However, the engineer found that, in the hot summer of 1987, on many days the temperature reached 100°F (37.8°C) or more. If an actual maximum daily temperature in recent memory has been greater than 10°C above the maximum temperature averaged for the previous 10 years, it is suggested that that higher temperature be used in your calculations. To allow for the probability of 100°F days occurring, the engineer increased the 32.1°C average temperature selected previously by 0.7°C—the difference between the calculated plus-10°C maximum (37.1°C) and the actual high temperature (37.8°C)—thus using 32.8°C as the temperature to be used in the study.

Other items that can affect between the given temperapad-mounted transformer tures in a table is allowed. Altitude, tank finish, cooling are altitude and tank Peak loads obtained in this and ventilation affect finish. At higher altitudes, the way are accurate enough for air is not as dense; this dethe ambient temperatures depad-mounted creases cooling efficiency. rived from the above example. transformer cooling. Above 3,300 feet, a transHowever, extrapolation beyond former kVA rating should be the range of values shown in reduced approximately 0.4 the tables is not recommended. percent for each 330 feet of additional altitude. The engineer can perform the same type of The ability of a transformer to radiate heat is ambient temperature analysis for winter months affected by its paint finish. Some metal flake if the transformers are experiencing winter paints, like aluminum, reflect heat from direct peaks. The standard does not deal with the elecsunlight quite effectively; however, they do not tric heating load that will be greatest during the allow heat to escape as efficiently. Because most coldest days of the month, so results will be transformer heat is produced internally, metalconservative. When the ambient temperature based paints actually increase the temperature study produces a result below 0°C, the loading rise in most instances (Lee 1973). The subject of limits from the 0°C columns should be used inpaint finish is mentioned only in connection stead of extrapolation.

Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 4 7

4
lasting from a few minutes to a few hours. A similar cycle is repeated every 24 hours. This characteristic allows the transformer to be operated at loads exceeding its continuous kVA rating during short peaks. Two main characteristics of the transformer permit the overload to be carried without decreasing normal life expectancy. The first characteristic is the thermal time constant, which ensures that the internal oil temperature increases slowly after a rapid change in load. This fact is important because of the limitation that the winding hot-spot temperaLOAD CHARACTERISTICS ture places on the ability of the The normal load duration transformer to carry an overload curve of a typical padShort peak overloads without insulation damage. For mounted transformer with a step change in load, the conmore than one service concan be carried ductor temperature at the hottest nected to it consists of a relawithout loss of spot in the winding increases to tively low load during most of transformer life. its maximum value very quickthe day, with one peak load ly. However, hot-spot and total conductor temperature are held down until the thermal time constant is exceed150 ed, which could be three to 10 hours, depending 140% Peak Load on preload conditions. Pad-mounted transformers are now designed to operate continuously at 70% Initial Load 100 a winding hot-spot temperature of 110°C. The second characteristic is the thermal aging of transformer insulation. Hot-spot temperatures 1 Hour 50 above 110°C can be carried for short times withActual Load out shortening the expected life of the transformer, as long as they are followed by longer 0 12 6 12 6 12 periods of operation below 110°C. Elevated temAM PM Time (Hours) peratures do not cause insulation failure, but only increase the rate of its deterioration when FIGURE 4.12: Actual Load Cycle and Equivalent Load Cycle. they are prolonged. It follows that a pad-mounted transformer lightly loaded before a peak will have a lower hot-spot 150 temperature than one carrying full load before 137% Peak Load the same peak. Therefore, the shape of the load curve over a 24-hour period can greatly affect Transformer Rating 100 what peak load may be carried by a transformer. If a daily load duration curve for a single 50% Initial Load transformer was plotted from data collected by 50 an interval demand recorder, it would be similar 2 Hours to the curve in Figure 4.12. To use loading guides provided in the stan0 12 6 12 6 12 dard, change the actual load duration curve into AM PM Time (Hours) a thermally equivalent, simple rectangular load cycle as shown in Figure 4.13. FIGURE 4.13: Thermal Equivalent Load Cycle.
Load as Percentage of Transformer Rating Load as Percentage of Transformer Rating

with refinishing transformers in the field. The engineer should be careful that the paint selected is a standard pad-mounted transformer finish with good radiating properties. Proper ventilation should always be considered when siting a pad-mounted transformer and after installation to allow the cooling system to function at peak efficiency. Care should be taken to allow for air to circulate freely around the unit at all times.

27 20 2.02 0.61 1.55 1. or current cold-climate areas.62 1.12 1.27 20 2.6 and 4.82 1.46 1.66 1. Peak loads shown assume 0.91-1981).07 40 1.48 1. L2.95 Note.35 10 2.84 0 2.28 1.43 1. etc.39 1.52 1. contact manufacturer. ANSI/IEEE C57.08 40 1.91 1.52 2.02 1.0137% per day loss of life for normal life expectancy. t2. Equation 4.07 40 1.36 10 2.13 1. Equation 4.73 1. L2.96 1.13: Daily Peak Loads Per Unit of Nameplate Rating for Self-Cooled Oil-Immersed Transformers to Give Minimum 20-Year Life Expectancy.96 1. = The various load steps as a percentage. .. These values may be approximated by the formulas shown in Equations 4.49 1.82 1.26 20 2.72 1.25 1.1 4 8 – Se c t io n 4 4 Estimating the duration of the peak has considerable inConsider preload fluence over the rms magnitude of the peak load.86 0 2.53 1.03 1.7 shows the formula for the equivalent peak load.21 1..40 2. .. The ambient temperature to use in the 1-hour interval of the 12-hour period loading guide is the average daily temperature preceding the peak transformer load determined using the procedure outlined in a previous subsection.87 1.97 50 1.65 1.15 1.26 1.77 1.18 30 2. Loading for Normal Life Expectancy.74 1.7 The preload level given in the tables is based on the transformer nameplate rating and is not a 2 t + L 2 t + L 2 t + .26 1.82 1.96 0. the rms peak load may be far below the maximum peak demand. . with the maximum temperature not exceeding the average temperature by more than 10°C.25 1..26 1. .39 2. Note that even under 0°C ambient conditions where: L1.13 0. If the duration is overestimated.36 1.00 1. Example 4. .06 1.17 30 1. For transformer operation above 50°C or below 0°C.18 0. timate on-peak time. It can also be used to determine whether or not an exEquivalent Initial Load = 0. The ambient temperature to use in the table is the average temperature over a 24-hour period.79 1. Excerpted from Table 5.36 10 2.12 1.44 1.6 Table 4.6 illustrates t1 + t2 + t3 + .30 1. L122 isting transformer will supply the listed daily peak loads and a 20-year minimum life exwhere: L1.05 0.50 1. Caution conditions when should be used to not overesloading transformers.44 1. After the equivalent peak load has been determined.13—may be used to pick a transformer size to supply the expected daily loading. a loading guide—such as the one in Equation 4.79 1.tn this principle.57 1.29 L12 + L22 + L32 + .33 1.09 0. .16 30 1. actual kVA.57 1. that might apply for winter-peaking studies in per unit.68 1.16 1.36 1.56 1. Peak Load Time in Hours 1 2 4 8 24 Continuous Equivalent Load as Percentage of Rated kVA Preceding Peak Load 50% 75% 90% Ambient (°C) Ambient (°C) Ambient (°C) 0 2..38 1.26 1..77 1. TABLE 4.94 1.97 50 1.91-1981. = Average load by inspection for each pectancy. page 20.31 2. = Respective durations of these loads This conversion is done by deriving the values for the initial load and the peak load.50 1. .7 (ANSI/IEEE C57. a maximum loading above t1.L 2 t L1 1 2 2 3 3 n n Equivalent Peak Load = percentage of peak load.50 1.

Table 4. internal connections. conservatism requires that the engineer take the per-unit loading from the tabulated figures under 90 percent preload conditions. cause the load-estimating procedure analysis shows that some of the very large perto become somewhat complicated. If a transformer is being severely overloaded for extended periods. its life expectancy is being shortened and excessive conductor losses will be increasing operating costs.91 shows a sample load-estimating guide for a tables are not particularly practical. Cooperative engineers should It is not practical or economical to conduct an not use it to estimate transformer loading on in-depth study on every transformer suspected their own systems because diversity factors. The NRECA Loss Management Manual thoroughly covers the issue of loss-optimal loading of distribution transformers.68 pu figure shown under the 75 percent preload conditions.13 under 50 percent preload. The second step . Section 4. This change shifts the preload level to about 79 percent. responding diversity factors Section 8.6: Selection of Maximun Permissible Transformer Per-Unit Loading. The peak loads had a duration of two hours and the ambient temperature for the area was calculated at 30°C. However. transformer and select the corservice area. In fact. Load-pattern studies of pad-mounted transformers in a certain area revealed that typical 12-hour preload levels were 50 percent of peak load levels. and two-hour peak duration is 1. By interpolation. the preload level will become 0.00-2000. For example. if an overload is expected on a large threea semicoastal southern climate and may not acphase. Manufacturers design items such as keting and load research data. of being overloaded. pad-mounted transformer. Howheating diversity factors in this method apply to ever. the resistance could exceed the price of the transformer.2.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 4 9 4 EXAMPLE 4. Table 4.8 pu cannot be justified from the tables if prepeak kVA load of a group of single-family living load conditions are 50 percent or more of peak units. Engineers should definitely consult this manual before establishing final policies on loading pad-mounted transformers. A load somewhat higher than 1. Therefore. However. The per-unit loading shown in Table 4. many varying circumstances. The table is included as an Doing so protects not only the transformer example to demonstrate that similar tables windings but also ancillary components on the would be useful or can be developed from martransformer.57 pu is permissible. investigation curately reflect conditions in other climates. load. ment of this chart. would obviously be warranted. Also.14 can be used to and fuse protection assuming estimate the diversified dethat the transformer loading mand for a group of totally Use a loading will not exceed Standard electric homes. from Chart 1. TRANSFORMER SIZING FOR SINGLE-PHASE TRANSFORMERS FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL LOADS Transformer loading is further complicated because loading levels are difficult to estimate for transformers serving residential consumers. This coorto determine the number of dinated design is noted in consumers connected to the for your particular ANSI/IEEE C57. for small transformloads.12. southeastern utility.79. if this loading level is permitted.91-1995. These conditions can be allowed during emergencies. and demands are different for every utilers. However. This maximum exists because the 90 persuch as the sizes and types of electrical applicent preload level is the largest tabulated. which will lead to a maximum loading of 1.79 pu.57 pu. Engineers have tried different methods to estimate the 1. under most conditions. or 0.1. bushings. the engineer can estimate a final result of 1. but. The engineer needs to estimate the maximum permissible per-unit (pu) loading for the transformers to maintain normal life expectancy.9 of the transformer nameplate rating.91-1981. This ances used. and C57. the air conditioning efficiencies in your Loading levels applied to transformers should area may differ from those used in the developbe kept within those of Standard C57.63 pu loading.5 × 1. 30°C ambient.2. it should not be higher than the 1. The first step is guide developed C57.91-1981 levels.14 unit values shown in ANSI/IEEE Standard C57. the cost of an individual detailed analysis ity’s service area. they should not be continued for a sustained period of time.

69 0. To determine whether transformer size is set by the summer or winter load. The equivalent kVA demands for various resistance strip heaters are listed in Chart 3.0 6.1 kVA 5 6.66 0.500 4. To find the load for a group of consumers.85 0.70 0.49 0. Example 4. The chart row labeled “TE” gives the base total electric load related to house size.57 0.42 0.83 0.47 0.45 0.38 0.8 gives the total load (LX) for X identical consumers. .67 0.77 0.69 0.5 kVA Typical Air Conditioner Size (Tons) 3 3.0 7. Diversity.54 0.80 0.37 Air Conditioning (A/C) 1.5 10.0 20.0 kVA Demand 5.39 0.7 clarifies the procedure.75 0. Equation 4.85 0.67 0.7 kVA 5.71 0.68 0.00 0.68 0. Diversity factors depend on the number of consumers in the group.52 0.000+ 7.0 10.66 0.43 0.70 0.72 0.14: Application of Single-Phase Distribution Transformers to Serve Residential Consumers—Sample Loading Guide.50 0. and Demand Charts Chart 1 Chart 2 Diversity Factor D Number of Consumers in Group (X) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Total Electric (TE) 1. Load.5 8. is to find the base kVA load for one consumer using Chart 2.0 Note.3 kVA Chart 3 Equivalent kVA Demand for Houses With Resistance Heat kW Rating 5.41 0.61 0.5 14.0 15.000 5. The “A/C” row gives the air-conditioning load for the air-conditioner sizes shown. multiply the kVA values from Charts 2 and 3 by the appropriate diversity factors from Chart 1.00 0.46 0.38 0.66 0.65 Type of Load A/C Standard House Loads (kVA) Typical Residence Size (Square Feet) Type of Load TE 1.3 kVA 2–3.74 0.8 kVA 4 5. do the calculation with air-conditioner load and then with resistance heat load.1 5 0 – Se c t io n 4 4 TABLE 4. 1987. Values in the charts were excerpted from the South Carolina Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper) Distribution Engineering Reference Manual dated February 2.73 0.

These calculations are covered in Appendix B. “Transformer and Secondary Voltage Drop. choose the base TE load and A/C load for a single house from Chart 2: TE Load = 4. and 7.5-kW resistance heaters.04] = 23. Select the transformer size that will serve the summer and winter loads and has a 20-year life expectancy. utility and should be modified for use in other climates.3)(0.66 D4(A/C) = 0.15 = 137% 23.” EXAMPLE 4. The total winter load is calculated the same way by replacing the airconditioning load with the strip heater load from Chart 3.500-sq. Cooler ambient temperature in winter also increases transformer loading capabilities.8 kVA From Equation 4. TE column A/C Load = Base air-conditioner load from Chart 2.52 kVA A 25-kVA transformer is the proper size to choose.) .7 assumes the transformer full-load rating. can be up to 140 percent of its summer loading. in kVA Total consumers in group Base total electric house load from Chart 2.8 kVA Total winter diversified demand is equal to Winter L4 = 11.3 kVA A/C Load = 3. as no new houses will be added to the transformer. Each cooperative must set its own percentage loading limit based on experience. homes are to be fed from the secondary of a pad-mounted transformer in a new subdivision.000-Btu) air conditioners. the TE load component of the total load is the same as before: TE Load = (4)(4. in kVA = Diversity factor D for X consumers from Chart 1.5-kW strip heating component of total demand is then 4(6. Before the transformer is installed. and 50 kVA. the transformer size will be set by the 23.52-kVA summer load.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 5 1 4 Equation 4.35 + 20. 1.8. For the winter peak. All homes have identical electrical appliances.7: Pad-Mounted Transformer Sizing for New UD Residential Consumers. The ability to carry more load in the winter is justified because the heating load factor is much lower than the cooling load factor for the assumed transformer service area.S.52 Because the ratio is below 140 percent. as calculated: Summer L4 = 4 [(4.5)(0.8 = 32.66) + (3. Because the ambient temperature will be lower in the winter. Pad-mounted transformers to choose from are rated 25.35 kVA The 7. Assume four totally electric.84 + 3.-ft.80)] = 4[2. DX(A/C) A/C column = = = = Example 4.5. (Note: Keep in mind this example is based on a methodology used by a southeastern U.15 kVA The ratio of winter to summer load is then Ratio = 32. 37.66) = 11.8 LXSummer = X[(TE Load)(DX(TE)) + (A/C Load)(DX(A/C))]kVA LXWinter = X[(TE Load)(DX(TE)) + (Heat Load)(DX(A/C))]kVA where: LX X TE Load DX(TE) Total load for X identical consumers.80 Second. The A/C diversity factor is applied to the heating load in this instance.8)(0. it is assumed the transformer will carry up to 140 percent of its summer peak load for short periods without undue loss of life. corrected for ambient temperature. select the diversity factors from Chart 1: X = 4 consumers in groups D4(TE) = 0.8) = 20. the total summer load is 23. its size should be checked to see if it meets cooperative voltage drop and flicker criteria. three-ton (36.52 kVA. in kVA Heat Load = Base resistance heat load from Chart 3. The 25-kVA unit is still the proper transformer to install. First. in kVA Diversity factor D for X consumers from Chart 1.3)(0.

15 are typical of most areas of the continental United States. so any growth beyond the initial level is expected to be insignificant. propane. Method I: Previous Demands on Similar Consumers Many commercial establishments are part of large company chains that establish new facilities (or franchises) based on similar building footprints. while providing reliable service. Diversified connected load analysis. The modern trend in housing construction is to install all heavy appliances and heating.1 5 2 – Se c t io n 4 4 Another important concern is initial loading versus future loading when load growth is expected. and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment in a dwelling before initial occupancy. as even similar stores can operate differently because of local usage patterns. ventilating. . As such. Care should be taken for loads greater than 300 to 400 kW. This subsection presents three generally accepted methods of sizing transformers that most cooperatives and utilities have used over the years: 1. use of these formulas is meaningless if the growth rate is not accurately known. For many UD areas. drug stores. Care should also be taken to evaluate power factors of loads for larger units. A simple procedure is recommended. and 3. A starting point (or a double check) in sizing transformers for these type loads is to contact other cooperatives (or IOUs) to obtain historical demand data (both summer and winter peaks) for similar stores of the same relative size. Although complicated formulas exist for economic sizing of transformers based on load growth. fast-food restaurants. the basic values listed in Table 4. Even when engineers expect load growth. then the transformer size can be selected to account for power factor by using either of the following formulas: 1. 2. significant load growth is not expected for individual transformers because the number of living units per transformer is set in the development plans. similar to the philosophy involved in sizing single-phase transformers. Sizing transformers for these type installations is not an exact science and requires sound judgment and previous experience. or other heat source is either available or economically feasible. It is suggested that an analysis be made using all three methods. If power factor readings (or both kW and kVAr readings) are available. kVA2 = kW2 + kVAr2 or kVA = kW2 + kVAr2 2. and discount department stores. Local geographical and climatological conditions must be considered. they seldom accurately know the rate of growth. as they play a significant role in sizing equipment. if possible. The only differences in some of these installations are whether or not natural gas. if such information is available from meter readings. Watts-per-square foot demand factors. Although these factors can vary over different geographical areas of the country as a result of climate factors and building practices. Previous demands on similar loads. such as sizing the transformer for the load that is estimated to be present 10 years in the future. supermarkets. care should be taken in selecting transformers sized to minimize cost and losses. for example. Convenience stores. have branch stores that result in very similar demands. provided geographical influences are similar. TRANSFORMER SIZING FOR THREE-PHASE TRANSFORMERS FOR NEW COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL LOADS Three-phase transformers—required to render service to commercial and industrial consumers—represent a significant investment for the average cooperative. using the same makeup of electrical devices. Power Factor = kW kVA or kVA = kW PowerFactor Method II: Watts-Per-Square-Foot Method Electrical demands for commercial and industrial buildings can be analyzed by evaluating typical watts-per-square-foot factors that have been established by utilities and design professionals over the years. Further analysis using both knowledge of specific types of loads and experience anticipating the likelihood of growth in consumer demand is recommended. as a crosscheck to validate the final selection of a properly sized unit.

9 7. one for each of five zones of the interior space. It is important to gather all the connected load information from a consumer. While this type of system will reduce the demand at any given time to the load imposed by three units.7 13.3 8. They are a good approximation to be used as a double check of other analytical methods.7 5.6 8. these power factor values are typical of a number of cases sampled. the result may be an increase in the customer’s load factor.6 10. the more accurately an anticipated demand can be calculated. Again.7 9. Multiple kitchen appliances may.5 25.6 Summer 6. for example). For example.15: Typical Watts-Per-Square-Foot Factors for Commercial Buildings.6 4. both the types of loads and the quantities of similar electrical devices. be used in shift operations. as well. so no more than three units can run at any one time. Table 4. Approximate Power Factor* 85% 85–90% 90% 90% 95% 95% 80–85% 50% 65% 65–70% .0 7. a restaurant may have five roof-top air conditioner units.2 10.2 7.3 6.000 square feet) Offices (more than 100. Also remember to convert the calculated kW to kVA using power factor information. The more information that may be gathered about how electrical devices will be operated. Further discussion with the consumer may indicate use of a demand-side monitoring system that cycles the HVAC units.16 will assist in this effort.000 square feet) Churches Convenience Stores Department Stores Medical Clinics Grocery Stores Restaurants (fast-food) Restaurants (fast-food/gas) Restaurants (family) Variety Stores Schools Motels *All-electric.3 10.1 45.3 10.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 5 3 4 TABLE 4.1 5.8 28.6 Keep in mind that these factors are typical of loads analyzed in many areas of the country and can vary somewhat.2 10. unless otherwise noted Winter 9.2 12. as a result of cycling off and on by some automatic system (a thermostat. Following are other items to be taken into account while accumulating electrical load data for diversification: TABLE 4. Type Facility Restaurants Grocery Stores Office Buildings Retail Department Stores Residential Loads Lighting (HID) Motors That Operate at Full Load Motors That Operate at Less Than Full Load Sawmills Industrial Plants With Heavy Motor Load *If consumers have their own capacitors.4 21.0 6. If the developer of the new facility cannot provide valid power factor information.9 11. or as a result of the operation inherent with the facility. The philosophy here is that not all connected loads will operate simultaneously.4 6. with only portions of the devices operating together. which will tend to increase the required size of the transformer. Method III: Summation of Diversified Connected Loads The most analytical method available to predict the actual demand of a new consumer’s installation is to total the individual connected loads and apply diversity factors to multiple quantities of similar loads. Watts per Square Foot* Type Facility Banks Offices (less than 100.4 41. to predict the effective actual demand.0 27. higher values will result. and to the different types of load.16: Typical Electrical Load Power Factor Values.

As a method of practical conservative .20. Note that this demand should include the larger of heating or cooling loads.18 is a typical listing of the electrical connected loads associated with a new restaurant and how the loads can be tabulated to apply diversity factors so that an anticipated peak demand can be computed.19 lists typical commercial/industrial consumers and the duration typically found for short-term overloads. Type of Equipment Air Conditioning (less than 100 tons) Note: 1 ton = 1. three-phase transformers are capable of similar short-term overloads (again. but not both.17 is a listing of typical types of loads for commercial/industrial applications. and the TABLE 4. Once this information has been determined. Table 4. Demand Diversity Factor 75%* 75%* 75%* 75% 35–40% 70–80% 35% 40% 25% 10–15% 60% 40–50% 0% typical diversity that is generally taken with respect to actual peak demands.13 in this manual). • Do load controllers limit the quantity of any devices running simultaneously? • Do certain devices. decide how large the transformer should be based on the sizes available. ** Does not necessarily apply to industrial applications *** Consider “spare” only for specific needs. such as at the end of a shift? • How many portable appliances are planned to be connected to convenience outlets? • At what temperatures are refrigeration units to be operated (e. The proper transformer size to be used for a calculated demand should be selected on the basis of the transformer’s ability to withstand short-term overload conditions.17: Typical Electrical Load Demand Diversity Factor Values. 10°C has been chosen for the winter ambient. if necessary. Consistent with the per-unit loading guide discussed in this section (Table 4. based on ANSI/IEEE C57.20 is a typical cooperative’s overload factors.g.0 kW Electric Heating Computers Electric Cooking Appliances Lighting Miscellaneous Motors (less than 40 Hp)** Motors (more than 40 Hp)** Receptacle Load Refrigeration Water Heating “Spare”*** * Use the larger of heating or cooling.. or not at all? Table 4. a separate winter peak demand (with heating loads) and summer peak demand (with cooling loads) can be computed. or. depending on the duration of the short-term peak and the relative loading level of the transformer for the period of time before the overloading condition). Once the kVA demand is determined. coolers versus refrigeration units versus deep freezers)? • Are all exterior lights to come on through photosensitive control? • Are water heaters multiple-element or load-controlled? • Is any capacity currently listed on electrical drawings as “spare” to be actually used in the near future.13). It is essential that information be obtained from the consumer to substantiate these peak durations or to determine that shorter or longer overload periods should be used. Table 4. Listed in Table 4. based on the typical ambient temperatures of the winter and summer months. whereas others fall into a gray area when demand could fit the top range of one size or the bottom range of another. and 40°C has been chosen for the summer ambient.911981 Table 5 (Table 4. In Table 4. the overload capacity of standard transformer sizes should be reviewed.1 5 4 – Se c t io n 4 4 • The larger of heating or air conditioning should be used. both summer and winter. operate only on off-peak times.5 kW Air Conditioning (more than 100 tons) Note: 1 ton = 1. just as was discussed with single-phase units on residential applications. Some decisions will be fairly easy. but not both. such as dishwashers. based on local ambient temperature ranges. Note that the table lists both summer and winter overload factors. Air handling units should be included in both listings.

60 30.03 1.60 1.17 Demand Diversity 0.00 0.76 0.89 3.80 151.16 0.00 0.00 0.52 0.25 0.75 8.80 0.80 0.76 2.84 0.40 1.80 2.50 1.89 3.42 0.60 0.56 0.00 0.50 0.10 0.50 1.45 0.00 0.90 1. Item No.60 1.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 5 5 4 TABLE 4.60 0.00 1.10 Load Description Roof-Top Air Conditioning Units* Heat Pump Strip Heaters ** Baked Potato Oven Potato Warmer Heat Lamps Warming Tray Pie Safe Coffee Maker Soda Fountain Ice Machine (Continuous Use) Ice Machine (Infrequent Use) Cooler Range Hood Freezer Cold Table Iced Tea Maker Microwave Warming Tray Toaster Refrigerator Cooler Table Steamer Dishwasher Prep Cooler Beverage Cooler Vegetable Cooler Outside Freezer Outside Lighting Outside Lighting Kitchen Lighting Dining Area Lighting Dining Area Lighting Heat Lamps/Warming Tray Coolers Under Bar Coolers Under Bar Television Neon Signs Video Game Roadway Sign Total Quantity 5 2 1 1 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 20 14 6 1 2 1 1 4 1 1 * Load controlled ** Winter use only .40 0.25 0.50 1.80 0.50 0.80 2.00 1.59 2.50 1.45 0.73 1.50 1.60 0.84 0.00 1.20 0.00 1.75 1.50 0.80 Total Load (kW) 40.73 1.38 0.61 1.52 1.16 0.73 3.20 1.80 0.60 0.61 2.00 0.00 0.59 2.00 0.73 1.08 0.25 2.00 0.65 0.59 2.36 0.70 7.80 83.45 0.00 0.70 0.13 1.16 0.26 1.83 1.09 1.00 1.40 0.90 1.73 3.12 15.45 0.00 1.61 2.50 1.56 0.00 1.08 0.00 1.21 0.20 0.68 0.05 0.60 0.00 1.00 1.00 1.50 1.20 1.50 1.25 1.90 0.76 3.25 1.38 0.75 8.00 1.50 1.50 1.65 1.76 1.70 7.18: Estimated Electrical Demand (Summer) and Energy Consumption (Sample Family Restaurant).80 0.73 2.60 1. 1A 1B 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 Unit Load (kW) 8.00 1.68 11.60 0.50 0.43 0.83 1.42 0.09 1.50 0.00 1.76 3.00 0.00 1.75 1.00 3.75 0.00 0.73 1.50 8.60 0.00 3.00 Total Demand (kW) 24.83 0.50 0.25 1.56 1.00 11.00 0.00 1.34 11.76 2.16 0.

).5 1.260.5 1. If this part is completed correctly.270. watts/square foot.0 1.500**** * Based on ANSI/IEEE C57. etc.0 373.5 254.8 126. by using the guidelines in this section.9 249.91-1981 Table 5.0 109. Estimating the load is the largest factor in sizing a transformer correctly. * From ANSI/IEEE C57.540. However. 90 percent prior loading has been chosen for a safety factor.0 1.5 498.0 1.5 218.5 163.460.650.0 3.5 219.150.8 381. • Properly estimating the load (similar accounts.3 291.2 kV (or less).0 2.0 1.2 190. On the basis of these per-unit overload factors.0 1. diversity.0 292.1 5 6 – Se c t io n 4 4 TABLE 4.0 2.0 8-Hour Peak Overload Summer Winter Capacity** Capacity*** 84.21: Typical Three-Phase Pad-Mounted Transformer Capacities—Short-Term Overload Capabilities (in kVA).0 952. Sizing transformers is not an exact science.425.0 2.0 3.5 970.0 95.0 635. TABLE 4.320.0 3.91-1981 Table 5.0 727.0 847.20: Transformer Loading Capability Table.175.0 3.0 830.5 285.190.0 2.0 1.).3 142. but use this number with the loading table unless the customer can provide information that is different.0 1.8 108.19: Estimated Peak Duration.940.3 339.600.0 650.0 2.0 1.000**** 2. most of the work is done.* Summer Loading Capability** (% of kVA Rating) 130% 113% 97% Winter Loading Capability*** (% of kVA Rating) 166% 146% 127% Peak Duration (Hours) 4 8 24 engineering practice.0 1. Some of the main keys to sizing a transformer are the following: • Understanding what affects a transformer’s loading capability (ambient temperature.300.905.695. along with gaining experience from the local ambient conditions. Care should be taken to not underestimate duration peaks and to apply proper ambient temperatures.0 Transformer Nameplate 75 112 150 225 300 500 750**** 1.950.095.130.250.0 24-Hour Peak Overload Summer Winter Capacity** Capacity*** 72. the standard sizes of pad-mounted transformers in Table 4.0 565.000**** 1.6 145.0 730.5/7.0 2.0 2.490. load cycles. one can become more effective in sizing transformers and the process will become less confusing. based on 90% prior loading ** Based on 40°C ambient *** Based on 10°C ambient TABLE 4.455.0 485.5 438.245.500**** 2.6 169.6 195.0 1.0 975. then 75 percent or 50 percent prior loading per-unit values could be used.5 145. .920.5 390.0 2.825.* 4-Hour Peak Overload Summer Winter Capacity** Capacity*** 97. Type of Business Fast Food Grocery Stores Large Office Buildings Large Retail Stores Convenience Stores Industrial Plants Time (Hours) 8 8 8 8 8 24* Type of Business Restaurants Hotels Small Office Buildings Small Retail Stores Schools Other Commercial Time (Hours) 4 4 4 4 4 4 * The peak durations may be less. with 90% prior loading ** Based on 40°C ambient *** Based on 10°C ambient **** Overload factors for some of these units may be limited as a result of fusing limitations at primary voltages of 12.0 124.21 can carry short-term overloads as listed for respective winter and summer ambient conditions.660. If the actual prior loading can be substantiated. etc.0 4.5 185.0 328.

Now.0 45. The customer has provided the following load information: • • • • • • • Lighting: 80 kW Electric Heat: 60 kW Air Conditioning: 60 tons Water Heater: 18 kW Refrigeration: 160 kW Fans: 10 kW Miscellaneous: 20 kW Neglect the electric heat load because the summer load is the dominant load.0 378.50 0.9 = 275.5/0. some cooperatives may be less concerned with their pad-mounted transformers burning up than they are with having someone burned by touching the case of an overloaded unit. the kVA demand of this store is 247.8: Sizing Commercial Transformers. but this load would still not exceed the loading capability of a 300-kVA transformer (300 kVA × 1.13 = 339 kVA). 150 kVA × 1. Most people know not to touch the hood of a car that has been sitting in the sun on a hot summer day.0 60. so a 300-kVA transformer for this customer should be installed.8 kW/0. Therefore. This step becomes very important when the estimated load falls between two transformer sizes.0 kVA From the chart.5 9.9 = 338. Assuming a power factor of 0. which agrees with the similar account recommendation.0 Diversity Factor 0. the watts/square foot method suggests the following load: 24. From the transformer loading table.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 5 7 4 • Estimating peak demand duration (unless it can be obtained from the consumer) and determining the loading capability of a transformer using the loading tables.000 sq ft × 12. the conclusion is to install a 300-kVA transformer to serve this customer. exceeds the loading capability of a 150-kVA transformer. the possible problem can be a manageable risk once it is put into proper perspective.60 0.35 — Actual Demand (kW) 64. However. A person touching EXAMPLE 4.9 is assumed.13 = 169.9. other methods must be used to help make this choice.60 0.0 7.0 247.0 4. the cooperative’s capital investment has been minimized. The total diversified load is 247. a transformer with a peak of eight hours can be loaded to 113 percent of its nameplate rating in the summer months.7 watts/sq ft = 304.5 18.0 10. Every time a transformer is sized correctly. the watts/square foot method gives 304.5 This approximation may seem a little high for this store compared with the other methods.80 0. As another check. The calculated load.0 67.0 160. a convenience store has a peak duration of eight hours.5 kVA. • Using an appropriate power factor to correlate kW load to kVA load in calculations on consumer’s load profiles.8 kW If a power factor of 0. This concern is legitimate and must be addressed.5 kW.40 0.0 20.000 square feet. Example A A customer has requested service for a convenience store that is 24. MAXIMUM TRANSFORMER CASE TEMPERATURES Effect on Public Safety In today’s litigious society. after three different methods are considered. Therefore. 275 kVA.0 1.0 96. Continued .75 0.7 kVA In reviewing other similar accounts. The following load has been determined by means of diversity factors: Load Description Lighting Electric Heat Air Conditioning Water Heater Refrigeration Fans Miscellaneous TOTAL Load (kW) 80. it has been determined that a 300 kVA or 500 kVA transformer may be needed.

• Solar effect.40 0.0 450.75 840.0 157.0 288. and • Part of case involved. Estimating Case Temperature It is almost impossible to predict the case temperature of a pad-mounted transformer under load because many factors contribute directly and indirectly to the surface temperature: • Preloading.80 0.490 kW/0.311.00 99.9 is assumed.500-kVA transformer should be installed to serve this customer. Now. The total load is 2.9. • Location of the unit near structures or shrubbery. A similar account could not be found for this office building. • Ambient temperature variation.568. it can be loaded to 2. For a 2. unless otherwise stated by the customer. Therefore.0 2.0 75.250 tons Cooking: 288 kW Receptacles: 1. a 2. Assuming a power factor of 0.746 0.1 5 8 – Se c t io n 4 4 EXAMPLE 4.746 4.9 = 2.0 937.311.0 1.750 sq ft × 7 watts/sq ft = 2. On the basis of an eight-hour peak duration. The watts/square foot method suggests the following load: 355. To better understand the problem.7 kW/0.767 kVA This approximation is very close to the diversity approximation.0 100.9 = 2.) Example B A customer has requested service for an office building that has 355.00 — Actual Demand (kW) 400. • Present load.750 square feet.2 222. a major manufacturer took three of its single-phase. the decision must be made regarding what size transformer is to be installed. the watts/square foot method gives 2. The customer has provided the following load information: • • • • • • • • Lighting: 500 kW Electric Heat: 100 kW Air Conditioning: 1. (cont.818.0 30. other methods must be used to help size the transformer. The peak duration for this office building can be estimated to be eight hours. lowprofile units to the test floor and measured case temperatures at full load and at a sustained .5 Diversity Factor 0.0 0.5 115.250. the transformer can be loaded to 113 percent of its kVA rating.15 0.0 600.6 kVA Let’s look at another method before making a final decision.825 kVA during peak times.8: Sizing Commercial Transformers. the kVA demand of this office building is 2.75 0. • Wind direction and velocity.75 0.311.480 kW Computer Equipment: 600 kW Motor Load (larger than 40 Hp): 840 Hp total Motor Load (smaller than 40 Hp): 99 Hp total Neglect the electric heat load. The following load has been determined by means of diversity factors: Load Description Lighting Electric Heat Air Conditioning Cooking Receptacles Computer Equipment Motor Load (larger than 40 Hp) Motor Load (smaller than 40 Hp) TOTAL Load (kW) 500.480.7 kW.7 a hot transformer case will likewise naturally jerk away from it on contact. because the summer load is the dominant load.490 kW If a power factor of 0.0 1.500-kVA transformer. Therefore.

0 61.0 55. Inc.5 26. I. As expected. Table 4. 1964). The circled numbers one through eight denote the locations of various temperature measurements.0 33. Table 4.or second-degree burn under normal loading conditions is very small.0 — 14. There was a flurry of activity focused on the problem. Table 4. An additional calibration point is that the units are designed not to exceed 125°C top oil temperature with a 25°C ambient temperature at the higher continuous loads.. NASA.0 67.5 54.0 24.5 150% Load 34.5 kVA 100% Load 12.5 24.5 16.5 35. Rise Above Ambient Temperature.5 13. .0 60.5 46. the best qualitative thermal data on the subject were developed by E.5 60.5 87.5 28.5 16. Inc.0 5.0 33.5 31.5 8.0 84. The three designs listed are based on the industry standard of a 65°C rise or less for 100 percent load.5 37.5 21..5 68. Figure 4. However.5 35.5 16.5 50.5 44.0 38.0 25.22: Surface Temperatures Measured at Various Locations on the Cases of Pad-Mounted Transformers.0 50 kVA 100% Load 16.0 37. °C (36°C Ambient) Measurement Locations 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 25 kVA 100% Load 9. As a point of reference when viewing the table. 1973.5 180% Load 34.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 5 9 4 overload.0 44.5 180% Load 27.5 43. Another point to consider is that the contact time to produce a second-degree burn is about 2.5 5. consider that the manufacturer designs single-phase units of 100 kVA and less to carry approximately 180 percent load for six hours with normal life expectancy.0 Source: ABB Power T&D Company. over many years through research associated with its protective clothing activities.5 13.23 shows that the probability of a person’s receiving a first.0 16.14: Case Temperature Measurement Location—Pad-Mounted Distribution Transformer.0 84. Underground Distribution Transformer Division. duPont de Nemours and Company. TABLE 4.23 was developed (Lee.0 43.0 17.0 87.5 7 Top Oil 2 8 Inside Oil 4 Front View FIGURE 4.22 lists the 3 2 1 5 Inside Cabinet 6 Top of Cabinet Top View 1 6 4 temperatures and their locations for the three pad-mounted transformers of different sizes. the temperature varied widely from one part of the case to another. From curves developed by duPont and the NASA space program.14 shows the top and front views of a pad-mounted transformer. Tank Temperature Burn Probability The specter of possible harm from hot pad-mounted transformer surfaces was first raised in the technical press in 1972 (Tarplay).

ution Transformer Guide. which maintains skin contact and. 100 70 50 40 Transformer kVA per Motor Hp 30 20 10 7 5 4 3 2 V S P M K H GF E D C B A T R N L J 1 2 3 4 5 7 10 20 30 40 50 70 100 200 300 400 500 700 1. a perTransformer cases straightforward process deson’s normal reflex should opget hot but don’t scribed by Example 4.15 graphically show the relationship between the motor size.000 1 Starts per Hour FIGURE 4.0 13.0 people’s ideas about burns have been formed by their personal experience with boiling water. provided that the starting torque characquite high not to produce a burn in all instances. NEMA standards specify starting code letters for squirrel cage induction motors that correspond to the kVA per horsepower required to start the motor. and the transformer thermal capability.0 19. thereby. but it can be used for any motor by selecting the curve that corresponds to the locked-rotor kVA/Hp of the motor for which the transformer is being sized.9. The motor will be driving a center pivot irrigation system.0 producing wells have applications in which a 110 3. this type of application is a Under these conditions. Ambient Temperature (°C) 36 36 36 36 36 Case Temperature (°C) 69 88 Time in Seconds Pain 33. and Transformer kVA per Motor Hp for Transformer Thermal Considerations Continued .24 is based on the locked-rotor code letters. Table 4. If voltage drop is a problem. Service to the site will be through an underground three-phase cable at 12. 124-ampere full-load current.0 7. Unfortunately. STEP 1: Determine the locked-rotor kVA of the motor.1 6 0 – Se c t io n 4 4 TABLE 4. The series of curves of Figure 4.9.5 6.5 motor that is the total load on the transformer. teristics are satisfactory for the load being driven. three-phase. the motor the skin may become redselected had a starting current dened. 100-Hp monormally protect against burns up to about tors with smaller starting currents can be pur149°C (300°F). Selecting the proper size three-phase transformer for times that of the pain level. fore being burned.600 feet. it generally will not within the range of typical NEMA Code G moblister.0 transformer is dedicated to supply power to one 115 2. The problem is perception.5 Blister 70. 460-volt squirrel cage induction motor with a locked-rotor current of 725 amperes. Determine the minimum kVA size three-phase transformer to power a 100-Hp. DEDICATED TRANSFORMER LOADS Many cooperatives that serve farming communities with large irrigation loads and oil fields with 95 6. most EXAMPLE 4. A temperature of 149°C seems chased.0 8. Although In Example 4.23: Surface Contact Time to Produce Burning. The body’s natural protection system will tors.9: Dedicated Transformer Load. causes more severe burns. exerate in plenty of time to pull cerpted from the ABB Distribaway from the hot surface because burns. the locked-rotor requirements of the motor. Starts per Hour.15: Relationship Among NEMA Starting Code Letters.47 kV with a minimum length of 1.

60–6.15 3.9.000 where: VR = Rated phase-to-phase voltage of motor IS = Motor starting current at rated voltage Therefore.00 9. Assume one motor start per hour. Sizing the transformer with this procedure is conservative because it assumes that the voltage maintained at the motor terminals during starting is the rated voltage of the motor.00–16.00–22. Therefore.40 and up STEP 4: Enter Figure 4.00 5.9 Locked-Rotor kVA = 3 × VR × IS 1. The load is a water pump driving a center pivot irrigation system.50 12.00 8. (1.00–20. the locked-rotor kVA of the motor may be calculated with Equation 4.10–8.) STEP 2: Determine the number of starts per hour planned for the motor under normal operating conditions.00–10. RUS Bulletin 160-3 describes the procedure to make the voltage drop calculation. After the transformer has been sized so it can withstand the starting pulse caused by the motor.5 kVA/Hp × 100 Hp = 150 kVA If the starting kVA or starting code letter is unknown.50–5. Because motor starts per hour equals one.50–14. Equation 4.00–11.00 16.55–4.9: Dedicated Transformer Load. select the curve letter that corresponds to the locked-rotor kVA/Hp of the motor.00 18. STEP 3: From Table 4. Therefore. check the voltage regulation of the system from the substation transformer through the secondary terminals of the distribution transformer to see if there will be enough voltage to start the motor.00 20. Code Letter A B C D E F G H J K L M N P R S T U V Locked-Rotor kVA per Hp 0.30 6.15–3.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 6 1 4 EXAMPLE 4.00 14.00–3.00–18.5 kVA/Hp.00 4.55 3. .000 Locked-Rotor kVA = STEP 6: Most motors started across the line require approximately 80 percent of rated voltage at their terminals under locked-rotor conditions to successfully start.15 on the X-axis at the correct starts per hour for the motor being applied.30–7.00–5. 578 kVA/100 Hp = 5.24: NEMA Starting Code Letters.00–4.20 11.20–12. These systems are usually run for weeks at a time after they are started.40 22.732)(460)(725) = 578 kVA 1.10 7.78 kVA/Hp = Letter G TABLE 4.60 5. intersection of curve G with the Y axis equals 1. 1. Move up to the intersection of the starts per hour and the correct locked-rotor code letter curve and read the kVA of the transformer required per horsepower of motor from the Y axis. STEP 5: Multiply the kVA/Hp by the rated horsepower of the motor to find the smallest transformer to be used in the application. (cont.50 4. plus other useful information.24.00 10.00–9.

Look back at the previous pad-mounted transformer sizing example (Example 4.2 0. Another important consideration in multistart applications is the effect of the magnitude and duration of the starting current pulse on the transformer. Lower absolute impedance of the transformer can be accomplished in two ways: (1) a transformer of the selected capacity and the lowest available percentage impedance (%Z) can be installed. Mention was made of the number of times per hour the motor would be started.5 0. but this was not really considered because it was assumed the motor would be started only infrequently.000 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Number of Current Pulses per Hour FIGURE 4.0 pu of transformer rated current Maximum Allowable per Unit Pulse 10 9 8 7 6 5 0. While the latter choice may be the more expensive of these two options. Extensive data have been gathered by manufacturers and utilities about pulse duty on transformers.4 0.10.1 0.25 Ip 4 where: n = Number of starts per hour IP = Pulse current per unit of transformer rated current withstand the mechanical and thermal stresses imposed by this duty.6 0. particularly during the motor starting sequence when reactive current predominates. or (2) the transformer capacity (kVA) can be increased.3 0. the transformer will fail prematurely because of the repeated mechanical stresses placed on the core and coils.8 0.15 is concerned mainly with limiting the thermal stress imposed on the transformer by the motor during frequent starts.9) to determine the number of starts per hour limitation to ensure normal life expectancy of the 150-kVA transformer selected: Transformer rated current = 180 amperes at 480 volts Motor starting current = 725 amperes IP = 725/180 = 4. The conclusion is that. the primary objective was to ensure that the transformer kVA size was adequate to start the motor.10 n= 4.10.1 6 2 – Se c t io n 4 4 Also consider the transformer impedance: the lower the absolute impedance (ohms). it will always be less expensive than lowering impedance of the primary system. . Figure 4.7 0.16 shows the curve for Equation 4. In this example.9 1 1. Each time a motor starts. The transformer must be sized to Equation 4.1 to 4 3 10 Sta rts/Ho ur 2 10 to 1 0. the less regulation across the transformer. it essentially puts a controlled secondary fault on the transformer.16: Maximum Motor Starts per Hour for Transformer Mechanical Considerations. if the current pulses per hour exceed those shown in Equation 4. The “Starts per Hour” axis in Figure 4.

5. 13. Transformer thermal time constant and thermal aging characteristics of its insulation allow short-time peak overloads to be carried without decreasing normal life expectancy. Two methods should be used together to predict temperature for the month involved: (a) Average of all daily highs and all daily lows for several years. Soil thermal resistivity depends on the type of soil. 14. and insulation. Summary and Recommendations 1. Ambient soil temperature affects ampacity because the insulation temperature rise is added directly to it to determine the maximum cable conductor temperature. which depends on the relationship between the loss factor and load factor of the circuit. 7. Ambient air temperature is the most important element in determining how much load a pad-mounted transformer can carry over its expected lifetime (30 years minimum). The maximum temperature rise of a cable depends on the shape of the load duration curve. one can see that the allowable number of starts should be limited to less than 1. 2. Soil thermal resistivity depends mainly on moisture content that is seasonally variable. The results should then be evaluated considering the frequency of the expected stall conditions. Cable ampacity is affected by the ability of surrounding soil to dissipate heat generated within the cable. the riser usually is not the element that limits load. 4. Direct-buried cables should be de-rated when they are installed in vertical riser pole applications. 10. Preload conditions should be considered when loading transformers. 20.Equipment L o a d i n g – 1 6 3 4 By entering the curve on the X-axis at 4 pu. 12. 9. It should also be noted that there are some motor applications that impose significant thermal and mechanical stresses on transformers without multiple starts per hour. the same basic calculations should be run for the particular motor using the current drawn by the motor near the torquebreakdown curve. Losses in grounded concentric neutrals of three-phase applications are affected by the physical arrangement of the individual phases. and (b) Average of the high and low of the hottest day over many years. The maximum ampacity of UD cable is set by the operating temperature of its insulation and depends on the ability of its surrounding environment to dissipate the heat generated in the conductor. The ampacity of three-phase installations is reduced as a result of mutual heating between the phases and losses in grounded concentric neutrals resulting from circulating currents. Ampacity is defined as the ability of a cable to carry maximum current under a specific set of conditions. but. Cable ampacity can be calculated. 6. 16. This is particularly true for motors serving loads that may cause the motor to approach stall conditions. 18. 19. single-phase and three-phase cable ampacities are selected from ampacity tables. In these cases. This fundamental property is called soil thermal resistivity. Transformer daily peak loads should be selected from loading guides after predicting what the temperature will be during the peaks. its moisture content. Current values listed in ampacity tables are always calculated using a corresponding load factor. and the structural arrangement of the soil particles.25 per hour. concentric neutral. Equivalent initial load and equivalent peak load must be calculated to perform loading studies. For three-phase circuits buried in conduit. . 17. 8. in most instances. Cables placed in conduit have less ampacity than do direct-buried installations. Examples include rock crushers and feed mills. 15. 11. Risers should be open at the top and vented at the base to maximize ampacity and to counteract solar heating effects. 3. Preload levels given in loading guides are based on transformer nameplate rating and are not a percentage of peak load.

91-1981 tables do not apply in practical situations. Load-estimating guides based on load diversity and demand should be used to estimate peak kVA transformer load for groups of residential consumers. Pad-mounted transformers for dedicated motor loads should be properly sized based on motor locked-rotor kVA and the number of starts per hour. The surface temperatures of pad-mounted transformer cases can exceed 60°C during peak loading on sunny days. 24.8 per unit cannot be justified for preload conditions above 50 percent of peak load. This means many per-unit figures above 2. 23. However.1 6 4 – Se c t io n 4 4 21. For cold weather conditions.0 per unit given in ANSI/IEEE C57. A loading guide developed specifically for the geographical region surrounding a cooperative’s service area should be used. a maximum loading above 1. . 22. tests have shown that a person’s normal reflex action in response to touching a hot surface should prevent burning under normal conditions.

There are also various methods to measure and calculate system ground resistance. Low riser pole ground resistance and the application of counterpoise wires reduce jacket voltages. The jacket also insulates the concentric neutral from direct contact with soil. Several factors affect the performance of the grounding system. This jacket can take the form of an insulating jacket or a semiconducting jacket. Unfortunately. The function of the cable grounding system is to keep the cable as close to earth potential (“grounded”) as practicable at all times—during both normal and abnormal operating and under fault conditions. . The application of riser pole arresters and lead length must be considered. The jacket provides physical protection for the cable and helps prevent moisture contact with the insulation layer. Traveling waves on underground systems affect protection methods and dead-front arrester locations of different cable configurations. higher protective margins than suggested by standards can be achieved. RUS cable specifications were changed in 1987 to require an electrically insulating jacket to be applied over the cable. Protection of the underground distribution system from lightning surges that originate on overhead lines is crucial. Unfortunately.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 6 5 5 In This Section: Grounding and Surge Protection Cable Grounding System Function Factors Affecting Cable Grounding System Performance Counterpoise Application for Insulated Jacketed Cable System Ground Resistance Measurement and Calculation Underground System Surge Protection Summary and Recommendations When cooperatives first started installing primary underground distribution systems. In addition. Refer to IEEE for assistance in applying distribution arresters. this feature reduces the performance of the cable grounding system. these cables failed long before the end of their expected life because of electrochemical treeing in the insulation layer that was accelerated by moisture and high-voltage stress. they used BCN cable. Proper grounding minimizes the effects of lightning surges on underground components after the surges are discharged by lightning arresters. because of similar electrochemical action. Through careful arrester location. A solution to these problems was the addition of an outer jacket over the concentric neutral of the cable. which. the corrosion and disappearance of the bare concentric neutrals was also a major problem. was an industry standard and a very effective way to provide good system grounding. at that time.

in ohm-m Length of the current path. Buried counterpoise wires. if the ground resistance is relatively high at the point of a lightning current surge or a system fault. The grounding circuit is made up of ground electrodes. the design engineer can minimize the resistance of the metal circuit up to and in the earth. Note that a pole butt ground applied to protect a distribution pole from lightning damage is not considered an effective ground electrode. A good ground will improve the chances for rapid operation of protective relays and fuses to clear faults and limit personal injury and equipment damage. extremely high voltages can result. a bonding connector. A ground is made up of a ground conductor. its ground electrode(s). Under ideal circumstances. • Metallic water or sewer systems. such as transformer cases. The difference between the two circuits is that the neutral circuit is expected to carry current under normal operation. Soil resistivity is most accurately measured with a four-point earth resistance tester. For discussion purposes. Soil resistivity can vary widely over a small geographical area and is affected by the type of soil. soil resistivity measurements. For this ideal goal to be met. and the soil surrounding the electrode. voltage equals current times resistance). in meters Area of current path. This resistance is usually associated with driven ground rods and. and the grounding circuit isn’t. A low ground resistance will discharge lightning strokes with a lower probability of system disturbance. According to Ohm’s Law (V = I×R. a zero resistance ground cannot be obtained. Equation 5. and soil ambient temperature. all connections between it and the earth must have a resistance of zero ohms.1 6 6 – Se c t io n 5 5 Cable Grounding System Function Before the function of the cable grounding system can be explained in detail. which is usually the most significant aspect in determining the actual ground electrode resistance. ground conductors. can be calculated with Equation 5. However. The magnitude of the ground resistance can be found by measuring the resistance of the surrounding soil to the flow of current. Cables with bare concentric neutrals. the grounding system maintains all points connected to it at earth potential during all normal and abnormal operating and fault conditions. and all connections. in ohms Soil resistivity.1 R=ρ where: R ρ L A = = = = L A Ground resistance. in theory. The most common types of ground electrodes are: • • • • Driven ground rods. moisture content of the soil. Concentric neutral cables with semiconducting jackets. A ground is a current-carrying connection that connects a piece of equipment or a circuit to earth. The neutral circuit includes the cable concentric neutral and any connections to it. the term ground needs to be defined as used in this section. System Ground Resistance Measurement and Calculation. A good ground will also lower the voltage existing between grounded objects. and the nearby earth surface during fault conditions. the engineer has no control over the resistivity of the soil in direct contact with the electrode. in square meters The easiest and best method to find the value of ground resistance is to measure it with a ground resistance tester. The reading is obtained directly in ohms. The purpose of the connection is to maintain a point in the circuit or on the equipment as close to earth potential as possible. the cable grounding system consists of the grounding circuit and the neutral circuit.1. More information on field measurement of ground resistance. in reality. and may include a separate neutral conductor. By using low-resistance conductors and electrodes. and • Rebar in reinforced concrete in manholes and vaults. and the various elements that affect soil resistivity may be found in a later subsection. .

Proper grounding of a four-wire. The neutral circuit must will be isolated quickly. because of corro• Limits voltage across line-tosion. even under emerinto contact with an energized conductor is by gency conditions. One reason is it as close to ground potential that a good grounding system exists. tral wires that provide some electrical protection For typical overhead rural distribution lines. which satisfies the definition of an effec• Improves the likelihood that ground faults tively grounded system. neutral of the substation transformer along this One way someone could accidentally come parallel path. ground resistance. and • Provides a path to shunt how JCN installations the increasing use of JCN surge currents from the are grounded. changes in facilities. which decrease the chances of a shock. All RUS-accepted UD prias the only path for the return of normal load mary cable is manufactured with concentric neucurrent on a distribution system. percent returning through the earth. To is connected in parallel with the earth.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 6 7 5 This low-impedance path PUBLIC SAFETY shunts most of the fault curA well-designed. Another way to reduce touch residual current caused by unbalanced phase-tovoltage on pad-mounted equipment is to install neutral loads on primary circuits returns to the a buried counterpoise system around the system. should be paid to the installa• Allows ground faults to be tion of the grounding system. thereby creating a low-impedance path between the current division will vary depending on earth the conductor and the concentric neutral wires. and neutral. system is essential to the operOver the years that UD sysation of any electrical distribupersonal safety. tems have been in place. isolated quickly. Under normal operating conditions. effectively grounded system cable that provides a large neutral surface in diprovides the following functions: rect contact with the soil. cable. However. more careful attention system. where no transformers are located. should the earth ever be used digging into a cable. part. they tion system to maintain all have established an excellent common points connected to safety record. For this requirement to be ment is physically raised above public areas. resulting. it general public or the cooperative’s crews. The theory is that has often been assumed that 40 percent of the the metal digging tool would first contact the return current is carried by the neutral with 60 grounded neutral wires and then the conductor. changes in the water ground insulation. and at driven no dangerous voltages should exist because the ground rods at each user’s service entrance. in as practicable. However. from the use of bare concentric neutral wye-connected. Beenclosure could be touched by a member of the cause the concentric neutral is multigrounded. the concentric neutral of jacketed cable most UD systems have equipment enclosures must be grounded at each distribution transmounted on the ground within easy public acformer. • Reduces the shock hazard RETURN CURRENT PATH to people by reducing touch voltages during The typical underground distribution system is a faults on electrical equipment cases and three-phase. at frequent intervals (specified below) cess. met. ensure that the forms a relatively low resistance path to the flow enclosure is connected to the lowest possible of current. be a continuous metallic path along the route of the primary feeder and must extend to every Unlike an overhead system in which equipconsumer’s location. it for someone digging into it. Proper grounding rent through the grounded and -maintained grounding increases system neutral. Pay attention to table. -constructed. If a phase conductor contacts an enclosure. . four-wire wye with multigrounded frames to safe levels. In no instance.

which is usually the driven ground rod. Reducing type of fault on an underthree-phase circuit the size of the neutral has the ground circuit is the singleadditional benefit of reducing line-to-ground (SLG) fault. For these types of devices to sense a shortMost engineers recognize that a 1/6 neutral. the circulating currents inSimply stated. keep loads balanced for the system to operate efficiently. However. RUS specifies that the concenneutral at a point halfway between the 240-volt tric neutral and phase conductor must have the conductors. possibly causing in the return path. ungrounded through accident or corrosion. Efreduced. unbalIn a perfectly balanced three-phase system. the concentric neutral size in a three-phase circuit can be much smaller NEUTRAL CIRCUIT FUNCTION than the phase conductor. as The voltages across the two 120-volt legs will stated previously. The user’s ground circuit is case for single-phase underground circuits. The • The impedance of the fault. and both are tied to at least one ground rod. As the size of the concentric neutral is ferences can exist between the two systems. or 100 percent of fault protection are the overcurrent relay and the conductivity of a single-phase conductor. no neutral or ground currents flow. The transformer neutral is • The impedance to ground at the point of connected to the cable concentric neutral and fault. The solid neutral connection holds the primary circuits. circuit condition and act quickly to interrupt the with a combined three-phase fault. three-wire. ampacity. If the user’s neutral becomes isosame conductivity. especially 120/240-volt systems. resistivity and the size of the neutral. is enough for most current. On single-phase ondary. If the neutral is the same trance where the neutral is again connected to a size as the phase conductor. which increases cable ampacity and reduces losses. tion transformers. The grounding and neutral circuits also pro• The voltage at the source. the greater the current flow in the fective grounding is especially important to earth. the principal means of specified at 1/3 neutral each. this change in current distribuprotect 120-volt equipment connected across tion does not have a linear relationship to the two halves of the 240-volt transformer secratio change in the neutral size. Normal practice is to try to burned-out light bulbs or damaged appliances. The most probable losses increases operating systems. the cable concentric neutral is usually involved . fuse. Cooperatives may opUNDER FAULT CONDITIONS erate three-phase systems with three cables On distribution circuits. tank should be grounded at two points by separate connections to ensure that it cannot become Fortunately. unlike overhead. the directly connected to the grounded neutral of current in it will be almost as large as the phase the transformer to ensure that no potential difcurrent. vide a way to ground the neutral of both three• The line impedance from the source to the phase and single-phase pad-mounted distribupoint of fault. unequal phase-to-neutral split in proportion to the impedance of the load loads will cause an unbalanced current to flow on each side of the circuit. However. the fault current magniconductivity of 50 percent of tude must be considerably the conductivity of one phase higher than the maximum load Reducing neutral conductor. lated from the transformer neutral point. • The impedance of the source.1 6 8 – Se c t io n 5 5 For secondary single-phase. For this reason. anced voltages across the equipment will result. the amount of duced in the concentric neufault current depends on the trals when they are grounded following: and connected to each other. in UD systems. the two energized conin the case of JCN underground systems where ductors plus the grounded neutral from the the neutral is grounded only by ground rods or transformer are run to the user’s service enby counterpoise wires.

The multigrounded metallic paths. ing jacket (meeting NESC Rule 94B5) may emThe grounds are necessary to prevent excessive ploy the concentric neutral as a made electrode voltages from developing between plumbing fixand the grounding requirements for the cable tures and appliances connected to the household are met. In three-phase tings of 120/240-volt appliances. to 1/3 neutral 500.to 1. This procedure also reduces the neutral in parallel with ground rod(s) at the lodanger to personnel who may be working in a cation will provide the necessary protection manhole or enclosure when a cable fault occurs under all except the most unusual conditions. by keeping metallic objects at the same potential. Rules 96C and 354D3c. Another contingency corrected in 2007 NESC Rule 354D2.) Cables with ground is required from the breaker panel to a bare concentric neutrals or with a semiconductmetallic water pipe or a suitable made electrode. 4 or No. The transformer ground thus prevents dangerous primary HV voltage from existing on the secondary conductors. and at least eight times ary and at the service entrance of a consumer. If the required number part by the neutral grounding scheme is the posof grounds to the JCN (insulated jacket) is not sibility of a fault between the high. See Figure 5. Unprovide a low-resistance ground at a padder fault conditions. 2 devices act quickly and posifast protective AWG will be sufficient to bond tively to protect equipment device operation. A low resistance is needed to reduce the between the concentric neutral of a faulted cable chance of a dangerous touch potential for an and other nearby neutrals.1. Secondary Core Transformer Ground Neutral Service Ground House Ground LV HV LV Core Wingdings LV = Low Voltage HV = High Voltage FIGURE 5. interconnected neutrals and mounted transformer or other equipment locagrounding will reduce the probability of arcing tion. the age windings of the transformer. with an insulated jacket. a high-voltage insulation failure involvcopper grounding conductor and tied to earth ing the secondary winding will immediately be shorted to ground by the center tap of the winding or by the core. causing a fire.1: Typical Distribution Transformer Core Form Design and Neutral Grounding Circuit. At per mile for random-separation areas. provided the installation complies with wiring system. which allows mended that No. cable neutral must be connected to ground primary voltage could be impressed on the fitrod(s) at intermediate points.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 6 9 5 with driven rod(s). the neutrals of all three cables must be the secondary winding is grounded at the transconnected together with No. circuits should be connected together and groundAnother function of the neutral circuit is to ed to keep them at or near ground potential. (See the the point of delivery (the meter). JCN cable. SURGE PROTECTION GROUNDING Interest in the transient response or surge impedance of tower footings and driven ground rods began in the early 1930s . A large fault neutral path allows bond no larger than 400-kcmil current ensures that protective cables with 1/3 neutral. In this scenario. or other grounded SLG fault in the transformer.and low-voltobtained at sufficient transformer locations. It is recomin an SLG fault. blowLV ing the primary fuse and isolating the cirFault cuit from the source. No.000from excessive damage and kcmil cable. If runs. reduce the possibility that anyThe neutrals of three-phase one will be harmed. must be The secondary low-voltage neutral circuit is grounded at least four times per mile for delibgrounded at the pad-mounted transformer seconderate-separation areas. 2 AWG former. another metallic 2007 NESC. 4 AWG copthe maximum available fault A low-impedance per ground wire be used to current to flow.

Surge current magnitude. The actual magnitude of ZSURGE depends on many different elements (Bellaschi. and Snowden. the top curve represents an eight-foot Counterpoise Application for Insulated rod driven into ordinary sand with a measured Jacketed Cable. however. and that ZSURGE. In jacketed cable installations. The decrease can Ground rods are the most with increasing be shown by plotting ZSURGE common type of electrode lightning current used on utility distribution sysagainst the peak current as tems. number.2. a large surge current will produce a voltage at the top of the tower greater than the basic impulse insulation level (BIL) of the insulator string. ZSURGE will be less depends on the surge impedance of a buried than R60-Hz. and configuration. When lightning strikes the shield wire. Counterrents ranging up to 12 kA. This same principle applies to the dissipation of surge currents in underground systems. transmission and distribution line lightning performance depends on the impulse or surge value of the ground rod impedance. the surge current is diverted to ground. Surge current waveshape (rate of rise). For instance. it is important to know the value of protection obtained from grounds when they are required to carry lightning discharge currents. but not to the extent exhibited by wire. It was found that a low surge impedance at the base of the structure is required to make the scheme work. In soils of low or medium resistivity. Ground rod resistance is usually expressed as the measured 60-Hz value. Inpoise wires are also used to lower ground resisspecting the curves shows that. Previous field and laboratory tests have shown that the surge impedance of a ground rod or a group of driven rods is defined as the ratio of peak voltage to peak current. and Ground rod length. surge impedance (ZSURGE) and depicts the ZSURGE of various the elements that affect it are grounds for peak surge curof major concern. The magnitude of the surge impedance at the base of the pole also determines how much surge current is diverted to the JCN and flows to remote connected grounds. For these grounds. thus. . later in this section. Otherwise. It is. 1964). Therefore. The magnitude of their shown in Figure 5. is less than the 60-Hz measured values. causing a backflash to the conductor (Westinghouse T&D Reference Book. The protection method devised at the time required new line designs based on shielding the conductors from direct strokes through a combination of shield wires connected to ground conductors plus adequate phase-toground insulation. driven ground rods can usually obtain adequate grounding. 1942): • • • • • Soil resistivity. Because their initial effect on grounding with relatively low resistivity. sandy soils with much higher resistivity. Armington. they are covered in the subsection. which magnitude. for clay soils tance. It is also necessary to understand the effect of lightning discharge path surge impedance on the protection and operation of underground systems using JCN cable. the cable jacket “sees” a voltage which is the sum of the IZSURGE (current × surge impedance) of the ground electrode plus the downlead component that is due to the surge current flowing into ground at the riser pole. The main cause of outages was found to be direct lightning strokes to phase conductors. necessary to establish the relationship between what will be called the surge impedance (ZSURGE) of a ground rod and its measured 60-Hz resistance (R60-Hz ) and determine how this difference does or does not affect lightning arrester protection. in ohms. Difference Between 60-Hz the surge impedance is less Grounding and Surge than the 60-Hz (R60-Hz) resisGrounding ZSURGE decreases tance value. Results also show that the surge impedance decreases considerably with increasing current.1 7 0 – Se c t io n 5 5 when engineers were trying to improve the outage rates of transmission lines. Soil critical breakdown gradient.

Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 7 1

5
120 60-Cycle Resistance 100 80 ZSURGE (Ohms)

60 Rods In Sand

40

20

Rods In Clay

0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 Peak Surge Current (Amperes)

60-Hz resistance of 120 ohms. At peak surge currents above 6 kA, it can be seen that ZSURGE is less than 40 ohms, a 67 percent decrease. For grounding resistances of 10 ohms or less, the surge impedance is not appreciably smaller than the 60-Hz resistance value. Different kinds of soil and types of ground can also be compared by looking at the surge characteristic of grounds shown in Figure 5.3. Here, the ratio of surge impedance to 60-Hz resistance (ZSURGE/R60-Hz) is plotted against peak surge current. In this figure, curve 2 represents a 10-foot galvanized steel rod one inch in diameter driven into moist clay with a 60-Hz resistance measured at 27.5 ohms. Curve 1 shows four of the same rods as shown in curve 2, spaced in a square 10 feet apart with a measured R60-Hz of 9.7 ohms. As the surge current increases above 12 kA, the ZSURGE/R60-Hz ratio of the single rod is less than 0.4, while the four rods in parallel will not have a ratio substantially below 0.7 at higher currents. To summarize, • The surge impedance (ZSURGE) of a ground rod or ground rod group is defined as the ratio of peak voltage to peak current.

FIGURE 5.2: Variation of Surge Impedance with Surge Current for Various Values of 60-Cycle Resistance. Source: Westinghouse T&D Reference Book, 1964, page 593.

1.0

0.8 1. Ratio of ZSURGE to R60-Hz Four 10-ft Rods in Parallel, in Clay 0.6 2.

10-ft Rod in Clay 0.4 8-ft Rod in Sand 0.2 8-ft Rod in Gravel & Stones with Clay Mixture 8-ft Rod in Stones with Clay 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Peak Surge Current (Kiloamperes) 14 16 18

FIGURE 5.3: Surge Characteristics of Various Ground Rods. Source: Bellaschi, Armington, and Snowden, 1942, page 353.

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• ZSURGE is always less than or equal to the measured 60-Hz resistance of the ground rod(s). • ZSURGE decreases with increasing surge current magnitude. • The proportional reduction of ZSURGE is less for grounds of low resistance than it is for grounds of high resistance. There are also various ways to reduce the magnitude of discharge currents on the neutral circuit.

Arrester Leads Lightning is a current generator. Surge arresters are applied at riser poles to protect cables from lightning-induced overvoltages by shunting the surge current to ground. Surge voltages produced by a lightning flash are a function of the Arrester Discharge Paths current magnitude, its rate of rise, and the disSurge arresters are applied on distribution lines charge path impedance. The arrester is confor two main reasons: nected to the overhead conductor and the pole ground conductor. The dis1. To shunt lightning current charge path that determines surges to ground, which the voltage impressed across reduces the magnitude of Keep arrester leads cable insulation is the arrester surge voltages propagating short to maximize and its connecting leads that on overhead and underprotection. carry lightning current in paralground systems, and lel with the cable termination. 2. To limit overvoltages on This concept is illustrated in protected equipment. Figure 5.4. Two riser pole installations are shown; the lightning discharge paths are highlighted. For the first application to be effective, there Pole 1 represents the desirable connection must be a low surge impedance to ground. In where no current flows through leads L1 and L2. the second application, ground resistance is not a consideration because the voltage across Cable phase insulation will “see” only the arequipment is limited to the arrester discharge rester discharge voltage. Pole 2 is not desirable voltage plus the voltage drop produced by the because the level of protection provided by the arrester lead(s). However, other elements must arrester is reduced when lead voltages L1 and L2 be considered when arresters are applied to proare added to the arrester discharge voltage. tect JCN cable. Arrester lead length must be considered in At the riser pole on wye-connected distribucalculating protective margin when evaluating tion systems, the arrester down lead is concurrent rate of rise. The protective margin is the nected to the pole ground conductor, the difference between the arrester discharge voltages multigrounded system neutral, and the concenplus the lead L di/dt drop and cable withstand tric neutral of the jacketed cable. Because prilevel, where di/dt is the change in current with mary and secondary neutrals are tied together at time expressed as kA/µs (kiloamperes per microthe pad-mounted transformer, the JCN provides second). Protection standards suggest using an a direct path for discharge currents to flow to average rate of rise of 4 kA/µs. Tests have shown the neutrals of premises that the transformer that the conductor normally used for leads has serves. The amount of surge current that flows an inductance, L, of about 0.4 µH/ft. The lead on the various neutrals is determined mainly by lengths connecting the arrester to the terminathe surge resistance of the pole ground. Surge tion will contribute approximately 1.6 kV/ft to voltages induced by discharge currents can damthe total voltage across the insulation if they carage the cable jacket and consumer appliances. ry lightning surge current. The 1.6 kV/ft figure is Various arrester discharge paths that occur at a based on an average probable rise time. Field riser pole have an effect on cable insulation proinvestigations have shown that this figure will be tective margin, cable jacket neutral-to-ground exceeded 30 percent of the time. Some applicavoltage rise, and how current surges on the section engineers believe 6 kV/ft or higher should ondary neutral can damage consumer equipment. be used. To minimize the effect of current rate

Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 7 3

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Lead L1 Lead L1 Cable Termination Lead L2 Lead L2 JCN Cable

L1 + L2 = 0 (Desired)

L1 + L2 = Lead Length (Should Not Be Used)

• Objective is to make certain no lightning current flows in the leads connected to the cable termination. Pole 1 Pole 2

FIGURE 5.4: Arrester Lead Length for Two Riser Pole Installations.

of rise, the leads should be kept as short as possible and arresters with low discharge voltages should be used. See Figure 5.5. The effect of lead length on protective margins will be covered in more detail in the Surge Arrester Application Factors subsection later in this section.

FIGURE 5.5: Three-Phase Installation Showing Optimum Riser Pole Arrester Lead Connections.

Pole Ground Conductor After a surge arrester operates to protect cable insulation, some engineers assume no additional damage will happen to other system components. This assumption is not always true. Once lightning current goes through an arrester, it flows into the neutral and ground circuits, causing overvoltages on neutral-to-ground insulation. This is especially a problem with electronic equipment (controllers, RTUs, etc.) that might be on the pole. Special methods should be considered to limit or eliminate problems this condition can and will cause. Figure 5.6 shows a typical underground primary installation fed from a riser pole and padmounted transformer. The direct-buried jacketed

1 7 4 – Se c t io n 5

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cable and below-grade connections are also shown. Figure 5.7 shows the same installation except drawn in a way to highlight the various arrester discharge paths: • • • • Pole ground conductor, Cable jacketed JCN, Counterpoise, and Overhead multigrounded system neutral. ence point. The condition could be compared to ground potential rise in a substation during a ground fault. Because the cable concentric neutral is tied to the ground rod, any transient voltage produced by the surge event is transferred directly to it. The cable jacket, applied to protect the concentric neutral from environmental damage, also insulates it from ground, which means the total ground potential rise is disseminated across the jacket. The magnitude of the peak ground potential rise can be estimated as the peak current times the surge impedance of the riser pole ground rod(s). Laboratory tests have shown that peak jacket voltage occurs at a distance where the electric field strength around the ground rod and the ground potential rise approach zero. The concept can be better understood by referring to Figure 5.8. The area outside the circle represents where ground potential rise is zero. The ground rise is maximum at the center of the circle where the ground rod is located. A jacketed cable starts with its concentric neutral attached to the rod

After the lightning current passes through the arrester, it splits among the various paths. The respective surge impedances of the conductors and the surge impedance of the pole ground determine how the current initially divides. Resulting currents flow to both the local ground and remote grounds.

Jacket Voltages Local ground in this instance is the riser pole ground rod. When the pole ground conducts surge current, it produces a ground potential rise when measured relative to a remote refer-

Phase Conductor

Multigrounded System Neutral Counterpoise

Loop Feed Pad-Mounted Transformer

Continuous Counterpoise To Next Transformer JCN Cable Pole Ground Transformer Ground Connections Shown Below Grade For Clarity

Triplex Secondary Cable Service Ground

FIGURE 5.6: Typical Primary and Secondary Underground Installation.

Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 7 5

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½ ½ Phase Conductor MOV Cable Pothead Multigrounded System Neutral Jacketed Concentric Neutral Pole Ground Conductor RL Groundline LL Insulating Jacket
ZSURGE

Pad-Mounted Transformer

RS RN RS

Consumer’s Breaker Panel

Loads R1 R2

R3

RPole
ZSURGE

RTX

RService

Continuous Counterpoise Wire to 1st Transformer

FIGURE 5.7: Schematic Diagram Showing Surge Current Paths After Lightning Arrester Discharge.

and extends radially from the center. It ends at a point that is not affected by surge current flowing in the center ground rod. Measuring the voltage rise at points A and B from a remote reference gives maximum voltage at A and zero volts at B. (The ground rise is measured by dri-

ving a two-foot spike in the ground at each point.) Because the concentric neutral of the JCN cable is tied to the ground rod, the peak ground potential rise is transferred on the neutral to point B, where maximum voltage-toground exists across the jacket. Laboratory tests

At Point B: Ground Potential Rise V=0 V = Max Jacket Voltage Maximum Ground Potential Rise at Point A V = Max Jacket Voltage at Point A V=0 A Cable Start B Cable End

V

Ground Rod Outside the Circle Represents the Area of Maximum Jacket Voltage

FIGURE 5.8: Maximum Jacket Voltage (Neutral to Ground) Produced by Lightning Current Surge in Ground Rod.

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show that maximum jacket voltage occurs within for the most commonly used jacket thicknesses. 50 feet of the riser pole. Laboratory tests have This analysis shows that the neutral on the also shown that lower jacket voltages will be JCN cable will not be at ground potential when measured at the end of the cable. Cable start and a surge occurs. As with an overhead system, the cable end voltages should not be the same, beneutral-to-ground voltage can reach dangerous cause the cable neutral potential is produced by levels during surges. the current in the two grounds and their respective surge resistances (GE Research Project, 1990). Jacketed Concentric Neutral The ground potential rise and the maximum Any lightning current that does not propagate jacket voltage are a function of the down-lead along the other paths attached to the arrester current and the surge impedance of the riser pole down lead will flow on the concentric neutral. ground rod. Increasing either of these quantities The JCN current magnitude depends on the will lead to higher jacket voltages. If the ground surge impedances of all connected paths. Slowrise exceeds jacket withstand strength, a jacket front waves and 60-Hz currents do not “see” the puncture will occur, allowing moisture to enter surge impedances of the JCN and the other the cable. Over time, this condition could lead paths. The 60-Hz measured resistances and imto loss of one or more of the neutral conductors pedances will be seen instead. The 60-Hz imto corrosion. pedances of each path are lower than their surge Unfortunately, no standards exist that define impedance values. If the paths are connected to the withstand strength of 50- and 80-mil jackets ground resistances lower than or equal to the most commonly used on underground cables. pole ground, a small change in the pole ground The only voltage test required by standards is resistance can mean a large current increase on the AC Spark Test that is used mainly as a qualthe concentric neutral and other paths. The path ity control check during the jacket extrusion with the lowest ground resistance will receive process. An 80-mil polyethylene jacket must most of the current. withstand 7.0 kV applied beAnother look at Figure 5.7 tween an electrode on the outshows that any increase in caside surface of the jacket and ble neutral current is transMinimize jacket the concentric neutral for not ferred directly to the neutral of less than 0.15 seconds. Laborathe pad-mounted transformer voltage with low tory tests have shown that new because of the cable insulating riser pole ground polyethylene insulating jackets jacket. Any current discharged have a surge (1.5 × 40 µs by a dead-front surge arrester rod resistance. waveform) withstand strength applied on the primary termiof about 2,500 volts/mil at nals of the transformer will also 20°C. After being in service, add to the contribution from this value drops to about 1,200 volts/mil after the JCN. If the transformer ground is much lowmoisture permeates the jacket. On the basis of er than the service ground, most of the lightning these figures, Table 5.1 lists withstand strengths current on the neutral will flow to earth at the transformer ground rod. If the reverse is true, most of the current will flow on the service neuTABLE 5.1: Surge Withstand Strengths of Polyethylene Insulating tral and to the ground at the service entrance. Jackets for 15-kV, 25-kV, and 35-kV Class JCN Cable. Damaging overvoltages can be induced on loads Jacket Thickness* New Jacket Insulation Aged Jacket Insulation R1, R2, and R3 connected inside the residence under this condition as a result of surge current 50 mil 125 kV 60 kV components flowing in the service neutral. 80 mil 200 kV 96 kV The surge impedance that has the greatest effect on current division between discharge paths 95 mil 240 kV 114 kV and surge voltages on the secondary is the pole * Jacket thickness over neutral wires ground. Keeping this resistance as low as practi-

Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 7 7

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cable means minimum lightning energy on the underground system neutral. The transformer ground must be a minimum resistance because some service grounds are tied to underground metallic water systems. The most economical way to obtain good grounds in the above two instances is by multiple ground rods, deep-driven rod(s), or the addition of counterpoise. Equation 5.2 Z= where: Z L C h = = = = L 2h = 138 log ohms C r

Counterpoise A continuous counterpoise conductor is shown connected to both ends of the jacketed cable in Figures 5.6 and 5.7. It is buried with the cable and represents another arrester discharge path at the riser pole. Laboratory tests have confirmed that, applied as shown, counterpoise will reduce the jacket voltage up to 50 percent under surge conditions. Adding counterpoise also improves the 60-Hz grounding of the riser pole arrester and cable neutral. Direct connection to the JCN decreases surge current transfer to the transformer neutral. Note that counterpoise is used only for JCN applications and is not required when BCN or semiconducting jacketed cable is installed. How counterpoise reduces jacket voltage and improves 60-Hz grounding is explained in more detail in the subsection, Counterpoise Application for Insulated Jacketed Cable, later in this section. Overhead Multigrounded System Neutral The overhead system neutral presents two discharge paths for lightning current once it passes through the arrester. Surge current will flow in both directions away from the riser pole. The surge impedance of the two paths is approximately 500 ohms each, calculated from Equation 5.2 for a single aerial conductor with ground return. As can be seen, the surge impedance is determined only by the height of the conductor

Surge impedance of conductor Inductance of conductor (Henries) Capacitance of conductor (Farads) Height of conductor above ground, in feet r = Radius of conductor in feet 138 = Constant from L and C values in Henries and Farads per mile

above ground and its size (Westinghouse T&D Reference Book, 1964). Reducing the surge impedance of the neutral would be desirable as an additional way to reduce the amount of surge current diverted to the underground neutral/ground system. Unfortunately, its wire size is set by system requirements and reducing the height above ground is not an option. For these reasons, the overhead neutral is not a major factor in mitigating the effects of surges on the underground system. However, it is a vital part of the overhead neutral/ground system that acts with arresters to prevent lightning surges from propagating long distances from the strike point. It should be noted here that some lightning strikes are of such a magnitude that distribution voltage systems cannot be effectively protected from them. However, the majority of lightning outages and damage are caused by induced lightning strokes (approximately 95 percent), which can almost always be eliminated by effective lightning protection (including arrester protection, line configuration, and system BIL).

Factors Affecting Cable Grounding System Performance

UNDERGROUND CABLE SYSTEM CONFIGURATION The function of the cable grounding system is to keep its entire length at ground potential at all times. Its ability to perform this function under fault and surge conditions is determined by the resistance of its electrical connections to ground. Ground resistance can be approximated

by calculation. The resistance of an actual installation can be found only by measurement. The type of cable used—BCN, jacketed, or semiconducting jacketed—will determine the effectiveness of the grounding system in performing its intended function. Getting a low ground resistance can be difficult and is highly site-specific. A question often

1 7 8 – Se c t io n 5

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asked about system grounding is, “How low does the ground resistance have to be before it is considered a good ground?” Answering the question with a specific ohmic value is difficult because many variables are involved in an application. A low riser pole ground reduces the jacket voltage on jacketed cable. A low padmounted transformer ground—compared with the service ground—reduces surge voltage on consumer appliances. For JCN applications, the riser pole ground rod resistance should approach 10 ohms, if practical, whereas the transformer ground can have a higher value. The system configurations of bare concentric neutral, semiconducting jacketed, and jacketed concentric neutral cables affect grounding system performance. Because ground rods are the predominant way to obtain grounds at riser poles, intermediate points, and transformers, this subsection reviews elements affecting their resistance and required quantities. Soil resistivity also directly affects the resistance of a ground electrode. Bare Concentric Neutral Cable Direct-buried, BCN cable is considered the ideal configuration for a multigrounded neutral on a four-wire grounded-wye distribution system. Maximum continuous contact area between the system neutral and soil ensures an effectively grounded system. Correct operation of surge arresters is ensured under all conditions. Effective grounding limits neutral-to-ground voltages during faults and surge events, which reduces stress on cable insulation. The highest degree of public safety is also obtained. Unfortunately, corrosion problems associated with the BCN cable configuration preclude its continued use in new installations. Solid grounding by the BCN means the riser pole ground rod resistance has little effect on cable system surge protective levels. BCNs on direct-buried cable provide an effective path to ground under most conditions. The concept is illustrated in Figure 5.9. The overall ground resistance measured along the cable is significantly lower than the driven ground. With two arrester discharge paths available, a poor riser pole ground merely means more surge current flows on the BCN, where it quickly goes to ground. Although no longer in use by cooperatives, BCN cable relieved most but not all grounding concerns for direct-buried systems. Putting the cable in nonmetallic conduit led to a lack of continuous grounding and problems associated with poor grounding. Burying the exposed neutral in soil with different resistivities caused the neutral to corrode to the point where it was lost completely. Besides the reduction in grounding efficiency, open neutral wires caused localized electric field stresses. Over time, the insulation shield deteriorated, causing primary cable faults. The neutral wires of BCN cables were also more susceptible to damage during cable pulling and installation. In recent years, all utilities have experienced premature failures with direct-buried BCN cables.

Lightning Current

Overhead Phase Conductor

MOV Arrester Multigrounded Neutral

Bare Concentric Neutral UD Cable

Surge Current on BCN Dissipated in Earth

Ground Rod

FIGURE 5.9: BCN Cable Riser Pole Installation Surge Arrester Discharge Paths.

Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 7 9

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grounded only at both ends of Resulting investigations found the cable. This type of system the primary causes to be elecInsulated jacket installation will decrease trochemical treeing in cable reduces grounding grounding quality when cominsulation and BCN corrosion. pared with a bare neutral conAccelerated tree growth was system performance. figuration. For example, conpinned to moisture in the insider two 1/0 AWG, singlesulation layer and high-voltage phase, direct-buried cable runs stress. As noted, these findings of jacketed and BCN cables, 1,000 feet long, in led the RUS to change Bulletin 50-70 (U-1) to resoil of 100 ohm-m resistivity. The resistance-toquire insulating jackets and thicker phase insulation ground of the bare neutral cable, assuming a caon all underground cables. Addition of the jacket ble effective diameter of 1 inch, is as follows: is a change from the BCN system configuration. Semiconducting Jacketed Cable According to tests conducted by General Electric Company for NRECA and various utilities, the concentric neutral-to-ground voltage of semiconducting jacketed cable is essentially independent of riser pole ground rod resistance and arrester discharge current. The semiconducting jacket acts like a BCN to provide good system grounding characteristics for underground installations. To provide good grounding, the semiconducting jacket must have a radial resistivity of less than 100 ohm-m (see 2007 NESC Rule 354D2c). If this jacket resistivity requirement is met, intermediate grounding for the cable run is not required. Unfortunately, this is not true for an insulating jacket; additional effort must be made to approach the same grounding system performance level achievable with semiconducting and BCN cable. Insulated Jacketed Cable An insulating, protective jacket provides many benefits. An exterior jacket provides mechanical protection for the neutral during pulling and installation. The jacket isolates the copper neutral from contact with corrosive soils. This isolation prevents galvanic cell formation and inevitable neutral corrosion. A protective jacket offers significant mechanical protection to the insulation shield and primary insulation. It also delays moisture from reaching and damaging the insulation layer, increasing cable life. However, insulating the neutral from ground has some drawbacks. The most important is that the performance of the grounding system is reduced. Jacketed cable installations less than 1,000 feet long would normally have their neutrals 1.15 siemens per 1,000 ft = 0.87 ohms for a 1,000-foot cable (from Table 7.6)

If the jacketed neutral is grounded by single 10-foot ground rods at each end with diameters of 3/4 inch, each rod would have a resistance of the following: 32.14 ohms or 0.0311 siemens (from Equation 5.9) To meet safety codes, the BCN cable must be connected to ground rods at each end as well. Adding the two ground rods to the BCN cable gives a total ground resistance for the installation. Note: Conductance (siemens), which is the reciprocal of resistance (ohms), will be used in the calculation to avoid the cumbersome formula for three resistances in parallel. Conductances of individual grounds in parallel can be combined by simple addition: 0.0311 + 0.0311 + 1.15 = 1.2122 siemens = 1 ohms = 0.8249 1.2122

For this particular example, the JCN cable installation has resistance equal to the two ground rods in parallel or 16.07 ohms; therefore, the JCN cable has the following: 16.07 ohms ÷ 0.8249 ohms = 19.48 times the ground resistance of a BCN cable installation

grounds at intermediate points face contact required for good along the route. could be added at both ends. Specific equations for calculating rod ground resistance for various configurations and examples are given later in the System Ground Resistance Measurement and Calculation subsection. important feature to consider. Rods should be driven at least 2 feet from structures. There are several ways to improve existing ground resistance. both systems would be • Pad-mounted transformer locations. and poles with DRIVEN GROUND RODS ON THE UD SYSTEM steel reinforcing to prevent the possibility of arcGround rods are the predominant type of made ing from the rod. the jacketed neusite. Only the measured 60-Hz resistance will be considered here because surge impedance has already been reviewed. When multiple ground rod sections are stacked on top of each other. the bottom ground rod is often the only rod making full contact with soil. grounding. the jacketed cable would not be adGround rods normally carry high current only equately grounded. The ground resistance of driven rod(s) is affected by various elements. resistance of the rod in the ground is the most • Jacketed cable intermediate grounding points. The number of rods necessary for good grounding practice and required by the NESC is discussed here. Economics and corrosion considerations normally determine which rod material is selected. and are definitely not in contact with undisturbed soil.10: Ground Rod Being Driven by This lack of contact with the soil (disturbed or Hydraulic Tool. and considered adequately grounded according to • Service entrances. To meet this backfill around an installation requirement. Loose soil will not proDrive ground rods tral must be attached to vide the necessary rod interinto undisturbed soil. They should not be placed in the hole with mile. code. However. FIGURE 5. Almost any metallic material may be used to They are mainly used at the following: manufacture ground rods. concrete foundations. Rod material has • Cable joints.1 8 0 – Se c t io n 5 5 In the preceding case. little effect. for longer runs or in higher resistivity soil.10. This problem is the lack of good soil contact. a problem that can affect the ground rod resistance generally occurs. For longer runs. The first coupling opens up a hole larger than the ground rod body and subsequent ground rod bodies make very little contact with the soil. Because of the larger diameter of the coupling. . The measured • Riser poles. electrode on underground distribution systems. Ground rods must be driven into undisturbed the NESC requires at least four grounds in each soil. See Figure 5. Additional driven grounds after faults or lightning arrester operation. not counting rods at indithe riser pole or driven into vidual services. Copper-clad and galvanized steel are most common.

where: ρ = Soil resistivity.11: Resistance of Vertical Ground Rods as a Function of Length and Diameter (Soil Resistivity = 250 Ω-m). Resistance calculations can be made for specific installations and ground rod configurations to estimate what the resistance will be. Soil resistivity depends on soil composition.000 Length of Ground Rod (Feet) 1 4L ρ In –1 (ohms). in ohm-m L = Rod length. or substation ground mat in the same way. Experience has shown that resistivity can vary widely over a relatively small area. For example. the resistance values will change and most likely improve. which plots resistance against rod length. Equation 5. soil plasticity. such as a single ground rod. Rod number. and the amount of moisture in the soil. ρ. The time required for this improvement is dependent on soil porosity.3. Ground Resistance of Driven Rods The ground resistance of a rod (or group of rods) is found by measuring it with a ground resistance tester. The resistivity then affects the ground resistance of any electrode system. and 3. where L » a a 2πL FIGURE 5. in meters . A handy approximation that generally can be used is that doubling the rod length lowers the resistance by only 40 percent. All formulas developed in this section for ground electrode resistances assume soil resistivity is constant throughout its volume. The actual variation can be seen in Figure 5. Spacing. Elements that affect soil resistivity are given later in this section.) Resistance does not decrease directly with length.1 shows that the ratio between the length and area of the current path must be multiplied by the soil resistivity. 90 – (0. This restriction must be considered when the results from formulas are interpreted. 1000 3/4" 1-1/4" 5/8" 100 Resistance (Ohms) 10 Resistance Variation with Depth How the resistance of a single ground rod varies with length can best be demonstrated by considering its resistance formula expressed by Equation 5. in meters a = Rod radius. Doubling the length to 16 feet will reduce the resistance to about 54 ohms. (Note that this formula assumes full contact of all rod sections to the soil. The three primary factors that affect the ground resistance of ground rods that the engineer can influence are the following: 1.4 × 90). Equation 5.3 R= 1 10 100 1. This variation throughout the soil volume cannot be modeled easily in ground resistance calculations.1 or its equivalent.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 8 1 5 undisturbed) can make a big difference in the resistance reading observed. BCN.11. assume an eight-foot rod with a diameter of 5/8 inch has a measured resistance of 90 ohms. The curves are drawn for an earth resistivity of 250 ohm-m. Any theoretical calculations must start with the basic equation in Equation 5. Length. As time passes and the soil fills in around the ground rod body. 2.

In most instances. or 54 – (0.4 × 54). . The reduction is about 40 percent for three rods in parallel and 33 percent when four rods are used. apart would have an equivalent resistance of which agrees closely with the 5/8-inch curve of Figure 5. Two identical rods driven into soil some distance apart will not have one-half the resistance of a single rod. For the 5/8-inch rod of the above example. Additional length produces a very small reduction in ground resistance. Use a longer rod.11 show the effect.12 shows that.1 8 2 – Se c t io n 5 5 Multiple Rods in Parallel Reduced ground resistance can be obtained by paralleling rods to increase the cross-sectional area of the current path. Normal rod diameters used 5. by less than 10 percent. Four rods spaced 20 feet ground mats. resistance is to use a larger ditually applied. Another way to lower ground When multiple rods are acnot multiple rods. Doubling the length again to 32 feet would give a resistance of about 32 ohms. effect of rod spacing. For example. this point of diminishing returns occurs at about 40 or 50 feet. Doubling a rod’s distance should be at least diameter reduces its resistance twice the length of one rod. The The increased separation is multiple rod diameter curves needed to get the most useful in Figure 5. the reduction of the ground resisinch. assume a is considered only when encountering hard soil single rod 10 feet long with a measured ground or for driving deep rods connected to substation resistance of 60 ohms. for rods spaced greater than on distribution systems are 5/8 inch and 3/4 20 feet apart. the separation to lower ground ameter rod. the law of diminishing returns applies. The actual ground resistance will be about 60 percent. As the rod length keeps increasing. increased rod diameter tance falls off rapidly.12: Resistance of Multiple Ground Rods (Single Rod Equals 100 Percent). 100-Ft Spacing 40-Ft Spacing 20% Resistance of Multiple Grounds 20-Ft Spacing 25% 10-Ft Spacing 30% 5-Ft Spacing 40% 50% 60% 70% 100% 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Number of Ground Rods FIGURE 5.11. resistance. Figure which is minimal. These relationships hold true Resistance Variation with for rods spaced about the same Diameter distance apart as their length.

If the sepaminimum to tie the rods to the pole ground ration distance is less than 2 L. FIGURE 5. a single. The advanunderground cable systems. But the NESC does have greater depths will not vary as much because of certain requirements for JCN installation groundchanges in temperature and moisture content as ing methods that apply to BCN installations as will resistivity near the surface. The resistivity at this level will be considnumber of ground rods at specific locations on erably lower than near the surface. permit. As the multiple rods or a deepseparation distance approaches driven rod should be used. Cable L 2L min. rod should be used instead of decision is made to install a multiple rods to lower ground rod grid. min 2' min. the resistance of the Long rods can be hard to ground rods for JCN four rods will equal 15 ohms. For example. if four is less important than the 10-foot ground rods are placed 2 L apart (where separation distance. If the where practical. Source: Parrish. FIGURE 5. Cable L 2' min. drive in soil with a high rock If geological conditions content. See the summary in Table 5. Specific Site conditions will normally dictate whether locations for driven rods are the following: Riser Conduit Pole Ground Conductor Vent Riser Conduit Pole Ground Conductor Vent 2L . deep-driven take up a lot of area. Two types of multiple rod grounding provide a much lower resistance than 4 × 10 layouts are shown in Figures 5. riser pole application. 1982.13 and 5.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 8 3 5 0. . they will have about number of connections should be kept to a the same resistance as a 40-foot rod. the deep rod will conductor. 2L min.14: Installation of Four Rods for a Riser Pole Ground. Another benefit is that soil resistivity at at any specific location. It also does not rectage of the deep rod will be more pronounced in ommend what the ground resistance should be this case.14 for a feet of rod placed close together. well. the rod arrangement resistance. The NESC governs infinity.2.13: Installation of Three Rods for a Riser Pole Ground.3 × 60 = 18 ohms. Multiple rods can cable installations. The above statements are based on a homogeneous soil profile. The conductor length and L is the length of the rod). A deep rod will be expected Number of Driven Rods to reach the permanent water table beneath the The NESC (ANSI C2) does not specify the earth.

low resistance ensures a low jacket voltage and prevents excessive surge currents flowing to remote transformer and service grounds. If longer or multiple rods are needed. Additional grounding points for jacketed cable are recommended in 92B2b(3) since the neutral is not exposed and is not providing a ground connection. Riser Poles Rule 92B2b(2) says that a grounding conductor must be connected at the termination points of a nonjacketed cable. the first termination point is the riser pole. minimum length is eight feet and minimum diameter is 5/8 inch for steel and 1/2 inch for copper-clad. There is no suggested value for ground resistance at the riser pole. Minimum rod cross-sectional areas are also given. As already mentioned. For minimal effect on the system. Longer rods or multiple rods may be used to reduce ground resistance. therefore. no specific values are imposed for the resistance of individual electrodes. Consult the specific NESC rules cited in the text to avoid any misunderstandings caused by condensing the rules in this table. 94B2b 94B2c Pad-Mounted Transformers 93C7 and 314 94B2c (exception) Joints/Intermediate Grounding Points 96C 354D3c Note. and Service entrances. It is noted in Rule 96C that multigrounded systems extend over a large area and depend on a number of electrodes for grounding purposes. If the rod is placed within the pad-mounted enclosure or pedestal. The next highest ground should be at the first pad-mounted transformer. 6 AWG or larger. and • Part 3: Safety Rules for the Installation and Maintenance of Underground Electric-Supply and Communication Lines. For random separation with communications cables. Driven depth not less than eight feet. • The length is greater than 100 feet. • • • • Riser poles. If a driven rod is used. Pad-mounted transformers.1 8 4 – Se c t io n 5 5 TABLE 5.2: 2007 NESC Ground Rod Requirements for JCN Cable Installations. . grounding interval is eight times per mile (service grounds not included). with exceptions. a minimum six-foot spacing is required. Joints/intermediate grounding points. Rule 94B2a says that the total length may not be less than eight feet. The highest ground resistance compared with the previous two should be at the service entrance. Concentric neutral and pad-mounted transformer and other equipment cases must be connected to a ground rod. For a typical UD installation. the lowest practical ground resistance should be obtained at the riser pole. • Section 9: Grounding Methods for Electric Supply and Communication Facilities. Minimum spacing between multiple rods is six feet. driven depth can be 7-1/2 feet. Concentric neutral must be connected to ground rods at least four times per mile (service grounds not included). Pertinent NESC sections are the following: A counterpoise is also considered a made electrode if the following conditions are met: • The bare wire is No. As explained previously. a good goal is to have the lowest ground at the riser pole. and • The counterpoise is laid in the same trench as the buried cable (Rule 92B3). Location Riser Poles Rule 92B2b(1) 94B2a Comment Concentric neutral must be connected to surge arrester grounds where cables are connected to overhead lines If a driven rod is used.

a Note 3 target for transformer and riser pole grounds can Opening be determined. A continuous ground conductor loop is shown that ensures solid grounding if one connection fails. Grounding grid 1/0 AWG bare copper buried 18” minimum below ground.15 shows a typical grounding assembly for a single-phase. one clamp and to maintain ground electrode effectiveness if one connection is defective. pad-mounted transformer. it must Tank Grounds be connected to a ground electrode according to Rule 96C. 8'0" Two. Tie concentric neutrals together before tap to ground loop to ensure same conductivity as cable neutral. The resistance of the transformer ground should be less than the ground at the consumer’s service entrance to ensure neuTop View tral surges are not transferred to wiring inside the residence. shows a typical layout.16 would stand on to operate the equipment. After a representative value is found. The separation distance between rods Notes: should be kept to at least twice the burial depth 1. The ground conductor GUIDELINE ONLY should be a continuous wire connected to two points on the transformer. Figure 5.16: Grounding Grid for Pad-Mounted Equipment Installation. installing a 2. three. Run wire four-point grounding grid will obtain a low under pad to opening and allow 5'0" for grounding live front switch/fuse enclosures.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 8 5 5 Pad-Mounted Transformers This subsection covers only padNote 1 mounted transformers. except in areas of high soil resistivity FIGURE 5. In some instances. Minimum distance between ground unit assemblies = 6'0". where up to four rods might be needed. Because the neuJumper #4 Copper tral is brought to the transformer. when possible. sugH1B gestions or recommendations are valid for any aboveground enclosure. Transformer Installation (Front View) . Two clamps are shown for the ground rod. or four rods are sometimes used min. The engineer should make a survey of existing grounds in the area. Place ground wire a minimum of 24" away from the side or sides of pad that a person tential between case and ground. Most cooperatives do not have control over the value of the service ground. including cases of X2 pad-mounted devices. Place minimum of one ground rod at each corner to obtain low ground resistance of grounding grid. X3 H1A X1 Rule 314 says that conductive parts Ground Strap must be grounded. an exception to Rule 94B2c Note: states that its driven depth may be re1. duced to not less than 7-1/2 feet. enclosure. ground resistance and minimize the touch po3. Pad-mounted transformers are norGUIDELINE ONLY mally grounded with one driven rod. FIGURE 5. However. The ground wire may be placed within 12" of the other sides. to obtain the proper ground resistance at a transformer.15: Grounding Assembly for Pad-Mounted Single-Phase Transformers. Front View Pad These are recommended to prevent a high-resistance contact when two wires are connected with 18" min. Figure 5. If a rod is used #4 Copper Ground Rod Clamps Ground Wire within the footprint of a pad-mounted Tamp Well Under Pad 7'6" min.

jumpers are added between the cable phases to Rule 96C says that JCN must be grounded at provide a continuous grounding loop. wrap a braid brazed to a connecting rod around the concentric neutral. 2000.17 shows an instalJoints/Intermediate lation that could be used at a Grounding Points BCN and jacketed cable joint or interThe 2007 NESC does not call semiconducting mediate neutral connection to for ground rods to be installed jacketed cables ground. if required for system Ground Rod grounding. An ideal additional connections besituation is shown in which a tween the concentric neutral continuous ground conductor is used to bond and ground for JCN systems. not including grounds failed connection will not affect grounding.1 8 6 – Se c t io n 5 5 Figure 5. This connection should be not including the service grounds. The principle is to strip the jacket from JCN Cable Joint a short piece of cable.18 shows a direct-buried installation under normal conditions. The device holds promise as a quick and simple way to make an intermediate grounding point in a cable run. dated June 2. These cable connecat direct-buried joints if the don’t need tions are aboveground to preconcentric neutral is effectively vent water from entering the intermediate grounds.19 could be connected to three adequately spaced ground rods. jacket where the neutral is Rule 92B2b(3) recommends opened and sealed. If the desired resistance is not obtained.19 shows a direct-buried intermediate dial resistivity less than 100 ohm-m. and seal the connection against moisture. However. there shall not be less UM48-3 of RUS Bulletin 1728F-806 (D-806) than eight grounding installations in each mile. semiconducting jacketed cables with jacket raFigure 5. Intermediate properly sealed around the concentric neutral to grounding is not required for BCN cables or prevent moisture entrance. All tems. Ground resistance is to be 25 ohms or less. one rod must be added. Note that rods should be installed with an inter-rod distance equal to two rod lengths for a reasonable degree of effectiveness. Two ven ground rods to improve system grounding. for connection to the concentric neutrals is made random-lay installations with communication casimilar to the installation shown in drawing bles in the same trench. grounding assembly using in-line ground connectors.17 and 5. any joint or splice should be used as a three neutrals are tied to ground by separate means for connecting the proper number of driconductors attached to ground rods. . not otherwise insulated to the voltage expected Figure 5. Service Entrance NESC Rule 250-84 requires one driven ground rod at the service entrance to a residence. so one least four times per mile. Rule 354D says that. Extreme care should be used with this type of connection below ground so the jacket is adequately resealed to prevent moisture ingress. grounded. The installations shown in Figures 5. GUIDELINE ONLY FIGURE 5. It also requires that the neutrals together and to make up the ground the neutral be grounded at each cable joint that is loop to and from the ground rod.17: Installation of JCN Connection in Above-Grade Pedestal. The at individual services. Because jacketed cable that could also be used at a jacketed cable joint systems are not as well grounded as BCN sysor intermediate neutral connection to ground.

the consumer should provide sensitive electronic equipment. See Note 2 0” 10’ um im Min 0” 10’ um im Min FIGURE 5. FIGURE 5. More required with high ground resistance. the service ground would be a logical component to investigate. The arresters should be installed as close to the protected equipment as possible. Secondary metal oxide varistor (MOV) arresters with low discharge voltages are a possible solution. trying to reduce the system ground would not be practical. As noted. 2. Grounding Conductor Solid Copper (Continuous) #2–#4 as Required Ground Rod(s) In-Line Connecting Rod Compression Connector Moisture Seal Notes: 1. Use solid copper inside and extended through moisture seal. It is not practical for a cooperative to check every service ground in its territory to determine its relative resistance value compared with other system grounds. Moisture seal around connections to the jacketed cable neutral.19: Intermediate Grounding Assembly. Use this grounding assembly only with proper sealing on concentric neutrals that prevent moisture permeating the insulation. with individual protection. preferably in the meter base rather than at the transformer. Engineer to specify number and length of ground rod(s). #2 Thru 4/0 conductor—use #4 stranded copper ground wire. 2. Four grounds per mile minimum. To lessen the probability that incoming surges on a JCN cable will cause damage to voltagesensitive consumer equipment. 3. Adequate moisture seal must be provided around connections to jacketed cable neutral. the cooperative usually has no control over the ground resistance at the meter base. It is recommended that connections to JCN be made above ground in an enclosure when feasible to preserve moisture integrity of jacket. #2 AWG to 400 kcmil conductor— use #4 AWG solid copper ground wire.18: Grounding Assembly for JCN Underground Primary Cable. Engineer to specify number and length of ground rods. . 500 kcmil conductor—use #2 stranded copper ground wire. such as personal computers. ensure that the service ground should have a value larger than the transformer ground. if problems arise because of failed equipment in the residence. GUIDELINE ONLY 5. However. Underground Primary Cable. One installation that will provide a resistance to ground lower than the distribution transformer ground is a service neutral tied to the metal casing of a domestic water well.000 kcmil conductor— use #2 AWG solid copper ground wire. In this instance. 500 kcmil to 1. 3.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 8 7 5 See Note 1 See Note 3 Notes: 1. 4. 4. Also.

R= 50 40 Counterpoise Wire 5/16” Diameter. When rock layers prevent driving rods of a suitable length to the proper depth. operatives to install cable with an insulating The impedance is different from the steady-state jacket. in ohm-m (Ω-m) = Conductor length. in meters (m) = Conductor radius. A counterpoise terpoise be installed from the riser pole to the is one method that will improve ground quality first transformer in the system. special care should be taken to bury counterpoise below a stable moisture level.1 8 8 – Se c t io n 5 5 Counterpoise Application for Insulated Jacketed Cable Counterpoise is not frequently There is a method to estidiscussed in connection with mate the ground resistance of Use counterpoise BCN underground cable sysa counterpoise installation.4 because a trench is usually being opened. A counterpoise preand line outage rates caused sents a surge impedance to by lightning. Lower ground resistance results from inof a counterpoise electrode can be calculated creasing the earth area in contact with the using Equation 5. only for insulated JCN tems.4 shows that depth . With increasing use of this cable. in meters (m) = Burial depth. in meters (m) 20 250 Ω-M 10 100 Ω-M 500 Ω-M 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300 Length (Feet) FIGURE 5. RUS requires cothe flow of lightning current. system ground resistance.20: Counterpoise 60-Hz Resistance Variation with Length and Different Soil Resistivities. tower-footing surge resistances ductor.4. resistance to ground tion. or R60-Hz. Annealed Iron Wire. Burying below the frost line must also be considered. Counterpoise can be extremely helpful where upper layer soil resistivity is less than that of the soil below. An analysis of Equation 5. When a counterpoise is used only to improve surge arrester grounding. Surge impedance affects riser ground quality is reduced in comparison with pole grounding and jacket overvoltage protecthe quality that could be had with BCN and tion. It is recommended that a continuous counsemiconducting jacketed cable. It is a conductor buried in the ground as a practical means COUNTERPOISE GROUND RESISTANCE to reduce ground resistance at a desired locaThe steady-state. grounding system. Installation of a counterpoise is particularly simple on underground systems Equation 5. Burial Depth = 30” Ω 60-Hz Resistance (Ω) 30 where: ρ L a d ρ 2L In –1 for d < L πL ad = Soil resistivity. counterpoise may provide a workable alternative. It is more often associVarious aspects affect the ated with transmission line ground resistance of the concable installations. when insulated JCN cable is used. counterpoise lengths greater than 300 feet are not generally considered to be cost-effective. Figure 5. So that the ground resistance does not vary widely during the year.20 shows how the resistance of a #4 AWG copper wire varies with length in soils of different resistivities. 3-Strand. Results are shown for burial depths of 30 and 42 inches. Galvanized.

5 ZSURGE = L ohms C impedance is usually designated by the symbol ZSURGE and is expressed by Equation 5. Transient or surge current initially “sees” the surge impedance of the conductor. more and more of its length helps to shunt the current to ground. or run vertically on a riser pole. not the steady-state resistance.000-foot counterpoise with an initial 150-ohm surge impedance will reach a resistance equal to its steady-state value in about six microseconds (6 µs). thus. in Farads/unit length 150 140 130 120 110 100 90 Surge Impedance (Ω) 80 70 60 50 40 30 4 20 10 0 1 60 Hz Resistance 2 3 Microseconds (µs) 4 5 3 2 1 Z = 150-Ω Initial Surge Impedance R = 10-Ω 60 Hz Resistance Curves: Counterpoise Length 1. Two possible counterpoise configurations are shown.21 show the relationship (Westinghouse T&D Reference Book. One is a continuous where: ZSURGE = Counterpoise surge impedance. the surge impedance reduces to the steady-state resistance. Depending on the dielectric constant of the soil. However. Less current on the JCN means less current flowing to the transformer neutral. Curves one to four of Figure 5. any increase in soil resistivity will increase the ground resistance proportionally.5 µs). 1. As the wavefront of a current surge travels along the conductor. A horizontal buried counterpoise has an initial surge impedance that depends slightly on soil conditions and is assumed to be about 150 ohms. after a series of reflections. A shorter counterpoise of 250 feet will have the same 150-ohm initial surge impedance. R60-Hz. Surge Equation 5. COUNTERPOISE SURGE IMPEDANCE When lightning current travels along a conductor. Less surge current in the ground rod decreases neutral-to-ground voltage and.21: Effect of Length on Transient Surge Impedance of Counterpoise. Tests have shown that a 1. 250 ft FIGURE 5.5. 500 ft 4. the resistance it encounters is the surge impedance. 750 ft 3. Lower jacket surge voltages will reduce the probability of jacket puncture over time. it provides a parallel path for lightning currents to flow to ground. If the counterpoise wire is run from the riser pole to the first transformer.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 8 9 5 does not dramatically affect counterpoise resistance. whether it is hung in the air. in Henries/unit length C = Conductor capacitance.22. Connection to the insulated cable neutral improves grounding of the neutral and reduces overall system ground resistance. buried in the ground. a surge travels at less than one-half the speed of light (the speed of light is assumed to be 1. the jacket voltage.000 ft 2.000 feet per microsecond). in ohms L = Conductor inductance. The decay time depends on the length of the counterpoise and the propagation speed of the surge. REASONS FOR COUNTERPOISE USE Counterpoise is buried with jacketed cable to reduce ground resistance at the point of application. but its steady-state resistance will occur in onefourth the time (1. How the surge impedance of counterpoise affects the pole ground and the jacket voltage is shown by Figure 5. . The final result is that. 1964). The additional path diverts surge current from the pole ground and JCN.

the top of the pole and extending to the first A full-length counterpoise connected to the transformer. counterpoise at the concentric neutral.22: Counterpoise Application to Reduce Jacket Voltage. The connection. tion ensures the jacket voltage lightning surge with a set magwill be less at the transformer nitude and rate of rise will than at the riser pole. it is assumed an incoming top of the riser pole. with no counterpoise apflowing on the JCN from the riser pole and the plied. cable than the pole ground (RG). Any changes in the jacket voltage caused .1 9 0 – Se c t io n 5 5 MOV Arrester Riser Pole S1 Cable Jacket R L Dead-Front MOV Arrester Pad-Mounted Transformer Service Loads Cable Termination 150' 100' ZSURGE Counterpoise RG 25 S2 S3 RG ZSURGE /R60–Hz Counterpoise RT RS Legend: R L I RG RG/25 ZSURGE RT RS = = = = Riser pole ground conductor resistance Riser pole ground conductor inductance Surge current in riser pole ground conductor Riser pole ground rod resistance = Remote ground rod resistance = Counterpoise surge impedance = Transformer ground rod resistance = Service entrance ground rod resitance FIGURE 5. by the addition of counterpoise will be less than counterpoise connected directly to the JCN at the no-counterpoise case. and the In the examples in this secservice neutral. The produce a certain voltage parallel impedance reduces the surge current across the cable jacket. The other is connected to the riser pad-mounted transformer pole ground rod and extends neutral puts its surge imto a remote ground (RG/25) that pedance in parallel with the measures at least 25 times less Always connect transformer ground rod.

5 to eight microseconds. As a consequence. the counterpoise is shown connected in parallel with the jacketed concentric neutral at both ends of the cable. the L di/dt voltage could exceed the IR component in the case of a low down-lead current. Equation 5. It will fall somewhere between the 35-ohm cable surge impedance and the 150-ohm counterpoise surge impedance. will not give the same effect. This counterpoise installation will not reduce jacket voltages very much. S2 Open). in ohms Riser pole ground rod 60-Hz resistance. This case represents laying counterpoise terminated in a ground rod or running a connection to an existing electrode to decrease 60-Hz grounding. Continuous or Full-Length Counterpoise (Switches S1 and S3 Closed. Therefore. In Figure 5. For surge currents peaking in 0. The same could happen for a high di/dt and low ground surge impedance. Test data have shown that connection of continuous counterpoise to JCN cable near the riser pole arrester will reduce jacket voltages by up to 50 percent for fast-front waveforms and 35 percent for slow-front waveforms (General Electric. the jacket peak voltage can be accurately represented by the product of the pole ground conductor current and the surge impedance of the ground rod. For the configuration depicted in Figure 5. it also lowers both the ground potential rise and the L di/dt component of the down-lead voltage. In both cases.6.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 9 1 5 EXAMPLE 5. the peak jacket voltage is caused mainly by the surge current magnitude: I (R + RG). For a standard 8 × 20 µs current waveform.22. Connecting a continuous counterpoise at the riser pole ground rod. in amperes per second EXAMPLE 5.2. S2.6 Vng = I(R + RG) + L di/dt where: Vng I R RG L di/dt = = = = = = Riser pole neutral-to-ground voltage. The jacket voltage at the transformer or receiving end of the cable will not be the same as the sending end because the voltage on the cable neutral is determined by the respective currents flowing in each ground and the resistance of each ground. If the pole ground has a surge impedance of less than 15 ohms. The receiving end voltage will always be the smaller of the two. With the counterpoise run to the top of the riser pole. Because R is less than RG. its surge impedance is connected directly in parallel with the surge impedance of the concentric neutral and the down-lead conductor.1: No Counterpoise Added (Switches S1. One component of the peak jacket voltage at the sending end of the cable is then equal to the ground potential rise caused by surge current flow through the ground rod. in ohms Pole ground conductor inductance. in volts Current in riser pole ground conductor. most of the current will be diverted to the ground rod. Smaller Resistance (Switch S2 Closed. the counterpoise will present a 150-ohm impedance in parallel with the riser pole ground rod. thus. the total neutral-to-ground voltage can be represented by Equation 5.3. the L di/dt component would predominate and produce peak jacket voltage. This connection will reduce the current to the pole ground. However. . maximum di/dt occurs during the initial part of the wavefront. as explained in Example 5. and S3 Open). Another component of the neutral-to-ground voltage at the riser pole is the L di/dt voltage of the pole ground conductor.2: Attaching a 100-Foot Counterpoise to the Riser Pole Ground Rod and the Other End to a Remote. but still should be considered to improve system grounding. the slight decrease in the ground resistance will reduce ground potential rise by a factor depending on the difference between the magnitude of the riser pole ground (RG) and the 150-ohm surge impedance of the counterpoise. July 1990). Initially. When a surge arrester conducts. lightning current will split between the pole ground conductor and the JCN in proportion to their respective surge impedances. in amperes Riser pole ground conductor resistance. for steep-front currents peaking in less than two microseconds. The surge impedance of the concentric neutral depends on the geometry of the cable and the dielectric constant of the jacket material.22. in Henries Surge current rate of rise. S1 and S3 Open). Laboratory tests have shown that the L di/dt component is usually less than the IR component and will peak before the surge current waveform peaks. the peak neutral-to-ground voltage and. EXAMPLE 5.

The final shell is considered the effective resistance is resistance of the area and depends on the driearth surrounding ven depth and the diameter of the ground rod. Counterpoise will reduce jacket voltages to some extent. think of the ground rod as being surrounded by concentric shells of earth (see Figure 5. the shell nearest the rod has the smallest surface area and consequently the greatest resistance.or eight-grounds-per-mile NESC requirement. The resistance of the ground rod and the contact resistance are usually extremely small compared with the earth resistance. counterpoise of 100 to 300 feet should be installed at the riser pole. very similar results will be obtained for JCN cable installed in conduit. A measured ground resistance of 10 ohms or less is desired at riser poles. 6. . A driven ground rod is used to terminate the counterpoise conductor.1 9 2 – Se c t io n 5 5 amount of current on the service neutral.23). Although the previous discussion mentioned only direct-buried JCN cable. These shells have equal thickness. 7. The rod is counted toward the four. depending on soil resistivity and condition. which results in a lower resistance in the shell. 2. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR JACKETED CABLE 1. 5. the ground rod. therefore. if practicable. Obtain a low ground resistance (10 ohms or less is desired) at the riser pole for any jacketed cable installation. the greater the surface area. • Resistance of the contact between the ground rod and the soil directly in contact with the rod. • Multiple ground rods. fast-front or slow-front. the engineer needs to understand ground resistance. This strategy is best to reduce jacket voltages for all types of surges. The counterpoise must be attached to the insulated JCN at the top of the riser pole to obtain optimum jacket voltage reduction. use a three-point or clamp-on ground resistance tester. To measure ground resistance. The conductor is to be random-lay in the same trench as the cable. Ground resistance consists of the following: • Resistance of the ground rod. 4. Counterpoise will not significantly reduce touch potentials on jacketed cable installations. and • Resistance of the body of earth surrounding the ground rod. regardless of the riser pole ground resistance. If a full-length counterpoise cannot be justified economically. To understand earth resistance. an additional shell does not significantly add to the earth The main component resistance surrounding the of ground resistance rod. The farther the shell is from the rod. A continuous counterpoise should be installed to the first transformer for every underground installation. The counterpoise must be surrounded by soil. and • Small grids of ground conductor. At some remote point. 3. The inductance of the pole ground conductor cannot be reduced. System Ground Resistance Measurement and Calculation FIELD MEASUREMENT OF SYSTEM GROUNDS To correctly measure the resistance of a system ground. Therefore. The counterpoise will also divert transformer MOV arrester current from the service neutral in case of a high transformer ground resistance (RT). It also improves the 60-Hz ground resistance at the pad-mounted transformer. Three-Point Meter A three-point ground resistance tester can measure the ground resistance of the following: • A single ground rod. proper safety procedures must be followed.

The tester injects a current through test probe C and grounding electrode X.25: Incorrect Ground Resistance Test Setup. This overlapping produces inaccurate resistance readings. For additional information on this test method. .Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 9 3 5 These measurements must be made before the ground rod or grid is connected to the system ground. If the three electrodes are too close together. Figure 5. the tester cannot practically measure the ground resistance of a long counterpoise. X P C Grounding Electrode Under Test X P Test Probe Test Probe C Grounding Electrode Under Test X Test Probe P Test Probe C 62% of D D Effective Resistance Areas Do Not Overlap Effective Resistance Areas Overlap D Resistance Resistance of Test Probe C Resistance Resistance of Grounding Electrode Distance FIGURE 5. The current (C) terminal and the potential (P) terminal are each connected to separate test probes. The resulting potential drop is measured between test probe P and grounding electrode X. it is important to space the test probes and electrodes correctly.25).24. see IEEE Standard 81. During this test.23: Earth Resistance. This test procedure is known as the Fall-of-Potential Method. The third terminal (X) is attached to the grounding electrode that is being tested. This ground resistance tester has three terminals as shown in Figure 5. Unfortunately. For readings to Current Current FIGURE 5.24 shows the correct test setup.24: Correct Ground Resistance Test Setup. FIGURE 5. then the effective resistance areas of probes C and X will overlap (see Figure 5. The resistance reading shown on the test is the ground resistance of the electrode.

the 62 percent method should place the potential probe outside the effective resistance area of the other two electrodes. Table 5. Table 5. 1981. The maximum dimension is the diagonal distance across the electrode system area.3: Spacing of Test Probes for Testing Resistance of a Single Ground Rod. if four rods form a square with 20-foot sides. To test multiple ground rods or small grids.3 lists the recommended distances for probe C when testing a single ground rod. The preferred placement for P is still at 62 percent of the total distance and is in a straight line between C and the electrical center of the electrode system. Using Table 5. choose the next highest maximum dimension. the spacing must be increased so the effective resistance areas do not overlap. increase the distance to the C probe. This current is detected and used to determine the resistance. which is 40 feet. 1990. Source: Biddle Instruments. This instrument clamps around a ground rod or ground conductor and displays a resistance reading.1 9 4 – Se c t io n 5 5 TABLE 5. Source: AEMC Corp.24. The tester contains a constant voltage source that induces a current into the test ground.4. As shown in Figure 5. This area has a diagonal of approximately 28 feet. Clamp-On Meter Another type of meter used to make ground resistance measurements is the clamp-on ground resistance tester shown in Figure 5. Most newer models have an indicator to signal the operator if the test probe resistance values are excessive or if there is a lack of continuity between the leads and the test electrode. The preferred placement for P is in a straight line between C and X.000 ohms. Probe P is placed at 62 percent of the distance from the ground rod to the C test probe. Most three-point meters have a resistance range of 0 to 500 ohms and are accurate for test probe resistance values of up to 5. For example. The table shows that P should be at 200 feet and C at 320 feet.4 provides a list of recommended spacing for the C and P test probes. Unlike the three-point test.. . Depth of Driven Rod (ft) 6 8 10 12 18 20 30 Distance to P (ft) 45 50 55 60 71 74 86 Distance to C (ft) 72 80 88 96 115 120 140 TABLE 5.26. this measurement is made with the ground rod or conductor still connected to a multigrounded system. Also listed are the distances to the P probe. the electrode system area is 20 feet × 20 feet. Maximum Dimension (ft) 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Distance to P (ft) 40 60 80 90 100 105 120 125 130 140 200 240 280 310 340 365 400 420 440 Distance to C (ft) 80 100 125 140 160 170 190 200 210 220 320 390 450 500 550 590 640 680 710 be correct.4: Spacing of Test Probes for Testing Resistance of an Electrode System.

Source: AEMC Corporation. If the meter is clamped onto a ground loop. several ground conductors and one or more ground rods are bonded together. Ground Resistance of Multigrounded System I E RX Ground Resistance of Ground Rod that is being Tested R1 R2 Rn–1 Rn FIGURE 5. R1 through Rn represent the remaining grounds in a multigrounded system. FIGURE 5.99 amperes. Clamping the meter around the ground rod and below the common attachment point should allow an accurate ground resistance reading of the rod. the resistance reading on the meter is basically the value of Rx.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 9 5 5 Figure 5.99 amperes during the test.26: Clamp-On Ground Resistance Tester. If the ground current exceeds 1. the meter must be clamped on a ground rod or conductor that has only one return path to the neutral. Ground loops are often inside pad-mounted transformers. below the point where ground conductors are attached.990 ohms and a ground current range of zero to 1. ground resistance measurements are not possible. clamp meter onto the ground rod itself. For best reading. This meter has a resistance range of two to 1. FIGURE 5.28: Ground Resistance Test Setup for Clamp-On Tester.27 shows a circuit diagram for a multigrounded system with the clamp-on tester in place. Placing the clamp below the loop or disconnecting one side of the loop forces the induced current to flow through the test ground (Rx). Because the parallel combination of R1 through Rn is much smaller than Rx. 1992.28. Front View of Transformer H1B X3 Ground Strap X1 H1A X2 Copper Ground Wire Tank Grounds Copper Ground Wire Clamp-On Ground Resistance Meter (See Note 1) Ground Rod Clamps Note: 1. Therefore. To work properly. Rx represents the ground being measured. the induced current will circulate around the loop and the meter will show a very low resistance reading. most of the voltage drop is across Rx. This test setup is shown in Figure 5. Here.27: Circuit Diagram for Multigrounded System. .

A depth of six to 18 inches is acceptable. It is important that all test probes are driven to the same depth. However. four-point tester has four terminals instead of three (see Figure 5. The two current terminals (C1 and C2) connect to the two outer test probes. The four-point Use a four-point tester is more sensitive than the earth resistance three-point tester.29). in meters Soil resistivity directly affects the resistance-to-ground of a grounding electrode. conducted at substation sites or along transmission lines. After the engineer collects soil data from different areas. If Knowing the soil the cooperative engineer does resistivity helps in not have soil data for the area of underground cable installathe design of an tion. Figure 5. The electrical resistivity is the resistance of a unit cross-sectional area of soil per unit length and is expressed by Equation 5. system. in ohms = Cross-sectional area. Knowing the soil resistivity for a particular site allows the engineer to design adequate grounding for the underground cable system.7. Loose test probes can lead to erroneous readings C2 because of high probe resistance. Four-Point Meter Measuring soil resistivity requires use of a fourpoint earth resistance tester. The cooperative may have soil resistivity data from tests C1 P1 P2 C2 C1 b P1 P2 Small-Sized Electrodes a a a FIGURE 5.7 ρ=R× where: ρ R A L A L = Soil resistivity. The test probes must be equally spaced and in a straight line as shown in Figure 5. then soil resistivity meaadequate grounding surements may be necessary.01 ohms. in ohm-m = Resistance. As tester to measure evident from the name. The two potential terminals (P1 and P2) connect to the two inner test probes.29: Setup for Soil Resistivity Test. The tester injects a current into the two outer probes and measures the Equation 5. he may be able to assign approximate resistivity values throughout the service territory. the threepoint tester will not measure soil resistivity. The tester continues the test setup by placing test leads from the four terminals to the four test probes. Measuring soil resistivity requires that four test probes be driven in the ground. the test probes must have good soil contact.29 also illustrates these connections. measuring values as low as 0. the soil resistivity. in meters2 = Length. Equally important. .1 9 6 – Se c t io n 5 5 SOIL RESISTIVITY MEASUREMENTS In addition to thermal resistivity (discussed in Section 4 of this manual). It will probably become apparent that each different soil type present in the service area has a relatively narrow range of resistivity. These approximate values can be used instead of measuring the soil resistivity for every underground system that is to be installed. This tester is similar to the three-point tester and can be used to measure the resistance-to-ground of a ground electrode. soil has an electrical resistivity.29.

then the operator needs to pour water around each test probe to help reduce the test probe resistance so measurements can be made. For example. TABLE 5. Different soil types have different resistivity values. This resistance value is what the operator reads when making soil resistivity measurements. Adapted from IEEE Standard 81-1983. If the tester still shows high probe resistance. Moisture and chemical content.5: Soil Resistivities for Different Soil Types and Geological Formations. the tester determines the resistance. Earth Resistivity (ohm-m) 1 Sea Water Loam 10 Unusually Low Clay Chalk 30 Very Low Chalk Trap Diabase 100 Low Shale Limestone 300 Medium Sandstone Shale Limestone Sandstone 1. he should first check to see if test probes are secure in the ground. This apparent resistivity is the average resistivity for a block of soil with a depth equal to the spacing between the test probes.000 High Coarse 3. If an operator gets this indication. and Seasonal variations. including the following: • • • • Soil type. Using these two values. if the test probe spacing is five feet. the operator needs to take measurements at various probe spacings.5. as shown in Table 5. Elements Affecting Soil Resistivity Several elements affect soil electrical resistivity. refer to IEEE Standard 81-1983.000 Unusually High Surface Layers Dolomite Sandstone Quartzite Slate Granite Gneiss Cretaceous Tertiary Quaternary Carboniferous Triassic Cambrian Ordovician Devonian Precambrian and Combination w/Cambrian Quaternary . (For more information on this test method. the operator needs to drive rods deeper or relocate one or more rods.000 Very High Sand and Gravel in 10.) Most four-point testers give indication of high probe resistance. Temperature. then the resistance reading is the average resistivity to a depth of five feet. The resistance value shown on the four-point tester is a function of the apparent soil resistivity. To get a complete soil profile. If test probes are loose.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 9 7 5 corresponding potential drop between test probes P1 and P2. Test accuracy will not be affected if the probe spacing significantly exceeds the diameter of the wetted area.

1 9 8 – Se c t io n 5 5 Typically.31 shows the effect of salt in soil that contains 30 percent moisture. To illustrate this effect.000 5. Temperatures above freezing have little effect on resistivity. However. Adapted from IEEE Standard 80-1986.31: Effects of Salt Content on Resistivity in Soil Containing 30 Percent Moisture. 1981. The resulting content decreases electrolyte improves the consoil resistivity. Table 5. the decrease in resistivity is minimal after the salt content reaches five percent. A third element affecting soil resistivity is temperature. The amount of dissolved salt that is present in the soil also affects the resistivity.30). reduces the soil resistivity.6: Effect of Temperature on Soil Resistivity. the soil resistivity decreases. 10.000 Soil Resistivity (Ω-m) Ω 1. Temperature Resistivity °F 68 50 32 (water) 32 (ice) 23 14 (ohm-m) 72 99 138 300 790 3. The moisture dismoisture and salt solves the naturally occurring salts in the soil. the soil resistivity increases rapidly. As the salt content increases. .6 shows 40 45 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Percentage Moisture FIGURE 5. the resistivity decreases. soil resistivity measurements often show different values at different depths.000 500 100 50 Moisture and chemical content dramatically affect soil An increase in resistivity.30: Effects of Moisture on Soil Resistivity. thus. However. the earth surface is composed of layers of different soil types.000 Soil resistivity varies as a result of seasonal changes.000 500 TABLE 5.000 5.300 100 50 °C 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Percentage Salt 0 -5 -15 FIGURE 5. Soil Resistivity (Ω-m) Ω 1. as the temperature drops below freezing. These soil types have varying resistivities. This decrease is rapid until the moisture content reaches 20 percent to 30 percent (see Figure 5. As the moisture content increases. Adapted from Biddle Instruments. 10. The graph of Figure 5. therefore. Adapted from IEEE Standard 80-1986. duction of current through the soil and.

Soil temperature and moisture content usually vary throughout the year. The ground resistance of an electrode is a function of the soil resistivity and the electrode geometry. Because seasonal changes can affect soil resistivity.8 ρ= 4πaR 2a a 1+ – 2 + 4b2 2 + b2 a a where: ρ = Soil resistivity. At the freezing point. Equation 5. in ohms a = Spacing between test probes. If the loss of moisture increases the soil resistivity by 50 percent. its ground resistance increases. the summer months are often dry. the engineer can get this insystems. Resistance increase caused by loss of soil moisture is a major concern.8. The counterpoise should thus be buried below the frost line. and • Counterpoise.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 1 9 9 5 how temperature affects the resistivity of sandy loam that contains 15. The ground resistance of a counterpoise increases if the soil around it freezes during the winter months. then the ground resistance of the electrode will also increase by 50 percent. the calculations require Use ground resistance knowledge of the soil recalculations to sistivity. ground rods should be driven to a depth that is below the frost line. Using these calculations.6 shows that the soil resistivity increases from 138 to 300 ohm-m at the freezing point. This information is needed to determine an appropriate soil model.8 reduces to ρ = 2πaR The resistivity values can be plotted against the test probe spacings. Equation 5. SIMPLIFIED DESIGN OF GROUNDING SYSTEM USING RESISTIVITY DATA Resistance-to-ground (ground resistance) calculations can be used when a grounding system is designed. formation from a soil resistivity test as described earlier in this section. . the engineer can compare the ground resistance of several ground electrode configurations: • A single ground rod. in meters b = Depth of test probe. A rod that extends into the water table has a more stable ground resistance. These changes must be considered when the grounding for an underground system is designed. the resistivity more than doubles. in meters If the depth (b) of the probes is small (five percent of the probe spacing). If the soil resistivcompare grounding ity is unknown. As the soil around the grounding electrode dries out. As a result. This change produces a proportional change in the ground resistance of the counterpoise. soil resistivity also varies throughout the year. Extending ground rods into an area with permanent moisture content can minimize this problem. Therefore. These resistance values must be converted to soil resistivity measurements using Equation 5. Equation for Deriving Resistivity from Resistance Reading The measurements made with a four-point tester are resistance values. Table 5.2 percent moisture. A counterpoise with a ground resistance of 38 ohms in the summer could increase to 83 ohms when the ground freezes. it is important to note the temperature and the soil moisture content of the soil at the time of a four-point soil resistivity test. • Groups of ground rods. in ohm-m R = Resistance readings. This information will help the engineer design a grounding system that performs effectively throughout the year. In some areas. Likewise. A reduction of moisture content from 25 percent to 15 percent can cause electrode resistance to triple.

in meters The equation becomes more complicated for groups of ground rods that are connected. 1936) provides the ground resistance of a single rod. in meters Area occupied by ground rods.9 R= where: R ρ L a = = = = ρ 4L In –1 2πL a Equation 5. in ohm-m Ground rod length.14 R= where: R ρ L a d = = = = = ρ 2L In –1 πL ad The most simple grounding electrode is a single ground rod. in ohms Soil resistivity. in meters Radius of counterpoise. in meters Distance between ground rods. in ohm-m Length of counterpoise. in meters Ground resistance. the area (A) occupied by the group of rods and a coefficient (K1) affect the equation. in meters Distance between ground rods.12 R= where: R ρ L a A ρ 4L 2K L In –1 + 1 n – 1 2πnL a A = = = = = 2 Ground resistance. in meters Equation 5. in ohms Soil resistivity. in ohms Soil resistivity. In addition to individual rod geometry. in ohms Soil resistivity. in ohm-m Length of counterpoise.10. If the spacing between the rods is greater than the rod length (s > L).10 R= ρ 4L ρ L2 2 L4 1– 2 + In –1 + 3s 4πL a 4πs 5 s4 = = = = = Ground resistance. The coefficient K1 is related to the geometry of the rod group and can . in meters Depth of counterpoise burial.2 0 0 – Se c t io n 5 5 Equation 5. Equation 5. in meters2 K1 = Constant obtained from Figure 5. use Equation 5. use Equation 5.11. in meters where: R ρ L a d where: R ρ L a s Equation 5.11 R= ρ 4L 4L s s2 s4 + In + In –2 + – 2 4πL a s 2L 16L 512L4 = = = = = Ground resistance.9 (Dwight. If the spacing is less than the length (s < L). The ground resistance of two ground rods in parallel separated by a distance. in ohms Soil resistivity.32 n = Number of rods in the group where: R ρ L a s Equation 5. is given in Equations 5. in ohm-m Ground rod length. Ground resistance. in meters Depth of counterpoise burial. in meters Equation 5. in ohms Soil resistivity.13 R= ρ 2L L 2d d2 d4 + In In –2 + – 2 + 4 L 2L 2πL a d L = = = = = Ground resistance. 1936). in meters Ground rod radius. in meters Ground rod radius.11 (Dwight. in meters Ground rod radius. s. in ohm-m Ground rod length. in meters Ground rod radius. in ohm-m Ground rod length. in meters Radius of counterpoise.10 and 5.

25 A 1.5. 250 Ω-m 4 × 2. provides a suitable approximation of the ground resistance value. However.44m In –1 = 96.32 or from the associated equation.44 m a = .40 1. Equation 5. For these cases.41 Curve B: For Depth h = K1 = –0.) = 0. a simpler equation. .0095 m By substituting the values. the ground resistance decreases.13 Area 6 Area 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Length-to-Width Ratio. As the separation increases.0095m R= be obtained from the graph of Figure 5.32: Coefficient K1 for Ground Resistance Calculations. and 5. 5.)(0. Equation 5.3048 m/ft) = 2. In underground system applications.9: ρ 4L In –1 2πL a R= where: ρ = 250 Ω-m L = 8 ft (0. Equation 5. 1936).35 1. X FIGURE 5.75 in.14.10 1.85 Curve A: For Depth h = 0 K1 = –0. Examples 5. To calculate the ground resistance. Adapted from IEEE Standard 80-1986.8Ω 2π(2.20 B Curve C: For Depth h = K1 = –0.4: A Single 8-Foot × 3/4-Inch Ground Rod Driven in Soil with a Resistivity of 250 Ohm-M.0254 m/in.15 1.44m) 0. use Equation 5.13 provides the ground resistance of a counterpoise (Dwight.20 Coefficient K1 1.4.05x + 1.30 1. the length of the counterpoise is often much greater than the depth of burial. EXAMPLE 5.00 0.90 0.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 0 1 5 1.6 illustrate how the ground resistance of a grounding system changes for different configurations.04x + 1. the spacing between the ground rods affects how much the ground resistance decreases.05x + 1.12 provides the ground resistance of a group of ground rods (Schwarz.5 (. Increasing the number of ground rods is one way to decrease the ground resistance.05 C 1. 1954).95 0.

2 ohms.) = 0. Because two identical rods have the same ground resistance.44m)4 250 Ω-m 4 × 2. For a spacing of 16 feet.5: Two 8-Foot × 3/4-Inch Ground Rods Placed 5 Feet Apart.44m 4 × 2.0095m 4π(4.11: R= ρ 4L 4L s s2 s4 In + In –2 + – + 4πL a s 2L 16L2 512L4 where: ρ = 250 Ω-m L = 8 ft = 2.44m 16(2. The distance between the rods can be increased until there is no mutual resistance effect.7 ohms. R= 250 Ω-m 4 × 2.6: Two Rods Spaced 16 Feet Apart.(0.) = 0.0254 m/in.44m)2 In –1+ 1– + = 52. The ground resistance of the two rods is equal to the parallel combination of two individual rods. 1 R = (96.44m)2 512(2.375 in.44m) 0. the limiting ground resistance value is 1 R = R1 2 where: R1 = 96.(0.88m) The increased spacings reduced the ground resistance from 57.3048 m/ft) = 4.375 in.88m) 5 (4.44 m By substituting the values. For the two eight-foot by 3/4-inch ground rods.52m (1. use Equation 5.4 Ω 2 This is not a significant improvement from the 52.0095m 1. use Equation 5. the ground resistance becomes even lower.44m)4 a = 0. approximately 40 percent. R= a = 0. .8 Ω) = 48.8 to 57.0254 m/in.52m)4 In + In –2 + – + = 57.44m 1.44 m By substituting the values.8 Ω By substituting the values.44m) 0. EXAMPLE 5.3048 m/ft) = 1.88 m 2 (2.7Ω 4π(2. If the two rods are spaced further apart. Because the spacing is less than the ground rod length (s < L).2 ohms at a 16-foot spacing.10: R= ρ 4L P L2 2 L4 In –1 + 1– 2 + 3s 4πL a 4πs 5 s4 where: ρ = 250 Ω-m L = 8 ft = 2. the parallel resistance is one-half the single rod ground resistance.2 0 2 – Se c t io n 5 5 EXAMPLE 5.44m 250 Ω-m (2.88m)4 4π(2.2Ω 2 3(4.0095 m s = 16 ft (0.52m)2 (1.7 to 52.52m 2 × 2.0095 m s = 5 ft (0.52 m The addition of a second rod reduced the ground resistance from 96.

The soil resistivity test may Another way to reduce show that the soil has two layground resistance is to Increasing the rod ers with different resistivity increase the rod length. If a driven rod is in (See Example 5.5 Meters) .8. For example. Here. 16 Feet (4.44m) 0.52m)2 5 Feet (1. 250 Ω-m 4 × 2.12.) 5 Feet (1. duces the ground resistance of the rod.2Ω 2π(4)(2.44 m a = 0.44m 2(1. its ground resistance will differ ground resistance.88 m)2 FIGURE 5. then Soil resistivity influences ground resistance. for exlayer has a lower resistivity than the upper layer ample.375)(2.5 Meters) FIGURE 5. R= 250 Ω-m 4 × 2.) contact with the two layers.375 (obtained from Figure 5.44m) 0.33: Grouping of Four Ground Rods with 16-Foot Spacing.44m) 2 In –1 + 4 – 1 = 42.9 Meters) where: ρ = 250 Ω-m L = 2. then driving a rod into the lower layer redecreases the ground resistance by 20 percent.0095 m By substituting the values.44m) 2 In –1 + 4 – 1 = 29.33. (See Example 5.0095m (1. For this example.375)(2. length decreases the values. The area occupied by the rods also affects the ground resistance.44m 2(1. Ground from the ground resistance in resistance is directly proporhomogeneous soil. A smaller area results in a higher ground resistance. R= n = 4 K1 = 1.34. If the lower tional to soil resistivity. use the layout of Figure 5. consider the arrangement of Figure 5. Using Equation 5.8Ω 2π(4)(2.7: Group of Four Rods.34: Grouping of Four Ground Rods with 5-Foot Spacing.88m)2 Increasing the Increasing the number of ground number of ground rods decreases the rods decreases the ground resistance. a 20 percent decrease in soil resistivity does. Using a grouping of four ground rods gives a more dramatic improvement.9 Meters) R= ρ 4L 2K L In –1 + 1 n – 1 2πnL a A 2 16 Feet (4.32) A = (4.0095m (4.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 0 3 5 EXAMPLE 5.9. ground resistance.

ρa.300 2. the resistance of a single eight-foot rod changes from 96.600 Equation 5.7 ohms.15 is valid only when the ground rod is in contact with both soil layers (IEEE Standard 80-1986). ρ2H + ρ1(L – H) L(ρ1ρ2) This table shows how difficult it is to achieve a low ground resistance with a single eight-foot ground rod.0095m where: R250 = 96.88m In –1 = 54.9: Change in Soil Resistivity. TABLE 5. Use Equation 5. Soil resistivity often decreases substantially between the surface and a depth of 24 feet. this calculation has used the assumption that the average soil resistivity is constant for eight-foot. ρ.32m) 0. This resistance can be calculated in two ways.15. a 44 percent reduction. 16-foot. 250Ω-m 4 × 4. If the ground rod length is 24 feet (7.7Ω 2π(2.0 ohms.88m) 0.7: Ground Resistance in Varying Soil Resistivities.7 shows the ground resistance of a single eight-foot by 3/4-inch ground rod driven in varying soil resistivities.9 with ρ = 100 ohm-m: R= 100Ω-m 4 × 2. ρa.8: Increase in Rod Length. as defined in Equation 5.4) to 54.7 Ω 250 The second method calculates R based on its direct proportionality to ρ: R100 100 Ω-m = R250 250 Ω-m R= Doubling the rod length decreased the ground resistance from 96.88 m a = 0. Equation 5.0095m R= This is a reduction of 61 percent. then the following results: 250Ω-m 4 × 7.4) to 38. Ground Resistance R (ohm) 10 15 25 50 75 100 500 1.8 Ω R100 = 96. and 24-foot rods.15 ρa = where: ρa = Apparent resistivity. replaces the soil resistivity.3048 m/ft) = 4. . Table 5. in ohm-m ρ1 = Soil resistivity of top layer. The first uses Equation 5. If the soil resistivity is 100 instead of 250 ohm-m.44m) 0.000 Soil Resistivity (ohm-m) 26 39 65 130 195 260 1. in Equations 5.44m In –1 = 38.8 (Example 5.2Ω 2π(7.32m In –1 = 38. The apparent resistivity.2 0 4 – Se c t io n 5 5 EXAMPLE 5.0095m R= where: ρ = 250 Ω-m L = 16 ft (0. in meters H = Thickness of top soil layer.0Ω 2π(4.12.8 Ω 100 = 38. This is generally not the case. in ohm-m ρ2 = Soil resistivity of bottom layer. However.32 m).8 (Example 5. in ohm-m L = Ground rod length.0095 m By substituting the values.9 through 5.9 to calculate the ground resistance of a 16-foot ground rod: ρ 4L In –1 2πL a EXAMPLE 5. in meters Calculating the effect of a two-layer soil requires the use of an apparent soil resistivity.

6 Ω-m (50 Ω-m)(1.52m) Equation 5.52m) + 250 Ω-m (4.52m) ρa 2πL The value ρa replaces ρ in Equation 5.3048 m/ft) = 1. ρa = where: ρ1 ρ2 L H = = = = ρ2H + ρ1(L – H) L(ρ1ρ2) 250 Ω-m 50 Ω-m 2.52m) + 250 Ω-m (2.0095 m Substituting the values yields the following: R= 99.8 (Example 5.10: The Effect of a Tw0-Layer Soil with a Top-Layer Resistivity of 250 Ohm-M and a Bottom-Layer Soil Resistivity of 50 Ohm-M.44m) 0.4Ω 2π(4.52 m Substituting the values yields the following: ρa= 2.44 m a = 0.0 ohms.6Ω-m 4 × 4.88m In –1 = 14. Using Equation 5. a 16-foot (4.9: R= In 4L –1 a where: ρa = 99.0095m R= The presence of a more conductive lower layer reduced the ground resistance of a 16-foot rod to 14. The top-layer thickness is 5 feet.7Ω-m 4 × 2.7 Ω-m (50 Ω-m)(1.44m – 1.8. The lower layer is even more effective if a longer ground rod is driven. as calculated in Example 5. For example.0095m Rod contact with the more conductive lower layer reduced the ground resistance of a single eight-foot rod from 96.88 m) rod changes ρa to ρa = 4.44m(250 Ω-m)(50 Ω-m) =99.9 yields the following: 66.44m In –1 = 38.6Ω 2π(2.88m) 0. .88m(250 Ω-m)(50 Ω-m) =66.6 ohms.44 m 5 ft (0.4 from 54.88m – 1.4) to 38.15.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 0 5 5 EXAMPLE 5.7 Ω-m L = 2.

13) is another element that affects ground resistance.12: More Conductive Soil.) = 0.48m) (0.48 m). For example. if the counterpoise length is increased to 200 feet (60. a 60 percent reduction in ρ produces a 60 percent reduction in R.11).52 m 250Ω-m 2 × 30. then. R= ρ 2L L 2d d2 d4 In + In –2 + – 2 + 4 L 2L 2πL a d L where: ρ = 250 Ω-m L = 30.48m)4 2π(30.13: Counterpoise Burial Depth.52m)4 In + In –2 + – + = 14.) = 0.11: Counterpoise of #2 AWG Conductor Buried 30 Inches Deep for a Distance of 100 Feet. A more conductive soil (a lower ρ) also reduces the ground resistance.0037m)(0. This is a 60 percent reduction from 15.0037 m d = 1. Substituting the values yields the following R= 250Ω-m 2 × 30. and 5.0037m)(0.76m) EXAMPLE 5.52 30. Therefore. If the burial depth is increased to 60 inches (1. (0.0254 m/in.8 ohms (Example 5.13 calculate the ground resistance of different counterpoise configurations. The depth of burial (see Example 5. use Equation 5.52m)2 (1.0037 m A more conductive soil reduces the ground resistance.48m Doubling the burial depth decreases the ground resistance by only 1.76 m 1/2 (0.292 in.48m)2 2 × (30. then 250Ω-m 2 × 60.12.13.48 m 30 in.0037m)(0.48m 2 × 1.96m In –1 = 8. EXAMPLE 5. The burial depth is much smaller than the counterpoise length (d < L).3048 m/ft) = 30. the ground resistance decreases. 5.3Ω π(30.2 0 6 – Se c t io n 5 5 EXAMPLE 5.48m In –1 = 6. as seen in Example 5.8Ω π(60. 250 Ω-m 100 ft (0. using Equation 5. If the soil resistivity is 100 ohm-m instead of 250 ohm-m.8Ω π(30.48m In –1 = 15.48 m Substituting the values yields the following: R= a = 0.96m) (0.48m 30.0037m 1.1Ω (30.0254 m/in.76m) As the length of the counterpoise increases. or about 11 percent.96 m).52m (1.12.48m) (0.76m) R= Doubling the counterpoise length reduced the ground resistance by 44 percent.11.48m) 0. Because soil resistivity and ground resistance are directly proportional.)(0. . a 100-foot counterpoise will have a ground resistance of: R= 100Ω-m 2 × 30.14: R= where: ρ L d a = = = = ρ 2L In –1 πL ad Examples 5.7 ohms.52 m) and the counterpoise length remains at 100 feet (30.

Protection of underground systems served from overhead lines is complex. Because some underground installations are protected only at the riser pole. Shunt capacitors are not needed on most cooperatives’ underground feeders. 25-kV systems require openpoint arresters. These sources do not cause severe extra duty for arresters applied for underground lightning protection because of their infrequent occurrence. Normally. Historical outage data at 25 kV has shown additional dead-front arresters are justified at cable taps and additional transformer locations. underground cable insulation is not self-restoring like overhead insulation because it is not surrounded by air.) Most cooperatives install open-point arresters on both 12. The critical case generally involves lightning striking the line within one span of the riser pole. slow-wavefront lightning currents left on the overhead line after an insulator flashover (Parrish.2 kV and 24. the traveling wave phenomenon points out the problem inherent in protecting underground equipment by locating arresters as close as possible to the protected equipment. Accurate solutions to overvoltage problems often require higher mathematics and sophisticated computer simulations. For more information on why certain recommendations were made. Installed cable is the most significant cost of an underground system. As the reflected surge propagates back toward the riser pole. Capacitor switching and currentlimiting fuse operation are two other possible surge sources. Most of the recommendations and protective measures reviewed are based on complicated analyses. consult the references listed at the end of this manual. the doubling effect is transferred throughout the length of the cable.47/7. OVERVIEW In general. because equipment BIL does not double as the system voltage doubles. However. (See Table 5. which. In most instances. a riser pole arrester need operate only for low-magnitude. Overvoltages caused by ferroresonance and possible solutions are presented in Section 6 of this manual. will be cleared by a recloser operation. A lightning surge traveling down the cable from the overhead line will double in magnitude at the open point as it reflects back on itself.94/14. fast-front surges. most of the time. only the results are given. the equipment that must be protected from lightning surges on an underground system is the same as on an overhead system: • Transformers. usually at a transformer. the pole top will flash over. a single arrester at the riser can keep voltages below the BIL withstand of 12. The methods presented in this manual are approximations and should be viewed as such.14 for recommended arrester ratings and locations. But voltage doubling plus reflections on the cable requires a riser pole arrester with the best available characteristics. For high-current-magnitude. Current-limiting fuses usually do not . In theory. Unfortunately.47 kV to reduce insulation voltage stress. Limiting the number and severity of surge voltages will prolong cable life. Underground feeders consist of radial taps from overhead distribution circuits.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 0 7 5 Underground System Surge Protection Protecting underground distribution from lightning surges originating on overhead lines is crucial. bypassing the arrester entirely. Therefore. resulting in reduced protective margins. it is important to provide the proper surge protection.47-kV cable and equipment. Several sources of transient overvoltages of system origin must be considered when surge arresters are applied. A typical installation could be a short run of a few hundred feet or a long rural feeder terminated in an open point. Normal practice is for a cable run to have pad-mounted transformers connected along its route. An underground cable fault is much more expensive to locate and repair than a fault on an overhead line. Overvoltages caused by neutral displacement during line-to-ground faults and voltage regulation are addressed later in this section. Dead-front arresters now available will reduce reflected surge voltages by up to 50 percent. diverting the surge current to the pole ground conductor. 1982). They should be used at 12.4 kV. • Switchgear. and • Cable insulation. Analyzing the effect of transient voltages and currents is one of the most complex subjects in distribution engineering.

It was one of the most significant advances in the history of overvoltage protection. Metal oxide and SiC distribution arresters have some similarities in construction (see Figure 5. The external gap will increase the rated sparkover voltage of an arrester. Continued research to develop a better arrester that would protect large power transformers led to the gapped silicon carbide (SiC) valve arrester. gapped designs exhibited an undesirable characteristic. an NRECA publication entitled Lightning Protection Manual for Rural Electric Systems. by D.2 0 8 – Se c t io n 5 5 cause harmful voltage levels because of circuit impedances and the nonlinear magnetizing impedance of pad-mounted transformers. However. Any discussion of lightning protection requires some knowledge of lightning phenomena and its electrical characteristics. as proven by the wide acceptance of metal oxide technology by electric utilities since the mid-1980s. Volumes of literature have been written on the subject since electricity was harnessed for domestic use. Solving this problem required elimination of the gap. Researchers who continued testing SiC arresters found that. . While this was an important factor with silicon carbide arresters.35). In addition. only MOV arresters will be considered in later discussions of underground system surge protection. The result was the introduction of the gapless metal oxide varistor (MOV) surge arrester in the late 1970s. Figure 5. NRECA Research Project 92-12. the device had to be able to interrupt an arc at a current zero. This need led to the development of the first expulsion arrester. Manufacturers generally no longer make SiC arresters. a gap requires a considerably higher voltage to break down. A thorough review of the subject is beyond the scope of this manual. Silicon carbide provided so many advantages over previous designs that some pundits said no further improvements in the device were needed. Parrish. both of these sources can be minimized by proper equipment selection. Line Connector External Gap Porcelain Insulator Gasket seal Porcelain Housing Compression Spring Valve Element Gap Assembly Gasket & Seal Ground Connector Externally Gapped Silicon Carbide Valve Arrester Line Connector Gasket Seal Gap Assembly Valve Elements Porcelain Housing Compression Spring Ground Lead Disconnector Ground Connector Internally Gapped Silicon Carbide Valve Arrester Gapless MOV Arrester FIGURE 5. For these reasons. offers an excellent starting point and an extensive bibliography for further reading.E. The only real difference besides valve element composition is the gap assembly in the SiC unit. but helps to reduce outages caused by arrester failures. when hit with steep-front waves. SURGE ARRESTER SELECTION Surge Arrester Types The first device connected between line and ground to protect power circuits from lightninginduced overvoltages was the simple air gap. which was possible with the discovery of metal oxide as a valve material. the overvoltage protection benefits of not using external gaps for riser pole applications far outweighs any perceived outage rate reduction.35 also shows an externally gapped SiC arrester. To prevent breaker operation every time the gap flashed over.35: Types of Arresters and Their Construction. For waves with very fast rise times. which adds a sharp spike to the protective characteristic. MOV designs are more efficient and offer better protective margins at the same voltage ratings.

8 × 20 µs bined with a variety of other discharge current wave.* Arrester Rating kV rms 9 10 18 21 Maximum Discharge Voltage for 8 x 20 µs Discharge Current Wave (kV Peak) HD SiC (20 kA) 40 45 81 94 HD MOV (20 kA) 34 37 68 79 RP MOV (20 kA) 27 29 53 62 Riser pole arresters represent a small percentage of the total arrester population on a system and should not contribute significantly to extended outage times. as does an SiC arrester.36: Comparison of Nonlinear Characteristics of SiC and MOV 5. Gapless MOV Arrester In an MOV arrester. 25ºC MOV A series gap is. and AZR400. This valve element property represents a significant advantage over Leakage Current SiC technology in equipment overvoltage protec< 0.36. pere range at normal line-to-ground voltage. and Riser Pole MOV Arresters. The overhead circuit will not suffer an outage in a properly coordinated system. margins can extend cable life and reduce equipThe MOV valve elements are very nonlinear. The nonlinear characteristics of SiC and Current MOV valve elements are compared in Figure FIGURE 5. 1989. Voltage *Characteristics shown are for Cooper Power Systems arrester types EL. Gaibrois. AZL. and Stump. which shows the extreme nonlinearity of Valve Elements. The ingredients are better protective SiC and MOV arresters. ment failures. external gaps should not be used The 60-Hz leakage current is in the low milli-amon MOV arresters for cable circuit protection. failure of the ground lead disconnector to operate properly will affect only the underground feeder. The valve elements or for three MOV heavy-duty distribution class disks are about 90 percent ZnO and are comarresters for a 20-kA. with a very nonlinear volt-amBecause increased protective pere characteristic. MOV. The materials to determine the first two arresters are standard electrical characteristics of the MOV arresters have heavy-duty distribution class varistor. the MOV (Kershaw. which eliminates the need for a series gap to insulate the arrester from ground. without allowing hundreds of amperes Follow Current Current of power follow current to flow. Because most underground risers are fused ahead of the lightning arrester. They are then fired do SiC arresters. Note.8 lists the maximum discharge voltage from zinc oxide (ZnO).1 Amp 100–500 Amps 1–100 kA tion. 1989). The sharp knee of the voltDischarge Voltage ampere curve means that the disks go into conduction at a precise voltage level and stop conducting when the voltage drops below that level. the valve elements are made Table 5.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 0 9 5 TABLE 5. Source: Kershaw. The MOV arrester Neutral Voltage 75ºC eases out of conduction after the surge voltage Power 125ºC Surge passes. The MOV also eases into conduction without producing a sharp voltage spike at the start of a lightning surge.8: Comparison of Protective Characteristics of Heavy-Duty Distribution Class Silicon Carbide. and Stump. veloped especially for riser in a kiln into a ceramic resistor pole applications. Gaibrois. not needed to interSilicon rupt power follow current after a current surge Carbide Normal Line-topasses through the arrester. therefore. The benefits of not using an external gap far outweigh any perceived reduction in quality of service that might occur. The first mixed and then pressed third is a special MOV arrester into disks at extremely high characteristics than with better characteristics depressure. HD = Heavy Duty RP = Riser Pole .

the sparkover characteristics of a gapped silicon carbide arrester will increase for steep-front surges. Figure 5. thus preventing thermal runaway.37: Effect of Fast Rise Times on IR Discharge. Fast wavefronts of one to three microseconds are not uncommon for lightning strokes. It is considered by many experts much too slow to accurately model a lightning surge. Two manufacturers have taken different approaches to solve this problem.4 1. A gapless MOV arrester will not exhibit this behavior. Insulation protection will be reduced accordingly. The response of an arrester to steep-front waves should be considered in the arrester selection process for cable protection.2 1 0 – Se c t io n 5 5 1. temporary overvoltages (TOV) are a primary concern when gapless MOV arresters are applied because they cannot tolerate voltages above the MOV valve-on voltage for long periods. Figure 5. Moreover. More valve elements reduce the leakage current during expected temporary overvoltage conditions. The design provides increased TOV capability and improved protective characteristics over gapless designs.38 shows a cutaway view of the two gapped arresters for riser pole applications and the location of the gaps and disks. One uses a series resistance-graded gap structure and a reduced stack of MOV valve elements. The other uses an increased number of disks for more overvoltage capability.6 0. Spark gaps are then used to short the extra disks during a surge event and give increased protective levels. Internally Gapped MOV Arresters As discussed in the previous subsection.37 illustrates the effects of fast rise time surges for both MOV and SiC arresters as a multiplier of the arrester discharge voltage (Niebuhr.and Shunt-Gapped MOV Distribution Arresters.2 0 Metal Oxide Varistor Arrester 0.8 1.1 1.38: Series.8 0. A standard 8 × 20 µs current wave is used to represent lightning in arrester testing.0 0. Shunt-Gap Module Insulated Terminal Cap MOV Discs Gap(s) Series-Gap Spacer Steel Coil Spring Coil Spring Desiccant Isolator Series-Gap Design Isolator Shunt-Gap Design FIGURE 5.6 1. Comparing the two gapped MOV arrester designs with a heavyduty gapless design shows that a 20 percent reduction in discharge voltage can be obtained. . Inspection of the curves shows that the increase in arrester discharge voltage under steep-front waves is more severe for SiC than for MOV arresters.0 Time (Microseconds) 10 100 FIGURE 5.2 Voltage (Per Unit) Silicon Carbide Arrester 1. A second MOV arrester quality that makes it better suited for cable protection is its protective characteristic when subjected to current surges with fast rise times. 1982).4 0.

The advent of gapless MOV arresters 3 eliminated the concern with gap operation and 2 made the development of dead-front arresters feasible for underground equipment protection. Although these designs have been in the field for some time. Typical installations are in padFeatures: mounted transformer enclosures. Stainless steel end cap to a load-break elbow connector is shown in 5. operatives from considering • Higher temporary overvolttheir use to take advantage of age capability. and switching enclosures. Dead-front arresters have 8 been in service for a number of years and their 9 10 configurations have been standardized for interchangeability. and increased protective margins and better tempo• Increased thermal capacity. Metal oxide valve elements 6. gapped SiC arresters • Stability of internal seals and gaskets in the were used in live-front applications in padpresence of ozone caused by gap operation mounted transformer enclosures with limited inside the housing. 1. and UD systems. Grounding eye A cutaway view of a dead-front design mated 4. Operating eye vaults. The presence overvoltages occur. eco• Changes in arrester characteristics with nomical. success. Ground lead Figure 5. In addition to safety considerations required for live-front operation and the added expense of larger cabinets. Previously. entry cabinets. • Lower discharge voltage of gaps should not prevent cocharacteristics. the two different gapped arresters provide the following improvements over a gapless design: .Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 1 1 5 Arrester engineers have known about these problem Consider gapped areas for years from experiMOV arresters ence with SiC arresters and early gapped MOV station where temporary class arresters. Insert interface 10. signs and accessories provide convenient. to the protected equipment. the gapped arrester relies on a spark-gap operation to protect the 6 5 equipment. Gap operation is sensitive to ground 7 4 planes in enclosures. 1 MOV arresters for underground use are called dead-front arresters because a semi-conducting grounded shield is molded around the insulation and valve elements. application engineers still have a Dead-Front Lightning Arresters few concerns about adding gaps to MOV arresters: Dead-front arresters were developed to solve the major problem inherent in the protection of UD • Gap sparkover variability resulting circuits: locating arresters as closely as possible from erosion.39: Dead-Front Arrester Elbow Configuration. Semiconducting moulded shield 7.39. and reliable means to connect them to time. Probe 9. 3. Various arrester de• Contamination affecting sparkover level. dead-front arrester configurations: According to the manufacturers. Locking ring 2. the arrester sparkover level will be affected. rary overvoltage capability offered by these designs for specific applications. Rubber insulation 8. unless this effect is addressed in the overall design of the protection scheme. The electric utility industry uses three basic FIGURE 5.

For comparison. 25. Parking Stand Arrester. • 40-kA high-current withstand test. Surge protecments are -40°C to 65°C. the IEEE Standard for combined with an insulated parking bushing Metal Oxide Surge Arresters for AC Power Cirfor mounting on a transformer or switching cuits. matching characteristics are not required. It is used mainly to Dead-front MOV arresters connect directly to a transwith elbow connectors. and underground arresters are designed with discharge voltages approximately 20 to 40 percent higher than arresters used for riser pole applications at Bushing Arrester Parking Stand Arrester the same surge current magnitudes. Their discharge voltages are listed only for current surges FIGURE 5. The higher operating temperature requirement is intended to address MOV arrester stability at high application temperatures inside pad-mounted transformer enclosures. Because metal oxide dead-front arresters are considered light-duty devices. whereas the temporary tion is provided while increasing operability maximum arrester temperature is 85°C. former bushing. This arrangement helps reduce transformer faceplate overcrowding. Expected current magnitudes on underground circuits are not as severe as those on overhead circuits because the riser pole arrester operation reduces the surge magnitude on the protected underground cables. now covers the operating characteristics of enclosure parking stand. Thus. 2. . Therefore. Figure 5. under normal service conditions. Dead-front arresters load-break elbow connecare applied close to tor. This is an arrester the three types of dead-front arrester designs. figuration combines an MOV arrester with a long-duration test. they do not have Dead-Front Elbow Arrester the same protective characteristics as heavy-duty and specially designed arresters for riser pole protection. ly to the pad-mounted transformer bushing well.2 1 2 – Se c t io n 5 5 1. Typical use is at dead-front arresters. it is used with arresters are available from a feed-through device or a manufacturers in all three voltfeed-through insert. ambient temperatures set by the standard for overhead arresters are -40°C to 40°C continuous and 65°C maximum. underground arresters may operate at temperatures 25°C higher than overhead arresters. Bushing Arrester.40: Dead-Front Surge Arresters. It is used at the end of a radial circuit The continuous ambient temperature requireor at the open point of a loop. bushing protected equipment. In other arresters. and 35 kV.40 shows 2. Dead-front arresters are the open-point transformer of a loop-feed classified as light-duty arresters capable of passdistribution circuit to park the disconnected ing the following tests: elbow connector. and load-break bushing insert for mounting direct• 5-kA duty cycle test. The bushing arrester con• 75-ampere. 3. This is an and reducing clutter within the MOV arrester used with a transformer.000-µs low-current. age classes: 15. IEEE/ANSI C62. Elbow Arrester.11. and parking stand applications.

If the riser pole leads standard values.4 104.3 53.0 69. The voltage ratarresters for proper short as possible and using arings and maximum continuous current sharing.6 21.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 1 3 5 TABLE 5. Current sharing between the two de2.2 77.70 15. This condition can norTable 5.0 90.10 8. ** Maximum discharge voltage for an 8/20 µs surge current.9 59.5 20 kA 15.0 67.0 34. for fast-front incoming surges.00 19.0 78.0 74.00 1. surge current carried by the up to 20 kA versus 100 kA for riser pole arrester (Osterhout. resters with the same voltage operating voltage (MCOV) are rating.50 22.0 96. rent and the total impedance between them.7 36.3 55. the resent industry values compiled from various dead-front arrester can be overloaded.5 MCOV (kV) 2. Station.5 105.5 99.3 70.4 Discharge Voltage (kV) ** 3 kA 5 kA 10 kA 11.3 61. protective characteristics. and arrester when subjected to the same surge cur4.6 36. Coordinate riser pole 1989). should see between 10 and 20 percent of the For the most part.5 72. vices depends on the discharge voltage of each 3. Intermediate.8 83. Duty Cycle Voltage Rating (kV) 3 6 10 12 15 18 21 24 27 Equivalent Front-of-Wave (kV)* 13. ance plus the ground leads of both arresters.0 12.2 56.30 17. When dead-front arresters and riser pole arresters are applied on UD feeders.1 32.0 85.0 93.5 µs.5 39.3 * Equivalent front-of-wave voltage is the expected discharge voltage of the arrester when tested with a 5-kA current surge peaking in 0.20 12.9: Typical Electrical Ratings and Characteristics of Dead-Front Surge Arresters.5 23.0 87.6 88.0 78.5 65.2 27.0 41.1 24. some heavy-duty designs. especially manufacturers. whereas the are substantially longer than protective characteristics repthe normal three-foot elbow arrester lead.3 130. For thermal capacity.2 31.55 5.5 46.0 46.40 10. and whether pressure relief is required. The total impedance is the cable surge impedThese classifications differ in voltage rating. Secondary.6 86. Proper coordination is required to enThere are four basic classifications of lightning sure the larger riser pole arrester takes the bulk arresters: of the surge current so the discharge capacity of the lighter duty underground arrester is not ex1.3 42.7 50. the major difference between .8 46.9 lists typical ratings and dead-front mally be achieved by keeping and characteristics for deadthe riser pole ground leads as front arresters.5 kA 10. Distribution.4 26. they are considered to be in parallel when subjected to surge Arrester Performance Classes currents.5 47.1 58. stanproper current sharing. the dead-front arrester dard tests.5 103.5 39.5 13.1 123. ceeded.

The units are also much easier to mount on distribution crossarm structures. but their electrical characteristics are kept. The duty-cycle test defines the maximum permissible voltage that can be applied to the arrester and still have it discharge its rated current. and Stump. 1989). Various manufacturers have developed what is called within the industry a “riser pole” class of arrester. Distribution class arresters are usually used on feeders. The first three arrester classes can be used on a distribution system because their voltage ratings overlap. Long Duration Pressure Relief High Current Low Current Transmission Line Discharge Test Required discharge characteristic than a normal-duty distribution class arrester. SURGE ARRESTER APPLICATION FACTORS Voltage Rating The voltage rating of an MOV arrester is based on its operating duty-cycle test. taking blocks with better characteristics and placing them in distribution class housings of porcelain or polymer construction results in better protective characteristics at a reduced cost.2 1 4 – Se c t io n 5 5 TABLE 5. Increasing normal line-to-neutral voltage above the knee of the leakage-current characteristic Not Required Not Required 16. The greater current discharge requirements of the HD designation inherently mean these arresters will have a lower . Because the various classes tend to overlap. and the size and cost of the equipment. This class is not recognized by standards. The explanation above alludes to an important quality of metal oxide arresters. Under most conditions. To obtain better protective characteristics. Gaibrois. Arrester Class Characteristic or Feature Approximate Protective Characteristics (at 10 kA)* Distribution (1-30 kV) 3. For an MOV arrester to be applied.36 shows that the ZnO current characteristic will shift to the right with increasing temperature. These arresters should be strongly considered for any underground application because they provide better protective margins. The proper choice of arrester class depends on the system voltage. Table 5. the voltage rating must be above the maximum expected line-to-ground voltage at which the arrester will have to discharge a current surge. the maximum voltage will occur on the unfaulted phases of a three-phase circuit during a single-line-to-ground fault.11.10 lists the tests required by ANSI/IEEE Standards C62.10: Comparison of Standard Requirements for Surge Arrester Classifications. they can dissipate current surges at higher system voltages than would be seen under normal operating conditions.1 and C62.5 pu Intermediate (3-120 kV) 3.0 pu Station (3-684 kV) 2.1 kA 400–600 A 40–65 kA 400–600 A * In pu of arrester rating Note. The shift also produces increased leakage current. Figure 5. the manufacturers have essentially taken intermediate class blocks and packaged them in different housings. protected equipment insulation level. the easiest way to distinguish among them is to know the different standard tests performed for each class. A larger diameter block reduces IR discharge voltage and greatly increases energy absorption capability and reliability. MOV heavy-duty distribution class arresters are normally used. Because of the thermal properties of metal oxide. In short. The distribution class housing surrenders the pressure-relief capability of intermediate class units. Short Duration Duty Cycle 65 kA (ND) 100 kA (HD) 22-5 kA (ND) 20-10 kA & 2-40 kA (HD) 20-75 A (ND) 20-250 A (HD) 65 kA 5 kA 65 kA 10 kA (>550 kV) 50 kA (550 kV) 20 kA (800 kV) Low Current. The material will remain stable as long as a surge event does not increase the temperature to a point where increasing leakage current causes thermal runaway (Kershaw. whereas intermediate and station class arresters are used in substations. ND = Normal duty. For the protection of underground circuits at riser poles. HD = Heavy duty each arrester class is the physical size of the disk or block.7 pu Current Discharge Requirements High Current.

Typical overvoltage curves are shown in Figure 5.11. For this reason. Source: ever.20 1.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 1 5 5 curve for a sustained period will also cause thermal runaway. Prior D Two system conditions that can affect the uty voltage rating selected for a riser pole MOV arrester application are overvoltages caused by: • Line-to-ground faults.30 as the single-line-to-ground fault mentioned previously. this TABLE 5. A metal oxide arrester will operate suc21 17.50 more than its design energy level.70 MOV arresters is temporary overvoltages. and • Voltage regulation.50 1. plus a continuous overvoltage operating factor.30 1.90 0. Line-to-Ground Faults Selecting the proper MOV arrester voltage rating is based on experience and on calculated overvoltage values for the unfaulted phases of threephase circuits during a single-line-to-ground 1.0 10 Permissible Duration (Seconds) 100 1.000 FIGURE 5. 12 10.80 0.05 × 12.00 cessfully as long as it is not required to dissipate 24 19.10 1.20 Another consideration in the application of 15 12.11: Metal Oxide Surge Arrester factor is often considered to be five percent.55 system voltage (1. the selection of an MOV arrester is based on the MCOV applied across the arrester during normal service. Line-to-Ground Faults.56 kV for a 12.00 amount of energy the arrester must dissipate 30 24.40 60-Hz Voltage—Per Unit Arrester Rating 1. such 18 15. voltage. thermal runaway will not occur and the arrester will not fail.65 the next subsection. .00 0.1 60ºC Ambient 1. For arresters on An MOV arrester effectively grounded systems. The MCOV requirement would be 7. rating is set by its the MCOV is based on the nominal system line-to-neutral MCOV. Similar curves should be considered when No Pr an arrester is subjected to system overvoltage ior Du ty conditions.41.41: Temporary 60-Hz Overvoltage Capability Curves— Typical MOV Distribution Arrester. If the overvoltage on the arrester is reduced to its MCOV before it gets too hot. A more thorough discussion of MOV arrester voltage rating selection is given in 9 7. HowRatings in (kV) Root Mean Square.10 most conditions. review the system operating characteristics to deDuty-Cycle Voltage MCOV termine the applicable factor.47-kV nominal 3 2. Operating time above arrester voltage rating is set by the 27 22. For well-regulated systems.40 during the event. Temporary overvoltage capability curves are published by each manufacturer for its products.11-1987. 10 8.40 The standard voltage rating and MCOV for all distribution class arresters are shown in Table 5.47 kV ÷ 3) under 6 5. the engineer selecting MOV arresters should ANSI/IEEE C62.

not secphases of a loaded circuit. The Pick the next higher bulletin does not limit voltage • Minimum service voltage = fluctuations on feeders.2 × 50 µs.47-kV system is 7.42 shows the current arrester temporary overvoltage curves. surge arrester and its leads. The calcuthat its rise time to peak is 8 µs with a time-tolated overvoltage is then compared with the MOV half value of 20 µs. The calculation for a not at these possible higher voltages.05 when voltage limits are as follows: . For an SiC arrester to occur for sustained periods. and percent voltage increase on a 12. primary cables. For riser pole called the protective margin. ground rod spacing. Voltage Regulation RUS Bulletin 1724D-112. The voltage rating is onds. fault resistance. some cooperatives are now using a factor of 1. which would lead to the selection of the next higher arrester duty-cycle voltage rating at 12.and 18-kV MOV arresters are inequal to the arrester rating. the next higher to operate. The Range A factor is 1. with a 9-kV riser pole arrester would lead to about a four percent MCOV overvoltage on the The 1. • Maximum service voltage = when unsure about lightly loaded underground 126 Volts. The standard lightning curwire size. The most common application rule for open-wire.035 pu of factor of 20 percent.47-kV feeder • Maximum service voltage = 7.2 in Equation 5. tral shift exists.560 Volts.16 represents MCOV rating). Figure 5. This application rule is very conservative for Range A voltage levels must not be exceeded SiC arresters. Insulation strength is effective grounding might not be achieved. meaning earth resistivity. which is based accurate estimate of the voltage on the unfaulted on the industry standard lightning voltage wavephases can be calculated by factoring in ground shape of 1. If higher voltages are known over far exceeds the rating. Capac114 Volts.840 Volts. four-wire wye. a transient voltage surge will have to arrester duty-cycle voltage rating should be used occur while the 60 Hz overvoltage due to neu(10 kV and 21 kV). effectively grounded systems is shown in Equation 5. An commonly referred to as the BIL.05 × 1. The Application of Capacitors on Rural Electric Systems.25. The maximum calculated voltage is on feeders if 9. to-neutral system voltage. effective groundthe percentage that insulation strength exceeds ing can be assumed with a reasonable degree of the maximum surge voltage allowed by the accuracy. With the installation of jacketed cable.47 and 25 kV (10 kV and 21 kV rather than 9 kV and 18 kV). The same rule is not as conservative for metal Protective Margin oxide arresters unless it is known that the sysThe level of protection provided by an arrester is tem is truly effectively grounded. When in fault. A 10 • Minimum service voltage = 6. It can be defined as applications with BCN cable.25 times the nominal linevalve elements has been proven at the MCOV.35 instead of 1. Prior duty 12. or voltage regovervoltage duration.16 Arrester Rating ≥ (Line-to-neutral voltage) × (Range A factor 1. Equation 5. ulator malfunction can lead to The equivalent primary voltsystem voltages up to 10 perage values are as follows: cent above nominal without the cooperative’s immediate knowledge.25 = 9 kV.2 1 6 – Se c t io n 5 5 Equation 5.16 represents a safety arrester (120 × 1.1 × 60 ÷ 7. rent waveshape is an “8 × 20” wave.16. on the arrester will also increase thermal aging. and arrester rating itor operation at light loads. calls for maximum service voltages to be no greater than five percent above nominal for Range A voltage limits. The long-term stability of metal oxide then equivalent to 1. and arrester sparkstalled on the system.65 kV = 1. The problem is that these feeder the maximum voltage rise on the unfaulted overvoltages may be present for hours.2) doubt. and system impedance.200 × 1.

For example. A lead voltage of 1.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 1 7 5 I I/2 0µs 10µs 20µs Time 100µs FIGURE 5. 8 × 20 current surge is 26.5 kV. which must be added to the discharge voltage to calculate the total protective margin. 8 × 20 µs current wave.4 microhenries per foot (µH/ft). Research data have shown that the average rise time for a typical lightning stroke.17. is closer to 4 kA/µs than the 1.25 kA/µs value mentioned above. a heavy-duty MOV riser pole arrester with a 9-kV rating might have a maximum discharge voltage of 24. For surges that . which is defined as the rate of current increase per microsecond.14: Protective Margin Calculation for Riser Pole Application: Industry Standard 4 kA/µs Average Rise Time for Lightning Strokes Assumed.5 + 2(16) PM(%) = [3.47-kV riser pole installation is protected by a 10-kV MOV arrester connected with a two-foot lead. This test wave is used to establish comparative IR discharge voltage data shown in catalogs of arrester characteristics. in kV LV = Lead voltage. For more information on this subject.6 kV/ft of lead. Assume a 12. As noted earlier in this section. This current wave produces approximately a 10-kA/8 µs = 1. Surge current rise times vary with each lightning discharge. which is much slower than a typical stroke discharged by an arrester.42: Typical Test Current Waveshape: Sinusoidal Wavefront. in kV IR = Arrester discharge voltage. After other elements are considered. Researchers have reported rise times higher than 10 kA/µs for more than 50 percent of stroke currents.6 kV/ft will be assumed.43 and are more representative than the 8 × 20 µs wave.25 kA/µs average Rate of Rise The standard 8 × 20 µs current waveshape used for testing was intended to represent a typical lightning stroke. Recent field tests and recorded data show much greater variation than that represented by the standard.5 kV when impulsed with a 10-kA. Standards recognize that some fast-front surge conditions produce current waves peaking in less than eight microseconds.0 kA/µs gives a voltage of 4. Equipment BIL is 95 kV. Comparing the above margin with the 20 percent recommended industry standard shows the installation is more than adequately protected. see the IEEE guide on arrester lead length calculations.1 to 30 µs with current magnitudes greater than 110 kA. Arrester IR discharge voltage for a 10-kA. The inductance of solid wire used for connections is a constant and is typically assumed to be 0. typical rise times can vary anywhere from 0. the change in current magnitude with time is sometimes expressed as di/dt. in kV rise time. Maximum rise rates greater than 75 kA/µs have been recorded. Using a di/dt of 4. Probability data from recorded lightning strokes are shown in Figure 5.20 –1] × 100 PM = 220% waveform. EXAMPLE 5. The protective margin for a cable installation may be calculated using the following basic formula in Equation 5. it will be shown that the above level of protection is optimistic in most cases. To calculate protective margin.17 PM(%) = BIL –1 × 100 IR + LV where: BIL = Equipment BIL.0 × (0. According to recent data compiled on electrical parameters of lightning return strokes. add the L di/dt inductive voltage drop in the arrester leads carrying surge current to the arrester discharge voltage. Equation 5.4) = 1. Current (kA) PM(%) = 95 –1 × 100 26.

characteristic to . assume a time-to-peak of one microsecond. unlike oil-filled equipat half the speed of light.9. It denotes lated.43: Lightning Rise Time to Peak. install an arrester with low discharge charto peak than the standard 8 × 20 µs test wave will acteristics at the riser pole. the CWW of a cable is considered reflection doubles the voltage at the open point equal to its BIL for all surge voltage waveshapes. and along the cable as the incoming and reFor the comparison of various arrester characflected waves overlap.and 12. Voltage doubling on the teristics under these conditions.4 µH/ft gives a lead wire voltage drop of between four and eight kilovolts per foot.5 µs.47-kV systems using three 5.2 1 8 – Se c t io n 5 5 0 17% Percentage Probability That Time to Peak Will Equal or Be Less Than the Time Shown on the X Axis 20 Percentage Probability 40 60 57% 80 100 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Time to Peak (Microseconds) FIGURE 5. For the purpose of insulation open point on a loop. including pad-mounted transformers. it reflects on itself. Discharge voltages from surge The insulation strength of arresters travel through a cable cable.13 compare protective marSiC arresters. an Equivalent cable system must be considered when protecFront-of-Wave (FOW) protective level was derived tive margins of arrester installations are calcuspecifically for gapless MOV arresters. 10-kA. For oil-filled equipment. The BIL margin percentThe curves show that the IR characteristic of an ages are calculated using the industry standard SiC arrester increases approximately 30 percent. This increased voltage is more severe for Tables 5. peak in two microseconds or less. The CWW insulation MOV arrester is the arrester discharge voltage withstand is based on a 10-kA surge current for current pulses having a time-to-peak of that produces a discharge voltage that peaks in about 0. different arrester types. The consensus has narrowed the rate down to between 10 and 20 kA/µs. arresters be used along use the FOW with lead length voltage of six kilovolts per foot.12 and 5. To minimize the surge voltage entering a the fact that a surge current with a faster rise time cable. depending on experience and the frequency of lightning in the area. which is assumed while the MOV increase is about 10 percent.6 µs. referring to Figure gins on 24. ment.37. The resulting peak voltage is the value listed in tables of arrester characteristics. and high rate-of-rise surges produce greater voltages per foot of lead. Multiplying by 0. This current waveshape produces a voltage wave across the arrester peaking in 0. does not increase as the When a traveling wave rise time of the applied surge reaches a point of high impedance such as an voltage decreases. This coordination. some application engineers recommend that FOW protective levels for MOV For fast-front waves. the CWW is 15 calculate protective Lead Length percent higher than the BIL. connected with the produce a higher discharge voltage in an MOV shortest leads possible. margin. fast-front surge conditions put maximum stress on cable insulation. the insulation strength is the Chopped Wave Withstand (CWW). Because FOW characteristics for MOV arresters are higher than standard discharge 8 9 voltages.6-kV/ft inductive voltage drop in The equivalent FOW characteristic for an the series arrester leads. 8 × 20 µs waveshape. When protective margins are calculated. to produce 1. The question of what rate of rise to use with the equivalent FOW characteristic is still an open debate among protection engineers. arrester. For example.

Arrester lead length is the combined line and ground lead length in series with the arrester and in parallel with the cable’s termination. 24.12: Protective Margin. the protective margins drop drastically when lead length effects are included. 0.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 1 9 5 Lead = 18” Lightning Arrester Lead = 18” JCN Cable FIGURE 5. Arrester Data 10 kA IR (kV Peak) Arrester Type Heavy-Duty SiC Heavy-Duty MOV Riser Pole MOV 8 × 20 69 60 48 FOW** 80 66 52 Zero Lead Length 8 × 20 -9 4 30 FOW** -22 5 20 BIL 2 × (LPL + LV) Protective Margin (%)* 1. This type of wave produces the discharge voltages with kV peaks shown in the Arrester Data FOW columns.6 kV/ft for 8 × 20 LPL = Lightning Protective Level LPL = FOW or 8 × 20 for 10-kA IR (kV Peak) **Based on 10-kA current impulse that results in a discharge voltage peaking in 0. keep the arrester discharge path (lead length) as short as possible in all installations.44: Arrester Lead Length Equal to Three Feet. the 12.9-kV Underground Distribution System: 125-kV BIL Insulation. A rise time of 15 kA/µs will be assumed to produce a six-kilovolt per foot voltage drop in the leads to represent severe fast-front lightning strokes. 10-kA Lightning Discharge. For fast-front surges. Surge Voltage Doubled by Reflection. Only the special riser pole MOV can provide this level of protection on the 24. Inspecting the tables shows that. The IR discharge and lead length voltages are added and then multiplied by two to represent the voltage doubling effect caused by reflections. Figure 5.5 µs. TABLE 5.44 shows an installation that corresponds to the three-foot-lead examples in Tables 5.47-kV system has 20 percent or better margins. The other arresters provide no protective margin when lead effects are considered.9-kV system.13. To provide the greatest protective margins for underground cables.9-kV system. eliminating the arrester lead length entirely results in a 20 percent margin for the riser pole MOV. In the 24. for the standard 8 × 20 µs waveshape and three-foot leads.12 and 5.5 µs . 18-kV Arresters at Riser Pole Only.5-Foot Lead 8 × 20 -12 0 24 –1 × 100 FOW** -30 -17 2 3-Foot Lead 8 × 20 -15 -4 18 FOW** -36 -26 -11 *Protective Margin (%) = LV = lead voltage = feet × 6 kV/ft for FOW LV = lead voltage = feet × 1.

12. The arrester is mounted between the termination and the pole ground conductor.45. Because no surge current flows in either line or ground leads.5-Foot Lead 8 × 20 27 47 77 –1 × 100 FOW** -9 13 32 3-Foot Lead 8 × 20 20 36 62 FOW** -22 -7 6 *Protective Margin (%) = LV = lead voltage = feet × 6 kV/ft for FOW LV = lead voltage = feet × 1.47-kV Underground Distribution System: 95-kV BIL Insulation.45: Arrester Lead Length Equal to 1.13: Protective Margin.45 shows a similar installation except the line connection is taken to the arrester and then to the termination. so the pole ground conductor can be carried directly to the base of the arrester. The easiest way to remember how to make the best connections can be summarized as fol- . Cable Termination Lead = 18” FIGURE 5. the surge voltage across the termination is limited to the discharge voltage of the arrester and represents the “zero lead length” examples in the tables. All arrester line lead is eliminated because the wire carrying surge current through the arrester is not in parallel with the termination. Figure 5.5 Feet. 10-kA Lightning Discharge. keep lead length short to increase protective margin.5 FOW** 42 33 27 Zero Lead Length 8 × 20 36 58 94 FOW** 10 44 76 BIL 2 × (LPL + LV) Protective Margin (%)* 1. Surge Voltage Doubled by Reflection.6 kV/ft for 8 × 20 LPL = Lightning Protective Level LPL = FOW or 8 × 20 for 10-kA IR (kV Peak) **Based on 10-kA current impulse that results in a discharge voltage peaking in 0.5 µs Lead = 0” Remember.0 24. The connection makes the arrester ground lead length zero with respect to the concentric neutral of the jacketed cable. Arrester Data 10 kA IR (kV Peak) Arrester Type Heavy-Duty SiC Heavy-Duty MOV Riser Pole MOV 8 × 20 35.46 shows how arrester lead length can be virtually eliminated by modifying the installation of Figure 5.0 30. 9-kV Arresters at Riser Pole Only.2 2 0 – Se c t io n 5 5 TABLE 5. Figure 5.

then to the cable. In fact.18 V= 1 ≈ 3 × 1010 cm/second = 984 ft/microsecond LC0 where: L = Inductance. This procedure will ensure the leads are kept as short as physically possible to make full use of the protective margin provided by riser pole arresters (Hubbell/Ohio Brass Co. Improper arrester lead arrangement can cancel the advantages of even the most advanced arresters and lead to premature failures on underground systems. V. Its propagation speed is also set by line characteristics. The traveling wave characteristics are determined by the distributed nature of the capacitance and inductance of the line.18. FIGURE 5. is calculated as shown in Equation 5. The engineer must recognize the extreme importance of arrester lead arrangement on effective overvoltage protection for underground systems. Lead = 0” Cable Termination Lead = 0” lows. who have final control over this item. Equation 5. The calculated value of 984 feet/µs is approximately the speed of light. 1989). TRAVELING WAVES ON UNDERGROUND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS A lightning stroke to an overhead line will cause a transient condition to occur. to minimize lead length. This rapid voltage buildup caused by the discharge of energy from a charged cloud is not transferred instantaneously to all points on the overhead line or connected cable. For overhead lines. the engineer must communicate this importance to installation crews. in Henries per unit length C0 = Capacitance. the surge requires a finite time to propagate down the line. the line conductor acts only as a guide for the electromagnetic disturbance and the velocity of propagation is near the speed of light.. The surge movement is in the form of a traveling wave.19 V= 1 3 × 1010 cm/second 984 ≈ = ft/microsecond LC k k where: k = Insulation dielectric constant (typical values from 2 to 4) . Furthermore. and then to the conductor and ground terminals of the cable termination.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 2 1 5 Connect to the arrester first. Hi-Tension News. the velocity of wave propagation. Carry the line and ground connections to the arrester terminals first. in Farads per unit length in free space Equation 5. For overhead lines in open air.46: Zero Arrester Lead Length.

the velocity in cable is 1 V= LkC0 where k is the dielectric constant of the cable insulation. but through sion or distribution line with approximately half the cable insulation.0. For overhead lines: ZSURGE = Surge impedance = 500 ohms (400. If 984 ft/µs is assumed to be the speed of light. the Figure 5. Waves divide in proportion to the equivalent surge impedance at the junction according to Kirchhoff’s laws. which are determined by its represents the charging curinsulation material and physirent produced by the voltage cal dimensions. ure is the current I. After the incident wave encounters the discontinuity. Equations 5.47 is the classic electromagnetic wave does not representation of a transmisSurges travel at travel through air.19 surge as it travels along the shows the calculation for the velocity of the line. . The magnitude of the traveling voltage and current waves is changed at the junction points. The vedistributed L and C paramelocity in this instance depends ters. three components of the wave exist: Two types of cable insulation—TR-XLPE and EPR—are normally used by cooperatives for underground applications.47: Representation of Distributed Parameter Distribution Line. Figure 5. Therefore.” voltage. it will continue along a line until its energy is dissipated or until a change in surge impedance occurs.3 and 3. which will not flow until a discharge path to ground is formed. Changes in surge impedance that are important for cable protection occur at overhead/underground connections (riser poles).2 2 2 – Se c t io n 5 5 For underground cables. and these parameters are related by the The capacitance of the cable is increased in prosurge impedance of the line: portion to the dielectric constant of the insulation. Equation 5. respectively. surge propagation speeds within the two cables are as follows: TR-XLPE: V = 649 ft/µs EPR: V = 568 ft/µs Voltage Surge V L C I C I L C I L C L C V= 1 LC ZSURGE = L C FIGURE 5. which in cables. Also depicted in the figthe speed of light on the L and C of the cable.to 60-ohm range) The line charging current should not be confused with lightning surge current. Once a traveling wave is initiated.21 may be used to calculate the traveling wave voltages and currents where a line terminates on an equivalent surge impedance.20 and 5.48 shows the effect of a traveling voltage wave meeting a change in surge impedance at a junction. the velocity in cable is where k V L is the dielectric constant of the cable insulation. and midpoint cable taps. The approximate dielectric constants for these two insulation materials are typically 2. I= ZSURGE = ZSURGE C Therefore.to 600-ohm range) For underground cables: ZSURGE = 35 ohms (20. open cable end points. The current waveshape is the same as the wave in a cable with a dielectric constant of “k. This division gives rise to reflected and refracted (continuing) portions of the incident wave.

1970). and 3. I2 V3.49. Refracted wave (V2 ). 2. Various surge impedance conditions beyond point JP are shown in the other four views (Kershaw.48: Change in Surge Impedance at a Junction Point—Effect on Traveling Voltage Wave. I3 Z2 = = = = Z1 Incident Voltage and Current Approaching Junction Point Refracted Voltage and Current Continuing Beyond the Junction Point Reflected Voltage and Current from the Junction Point Equivalent Surge Impedance Beyond the Junction Point (Z2 = Parallel Impedance at all Lines Connected to the Right of the Junction Point) = Equivalent Surge Impedance to Incident and Reflected Waves FIGURE 5. I1 V2. 1. The (a) view of Figure 5.49 shows a traveling wave (in rectangular form for simplicity) approaching a junction point (JP) on impedance path Z1. Reflected wave (V3).21 The Refraction Coefficient is Then: V2 /V1 = 2Z2 /(Z1 + Z2) = 1 + K Where: V1. Incident wave (V1). . Traveling voltage waves are illustrated in Figure 5.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 2 3 5 Junction Point (JP) Incident V1 Refracted V2 Reflected V3 Z1 Z2 I1 = V1 /Z1 I2 = V2 /Z2 I3 = –V3 / Z1 V2 = V1 + V3 I2 =I1 + I3 V1 /Z1 – V3 /Z1 = V2 /Z2 V1 /Z1 – V3 /Z1 = (V1 + V3) /Z2 Equation 5.20 The Reflection Coefficient (K) V3 /V1 = (Z2 – Z1)/(Z2 + Z1) = K Equation 5.

818 V1 Z1 Z2 In this case a voltage wave of 18% of the incident value continues on the cable. May also be assumed to model the response at an end-of-line transformer. Voltage doubling still occurs.1Z1 Represents an Overhead Line Dead-Ending at a Riser Pole V1 V1 JP Z1 JP Z2 Z2 Represents equivalent surge impedance beyond junction point V3 V1 V2 (b) Z1 = Z2. however. Refracted (V2).1Z1 – Z1 = V1 Z2 + Z1 0.1Z1 + Z1 V3 = –0.22 (c) Z2 = 0 Represents a Ground or Short Circuit V1 V3 Z1 Z2 Voltages Cancel at a Short Circuit V2 = V1 2Z2 2(0.2 2 4 – Se c t io n 5 5 (a)Traveling Wave V1 Incident on Junction Point (JP) on Impedance Path Z1 (e) Z2 = 0. An MOV arrester response at an open point presents an interesting case because it is a nonlinear resistance. Cable Open-End Point Terminated by Nonlinear Resistance (Gapless MOV Arrester) Until now in the discussion of wave behavior at a junction point. All of the Voltage Is Refracted V3 Z1 V2 Z2 V2 V1 Z1 V1 = V2 Z2 Shows Progression of Waveforms: Incident (V1). Transformer HV windings represent a small capacitance at transient frequencies. while 82% of the wave is reflected back toward the source. FIGURE 5. Reflected (V3) Equation 5. The incident voltage wave starts to double as previously described for an open point until the MOV valve elements start to conduct .49: Traveling Wave Behavior at Junction Points Terminated with Various Surge Impedances.1) = V1 Z1 + Z2 1. the reflected wave front would have a different shape.1 V2 = 0.182 V1 Equation 5. only differences in surge impedance magnitude have been considered. cancelling a like portion of the incident wave.23 (d) Z2 = ∞ Represents an Open Circuit I = 0 at All Times at an Open point V3 V1 V3 = V1 Z2 – Z1 0.

Voltage doubling does not occur. The following seven overvoltage protection schemes will be considered: VT After Valve-On V1 V2 VT V1 Peak Voltage = VT = V2 + V1 Peak V2 Valve-On Voltage Valve-On Voltage FIGURE 5. The previous subsection on traveling waves showed that a change in surge impedance. VT. which adds to the incoming wave. 1990). PROTECTION METHODS ARRESTER LOCATIONS The decision of where to place arresters on underground systems for equipment protection is based on how the cable is configured and how its conductor is terminated. The equivalent surge impedance at the discontinuity sets the magnitude of the reflected wave.50: Traveling Waves at a Cable Open-End Point Terminated by an MOV Arrester. V1 (Cooper Power Systems. To provide an idea of the effectiveness of various protection schemes without doing sophisticated traveling wave analyses. The effectiveness of the schemes will be determined by comparing their protective levels at various locations to the level provided by a single riser pole arrester. the reflected waves added together can produce more than twice the riser pole let-through voltage. subjecting the entire cable length to the overvoltage. before wave cancellation starts. Engineers should consider using them even on 15-kV systems to reduce overvoltage magnitudes and prolong cable life. The preceding analysis shows that an MOV arrester at a cable open-end point will prevent voltage doubling and transfer of the overvoltage to the sending end of the cable by reflections. V3. whether caused by tapping a cable or an open point. Proper location of dead-front or elbow surge arresters will offer increased protective margins at all points within the underground system. (Figure 5. would cause reflections. but the reflected voltage is increased by one-half the valve-on voltage of the arrester. The peak voltage. this subsection will evaluate several schemes that utilities use. then travels back . At an open point. it is preceded by the positive reflected portion of the wave. The reflected wave. Voltage at the junction point is then canceled as the negative portion of the wave is reflected upon the incoming wave. is positive and adds to the incoming wave. If the cable has one or more open-ended lateral taps.50). At this point. the voltage doubles back toward the source. The positive reflection adds about one-half the valve-on voltage to the incoming wave. The percentage of voltage increase over the limited riser pole let-through voltage depends on the IR characteristics of the two arresters. the excess voltage is short-circuited to ground through the arrester. It is also assumed the IR discharge voltage equals the valve-on voltage and remains constant throughout the surge event.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 2 5 5 Incoming Wave Before Valve-On V1 V1 At Valve-On V2 VT Valve-On Voltage toward the source superimposed on the incoming wave. but general rules will produce adequate protection for most commonly encountered situations. until the arrester starts to conduct. V. However. The engineer cannot calculate protective levels at each piece of underground equipment without transient analysis software.

2/12.25.25 Equation 5. Riser Pole and Cable-End Arrester (Figure 5. The seven protection schemes are shown in Figure 5. the protective margins for a riser-pole-only arrangement can be nonexistent. In this case. equipment insulation levels. in kV VOP = Open point arrester discharge voltage. Using a SiC heavy-duty arrester on a 7.5 kA.24 VC = 2(VRP + VL) where: VC = Maximum cable and equipment surge voltage. The dead-front arrester eliminates cable-end voltage doubling and limits the open-point voltage to its protective level. openend arresters. Lateral tapped cable with riser pole. and an arrester applied at the first transformer on the source side of the open point (third arrester). unfortunately. The maximum system surge voltage is given by Equation 5. 4. However. No. if care is taken to reduce arrester lead length.5-kV system could lead to cable voltages extremely close to new 15-kV equipment strength (95-kV BIL). in kV VC = VRP + VL + 1 VOP 2 where: VC = Maximum cable and equipment surge voltage. The maximum voltage stress that the entire cable and connected equipment can be roughly calculated using Equation 5. in kV VL = Lead voltage drop. in kV VRP = Riser pole arrester discharge voltage. in kV VRP = Riser pole arrester discharge voltage. and 7. No. a single arrester at the riser pole will generally provide adequate protective margins for cable-connected equipment. cable-end.51. Riser pole.2 2 6 – Se c t io n 5 5 1. The low arrester impedance generates a negative reflected wave that works to reduce the voltage at the open point and along the entire cable length. it subjects most of the cable run to surge voltages that exceed the protective levels of the arresters at either end of the cable. As system voltages increase to 25 kV.or 21-kV arresters.51. Riser pole arrester and under-oil arresters at every transformer. in kV VL = Lead voltage drop. The peak of the spike is approximately equal to 50 percent of the dead-front arrester discharge voltage at a current level of 1. which shows the doubling effect. Using a specially designed riser pole MOV arrester instead of an SiC design should reduce maximum cable surge voltage (VC ) by 40 to 60 percent. do not double as well. 3. Figure 5.51. Lateral tapped cable with riser pole and open-end arresters. in kV . 2. and an arrester at the tap point.24 shows that. the overvoltages are less than the doubling of the riser pole arrester Equation 5. arresters must be added to the open-end points. Riser pole arrester and cable-end arrester. For 25-kV systems with 125-kV BIL using 18. A reduction of this amount is important when aged insulation is considered or when fast-front surge currents enter the system. 5. the major contributing factor to cable voltage stress is the doubling of the riser pole discharge voltage. As the spike returns to the riser pole.50 shows that maximum voltages will always occur away from the cable-end arrester. The reflected voltage (VT) appears as a triangular spike that is superimposed on the incident voltage wave and travels back toward the riser pole. Riser pole arrester. Equation 5. 6. Riser Pole Arrester Only (Figure 5. 1) For 15-kV class systems and below. 2) Placing an arrester at the open point terminates the cable with a low impedance when the arrester conducts. Riser pole arrester protecting a cable with a lateral tap.24.

. Open-End Arresters. and Tap-Point Arrester Under-Oil Arrester Open Point Riser Pole Arrester and Under-Oil Arresters at Every Pad-Mounted Transformer FIGURE 5. Single-Phase Feeder with Lateral Tap Open Point Open Point Riser Pole Plus Cable-End Arrester 3. Single-Phase UD Feeder Lateral Tapped Cable with Riser Pole Arrester 5. Riser Pole. Single-Phase UD Feeder Lateral Tapped Cable.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 2 7 5 1. and Open-End Arresters 6.51: Arrester Locations. Single-Phase UD Feeder 4. Single-Phase Feeder with Lateral Tap Open Point Open Point Riser Pole. Single-Phase Feeder with Lateral Tap Open Point Jacketed Neutral Cable Neutral Tap Point Open Point Riser Pole Arrester Only 2. Cable-End. Single-Phase UD Feeder Lateral Tapped Cable. Riser Pole. and Third Arrester 7.

the third arrester can be applied at the next upstream transformer. The voltage increase can be up to 30 percent more than the voltage doubling normally experienced on a radial cable run protected only by a riser pole arrester. the multiple reflections and refractions will ultimately lead to an increase in cable-end voltage. No. If the first transformer upstream from the open point is fewer than 200 feet away. except for the cable section between the third and cable-end arresters. 6) Placing an arrester at the tap point will tend to further reduce voltages along the tapped feeder.26 VC = VRP + VL where: VC = Maximum cable and equipment surge voltage. No. No. in kV VRP = Riser pole arrester discharge voltage. Riser Pole. For limiting surge voltage exposure to a minimum.51. leaving the first unit with reduced protection. Equation 5. 5) Installing MOV arresters at both open points will reduce their voltages to the protective level of the arresters. and Tap-Point Arrester (Figure 5. 4) Cooperatives sometimes tap a radial cable system to provide service to nearby loads. The maximum system surge voltage with third arrester protection can be calculated using Equation 5. Lateral Tapped Cable. Open-End Arresters. When the surge reaches the tap point.51. In most instances. Tapping the cable produces parallel cable runs where surge voltages can propagate independently.26 shows that. If protective margins of 20 percent or more are desired. the tap-point voltage was 13 percent higher than the maximum midspan voltage on a radial system under the same conditions (riser pole and cable-end arrester). the maximum system surge voltage is limited to the protective level provided by the riser pole arrester (Lat. Because of the unequal travel times on the cable sections. and Open-End Arresters (Figure 5. and Third Arrester (Figure 5. 3) Additional surge protection can be provided by adding a third arrester between the two ends of the cable.51. the most effective location for the arrester is the first transformer on the source side of the cable-end arrester. 1987). Because of the discontinuity. Assume a voltage surge enters the tapped system at the riser pole with no other arresters applied. Cable-End.2 2 8 – Se c t io n 5 5 let-through voltage. The function of the third arrester is to suppress the voltage spike reflected from the cable-end arrester. A tapped configuration will produce higher cable voltages than will a simple radial system because multiple traveling waves can add and subtract in complex ways. This is due to the shunting effect of the arrester to limit the initial surge as well as the reflected Equation 5. they will double and travel back to the tap point. Arresters at the end points will also keep the tap-point voltage within reasonable magnitudes. Riser Pole. 25-kV system protective margins obtained with this arrester configuration are less than the recommended 20 percent level.51. portions of the incident wave will be reflected back toward the riser pole and simultaneously refracted onto the two cable legs. Lateral Tapped Cable with Riser Pole Arrester (Figure 5. The impedance is the parallel combination of the surge impedance of each cable leg. The separation distance between the two protective devices must be at least 200 to 300 feet for the third arrester to effectively suppress the reflected wave. additional arresters must be added to protect cable and equipment remote from the two end points.26. in kV VL = Lead voltage drop. When the two refracted voltage waves reach the respective cable ends. No. Lateral Tapped Cable. it sees an equivalent surge impedance of approximately 15 to 20 ohms. in kV . In one laboratory test. Simulations and laboratory tests have shown that maximum cable surge voltage will be reduced by 25 percent with the addition of cable-end arresters. where they will again be reflected and refracted. Riser Pole.

• Multiple taps do not appear to produce surge magnitudes significantly greater than a single tap (Ros. the higher-rated arresters are recommended to prevent premature arrester failures as the installation ages. Tests have shown that positive wave reflections can act to more than double the cable-end voltage. TABLE 5. and some will fail. • Taps located close to the riser pole tend to produce greater surge voltage magnitudes. The MCOV for these arresters is 1.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 2 9 5 waves. Under-oil arresters are good. The following examples will show .14 should be used for radial feeders and tapped laterals for conservative underground protection. No. The following general conclusions can be drawn from investigations into the effects of cable taps on surge voltage magnitudes: • A primary tap will increase surge voltage magnitudes above levels that will exist without a tap. possible locations could be tap points. and Other system contingencies. sectionalizing points. Poor voltage regulation.47 kV 25 kV Tapped Lateral Tapped Lateral *Optional application The lower-rated arresters provide additional protective margin. Circuit backfeed. However.18 pu of nominal line-toneutral system voltage. one must consider the cost to replace an under-oil arrester when it fails. RECOMMENDED ARRESTER LOCATIONS AND RATINGS The information presented above has shown that many factors affect arrester protective margins. Ferroresonance.17 pu and 1. when compared with a tapped system protected by a riser pole arrester only. Line voltage regulator malfunctions. Riser Pole Arrester and Under-Oil Arresters at Every Pad-Mounted Transformer (Figure 5. An arrester at the tap point should not be considered as adequate protection for the two open cable ends. The arresters have to be dead-front or under-oil designs. remain to be seen whether this overall scheme will prove to be a cost-effective approach. 7) The ultimate surge protection scheme is to provide arresters at every convenient and accessible point on the underground system. Voltage 12. which are very expensive to add to existing installations.14: Recommended Arrester Locations. and pad-mounted transformers. • The surge voltage magnitude increase will typically be 10 to 30 percent. It does. Distribution systems are susceptible to longterm overvoltages caused by the following: • • • • • • • • Line-to-ground faults. some utilities are considering under-oil arresters for every new or replacement transformer installation as a way to prolong cable life.47 kV 25 kV Feeder Configuration Radial Radial Arrester Locations Riser Pole Open Point Riser Pole Open Point Third Arrester Near Open Point* Riser Pole Open Points Riser Pole Open Points Tap Point* 12. Experience has shown that the recommendations in Table 5. however. The recommended voltage ratings are one step above the 9-kV and 18-kV ratings that can be used on effectively grounded neutral circuits that have close voltage regulation (Range A voltage levels). 1988). However. especially at 25 kV. Replacing under-oil arresters can be very expensive. Load rejection. including long cables. A more definite statement cannot be made unless a specific example is analyzed in detail. however. Besides the riser pole. Fixed shunt capacitors.14 are based on the application of riser pole MOV arresters with 10-kV and 21-kV dutycycle voltage ratings.51. It is not possible to consider all factors in an application because they can change for many different reasons. The recommended arrester locations given in Table 5.

purchase only transformers with bushing wells. The following will describe practical ways to physically connect arresters at all four locations using load-break elbow-type connectors and elbow. and parking stand arresters described previously in the subsection.52(b) shows a different approach that can be taken at the open-point transformer. 2. Figure 5. that using the recommended arrester locations and voltage ratings will result in higher protective margins than those suggested by standards. Dead-Front Lightning Arresters.52(a) shows an open-point transformer with an arrester attached to each cable end. and 4. Figure 5. At the cable end of a lateral tap (radial-feed circuit). allows increased operational flexibility and reduces overcrowding by using bushing and parking Elbow Arrester To Riser Pole (b) Elbow Arrester and Parking Stand Arrester To Riser Pole H1A H1B Bushing Arrester Insulating Cap Parking Stand Arrester To Riser Pole (c) Bushing Arrester and Parking Stand Arrester To Riser Pole FIGURE 5.52(c). It uses an elbow arrester and a parking stand arrester to reduce overcrowding by eliminating the feed-through device. bushing. four locations were suggested for the installation of dead-front arresters: To Riser Pole To Riser Pole (a) Two Elbow Arrester and a Feed-Through H1A Elbow Connector Parking Stand Arrester H1B 1. The arrangement uses two elbow-type arresters and a feed-through mounted on the parking stand. . 3. Figure 5. Cable-End Arrester at Open Point Three configurations can be used for this installation. At a tap point. To get flexibility with different arresters and components. On the cable end at the open-point transformer between two sections of a loop-feed circuit.2 3 0 – Se c t io n 5 5 H1A H1B Feed-Through Elbow Arrester Elbow Arrester PRACTICAL DEAD-FRONT ARRESTER INSTALLATIONS The introduction of dead-front MOV arrester designs and their accessories for use inside UD enclosures has introduced flexibility into underground system protection. At the first upstream transformer from the open point. The configuration chosen will depend on operating practices and available space inside the pad-mounted transformer cabinet. In the previous discussion of protection methods and arrester locations.52: Cable-End Arresters at Open Point. The third configuration. This installation takes up the most room on the transformer faceplate. Product evolution now allows choices in the selection of optimum protection schemes based on cost and protection levels.

53(a) is a schematic of how an elbow arrester combined with a feed-through bushing insert can be mounted on the transformer faceplate. Figure 5. Figure 5. Arrester Upstream from Open Point Two arrester configurations may be used to provide additional protective margins at 25-kV and above by clipping the voltage spike generated by operation of the open-point arrester. Figures 5. Operational flexibility is obtained because the open point can be closed by moving the parked cable to H1B without removing the parking stand arrester.54: Two Elbow Arresters and a Feed-Through.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 3 1 5 H1A Feed-Through Bushing Insert H1B stand arresters.53: Arrester Upstream from Open Point (Third Arrester). For the radial-feed transformer. the elbow connector is easily placed back on the parking stand arrester to reestablish the open point. The bushing arrester on H1A requires less space than an elbow arrester/feedthrough bushing insert combination mounted in the same location. low-cost approach to establish a tap point. mate a bushing arrester to the source-side cable as shown in Figure 5. arresters should be placed at open points to prevent reflections from increasing surge voltages above levels that would exist without the tap(s).59 shows the desired ways arresters can be applied to two. To add surge protection to a two-bushing loop-feed unit. To reduce clutter inside the enclosure.and single-bushing transformers at the end of radial-feed circuits. H1B H1A X3 X1 X2 Primary Source Alternate Source FIGURE 5. Tap Point Arrester For tapped lateral feeder configurations 25 kV and above. an elbow arrester or a bushing arrester must be connected to the unoccupied terminal.58 show the five installation configurations discussed above. but the one shown in Figure 5. have loadbreak switching capability. plus add an arrester. the least-cost application is to add a bushing arrester. The cable-to-cable connections can be made by Elbow Arrester To Riser Pole (a) Elbow Arrester on Feed-Through Insert To Open Point H1A H1B Bushing Arrester Elbow Connector To Riser Pole (b) Bushing Arrester Only To Open Point FIGURE 5. Lateral Tap Cable-End Arrester For lateral taps off all underground feeders. . Many connection methods can be used. An elbow arrester or a bushing arrester may be applied.53(b).60 offers a simple. Once a cable fault is repaired.54 through 5. an arrester should be added at the tap point as well as on the open points.

56: Bushing Arrester and Parking Stand Arrester.55: Elbow Arrester and Parking Stand Arrester.2 3 2 – Se c t io n 5 5 H1B H1A X3 X1 X2 using a four-point load-break junction bolted to the inside surface of a suitable pad-mounted enclosure. H1B H1A X3 X1 X2 Primary Source Alternate Source FIGURE 5. The system is protected by a riser pole MOV arrester with discharge characteristics that are readily available within the industry. Dead-front arresters are used at strategic locations for increased protective margins.58: Bushing Arrester on Transformer Upstream from Open Point. Only one underground radial with four pad-mounted transformers will be investigated.61. H1B H1A X3 X1 X2 H1A H1B X3 X1 X2 Primary Source To Open Point Primary Source To Open Point FIGURE 5. A simplified schematic of the system is shown in Figure 5. Primary Source Alternate Source FIGURE 5. Various surge current waveshapes and magnitudes are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the different recommended protective schemes. The many calculations were made by a traveling-wave computer program (Cooper Power Systems’ UDSURGE™). Arrester lead lengths are assumed to be one foot at the riser and three feet at the pad-mounted transformer locations. . FIGURE 5. An elbow surge arrester is installed on the fourth terminal to complete the installation.57: Elbow Arrester on Feed-Through Insert on Transformer Upstream from Open Point. The three cables are connected together using load-break elbow connectors attached to three terminals of the junction. UNDERGROUND SURGE PROTECTION EXAMPLES The five examples in this subsection are based on a typical underground loop feed to a subdivision with an open point between the two laterals.

FIGURE 5. recommended arrester locations can be evaluated on their merits. BIL deterioration. reflections.19 summarize the surge voltages calculated by the computer program at the riser pole and the four transformer locations. .59: Lateral Tap Cable-End Arrester (Radial Feed Circuit).Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 3 3 5 Two-Bushing Pad-Mounted Transformer Single-Bushing Pad-Mounted Transformer H1A H1B H1A Elbow Arrester Bushing Arrester To Tap Point To Tap Point FIGURE 5.000' Elbow Arrester To Riser Pole To Open Point Riser Pole Arrester Protecting Jacketed Cable Underground Lateral: 12.and 21-kV 3-Foot Leads 400' Pad #2 400' Pad #3 400' Pad #4 Open Point Tap Line FIGURE 5. and so forth) to be considered. arrester characteristics. Tables 5. Different surge current characteristics are used to illustrate how variable lightning characteristics can affect equipment protective margins. In this way.60: Tap-Point Arrester. lead length.15 through 5. for this particular system. Varying the current rate-of-rise and magnitude and calculating the voltage at all nodes enables most of the variables that go into the protective margin (lightning variability. Pad-Mounted Enclosure Four-Point Load Break Junction Conduit Surge Voltage Magnitudes Calculated at Riser Pole and the 4 Pad-Mounted Transformer Locations Pad #1 1.61: Typical Underground Subdivision Loop Feed with Open Point.47 kV and 25 kV Arrester Ratings: 10 kV and 21 kV Total Arrester Lead Length = 1 Foot Dead-Front Arrester Locations Ratings: 10.

10 kV. To provide added security in underground applications.9 57. Protective margin calculations at any of the other locations on the radial feeder are simple to make.4 88. the system is considered adequately protected.1 (46% margin) 58. for aged insulation. 3 38. Percent margins in parentheses are for aged insulation BIL. Percent margins in parentheses are for aged insulation BIL. 95 kV. Most protection engineers realize this suggestion does not consider many of the variables mentioned in the previous paragraph and is used mostly on overhead systems. Equipment BIL. respectively. Cableend arresters are strongly recommended at 12. Aged BIL. 4): Arrester Rating. 4 28.9 36.8 (39% margin) Padmount No.47-kV system protected by a 10-kV MOV riser pole arrester.16: MOV Riser Pole Arrester and Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No. 4): Arrester Rating.8 Surge Voltage Magnitudes (kV) Padmount Padmount Padmount No. for the two fast-front.16 is protected with a riser pole arrester and a cable-end arrester. 1 No.7 36. Protective margin is then simply as shown in Equation 5.15: MOV Riser Pole Arrester: Arrester Rating. Equation 5.4 54. high-magnitude current surges depicted in the last two rows of the table.27. Further examination reveals that.4 Padmount No. Surge Current Characteristics Riser Pole 8 × 20 µs 10 kA 8 × 20 µs 20 kA 1 × 50 µs 20 kA 1 × 50 µs 50 kA 26.6 37.5 34.2 88.9 64.47 kV to protect equipment insulation from fastfront.4 36.15 considers a 12.1 56.9 29.15 shows protective margins of 46 and 31 percent.0 51.2 (99% margin) 41.6 (83% margin) 43.9 37. 2 No.8 43. Table 5. the margin is reduced below 20 percent and actually becomes negative for the worst case.5 54. 1 No. ANSI Standards suggest a 20 percent margin for an 8 × 20 µs surge at 10 kA. 3 50.3 29. 2 No.16: MOV Riser Pole Arrester and Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No. 76 kV. many engineers double the current magnitude to 20 kA.7 29.4 64. TABLE 5.1 87. Placing the arrester at the end of the cable prevents voltage doubling and keeps a minimum 39 percent margin for aged insulation throughout the entire length of the cable in the worst case.1 40. If a 20 percent or greater margin is obtained.27 PM(%) = BIL –1 × 100 Surge Magnitude EXAMPLE 5. Equipment BIL. 76 kV. 10 kV. The listed surge voltage magnitudes include lead voltage drop.4 57. Surge Current Characteristics 8 × 20 µs 10 kA 8 × 20 µs 20 kA 1 × 50 µs 20 kA 1 × 50 µs 50 kA Surge Voltage Magnitudes (kV) Padmount Padmount Padmount No. Table 5.7 (74% margin) 54. Aged BIL.6 36. 10 kV.2 (104% margin) Note.0 64. TABLE 5. 4 52.2 43. 10 kV. 95 kV.3 Riser Pole 26.2 (31% margin) 71. The system in Table 5.1 (-30% margin) Note.2 3 4 – Se c t io n 5 5 EXAMPLE 5. Under these conditions. high-magnitude lightning surges.15: MOV Riser Pole Arrester: Arrester Rating.9 (6% margin) 108.8 51.5 54.4 54. .

0 70.1 (18% margin) 90. refer to the earlier explanation of traveling waves. 4 57.5 107. Equipment BIL. 21 kV. Equipment BIL.5 Padmount No. EXAMPLE 5.9 98.1 72.5 106. Aged BIL.2 (1% margin aged) (26% margin new) Riser Pole 55. 125 kV. 3 79. 3 103. 125 kV. For further information.5 (-17% margin aged) (4% margin new) 62. . high-current cases.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 3 5 5 EXAMPLE 5.9 61.4 (42% margin) Note.2 99.6 Padmount No. 1 No. Aged BIL. 21 kV.17: MOV Riser Pole Arrester: Arrester Rating.4 89. 4): Arrester Rating.17. MOV Riser Pole Arrester: Arrester Rating. The summary of surge current magnitudes for a 25-kV lateral protected by an MOV riser pole arrester rated 21 kV is shown in Table 5.0 75.9 Riser Pole 56.2 Note.18: MOV Riser Pole Arrester and Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No.0 58.and 20kA magnitudes produces negative margins for aged insulation and less than 20 percent margin for new insulation.0 120.8 (10% margin) 98.3 115.6 119. 21 kV.8 (25% margin) 85. Voltage magnitudes on the interior cable section cause inadequate margins for the 8 × 20 µs. 1 No. 2 No. The example in Table 5. 4): Arrester Rating. This example reiterates that a riser pole arrester cannot protect a 25-kV radial cable with an open-point termination. 20-kA case and both fastfront. 100 kV.8 66.18: MOV Riser Pole Arrester and Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No.6 77. The arresters limit the voltage to acceptable levels at both cable ends. Percent margins in parentheses are for aged insulation BIL.17. The higher voltages in the middle of the cable are caused by the addition of the dead-front arrester valve-on voltage to the reflected voltage traveling back toward the sending end of the cable. Surge Current Characteristics 8 × 20 µs 10 kA 8 × 20 µs 20 kA Surge Voltage Magnitudes (kV) Padmount Padmount Padmount No. TABLE 5.8 73. 2 No. Percent margins in parentheses are for aged insulation BIL.4 90. Surge Current Characteristics 8 × 20 µs 10 kA 8 × 20 µs 20 kA 1 × 50 µs 20 kA 1 × 50 µs 50 kA Surge Voltage Magnitudes (kV) Padmount Padmount Padmount No.18 represents a 25-kV system with arresters located at the riser pole and open point. 4 108.8 91. 100 kV. 21 kV. The standard 8 × 20 µs waveform with 10. TABLE 5.5 82.6 (-7% margin aged) (16% margin new) 120.

2. It also prevents dangerous touch potentials on equipment cases and frames.0 Padmount No.9 61.7 67. 100 kV. ZSURGE is always less than. Aged BIL. A two-arrester protection scheme is adequate for most lightning conditions. The earth should never be used as the only path for the return of normal load current.0 (47% margin) 69.6 68. 3.9 66.7 Padmount No.5 (12% margin aged) (40% margin new) Padmount No. It is a conservative approach that balances increased arrester costs against increased MOV arrester and cable life. 4.3 Padmount No. The return current path must be a continuous metallic circuit along the entire route of energized conductor(s). This arrester at transformer No. Some protection engineers recommend riser pole and open-end arresters at 25 kV.3 89. 3 cancels the valve-on voltage spike from the open-end arrester. lightning surge current flows on the following components: a. the rod’s 60-Hz resistance value.43. ground conductors. Summary and Recommendations 1. 4 57. Arrester leads.2 (55% margin) 68.0 58. The grounding circuit is made up of ground electrodes. 4) and Dead-Front Third Arrester (No. Pole ground conductor. 4) and Dead-Front Third Arrester (No. Equipment BIL. 21 kV. the three-arrester scheme is recommended for underground installations. When a riser pole arrester conducts.4 89.19: MOV Riser Pole Arrester Plus Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No. The neutral circuit includes the JCN and all connections to it.2 66. 125 kV. and all connections. Surge Current Characteristics 8 × 20 µs 10 kA 8 × 20 µs 20 kA 1 × 50 µs 20 kA 1 × 50 µs 50 kA Surge Voltage Magnitudes (kV) Riser Pole 55. b.0 71. the neutral circuit provides a low resistance path to ensure fast operation of protective devices. 7. Percent margins in parentheses are for aged insulation BIL. 6. However. 5. 3 57.0 57. 1 64. . The grounding system consists of the grounding and neutral circuits.19 shows the addition of a dead-front arrester to the next transformer upstream from the open point.5 64. or essentially equal to. The three arresters working together provide acceptable protective margins along the entire cable length.2 3 6 – Se c t io n 5 5 EXAMPLE 5. The example in Table 5. The purpose of the grounding system is to maintain all points connected to it at earth potential under various conditions. ZSURGE is defined as the ratio of the peak voltage to current on the rod caused by a lightning discharge. 3): Arrester Rating. TABLE 5.7 89.3 Note.) To protect against these lower probability events. A ground rod has a 60-Hz measured resistance and a surge impedance (ZSURGE). 2 61.9 (39% margin) 70. 21 kV.19: MOV Riser Pole Arrester Plus Dead-Front Cable-End Arrester (No. field tests have shown fast-front high-magnitude surges can occur 20 percent of the time (see Figure 5. 3): Arrester Rating. Under fault conditions.

If full-length counterpoise is not justified. 23. b. * Measurement must be made with the ground under test connected to a multigrounded system. TABLE 5. Counterpoise. Ground rods are the primary means to reduce ground resistance on JCN cable installations. The three factors that affect ground resistance are the following: a. Random lay: eight rods per mile. 100. Number of rods. c. Continuous counterpoise should be installed to the first transformer. if practical. If possible. it should be decreased by: . one of the testers listed in Table 5. Ground resistance calculations should be used to compare different ground system configurations. b. 19. 12. and e. 9. The required number of driven rods for a JCN cable installation is set by the NESC.20: Ground Resistance Testers.2 summarizes ground rod rules and requirements. If the ground resistance value is high. Spacing. 17. space them at least two rod lengths apart. Type of Grounding System Single Ground Rod Multiple Ground Rod Counterpoise 10. Power cable only: four rods per mile. Counterpoise and ground rods should be installed below the frost line. The surge currents produce undesirable effects that. If this information is not available. d. Where possible. 16. 20. are reduced by a low ground rod resistance when compared with the surge impedances of the various paths. 21. Clamp-On* 3-Point** Meter Meter X X X X X 4-Point** Meter X X 11. Take special measures to adequately ground JCN cable installations when compared with semiconducting jacketed and BCN cable systems.Grounding and Surge Prot e c t i o n – 2 3 7 5 c. When multiple rods are used because of rocky soil. Jacketed cable neutral. Therefore. to lower ground resistance. 13. Counterpoise is considered a made electrode. To measure the ground resistance. an engineer will need the soil resistivity value before designing a grounding system.to 300-foot lengths should be used. and c. 14. 18. the ground resistance of the counterpoise or ground rod increases. Length. 15. except for arrester lead length. counterpoise and ground rods should be placed in an area with permanent moisture content. Ideally. Continuous counterpoise connected to the JCN at the pole top and extended to the transformer ground rod will reduce jacket voltage up to 50 percent. The counterpoise should be attached at the cable termination for best results. Counterpoise will reduce jacket voltages. 22. An ideal ground has a low ground resistance value. Table 5. Doing so helps prevent an increase in ground resistance caused by frozen soil. and then the service ground. When the surrounding soil dries out. not multiple rods. Soil resistivity directly affects ground resistance. Low ground rod resistance will reduce jacket voltage and the amount of surge current flowing on the JCN to the transformer and service neutrals. ** Measurement must be made before connecting the ground under test to the system ground. the riser pole ground resistance should have the lowest value.20 should be used. a. 8. Overhead multigrounded system neutral. use longer rods. the soil resistivity should be measured using a four-point earth resistance tester. followed by the transformer ground rod.

Tap point. if problems are encountered with overvoltages. c. and d. the reflected voltage is positive and produces a voltage doubling effect. 30. Increasing the number of ground rods. which is the value to use with 8 × 20 µs arrester data. 31. 26. 35. this is accomplished by making connections to the arrester terminals first. Open-point transformer between two sections of a loop-feed circuit. If this line is terminated in a short circuit.4 µH/ft. When unsure about overvoltage duration. MOV arrester voltage ratings of 10 kV and 21 kV may be used instead of 9-kV and 18-kV units. Series and shunt-gapped MOV riser pole arresters have better temporary overvoltage capability and slightly better protective characteristics than gapless models. which cancels the incoming wave. Recent studies have shown this value should be somewhere between four to eight kilovolts per foot when using arrester FOW characteristics to calculate protective margin. 24. or b. 34. Standards recommend using an average rise time (di/dt) of 4 kA/µs when calculating lead . midpoint cable tap. lightning surge current magnitude. 27. elbow. Protective margin is calculated using Equation 5. If the junction point is an open circuit (infinite surge impedance). Necessary and optional arrester locations that will minimize cable and transformer overvoltages should be used.17: BIL –1 × 100 IR + LV 33. Open end of a lateral tap. bushing. They should be considered in areas where inadequate voltage regulation occurs. 37. Selection of MOV arrester voltage rating is based on the MCOV the arrester sees during normal service. MOV arresters should be used for riser pole applications because they provide better protective margins than do similar SiC designs. 25. When this value is multiplied by 0. Maximum voltage rise on the unfaulted phases of a loaded three-phase circuit and voltage regulation on distribution feeders above five percent can cause long-term overvoltages on MOV arresters. 36. the reflected voltage is negative. and equipment BIL. 38. or MOV arrester. Protective margin depends on protective characteristics of the arrester. it gives 1. It is important to remember how an incident traveling voltage wave reacts when it meets a change in surge impedance at a junction point such as an open point. voltage. 29. Short riser pole leads and duplicate voltage ratings help ensure proper current sharing. PM(%) = 32. After the decision is made where to place the arresters. and parking stand dead-front arresters should be physically connected at the following: a. but the reflected voltage is increased by one-half the arrester valve-on voltage. 28. Light-duty dead-front arresters should be coordinated with riser pole arresters so their discharge capability is not exceeded because of current sharing. b. voltage doubling does not occur. First upstream transformer from the open point.6 kV/ft lead voltage. Increasing the length of the ground rod or counterpoise.2 3 8 – Se c t io n 5 5 a. For a line terminated by an MOV arrester. choose the next higher MOV arrester rating (10 kV and 21 kV rather than the usual 9 kV and 18 kV). For riser pole installations. Arrester lead lengths must be kept as short as physically possible to obtain the maximum protective margin. Dead-front lightning arresters should be applied close to protected equipment on underground systems to increase protective margins. and then to the conductor and ground terminals of the cable termination.

9-kV sults from single phasing in and 34.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 3 9 6 In This Section: Ferroresonance Allowable Overvoltages During Ferroresonance Distribution Transformer Connections Qualitative Description of Ferroresonance Ferroresonance When Switching at the Primary Terminals of Overhead and Underground Transformer Banks Ferroresonance with Cable-Fed Three-Phase Transformers with Delta or Ungrounded-Wye Connected Primary Windings Ferroresonance with Cable-Fed Three-Phase Transformers with Grounded-Wye Primary Winding and Five-Legged Core Ferroresonance with Cable-Fed Three-Phase Transformers with Grounded-Wye Primary Windings and Triplex Construction Ferroresonance in Underground Feeders Having More Than One Transformer Summary of Techniques for Preventing Ferroresonance in Underground Systems Summary and Recommendations References were used instead of bare overhead conductors Before the use of primary voltages above 15 kV for primary circuits—operating at any voltage in overhead systems.5-kV phase voltage levthree-phase primary circuits els were introduced for overwith distribution transformers. when shielded cables . when 24. ing distribution systems were not concerned Ferroresonance in underground systems rewith ferroresonance. head distribution systems. However. and before the use of level—ferroresonance occurred during the medium-voltage power cables for primary distriswitching of the cable circuit and the distribubution circuits. Correspondferroresonance. engineers designing and operattion transformers connected to them. Single phasing in which establishes configuraferroresonance occurred durthree-phase primary tions where the capacitances ing the switching of small circuits can cause of the primary circuit and the transformer banks at their prinonlinear inductances of the mary terminals. transformers are arranged so ingly.

the voltage between any unfaulted phase and the neutral conductor . whether overhead or underground. A major investigation of ferroresosingle-phase switching. has ing procedures and sequences will minimize the obtained results showing that some previous chance of ferroresonance during normal switchguidelines about ferroresonance are not valid for ing operations. sponsored by the Distribution Systems any switching procedure or sequence selected Testing. distribution transformers. elbow connectors. has a neutral conductor that is grounded at least four times per mile. As noted in Section 5. Single phasing also occurs if a sysduring ferroresonance can cause failure of both tem component fails in a way that produces an metal oxide and gapped silicon carbide surge aropen conductor condition. Application. or three-phase. including the new more susceptible to single-pole reclosers. and whether single-phase. veephase. This investem in which ferroresonance is prevented for tigation. codes in some states require that the neutral conductor be grounded more frequently than four times per mile. occur. operating personnel must be able to rectors of conditions in which ferroresonance may ognize when ferroresonance may occur during occur. Each primary feeder in these systems. cables. and electronic home entertainment equipmiliar with ferroresonance to prevent extremely ment. have been incorpoferroresonance. computtion of rural distribution systems need to be faers. System designs and transformer connechigh ferroresonant overvoltages from occurring tions that are prone to ferroresonance should be during single-phase conditions in the primary avoided wherever possible. Most guidelines predate the present widesingle-pole switching of cable circuits with conspread evaluation of losses by utilities in the nected transformer(s) and know how to sectiontransformer procurement process. Ferroresonance may resters. circuits and their connected Field experience has shown transformers are energized and that overvoltages occurring de-energized. certain switchconsortium. research. elbow cause very high overvoltages that damage connectors. or topology does not eliminate the chance of Experience and previous guidelines for avoidferroresonance under all possible switching coning ferroresonance are not always good indicaditions. gle-pole sectionalizers when rated into this section. It identisusceptible to ferroresonance than those in use fies the distribution transformer connections that when previous ferroresonance guidelines were are highly susceptible to ferroresonance during developed. and equipment connected equipment and cause failures. of which NRECA is a member. and the substantial This section provides the system designer decrease in transformer losses in recent years with information needed to design a system makes the transformers of today much more in which ferroresonance is less likely. and Research (DSTAR) by operating personnel.2 4 0 – Se c t io n 6 6 that nonlinear resonance can newer low-loss transformers. When ground faults occur on the primary feeder of these systems. ceptibility of a transformer. No-load losses alize and switch the system so that ferroresohave a direct effect on the ferroresonance susnance will not occur. However. including consumer appliances. and singuidelines. The findings of this connects. it may not be possible to design a systransformers was completed in 1992. Single-phase conditions and has generated updated Modern low-loss occur during the normal operferroresonance avoidance transformers are much ation of fused or nonfused disguidelines. to the secondary side of the distribution transThose responsible for the design and operaformer. Allowable Overvoltages During Ferroresonance Most rural primary distribution systems operating at nominal phase voltages up to and including 35 kV (line-to-ground voltages up to 20 kV) are multigrounded neutral systems. If the system design three-phase systems. Under some circumnance in modern grounded-wye pad-mounted stances. splices.

25 per unit or pu).46 pu). three-phase phase transformers. whereas other winding connections necting single-phase transformers into threeprevent ferroresonance under all practical phase banks.25-pu voltage been made with the open-wye/open-delta con—depend on the connections of the distribution nections. For example. Whether ferroresodelta/open-delta connections and the open-wye/ nance is possible—as well as the maximum open-delta connections usually are made from allowed length of a circuit with a connected two single-phase distribution transformers. This 1.25 times nominal.46 times nominal value (1. If the primary feeders employ spacer cable or armless construction. voltages of either 208Y/120 and ungrounded-wye) are volts or 480Y/277 volts. tems.25 times the nominal line-to-neutral voltage (1. These ferroresonance is highly susceptible to ferrowinding connections are used very likely during resonance during single-phase in three-phase transformers switching in underground sysand in banking three singlesingle phasing. which is not common on most rural systems. the voltages from the unfaulted phases to the neutral conductor in a typical rural system will not exceed 1. operating at nominal winding connections. and are used in connance. three-wire 120/240-volt lighting load systems. rising as high as 1. The opendistribution transformers. usually four-wire delta secondary systems. the three-phase. Distribution Transformer Connections The transformer connections shown in FigFerroresonance in distribution systems occurs ures 6. the duty cycle voltage rating of the surge arrester is either nine or 10 kV. (d). (e). . systems. on a 12. and (f) are used to supply during the single phasing of circuits.47/7. For overhead construction with conductors on an eight-foot or longer crossarm. Certain winding wye/delta connections are found in some connections are highly susceptible to ferroresothree-phase transformers. The application tables and equations in this section for determining the allowable cable lengths during the switching of cable circuits and connected transformers are based on limiting temporary overvoltages to 1. the voltage from an unfaulted phase to the neutral conductor can exceed 1. transformers four-wire wye secondary systion transformer with ungrounded primary tems. or primary feeders with concentric neutral cables.1 shows the more common transplied phase-to-phase at 240 volts. In the four-wire delta secondary conditions. The wide acceptance of this application guide for surge arrester voltage rating acknowledges that the equipment connected from phase to neutral on rural distribution systems is subjected to and can tolerate temporary line-toneutral overvoltages of 1.25-per-unit overvoltage is also the upper limit on the temporary overvoltages that can be permitted during single-phase switching in rural distribution systems. windings (delta. Arrester duty cycle ratings are at least 1.25-pu voltage present during ground faults is the basis for selecting the duty cycle voltage rating of the surge arresters applied on most rural distribution systems.25 pu. is connected across the secondary winding with The delta/grounded-wye connections and the the center tap and secondary grounded-wye/grounded-wye neutral conductor. The 1.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 4 1 6 will rise above the nominal line-to-neutral voltage for the system.25 pu.1(c). open-delta. In contrast.2-kV rural system. three-wire load is supFigure 6. The delta/delta and the ungroundedtransformer primary windings. altransformer that can be switched with singlethough some “three-phase” transformers have pole switches without exceeding 1. connections in Figures 6. and the sinformer connections found in rural distribution gle-phase.25 times the system nominal line-to-neutral voltage.1(a) As discussed in detail later and (b) are used to supply With certain distribuin this section. operating at underground cable circuits. and their connected a nominal voltage of 240/120 volts.

There can be more than one steady-state response mode in a specific circuit.1: Transformer Connections for Four-Wire Wye and Four-Wire Delta Services. First. Qualitative Description of Ferroresonance DEFINITION Ferroresonance is a complex electrical phenomenon in electrical circuits having at least one nonlinear inductor and at least one linear capacitor that is fed by one or more voltage sources having a sinusoidal waveshape. or any other parameter. depending on construction of the three-phase transformer or transformer bank. The transient response decays with time to zero. In the 60-Hz system. and second. and capacitance of the elements do not change with time. the steady-state voltage and current waveforms are not sinusoidal like those of the source voltage.2 shows a series RLC circuit. The circuit may never settle into a steady-state condition and may erratically jump from one mode to another indefinitely. transformers or transformer banks with the grounded primary windings (grounded-wye or open-wye) are less susceptible to ferroresonance and may even prevent ferroresonance from occurring. review the response of the series resistive-inductive-capacitive (RLC) circuit with linear parameters. inductance. the current in the circuit and the voltage across each element consist of a steady-state response and almost always a transient response. having a frequency of ω radians per second. The nonlinear inductor is a saturable circuit element such as an iron core transformer. The circuit is energized by closing switch S1 at time zero. current. leaving just the . In general. RESONANCE IN THE LINEAR INDUCTIVE-CAPACITIVE CIRCUIT Figure 6. the radian frequency is 377 radians per second. and capacitor are linear. it is then possible to consider the effects of this phenomenon on the distribution system. Following switch closure. The source is a sine wave voltage with a peak magnitude of VM. The steady-state mode may depend on the initial or transient conditions in the circuit. With this background. When ferroresonance occurs from a switching operation to energize or de-energize a circuit. look at the effect of a nonlinear inductor in the circuit. Linear means that the resistance. meaning that a switching event repeated identically on the same circuit yields results that are substantially different. inductor. in which the resistor.2 4 2 – Se c t io n 6 6 P S Neutral P S Neutral Neutral (a) Delta/Grounded-Wye (b) Grounded-Wye/Grounded-Wye (c) Delta/Delta P S P S Neutral P S Neutral P S Neutral (d) Ungrounded-Wye/Delta P = Primary S = Secondary (e) Open-Delta/Open-Delta (f) Open-Wye/Open-Delta FIGURE 6. an initial transient response may eventually settle into a sustained steady-state response. Ferroresonance can be a chaotic phenomenon.

1: RLC Current Response. only one steady-state response is possible. XC. in ohms Vrms = rms value of the source voltage rms value of the current rms value of the source voltage Resistance of the resistor. in Farads ω = Frequency of the system. Equation 6. in radians per second XC = Capacitive reactance FIGURE 6. at the zero crossings). Just two closing angles do not produce a transient response (occurring. The magnitudes of the voltage across the inductor and capacitor at Equation 6. the circuit resistance. in radians per second . in Henries C = Capacitance of the capacitor. The resonant frequency. In steady-state conditions. The steady-state response continues as long as the circuit is connected to the source.2: Series RLC Circuit with Sinusoidal Excitation. the point on the source voltage wave at which switch S1 is closed (closing angle θ) determines if there is a transient response and the initial magnitude of that response. in Henries C = Capacitance of the capacitor. In Equation 6. the voltage across the resistor is at its maximum possible value and equal to the source voltage. at this point. in Farads R = Resistance of the resistor. and it is independent of the closing angle and initial conditions at switch closure.1. If the inductance L and capacitance C are constant. such as capacitor voltage and inductor current.2. in ohms Inductance of the inductor. of course. Also.1 gives the rms value of the current in the circuit. and 1/ωC is the capacitive reactance. L C VL = Vrms R where: VL = Voltage across the inductor and capacitor at resonance L = Inductance of the inductor.3: Resonant Voltage. When there is no trapped voltage on the capacitor and no current in the inductor. steady-state response. During resonance. in Farads Equation 6. designated as ω0 in radians per second. after the transient response subsides. is given by Equation 6. the current and the voltages vary sinusoidally with time at the same frequency as the source voltage. 1/ωC.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 4 3 6 S1 R XL = ωL VMsin(wt+θ) XC = 1/ωC XL = Inductive reactance ω = Frequency of the system. the frequency at which resonance occurs is called the resonant frequency.2: Resonant Frequency. and the current in the circuit has a maximum value equal to Vrms/R amperes. Vrms. in Henries C = Capacitance of the capacitor. in radians per second L = Inductance of the inductor. the denominator of the equation has a minimum value equal to R. When the inductive reactance ωL is equal to the capacitive reactance. Irms = where: Irms = Vrms = R = L = Vrms R2 + (ωL – 1/ωC)2 Equation 6. ωL is the inductive reactance. the input impedance to the circuit of Figure 6. ω0 = 1 radians/second LC where: ω0 = Resonant frequency. with both reactances having units of ohms. With linear parameters in the circuit. XL.2 is purely resistive and the circuit is in resonance.

Mastero. However. Chapter 48). with the response determined by the closing angle and the initial conditions. In addition.2 4 4 – Se c t io n 6 6 resonance are equal to each other. the capacitor and inductor voltages would be infinite at the resonant frequency. Simple equations can be written and solved for both the transient and steady-state responses of the linear RLC circuit when energized from a sinusoidal voltage source.2. 1974). Fundamental. Generally. and the capacitor voltage has its maximum at a frequency that is slightly below the resonant frequency.1 for the steady-state current.3 it can be seen that the voltage across the inductor and capacitor at resonance in a series RLC circuit can be greater than the source voltage. the voltage across the inductor has its maximum at a frequency that is somewhat above the resonant frequency. there is both a transient response and a steady-state response. the initial conditions and the closing angle have no effect on the steady-state response. . the peak values of the inductor and capacitor voltages can be higher than the peak value of the source voltage. Swanson.2 is nonlinear and the circuit is energized by closing switch S1. possible (Germany. the value given by Equation 6. but the time for this to happen with the nonlinear circuit frequently is much greater than in a linear circuit. In subharmonic ferroresonance.3. The ferroresonant mode is characterized by substantial saturation of the nonlinear inductor. the current and voltage waveforms in the circuit are periodic but not sinusoidal like the source voltage. the currents and voltages contain a large component whose frequency is less than the frequency of the supply system. the response quantities include a large component whose frequency is higher than that of the supply voltage. the currents and voltages are badly distorted. Also. But if the inductor is nonlinear. If there were no resistance in the circuit. and Vroman. The transient response decays to zero. when the inductance is nonlinear. two steady-state responses are possible in a simple single-phase circuit with one nonlinearity. transient network analyzer (TNA) studies. When the steady-state ferroresonant mode occurs. However. Ferroresonant voltage waveshapes can be classified into three types of repetitive patterns or modes. Subharmonic. 1974): 1. FERRORESONANCE IN THE NONLINEAR INDUCTIVE CAPACITIVE CIRCUIT When the inductor in the series RLC circuit of Figure 6. but the component at the system frequency is the greatest. thus. Most studies of ferroresonance in power systems have been performed with either full-scale testing. For example. and relatively high currents. just as in a linear circuit that is in resonance. Three steady-state ferroresonant modes are. The two steady-state responses in the singlephase ferroresonant circuit are called the normal mode and the ferroresonant mode (Feldman and Hopkin. the current and voltage waveforms repeat at intervals of two or more fundamental-frequency cycles. With fundamental ferroresonance. the probability of the two possible steady-state responses is not the same or easily definable. and Borst. giving some insight into the phenomenon (Rudenberg. In subharmonic ferroresonance. the initial conditions and closing angle do affect the probability of resonance occurring. groundedwye/grounded-wye transformers used on the systems of RUS borrowers (Smith. 1975). From Equation 6. 1970. The resulting response in circuits with iron core inductors is called ferroresonance. see Equation 6. Graphical techniques give an approximate solution for the fundamental frequency component of the response of the ferroresonant circuit. In the linear circuit of Figure 6. 2. including whether resonance does or does not occur. the equations describing the circuit do not have a simple solution. All three of these responses have been observed during ferroresonance in cable-fed five-legged core. but the resistance prevents this. And with higher harmonic ferroresonance. leaving just the steady-state response. or digital transient programs. when there is resistance in the circuit. because of the presence of an iron core. Higher harmonic. and 3. Graphical techniques also show that two steady-state solutions are possible for many ferroresonant circuits. high capacitor voltages.

the transformer may be very noisy because of magnetostriction in the core. producing overvoltages from both phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground on the open phases.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 4 5 6 Relatively. The capacitance can be either upstream or downstream of the transformer as long as both are downstream from the open-phase point. The transformer primary windings are connected in delta. or Surge Arresters Fused Switches φA Shielded Cable Circuit Pad-Mounted Transformer H1 H2 MGN Feeder (Overhead or Underground) φC φB H3 X3 X1 No Load X2 Cable Capacitance Neutral Conductor Cable Shield and Concentric Neutral Riser Pole or Switching Enclosure FIGURE 6. ferroresonance can occur. . After all three phases are closed or opened to eliminate the single-phase condition. Ferroresonance in distribution circuits can occur if a capacitor is placed in series with a nonlinear inductor.3. When ferroresonance occurs. the point on the voltage wave at switch closing determines the response mode. The capacitance is from the primary cable on the open phase(s). A range of closing angles give the ferroresonant mode response and a range of closing angles give the normal mode response. so overvoltages can appear on phases B and C. or from a pad-mounted switching enclosure on an underground feeder. ferroresonance is not possible. When the unloaded three-phase transformer and cable circuit.2 and there is no trapped charge on the capacitor or flux in the nonlinear inductor. The sound emitted by the transformer frequently is described as rattling. and the nonlinear inductance is due to the transformer exciting impedance(s).3 shows a typical situation in which ferroresonance can occur. The final ferroresonant mode that has been observed in some nonlinear circuits is one in which the responses are nonperiodic. One three-phase transformer is fed through a cable circuit from an overhead line. the responses in the normal mode are more or less sinusoidal. If the values of L and C are in a specific range. and load is not connected to the secondary during switching. In addition. whining. is established. where the inductance is nonlinear. These overvoltages can persist as long as one or two primary phases remain open. This mode can occur in distribution systems during ferroresonance. only the phase A switch is closed. The fuses providing fault protection to the transformer and cable circuit are located at the cable riser pole or switching enclosure. as in Figure 6.2. SWITCHING OPERATIONS PRODUCING FERRORESONANCE IN THREE-PHASE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS Figure 6. with sinusoidal voltages applied. whatever the situation may be. In Figure 6. a steady-state response never develops. This condition is present when one or two phases of the primary line are open and there are unloaded transformers downstream from the open conductor.3. When both the ferroresonant mode and normal mode responses are possible in circuits as in Figure 6. A permanent connection is made between the transformer primary terminals and the cable circuit. current. and voltage than occur in the ferroresonant mode.3: Cable-Fed Three-Phase Transformer Susceptible to Ferroresonance. and just one or two switches are closed. similar to that in Figure 6. the normal mode is characterized by lower values of flux. That is. are energized or de-energized with single-pole switches. a series LC circuit.

Consequently. transformer insulation failures are occur when the single-pole switches energize or numerous. the initial voltages as high as nine times normal peak voltcharge on the cable capacitance at the time of age during ferroresonance (Young. the overvoltages on the transformer in Figure 6. switching event.3. When the transformer primary windings are As early as 1954. can cause insulation in major equipment to fail.3 when just the phase A fused voltages if insufficient load is connected. ground distribution when some pad-mounted Schmid. the transformer.5-kV undernant mode rather than the normal mode. the maximum overvoltIf the overvoltages do not age magnitudes varied within cause an insulation failure or a range. the overvoltage was less than rated. the literature mentioned the ungrounded as in Figure 6. and the cable cirfailure of reclosers and surge arresters in 24. case. high curThe overvoltages produced by ferroresonance rent blows the fuse in the faulted phase. or the voltages are phenomenon. That is. most system operators will not failure of cable insulation. the fault current would not blow the fuse in phase A. But. When ages some of the time and. the residcable-fed transformers produced transient peak ual flux in the core of the transformer. Earlier investigations (Smith. 1992) with grounded loud humming. a defined switching rural systems from higher than normal 60-Hz operation may produce ferroresonant overvoltovervoltages (Crann and Flickinger. 1968). From case to unusual noises. 1975) and more recent investigations system are either gapped SiC arresters. However. the cable circuit length. and Fergestad. and switching. Other components damaged by ferroresonant The ferroresonant overvoltage probabilities reovervoltages are cables and elbow connectors.2 4 6 – Se c t io n 6 6 (Walling. the transformer with consumer load connected to currents may operate overcurrent devices. short circuit.3. gapless . occur across the transformer not a high-current when sufficient capacitance is windings during ferroresopresent to create ferroresonance.9-kV cuit is a specified length. or surge arresters on the open phases. the secondary. and Fergestad (1968) Overvoltages have caused corona in separable are the probabilities of obtaining the ferroresoinsulated connectors used in 34. and the switching sequence. if the overvoltages cause the occur. However. Schmid. If a the secondary because doing so makes a singlecable insulation failure occurred on open phases phase condition that may cause harmful overB or C in Figure 6. ferroresonant overvoltages will not source. the size of Fergestad. switch was closed. when the fused switch in the FERRORESONANT OVERVOLTAGES faulted phase is subsequently closed. there is a finite gized by switching from a riser pole (as in Figprobability that ferroresonant overvoltages will ure 6. The operator at the switch location might not be aware of the insuEQUIPMENT AFFECTED BY lation failure. overcable-fed transformers are energized or de-enervoltages will not occur. the currents usuThe preceding discussion assumed that load ally will not activate overcurrent protective dewas not connected to the secondary side of the vices. Tests with T-T wave at which the switch is operated. However. ground systems (Locke. Swanson. and Surge arresters applied on the distribution Borst. especially in the early days of underde-energize the circuit and transformer (Young. 1968). wye-wye transformers on fivewhen low-level overvoltages Ferroresonance is legged cores have shown that. ported by Young. at other times. If sufficient resistive open phases persist until all three phases are eiload (reasonably balanced) is connected to the ther connected to. or disconnected from. Factors affecting three-phase distribution transformers employed the probability are the point on the voltage the T-T winding connections. the transhigh overvoltages present in virtually every formers may not emit any may be present. 1978). but nance. Schmid. transformer insulaintentionally switch a cable circuit and connected tion.3). 1954).

but the ferroresonant circuit is weak compared to the load imposed by the MOV arrester in its conductive state. than the phase-to-ground capacitance of an underground distribution cable of equal length.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 4 7 6 B 4 7” 47” 88” C A 49” 58 ” ” 52 N Conductor Heights Above Ground A = 300” B = 317” C = 300” N = 267” C of Pole L MOV units. consisting of three phase conductors and a multigrounded neutral conductor. usually without drawing a large amount of current. a gapped arrester of a given duty cycle voltage rating can withstand a higher ferroresonant overvoltage than a gapless arrester can. Capacitances of Overhead Lines An overhead line. The equivalent capacitances of overhead lines are much less.4: Conductor Spacings for an Overhead Line on an Eight-Foot Crossarm. ferroresonance is more likely in underground systems than in overhead systems. This means that the arrester can hold down the voltage. The effect of ferroresonant overvoltages on gapless MOV arresters is much less than would be presumed by examining the standard temporary overvoltage (TOV) curves (Walling et al. The neutral conductor does .5: Equivalent Capacitance Network for an Overhead Multigrounded Neutral Line. CAG CBG CCG Ground FIGURE 6. or gapped MOV units. In general. φB CAB φA CAC CBC φC Circuit and transformer capacitances are important in ferroresonance equations. as shown in Figure 6. FIGURE 6. by at least a factor of ten.5. the arrester may eventually overheat. IMPACT OF CIRCUIT CONSTRUCTION One of the parameters that determines if ferroresonance occurs with single-pole switching of a circuit with an unloaded transformer is the circuit capacitance. There is an equivalent capacitance between each pair of phase conductors and from each phase conductor to ground. provided the peak voltage does not exceed the gap sparkover voltage. Because of the higher capacitance. However.. depending on the heat transfer characteristics of a given MOV arrester design. 1992). The standard TOV curves are developed using stiff 60-Hz sources. is represented by six equivalent capacitors as shown in Figure 6.4.

4. the logarithm is to the base 10. Figure 6.0092 Phase-to-Phase Capacitances (microfarads/mile) CAB = 0. For cables with EPR insulation with the same nominal diameter over the insulation and the same insulation thickness.3.002 microfarads per mile.0. Each table gives the conductor size. K is about 3. with the capacitance from A to C being the smallest as these two phase conductors are the farthest apart.1.1: Values for Equivalent Capacitances of an Overhead Line With 4/0 ACSR Phase Conductors and a 1/0 ACSR Neutral Conductor. For EPR insulation. 6.) . and 6. capacitively.03886 K µFarads/mile log D/d where: C = Capacitance.2. it is at the same potential as the ground.5 list the capacitance of cables with nominal insulation thicknesses of 175. rule-of-thumb values.0016 Insulation (220 Mils) For symmetrical three-phase distribution lines. the phase-to-phase equivalent capacitances are about 0. These are easy-to-remember.010 microfarads per mile (Hopkinson. diameter over the insulation. C= 0.000 kcmil. Equation 6. 6. and 345 mils in sizes up through 1. and the cable charging in kVA per mile for a three-phase circuit operating at the indicated phase-to-phase voltage. 260. Tables 6.0090 CBG = 0. and the phaseto-ground capacitances are about 0. In Equation 6.0081 CCG = 0.0033 CBC = 0.3 times those in the tables. Also. with the conductor heights and spacings in Figure 6. Phase-to-Ground Capacitances (microfarads/mile) CAG = 0. The separation between the two “plates” making the capacitor—the conductor shield and the insulation shield—is the thickness of the insulation. all capacitance is from phase to ground. in inches d = Diameter over the conductor shield.4: Shielded Cable Capacitance.4. the conductor separation in an overhead line is several feet or more. in inches K = Dielectric constant of the insulation (For HMWPE and XLPE insulation. the phase-to-phase capacitances are not the same. K is about 2.0032 CAC = 0. Although the calculation of the equivalent capacitances for the overhead line is rather involved. For a line with 4/0 ACSR phase conductors and a 1/0 ACSR neutral conductor. The three phase-to-ground capacitances are not equal because of the unsymmetrical conductor configuration.4. In contrast. 1965).6: Cross Section of a Multiwire Concentric Neutral Cable. the calculation of the shielded cable capacitance is straightforward. the capacitances are approximately 1. 220. there is no phaseto-phase capacitance. TABLE 6. The capacitance is found with Equation 6. which is less than one-half inch. Insulation Shield D d Phase Conductor Conductor Shield Neutral Wire FIGURE 6.2 4 8 – Se c t io n 6 6 not appear in this representation because.6 shows a cross section of a concentric neutral cable. values for the equivalent capacitances are given in Table 6. in microfarads/mile D = Diameter over the insulation.3. the capacitance for cables with HMWPE and XLPE insulation. so the cable capacitance is much larger than any of the equivalent capacitances of an overhead line. Capacitances of Cable Circuits With single-conductor shielded cable.4.

8 25.6 41.3 31.780 0.248 0.6 30.000 Nominal O.375 1.594 0.9 34.543 0.690 0.465 1. For EPR cables with same nominal O.230 0..050 1.291 0. multiply capacitance and charging values in table by 1.5 15.610 Capacitance (µFarads/mile) 0.379 0.645 @ Three-Phase Charging 12.765 0.8 17.7 30.3 19.517 0.263 0.489 0.1 * Dielectric constant of 2.391 0.9 33.105 1.855 0. of Insulation (inches) 0.3: Representative Capacitance and Three-Phase Charging or XLPE Insulated Cables With 220 Mils Insulation.6 19.641 0.3.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 4 9 6 TABLE 6.427 0.915 0.429 0.269 0.9 25.0 18.D.360 1.3.940 1.195 1.405 0.282 0.2 26.200 1.655 0.280 1.312 0. multiply capacitance and charging values in table by 1.7 22.326 0.2 23.8 * Dielectric constant of 2.357 0.8 37.701 0.000 Nominal O.110 1.336 0.520 Capacitance (µFarads/mile) 0. of Insulation (inches) 0.1 46.810 0.2: Representative Capacitance and Three-Phase Charging for XLPE Insulated Cables With 175 Mils Insulation.5 14.965 1.3.47 kV (kVAC/mile) 15.D.155 1.* Conductor Size (AWG or kcmil) 2 1 1/0 2/0 3/0 4/0 250 300 350 400 500 600 750 1.* Conductor Size (AWG or kcmil) 2 1 1/0 2/0 3/0 4/0 250 300 350 400 500 600 750 1.D..457 0. .850 0.0 26.4 16.47 kV (kVAC/mile) 13.020 1.451 0.D.527 0.745 0.3. 175 mil insulation no longer allowed by RUS TABLE 6.005 1. For EPR cables with same nominal O.0 22. Note.576 0.1 21.8 28.065 1.490 0.275 1.725 0.786 @ Three-Phase Charging 12.4 28.8 37.

240 0. of Insulation (inches) 1.322 0.158 1.2 87. Cable size has a major effect on capacitance and.2 75.241 0.415 1.460 1.986 1.092 1.405 0. consequently.070 1.9 45.447 @ 24.590 @ Three-Phase Charging 24.2 64.000 Nominal O. For EPR cables with same nominal O.2 144.4: Representative Capacitance and Three-Phase Charging for XLPE Insulated Cables With 260 Mils Insulation.767 Capacitance (µFarads/mile) 0.292 0.0 138.6 37. minus twice the insulation thickness.387 0.578 1.D.275 0.5: Representative Capacitance and Three-Phase Charging for XLPE Insulated Cables With 345 Mils Insulation.210 1.000 Nominal O.4 131.D.94 kV (kVAC/mile) @ Three-Phase Charging Three-Phase Charging 34.5 68.1 117.0 94.D. The .720 1. D..902 0.9 60.7 56.389 1.318 0.0 30. of Insulation (inches) 0. with the values in the second column taken from one manufacturer’s handbook.295 0.3.4 51.* Conductor Size (AWG or kcmil) 1 1/0 2/0 3/0 4/0 250 300 350 400 500 600 750 1.2 5 0 – Se c t io n 6 6 TABLE 6.620 1.199 0.540 1.306 1.5 72. multiply capacitance and charging values in table by 1.D.275 0.261 0.1 108.3.200 1. multiply capacitance and charging values in table by 1.9 200.1 * Dielectric constant of 2.3 47.4 61.5 155.346 0.366 0.212 0. The diameter over the insulation of a given size cable will vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer.310 1.3 166. TABLE 6.942 0.3 69.6 49.439 0.5 179. is the diameter over the insulation.3 40.110 1.265 1.8 89.461 0.94 kV (kVAC/mile) 28.443 1.4 42.371 0.256 0.5 kV (kVAC/mile) 46. For EPR cables with same nominal O.0 32.401 0.3.261 1.4 53.3 95.345 0.4 81.* Conductor Size (AWG or kcmil) 1/0 2/0 3/0 4/0 250 300 350 400 500 600 750 1.036 1.1 34. The capacitance values in the tables assume that the diameter over the conductor shield.365 1.3.515 0.. d.6 * Dielectric constant of 2.1 123.1 104.308 0. the likelihood of ferroresonance.870 Capacitance (µFarads/mile) 0.

94 5.83 11. In a transformer with SPS construction. overhead line. This capacitance adds to that provided by underground cables.000469 × (kVA)0. For a given transformer.and 24..47 kV System 24.41 * Capacitance values based on 115 percent of nominal kVA rating. for example. the capacitance between the outer layer of the primary winding and the first layer of the outer half of the secondary winding is also a major contributor. the net capacitance between primary winding layers is the major contributor to phase-ground capacitance in transformers with the primary winding wound outside of the secondary (SP construction).6: Phase-to-Ground Capacitance of Three-Phase GroundedWye Capacitor Banks. Table 6.* Nominal Three-Phase Rating (kVA) 150 300 450 600 900 Capacitance in Microfarads 12. It should be noted that there is no simple means to measure the equivalent phase-to-ground capacitance of a grounded-wye winding and manufacturers’ design data are needed to calculate this parameter. directly reduces the allowable amount of capacitance that can be provided by the connected cable. the transformer capacitance alone is sufficient to create ferroresonance.47.25-pu ferroresonant overvoltages. While there are many inherent capacitances internal to a transformer. This is particularly true of banks with ungrounded primaries (e. delta. the average trend versus rated line-to-line primary winding voltage (in kV) and rated kVA has been reduced to the empirical calculation in Equation 6. Equation 6.25 For transformers with ungrounded primary connections (e. or open delta). In transformers with the secondary wound on both the inside and the outside of the primary (SPS construction). The capacitance values are based on capacitors rated either 7. 1992).9 kV System 2. the winding capacitances contributing to ferroresonance are not the same as just described for grounded-wye primaries and the empirical equation does not necessarily apply.77 17.5 kV.6 gives the capacitances of three-phase grounded-wye capacitor banks installed in 12. It is also true of grounded-wye/groundedwye pad-mounted transformers using five-legged cores at 24.94 4. Even the smallest capacitor banks on a three-phase circuit look like at least a mile of shielded cable. floating wye.53 2. overhead lines. The equivalent phase-to-ground winding capacitances of a number of groundedwye pad-mounted transformers have been calculated. Capacitance of Capacitor Banks Capacitor banks on a three-phase primary circuit being switched with a transformer may cause ferroresonance because the capacitor acts like a long cable circuit.21 2.g..9-kV systems.4 kV.g. delta. The layerto-layer capacitance does not contribute to the phase-to-ground capacitance. thus. For a grounded-wye primary.9 and 34. a maximum capacitance to ground can be left connected to an open phase during single-phase switching without risking excessive ferroresonant overvoltage. floating wye. or opendelta). In some cases.75 1. Minor contributions are made by the capacitance between the outer primary winding layer to the core and tank. with the capacitance calculated with the assumption that the capacitor may deliver up to 115 percent of nominal kVAR at rated voltage. The transformer capacitance.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 5 1 6 TABLE 6.4 (kVA)0. the capacitance between both (a) the outer layer of the primary and the first layer of the outer secondary .88 8. Capacitance of Transformer Windings Transformer windings have an inherent capacitance to ground. the relevance of each depends on the primary winding connection. or capacitor banks and it contributes to creating a ferroresonant circuit.2 or 14.5 CXFMR = 0. or capacitor bank. capacitance values in the tables are used in application criteria for calculating the maximum cable length that can be switched without exceeding 1.65 0.5 (Walling.

8-kV (line-to-line) transgrounded-wye or the open-wye primary windformers. transformer banks nance when switching at the terminals of banks with unUNGROUNDED PRIMARY with ungrounded grounded primary windings. disconnect vere ferroresonant overvoltsecondary capacitors before All switching of ages. whether the primary circuits are overhead ing-wye. it is no longer safe the switching is performed if to consider 15-kV class transthe capacitors are connected transformers or formers immune to ferroresoin delta or ungrounded wye. with the primaries connected in floatings. ferroresoopen terminals. made from single-phase translower voltage systems. have an effect on the likelihood of ferroresonance. Recent tests performed on a bank of two or three single-phase transformers) with the modern low-loss 13. Similarly.47-kV and for ferroresonance. Thus.5-kV overnected in either delta or floating-wye. when the primary situations in which the switchwindings of the single-phase should be considered ing is done at the primary tertransformers in the bank were as having the potential minals of transformer banks not grounded in 12. at any primary voltage level. may or may overhead distribution systems when the switchnot be grounded by connection to the multiing is done at the primary terminals of the transgrounded neutral conductor of the primary system. ferroresBefore widespread loss evaluation. whether load the switching was done at the primary terminals is or is not connected to the secondary side of of the bank (Stoelting. conoccur during this era in 24.9. windings as discussed in the previous subsection. have shown very seor underground. WINDINGS primary connections This subsection considers In the past. With grounded primary windings. ferroresonance can occur in underground systems with the same transformer GROUNDED PRIMARY WINDINGS connections when the switching is done at the When the primary windings of the single-phase primary terminals of the bank. Ferroresonance When Switching at the Primary Terminals of Overhead and Underground Transformer Banks The primary windings of single-phase distribuFerroresonance can occur with certain transtion transformers in banks in the overhead sysformer connections and switching operations in tem. terminals—small transformer banks connected When opening and closing switches at the floating-wye on the primary and delta on the primary terminals of transformer banks (with secondary.and 34. formed at the primary terminals (Ferguson. and in the underground system. thus. But if power factor capacitors. whether the secondary is in wye or delta. . former bank (two or three single-phase transformers).and ing at the primary terminals of the transformer 15-kV class overhead distribution systems when bank. Ferroresonance did the bank. Because the winding in transformers with ungrounded primaries does not shunt the phaseto-ground capacitances.2 5 2 – Se c t io n 6 6 and (b) the innermost primary winding layer and the last layer of the inner secondary add to the phase-to-ground capacitance and. and formers when no primary cirload was not connected to the cuits are connected to the secondary system. the total capacitance can be easily measured. are aphead systems when energizing or de-energizing— plied on the secondary side of the otherwise unwith single-pole switches located at the primary loaded bank. either forming the ferroresonant circuit in these cases the grounded-wye or the open-wye connection is the inherent capacitance of the transformer is employed. 1966). The lessons learned when nance and harmful overvoltages generally did switching transformer banks in overhead systems not occur when single-pole switching was perapply equally well to underground systems. The capacitance transformers in the bank are grounded. ferroresoonance is impossible during single-pole switchnant overvoltages seldom occurred on five. ferroresonance is possible.

and the neutral φA switch is also closed before the three fused Neutral Conductor cutouts are opened to de-energize the bank. and the load is voltages in excess of four per reasonably balanced. If the φC switch remains closed. 1964).5-kV assume this to always be true system resulted in steady-state Temporary when more modern loss-evalvoltages to ground on the neutral-point grounds uated distribution transformers open phases of about 2. and 35-kV class systems.2 times are used. Whether the primary system occur.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 5 3 6 1968). the transformer bank acts Fused Cutouts as a ground source for the primary feeder under φA φB φC normal conditions. Furthermore. openfull-scale tests of modern lowremoved for normal delta. banked in a operation. 1991).7: Floating-Wye/Delta Transformer Bank with Fused Cutouts protection. Full-scale tests by in Figure 6. φB After the cutouts are closed to energize the bank. The transformers can fail thermally at Primary Terminals. Ferground overvoltages of five per unit (Shultz.9-kV and higher voltages were adoptoccur during single-pole switching at the primary ed for overhead distribution systems. If load loss 25-kVA transformers with is connected to the secondary silicon-steel cores. if an open phase occurred on the primary feeder between the substation and the location of the grounded-wye/delta transformer bank. neutral switch SW1 must be opened. overvoltages also will not unit (Walling. is overhead or underground.5-kV connection between the neutral of the bank and floating-wye/delta bank resulted in phase-tothe neutral conductor of the primary system. Connections in normal (Pennsylvania Electric installed for switching which the windings are Company. 1954). and it doesn’t matter if the cutouts are being closed to energize the bank or opened to de-energize the bank.9-kV systems wye/delta banks. One can no longer transformers in a 34. This connection is represented (Crann and Flickinger. roresonance occurs during single-phase condi1964).7 by the closing of switch SW1 in the one utility with three 15-kVA units in a 34. Thus. the bank Pole-Top Transformer Bank would supply the load on the open primary SW1 phase beyond the open point. nance did occur when switching at the primary 25-. the switch in the neutral is closed before the three fused cutouts Multigrounded Neutral Primary Feeder are closed to energize the bank. This condition may produce loadings where the fuses for the grounded-wye bank do not provide overload FIGURE 6. and floating-wye. More recent must always be ungrounded are delta. yielded peak overnals. Tests by another utility with three 50-kVA tions.5 pu occurred on the open priovervoltages during the single-pole switching at mary phase when switching banks made from the primary terminals of the smaller floating10. tending to balance the load Service Surge Arresters Switch on the three primary phases. when the switching is perfloating-wye/delta connection formed at the primary termiat 25 kV. Tests by should be temporarily connected to the neutral the RUS showed that phase-to-ground overvoltconductor of the primary system to prevent ages as high as 2. overvoltages can When 24. ferroresoterminals of small floating-wye/delta banks in 15-.and 25-kVA transformers in 24. before the fused cutouts operate to relieve the . terminals of small floating-wye/delta transformer The neutral point of the primary windings banks without load on the secondary.

as the neutral will not be grounded. The cause of these problems was ferroresonance.9 shows the measured voltage waveforms and current into terminal H2 of the transformer when the cable and transformer are energized with single-pole switches. and externally gapped surge arresters “spat” across the external gap. As shown in Figure 6. to prevent ferroresonance during switching at the primary terminals. Although not . the load should be reasonably balanced. Early UD systems often consisted of a threephase transformer fed through a cable circuit from an overhead line.and four-wire delta loads in 25.65 pu. the voltages from H2 to ground and H3 to ground are as high as three per unit. the phase-to-neutral voltage at the open primary terminal can be as high as 2.1 microfarads per phase.and four-wire delta secondaries. the secondary phase-to-phase voltage across the missing leg will be two times normal.2 5 4 – Se c t io n 6 6 overload. After the switch in phase B is closed.8. if the two transformers in the open-wye/open-delta bank are inadvertently connected to the same primary phase. For the system configuration of Figure 6. followed 12 cycles later by closing the switch in phase B to energize terminal H2. From the waveforms. the ungrounded-wye or delta connections frequently were employed for primary windings in distribution transformer banks and in three-phase transformers.8. Of even more importance is the fact that the backfeed condition from the groundedwye bank will be hazardous to personnel working on the lines.7. or emitted unusual noises. During single-pole switching at the riser pole. Such occurrences have caused the failure of gapped SiC and MOV surge arresters connected to the terminals of the bank. Three-Phase Transformers with Delta or Ungrounded-Wye Connected Primary Windings When 15-kV class voltages were selected for overhead multigrounded neutral systems. transformers with ungrounded primary windings sometimes failed. but to voltage feedback through the secondary load (Gasal. These waveforms are from tests on a 150-kVA delta/ grounded-wye transformer bank fed through a cable circuit with a phase-to-ground capacitance of 0. is to select transformer connections that can be grounded yet do not act as a ground source for the primary system. Temporarily grounding the neutral of the floating-wye/delta bank prevents ferroresonance during planned single-pole switching. if load is connected to the secondary of the floating-wye/delta bank during switching and the load is reasonably balanced. This arrangement is shown in Figure 6. Ferroresonance with Cable-Fed. This grounding will not prevent ferroresonance if a phase opens in the primary supply lines when the bank and lines are unloaded or lightly loaded. These connections had been used successfully in lower voltage primary systems. In the 1950s and ’60s. if the load connected to the secondary is badly unbalanced or connected across just one phase. the transient voltage from terminal H3 to ground approaches four per unit. Sometimes the arresters failed. although this connection prevents ferroresonance for single-pole switching. it may create higher voltage unbalance in the secondary system than the floating-wye/delta bank. overvoltages will not occur from phase to neutral on the bank side of the open cutouts on the primary side regardless of primary system voltage. The open-wye/ open-delta transformer bank satisfies these criteria for service to three. with fused cutouts at the riser pole to energize and de-energize the cable and connected transformer. An alternative to temporarily grounding the neutral of the floating-wye/delta bank. During this 12cycle interval. when pad-mounted and submersible transformers were first produced for UD systems. If a floating-wye/delta bank is to be switched at its primary terminals with load connected to the secondary. the ferroresonant mode response in the first 12 cycles is at fundamental frequency. Figure 6. and the transient response has not fully decayed. regardless of primary voltage.and 35-kV class systems. many of them also had the delta or ungrounded-wye primary windings that had been applied successfully in overhead systems. The floating-wye/delta bank is employed to supply three. However. Terminal H1 is energized first by closing the switch in phase A. This is not due to a nonlinear resonance. 1986). However.

Other full-scale tests show that.9: Voltage and Current Waveforms During Ferroresonance with a 150-kVA Delta/Grounded-Wye Bank. . • Connecting resistive load to the secondary side of the three-phase transformer during single-pole switching. complexity. and • Transformer exciting current at rated voltage (IE% in Figure 6. Most users rejected reliance on secondary load as they did not want to intentionally single-phase their customers. shown. • Phase-to-ground capacitance (cable length) of the circuit being switched with the transformer. and Fergestad.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 5 5 6 Surge Arresters Fused Cutouts φA XC φC XC φB XC Cable Capacitance H3 Shielded Cable Circuit L∆ Transformer Switch Pad-Mounted Transformer kVAT kV IE% X1 H2 X2 X3 No Load H1 FIGURE 6. if the load was not large enough. high overvoltages could occur and damage the customer’s load. • Grounding.8). This approach has not been widely accepted because of cost. 1968).8).25 pu are as follows: 1 pu H1V H1 Energized H2 I FIGURE 6. and the fact that it cannot be used with transformers having the delta-connected primary winding. steady-state overvoltages as high as four per unit can occur during ferroresonance (Young. Schmid. closing the switch in phase C terminates ferroresonance and eliminates the overvoltages. Measures that can limit the voltage on the open phases to 1. • Primary voltage level (kV in Figure 6.8: Three-Phase Cable-Fed Transformer with a Delta-Connected Primary Winding. the neutral of the wye-connected primary windings (secondary connected in delta). 3 pu H3V 2 pu The factors with the greatest effect on the likelihood of overvoltages on the open phases during the switching of a cable circuit and a connected transformer are the following: 4 pu H2V H2 Energized • Transformer kVA size (kVAT in Figure 6.8). Also. when cable-fed transformers have the delta or ungrounded-wye primary windings. through a resistor.

depending on the specific design and manufacturer. • Limiting the length of the cable circuit being switched with the transformer. but can have voltage on them because of coupling through the transformer.8). Similarly. Schmid.0 times arrester duty-cycle voltage rating) for one to two hours or more. but no-load loss does (Walling et al. More recent investigations on grounded-wye transformers indicate that exciting current at rated voltage does not accurately reflect ferroresonance susceptibility. Distribution class and riser pole MOV surge arresters can withstand temporary overvoltages of 1. splices. as temporary overvoltages at this level should not be harmful to the system or equipment. the conventional criteria for maximum allowed cable lengths have been based on the TNA studies for transformers with both the delta and ungrounded-wye connected primary windings (Hopkinson.25-pu line-to-neutral voltages from ferroresonance. the insulation of other equipment such as cables. In the absence of a verified new approach. • Performing the single-pole switching at the primary terminals of the three-phase transformer.25 pu were found using either full-scale tests (Young. Application Criteria For a three-phase unloaded transformer with the delta-connected primary windings fed through a cable circuit (as in Figure 6. The de-energized primary terminals of the transformer are those that are not connected directly to the source system. but it may be connected at any point along the cable. cable terminators. 1968) or TNA simulations. either delta.25-pu temporary overvoltages without trouble.25 pu.25 PU The maximum cable lengths with a connected transformer that can be switched with singlepole switches so that voltages do not exceed 1. separable connectors. the voltage across the windings.or wye-connected. Many users rejected three-pole switches because of their high cost in comparison to fused cutouts. and commonly occurring ground faults. and fused cutouts can withstand the 1. Computer simulation of delta-wye transformers tends to indicate that the same is true for transformers with ungrounded primaries (Walling. When the phase-to-ground voltages on the open phases are limited to 1. the transformer is at the end of the cable circuit as in Figure 6.1 times winding rated voltage. with no cable connected to the de-energized primary terminals. based on rated exciting current. the voltages to ground on the open phases during single-pole switching will not exceed 1. . 1992). The significance of no-load loss to ferroresonance susceptibility was not understood at the time the TNA work was performed because there was good correlation between rated-voltage exciting current and ferroresonance susceptibility. 1992).7.25 times system line-to-neutral voltage (about 1.25 pu if the inequality of Equation 6.2 5 6 – Se c t io n 6 6 • Applying three-pole switches at the riser pole.. or because of load on the secondary side of the transformer. Gapped SiC arresters can withstand 1. MAXIMUM ALLOWED CABLE LENGTHS TO LIMIT OPEN-PHASE VOLTAGES TO 1. will be less than 1.6 is satisfied.8. Full-scale testing with modern transformers has yet to be performed to determine if the previous approach to ferroresonance guidelines.25-pu voltage level is used for establishing ferroresonance criteria for the maximum cable length that can be switched with a connected transformer. the conventional approach based on the TNA investigations of the late 1960s is used in this subsection. This inequality is expressed in terms of more readily available transformer and system parameters by the inequality of Equation 6. and Fergestad. Overvoltages of this and higher magnitudes occur during ground faults. The 1. A 1. Therefore. 1968). Such overvoltage will not damage transformers as they can continuously withstand across their windings. is valid for low-loss units. at no load. 1967. 110 percent of winding rated voltage.25-pu voltage level is significantly below the applied voltage test given to transformers with ungrounded primary windings and the induced voltage test given to transformers with a grounded primary winding. Normally. The results from TNA simulations are more conservative than those obtained from the full-scale tests performed in the same era.

This equation includes the correction for transformer winding capacitance. is squared.8 gives the following: Equation 6.4.006 µF CXFMR Placing these values in Equation 6.006 × 5. XM = Equivalent exciting reactance of the transformer. This capacitive reactance is identified in Figure 6. This is the voltage on the nameplate. When the transformer parameters and cable capacitance are known.286 kV2CµF/ML∆ where: kVAT = Nameplate kVA rating of the three-phase transformer = Exciting current of the transformer at rated voltage in percentIE% age of rated current kV = Rated phase-to-phase voltage of the transformer primary winding in kV.312 0. Ferroresonance is more likely with small transformers. and longer cable circuits. This is equal to the line-to-line rated voltage of the primary winding in volts divided by the rated voltage exciting current in amperes. and at the higher primary voltage levels.472 × 0. = The total length of the cable being switched with the transL∆ former with delta-connected primary winding. divided by √3.0 0. This transformer capacitance parameter is not readily available to utilities but it can be very important because it may equal the capacitance of 50 or 100 feet of cable.7 feet .280 L∆max = – kV2CµF/M CµF/M where: CXFMR = The equivalent phase-to-ground winding capacitance of the transformer in µF 3.8.7 ignores the capacitance contribution provided by the transformer windings. This capacitance is found from Equation 6. 6.5 × 1. and 6. Use of Equation 6. this is the total length of the cable being switched. CµF/M = Capacitance of the shielded single-conductor cable in microfarads per mile. so that the voltages do not exceed 1.8 is illustrated by the following example and data: kVAT IE% kV CµF/M = = = = 1.4.25 pu.312 µF/M (for 1/0 phase conductor with 175 mils of XLPE insulation per Table 6. Equation 6. so doubling the primary voltage reduces the term on the left side of the inequality by a factor of four.500 kVA 1.500 × 1. If the cable extends beyond the transformer. in ohms.25 pu are more likely to occur with smaller transformers and longer cable circuits.5kVATIE% CXFMR × 5. From the inequality of Equation 6. in ohms.2) = 0.6 XC ≥ 40 XM where: XC = Phase-to-ground capacitive reactance of one phase of the cable circuit. Representative values are given in Tables 6.8 L∆max = 3.7 kVATIE% ≥ 0.280 – 12. Equation 6.7.0% 12. higher primary voltages. The term involving primary voltage. kV.312 = 6.2.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 5 7 6 It should be noted that Equation 6.3. it can be seen that ferroresonant overvoltages above 1.8.47 kV 0. depending on transformer voltage and kVA rating plus the manufacturer’s design practices. the maximum length (L∆max) of cable circuit that can be switched with the transformer with the delta-connected primary winding. is given by Equation 6.

and connected transformer with the floating wye-connected primary winding that can be switched so that the voltages do not exceed 1.25 pu can be prevented by switching procedures whereby unloaded transformers and cable circuit are not switched as a single entity. The voltage could. 34 percent greater than those allowed with the delta primary winding. the lengths that limit voltages to 1.) do not flow in the neutral conductor of the primary system.9. 15th. rather than the grounded-wye primary connections. the allowable cable lengths with the ungrounded-wye primary winding are. . the third harmonic load current. solely as a result of internal transformer capacitances. Phase-to-ground winding capacitance varies with rating and also greatly with transformer design practices. From this.280 – feet kV2CµF/M CµF/M by elbows). especially for the larger three-phase distribution transformers. 21st harmonic .25 pu is impractically short. three-phase ganged switches must be provided or other means used to control the overvoltages. with the ungrounded-wye primary windings. Single-Pole Switches When only single-pole switches are available. For three-phase transformers with the ungrounded-wye primary winding. If the primary voltage was 24. ferroresonant overvoltages above 1. When the transformer is connected to the cable circuit.25 pu if the ratio of XC to XM is greater than 30 (Hopkinson. In all cases. no cable is connected to the de-energized primary terminals. This tends to be true for higher loss transformers in 15-kV class systems and with the larger transformers in the 25-kV class systems. at most. therefore.7 feet. .9 are the same as in Equation 6. prudence dictates that these transformers be switched only at the primary terminals.25 pu: either use three-pole switches or do single-pole switching at the transformer terminals. even with larger kVA transformers with the delta primary winding.25 pu if the transformer was switched single phase. energizing the cable circuit with all transformers disconnected and second.8. From the constant terms. For those units in which unacceptable overvoltages result from single-phase switching at the terminals (such as . However. the winding capacitance correction would exceed the other term and this equation would yield a negative critical cable length. The latter is effective only when the internal capacitance of the transformer is less than the critical capacitance. SWITCHING (OPERATING) PROCEDURES TO PREVENT FERRORESONANCE If transformers with the delta or ungroundedwye primary windings must be used in the UD system. and its odd multiples (9th. Equation 6. are as follows: • To isolate the primary and secondary systems so that the fundamental frequency component of the unbalanced load current. at 12. 1968). connecting the transformers to the energized cable circuit with switching devices at the primary terminals of the transformer.25 pu are so short that practical applications usually cannot be made. there are two options for preventing ferroresonant overvoltages above 1. This is accomplished by first. 6.9 LYmax = 4. It is not recommended for any size transformer in 35-kV class systems. All terms in Equation 6. Reasons sometimes given for the requirement of the delta or ungrounded-wye primary winding connections.7kVATIE% CXFMR × 5.9 kV. the allowed length of cable to limit the overvoltage to 1. it is concluded that the maximum length of cable circuit. identified as LYmax. the voltages on the open phases during remote single-pole switching through a shielded cable will not exceed 1. there is little value in specifying maximum cable lengths for transformers with ungrounded primary windings.47 kV. In light of the low loss levels and small exciting currents in modern distribution transformers.25 pu is given by Equation 6. exceed 1.2 5 8 – Se c t io n 6 6 This example reveals that. and • To isolate the primary and secondary systems so that ground relays on the primary system do not see ground faults on the secondary system.

de-energizing the transformer. at the 24. the switching devices at the transformer are opened.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 5 9 6 the time between closing of the first pole and This procedure is effective at voltage levels of closing of the third pole. overvoltages do not occur if the neutral is grounded during single-pole switching of the cable circuit and connected transformer. or switches internal to windings at 34. with either sinthe transformer. must not be too long.9-kV voltwill build up. as in Figure 6. With pole spans of one cycle (16. where E is the rated phase-to-neutral voltage of the primary windings. However. or in the case of low-loss transformmilliseconds) or less. the single-pole switching devices at the source end of the cable circuit are opened to de-energize just the cable. . Three-Pole Switches Three-pole switching of the cable circuit and connected transformer prevents ferroresonance for either energizing or de-energizing operations. single-pole switching at the transformer ternot develop. the transformer may be damaged thermally if single-phasing occurs on the primary system on the source side of the grounded-wye/delta bank. sult in high overvoltages as a result of the interA three-pole switch installed in the threenal capacitances of the transformer. If the cooperative desires to energize transformers from a remote location. Temporary neutral grounding is effective at any primary voltage level.6 age level. To de-energize the cable circuit and transformer. If the primary winding is rated 3 EY/E volts. do the following: STEP 1: Open the switching devices at the trans- former. the neutral of the primary windings is available. Single-pole phase transformers with the delta or unswitching of transformers with ungrounded prigrounded-wye primary mary windings is not recomwindings prevents overvoltmended in 34. First. Second. as long as the transformers span. The neutral point should be grounded only during the switching. before the cable circuit is de-energized at the To energize the cable and connected transremote location. This is illusgle. For the three-pole switch to be effective. just the opposite procedure is used. load-break fusing detransformers with the transformer after the cable vices internal to the transungrounded primary circuit is energized from a reformer. this switching procedure is unacceptable.5-kV systems. where E is the phase-to-phase rated voltage of the primary.8. mote location. STEP 2: Close the single-pole switches at the source end of the cable circuit to energize just the cable circuit. referred to as pole 15 kV and below. Similarly. ages for switching at the priSwitching at the transformer Do not do single-pole mary terminals to energize primary terminals can be done switching of just the transformer. trated with an example using Similarly. Temporary Grounding of the Neutral If the three-phase transformer has the ungrounded-wye primary windings with the neutral of the wye available external to the case. the neutral of the wye is not brought outside the tank. disconnecting the transformer from the cable. If left permanently grounded. the three-pole switch the radially fed transformer in at the transformer is opened Figure 6. STEP 3: Close the switching devices at the transformer to energize the transformer. for operator safety.8. or high overvoltages are not low loss.or three-pole switches. or during switching of just the transformer.5-kV. When the primary winding of the transformer is rated EY volts. the neutral of the wye-connected primary is brought out. If the installation is made from three single-phase transformers. former. harmful overvoltages will ers. This with load-break elbow conswitch is closed to energize nectors. the switch pole span minals to energize just the transformer may remust be one cycle or less on opening.

but is not effective in 24. Operating experience and tests showed that the effectiveness of the grounded-wye primary windings in preventing overvoltages depended on whether the transformer was assembled on a five-legged core or used triplex construction.10: Five-Legged Wound-Type Core with Grounded-Wye Primary Windings. The core assembly is made from four individual wound-type cores.10 illustrates the configuration of the five-legged. the following was learned: • When the three-phase transformer employs triplex construction with grounded primary windings. Figure 6. overvoltages can occur when a cable circuit and connected transformer are switched with single-pole switches. These overvoltages occur due to the internal capacitances of the transformer. Transformers with grounded-wye primary windings cannot be constructed on a three-legged core as common unbalances in the primary system give severe heating in the transformer tank.5-kV systems. • When the transformer has a five-legged core and grounded-wye primary windings. From tests.and 34. depending on the type of service.9. The performance of the five-legged core transformer with grounded-wye connected primary windings is discussed in the following subsection. The two inner core loops have the same mean length and the two outer core loops have the same mean length. much longer lengths of cable and connected transformer can be switched when the transformer has grounded-wye primary windings rather than ungrounded primary windings without exceeding 1. CORE CONFIGURATION Most three-phase distribution transformers with grounded-wye primary windings are constructed on a five-legged.47-kV systems. Delta-connected secondary windings should not be used with grounded-wye primary windings.2 6 0 – Se c t io n 6 6 Ferroresonance with Cable-Fed Three-Phase Transformers with Grounded-Wye Primary Winding and Five-Legged Core For transformers with ungrounded primary windings. lowerloss transformers used in 24. Some papers on ferroresonance written in the 1960s suggested that the grounded-wye primary winding connections would prevent overvoltages during single-pole switching of a cable circuit and a connected transformer.and 34. In general. and power factor capacitors connected in delta or ungrounded-wye are not connected to the secondary.25-pu voltage. alternative transformer designs allowing single-pole switching without objectionable overvoltages were sought by the utility industry. overvoltages can occur during single-pole switching at the primary terminals of the lower-kVA. Single-pole switching at the transformer primary terminals to energize or de-energize just the transformer (without cable connected to the de-energized primary terminals) usually prevents objectionable overvoltages in 12. but the mean length of H1 H2 H3 FIGURE 6. Grounded-wye primary windings are used with grounded-wye secondary windings or ungrounded-wye secondary windings. .9. the cable lengths that allow singlepole switching are so short that practical systems usually cannot be operated. As a result of these limitations.5-kV systems or where lower loss transformers are applied. wound-type core. ferroresonance and overvoltages will not occur for singlepole switching of the cable circuit and transformer or for single-pole switching at the primary terminals. And installation of three-pole switching devices is expensive compared with installation of single-pole switching devices. • When the transformer has a five-legged core and grounded-wye primary windings. wound-type core.

Similarly. voltage appears between the line terminal and ground of the open winding. These transformers had lower loss levels than did the transformers used in prior tests in the early 1970s. is based on the published literature (Smith.29 pu. or the internal capacitance of the transformer if high enough. voltage appears between the line terminal and ground of the open windings.9. Mairs. recent tests with newer transformers having lower core losses show that the currently accepted application criteria for allowed cable lengths need to be modified to take into account the lower losses. Mairs. Swanson. 1990). the criteria for allowed cable length to limit the overvoltages to 1. Millet.47 pu. respectively (Smith. before losses were evaluated by most utilities. Tests run more recently with low-loss transformers rated 12. core loss is a better indicator of the critical capacitance than is exciting current as used in the older guidelines (Walling et al. Most published information on the performance of the five-legged core grounded-wye/ grounded-wye transformer is based on tests and TNA simulations done in the early 1970s. In comparison. The maximum peak voltage during ferroresonance with the five-legged core grounded-wye transformer is 2. and Stuehm. However.. The voltages appearing at the open-circuited terminals demonstrate that magnetic coupling exists between the phases of the five-legged core transformer. 1968). Tests on the lower loss five-legged core grounded-wye transformers of more recent design show that the sustained voltages during ferroresonance are as high as 2.4 pu (Walling et al.10. 1992).2 kV also show that the rms value of the voltages from the open terminals to ground does not exceed winding rated rms voltage. the maximum steady-state overvoltages possible with the delta or ungrounded-wye windings are 4 pu (Young.47/7.1 pu. This magnetic coupling between phases. switching at the primary terminals of the grounded-wye primary five-legged core transformers prevents overvoltages in systems with voltages of 15 kV and below. Thus. The significance of the age of this information is that the losses of transformers on which the application criteria in this section are based are higher than the losses of many newer transformers. based on tests in the 1970s.47/7. if voltages from two phases of a three-phase system are applied between the line terminal and ground of any two windings. 1975). The material on ferroresonance with five-legged core grounded-wye transformers in this section and. However. 1990) and personal experience.5-kV systems (Walling et al.10 shows that.9-kV systems.2 kV showed that the rms value and the peak value of the voltage from the open terminal to ground did not exceed winding rated rms and peak voltages. The secondary winding for each phase is wound concentric to the primary winding. 1975.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 6 1 6 an inner core loop is longer than the mean length of an outer core loop. for transformers applied in 34. only the primary winding for each phase is depicted. and Borst. the magnetic circuit of the fivelegged core transformer in Figure 6. test results made available in the summer of 1992 show that the five-legged core transformer internal capacitances can react with the magnetic circuits to produce overvoltages when the switching is done at the primary terminals of the smaller low-loss transformers used in 24. with all other windings open circuited... Swanson. From tests on transformers applied in 24. the peak line-to-ground voltage was 1. when rated voltage is applied between the line terminal of any one winding and ground. and Stuehm. produces a series/parallel LC circuit in which overvoltages are possible. but the peak value is about two percent above rated peak voltage as a result of harmonics (Millet.5-kV systems. . and Fergestad. and Borst. for practical purposes. Disregarding the effects of transformer winding capacitances.and 34. in particular. the peak line-to-ground voltage was 1. 1992). Schmid. In Figure 6. In fact. in conjunction with the capacitance to ground (neutral) of the primary cable connected to the open phases. Tests run in the 1970s on transformers rated 12.25 pu. The voltage appearing on the open phases is not sinusoidal as is the applied voltage because of the nonlinear characteristics of the core loops. 1992).

04 pu 1 Cyc. at 60 Hz (a) __. transformer core loss level. Grounded-Wye Transformers.12(b). Whether one or two phases are connected to the source also affects the responses.12(c).11: Three-Phase Cable-Fed Transformer with a GroundedWye Primary Winding on a Five-Legged Core. Generally.02 pu __1. The type of response and peak value of the overvoltages on the open phases for single-pole switching are affected to a great extent by the distance between the switches and transformer.09 pu 1 Cyc.12(a) is cyclical at fundamental frequency and symmetrical. based on full-scale tests with 150-. MAXIMUM ALLOWED CABLE LENGTHS TO LIMIT OPEN-PHASE VOLTAGES TO 1. and cable capacitance. at 60 Hz (b) __1. As the cable length being switched with the transformer increases. as illustrated in Figure 6.0 pu 1 Cyc.11 shows a five-legged core transformer fed through a cable circuit.1 pu.71 pu 1 Cyc. for a given cable length. Roughly. reaching a maximum of about two to 2. The reason for this is that the voltage drop through the series impedance of the cable circuit is negligible during ferroresonance. at 60 Hz FIGURE 6. phase-to-ground voltages on the open phases during single-pole switching. Although the transformer is connected to the end of the cable.41 pu 1 Cyc. as only odd harmonics are present. at 60 Hz 1 Cyc. primary voltage.12 shows examples of the steady-state. and Borst. at 60 Hz (c) __. Nonharmonic responses also occur during ferroresonance with the five-legged core transformers. the overvoltages are higher when just one phase is open.5 pu. and it is during these types of responses that the transformer .25 PU Figure 6.12: Open-Phase Voltage Waveforms with Five-Legged Core. The distance at which this maximum occurs depends primarily on the kVA rating of the transformer.2 6 2 – Se c t io n 6 6 Surge Arresters Fused Cutouts φA Shielded Cable Circuit LGY H1 X1 No Load H3 XC Cable Capacitance H2 X3 X2 Transformer Pad-Mounted Transformer Five-Legged Core Switch φC φB XC XC FIGURE 6. The response represented by the two voltage waveforms in Figure 6. The length of the circuit is designated as LGY. but they are not symmetrical about the time axis because of the presence of even harmonics. 1975). Swanson. In Figure 6. Here the waveform never repeats itself and there are no identifiable cyclical patterns. Figure 6. at 60 Hz (d) 1 Cyc. __1. the voltage increases.77 pu __1. at 60 Hz __2. the voltages to ground on the open phases are at a minimum. when switching is performed at the primary terminals of the five-legged core transformer (no cable connected to the de-energized terminals). These responses produced the maximum voltage of 2. 225-. the voltage waveforms also are cyclical at fundamental frequency. the system response is the same irrespective of where the transformer is located along its length. and 500-kVA transformers (Smith.

New low-loss designs and wider variations in design flux density have shown the pitfalls of exciting-current-based guidelines. From the inequality of Equation 6.12 Pnl = kVA [4.7.6. however.13 Log10 (kVA)] where: LGY = Length of cable in feet with connected transformer having the grounded-wye primary winding and five-legged core . This internal capacitance adds to that of the cable.and 30-Hz subharmonic steady-state responses also occur with the five-legged core transformer.12(d). Previous guidelines using exciting current as a basis have been generally satisfactory because core losses and exciting current have historically correlated. but does not serve any other transformers.10 combined with an approximate empirical relationship between transformer rating and internal capacitance and solved for LGY. One such shortcoming.11. even when bid to the same loss evaluation specification.48 0. This investigation concluded that core loss is the key parameter defining the critical capacitance creating ferroresonant overvoltage. They apply to a single transformer. and the actual critical cable length should be shorter than for that of a transformer with a smaller exciting current that is more inductive. the inequality of Equation 6. Where possible.4 – 2. Equation 6.10 must be satisfied (Walling.11 but this is not always feasible when standard practices are developed. no-load loss of the transformer at rated excitation in watts The guidelines in this subsection are based on more recent research.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 6 3 6 can be very noisy because of magnetostriction. Work completed in 1992 has re-examined the ferroresonance susceptibility of grounded wye/wye transformers using a five-legged core (Walling. including both cable and internal transformer capacitance Pnl = Three-phase. LGYmax. as shown in Figure 6. the voltage on the nameplate Ct = Total capacitance in µF connected to the open phase.25 kV2 kV Equation 6. that can be switched with the transformer so that the voltages do not exceed 1. is that the measured exciting current on a transformer can be dominated by the winding capacitance.25 pu is given by Equation 6. overvoltages above 1. and the core losses of various manufacturers’ designs also vary. Equation 6. and 6.11 LGY = 1 CµF/M 26.12 provides an approximate empirical relationship between transformer kVA rating and no-load losses. Application Criteria For the voltage to ground to be limited to 1.0 Pnl kVA0. The maximum length of cable circuit. without secondary load.10 kV2Ct ≤ 0. 1992).10. for example. The older guidelines yield a longer critical cable length for a transformer that has a high measured exciting current because of a high internal capacitance. If the primary cable extends beyond the transformer in Figure 6. Transformer no-load loss values can vary widely for transformers of a given kVA rating. This equation is the inequality of Equation 6. 1992).11. This wide variation occurs because the loss evaluation factors used in transformer procurement by various utilities vary widely. This loss relationship is also used in the guidelines of Tables 6. connected to cable circuit as shown in Figure 6. reflecting the fact that the percentage of losses tends to decrease for larger transformers (Walling. the actual no-load loss should be used in Equation 6.00493 Pnl where: kV = Rated phase-to-phase voltage of the transformer primary winding in kV.25 pu during single-pole switching of the cable circuit and connected transformer. Twenty.54 – 1.25 pu are more likely to occur with the smaller or more efficient transformers at the higher primary voltage levels and with longer cable circuits. 6. 1992).8 provided later in this section.11. Equation 6. LGY is the total length of cable being switched with the unloaded transformer.

12. or transformers with high primary voltage ratings.25 pu. The maximum cable length calculated above (136 feet) is sufficiently long to permit single-pole switching in many practical applications in which a single transformer is fed radially from an overhead line or from a switching compartment in a UD system. Of course. single-pole switching must be performed at the primary terminals of the transformers. consequently.12 to approximate typical core losses.9-kV systems.11 can yield a negative maximum cable length.9-kV transformers. In comparison. From Equation 6.312 12. application data tables can be prepared from typical data.47-kV system if the voltages are not to exceed 1. kVA = Nameplate kVA rating of the three-phase transformer with the five-legged core kV = 12. the total length of cable being switched should be limited to the value given in the table.11 and 6.54 – 1. the allowed cable lengths with the smaller and medium-size transformers are so short that. Equations 6.12 and 6. but serves only one transformer. For 34. At the 12. all other parameters being the same. and everything else remains the same. The effect of loss variations do not make an exactly proportional effect on maximum length because of the winding capacitance term (the second term on the right-hand side of Equation 6.9kV system if the voltages on the open phases are not to exceed 1.11. and using Equation 6. Likewise. = 150 kVA Application Data Tables—Maximum Cable Lengths With Equation 6.5-kV systems. Example 6. But in 24.12 and 6.11: LGY = 1 312.7 lists the maximum cable lengths that can be energized or de-energized with the transformer (unloaded) in a 12.25 pu even when switched at the terminals without connected cable. low no-load loss wattage. Lengths this short will not allow single-pole switching for any practical application.25 0. the maximum cable length will be longer. as well as low-loss 24.4 feet even if the transformer is assumed to have no capacitance.4 26. 24.2 6 4 – Se c t io n 6 6 EXAMPLE 6.25 pu can occur for single-phase switching at the transformer terminals.0 – 2.13 Log109 (150)] = 312. with the delta-connected primary winding.9-kV Systems Table 6. the length of cable that can be switched with a five-legged core transformer with grounded-wye primary winding is easily calculated. for most practical situations. From this.47-kV Systems Table 6.25 pu during singlepole switching.2 1500. and typical core loss values are assumed for each kVA rating.8 is 5.9 kV.1: Maximum Lengths of Cable Circuit Possible.11 and solving the equations gives the following.472 LGY = 136 feet For transformers that have small kVA ratings and.12: Pnl = 150 [4.48 12. Note the effect of cable size on allowed lengths.312 µF/M = Capacitance of the shielded cable circuit in microfarads per mile Placing these values into Equations 6.8 lists the maximum cable lengths that can be switched with the transformer in a 24. The maximum allowed cable lengths to limit . But. the allowed length of cable found from Equation 6.47 kV = Rated phase-to-phase voltage of the transformer primary winding in kV CµF/M = 0.2 watts From Equation 6.47-kV primary voltage level.1 illustrates the use of Equations 6. a negative cable length is physically meaningless except that it indicates that the transformer internal capacitance is likely to be large enough that sustained voltages exceeding 1.11). For a transformer with greater no-load loss than assumed here. If the cable extends beyond the transformer. 12. Values are given for transformers fed by cables of three different sizes. Equation 6. a more efficient transformer will have a shorter maximum length. if the primary voltage level is 24.11 give a maximum allowable cable length of 24 feet. the internal transformer capacitances of the smaller kVA-rated transformers are sufficient to create ferroresonant overvoltages in excess of 1. highly efficient transformers. in many cases the allowed cable lengths permit remote single-pole switching of radially fed transformers.470.

357 µFarads/ mile.5 150 225 300 500 750 1. For the smaller kVA transformers. and 4/0 cables are 0. 1/0. Maximum Cable Length in Feet for the Indicated Cable Size Grounded-Wye Primary 1/0 4/0 5 12 19 31 42 69 96 118 151 172 185 4 10 15 25 34 56 77 95 122 139 149 Transformer Nameplate (kVA) 75 112. when the transformer is being energized or de-energized. To limit the voltages in these cases.9.and 34.500 2. For the larger kVA transformers. TABLE 6.25 pu with the small and medium kVA five-legged core grounded-wye transformers are very short.057 1. .141 87 126 161 225 283 413 545 652 813 924 998 64 93 119 166 208 305 401 480 599 681 735 Transformer Nameplate (kVA) 75 112.5 150 225 300 500 750 1.000 1.500 2. overvoltages are likely with singlepole switching at the transformer terminals even without connected cable.25 per unit. Allowed cable lengths are longer with 260-mil insulation because of lower capacitance.426 1.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 6 5 6 TABLE 6.47-kV Systems to Limit Open-Phase Voltages to 1.619 1.500 Assumed No-Load Loss (w) 182 250 312 423 522 745 968 1. The first is to use only three-pole. 34.25 pu will not occur from single-pole switching at the primary terminals of the five-legged core Note.11.25 pu with the smaller kVA.263. it may not limit the overvoltages to 1. Cable capacitances of #2. Single-pole switching of the cable circuit and connected transformer cannot be performed in many practical systems.750 the voltage to 1.5-kV Systems Table 6.5-kV transformers.9 gives the maximum cable length with a connected transformer that can be energized or de-energized with single-pole switches in a 34.000 2. no cable is connected to the deenergized primary terminals.750 Note. Although this approach is effective for any size transformer at 15-kV and below. Cable capacitances of 1/0 and 4/0 cables are 0.426 1.7: Maximum Allowed Cable Lengths in 12.619 1. SWITCHING (OPERATING) PROCEDURES TO PREVENT FERRORESONANCE If the cable lengths are longer than those listed in the tables or calculated from Equation 6.318 µFarads/mile.25 PU. Maximum Cable Length in Feet for the Indicated Cable Size Grounded-Wye Primary #2 1/0 4/0 100 144 184 257 323 473 623 745 930 1. Single-Pole Switches For situations in which overvoltages above 1. 0. there are two options for preventing overvoltages above 1.500 Assumed No-Load Loss (w) 182 250 312 423 522 745 968 1.150 1. based on 260 mils of TR-XLPE insulation. the allowed cable lengths are sufficiently long that single-pole switching can be performed.25 PU.256 and 0. gang-operated switches when energizing or deenergizing a cable circuit and connected transformer.5kV system if the voltages on the open phases are not to exceed 1. and 0. The allowed cable lengths are very short even with the larger kVA transformers. low-loss 24.150 1.230. virtually excluding the use of single-pole switches other than for switching at the primary terminals of the larger transformers without cable connected to the de-energized terminals.000 1.8: Maximum Allowed Cable Lengths in 24. based on 220 mils of TR-XLPE insulation.000 2.25 pu. The second is to do single-pole switching at the primary terminals of the transformer so that.9-kV Systems to Limit Open-Phase Voltages to 1. install a three-pole switching device in the transformer.

Although the preceding example is for the simple case of a radially fed transformer at the end of the cable circuit.318 µFarads/mile. Ferroresonance with Cable-Fed.11. especially at the 24.11. Cable capacitances of 1/0 and 4/0 cables are 0.25 pu that otherwise can occur with single-pole switching at the primary terminals. the riser-pole fuse in the faulted phase blows. Such procedures will be illustrated with the arrangement in Figure 6. grounded-wye transformers (power factor capacitors are not connected to the secondary). Three-pole switches in the lower kVA. close the single-pole switches at the transformer to energize the unloaded transformer. FIVE-LEGGED CORE. long cable circuits. Three-Phase Transformers with Grounded-Wye Primary Windings and Triplex Construction With grounded-wye primary windings and fivelegged core construction.000 1.5-kV Systems to Limit Open-Phase Voltages to 1.426 1.9.and 34. of course.750 To energize the cable and transformer. the switching devices for the cable circuit are open. To de-energize the transformer and cable circuit in Figure 6.2 6 6 – Se c t io n 6 6 TABLE 6.500 2. or at the end of. Although the five-legged core prevents tank heating for most unbalances.9: Maximum Allowed Cable Lengths in 34. with . use the opposite procedure. the three-pole switch will prevent ferroresonant overvoltages even if power factor capacitors are connected to the secondary side of the transformer. Finally. switching procedures exist that allow the energization of the smaller kVA transformers connected to. Specifically.000 2.5-kV transformers also will prevent overvoltages above 1. Note. Furthermore. GROUNDED-WYE TRANSFORMER TANK HEATING The five-legged core transformer with groundedwye primary windings can experience severe tank heating during certain unbalances in the system. Figure 6.5-kV transformers. open the single-pole switching devices at the transformer.619 1.5 150 225 300 500 750 1.25 pu with the five-legged core grounded-wye transformer.150 1. it can be adapted to radial systems with more than one transformer and to multiple cable segments. With a solid ground fault on phase A of the shielded cable circuit. Three-Pole Switches Three-pole switches allow the energization and de-energization of the circuit and unloaded transformer with grounded-wye primary without ferroresonant overvoltages if the switch pole span does not exceed one cycle. The voltage from terminal H1 to ground at the transformer is zero. But these procedures may be difficult to implement with multiple transformers on a circuit.5-kV primary voltage levels. when energizing and de-energizing cable circuits and connected transformers with single-pole switches.9. Then open the single-pole switches to de-energize the cable. based on 260 mils of TR-XLPE insulation. lowloss 24. some unbalances have caused transformer fires. even at terminals 1 5 16 26 35 47 71 58 1 4 13 21 28 38 54 47 Transformer Nameplate (kVA) 75 112.256 and 0. Maximum Cable Length in Feet for the Indicated Cable Size Grounded-Wye Primary 1/0 4/0 Do not switch single-phase. Then close the singlepole switches for the cable circuit to energize just the cable. Switching procedures exist that allow single-pole switching without producing overvoltages above 1.and 34.9and 34. excluding the lower loss. where the cable circuit does not extend beyond the transformer.25 PU.500 Assumed No-Load Loss (w) 182 250 312 423 522 745 968 1. lower kVA 24. This is discussed later in this section. there are limitations on allowed cable lengths. open the single-pole device at the transformer.13 illustrates how this happens.

Because the fivephases blow and one phase of the transformer legged core transformer is not symmetrical. B and C do not blow and the line crews jumper two phases transformer remains energized together to bring temporary until switching is manually service to single-phase conperformed. The current in the the other two phase conducB and C phase fuses at the tors. Because the transsumers following a fault. These former is constructed on a five-legged core.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 6 7 6 The five-legged core prevents tank heating in transformers with the grounded-wye primary Pad-Mounted Transformer windings during phase-to-ground faults whether Fused Cutouts Five-Legged Core Shielded Cable Circuit or not single-pole overcurrent devices are inφA stalled in the primary feeder. If a solid ungrounded phase-to-phase fault occurs from phases B to C in Figure 6. with only the overcurCable Shield and rent devices in the faulted phases opening. All faults on circuits H1 X1 No XC made with concentric neutral cable will be from Load one or more phases to ground. A solid ungrounded fault can occur in an overhead approximately rated voltage line if an insulator breaks at an applied from terminal H2 to angle pole and the phase conFive-legged core ground and from terminal H3 ductor is pulled across one of transformers with to ground.13 on the overhead line and the fuse in only one of the two faulted phases blows. the same voltage is applied to two of the primary phases downstream FIGURE 6. of which two terminals are fed from the same Surge Arresters Overhead MGN Feeder Multigrounded Neutral . tank conditions impress approximately 58 percent heating does not occur. That is. Consequently. terminals of the transformer. but tank heating does not occur. the remains energized until switching is manually time to produce high temperatures is a function performed. Manufacturing tolerances grounded-wye riser pole is due to the load and/or different preloadings primary windings can on the transformer and a small are reasons only one of the experience severe tank component fed back to the two line fuses blows. say phase B. ConAn ungrounded phase-toheating during certain sequently. Concentric Neutral would have caused excessive tank heating if the Riser Pole transformer in the preceding example had been Line Fuses constructed on a three-legged core.13. then φA φB φC Single-Phase Reclosers phase C voltage is applied to terminals H2 and H3 of the transformer and phase A voltage is applied to terminal H1. induce currents into the of the single-conductor cables in Figure 6. ground fault on phase A. tank heating in XC five-legged core transformers is unlikely. the tank. Similarly. φC when all segments of the primary feeder beH2 X3 X2 H3 XC tween the substation and transformer are made φB with concentric neutral cable. and cause tank heating unless the transfuses at the riser pole supplying the two faulted former is quickly de-energized. the fuses in phases phase fault also happens when system unbalances. if the solid zero-sequence voltage across the primary windfault to ground (concentric neutral) involves two ings of the transformer. Grounded-Wye from the fuses and to two of the high voltage Transformer on a Five-Legged Core. Cable Capacitance Line-to-ground faults.13: Overhead System Supplying a Cable-Fed.

Regardless.2 6 8 – Se c t io n 6 6 depending on the connection of the secondary primary phase. the primary cable is so short Ungrounded three-phase solid faults on overthat its capacitance is not a factor. energize all from phase to neutral. tank heating will not The I2R losses in the tank from the tank curoccur. Regardless. rated voltovercurrent devices are used. the bushings leak. Triplex transformers Or. and other design parameters. If all sechead feeders. as the primary circuits (see Figure 6. If all load is for the ungrounded phase-to-phase fault. tank heating will not three phases downstream from the overcurrent occur. Also. tank heating inature and de-energize the transformer before the cidents have occurred for an open primary oil reaches the flash point. the five-legged ceptible to ferroresonance during single-pole core transformer may experience tank heating. secondary such that the secondary load deterwhich caused the bushings to leak oil. Then the same voltlapse to zero. There is no possibility primary windings are is used for all primary circuits of tank heating for unbalances not susceptible to from the station to all transwhere two or three terminals ferroresonance. The voltage on the open phase will coldevices at the same voltage. switching. wye or ungrounded-wye. a fire starts. The effectiveness of the eutectic fuse links is not documented in the literature. When the primary ing with a five-legged core transformer will not windings are connected in grounded-wye and occur from ungrounded phasethe secondary windings are to-phase faults because all connected in either groundedthree phases are de-energized. with only two of the three singleondary load is constant impedance connected pole overcurrent devices opening. which mines the voltage appearing at the transformer caused a fire. the total secondary rents are the main source of heating. formers. even when single-pole gized at. thus. the tank currents are former have a zero-sequence component of 50 higher and heating occurs in a shorter time than percent and tank heating can occur. regardless of the primary circuit . it is difficult users have applied eutectic fuse links inside the to predict whether tank heating will occur with five-legged core transformer to sense oil temperjust an open phase. However. assume a fuse opens at the age. several utilities have indicated the euTRIPLEX TRANSFORMER CORE tectic fuse links prevented severe tank heating CONFIGURATION… that otherwise would have occurred with fuse Three-phase distribution transformers with links that do not respond to oil temperature. age from the same primary However. just as for a ground fault on the age is applied to all three HV terminals of the primary cable. During three-phase induction motors that maintain a these conditions. Because the unimpedance connected from phase to phase. the voltages impressed on the transzero-sequence voltage. terminals. That is. or below. In Figure 6. tank heating will not of the transformer are eneroccur.14. they are not susopens in the absence of a fault. tank heatillustrated in Figure 6. In an actual system. if ungrounded phase-tothere is no magnetic coupling with grounded-wye phase faults are impossible bebetween phases of the transcause concentric neutral cable former. the currents in the transformer speed such that the motors’ negative-sequence fuses usually are not high enough to blow the impedance is less than one-half the motors’ posfuse unless a short circuit develops. triplex construction have three single-phase If only three-pole overcurrent devices are in core-coil assemblies inside a common tank. and grounded three-phase fault applies 100 percent balanced. if a primary phase phase. If all secondary load is constant five-legged core transformer.13. and because there is an inward heat flow. the induction level at rated voltload. or phase in the absence of a fault. riser pole and sufficient load is connected to the tanks have heated the oil above the flash point. A few a portion is induction motor.13). itive-sequence impedance. The tank load is connected from both phase to phase and heating raises the transformer oil temperature phase to neutral and may not be balanced.

If the capacitors are connected in groundedwye (from phase to neutral) on the secondary Surge Arresters Fused Cutouts φA φC φB Shielded Cable Circuit L Transformer Switch Pad-Mounted Transformer Triplex Core H1 X1 No Load H3 H2 X3 X2 Cable Capacitance FIGURE 6. length or voltage. single-pole switching remote from the transformer or at the transformer.15: Cable-Fed. and with no load on the secondary. although voltages five to 10 percent above nominal phase-to-ground voltage are theoretically possible. Whether it does depends on the connections of the secondary capacitors. voltage appears on the open primary phases. the transformer leakage impedance. regardless of the length of the primary cable circuit. The magnitude of the voltage to ground on the open primary phase is determined primarily by the ratio of the phaseto-ground load to the phase-to-phase load on the secondary side. . …WITH SECONDARY POWER FACTOR CORRECTION CAPACITORS If capacitors are connected to the secondary side of the triplex-core transformer having the grounded-wye primary windings and groundedwye secondary windings. If lagging power factor load is connected to the secondary during single-pole switching. may cause ferroresonance. and the phase-to-ground capacitive reactance of the primary feeder. with no other load connected to the secondary. single-pole switching does not cause ferroresonance or overvoltages. With no capacitive coupling between phases of the primary cable circuit. Triplex-Core Transformer with Grounded-Wye Primary Windings.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 6 9 6 H1 H2 H3 FIGURE 6.15 shows a triplex transformer with grounded-wye primary and grounded-wye secondary windings fed through single conductor shielded cables. The voltage is due to the phase-to-phase connected load on the secondary applying voltage to the secondary (LV) terminals corresponding to the open primary phases. The phase-to-ground voltage on the open phase almost always is less than nominal.14: Triplex-Type Wound Core with Grounded-Wye Primary Windings. if it is made with single-conductor shielded cables and ungrounded capacitors are not connected to the secondary system at the time of switching. the magnitude and power factor of the phase-to-phase secondary load. with no magnetic coupling between phases of the transformer. …WITHOUT SECONDARY POWER FACTOR CORRECTION CAPACITORS Figure 6.

wound-core designs. using the no-load-loss-based approach presented in this section. . should have grounded-wye primary windings. either at the primary terminals of the triplex-core transformer or remote from the transformer. APPLICATION CRITERIA Transformers with delta or ungrounded-wye primary windings are not recommended in UD systems that use single-pole switching. With triplex construction. Triplex transformers are. inherently heavier and may cost more than five-legged. DiPietro and Hopkinson (1976) studied this situation. ferroresonance and overvoltages will not occur for single-pole switching on the primary side. as well as three-wire delta services.2 7 0 – Se c t io n 6 6 system ahead of the service disconnect switch in Figure 6. either at the primary terminals of the triplex-core transformer or remote from the transformer. is virtually eliminated. Their investigations were performed on the TNA with transformers having the deltaconnected HV windings. secondary capacitors should be disconnected. however. Fused Single-Pole Switches L1(C1) SW1 L2(C2) T1 kVA1 PNL1 Lj(Cj) Ti kVAi PNLi TN-1 kVAN-1 PNLN-1 LS(CS) TN kVAN PNLN L3(C3) Symbols Lj .25 pu. grounded-wye primary transformers. the possibility of tank heating and ferroresonance. the total length of cable being switched should be limited so that the voltage to ground does not exceed 1. Also.16: Circuit with “S” Cable Sections and “N” Five-Legged Core Grounded-Wye Primary Transformers.15.Length of section j in feet Cj . Most capacitors for application in low-voltage secondary systems are connected in delta. If triplex-core transformers are used. Ferroresonance in Underground Feeders Having More Than One Transformer When there is more than one three-phase transformer on a cable circuit when single-pole switching is performed. Thus.25 pu was the same as if there were just one transformer on the circuit.15. three-phase transformers supplying four-wire wye services. when single-pole switching is performed on the primary side of the triplex-core transformer. provided an equivalent capacitive reactance and an equivalent magnetizing reactance were found. They concluded that the criterion for limiting the voltage to ground on the open phase to 1. The secondary is connected in grounded-wye or ungrounded-wye. there is no need to develop special switching procedures to prevent ferroresonance. ferroresonance and overvoltages can occur for single-pole switching on the primary side. which can occur with fivelegged core transformers. If the capacitors are connected in delta or ungrounded-wye on the secondary system ahead of the service disconnect switch in Figure 6. This method can be extended to five-legged core. ferroresonance is not a concern and operators can design and switch the system without developing complex procedures. In UD systems with single-pole switching on the primary.Capacitance of section j in µf/mile T2 kVA2 PNL2 FIGURE 6.

17: Circuit Configuration for Switching Example 6. Fused SinglePole Switches 3-Way Junction L1(C1) L2(C2) L3(C3) L4(C4) N.O. Each cable section “j” can have a different length and capacitance pu of length.C. “S. five-legged core units.4 + kVAN0.Length of section j in feet Cj . which has “S” three-phase cable sections and “N” three-phase transformers.Normally opened separable connector Lj . all transformers are assumed to have the same rated voltage N = Number of transformers connected to the cable circuit during the switching The multiple transformer criterion given is for cable circuits with transformers having the grounded-wye primary windings and constructed on a five-legged core.13 [C1µF/ML1 + C2µF/ML2 + CjµF/MLj + CSµF/MLS] + 2.10 lists the transformer and cable data for the system. “N.47 kV.” on the circuit need not be the same. Table 6. Application of Equation 6. N. However.” and the number of three-phase transformers.25 26 [Pnl1 + Pnl2 + Pnli + PnlN] kV2 where: CjµF/M = Capacitance of cable section “j” in microfarads per mile = Length of cable section “j” in feet Lj S = Number of cable sections in the system during the switching operation kVAi = Nameplate kVA rating of three-phase transformer “i” that is connected to the circuit being switched = No-load loss in watts of three-phase transformer “i” that is Pnli connected to the circuit being switched kV = Rated phase-to-phase voltage in kV of the primary windings of the transformers on the circuit.13 is applied.16. There are no restrictions in the topology of the circuit to which Equation 6. the number of three-phase cable sections. it assumes all transformers are three-phase.13 is satisfied. T1 kVA1 PNL1 L5(C5) T2 kVA2 PNL2 T3 kVA3 PNL3 Symbols .13 is demonstrated with the three-phase system in Figure 6. assuming the system phase-tophase voltage is 12.13 applies.Normally closed separable connector .17 and Example 6. and each transformer “i” can have different noload loss and kVA rating.476 [kVA10. With reference to the system in Figure 6.Capacitance of section j in µf/mile T4 kVA4 PNL4 FIGURE 6.4 ] ≤ kV0. When Equation 6.2. .4 + kVA0.25 pu if the inequality of Equation 6.2.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 7 1 6 Equation 6.4 + kVA20. the voltage to ground during single-pole switching at SW1 will not exceed 1.

25 pu.470.427) + (1. this example illustrates that energizing practical multitransformer loop circuits on a single-pole switching basis often cannot be performed without creating ferroresonant overvoltages in excess of 1. assuming that load is not connected to the transformers. and voltages above 1.500 feet.13 as follows: [(330 × 0.133 is not less than 432.25 480 > 297 As 480 is still more than 297. This is possible because switching at the primary terminals without cable connected to the de-energized primary terminals and without capacitors on the secondary does not produce voltages above 1. even on 12.427) + (130 × 0.427) + (280 × 0.25 pu would not occur. procedures can be developed that allow single-pole switching of the cable circuit and connected transformers without producing voltages above 1. and transformer T4 is a radial-fed unit supplied from the three-way junction. The data in Table 6.10.25 PU When transformers have groundedwye primary windings (five-legged core).167(745 + 850 + 810 + 182) or 12.9. Transformer Data Number T1 T2 T3 T4 Rating (kVA) 500 225 300 75 No-Load Loss (w) 745 850 810 182 Section Number 1 2 3 4 5 Note.4 + 3000. which suggests that disconnecting cable section 4 from transformer T2 may enable energizing transformers T1.4 + 2250.500 × 0.269)] + 2.25 pu.47-kV circuits. single-pole switching at the source end of cable section 1 causes phase-to-ground voltages above 1. In Figure 6.17 employed triplex construction (grounded-wye primary windings). To determine if the entire system can be energized with the singlepole switches at the source end of cable section 1.2 7 2 – Se c t io n 6 6 TABLE 6.133 > 432 As 1.476 (5000.427 0.2: Energizing Multiple-Transformer System with Single-Pole Switches. Assuming that cable section 4 is disconnected from transformer T2.427 0. and prevent ferroresonance if a conductor or jumper opens at light load.13 gives the following: If all transformers in Figure 6. and T4 with single-pole switching at the source end of cable section 1.427) + (350 × 0. Based on 175 mil TR-XLPE Insulation.4 + 750.10 into Equation 6. transformers T1. reduce the time to energize or de-energize a circuit with multiple transformers. Transformer and Cable Data for the System of Figure 6.427 0.427) + (350 × 0.5-kV systems).17. Triplex transformers greatly simplify operating procedures. place the data in Table 6.167(745 + 850 + 182) or 12. [(330 × 0.4 + 2250.4) ≤ 0. lower kVA units in 724. SWITCHING (OPERATING) PROCEDURES TO PREVENT VOLTAGES ABOVE 1.470. and T3 are loop-feed units with two HV bushings per phase.269 EXAMPLE 6.25 pu. .4) ≤ 0. Cable Circuit Data Size (AWG) 4/0 4/0 4/0 4/0 2 Length (feet) 330 280 350 1.427 0.25 pu (excluding the lower loss. 1. T2.17.and 34.269)] + 2.25 1.476 (5000. the entire system could be energized by closing the single-pole switches at the source end of cable section 1.427) + (280 × 0.500 130 Capacitance (µF/mile) 0.4 + 750.427) + (130 × 0. placing the data into Equation 6.10 show that cable section 4 is quite long. T2. The normally open point of the loop is at transformer T3.

For conditions other than those defined above. if only three-pole switching is performed to energize the cable circuit and connected transformer. the cable lengths that can be energized or de-energized with single-pole switches without producing voltages above 1. uses only grounded-wye primary windings and triplex construction for three-phase transformers. so that the voltages do not exceed 1. With Equation 6.25 pu are long enough that systems can be designed and operated at the 12. Single-Pole Switches Figure 6.25 pu.17 shows numerous possibilities for energizing or de-energizing a system with singlepole switches when the transformers are loop feed and load-break separable connectors are used at each transformer. If the transformers have ungrounded primary windings.9-kV voltage level.25 pu. cable-fed transformers with openwye/open-delta connections are not susceptible to ferroresonance during single-pole switching. floating-wye. overvoltages above 1. Three-Pole Switches Another system design option for controlling overvoltages is to use only three-pole switches at locations where single-pole switching of the cable circuit and connected transformer(s) will produce voltages above 1.9. which enables singlepole switching of the cable circuit and connected transformer. The second option is the recommended approach for new systems and additions. However. For radially fed transformers. When the transformers have grounded-wye primary windings and are constructed on a fivelegged core. First. junction.25 pu. limiting the length is almost always not practical. switching procedures can be developed for taking a circuit out of service and then restoring it. a large number of three-pole switches will be required.25 pu.5-kV systems.5-kV voltage level. DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM DESIGN Primary Cable Circuit Length Ferroresonant overvoltages can be limited to 1. or else uses three single-phase transformers with grounded-wye primary connection.13. Ferroresonance always should be considered when you are switching in UD systems. lower kVA transformers used in 24. the number of three-pole switches required in the 15-kV class systems may be small because of the relatively . When the five-legged core transformers have grounded-wye primary windings. Summary of Techniques for Preventing Ferroresonance in Underground Systems There are two options for preventing ferroresonance under all conditions that can exist in the UD system if all capacitor banks are connected in grounded wye. Also. When the transformers have ungrounded primary windings. and switching compartment.25 pu during single-pole switching are available.and 34. But at the 24.Ferroreso n a n c e – 2 7 3 6 Also. the cable lengths are short. However.25 pu occur when switching at the terminals of the transformer. With the lower loss. use only three-pole switches to energize and de-energize cable circuits and their connected transformers if any of the transformers have primary windings connected in either delta. the possibility of ferroresonance always exists. overvoltages will not occur. or grounded-wye windings.47-kV primary level for many situations. These are summarized in the following subsections. tables can be developed giving the maximum length of cable that can be switched with a transformer of a given size. and especially at the 34. when designing the system. having three-pole switches at each loop-feed transformer may be difficult to justify economically. Furthermore. design and operating procedures that limit the voltages on the open phases to 1. single-pole switching at the primary terminals of the transformer with ungrounded primary windings can produce voltages to ground above 1. The second option. This second option also prevents ferroresonance should a jumper or conductor open under light load conditions. Three-Pole Switches Three-pole switches at switching enclosures and in three-phase loop-feed transformers with the grounded-wye primary windings will allow the greatest flexibility for energizing and de-energizing circuits and connected transformers. by limiting the length of the primary cable circuit that can be switched with the transformer.

Close the switches at location SW1 to energize cable section 1 (SEC 1). assume the single-pole switches at locations SW1. Single-Pole Switching Devices SW1 SEC 1 SW2 SW3 SEC 2 N. or internal loop-feed switches. These switching procedures generally are not practicable in systems with delta or ungroundedwye primary windings because overvoltages above 1. by factors of approximately four and nine. Implementation of these switching procedures requires that switching devices—such as loadbreak elbow connectors. either of the following two switching procedures could be used. Assuming that energizing cable section 1 (SEC 1) and the transformer with single-pole switches at location SW1 produces voltages above 1. SW4 Single-Pole Switches or Fused Disconnect Devices Five-Legged Core FIGURE 6.2 7 4 – Se c t io n 6 6 long lengths of cable and connected transformers that can be switched with single-pole switches.5-kV voltage levels. If the switches at SW3 were closed before the single-pole switches at SW2 were closed. does not result in objectionable overvoltages.25 pu may occur for single-pole switching at the primary terminals of the transformer.25 pu when the transformers have groundedwye primary windings and a five-legged core. SW2.18. and overvoltages could occur for single-pole switching at location SW2. This represents the situation in which the transformer is loop feed with load-break elbow connectors. without connected cable. Close the switches at location SW3 to energize cable section 2 (SEC 2) up to the normally open point.9.18: Single-Line Diagram of a Portion of a UD System. DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATION (SWITCHING PROCEDURES) With existing distribution systems. the lengths of cable that can be switched with fivelegged core. especially when restoring service during and after severe storms. 2. Close the switches at location SW2 to energize the transformer. respectively. . or internal under-oil switches—are located at the transformer primary terminals. fused or solid disconnects. and SW3 are open but the switches are closed at location SW4. They can also be used in 24. cable would be connected to the de-energized primary terminals of the transformer. First.O. 3.5 pu overvoltages may occur when switching the lower loss. To energize the system. switching procedures can be developed that limit overvoltages during single-pole switching operations to 1.18. grounded-wye primary transformers are much shorter. consider a system represented by Figure 6.and 34. assume the single-pole switches are open at all four locations shown in Figure 6.25 pu. Second. However. lower kVA grounded-wye transformers at their terminals. They can be used in 15-kV and lower voltage systems having five legged-core transformers with grounded-wye primary windings because switching at the primary terminals. But at the 24.5-kV systems if it is recognized that 1. do the following: 1.9.and 34. To recap the switching procedures for limiting overvoltages during single-pole switching. implementing these procedures in the field may be difficult. but does not have a field-operable disconnect between the loop-feed bus of the transformer and the primary winding.

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This represents the situation in which the transformer is loop feed with internal single-pole switching devices for connecting the transformer primary windings to the internal loop-feed bus. To energize the transformer and cables, close the single-pole switches at locations SW1 and SW2. The order of closing is not significant from a ferroresonance standpoint because the switches at location SW4 are open. Then the transformer windings are energized by closing the singlepole switching devices at location SW4, either before or after the switches at location SW3 are closed to energize cable section 2 (SEC 2). In developing switching procedures to prevent or limit ferroresonant overvoltages, the cooperative should consider whether it matters if liquid-filled transformers are energized with switching devices at their primary terminals or at a remote location. that prevent overvoltages above 1.25 pu usually can be developed. Implementation of these procedures may be difficult under practical conditions. For the basic types of services supplied by three-phase transformers, or banks of singlephase transformers, the preferred winding connections in the UD system, from a ferroresonance standpoint, are defined below. Four-Wire Wye Services Figure 6.1 shows the two most common connections for supply of four-wire wye services. Delta/grounded-wye connections should be avoided in cable-fed transformers unless only three-pole switching devices are used. Grounded-wye/grounded-wye connections should be used in transformers supplying fourwire wye services in UD systems. Triplex construction of three-phase transformers, or use of three single-phase transformers, prevents ferroresonance and eliminates the possibility of tank heating that can occur with the five-legged core transformer. Triplex construction is recommended for three-phase units. Use of five-legged core, three-phase transformers with groundedwye primary windings usually prevents voltages above 1.25 pu for switching at the primary terminals and with reasonable lengths of cable connected to the primary terminals.

SELECTION OF DISTRIBUTION TRANSFORMER CONNECTIONS Transformer connections in UD systems affect the likelihood of ferroresonance during singlepole switching of cable circuits and connected transformers (or just one transformer). In general, delta and ungrounded-wye connected primary windings should not be used for cable-fed transformers in 15-, 25-, and 35-kV class UD systems, unless only three-pole switches are used. For transformers in UD sysFour-Wire and Three-Wire tems, grounded-wye primary Delta Services windings are preferred. With Figure 6.1 shows transformer Transformer triplex-core three-phase transwinding connections for supconnections in UD formers and banks of singleplying the 240/120-volt, fourphase transformers with wire and 240-volt, three-wire systems affect the grounded-wye primary winddelta services. Delta/delta, likelihood of ings, ferroresonance will not floating-wye/delta, and openferroresonance occur during single-pole delta/open-delta connections switching of cables and conshould be avoided if singleduring single-pole nected transformers. With the pole switching of cable circuit switching. five-legged core, voltages and connected transformers is above 1.25 pu will occur if contemplated. These conneccable lengths are too long, or tions are acceptable only if if switching is done at the prithree-pole switches are used mary terminals of the lower loss, lower kVA for all switching operations. 24.9- and 34.5-kV transformers. When the cable Open-wye/open-delta connections prevent lengths are greater than the length allowed to ferroresonant overvoltages during single-pole limit voltages to 1.25 pu, switching procedures switching of cable circuits and connected

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Another option is to provide two separate transformer. However, these connections are not service voltages. The 240-volt, three-wire load is symmetrical and are a source of voltage unbalsupplied from a triplex-core ance. Intentional oversizing of grounded-wye/grounded-wye the transformers in this configtransformer with a secondary uration will minimize voltage Use grounded-wye rated 240Y/138 volts. The neuunbalance on the secondary primary windings tral point of the wye-connectside. As long as the conneced secondary windings may tions do not cause objectionand triplex cores be grounded or floating. The able voltage unbalance, and in three-phase 120/240-volt, single-phase the possibility of energizing load is supplied from a singleboth high-voltage terminals transformers to avoid phase transformer with its from the same primary phase ferroresonance. primary connected from phase is minimal, these are the recto neutral. The experience of ommended connection for the cooperative with the opencable-fed transformers. Otherwye/open-delta connection in overhead systems wise, delta/delta or floating-wye/delta conneccan serve as a benchmark in determining the tions must be used with appropriate installation acceptability of the connections for cable-fed of three-pole, gang-operated switches and opertransformers. ating procedures to prevent ferroresonance.

Summary and Recommendations

Ferroresonance in UD systems is a complex phenomenon. The probability of its occurring and the severity of the associated overvoltages are a function of many parameters. If the following recommendations are observed in the design and operation of the system and in the selection of transformer connections, problems caused by ferroresonance will be minimized. If only grounded-wye primary windings and triplex cores are used in three-phase transformers, ferroresonance during single phasing is virtually impossible. It is not necessary to develop special switching or operating procedures, use three-pole switches, or limit cable length as may be required with five-legged core transformers with groundedwye primary windings. Triplex construction of three-phase transformers with grounded-wye primary windings prevents tank heating. 1. For service to four-wire wye loads from 12.47-, 24.9-, and 34.5-kV UD systems, use grounded-wye/grounded-wye winding connections. If the three-phase, cable-fed transformer is constructed on a five-legged core, there are limits on the length of cable with a connected transformer that can be energized or de-energized with single-pole switches so

that the overvoltages are limited to 1.25 pu. Do not exceed these cable lengths. If the physical location of the equipment makes it impossible to limit the length of cable, develop switching procedures whereby the cable circuit can be energized or de-energized with the transformer(s) disconnected from the cable circuit. Switching at the primary terminals of the lower loss, lower kVA grounded-wye primary five-legged core transformers in 24.9- and 34.5-kV systems may produce voltages above 1.25 pu. If the three-phase transformer has triplex construction, there are no limits on cable length during the single-pole switching of the cable circuit and transformer with grounded-wye primary windings. Triplex core transformers will not experience tank heating as is possible with five-legged core transformers with grounded-wye primary windings. When purchasing three-phase transformers with grounded-wye/grounded-wye winding connections, always consider both triplex and five-legged core designs, especially in the lower kVA sizes. Always purchase triplex designs if their evaluated cost (includes first cost, cost of losses, etc.) is less

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than or equal to that of the five-legged core unit. Because the triplex designs simplify switching and operating procedures and eliminate the possibility of tank heating, these benefits should be evaluated in the purchasing decision. Installation of three single-phase transformers, from a ferroresonance and tankheating standpoint, offers the same advantages as do the triplex design transformers. 2. For service to three-wire ungrounded (delta) loads from the 12.47-, 24.9-, and 34.5-kV UD systems, use the grounded-wye/floating-wye winding connection. This connection may also be used to supply the corner-grounded delta secondary system by grounding one of the secondary phase conductors. If the threephase, cable-fed transformer is constructed on a five-legged core, there are limits on the length of cable with a connected transformer that can be energized or de-energized with single-pole switches so that the overvoltages are limited to 1.25 pu. Do not exceed these cable lengths. If the physical location of the equipment makes it impossible to limit the length of cable, develop switching procedures whereby the cable circuit can be energized or de-energized with the transformer(s) disconnected from the cable circuit. If the threephase cable-fed transformer has triplex construction, there are no limits on cable length during the single-pole switching of the cable circuit and connected transformer with grounded-wye primary winding. When purchasing three-phase transformers with grounded-wye/floating-wye winding connections, always consider both triplex and five-legged core designs, especially in the lower kVA sizes. Always purchase triplex designs if their evaluated cost (including first cost, cost of losses, etc.) is less than or equal to that of the five-legged core unit. Three-phase transformers for this application either should have the neutral of the primary windings connected to the transformer tank or else should have the primary neutral brought out through a separate insulated bushing. When the neutral of the highvoltage winding is brought out through an insulated bushing, the neutral should always be grounded before the transformer is energized. The neutral point of the low-voltage windings rated 480Y/277 volts, in either case, should be brought out through an insulated bushing so that the transformer can serve either a four-wire grounded wye secondary, a three-wire delta (ungrounded) secondary system, or a corner-grounded secondary system. When the transformer serves the ungrounded or corner-grounded systems, the secondary neutral bushing (terminal) should be insulated by the cooperative to avoid unintentional grounding. When the low-voltage windings are rated 240Y/138 volts to supply a 240-volt ungrounded or corner-grounded system, the neutral may or may not be brought out, depending on the preference of the user. However, if the secondary neutral is not brought out on an insulated bushing, it must be floated (isolated) within the tank. 3. For service to 240/120-volt four-wire delta loads in the 12.47-kV UD system employing single-pole switching of cable circuit and connected transformers, use open-wye/opendelta connections. An alternative is to provide two separate services. The 240-volt, three-wire service is supplied from a triplexcore transformer or three single-phase transformers with the primary and secondary windings connected in grounded wye. The secondary winding of the three-phase unit must be rated 240Y/138 volts. The singlephase 120/240-volt service is supplied from a single-phase transformer with its primary winding connected from phase to neutral. Some utilities discourage new applications for the 240/120-volt, four-wire delta services. Instead, they promote four-wire wye service at 208Y/120 volts. This type of service allows use of grounded-wye/grounded-wye connections with triplex construction. If only three-pole switching is used to energize or de-energize the cable circuit and connected transformers, delta, open-delta, or floating-wye connections may be used for the primary windings, provided three-pole switches are also installed at each transformer

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to connect and disconnect the transformer from the cable. The advantage of the closeddelta connection is that the maximum possible voltage unbalance, under worst-case conditions, is lower than with the openwye/open-delta connections. 4. For service to 240/120-volt, four-wire delta loads in 24.9- and 34.5-kV systems, use open-wye/open-delta connections. An alternative is to provide two separate services as described in recommendation three, or else promote the 208Y/120-volt, four-wire wye service over the four-wire delta service with grounded-wye windings. If only three-pole switching is used to energize and de-energize the cable circuit and connected transformers, and only three-pole switches are used to connect the transformer to the cable circuit, delta, open-delta, or floating-wye connections may be used for the primary windings. 5. Consumer load connected to the cable-fed transformer should not be used or relied on to prevent ferroresonance during single-pole switching on the primary side of the distribution transformer. If the load is too small, it will not prevent overvoltages, yet may be damaged by the resultant overvoltages. With floating-wye/delta transformer connections, badly unbalanced secondary load will prevent ferroresonance but cause high overvoltages by a different mechanism during single phasing. 6. Delta or ungrounded-wye primary windings can be used with three-phase transformers or banks of single-phase transformers in 24.9- and 34.5-kV UD systems without the possibility of ferroresonance only if threepole switches are used to energize and deenergize cable circuits and their connected transformers and three-pole switches are used at the HV terminals to connect the transformer to the cable circuit. Single phasing, caused by conductor or jumper opening, may result in ferroresonance under light load conditions. Cable-fed transformers with delta or ungrounded-wye primary windings are not recommended for use in new UD systems. 7. Delta or ungrounded-wye primary winding connections should not be used with cablefed, three-phase transformers or banks of single-phase transformers in 12.47-, 24.9-, and 34.5-kV UD systems when single-pole switching of cable circuits and connected transformers will be performed. The only exception to this recommendation is if the transformer primary windings are connected ungrounded-wye and provisions are made at the transformer to temporarily ground the neutral during single-pole switching operations. 8. Delta or ungrounded-wye connected primary windings should not be used for three-phase transformers or banks of three single-phase transformers even when single-pole switching will be done only at the primary terminals of the transformer. The only exception to this recommendation is if the transformer primary windings are connected ungrounded-wye and provisions are made at the transformer to temporarily ground the neutral during single-pole switching operations.

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References
Anderson, P.H. Analysis of Faulted Power Systems. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1982. Crann, L.B., and R.B. Flickinger. “Overvoltages on 14.4/24.9kV Rural Distribution Systems.” AIEE Transactions (Power Apparatus and Systems) 73, part III (October 1954): 1208–1212. DiPietro, J., and R.H. Hopkinson. “Ferroresonance on Underground Feeders Having Several Transformers.” Southeastern Electric Exchange Engineering and Operating Meeting, New Orleans, La., April 26–27, 1976. Feldman, J.M., and A.M. Hopkin. “A Simple Nonlinear Analysis of the Single-Phase Ferroresonant Circuit.” Paper C 74 233-3, IEEE PES Winter Meeting, New York, N.Y., January 27, 1974. Ferguson, J.S. “A Practical Look at Ferroresonance.” Missouri Valley Electric Association Engineering Conference, Kansas City, Mo., April 17–19, 1968. Gasal, J. “Prevent Overvoltage Failure of Arresters.” Electrical World (July 1986): 47. Germany, N., S. Mastero, and J. Vroman. “Review of Ferroresonance Phenomena in HighVoltage Power System and Presentation of a Voltage Transformer Model for Predetermining Them.” CIGRE Paper 33-18, August 21–29, 1974. Hendrickson, P.E., I.B. Johnson, and N.R. Schultz. “Abnormal Voltage Conditions Produced by Open Conductors on Three-Phase Circuits Using Shunt Capacitors.” AIEE Transactions 72, part III (1953): 1183–1193. Hopkinson, R.H. “Ferroresonance During SinglePhase Switching of Three-Phase Distribution Transformer Banks.” IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems PAS84 (April 1965): 289–293, discussion June 1965, 514–517. Hopkinson, R.H. “Ferroresonant Overvoltage Control Based on TNA Tests on Three-Phase Delta-Wye Transformer Banks.” IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems PAS86, no. 10 (October 1967): 1258–1265. Hopkinson, R.H. “Ferroresonant Overvoltage Control Based on TNA Tests on Three-Phase Wye-Delta Transformer Banks.” IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems PAS87, no. 2 (February 1968): 352–361. Locke, P. “Check Your Ferroresonance Concepts at 34 kV.” Transmission and Distribution (April 1978): 3239. Millet, R.D., D.D. Mairs, and D.L. Stuehm. “The Assessment and Mitigation Study of Ferroresonance on Grounded-Wye/Grounded-Wye ThreePhase Pad-Mounted Transformers.” Final Report: NRECA Energy Research Division, January 1990. Pennsylvania Electric Company. “Field Investigation of Ferroresonance on 20/34.5-kV Distribution Three-Phase Transformer Banks.” PENELEC, October 14, 1964. Rudenberg, R. Transient Performance of Electric Power Systems. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, May 1970. Schultz, R.A. “Ferroresonance in Distribution Transformer Banks on 19.8/34.5 kV Systems.” Rocky Mountain Electric League Spring Conference, Boulder, Colo., April 21, 1964. Smith, D.R., S.R. Swanson, and J.D. Borst. “Overvoltages with Remotely Switched Cable-Fed Grounded Wye-Wye Transformers.” IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems PAS94, no. 5 (September/October 1975): 1843–1853. Stoelting, H.O. “A Practical Approach to Ferroresonance as Established by Tests.” Pacific Coast Electric Association Engineering and Operating Meeting, San Francisco, Calif., March 4, 1966. Walling, R.A. “Ferroresonance in Today’s Distribution Systems.” Presentation to the Western Underground Committee, Palo Alto, Calif., May 2, 1991. Walling, R.A. “Ferroresonance Guidelines for Modern Transformer Applications.” Final Report to the Distribution Systems Testing, Application, and Research (DSTAR) Consortium, July 1992.

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Walling, R.A., K.D. Barker, T.M. Compton, and L.E. Zimmerman. “Ferroresonant Overvoltages in Grounded Wye-Wye Pad-Mounted Transformers with Low-Loss Silicon-Steel Cores.” Presentation at the IEEE 1992 Summer Power Meeting. Young, F.S., R.L. Schmid, and P.I. Fergestad. “A Laboratory Investigation of Ferroresonance in Cable-Connected Transformers.” IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems PAS-87, no. 5 (May 1968): 1240–1248.

Cathodic Protection Require m e n t s – 2 8 1

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In This Section: Special Note Introduction

Cathodic Protection Requirements

Special Note Introduction What to Protect Where to Protect Types of Cathodic Protection Systems Amount of Cathodic Protection

Cathodic Protection Design with Galvanic Anodes Cathodic Protection Installation and Follow-Up Calculation of Resistance to Ground Summary and Recommendations

With the 2006 transition to jacketed mediumvoltage distribution-class cables, cathodic protection is not generally needed in today’s applications. With the older BCN cables (now not RUS accepted), cathodic protection was a necessary

precaution to avoid corrosion on the exposed bare concentric neutrals in certain soil types. This section is being left in this manual as a historical reference for those situations in which BCN cables are still in operation.

Cathodic protection is an effective and economical means for avoiding underground corrosion in electrical grounding to ensure safe and reliable operation of the electric system. Cathodic protection is protection of the neutral, ground electrodes, and other metal in contact with soil through the use of sacrificial anodes or rectifiers and impressed-current anodes. Cathodic protection has become a necessity for electric utilities because of the broad shift to underground construction and the use of nonconducting materials. In the past, the electric neutral and ground wires were connected to buried steel piping, conduit, tanks, wells, and anchors at many locations. Copper grounds and copper wires in soil received cathodic protection at the expense of buried steel. The large extent

of buried steel, together with surface films on the copper, caused the resulting corrosion of steel to be so slow that it was generally ignored. Now, copper-jacketed ground rods and copper wires may be the only earth contact for safety and electrical protection. With no steel connected, the copper is vulnerable to corrosion because of variations in the soil and from ac voltages present on the neutral. Corrosion of copper in these circumstances can result in loss of electrical protection, property damage, and hazards to operating crews and the public. This section explains, step by step, how to design and install cathodic protection with sacrificial anodes, and how to recognize where such protection will be the most important.

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What to Protect
THE ELECTRIC NEUTRAL AND GROUNDS The first requirement is to protect the electric neutral and grounds. The necessity for effective grounding and continuity of the neutral return conductor should be obvious. Cathodic protection is a cost-effective means for avoiding problems in these areas. OTHER BURIED, GROUNDED METAL Buried steel conduit, anchors, pipes, and well casings are subject to corrosion when they are connected to the common neutral, particularly when the grounding is with copper materials. Cathodic protection of the neutral and grounding system is needed to avoid or control such corrosion.

Where to Protect

Consider cathodic protection at the time of construction where any of the following apply: • In new residential subdivisions with nonmetallic sewer lines, water lines, gas lines, and copper-grounded electric facilities, where the only buried metal connected to the neutral is copper. Copper may corrode rapidly in these situations because of the mixing of soils during regrading and the absence of the cathodic protection usually provided by buried steel. • Along other routes with widely variable soil conditions that may result from differences in terrain, soil moisture, drainage, and the presence of contaminants such as ashes, coal, dumped refuse, or drainage from barnyards or irrigated fields. • At services from copper-grounded electric circuits where steel pipes, tanks, or well casings

are vulnerable to accelerated corrosion because of the effects of dissimilar metals. • At the ends of copper-grounded cable routes in very high-resistivity soils, where ac voltages on the neutral may cause accelerated corrosion of buried copper (Zastrow, 1981). • Near cathodically protected pipelines and in the vicinity of rectifiers that supply dc for cathodic protection; also, near dc-powered railways and mining operations. Control of corrosion from external dc sources may require special measures in addition to installation of cathodic protection (Zastrow, 1979). To understand underground corrosion and corrosion-control measures, one must recognize that the electric neutral and ground connections behave as a dc circuit and must be treated as such. The electric neutral, ground electrodes, and other buried metal components connected to them act as a huge galvanic cell. The more noble buried metal surfaces, usually copper, become cathodes and are protected against corrosion. The less noble metals, usually iron and steel, become anodes and are corroded (see Figure 7.1). The electric grounding system may be in an area of widely varying soil resistivity (see Figure 7.2). Shaded areas on the map represent locations of low-resistivity, corrosive soils. Metals in corrosive soil become anodes and corrode, whereas the metals in less-corrosive soil are protected against corrosion. See Section 5 for a detailed discussion of soil electrical resistivity. When both copper and steel are present in variable soils, as at a connection between an underground cable and pole line (see Figure 7.2), the steel anchor in corrosive soil becomes the anode and corrodes, whereas the copper in less corrosive soil is protected against corrosion. If

Pole Line

Electron Flow

Anchor (Anode)

Copper Grounds (Cathodes)

Copper Grounds (Cathodes)

Copper Grounds Steel Pipe (Anode)

Irrigation Well (Anode)

FIGURE 7.1: Dissimilar Metal Effects Between Buried Metals Connected to the Neutral of an Electric Distribution Line.

Cathodic Protection Require m e n t s – 2 8 3

7
Electron Flow Electron Flow B B B A

(A) Corrosive soils (B) Less corrosive soils

FIGURE 7.2: Electric System Map Shaded to Show Corrosive Soil Locations. only buried copper is present, as may be true with underground cables, the copper in corrosive soils sacrifices itself to protect the copper in less corrosive soils.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DC POTENTIALS Underground corrosion occurs because of differences between dc potentials of the buried metals, either because of dissimilar metals or because of differences in soil. Typical dc potentials of some common metals and of carbon are shown in Table 7.1. The higher (more negative) the dc potential, the more likely the metal is to corrode when connected to other buried metals. Potentials such as shown in Table 7.1 are measured with a high-resistance voltmeter and copper-copper sulfate half cell (see Figure 7.3). If two buried metals are connected, the one with a higher negative potential is corroded while the other is protected (see Figure 7.4). A single buried metal, such as copper, corrodes in varying soils as shown in Figure 7.5. SOIL RESISTIVITY Include soil resistivity measurements as part of a preconstruction survey along each proposed underground cable route. At the same time, record the locations of pipeline crossings and other possible dc sources that may cause cathodic protection interference. Soil resistivity is measured with a four-terminal ground test instrument, with four equally spaced probes placed in a straight line (see Figure 7.6). If measurements are made in the vicinity of a BCN cable or buried pipe, the probes should be off to one side and at right angles to the buried metal.

TABLE 7.1: Typical DC Potentials in Soil.
Material Zinc Iron Copper Carbon
* To a copper-copper sulfate half cell

Potential, Volts* -1.1 -0.6 to -0.7 0 to -0.1 +0.2

Detail of Half Cell To Voltmeter Copper Rod Voltmeter

Copper Sulfate Solution Excess Crystals Porous Plug

Half Cell

Soil resistivity measurements are essential for success in any corrosion control effort.

Soil

Soil Metal

FIGURE 7.3: Measurement of Potential to a Copper-Copper Sulfate Half Cell.

SOIL AND TERRAIN FEATURES The appearance of soil and the nature of the terrain often reveal locations of corrosive soils as well as soils not likely to be corrosive. Swamps,

In Figure 7. Additional information about soil resistivity measurements and grounding is given in Section 5 of this manual. represent corrosive soils.2 8 4 – Se c t io n 7 7 –0. • White alkali on the surface in dry areas. or low locations including marshes where drainage is poor. To show “conventional flow” (movement of positive charge). multiply the meter reading by 20. ground rods. if the meter reads R = 2. which helps form passive protective films on iron or steel.2-foot spacing. Soil Ions Anodic (Corroding) Area Electron Flow Ions Cathodic (Protected) Area Arrows represent the flow of electrons in connecting wires and movement of positive ions in the soil. For 10. multiply the meter reading by 10 to find earth resistivity in ohm-m. Well-drained areas and presence of carbonates (lime) usually indicate locations of no significant corrosion. FIGURE 7.6: Measurement of Earth Resistivity with a Four-Terminal Ground Tester. This usually dense clay is deficient in oxygen and associated with poorly drained soils. and anchor assemblies) as well as their condition at the time of observed deterioration or failure. streams. These may be good locations for sacrificial anodes. CORROSION EXPERIENCE Make use of maintenance and replacement records and recollections of underground crews to identify the areas of most probable corrosion. P1 C1 P2 C2 Recollections of underground crews about soil types may be valuable.4 ohms. • Red clay is only mildly corrosive to buried steel.4-foot spacing. BareNeutral Cable Soil C o p p e r Soil I r o n + Ions Copper Iron Protected Corroding FIGURE 7. . ground wires.06V Electron Flow EXAMPLE 7. Note the locations and ages of components (cable neutrals. soil resistivity is 24 ohm-m. if A = 5. is severely corrosive to both copper and steel. Red signifies the presence of iron oxide. and poorly drained areas indicate severely corrosive soils.2 feet. indicating the presence of oxygen. reverse the arrows that represent electron flow. • Blue or gray clay. A A = Distance between probes A A Cable FIGURE 7.5: Dissimilar Soil Effects on Buried Copper Wires. sometimes mottled with white.1: Measuring Earth Resistivity. For 5. The appearance of soils at cable depth may be significant for the following reasons.4: Dissimilar Metal Effects Between Copper and Steel.05V –0.6.

the potential that results is more negative than the average of the individual metal potentials.7: Potentials of a Copper-Steel Couple Before and After Connecting a Zinc Anode. RECTIFIER SYSTEMS Rectifier systems are used where there is a need for higher output voltages and/or currents than galvanic anodes can provide. Use of these units should be limited at first in order to gain experience. They may be the most economical means for protecting grounding systems at generating stations. along with impressedcurrent anodes.6.8V Electron Flow + Ions Copper Iron (Protected) (Corroding) Zinc Copper (Protected) Positive Ions Iron Zinc (Corroding) FIGURE 7. depending on design and the physical location of the anode or anode bed. The potentials of the individual metals in soil for copper. Adjustable rectifiers. These rectifier systems should be designed and installed by individuals of proven competence who have experience with such installations. if steel is corroding because of a connection to copper (see Figure 7. A rectifier system may either prevent or cause corrosion problems.1 volts. respectively (see Table 7.8 volt. storage tanks. and wells in oil fields. the resulting potential is -0. The potentials in Figure 7. Special attention must be given to the location of anodes and adjustment of the rectifiers to avoid serious damage to the grounding system or other nearby facilities. They are usually installed at pad-mounted equipment where the anodes can be buried at minimum cost with a minimum of digging.4V Electrons –1.4 instead of -0. which have the effect of reducing the amount of current required for cathodic protection.1V –0. and -1. For the copper-iron couple. They have been suggested for retrofitting along existing BCN underground cables. Small constant-current rectifier units are used to provide more current output than is available from sacrificial anodes. and zinc are 0. Rectifier systems are more exacting in their requirements for design and regular attention to maintenance. substations. are used for protecting large underground structures such as pipelines.7). -0. particularly in soils with very high resistivities.Cathodic Protection Require m e n t s – 2 8 5 7 Types of Cathodic Protection Systems Cathodic protection may be provided by sacrificial anodes of magnesium or zinc. or by rectifiers and impressed-current anodes. The potential of the copper-iron-zinc combination is -0.1). The balance of this section will be addressed to cathodic protection by means of sacrificial anodes. .4). a zinc anode can be added to provide protection (see Figure 7. The difference is due to films that usually form on cathodic surfaces. even though the average of the three is -0. and major industrial facilities. Sacrificial anodes make use of dissimilar metal effects to protect buried metals against corrosion. Note: When they are connected together. For example. Rectifiers use an ac source to apply a negative potential to the protected structure and return the dc to earth by means of one or more impressed-current anodes.57 volt. iron. –0.7 show the effect of surface films. SACRIFICIAL ANODE SYSTEMS Sacrificial anodes are widely used for cathodic protection on electric distribution facilities for reasons of cost and the minimum maintenance required.3 volt. Results have been mixed in terms of reliability and service life.

5 to -0. Examples drawn from RUS experience are given in Table 7. ** Volts to a copper-copper sulfate half cell.4 to -0. Experience in the cooperative’s service area is the best guide for deciding on potentials that are effective yet practical. The potentials in Table 7.6 volt. tanks. steel anchor assemblies and ground rods are lasting more than 25 years at potentials such as -0.85 volt or more negative.7 -0. pipes.2. At locations of steel wells.85 -0.25 volt. improperly located anodes. The potential selected for providing protection is important. or in which significant corrosion of buried copper has been experienced. the owner should install anodes at locations of grounds along the new cable so that. pipes. Experience in the service area. To achieve a more negative cable neutral potential at such locations. but may corrode at more negative potentials in the presence of ac voltages (Zastrow. if these levels are practical. TABLE 7.2: Suggested DC Potentials for Cathodic Protection. are only approximate because of wide variations in soil properties. conduit At cable terminal poles In noncorrosive soils In corrosive soil areas At connections to extensive copper-grounded facilities -0. More negative potentials provide a greater margin of protection. the design should avoid any objectionable flow of dc in service neutrals. Cathodic protection designs. tanks. Or.85 Potential (volts dc)** * From long-term personal experience on electric systems financed by RUS. Anchor assemblies bonded to pole line neutrals would not have experienced difficulty before underground construction.2 8 6 – Se c t io n 7 7 Amount of Cathodic Protection The cathodic protection should cause enough current flow to make the dc neutral potential sufficiently negative to prevent corrosion.3 -0. conduit Along BCN cables In noncorrosive soils In corrosive soil areas At locations of grounded steel wells. No underground corrosion of copper would have been noticed before the installation of BCN underground cables. less negative potentials increase the probability of underground corrosion problems. as the cost of cathodic protection increases directly with the shift in dc potential to be achieved. and conduit. and wells connected to a copper-grounded neutral lasted for 20 years or more without significant losses resulting from underground corrosion. and these specifications. the dc potentials are strongly influenced by “as-found” conditions. Buried copper is generally free of corrosion at potentials of -0. the desired potentials will be achieved. ***There is a lack of experience with protection of cables with semiconducting jackets. In most soils.4 -0. tanks.6 -0.2 are intended to provide a starting point until experience is gained in selecting potentials to provide the desired degree of protection at an acceptable cost. as an alternative.85 -0. however. with first failures after 20 years or more. Noncorrosive soils are defined as those in which steel ground rods and steel anchor assemblies. Steel or iron in soil is usually regarded as protected against corrosion at potentials of -0. the owner may need to provide cathodic protection for the “foreign” grounding system.85 -0. try. to achieve those indicated for BCN cables. as a minimum. At connections to extensive copper-grounded facilities. Corrosive soils are those in which significant numbers of anchor rods bonded to a copper grounded neutral failed within 15 years after installation.2. after a mile or so. should be helpful for deciding on the ones to be used for cathodic protection design. . Even so. With these potentials as a guide. 1981).* Conditions Along jacketed cables*** In noncorrosive soils In corrosive soil areas At locations of grounded steel wells.7 -0. and uncertainties about the characteristics and extent of buried metal structures connected to the neutral. cathodic protection is designed to maintain dc neutral potentials equal to or more negative than those shown in Table 7. interpreted in light of “as found” dc potentials. Use the same values as for cables with insulating jackets. otherwise. variable effects of polarization films.1 to -0. procedures such as these are necessary to avoid the high cost of ineffective installations and wasted.

Note: There is a great difference between the value of resistance or conductance to ground per unit length (per mile or kft) of neutral and the value for the complete neutral. and the neutral conductor and ground wires provide the connections to the load. pipes. is similar to a pole line with regard to grounding and cathodic protection design.5. ground connections (metals buried in soil) are the load. In both. and pole anchor assemblies) connected to the common neutral and in contact with the soil.7. JACKETED CABLES AND OVERHEAD POLE LINES A jacketed underground cable. and 7.8). Cables with Conducting (Semicon) Jackets. Large Power Users. most of the grounding is by means of driven ground rods along the line and on consumers’ premises.4. Rw Ea En Ra Rn Ea = Open circuit anode potential. with an insulating jacket over the neutral wires. . (See Figures 7. STEP 2: Decide on the shift in dc neutral potential that will be necessary for adequate control of corrosion. STEP 3: Calculate the anode output current required. STEP 4: Select the anode types. 7.8: Equivalent Circuit for a Galvanic Anode Connected to the Electric Neutral. the dc potential the anode would assume if not connected to anything else En = DC neutral potential Rn = Resistance-to-earth of the neutral and grounds Ra = Anode resistance Rw = Resistance of the anode lead FIGURE 7.) The object of cathodic protection is to shift the dc potential of the neutral to a sufficiently negative value to control or stop corrosion. The current return path is through the soil. sizes. which usually has a resistance to ground of a fraction of one ohm. STEP 1: Calculate the Neutral Resistance and Conductance to Ground The discussions that follow refer to conductance (the reciprocal of resistance) instead of resistance to avoid the cumbersome formulas that are necessary for finding the equivalent of resistances in parallel. and Connections to Other Facilities—only addi- tional factors to be considered are included.Cathodic Protection Require m e n t s – 2 8 7 7 Cathodic Protection Design with Galvanic Anodes A cathodic protection system is actually a dc circuit (see Figure 7. wells. STEP 5: Decide on approximate locations for anodes along the cable. These steps will now be described in detail for Jacketed Cables and Overhead Pole Lines. Cathodic protection design requires at least five steps: STEP 1: Calculate the neutral resistance to Cables in Conduit. tanks. The anode is the voltage source. and numbers. ground. For the following other types of situations— Protection of Bare Concentric Neutral Cables. Additional grounding is provided by other buried metal (conduit. Conductances of individual grounds in parallel can be combined by simple addition or multiplication.

5168 3. ohms.0251 199. multiply by 100.71 0.645 siemens 10 rods in 500 ohm-m soil: 10 × 0.3 are explained later in the subsection.7 0. indicate separately the numbers of ground rods in the lower or higher resistivity areas. including those on consumers’ premises.001245 1. There are.1556 32.258 5. assume that each is equivalent to half a ground rod.807 3. 5/8-in.050 siemens Sum: 0. Resistance Conductance 3/4 in. 500 ohm-m and higher. × 8-ft rods. rods.000 feet (kft) along the line and on consumers’ premises. Assume that this is an underground cable with an insulating jacket over the neutral wires. Resistance Conductance 1.00517 967. TABLE 7. rods = 0.90 0.0052 = 0. 15 driven grounds per mile.00100 * For resistivity in ohm-cm.2074 6.697 siemens .5013 3.125 siemens 3/4-in.4 0. Calculate the conductance to ground per mile of cable: • If grounding is with 5/8-in.675 siemens For 3/4-in.1291 38. rods = 0. Estimate the number of ground rods per 1.129 = 0.3111 4.427 0. The conductance per eight-foot ground rod (Table 7.0050 siemens 3/4-in.985 0. One-third of them are in soils with resistivities of approximately 20 ohm-m.0258 193. × 8-ft rods.871 0. x 8 ft.005 = 0.6 0. and conductance.00623 803.1253 39. Determine the conductivity to ground from the numbers of driven grounds and the information in Table 7. on average. siemens) 2.052 siemens Sum: 0. x 8 ft. Resistance Conductance 3/4 in.1671 7.2 8 8 – Se c t io n 7 7 EXAMPLE 7.936 0.0052 siemens Conductance to ground per mile of cable neutral: For 5/8-in. 5 Soil Resistivity (ohm-m*) 10 15 20 100 500 (Resistance. Calculation of Resistance to Ground.125 = 0.821 0.14 0.995 0.500 Ground Rod Size 5/8 in. If soil resistivities vary substantially.1722 7. and • If grounding is with 3/4-in. rods. x 10 ft. (Note that this calculation is not precise!) If pole line anchors are included.625 siemens 10 rods in 500 ohm-m soil: 10 × 0. and two-thirds are in highresistivity soils.3.3: Calculated Resistance and Conductance to Ground of Individual Ground Rods as Related to Soil Resistivity. 5 rods in 20 ohm-m soil: 5 × 0. rods = 0. 5/8-in.5 0.0311 160. 5 rods in 20 ohm-m soil: 5 × 0.214 0.000 Feet of Cable.00501 997.6 0.9 0.6223 3.981 0.2506 5.129 siemens In 500 ohm-m soil.990 0. rods = 0.2: Calculating the Neutral Conductance to Ground Per 1.00133 1.743 0.3) is as follows: In 20 ohm-m soil.607 0. Equations for calculating the values given in Table 7.

1 –0. where V is the shift in potential to be achieved and G is the neutral conductance (reciprocal of resistance). the success or failure—of the cathodic protection installation. and installed cost. sizes. 2. sizes. 1. • Column (d).405 A (405 milliamperes [mA]) per mile With steel ground rods.2). size. as follows: • Column (a). Sizes.2 ampere years 60-lb. that the selected neutral potential is -0.1 volt for steel and –0. STEP 4: Select Anode Types. in siemens. to ground.697 = 0.6 0 to –0.675 = 0. EXAMPLE 7. The shift in potential required is the difference between -0. Assume. 2.4: Calculating Required Anode Output Current.0697 A (70 mA) per mile 17. Table 7. The potential of a neutral without cathodic protection is determined by ground rods and other buried.4 ampere years .2 The shift in neutral potential needed to achieve a neutral potential of –0.1 × 0. with no cathodic protection. connected metals. size. for calculating resistance. • Column (c).7 volt is –0. I = 0. size.1 or 7. for this example. TABLE 7. and Numbers Decide on the anode types and sizes needed.1 volt if all grounding is with copper and -0.4.7 volt and the potential the neutral would have without cathodic protection.6 volt for copper. Potentials that are likely. anode weight and the backfill package size.Cathodic Protection Require m e n t s – 2 8 9 7 STEP 2: Determine the Shift in Potential Required To determine the dc shift in neutral potential to be achieved by cathodic protection. The driving potential for each output calculation is equal to the solution potential indicated for each anode material less the structure potential. The selections will depend on soil resistivities at anode locations and on the anode characteristics that determine output.7 volt.0 ampere years 48.6 × 0.5 provides information about standard sizes and types of anodes.and 50-lb. STEP 3: Calculate the Anode Output Current Required Calculate the anode output current required from Ohm’s law. 1. service life.4: Potentials to a Copper-Copper Sulfate Half Cell. Buried Metal or Material Zinc or new galvanized steel Old steel or iron Copper Carbon (in insulation shield or jacket) Typical DC Potential (volts) –1. The estimated lives in Table 7. to minimize probable corrosion of buried steel connected to the neutrals along the cable route.4).3. select the neutral potential needed for adequate protection (Table 7. are -0. anode resistance in soil with the resistivity shown in column (b). See Example 7.0 ampere years Zinc anodes: 30-lb. The selections of anodes and their locations are likely to determine the effectiveness—and indeed. the current output and estimated life when protecting the neutral at each of four potentials shown. The selection will usually be a compromise between an “ideal” level of protection desired and cost of the cathodic protection. I = 0.1 +0.6 volt if grounding is with steel disregarding the short-term effects of galvanizing (Table 7. With copper-jacketed ground rods.5 to –0. See Example 7. I = V × G.0 ampere year 32-lb.and 20-lb.5 are based on ampere years’ output of magnesium and zinc anodes as follows: Magnesium anodes: EXAMPLE 7.3: Determining Required Shift in Potential. 3.

) Package Size (in. and Estimated Life.5: Sacrificial Anode Resistance.7 19 38 7.10V) 30 66 × 6 20 30 50 60 66 × 6 10 20 30 ! = Not meaningful.55V) 17 22 × 7 2 50 100 32 26 × 8.5 20 50 100 50 22 × 10 20 50 9 23 46 7.5 –0.2 18 75 37 18 46 23 9 199 79 13 32 ! 22 44 ! 15 38 65 32 16 40 20 8 171 68 15 23 ! 25 ! ! 18 44 54 26 13 33 17 7 143 57 19 38 ! 30 ! ! 21 ! 46 23 11 28 14 6 122 49 22 43 ! 36 ! ! 25 ! Zinc (Solution Potential = –1.6 14 2. multiply by 100.1 18 139 54 27 162 66 33 176 69 7 19 37 12 30 60 17 43 117 46 23 136 55 28 147 58 9 22 ! 15 36 ! 20 ! 94 37 18 110 45 22 120 47 11 28 ! 18 ! ! 25 ! 77 30 15 91 37 18 99 39 13 33 ! 22 ! ! 31 ! (a) Anode Nominal Weight (lb. * At anode depth.) High-Potential Magnesium (Solution Potential = 1.2 9 0 – Se c t io n 7 7 TABLE 7.5 13 21 8.7 17 26 105 70 43 207 105 70 11 29 28 12 23 34 70 47 29 138 70 47 17 26 41 17 34 ! 44 29 18 86 44 20 27 41 ! 28 ! ! . Horizontal Anodes at 6-Foot Depth (c) (d) Current Output and Estimated Life for Structure Potential (volts) Soil Resistivity Anode Resistance –0.6 140 93 57 275 140 93 8.7 8.9 5. exceeds 45 years.3 –0.7 –0.7 8.73V) 17 38 × 6 50 100 200 20 64 × 5 100 200 500 48 34 × 8 20 50 19 39 78 31 62 154 7.85 (ohm-m**) (ohms) (mA) (yrs) (mA) (yrs) (mA) (yrs) (mA) (yrs) (b)* Standard Magnesium (Solution Potential = –1. Output Current. ** To express in ohm-cm. 5.

Additional grounding is by means of driven ground rods and by other buried metal connected to the neutral and ground wires. the 405 mA required for each mile can be provided with four 32-lb.00 23. STEP 5: Decide on Approximate Anode Locations Along the Route Decide on approximate anode locations along the route.500 7. Obtain the best soil resistivity data at cable depth that time and resources allow. and vegetation.40 1. 70 mA.801 0.15 0.00 (siemens per 1.71 1. or three 48-lb. find the approximate boundaries of lowest and highest resistivity areas if variations are in the range of five to one or greater. Particularly.6 is the diameter of the individual cable.26 0. 48-lb. calculated current outputs. Yet soil resistivity data are subject to considerable error because of practical limitations of field surveys. 143 mA. if they can be located in 20 ohm-m soil. 21 years Zinc.81 2.16 5.00 27.6. The rate of progress in field surveys is slow at first but will increase with experience.251 0.230 0. For steel-grounded cable.000 feet of cable) 24. Give special attention to locations where the newly installed cable is connected to other facilities (particularly copper-grounded stations).* Soil Resistivity (ohm-m) 5 10 25 50 100 150 500 1. the 70 mA required can be provided with one zinc anode per mile.080 0.018 * For method of calculating.51 1.41 2.088 0.30 1. to find the anodes that might be selected. and also the kinds of anodes.01 4. if available. PROTECTION OF BARE CONCENTRIC NEUTRAL CABLES Most of the grounding of BCN cable is by direct contact with the concentric neutral wires.837 0.5: Selecting Anode Types. installed in 20 ohm-m soil. and changes in soil moisture. How accurate can the cooperative afford to be? Do the following: 1. To calculate the neutral conductance to ground if there are wide variations in soil resistivity.240 0. may show that little cathodic protection is needed for cables with insulating jackets and galvanized steel ground rods.500 Effective Diameter (inches) 2. Neutral Conductance to Ground Table 7.03 12. in the columns for a 0.56 5. 20-lb. The conductances are inversely proportional to soil resistivity.. do the following: In 500 ohm-m soil: High-potential magnesium.12 12.32 0.03 11. Prior experience with steel-grounded pole lines. as is shown in Table 7.015 12. 34 years soil resistivity locations available.Cathodic Protection Require m e n t s – 2 9 1 7 EXAMPLE 7.54 5. 70 mA. Sizes. see information later in this section.077 0.877 0.768 0.00 8.263 0.084 0.6. standard magnesium anodes (440 mA).51 4. 7 mA.61 2.016 25. 18 years High-potential magnesium.32 13. high-potential magnesium anodes (429 mA).6 shows calculated conductances to ground of BCN neutrals with effective diameters as indicated. 17 years Zinc.. or of the group of cables in a multiphase circuit. and loads such as irrigation wells with unusual amounts of grounded metal surrounded by irrigated soil areas. so values in soils with other resistivities can be determined without the need for detailed calculations. the anode life will exceed 45 years.5.090 0.7-volt structure potential. For copper-grounded cable. Learn to identify the extremes from the nature of terrain. seasonal temperature variations.35 0.017 26.271 0. Soil resistivity is the most important variable of all. but use discretion regarding maximum distances between anodes. If cables are in a flat or irregular configuration. old BCN cables. using soil resistivity profiles obtained during preconstruction surveys. 2.018 1. or six zinc anodes (420 mA). TABLE 7....902 0. and Numbers.07 13. 110 mA. 32-lb.26 2. See Table 7. The effective diameter in Table 7. Take maximum advantage of the lowest . Conductance to Ground of BCNs with Effective Diameters as Indicated.63 1. and estimated lives: In 20 ohm-m soil: Standard magnesium.02 2.00 4. 60-lb. 30-lb. soil appearance.20 0. an estimate should be made of an equivalent circle that would enclose the conductor cross sections.

675 siemens Note that more than 90 percent of the conductance to ground—and.8.81 siemens Total per mile = 10. In 500 ohm-m soil. b. Recognize as normal the wide seasonal variations in soil resistivity that follow variations in temperature and soil moisture.85 volts in corrosive soils) to protect anchor rods and other buried steel connected to the neutral.1 volts is the probable potential of copper without cathodic protection (Table 7.4).3 volts to a copper-copper sulfate half cell to protect copper concentric neutral wires and grounds. The level of protection selected makes a great difference in the cost of cathodic protection. In 20 ohm-m soil. CABLES WITH CONDUCTING (SEMICON) JACKETS Cables with a conducting (semiconducting) jacket over the concentric neutral wires provide conductivity to surrounding earth through the jacket in addition to that provided by the metallic grounds. to achieve the desired potentials.0052 = 0. For this example.12 siemens 0. a mile of BCN cable will have 1.75 × 1. Reliability of design estimates will improve with experience.0052 = 0. 3/4 in. The neutral conductance to ground per mile of cable is as follows: In 20 ohm-m soil. in volts G = Conductance. 4.7 volts (or even -0. based on 15 per mile. In 20 ohm-m soil. As -0. Shift in Neutral Potential Required From Table 7. Additional cathodic projection capacity will be needed to accommodate the conductivity effect of the jacket. in amperes E = DC potential shift.5 volts to a copper-copper sulfate half cell.1 or 7. EXAMPLE 7.6: Estimating Neutral Conductance to Ground of BCN Cable.76 kft) of its length in 20 ohm-m soils and 3. assume that the selected potential is -0.760 ft (1.93 siemens a.76 = 10. therefore.52 kft in the 400 to 1. most of the need for cathodic protection—is in the 20 ohm-m soil. Assume a single-phase one-inch-diameter cable installed with one-third of its length in soils with resistivities on the order of 20 ohm-m and two-thirds of its length in soil with resistivities of 400 to 1.000 ohm-m (500 ohm-m average).1 I=E×G where: I = Current. Equation 7. A sacrificial anode system is largely self-adjusting. in terms of potential shift achieved. 3.129 = 0. Anode Output Current and Anodes Required The required anode output current per mile of cable. Estimate the proportion of cable in each resistivity range as suggested in Example 7.52 = 0. the shift in potential needed is -0.052 siemens Sum = 0. by a considerable margin.7: Determining Required Shift in Neutral Potential. with anode outputs and current requirements going up and down together.125 = 0.” recognize that results from a first installation are likely to miss the design objective.75 (half of 11. Following the above proportions. × 8 ft. × 8 ft. 0. From Table 7. Locate anodes of suitable size and type in the lowest resistivity soil locations available at reasonable intervals and in numbers sufficient to provide the total output needed. is as follows: For copper rods. particularly where grounding is mainly by means of copper in contact with the soil.2 9 2 – Se c t io n 7 7 EXAMPLE 7. Concerning “accuracy.645 siemens 10 × 0. The selected potential might be -0.6. The amount of additional cathodic Conductance to ground of driven rods along the cable. For steel rods. In 500 ohm-m soil. Calculate the conductance separately for cables in each resistivity range and add them together to obtain the total. 5.625 siemens 10 × 0. is given by Equation 7. and for cables in 500 ohm-m soil. 5 × 0. or it might be -0. See Example 7. 5/8 in.1.6.51) siemens per kft.697 siemens 5 × 0.23 siemens per kft.000 ohm-m soils.4 volts for copper and zero for steel rods. select the potential that should be achieved by cathodic protection.050 siemens Sum = 0.23 × 3.2 or -0. In 500 ohm-m soil.2. in siemens . conductance to ground of one-inch-diameter cable neutrals in 20 ohm-m soil is 5.

into a humid atmosphere and possible water and then back into soil. For 4. However. bring the neutral to the desired potential. tends to sacrifice itself to protect bare copper neutral wires inside. Cables in conduit are much more vulnerable to underground corrosion than are cables in soil..446 mA). Conduit made of nonconducting material presents an insulating barrier around the cable so that cathodic protection from sources outside cannot reach the cables inside. may present a resistance to ground that is low compared with that of the electric neutral at that location.644 A (4.7. CABLES IN CONDUIT Virtually all cooperatives now use jacketed cable.620 mA).644 mA) per mile With steel ground rods. high-potential magnesium (4.5 volt structure potential. 105 mA. Conductance to ground: BCN wires = 10. Or install cathodic protection for the existing station or other facility at the time the new cable is installed. zinc (4. calculated current outputs. or 42 of 60-lb. Encourage the owner to install cathodic protection. to find the anodes that might be selected. 50-lb. as in Example 7. 23 years High-potential magnesium.4 volts for BCN wires and the ground rods.93 siemens. a length of zinc ribbon anode should be pulled in with the cables and the core wire connected to the cable neutrals at a splice at one or both ends. and estimated lives: In 20 ohm-m soil: Standard magnesium. determine the anode output current and anodes required. If BCN cables must be inside nonmetallic conduit. 60-lb.4 = 4. (See information later in this section. 20-lb. The anodes provide a zone of protection for individual grounds and anchor assemblies. nonmetallic conduit.5. the life of the anode will exceed 45 years.410 mA). cables with insulating jackets should be installed inside conduit. in the columns for a –0. LARGE POWER USERS The grounds at a large power load.68 siemens Sum = 11. protection capacity will be dependent on the volume resistivity of the jacket and the neutral configuration.6 and 7. Using the assumptions of Examples 7.372 A (4.644 mA per mile: 32 per mile of 50-lb.. going from soil to mixed air and soil. some protection to the consumerowned grounds. or 27 of 48-lb.410 mA). over a distance along the line. or 44 of 60-lb. With copper-jacketed ground rods. if the cooperative still uses BCN cables. 48-lb. high-potential magnesium (4. zinc (4.372 mA) per mile See Table 7.372 mA per mile: 30 per mile of 50-lb. Follow procedures as for large power loads. Such a ground has a dc potential that is not readily changed unless the owner installs cathodic protection in addition to that along the electric line.61 siemens Output current required for –0. 1981).6 Ground rods = 0. In 500 ohm-m soil: If all anodes can be installed in 20 ohm-m soil. on the other hand.5 volts for the BCN wires and zero for steel ground rods: Output current required: I = 10. such as an industrial grounding system or a center-pivot irrigation well.) BCN cables must not be installed in direct-buried.61 × 0. the numbers needed are as follows: For 4. For new construction.. Install additional anodes at grounding locations nearby. Steel conduit. 18 years Zinc. 2. the potential shift required is –0.4 volt shift: I = 11. Variations in the environment are extreme. 171 mA.704 mA). 20 years High-potential magnesium.4 = 4. CONNECTIONS TO OTHER FACILITIES Install additional cathodic protection where a new cable is connected to an existing BCN cable or a copper-grounded substation.. Two alternative approaches to consider are as follows: 1.93 × 0. standard magnesium (4. or 26 of 48-lb.Cathodic Protection Require m e n t s – 2 9 3 7 EXAMPLE 7. 147 mA.8: Determining Output Current and Anodes Required. the potential shift required is –0. standard magnesium (4.617 mA). It also may depend on the presence of ac voltages (Zastrow. . 8 mA. and.

This adjustment. sults. Because above-ground connections can be completed more easily at In either case. • The location of the individual cathodic protection installations relative to the protected equipment. After the preliminary cathodic protection reAs discussed in the cathodic protection design quirements have been determined and the apsubsection. protect) at the 10 to 50 feet from the protected equipment with 25 feet as a practical compromise (see Figure 7. If the existing may not permit installation of cathodic protection a greater distance away from the cable. the anode should be installed . Consetected equipment. Either method will provide similar protection requently. it is a good assumption that the cathodic protection will corrode (i. same location. the cathodic protection should be further adjusted to those locations as long as they are also near existing corrosion areas and/or lower soil resistivity areas. reasonable effort should be made to locate the cathodic protection in these areas. the protection level is reduced and the existing easements and expense • Known Corrosion Locations. and so on should be tion. • Banking Anodes. existing equipment these two elements. the protection equally along the position of cathodic protection route without regard to soil is a compromise between Consider soil conditions. or horizontally in a trench. determining the long-term performust continue relative to positioning the camance of the cathodic protection requires a thodic protection with respect to the protected means to monitor the performance.e. After cathodic protection locations are determined along a particular route. of course. As discussed in the previous gured holes with a shallow trench to the prosubsection. The method used is generally dependent on the equipment available and personal preference. existing equipment. as discussed in the previous subsection.9). A final adjustment may be made to the cathodic protection design to locate the greatest amount of cathodic protection at those locations that meet the above criteria. • How the cathodic protection should be installed.. Consequently. On the other hand. the anode output is dependent on propriate spacing calculated. Particular attention should be paid to the following: • Where the anodes are installed along the route. • Existing Equipment. practical considerations avoided at all costs. will generally not provide the On the one hand. the cathodic protection output is greater in lower soil resistivity areas. Cathodic proanodes far from the cable will tection should be adjusted in protect the greatest length of accordance with the following (in priority order): cable. Anodes can be installed either vertically in au• Soil Resistivity. will be wasted effort and expense without the same diligent effort in the actual installation of the cathodic protection. Cathodic concerning easements and the locations. and • How the cathodic protection is connected to the equipment. As a pracequipment is corroding at a particular locatical matter. In addicondition. the practical asthe soil resistivity (the resistance between the pects of locating this cathodic protection come anode and protected equipment) and the anode into play.2 9 4 – Se c t io n 7 7 Cathodic Protection Installation and Follow-Up Making a diligent effort at cathodic protection design. cathodic protection should be located tion. and so protection installed at equal expense to trench in cathodic on when spacing distances along the route is protection conductors have to wasteful and expensive and be considered. the same effort In addition. equipment (such as cable) and how it is installed. equipment locations. Spacing the cathodic lead length. installing best protection. needs to be tempered by the fact that better overall protection may be provided by cathodic protection distributed along the route rather than lumped together at one or more locations. cathodic protection.

Doing so will reduce the possibility of the anode corrosion disconnecting itself. Anode connections to the neutral are often a compromise. In all connections below ground. with its entire length below (one-foot minimum) the protected equipment. turn the anode parallel to the cable or with the anode lead connection furthest from the cable. • To improve anode performance. In the years after the cathodic protection is installed. It is recommended that the anode and neutral be connected through a 0. There are many commercially available test stations in either freestanding or flush-mount models. In all cases.10. if possible). Existing cable that has been in the ground a number of years makes the use of compression connections difficult. • In horizontal installations. A disconnection may render the anode useless. the concentric neutrals should be thoroughly cleaned and the connection sealed to the extent possible to reduce exposure to soil moisture. Test Station Connector. the use of RUS-approved connectors should be considered (see Figure 7. A few guidelines relative to the actual installation should be observed: . Hose Clamp Hose ClampType Connector Anode Lead Neoprene Cushion Concentric Neutrals Cable Cable Tinned Copper Strap FIGURE 7. In these cases.9: Anode Positioning. Threaded Post 0. FIGURE 7. Anode Connector. Determination of continuing anode effectiveness is facilitated by the installation of test stations along the route. which will put the anode generally in more moist soil and will give maximum output.11. the connection to the neutral should be with the best connection (compression. distribute the anode backfill to surround the anode. Test stations should be installed to provide a representative sample of the cathodic protection. only one or two test stations are necessary.10). It is not necessary to install test stations at all cathodic protection locations. if a number of cathodic protection locations are in similar soil along the route. although this is unlikely. it will be necessary to determine whether the cathodic protection is still operating and providing the necessary protection levels.Cathodic Protection Require m e n t s – 2 9 5 7 Roadway Ditch Cable Anode Possible Lead Routes 10-Ft Minimum (25 Ft Preferred) • Do not use the anode lead to install the anode. Freestanding models are much easier to find in rough terrain but may not be aesthetically pleasing if installed in someone’s front yard. test stations adjacent to or inside existing equipment are preferred.01-ohm Shunt 1 2 3 Leads to Equipment/Cable Anode Lead FIGURE 7. if not impossible.11). It is relatively easy to complete a compression connection at above-ground locations and when completing the connection on newly installed cable.1-ohm shunt resistor at test stations to facilitate testing without disconnection in the future (see Figure 7. This is based on the assumption that whatever happens at each location is similar. For example. Of course.

in cm twice the depth. in cm (the depth is s/2) Equation 7. The source is a work published in 1936 by H.3. in ohms soil resistivity. Table 7. in ohms soil resistivity.4. in cm twice the depth. 4πL a s 2L 16L 512L4 resistance. (The conductances to ground of BCN cables. (The resistances of sacrificial anodes.) The resistance of a vertical rod is given by Equation 7.3.5.4 R= where: R ρ L a = = = = ρ 4L In – 1 2πL a resistance.13 for an equivalent expression using more conventional measurements..) Equation 7. (The resistance and conductance to ground of driven ground rods. Table 7. in ohm-cm (ohm-m × 100) half the length. in ohm-cm (ohm-m × 100) length of the rod.4. in cm (the wire length is 2L cm) wire radius.. in cm radius of rod. in ohms soil resistivity. and a vertical rod or cylinder. pipe.3. in cm . buried pipes and conductors. a short buried cylinder (anode). The resistance of a short wire (or cylinder) at a depth greater than its length is given by Equation 7. in ohm-cm (ohm-m × 100) half the length.) See Equation 5.2. Table 7. Dwight entitled Calculation of Resistances to Ground.2 R= where: R ρ L a s = = = = = ρ 4L 4L s s2 s4 In + In – 2 + – 2 + . Dwight gives equations for resistance to ground of a long-buried cylinder (wire.2. or BCN cable). This calculation method applies to the resistance of ground rods. are calculated by use of Equation 7.6. are calculated by use of Equation 7. In – 1 + 3s 5s 4πL a 4πs resistance. and anodes for cathodic protection.2 9 6 – Se c t io n 7 7 Calculation of Resistance to Ground The calculation of resistance to ground for purposes of cathodic protection is different from the calculation of ground resistance for purposes of lightning protection as discussed elsewhere in this publication. in cm (the wire length is 2L cm) wire radius.3 R= where: R ρ L a s = = = = = ρ 4L ρ L2 2L4 1 – 2 + 4 . The resistance of a long horizontal wire or cylinder buried in soil is given by Equation 7. in cm (the depth is s/2) Equation 7.. are calculated by use of Equation 7. A search of literature on calculations of resistance to ground reveals that all seem to come from one primary source..B.

Without cathodic protection. 5. Otherwise. Cathodic protection is now a necessity.Cathodic Protection Require m e n t s – 2 9 7 7 Summary and Recommendations 1. 9. many may be ineffective. Anodes must be placed at the lowest soil resistivity locations available. 10. Buried copper as well as steel is vulnerable to corrosion. Rectifiers must be used with great care until experience has been gained. The steps for cathodic protection in electric grounding differ from the practices now 7. 4. The electric neutral and grounding system must be treated as a dc circuit. A schedule must be established for monitoring cathodic protection. Follow-up measurements to monitor the effectiveness of the cathodic protection should be planned. no longer an option. 11. efforts to control corrosion are likely to fail. design by “rules of thumb” and assumptions must be avoided. because of the broad shift to underground construction and the use of nonconducting materials underground. . serious property damage and electric shock hazards may occur. Soil resistivities must be measured as part of the preconstruction survey. and electrical grounding systems. widely used because of differences between underground pipelines. Soil resistivities must be known. Follow-up measurements should be made after construction to monitor performance of the cathodic protection. 2. 6. 8. from which the practices evolved. Without soil resistivity data. 3.

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climate. Trench Construction Considerations RUS Bulletin 1728F-D806 (U. many other factors affecting trench design must supplement the national standards to truly accomplish an effective design. and cable separations. Material costs are generally less expensive—and labor costs are far less—than for conduit systems. other utility practices. However. directional boring).S. Many of these factors are standard and generic for all parts of the country. (Later in this chapter.Direct-Buried System De s i g n – 2 9 9 8 In This Section: • • • • Direct-Buried System Design Trench Construction Considerations Trench Design Components Trench Layout/Routing Considerations Depth of Burial Joint-Occupancy Trenches Summary and Recommendations Most cooperatives find that direct-buried electrical distribution systems are the most cost-effective method to use for serving residential. plowing. Over time. Coordination with other utilities. Department of Transportation issues. Trench construction details.g. width. Designs based on method of installation (e. U. and the 2007 National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) (ANSI/IEEE C2) mandates many specific requirements that are to be followed without exception. trenching. and some industrial consumers. local railway system policies. • Roadway/railway standards. principally in terms of depth. the benefits of a direct-buried system can be realized only if the cooperative’s engineer uses sound judgment in the following: Route selection. and so on must be thoroughly understood and applied.G. direct-buried systems represent a style of construction that is minimally protected from dig-ins by other utilities or other outside agents. in most cases. a good working knowledge of local considerations is also a necessary factor. working relations with local developers and building contractors come into play in establishing methods to use (or not use) in designing direct-buried systems. and • Terrain considerations. The following questions should be asked when making the decision to use direct-buried systems: • Is there a true likelihood of dig-ins from other utilities (or others) in the location of the project? . burial depths are described in detail.) However. Distribution Specifications) and the 2007 NESC describe the basic standards of trench construction.. commercial. First of all. However. Soil conditions.

and • Quantity of cables to be installed. • Multiple cables at varying depths. warning tape for electric systems . and switching cabinets such that productivity can be realized? • Will different cable configurations be used sequentially? • Are there other existing utilities or other subsurface features that must be crossed or paralleled? Another alternative form of direct-buried trenching is the directional boring method. and can be supplied foil-backed for trench-locating purposes. • Ampacity requirements of cables. Trench Design Components In addition to the basic requirements called out by RUS specifications and the NESC. tapes are installed 12 inches below final grade during the backfilling/compaction process. concrete barrier. Trench warning tape is typically 6 inches wide.. pavement. the use of a backhoe (12 to 18 inches wide) might be more appropriate to ensure good physical examination of the trench floor for possible installation of clean soil/sand bedding below and above the cable(s). etc. An alternative form of trenching is the plow. Typically. • Soil conditions. which is a major labor-saving device. added depth. • Warning tape that cannot be installed. it is recommended the tape depth be lowered to 18 inches to avoid disruption by maintenance/replacement of the paved surface treatment. However. which again should be justified regarding the following: • Additional cost of installation (for reasons of existing landscaping. or concreteencased duct bank—needed? • Are animals (rodents) an issue? • Are soil conditions (rock) an issue? • Is future cable maintenance an issue. Backhoe trenches allow better access for proper backfilling and compaction if soil conditions or surface treatment requirements are a concern. pedestals.). • Depth of burial. considering landscaping or other surface treatments? Second. the cooperative’s engineer needs to evaluate several other design considerations as a part of a successful installation. Consistent with industry standards for utility location services. what construction equipment is available for installation that may alter the design of the trench construction? The most common trench installation is done with conventional chain-type trenchers that provide a trench six to eight inches wide. which may affect trench design: • Are cables to be installed at multiple depths (e. TRENCH WARNING TAPE Many cooperatives install trench warning tape to assist in preventing dig-ins. If the top surface is paved (asphalt or concrete).3 0 0 – Se c t io n 8 8 • Will the installation of trench warning tape(s) protect cables and effectively avoid dig-ins? • Is additional protection—such as conduit. the economic use of plowing needs to be determined on the basis of the following. primary at 42 to 48 inches/secondary at 30 to 36 inches)? • Are flexible (HDPE) conduits to be plowed in. with or without cables? • Are sufficient amounts of cables required for installation to justify the cost of plowing equipment/operation? • Are terrain/accessibility/soil types at the job site appropriate for the size of plow required? • Are other utilities planning joint-use participation? • Is the distance between transformers. There are two types of commonly used plowing methods: the static plow and the vibratory plow (discussed in detail in Book II). The following is a list of both material and labor factors that play into a successful design.g. Knowing the answers to the following questions is critical in specifying proper trench units: • Is the available equipment appropriate to provide for effective tamping/soil compaction/installation of trench warning tape given local soil conditions? • What backfilling methods are available for such a narrow excavation? If rocky soil is a consistent issue.

RISER POLE DESIGN The riser pole is one part of the underground system that must be carefully considered during the design process. many utilities elect to import sand for this purpose. The cooperative engineer should also be aware of the site specifics regarding whether the cables are to be trenched on consumers’ premises or on roadway rights-of-way. Some states require the use of warning tapes as a part of their utility-locating programs. that the thermal conductivity of sand is often much lower than typical native soils. and reference should be made to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Designation T-99 and ASTM Designation D-698.1: Typical Trench Warning Tape. Compaction testing is relatively simple to perform and many local testing companies provide these services at nominal cost. Gaps between the pole surface and the guard can pose an opportunity for public access to unprotected cable surfaces. Though not required by the NESC. Not only is the riser often the limiting factor for cable circuit ampacity. CABLE COMPACTION BEDS In most trench backfill/compaction specifications. If the particular project requires a certain level of advanced compaction. The NESC further specifies no machine compacting within six inches of the cable. however. This lower thermal conductivity can de-rate cable ampacities and should be examined closely on substation circuit exits. typically 90 to 95 percent Proctor density levels.Direct-Buried System De s i g n – 3 0 1 8 Proctor density standards are based on the maximum compactibility of a given soil in laboratory conditions. it is typical to call for a minimum bedding of clean backfill four inches below and above the directburied cables to prevent insulation or jacket puncture from rocks (the 2007 NESC specifies four inches of tamped backfill in rocky soils. FIGURE 8. but the physical arrangement of the cable circuit must also be carefully considered. Conduit risers generally provide a more satisfactory is usually red with “DANGER—ELECTRIC LINES BURIED BELOW” wording. bulk feeder cables. trench warning tape can be an effective tool in preventing dig-ins. to put all this into perspective. It is not merely a rating of restoring the disturbed earth to assume settling no more than 10 percent to five percent. . It should be remembered. or cables expected to be loaded heavily. respectively. 2004. BACKFILL/COMPACTION The cooperative engineer should be knowledgeable about local soil conditions and should understand what is required for successful backfill/compaction of native soils. 90 percent to 95 percent Proctor density should be specified. Many state departments of transportation specify minimum compaction standards. If finding clean backfill (or screening rocky or unsuitable backfill) is not cost-effective. Locations with rocky conditions require additional care to ensure clean backfill above and below cable systems to avoid jacket or insulation punctures or other cable damage. Sandy or loamy coastal soils compact differently than do stiff clays. As a general rule. Cable U-guards must be used with caution. Section 352A). undisturbed soils naturally occur at 80 percent to 85 percent Proctor density. Source: Electromark Industries. A standard of 90 percent to 95 percent density is typically very difficult to achieve and definitely requires mechanical tamping.

Consideration should be given to requesting that the ready-mixed concrete (or flowable-fill mixes) be tinted with red dye for added recognition as an electric cable barrier. Route markers typically are specified to be installed every 100 to 200 feet. installation in most cases. and angles or changes in direction. underground bulk feeder lines.500 psi because it should provide enough protection to . 2005.to four-inch thick (nonreinforced) layer of concrete 12 to 18 inches below grade to act as a protective barrier from dig-ins. the normal spacings of these markers over straightline trench routes can be lengthened to every 1/8 to 1/4 mile. Neither the 2007 NESC nor RUS require cable route markers. The most effective route marker is a plastic pedestal-type marker that extends 24 to 36 inches out of the trench and generally lists contact information. along with the color red and “DANGER—ELECTRIC LINES BURIED BELOW” wording. TRENCH MARKERS On underground substation circuit exits. the engineer should consider the installation of cable route markers to denote critical cable routes. Conduit supports must be of a design that will prevent unaided climbing by the public. at road intersections. Concrete mix should not exceed 2. but it also must be recognized that the barrier might have to be removed for cable repairs. or underground transmission lines. and • Being a good “utility neighbor” by notifying other utilities of a critical system. even if vents have to be installed to obtain adequate circuit ampacity. Trench warning tape added above the dye-tinted concrete may also reduce the probability of dig-ins. Many other aspects of riser design are covered elsewhere in this publication.3 0 2 – Se c t io n 8 8 avoid a dig-in. recognizing terrain and likelihood of damage/vandalism in light of the use of the land traversed.2: Cable Route Marker. but can be removed easily with a standard backhoe bucket. This 400 to 500 psi rating appears equivalent to concrete when exposed. CONCRETE PROTECTION BARRIERS On certain critical bulk feeder installations. other utility crossings. Electro-Mark “DoMark” Style Mfg. Most ready-mixed concrete plants offer flowable-fill at 75 to 80 percent of the cost of normal concrete mixes.000 to 2. Adequate cable support must be provided at the top of the conduit and supported bends should be installed at the bottom. consideration should be given to pouring a three. or for high-voltage cable installations. Some utilities use flowable-fill. these barriers should be used selectively and only for specific instances in which circuit continuity is critical. Also see Section 36 of the National Electrical Safety Code. In rural areas. Most state departments of transportation approve this mix on rights-of-way. Typically. FIGURE 8. Conduits (or U-guards) near traffic ways should be placed in a position with minimum exposure to traffic.. a light-duty concrete mix that uses fly ash rather than gravel as its aggregate and sets up at around 400 to 500 psi breaking strength. as the philosophy of the use of these devices is a combination of the following: • Marking the route for cable protection/dig-in avoidance.

C. and steam lines.A. Cable routes should be selected to avoid natural detriments such as swamps. water. steep slopes. Following are considerations about other physical entities along the trench route. Trench Layout/ Routing Considerations The successful layout/design of an underground electrical distribution system depends. Cables should not extend under buildings but. Many telephone and CATV utilities require greater separation distances of five to 15 feet to provide for maintenance of lines. Cable routes along roadways (longitudinally) should be in the shoulder area far enough away to avoid undermining the road surface and to avoid disturbance from road surface maintenance.1. Steam lines require additional separation to avoid problems with heat dissipation. to a large degree. cooperatives find maintenance of route markers ongoing. both for initial construction ease and for future troubleshooting. directburied cables—often over the entire expanse 4. Bends and turns should respect equipment capabilities.) 2. sewer. Other utilities should be recognized when routes are selected to avoid crossing conflicts and to provide each utility with the ability to maintain its lines in the future. Cables should be installed below the seasonal frost line in an area. and implies cables should be located so they will be subjected to minimal future disturbance.5.). but pedestals. respect minimum cable bending radii.A. 5. on the effectiveness and workability of the routing selected for the site conditions.2. Direct-buried cables should be not closer to in-ground swimming pools (or auxiliary pool equipment) than five feet. or unstable soils that could shift.a. 1. conduit must be added. Railway systems require special attention. 7. bad or corrosive soils. If this separation is not possible. Routing should be selected from point to point in the straightest path to provide a logical geographical layout. of the railroad right-of-way. or manholes generally are not allowed.2). which can lead to vandalism. if required.A. 12 inches is the established minimum separation between electric lines and other utilities. Cables closer to steam lines than 18 to 24 inches will require thermal insulation material between the two systems. Many railway systems require additional burial depths for crossings and have many restrictions for longitudinal routes. causing cable damage (2007 NESC 320.C. . CATV. each utility can require additional separation by mutual agreements. 3. as per NESC 351. (Many state departments of transportation provide minimum separations and added burial depths. 6. The 2007 NESC specifies this in 351. if possible. which reduces cable ampacities. streams. repairs. to avoid mechanical shear on cables resulting from freezing and thawing creating contraction and expansion forces on cables.2. Cables may be permitted parallel to tracks on their rights-ofway. A utility crossing or installation close by needs to reflect the need to not undermine either utility with the initial trench installation or in future maintenance excavations. and cable location efforts. Bridges require additional separation. mud. However. and. more important. as the 2007 NESC calls for 50-inch minimum burial depth below the top of the rails (36inch depth if the rail system is a trolley car line).Direct-Buried System De s i g n – 3 0 3 8 The consuming public tends to regard cable route markers as an eyesore. Without mandates by industry standards or regulations. Typically. must have mechanical protection (conduit) and should be done in a manner that avoids foundation settlement and does not damage cable systems (NESC 351. junction boxes. as per NESC 320. Most railway companies mandate steel conduit or casings for electric circuit installations—rather than bare. both for cable protection and to ensure trenching operations do not undermine bridge supports. including telephone. gas.

Adapted from the 2007 ity’s lines. consideration should separation of 12 inches from other utilities. at the earth surface. The 2007 NESC 352. particularly in The 2007 NESC requires a minimum radial areas subject to cultivation.000 volts phase-to-phase 30 in.3 illustrates minimum allowable burial depths for various caCLEARANCE FROM OTHER UTILITIES bles. and 36 to 42 inches a 12-inch radial separation. The deeper trench depth alor concrete-encased conduit. derground facilities. If this is not possible with a 12-inch NESC. This layered rock. 50. lowered later. Typical trench depths are 30 to 36 inches for secondary cable and 36 to 42 inches • Sewers.2. Conduit.001 volts and over phase-to-phase 42 in. for primary systems. that the cooperative should make special al• Telephone lines. This added depth helps to may agree to use random separation. These minimum separations should provide enough space for either utility to work on its underground lines without damaging the other utilTABLE 8. NESC Secminimize dig-ins and future shallow cable issues tion 354 contains extensive special requirements resulting from change in grade as a result of for both electric and communication utilities farming practices. NESC minimums. such as solid or quired over direct-buried power cables. Table 352-1.) with multiple utilities.b allows lesser the cable to the earth surface. It also provides more room using random separation. in rural areas. The cooperative and the 0–600 volts phase-to-phase 24 in. However. other utility can agree to a lesser separation if the following apply: 601–50. then a greater separation is necesOperating Voltage Minimum Cover sary. inspecify burial depths in excess of the NESC mincluding the following: imums.3 0 4 – Se c t io n 8 8 Depth of Burial The NESC specifies the minimum earth cover reSome existing soil conditions. separation. For these instances. Figure 8.D. make the trench depth resulting from normal activity should exceed the three to four inches greater. For example. lows for a three. burial depths if supplemental Table 8. Another requirement for direct-buried power caThe cooperative’s engineer should typically bles is separation from other buried utilities. to accommodate all types the cooperative and a telephone or cable utility of farm machinery. for secondary cables. margin for installation error and minor surface • Natural gas lines. particularly in areas from other utilities must not be less than 12 where rights-of-way are narrow or congested inches. and for the cable diameter. These depths allow some • Fuel lines. It must be recognized • Water lines. and lowances for areas where the surface may be • CATV lines. supplemental protection must Burial depths To achieve the minimum protect the cable from damage cover. prevent cable burial at the required minimum cover is the distance from the top of depth. Ocbe given to using burial depths of 42 to 48 casionally. separation for future cable installations. (See NESC Sections 353 and 354. This NESC requirements.1 shows the 2007 protection is provided. The NESC also recommends 12 inches of vertical separation at crossings of different un0–150 volts phase-to-ground (streetlight cable ONLY)* 18 in. terrain or available easements prevent inches for primary cables. changes after completion.1: Minimum Cover Requirements. * Area or streetlight cables only if conflicts with other underground facilities exist • There is no harmful interaction between systems. and .to four-inch is the typical method of supsoil bedding under the cable plemental cable protection.

Depths specified are to finished grade.Direct-Buried System De s i g n – 3 0 5 8 D D 4” 4” 2” W UR2 (D × W) Trenching Unit One Cable or Cable Assembly 2” W UR2–1 (D × W) Trenching Unit Multiple Power Cables Primary. . Secondary. P 2” W UR2–2 (D × W) Trenching Unit Power and Telephone Cable TRENCHES FOR DIRECT BURIAL CABLES D 12” Minimum 4” T 2000 UR2 UR2–2 TO FIGURE 8.3: Burial Depth Requirements. Adapted from RUS Bulletin 1728F-806. including joint-use trenches. or Service LEGEND Sand or Clean Soil Compacted Backfill Unless Otherwise Specified Undisturbed Earth NOTES: 1. 4. Depth (D) and width (W) are specified in description of units. Backfilling is part of all trenching units. 2. 3. 6. 5. Optional warning tape is recommended to be placed above the installed cable. Over-excavate trenches as necessary to allow for (a) sand bedding or (b) loose sandy soils or (c) where more than one cable will be installed in trench and laying first cable may cause trench damage and reduction in depth. Sand bedding is not part of these units and will be specified as needed.

These chances insubdivision is at final grade Dig-ins are the crease even more when the before individual driveways major cause of faults power cable is installed before are constructed. This in352. or gas lines. . underground power cable should not The forces of nature are also factors in deterbe installed directly under building or storage mining proper burial depth. very close attention should be given All these requirements mean that the design to clean bedding material near the cable during engineer must be thoroughly familiar with site backfilling. water.2.C. Preferably. The best way to meet this Another consideration for placing cable requirement is to wait until final grade before indeeper is protection from random dig-ins. This. Increasinstalling facilities before final grade is estabing the depth of burial. If adequate particularly true if the cable circuit is being inseparation is not feasible. Other utilities have the potential to not only cause substantial disOTHER CONSIDERATIONS ruption to electric service when they fail. If the cable is on the underground other utilities. but reAnother aspect to consider when choosing a pair of the other utilities will often require burial depth is grade change. If ports that dig-ins are the major cause of faults the cooperative accommodates the developer by on the underground secondary system. According to the 2007 NESC justments to match plans. The 2007 NESC excavation under emergency conditions. because their required buried deeper in anticipation burial depth is only 30 to 36 of an earth cut for driveway inches. This is particuplaced along the front proplarly true with secondary caerty lines. sewer. Steam lines create cooperative engineer may consider supplemenhigh ambient earth temperatures that signifital protection. If a cable must be placed befrost level reaches the cable burial depth. The neath a structure. If the stalling any cable. In some areas. then the chances of cable ter final grade. This is tive thermal range of a steam line. the cooperative incurs a substantial addicable.D. the cooperative engineer avoids these areas during the project layout phase. a thermal barrier must stalled in the proximity of existing or future be placed between the facilities. 351. especially on secondary lished. then it needs to be secondary system.c requires the minimum cover requirecreases the chances for accidental dig-ins where ment to be met at the time of installation and at there is reduced separation. such as installation in Schedule 40 cantly decrease the ampacity rating of the cable. Other • Each utility can access its facilities without damaging the other’s facilities.2. the underground power cable. if cable must be installed in these Steam lines with only the required 12-inch areas. In to the cable. the cooperative engiThe potential forces of man are also a factor neer must route power cable outside the effecto consider in the layout of the system. a damage by these other utilities developer will state that the increase. However. For example. will conditions and intended uses before establishing minimize the opportunity for the freeze-thaw a cable route and choosing an appropriate burial cycle to move the cable against stones. then the burial depth must be increased. bles. The cooperative engineer area is congested with other underground utilimust also anticipate grade changes that occur afties. the tank foundations. separation can lead to thermal damage of the If the area has moderate to severe erosion. PVC conduit or encasement in concrete.3 0 6 – Se c t io n 8 8 natural hazards are areas subject to erosion. To avoid these problems. these areas. tional burden during construction and becomes A final consideration is clearance from underdependent on the developer to make final adground structures. all times afterward. can help reduce dig-ins. along with firm tamping. An industry survey reand sidewalk construction. the structure must have adeearth movement caused by frost formation can quate support to prevent a harmful load transfer move the buried cable and nearby objects.

Any route changes required by field conditions must be clearly recorded by construction personnel so this information can be included in permanent project maps.Direct-Buried System De s i g n – 3 0 7 8 depth. voltage cables in the same • CATV. The table size disparity in the facilities. trenches. This type of joint trench is reand is illustrated in Figure 8. This separation a minimum separation inches of radial separation.2 summarizes the Trench sharing with storm types of power cables that can or sanitary sewers is generally be in random separation with not practical because of the telephone and cable television cables. dom separation. For example. clear obstructions. Failure of the designconstruction team to follow a proper route at a proper depth will likely increase the number of consumer outages and require future relocation of the underground lines. trench at the same depth with • Gas (not generally Only certain utilities no horizontal separation. Joint-Occupancy Trenches interfere with access and be more susceptible to The NESC recognizes two types of joint trench: accidental damage by other deliberate separation and ranutility crews. The recommended). tain requirements are met. NESC also allows the random • Water. only certain utilities Maintaining the 12-inch sepacan place their facilities with ration allows electric utilities random separation. the cooperative can place primary and secondary • Telephone. can be horizontal or vertical of 12 inches. A deliberateThe NESC defines random separation joint trench reDeliberate-separation separation as any common quires a minimum of 12 inches trench arrangement in which of separation between the difjoint trenches require the cables have fewer than 12 ferent utilities.4. In these cases. In addition. The NESC to share a trench with the folallows random separation of different electric lowing utilities: power cables. sewer also lists the requirements that the cooperative is lines are often excavated for replacement or to responsible for according to the 2007 NESC. strictive. Information on the route and depth must be communicated clearly to construction personnel. Table 8. the cables will . and can share randomseparation of some power and • Sewer (not generally separation joint communication cables if cerrecommended).

Depths specified are to finished grade. 5.3 0 8 – Se c t io n 8 8 W LEGEND Bedding Sand or Clean Soil Compacted Backfill Unless Otherwise Specified Undisturbed Earth D 4” S 2” UR2–3 (D × W) Service or Secondary and Telephone D 12” Minimum T W W P 2” S 12” Minimum 4” T UR2–5 (D × W) Primary.4: Joint Trench Use. Over-excavate trenches as necessary to allow for (a) sand bedding or (b) loose and sandy soils or (c) where more than one cable will be installed in trench and laying first cable may cause trench damage and reduction in depth. Depth (D) and width (W) are specified in description of units. . including joint-use trenches. 12” P 2” UR2–4 (D × W) Primary and Secondary or Telephone TRENCHES FOR DIRECT BURIAL CABLES 2000 UR2–3 UR2–5 TO FIGURE 8. Backfilling is part of all trenching units. 4. and Telephone D S 12” Minimum 4” T NOTES: 1. Adapted from RUS Bulletin 1728F-806. Secondary. 2. Sand bedding is not part of these units and will be specified as needed. 3.

Adapted from 2007 NESC Section 354. • Ground conductor must be adequate to withstand available fault conditions. 1Ø or 3Ø 12. Conduit should be used wherever additional cable protection is required or where the deferral of future excavation costs will justify the additional initial expense.kV Bare Concentric Neutral Cable or Semiconducting Jacketed Cable 15-. • Semiconducting jacket must have a radial resistivity of 100 ohm-m or less. or 35. 3Ø. 1Ø or 3Ø 24. trenching depth. 25-.160/2. Short sections of conduit for crossing under roads are allowed if neutral is continuous in conduit. and trenching distance. • When faulted. 7. such as existing subdivisions where cable replacement is considered.000-foot intervals (maximum spacing). Chute plowing should be used to install cable without conduit. 1Ø 240 V. Deliberate-separation joint trench requires a minimum separation of 12 inches.400 V. • Minimum conductance of concentric neutral must equal one-half conductance of phase conductor.470/7. delta systems cannot be in random-lay with communication cables.400 V.400 V. 4. For trenches in rocky soils. 3Ø grounded-wye 4. Long sections of conduit require installation of a separate ground conductor that is in contact with the earth and close to the cable. cable should be placed on a four-inch (minimum) bedding of select backfill. • Ground conductor and communication cable shield or sheath must be bonded at 1.160/2. 6. 1Ø or 3Ø 34.kV Jacketed Concentric Neutral Cable • Direct Buried or • Installation in Nonmetallic Conduit 4.940/14. Type of Power Cable 600-V Insulated Cable Operating Voltage 240/120 V. • Copper concentric conductor must be effectively grounded.Direct-Buried System De s i g n – 3 0 9 8 TABLE 8. Cable plowing does not open a trench and eliminates the need to backfill.200 V.500/19. the cable will be promptly de-energized.900 V.] • Ground conductor must be in continuous contact with earth. • Minimum of eight ground rods per mile. not including grounds at individual services. 3Ø grounded-wye 480/277 V.2: Requirements for Random-Lay Joint Trench. The most common method for installing cable is trenching in suburban areas and plowing in rural areas.470/7.000-foot intervals (maximum spacing). • Ground conductor must be adequate to withstand available fault conditions.400 V. Compaction should be made to 95 percent Proctor density where settlement control is important. 1Ø or 3Ø 34. 3. Pull plowing is suitable for installing flexible conduit or cable in conduit.200 V. 25-. 1Ø or 3Ø None [NOTE: 480-V or 600-V. There are two types of joint trench. 1Ø or 3Ø Summary and Recommendations 1. Some locations. • Concentric neutral must be corrosion-resistant material. terrain. 1Ø or 3Ø 24. Avoid mechanical compaction within six inches of a cable. Randomseparation joint trench is very restrictive. Requirements 15-. 2.900 V. Typical trench depths are 30 to 36 inches for secondary cable and 42 to 48 inches for primary cable (36 and 48 inches should be strongly considered in many rural areas). • Ground conductor and communication cable shield or sheath must be bonded at 1. Selecting the appropriate equipment depends on soil type. then covered with four inches of select backfill. . 5. 1Ø or 3Ø 12. or 35. Covering should continue with native clean backfill and compaction. may require directional boring or horizontal directional drilling.500/19.940/14. 3Ø delta 208/120 V. • Prompt de-energization of a faulted conductor.

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and • Lower ampacity for a given cable size. or will be installed. single-circuit runs. Although conduit-enclosed cable installations have a higher initial cost. and exits for small substations. This approach generally requires a stronger conduit (Schedule 40 or better). encased conduit is advised for longer runs. Encased conduit is also advisable where additional mechanical protection from dig-ins is needed. This is generally used where multiple circuits are installed. CONDUIT SYSTEM TYPES Distribution system conduit installations generally fall into one of three categories: 1. in loose soils. Where conduit runs are longer than allowable cable-pulling lengths. • Ability to add cables along the route without additional excavation. conduit systems may offer many substantial advantages to electric utilities. . However. Direct buried. 2. along a route. • Ability to replace cable without excavation. the lifetime advantages may make them the preferable installation in a variety of circumstances. In fact. Typical direct-buried conduit installations are street crossings. the encased conduit will be more stable under high cable-pulling tensions.Conduit System De s i g n – 3 1 1 9 In This Section: Conduit System Design Conduit System Design Conduit System Design and Installation Cable Pulling Summary and Recommendations In some situations. Direct-buried conduit is particularly suitable where only minimal mechanical protection is needed and low cost is important. manholes and/or splice boxes must be installed for access and splicing. These allow intermediate pull points that will lead to lower cable-pulling tensions. and 3. Major advantages of conduit installation include the following: • Improved cable protection from dig-ins. Direct-buried conduit is simply installed in a trench and conventional backfill techniques are used. Manholes and/or splice boxes can also be strategically located to eliminate bends or sharp angles in conduit runs. the length of runs is limited by cable-pulling criteria. Concrete encased. Concrete encased with manholes (or splice boxes). or where access for laterals or taps is needed. and • Better use of utility easement for multiple circuits. particularly if bends are involved. but it has the lowest initial cost of all conduit systems. As with direct-buried conduits. The next level in the hierarchy of conduit systems is a concrete-encased duct bank. The disadvantages when compared with direct burial are the following: • Higher initial cost.

Examples are riser poles or some diconduit and generally comes on reels. HDPE. Much smaller in size. Other nonmetallic advantageous where long. Furthermore. the electric utility industry has so neither will give satisfactory results on the used a wide variety of conduit types. manholes are full-size.3 1 2 – Se c t io n 9 9 Judicious location of manholes will also lower conductor in its own steel conduit. the other conduit. Reels can be provided unbalanced currents (such as a single-phase . and also comes in multisteel conduit is magnetic. In addition. Each of that a cooperative not mix these conduit materithese materials is offered in several configurations. and fiberglass-reinforced epoxy (FRE). a manhole installation will Metallic conduit other than galvanized Schedsimplify access to the cable circuits and produce ule 40 (or Schedule 80) should never be used on a more flexible system. This type is the products are accidentally interchanged. HDPE conduit is conduit generally provides better protection particularly useful in directional bored applicathan does a similar-size PVC conduit during a tions. not intended for persongeneral exception is Schedule 40 aluminum connel entrance. materials include acrylonitrilecontinuous runs of multiple butadiene-styrene (ABS) plascircuit underground are expected over the life of tic. ABS conduit is similar to PVC. steel does have its disadvantages. Splice boxes are usuoften more susceptible to corrosion. have less secure couplings. mostly used where extra mechanical protection HDPE conduit is much more flexible than PVC is needed. When this condition is encountered. susceptible to corrosion. ribbed wall. The conduit comes in smooth harder to bend. exist. galvanized ing on the application. conduit sysstainless steel conduits might tems are recommended wherbe considered. Today. which might be used in some locations deep. Manhole/duct PVC and will be used in all on a utility system. Although steel than precut straight lengths. a utility system. It is also advisable plastic (predominantly PVC and HDPE). other than galvanized ever additional cable Plastic conduits are now Schedule 40 (or protection is required or the available to utilities in a wide Schedule 80) should deferral of future excavation variety of sizes and materials. standing erect. bank systems are particularly examples. ture requirement. Type 304L or Type 316 Metallic conduit In summary. where the flexible nature of the conduit is dig-in. and usually only three to five feet duit. usually with six to weight. costs will justify the additional The predominant material is not generally be used initial expense. Longer duct runs may also need to be will produce heat as a result of eddy currents in tapped for intermediate service locations. Where the conduit. the solvent cement CONDUIT TYPES welds on ABS and PVC are chemically different. It is an advantage. and wall. Over the years. The only ally surface mounted. als on its system as different solvent cements are The steel conduit that utilities use almost exrequired and defective joints will be produced if clusively is galvanized Schedule 40. Such conduits are lighter in work within. This means that heavy ple colors and markings. such service points are either a present or a funonmagnetic conduits must be used. generally involve only one to Where corrosive conditions two feeders. and are eight feet of head room. below-grade electrical metallic tubing (EMT) and intermediate enclosures that allow personnel to enter and metal conduit. splice boxes are where atmospheric corrosion is a concern and worked from the surface and earth contact can be avoided. without a pulling tensions and yield a more convenient inneutral return) passing through a steel conduit stallation. the project. ABS and PVC should main conduits used on UD systems are steel and never be mixed on a project. rather rect-buried conduit applications. but it has higher wall thickness to compensate for a lower material strength. Therefore. Types not recommended include Typically. dependoften more expensive. and corrugated wall.

while seemingly inTable 9. The combination of these characteristics ity during the pulling process and to resist .3 compares variety of other conduit matethe relative strengths of these rials have been used. otherwise known as even support to the conduit. higher strength than even Schedule 80 PVC. and asbestos ceFRE manufacturer. ment. However. Some of the other mateous sizes of PVC conduit. Table 9. required special skills and care during installatwo-inch inside diameter [I. the conduit conin concrete encasement but. One important determination for a conduit FRE conduit is a specialty item generally used application is whether it will be used strictly unin applications more typically associated with derground or if it may have above-ground instalsteel conduit because FRE conduit can have lations.1 gives the specific classifications of significant during conduit installation. Table 9. It also saw use as pacted fill to avoid high-pressure points on the a direct-buried conduit. not be allowed to curve in the trench floor bePlastic conduit is the most commonly used fore compaction. has high corrosion resistance. pared. If the conknowledge of the plastic conduit types comduit is not installed in a controlled.4 lists Never use DB or conduits to terra cotta tile the impact strength of the variducts.Conduit System De s i gn – 3 1 3 9 with continuous lengths up to 4. For EB conduit rials most commonly used similar information on FRE above ground. asbestos cethat it tends to have a coiled “memory” and canment conduit is no longer installed. (e. greatly plastic conduit. This support is important to provide stabilinflexible. amplify cable-pulling tensions. Classifications of spans without excessive long-term sag. Major advantages inconduit when backfill is placed. often known by the trade name Orangeburg.000 feet. since the 1950s include fiber. FRE condirect burial (DB) and encased burial (EB) mean duit. straight line. It was also extremely port. the bottom must be leveled to provide Asbestos cement duct. like PVC. this material was exthe sides of the conduit to develop sidewall suptremely hard and brittle. When the trench is being pregain wide acceptance with electric utilities. With the advent of economical PVC and and possibly only drawback. It only those conduits classified for above-ground can also be installed with longer unsupported use may be applied in sunlight. gained wide acceptance in concretemust be cushioned with a layer of clean.g. bridges and for riser installations. The one caution. Conduit types classified “above ground” larly attractive for duct lines suspended beneath may be used in either location. it would taining the electrical cable is placed into the eventually absorb moisture and deteriorate. to HDPE conduit is concerns about asbestos content. This is placed on a smooth trench bottom before material was naturally very heavy and did not backfill is placed. monly used on electric systems. These conduit types in the four-inch range from early treated wood nominal size. even then. Conground without additional encasement. a ous conduit configurations.]. Here.2 shows the dimensions of these variThroughout the history of electric utilities. Eliminating these curves can electrical duct material. Fiber duct was used mainly the direct-buried system. As solar radiation affects most plastics. the conduit buried conduit or multiple-tile duct. cluded a smooth interior surface and very high The initial backfill layer should be tamped on flame resistance. comencased conduit duct banks. Rock outcroppings Transite™. the additional curved bends.. Fiber duct.D. Table 9. Therefore. When crete duct was generally installed as a directthe installation is made by trenching. engineering be very difficult when the coiled HDPE conduit and construction personnel need a working is being installed in an open trench. was made of Direct-Buried Conduit Design and Installation molded wood fiber impregnated with an asThe most common type of conduit application is phaltic compound. tion. refer to the specific concrete. that all above-ground exposure must be These characteristics make FRE conduit particuavoided. conduit.

3: Comparison of Characteristics for Four-Inch Diameter PVC Duct.0 N/A 136. Weight.060 0. above ground Heavy duty.258 0.0 120.100 0.280 0. extra strength Direct burial Direct burial.0 109.191 0.7 25.154 0.061 0. Conduit Size Minimum Inside Diameter 2” 3” 4” 5” 6” TC-6 EB-20 DB-60 0.0 461.0 234. Type II Schedule 40.0 TC-8 PVC EB-35 DB-120 Schedule 40 Schedule 80 9.216 0.2 N/A * Specifically.0 117. UL651A ASTM F512 ASTM F512 ASTM F512 — UL 651 UL 651 ASTM D3035 ASTM D2239 ASTM D2160 ASTM D3035 ASTM D2239 ASTM D2160 ASTM D3035 ASTM D2239 ASTM D2160 Description and Application Encased burial Encased burial.0 60. direct burial TABLE 9. TC-6 PVC EB-20 DB-60 6. psi Impact resistance. Smooth-Wall Material PVC PVC PVC PVC PE PVC PVC HDPE NEMA TC-6 TC-8 TC-6 TC-8 — TC-2 TC-2 TC-7 Other ASTM F512./100 feet Pipe stiffness.432 HDPE-40 0.118 0. extra strength Normal duty.218 0. direct burial Normal duty.216 0.2: PVC Duct Dimensions—Minimum Wall Thickness. Type IV HDPE. Type III Schedule 80./in.8 Characteristics Collapse pressure.0 127.0 108.076 0.0 92.121 0.0 35.060 0.103 0.082 0.2 40. ft-lb.152 0.375 0.126 0.125 0.0 310.154 0.152 0.258 0. lb.* HDPE-40 96.1: Classifications of Plastic Conduit.237 0.0 20.280 TABLE 9.7 220.5 310.0 158. Specification Conduit Designation EB-20 EB-35 DB-60 DB-120 Schedule 40.3 1 4 – Se c t io n 9 9 TABLE 9. above ground Normal duty.337 0. Ribbed HDPE TC-7 Normal duty. Corrugated HDPE TC-7 Normal duty.154 0. direct burial HDPE. direct burial HDPE.2 326.0 17.6 80.0 60. pounds per inch deflection at five percent change in internal diameter .092 0. lb.227 0.182 TC-8 EB-35 DB-120 Schedule 40 Schedule 80 0.237 0.300 0.077 0.0 36.060 0.

damage cable during installation. Failure plow method. The thickness of backbends caused by conduit fill required will depend on conduit can greatly “memory” as it is removed the force applied by the tamp. Installations of this type If the decision is made to use close spacing of require careful site investigation and advance conduits for individual enclosure of large. able polyethylene product will usually be used. If rocky soils are usustalled by conventional trenching. highplanning. Unexpected conflicts with unstand the point pressures created by conduit-toderground obstructions can cause major problems conduit contact.Conduit System De s i gn – 3 1 5 9 TABLE 9.4: PVC Duct—Impact Strength (Foot-Pounds). with or without a cable. With conduit applied later. these duct line and the need to keep it straight and should be Class DB-120 or Schedule 40 to withproperly graded. a minimum Concrete-Encased Duct Design and Installation of three inches of clearance must be provided Concrete-encased duct banks are generally used between the conduits. The trench must be wide enough to . Curves caused the surface area of the tamp. Conduit Size Minimum Inside Diameter 2” 3” 4” 5” 6” TC-6 EB-20 20 20 25 30 40 DB-60 20 40 60 85 120 EB-35 20 30 40 55 75 TC-8 DB-120 25 50 80 110 150 Schedule 40 Schedule 80 190 220 220 220 220 300 525 525 525 525 be accomplished successfully in moderate temcrushing when full vertical backfill pressure is peratures with proper equipment. This condition should ceptible to crushing than also be avoided if a coilable Schedule 40 (or 80) conduit conduit. it is extremely imto follow these guidelines will lead to conduit portant that all joints are properly made and with blockages or reduced inside dimensions. ally present or clean backfill cannot be ensured. short runs of straight. make the conduit until an adequate sure the conduit installation is thickness of backfill has been Curves in coilable straight and does not have placed. the these cases. tensions. a coilduct line is being installed. jointed Schedule 40 conduit should be used instead of conduit sections may be installed by the pull-in Type DB for direct-buried installations. for cables is warranted. otherwise. This type of installation begins with an open Plowing of coilable polyethylene conduit may trench. If multiple conduits for electric circuits are being installed in the same trench. This clearance not only where multiple circuits are required along conwill allow for proper backfill placement and gested routes or where extra physical protection tamping but also will improve heat dissipation. by this phenomenon can drasand the soil characteristics. In cured before pulling begins. Crushing forces can also be resizes larger than two inches or duced by not tamping above during cool weather. particularly because of the size of the capacity cables (this is not recommended). is being inbecause its wall is thinner. as a large multiple-conduit. the conduit will be unusable or may joints can separate. concrete-encased Where conduit is installed by plowing. tically increase cable-pulling Type DB conduit is more sustensions. In these cases. increase cable-pulling from the reel. In some cases.

Concrete installed around duct banks must be properly placed to fill all voids. The slump value is a measure of how much fluid is in the concrete. A simple way to maintain these dimensions both vertically and horizontally is by using conduit spacers. which will readily flow between ducts must be used. the conduit must be graded so there are no local pockets that can accumulate water. Extra trench width will lead to the need for unnecessary concrete. It is also vitally important that vibration be used during the pouring process. He can then design an economical mix that will meet the special needs of duct bank construction. Concrete that has small aggregate. Although standard ready-mix concretes are often delivered with strengths of 3. A minimum of two inches of horizontal concrete cover should be provided between the outside ducts and the trench wall. Concrete strength should be specified in the range of 1. While the overall slope of the trench is important. such as a manhole. provide optimum heat transfer. 3-Way Direct-Buried 3-Way Concrete-Encased 6-Way Concrete-Encased 9-Way Concrete-Encased * Designates Circuit Location Undesirable for Loaded Circuit 12-Way Concrete-Encased FIGURE 9.1: Typical Duct Configurations. where water can be removed from the system.500 psi.500 psi. the trench must not be made too wide. The trench bottom should be adequately compacted where conduit support spacers will be installed. The concrete supplier should be consulted beforehand in order to get the proper concrete mix at the job site. For proper heat dissipation. However. This requires sloping of the conduit to a point. three inches of clearance should be provided between conduits (see Figure 9.500 to 2. provide proper duct spacing and side clearances. Vibration will facilitate the flow of concrete and minimize voids. Trench design should also recognize the desirability of well-drained conduits. three important requirements should always be verified: 2" Min.” A slump value higher than eight inches is not recommended as the high fluid content will make it more difficult to hold the conduits in place during the pouring process. as the trench wall will generally be used as a form for the concrete encasement. A higher slump value means the concrete contains more fluid and is “wetter. During the actual pouring process. Each section of conduit can be sloped in a single direction or it can be drained toward each end. and properly protect cables. . Establishing a well-drained conduit system will facilitate cable installation and removal as well as improving the cable operating environment. there is no need for the stronger and more expensive mix in unreinforced duct bank encasements. three inches of concrete cover should be provided at both the top and bottom extremities of the bank. For electrical distribution duct lines. Loose material in the trench bottom should be removed or compacted so the duct bank will have proper support at all points.1). generally one-half-inch or less.3 1 6 – Se c t io n 9 9 3" Min. A concrete slump of seven to eight inches must also be specified to allow reasonable flow.000 to 4.

and Other anchoring methods used. Therefore. The amount of weight required will depend on the following factors: • • • • • Number of conduits. Table 9. can also be used to prevent conduit floating. The use of a splash board will also help direct the concrete flow into the trench and should be used to prevent concrete flow against unsupported trench walls. both now and in the future. Use of vibration. Crews must be instructed that conduits. thereby producing porous (honeycomb) sections in the encasements. This example shows how important it is to keep concrete slump as low as practicable and to use only as much vibration as needed to achieve good concrete flow. Slump of concrete. often called “suitcases.” should be applied to the top of the conduit before pouring.weight is needed on each foot of duct line while the concrete is being poured. five-inch duct bank. An excessive free-fall distance may disrupt the conduit configuration or break joints. particularly the thinner-wall Type EB varieties.1 feet) deep.9 psi. causing voids. When pouring concrete encasement. If the fall distance is too great. and • Prevention of duct collapse. To counteract the maximum possible buoyancy of a six-way. the depth of the lowest conduit in feet is multiplied by 1.9 psi. or deformation of the conduit. the slump value should be fewer than eight inches to provide friction that will help keep conduits in place.5 shows that the compressive strength of five-inch type EB-20 conduit is 5. coupled with the characteristics of the design area. Caution should be used with hold-down rods in soft soil and larger duct bank configurations. collapse.Conduit System De s i gn – 3 1 7 9 • Hold-down of the duct and spacers. the collapse pressure rating of the particular conduit should be computed with the expected compressive force on the bottom conduit during pouring. This method. will determine the type of underground system to be installed. the lowest conduit is about 25 inches (2. loose dirt will be embedded in the wet concrete. • Control of the concrete flow. coupled with nonmetallic bands or straps. If the ready-mix delivery truck chute cannot be placed near the top of the ducts. Present and future requirements must also be determined for circuits traversing the design area to serve loads in other areas. Size of conduits. a 150-lb. This produces a compressive force of approximately 2. should not be walked on to avoid cracking. For instance. When large duct banks (above six-way) are being installed. per cubic foot. and 2. All the above conditions must be avoided for a satisfactory duct installation. As an alternative to the precast concrete suitcases.2 psi. GENERAL CONDUIT SYSTEM LAYOUT The first problem in engineering an underground conduit system is determining the loads to be served by the system. a hopper (funnel) and hose arrangement can be attached to minimize the free-fall distance. given that the concrete has a unit weight of about 150 lb. this application of EB-20 is satisfactory. 1. some manufacturers of duct spacers have provisions for driving hold-down rods through the spacers to avoid conduit floating. These weights will keep the conduit from floating when it is surrounded with wet concrete. To make this calculation. If the compressive force had approached the conduit rating of 5. The aggregate will tend to segregate out of the concrete mix. As noted above. there will be two adverse results: . a higher grade of conduit such as EB-35 would be required. The amount of weight needed to keep conduit from floating is determined by the buoyancy of the empty conduits in wet concrete. thus requiring longer hold-down rods driven deeper. Otherwise. if a three-layer duct bank has a layer of five-inch conduit with three inches of top cover and three inches between layers. Softer soils offer lower pullout resistance.03 psi/ft of depth to find the compressive force (in psi) on the lowest conduit. the distance that the wet concrete falls into the trench should be minimized. These requirements. Precast concrete weights.

2 9. a conduit system is probably the proper answer for lowest long-term costs.6 34.2 10.2 38. Inner conduits should not be used for heavily loaded cable circuits as heat dissipation is much better for peripheral locations.2.7 75.2 6.0 595. See Figure 9. construction conditions are difficult.8 487. After all circuits are designed for local service.3 1 8 – Se c t io n 9 9 TABLE 9. Lighting conduits should be looped to facilitate multiple light locations to be served by a single circuit. the conduit system configuration should be designed to accommodate the circuits in each location. particularly if the secondaries are serving a load at an intermediate point in the duct run.1 should be used to simplify construction. cable installation forces and damage probability must also be considered when choosing the final conduit configuration. Therefore. This situation is often encountered in congested areas such as shopping centers.1 DB-60 11.6 EB-35 11.5 For example.3 108. generally with an open-loop configuration. if only a limited space is available for installing electric circuits. In the case of sites near substations.3 11. However. Turning of the upper ducts is simpler and allows the lower conduits to continue straight with the main conduit run. If both primary and secondary circuits are located in the same duct run. Regardless of whether direct-buried conduit or encased conduit is chosen.1 181.7 5. These have lower initial cost and better thermal performance than either direct-buried conduit or concrete-encased conduit systems.5 57.0 Schedule 40 Schedule 80 117. Communication conduits are for the installation of circuits owned and maintained by the . If a transformer location will provide service through radial secondary circuits. the through-circuits may be the only factor considered. it is generally preferable to plan on secondary circuits being located in the upper ducts.0 18. the obvious answer may be direct-buried circuits.0 36.5 235. Of course.2 15. After the circuit design is complete. or several circuit additions are expected over the life of the facility.9 6.2 17.2 TC-8 DB-120 26. Other considerations are the greater mechanical protection afforded lower conduits and the simplified manhole internal arrangement.5: PVC Duct Collapse Pressure (PSI). Duct bank configurations of greater than three conduits are generally installed using concrete encasement. Street and area lighting conduits should be located in the upper corners of the duct bank (see Figure 9.3). any underground circuits that will pass through the design area should be considered. Both of these uses generally require small conduits (two-inch minimum diameter is recommended) and are easy to initially install.2 8. Conduit Size Minimum Inside Diameter 2" 3" 4" 5" 6" TC-6 EB-20 11.6 38.6 212. Standard conduit configurations as shown in Figure 9. if the problem is substation exit circuits in an open rural area with a wide area for circuit exits and good soil conditions. the total system must be designed in light of present and future loads and the circuits required to serve these loads. the first step is to define loads within the design area and determine the transformer locations required to provide service. Section 4 discusses further the thermal performance of cables in a conduit system. Encased duct will also be needed where cable-pulling tensions are high or bends are in the conduit.3 326.9 19. Then distribution circuits will be designed to provide primary voltage to all transformers.6 6. these secondary circuits must be designed. Small features of duct bank design that are often overlooked are provision for area lighting circuits and future electric utility communication circuits.

For the analysis of conduit fill. inside diameters. Making provisions for these circuits is recommended. 25-. DETERMINATION OF CONDUIT SIZES FOR CABLE INSTALLATION An important step in analyzing the duct bank system is to examine the size and number of cables required and to select the appropriate conduit size. 31 percent maximum fill for two cables in a conduit.2. Tables 9. Although the NEC does not legally bind cooperatives.6. insulation shield. Section 32 of the NESC has information on the allowable location of communication ducts and circuits. and 40 percent maximum fill for three or more cables in a conduit.2: Typical Duct Line and Manhole Arrangement.3: Typical Arrangements for System in Figure 9. or if other than stranded or solid conductor is used. 7 8 9 4 5 2 6 4 1 5 2 6 3 4 5 6 1 3 1 2 3 Section A-A Duct Size Use 1 5" Primary Loop 2 5" Spare 3 5" Primary Loop 4 2" Area Lighting 5 5" Spare 6 2" Utility Communications Section B-B Duct Size Use 1 5" Primary Loop 2 5" Spare 3 5" Primary Loop 4 5" Secondary 5 5" Secondary 6 5" Secondary 7 2" Area Lighting 8 2" Utility Communications 9 2" Area Lighting Section C-C Duct Size Use 1 5" Primary Loop 2 5" Spare 3 5" Primary Loop 4 2" Area Lighting 5 2" Utility Communications 6 2" Area Lighting 4 1 2 3 1 5 2 6 3 1 2 Section D-D Duct Size Use 1 5" Secondary 2 5" Secondary 3 5" Secondary Section E-E Duct Size Use 1 5" Primary Loop 2 5" Spare 3 5" Primary Loop 4 5" Secondary 5 5" Secondary 6 5" Secondary Section F-F Duct Size Use 1 2" Area Lighting 2 2" Area Lighting FIGURE 9. it is still an excellent standard and application guide on conduit fill. the National Electrical Code (NEC) is an excellent source that has been tried and tested countless times. The listed cables have standard thickness of conductor shield. or 34. unless an “S” indicating solid conductor appears beside the conductor AWG size. For 600-volt secondary cable.Conduit System De s i gn – 3 1 9 9 To Area Lighting F A A E E D Secondary Duct To Area Lighting F B C Primary Duct F F Manhole Manhole Primary & Secondary Ducts B Secondary Duct C D Transformer Location cooperative only. . especially in areas where concrete-encased ducts are installed or high load density exists. or metering associated with electric distribution. The tables are based on the maximum fill requirements of the NEC. and jacket.15 list the minimum size of conduit necessary to accommodate certain numbers and sizes of underground power and secondary cables.1. Such circuits might be used for alarm. insulation.7 through 9. If other conditions allow. and standard numbers and size of concentric neutral wires in accordance with ICEA specifications. control. If other than standard specifications are used for cable. The cables shown in Tables 9. and maximum areas of fill for various sizes of conduit are shown in Table 9. the overall cross-sectional area can be calculated with Equation 9.12 through 9. which are 53 percent maximum fill for one cable in a conduit. D D To Remote Loads To Local Loads FIGURE 9.2. The trade sizes. the preferred location of communication circuits is the top center conduit.5-kV power cable can be calculated with Equation 9. the overall cross-sectional area of 15-.11 all have ICEA Class B concentric stranded conductors.

5-kV cables with conductor larger than #4/0 • 0.) 1.48 2.0641 0.56 Trade Size (in.000 1.001 and larger Conductor Shield (in.) 0.78 2.024 TABLE 9.) 3. Conductor Size (AWG or MCM) #8–#4/0 25–550 551–1.) 1.001–1.075 0.500 1.) 2 2 1/2 3 3 1/2 4 5 6 Area (sq.250–1.89 12. in.1285 ALUMINUM Conductor (AWG or MCM) Through #1/0 #2/0.96 3 Cables Area x 40% (sq.010 inches for 25-kV and 34.92 2.09 8.067 2.000 1.73 20.06 3.95 6.1: Shielded Concentric Neutral Cable Diameters.020 0.54 3.501–2.01 28.) 1.34 1.065 1 Cable Area x 53% (sq.068 3. Diameter Over Insulation* 0–1.79 7. 250 350 N/A N/A = not applicable Through 350 500–750 1. in.469 3.026 5.047 6.20 8.39 9.500 . Inside Diameter (in.) 0.8: Insulation Shield Thickness.89 Equation 9.) 0.50 inches over t