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Energy Transport Technologies 1.

0 Introduction In these notes, we focus mainly on various electric transmission technologies that are of high interest today because of their ability to obtain additional power transfer capability without increasing (and in some cases decreasing) the required right-of-way. At the end, we also make some comments about other forms of energy transport which may, in some cases, be considered as an alternative to electric transmission for transporting energy. 2.0 High temperature, low sag conductors This material on high-temperature low sag (HTLS) conductors was adapted from [1]. Increasing the thermal rating of an existing line by use of a replacement conductor larger than the original, having lower resistance, will increase both transverse ice and wind loads and tension loads on existing structures. A larger conventional conductor imposing greater loads on the existing structures may reduce the reliability of the existing line unless the structures are reinforced.


Increasing the thermal rating of an existing line by use of a replacement conductor having nearly the same diameter as the original conductor but capable of operation at higher temperature (within existing sag clearance and loss-of-strength constraints) may avoid the need for reinforcement of suspension structures. There are different types of high temperature, low sag conductors that can be used to increase the thermal rating of existing lines with minimum structural reinforcement. “High Temperature Conductor” is defined as a conductor that is designed for applications where continuous operation is above 100°C or the conductor is designed to operate in emergency conditions above 150°C. The types of conductor that are at present commercially available are summarized in Table 1. Table 1


Table 2 summarizes advantages and disadvantages of high temperature conductors relative to ACSR conductors [2]. Table 2

To illustrate, reference [2] identified the “worst-case” span of a particular line which currently employs the HEN type of ACSR conductor. For this circuit, the sag limitation is 8.52 m, which occurs at an operating temperature of 50 degrees C. The operating temperature at which this same 8.52 m sag would occur were determined for ZTACIR, ACSS, and GTACSR conductors having the same size and weight as the existing HEN ACSR conductor. Figure

52 meters. where we observe that ZTACIR and ACSS provide no significant increase in maximum operating temperature. on the other hand. a level corresponding to an ampacity of 640 amperes. GTACSR. is capable of operating at 80 degrees C.52 meters until an operating temperature of 80 degrees C. 4 . Fig. 2 [2]. But the GTACSR does not reach the sag limitation of 8. its ampacity is 300 amperes. Because it is at 50 degrees C that the ACSRHEN sags to the limiting 8.1 shows the result. 1 The relation between ampacity and operating temperature for the existing conductor (ACSR-HEN) and the three HTLS conductors is shown in Fig.

and a survey indicated about 41. however.000 km of some kind of HTLS conductor in use worldwide.Fig. HTLS conductors are useful when a circuit is currentlimited. 5 . increasing the line’s surge impedance loading can be provide a more effective means of increasing power transfer capability. 2 As of 2007. Longer lines (beyond about 50 miles) may be more limited by reactive/voltage or angular instability issues. that circuits are typically current-limited only for relatively short lines. This is the topic of the next section. with most of it in Japan.000 km of ACSS in use in the US. manufacturers indicated that there was approximately 10. We have seen. In this case.

Clair curve. at a given line length. we will be increasing the power transfer capability. for a given voltage level. How is this done? Let’s reconsider the formula for SIL: 2 VLL = ZC PSIL ZC = z = X L XC y We observe that if we can make ZC small that. The table below [3] quantifies the difference between the SIL of a conventional circuit and that of an HSIL circuit. how can we design the line so as to make ZC small? 6 .3. So….0 High surge impedance loading conductors High surge impedance loading (HSIL) conductors can achieve significant increase in surge impedance loading (SIL) values for a given voltage level. according to the St. Thus. PSIL will become large. We observe that we can more than double the capacity in most cases.

022 × 10 −3 f ln m X L = 2. Let’s investigate both of these. 7 .779 × 10 6 ln(D m ) Ω . Make Rb and Rbc large.mile = 1 × 1.779 ×10 ln c ) f ln ⎜R ⎟ Rb f ⎝ b ⎠ ⎛D ⎞ Dm ⎟) )(ln⎜ m c ⎜ ⎟ Rb ⎝ Rb ⎠ We see that there are two ways to make ZC small: 1. Make Dm small.5971×103 ln −3 ⎛ ⎞ Dm 1 6 ⎜ Dm ⎟ )( 1.Recall that XL and XC are given by D 1 + 2.022 × 10 −3 f ln 2444 3 Rb Rb 1444 1444 2444 3 X d Xa XC = ⎛ 1 ⎞ 1 ⎛ ⎞ 1 ⎟ + × 1.022 × 10 −3 f ln Dm Ω/mile = 2.022 ×10 = (3.779 × 10 6 ln⎜ ⎜ Rc ⎟ f ⎜ Rc ⎟ f f b ⎠ 1444 ⎝ ⎝ b ⎠ 4 2 4 4 4 4 3 1444 4 24444 3 X' ′ Xa d Substitution into the expression for ZC yields Z C = X L X C = (2.779 × 10 6 ln⎜ D m ⎟ × 1. 2.

( ) 1/ 3 So we see clearly that in order to make Dm small. This means that we need to reduce the distances between phase positions.2. = (r ′d12 d13 d14 ) .3 corresponding to the three positions of the phases caused by transpositioning.2.2 Bundling Recall the expressions for Rb and Rbc are given by Rb = (r ′d12 ) . with k=1. 1/ 2 = (r ′d12 d13 d14 d15 d16 ) . 3. k=1. 1/ 4 for 3 conductor bundle for 4 conductor bundle 1/ 4 Rbc = (rd12 ) .3. = (rd12 d13 d14 d15 d16 ) .1 Phase position Recall the expression for Dm is given by (1) ( 2 ) ( 3 ) Dm ≡ d ab d ab d ab where dab(k) is the distance between phases a and b when in position k. for 6 conductor bundle 8 . 1/ 2 for 2 conductor bundle 1/ 3 = (r ′d12 d13 ) . 1/ 3 for 6 conductor bundle for 2 conductor bundle for 3 conductor bundle for 4 conductor bundle 1/ 6 1/ 4 = (rd12 d13 ) . we need to reduce dab(k).3. = (rd12 d13 d14 ) .

using conductor type Tern (795 kcmil). given by To make Rb and Rbc large. single circuit. we computed XL and XC for a 765 kV AC line. 2.5’ r ′ = re − μr 4 ● ● ● ● ●● ● ● 45’ ● ● ●● ● ● 45’ ● ● ●● ● ● ●● ● ● Fig.3 Example In our previous notes. for k=1. 3 For this data. and r’ is the Geometric Mean Radius (GMR) of an individual conductor. we can do two things. the radius of the conductor • Increase the distance d1.n where n is the number of conductors in the bundle. this means expanding the bundle geometry. 3. • Increase r.5’ (30’’) diameter. with phase separation of 45’.…. as shown in Fig.k. 3 below. The bundles had 2.where r is the radius of a single conductor. we obtained: 9 . with a 6 conductor bundle per phase.

0307.4619=0.12. which is Xa’=0.0105+0. the inductive reactance at 1 foot spacing remains the same.XL=Xa+Xd=0.4348 So XL=Xa+Xd=0.4 ohms PSIL=2247 MW Let’s perform three separate calculations in order to observe the effect on PSIL. Now get per-unit length capacitive reactance.0105.4348=0. the capacitive reactance at 1 foot spacing remains the same. ZC=260.4453 ohms/mile.4724 ohms/mile XC=X’a+X’d=0.13.3. we find 36’ phase spacing: Xd=0. we find 10 . From Table 3. From Table 3.3. Again. since we are not changing bundle geometry.0307+0. Effect of phase position: Let’s decrease the distance between phases from 45’ to 36’. which is Xa=0. an 20% decrease. Get per-unit length inductive reactance: Since we are not changing the bundle geometry.0105+0.1435Mohms-mile.1128=0.

1062 So XC=X’a+X’d=0.5% in SIL. With a 45’ phase distance. and y=1/-jXC=1/-j(0.36’ phase spacing: X’d=0.1369E6ohms-mile So z=jXL=j0. 11 .3046×10-6 mhos/mile The surge impedance is ZC = z = y j. and so we see that the 20% decrease in distance (from 45’ to 36’) gained us an additional 5.904 3 2 = 2.1062=0.1369×106)=j7.3703e + 009 The SIL for this circuit is 2370 MW.3046×10 -6 = 246.4453 j7.904ohms Then the SIL is PSIL = 2 VLL ZC ( 765 ×10 ) = 246.4453 Ohms/mile. Effect of bundle geometry: We will maintain our 36’ phase distance and now increase the radius of our 6-conductor bundle from 30’’ to 36’’.0307+0. we obtained an SIL of 2247 MW.

and y=1/-jXC=1/-j(0.1.2. Now get per-unit length capacitive reactance.3.737 ×10 -6 = 208.4238 ohms/mile.6ohms Then the SIL is 12 .0035 From the previous calculation above 36’ phase spacing: X’d=0.035+0.Get per-unit length inductive reactance: From Table 3. we find 36’’ bundle: Xa’=-0.3.4348 So XL=Xa+Xd=-0.1027E6ohms-mile So z=jXL=j0.4348=0.4238 j9.1027×106)=j9.011 From the previous calculation above 36’ phase spacing: Xd=0.1062=0.4238 Ohms/mile.011+0. From Table 3.737×10-6 mhos/mile The surge impedance is ZC = z = y j. 36’’ bundle: Xa=-0.1062 So XC=X’a+X’d=-0.

With a 30’’ bundle (and 36’ phase distance).3% increase in SIL. 24. Overall.8055e + 009 The SIL for this circuit is 2805 MW. The Finch conductor (1590 kcmil) has area of 636 sq mm. we obtained an SIL of 2370 MW. Let’s try it.6 3 2 = 2. Note that the conductor radius only affects the reactance quantities at 1 ft spacing Xa and Xa’. and so we see that the 20% increase in bundle radius gives us an additional 18. the two changes we have made have increased from 2247 MW to 2805 MW. Let’s increase the radius by 20% which means we need to choose a conductor having an area of 1.PSIL = 2 VLL ZC = (765×10 ) 208. Effect of conductor size: We previously used a conductor type Tern having 795 kcmil (this is characterizes the aluminum portion of the conductor) or 431 sq mm (this characterizes the entire conductor). Get per-unit length inductive reactance: 13 . which is close.22(431)=621 sq mm.8%.

3. Now get per-unit length capacitive reactance.014 From the previous calculation above 36’ phase spacing: Xd=0.3.044+0.1018×106)=j9.4208 ohms/mile.823×10 -6 = 206.2.4348 So XL=Xa+Xd=-0.4348=0.014+0.4208 Ohms/mile.823×10-6 mhos/mile The surge impedance is ZC = z = y 2 VLL j.97 14 3 2 = 2.0044 From the previous calculation above 36’ phase spacing: X’d=0.From Table 3. and y=1/-jXC=1/-j(0.97ohms Then the SIL is PSIL = ZC ( 765 ×10 ) = 206. we find 36’’ bundle: Xa’=-0. From Table 3.1062=0.1062 So XC=X’a+X’d=-0. 36’’ bundle: Xa=-0.8276e + 009 .4208 j9.1.1018E6ohms-mile So z=jXL=j0.

Obviously. 25.4 Other comments about HSIL The ability to reduce Dm and increase Rb and Rbc are of course limited. 36’’ bundle diameter.8%. including ampacity (for short lines). under changes in temperature and loading. and so we see that the 20% increase in conductor radius gives us less than a 1% increase in SIL. Overall. and 36’ phase distance. 2805 MW. the three changes we have made have increased from 2247 MW to 2827 MW. we cannot allow the phases to overlap. In addition. and ruling span (ruling span is the span length in which tension in the conductor. most nearly agree with the average tension in a series of spans of varying lengths between dead-end towers [4]). There factors include: 15 . there are other factors which limit the minimum Dm and maximum Rb and Rbc. 3. Higher SIL is typically not achieved by increasing conductor type. With a 431 sq mm conductor (Tern). we obtained an SIL of 2805 MW.The SIL for this circuit is 2827 MW. choice of conductor type is typically driven by other issues.

working space under crossarm • Audible Noise (AN) and Radio frequency Interference (RI) at the edge of right of way • Electric field at the surfaces of sub-conductors & Electromagnetic field effects at the edge of ROW • Wind & snow loading clearance requirements • Conservation of eco-sensitive Right-of-Way • Overall transmission cost including capital. maintenance+operation costs Below is some actual data based on a a 500KV Single Circuit (SC) Design Requirement for a 330Km circuit in Alberta [5].• Inter-phase & phase to ground insulation coordination • Galloping • Ruling Span • Live-line maintenance (walkout clearance. 16 .

17 .

Final comment here is that we have only discussed symmetrical bundles. There is some advantage to be gained from non-symmetrical bundles of the sort illustrated below [6]. 18 .

we cannot use this approach. Yet. Such a design is often referred to as a compact line design.4. we need to have bundles. And so we may use an increase surge impedance line (ISIL). to minimize the geometric mean distance between phases. 19 . To increase the GMRs of the bundles. rather than HSIL. in such an application. We also observed that increasing the GMRs of the bundles Rb and Rbc. it is often the case that the additional cost of bundling (additional conductors and other) cannot be economically justified because the additional power increase is not very much (note the increase in the 69 kV circuit in the table at the beginning of these notes is only from about 12 MW to about 40 MW). For high voltage distribution (34. 138 kV. increases SIL. Dm. however. If we only have a single conductor.5 kV) or lower voltage transmission (69 kV. increases SIL. 115 kV. requiring only redesigned conductor supports and new insulators. 161 kV.0 Compact line design We observe in the previous section that making our phases as close together as possible. and even 230 kV). the additional cost of decreasing phase distance is usually not high.

Compact line designs are very attractive because they often require less right-of-way (ROW). it turned a 90 deg angle into Bay No. 3 to connect to the XXX substation 230-kV bus. • Right of way is typically very important for farmland as farmers do not want to have to deal with overhead wires as they are using their farm equipment in the field. because • It can be less expensive than going underground. It has been suggested that collection circuits for wind farms. There can be other interesting situations. Version "A" routing began at an existing steel terminal pole on the XXX-YYY No. 20 . Finally. The length of this route was 593 ft.passing underneath three 230kV transformer-bank feeders. which are typically 34. one of which is below. 2 line. In addition. The line then traveled to a 90 deg wood pole and turned left to traverse the common fence between the two substations -. can significantly benefit from using compact line design.5 kV. • The increased SIL provides for increased turbine density per dollar expended for collection circuit. This version required a compact 230-kV line design because of the limited clearance between the transformer-bank feeders and this proposed route. phase-to-ground clearances were critical.

4 which has a 120 degree phase separation. Fig. respectively. 21 . consistent with the top diagram of Fig. 4 Let’s assume that the three-phase system has a lineto-neutral voltage of Van=66 kV. as is usual for threephase systems.0 High phase order transmission The first part of this section is adapted from [7].5. Figure 4 below illustrate the voltage phasor relationships between line-to-neutral and line-to-line quantities associated with three-phase transmission and six-phase transmission. which means it has a line-to-line voltage of VAC=√3(66kV)=115 kV.

What is the implication of this? If we are limited on right-of-way. we have reduced the line-to-line voltage by (11566)/115=43%. one limitation associated with doing so is that we must maintain a minimum separation between phases in order to avoid flashover. we observe from the lower diagram of Fig. implying that our phase-tophase voltage will also be 66 kV as well.Now let’s assume that we will utilize the same phaseto-neutral voltage level in the six-phase system. P1. rather than 120 as in the three-phase system. 4 that the phase separation is 60 degrees. Therefore. This means that we can obtain the same per-phase power transfer capability. In this case. in applying six-phase transmission. Thus. However. then we would like to bring the phases closer together.max=VanImax but utilize significantly less ROW (here it is assumed that the same conductor would be used for both threephase and six-phase transmission and that the conductor ampacity is the limiting influence for power transfer capability). the phasor relationships between line-to-neutral and line-to-line are such that VAN=VAC. 22 . But that minimum separation depends on the line-to-line voltage.

Of course. Figure 5 [8] illustrates the difference in possible tower designs for a 230 kV (Van=133 kV) circuit and a three-phase circuit having Van=80 kV. because the geometry of the 6-phase circuit is more compact. Fig. we obtain a lower surge impedance and thus a higher SIL than we do for the 3-phase circuit. This is not so attractive as it may seem. 23 . and so we get double the power transfer capability with the six-phase transmission.max. since we are also utilizing twice the number of conductors.max whereas the six-phase transmission would obtain 6P1. the three-phase transmission would obtain 3P1. 5 In addition.

Fig. The reason this effects saturates is because there is a limiting case of infinite phases which would configure a perfectly hollow conductor such that there would be no flux at all on the interior. This limiting case is actually very nearly 24 .We can also consider even higher order phase designs than 6.” and there is less and less flux interior to the “circle” and therefore less flux linking the conductors. the configuration more and more closely approximates a “circle. 6 below. the SIL does not. 6 The reason the surge impedance decreases with number of phases is because as the number of phases gets large. as indicated by Fig. Although we will find that the ampacity increases directly with number of phases.

25 . This distinguishes it from conventional underground transmission. Actually. The table below compares. N2 is added in order to reduce the amount of SF6 which is required to insulate a very long transmission circuit. there is no need to be concerned for strength as is the case for overhead. SF6 is the insulating medium. after which you see almost no additional reduction in surge impedance. • Because it is underground. 6. then. therefore the conductor can be manufactured based purely on its conductivity properties (aluminum alloys are used). These losses not only decrease production costs but in addition they decrease heating which is a significant issue for underground where there is no natural cooling available. There are three main features to GIL: • It uses a combination of sulfur-hexaflouride (SF6) and nitrogen (N2) as the insulating medium.obtained at about 24 phases. Relative to overhead lines. which gives it the ability to achieve much higher voltages within the relatively constrained space required of underground facilities. GIL is able to significantly diminish losses.0 Gas insulated transmission Gas insulated transmission (GIL) is of interest today because it provides the potential to achieve significant power transfer capability underground.

Or it can be built in underground tunnels.Each pipe is structured as below. as was done at the Geneva Airport in Switzerland. It can be directly buried underground as below. 26 . The capability of this double circuit GIL is 2250 MVA at 300 kV rated voltage.

Another double circuit GIL in Wehr (Germany) at 420 kV is shown below. 27 .

Below is a photograph of a GIL installation in Saudi Arabia. I have not yet been able to find cost data on this type of transmission. 28 . but I speculate that it is significantly more expensive than overhead transmission. Below is an indication of where GIL has been deployed to date. Siemens advertises that it can manufacture GIL up to 800 kV having transmission capacity between 500 to 4000 MW.

The earliest superconducting materials discovered required cooling to almost 0 degrees Kelvin. a ceramic “high temperature” superconductor (HTS) material was discovered that required cooling to only about 90 degrees Kelvin.7. This was the beginning of development of the “superconducting pipe” as illustrated below.0 Superconducting transmission Some of this material is adapted from [9]. 29 . Superconductors are materials that exhibit zero resistance to DC and extremely high current densities when operating at very low temperatures. something that can be done with liquid nitrogen. In 1986.

they do require a pumping system for the nitrogen.Although superconducting transmission does not incur “joule” (I2R) losses. This pumping system requires some energy which can be considered to be losses. 30 . 2 Lines Losses for 5GW Transmission 12% Losses (% of 5GW) 765kV OH. when used as a 200 kV “superconducting pipeline” are summarized in the figures below. 3 Lines +/-300kV Underground DC [6] 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% 0 Overhead +/-800kV DC [7] +/-200kV Superconductor Pipeline Optimized 765kV. The below chart illustrates this. An important advantage of these losses is that they do not increase with power transfer as standard electric transmission does. 14% 765kV OH. 3 Lines [8] 100 200 300 400 500 Length (miles) 600 700 800 900 1000 Some interesting benefits of this technology.

31 .

SUITABLE TRANSMISSION SOLUTIONS Overhead Solutions Underground Solutions MultiPoint-to.terminal Multi-Terminal Point VSC Superconductor Pipeline AC HVDC HVDC 9 9 9 9 9 TRANSMISSION LINE POWER AND DISTANCE REQUIREMENTS Low Power (<1GW) Short (<100 mile) lines Low Power (<1GW) Moderate (100-400 mile) lines Low Power (<1GW) Long (>400 mile) lines Moderate Power (1-5GW) Short (<100 mile) lines Moderate Power (1-5GW) Moderate (100-400 mile) lines Moderate Power (1-5GW) Long (>400 mile) lines High Power (>5GW) Short (<100 mile) lines High Power (>5GW) Moderate (100-400 mile) lines High Power (>5GW) Long (>400 mile) lines AC 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 Ï Unique fit of Superconductor Electricity Pipelines for Long Distance. High Power. Multi-terminal transmission 32 .terminal Point VSC HVDC HVDC 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 MultiPoint-to.

Below are some cost-comparisons made by several US ISOs.Below is a cost comparison between a 1000 mile superconducting DC underground system and an EHV AC system. 33 . A superconducting system has been proposed for the US.

34 . as shown below.And a project has been proposed to connect the three US interconnections. called the Tres Amigas Superstation Project. which would utilize superconducting pipes.

35 .

by conservation of energy.8. • It is highly reactive and therefore poses some safety concerns • It must be stored at a low temperature and high pressure in order to maintain reasonable volumes.0 Other forms of bulk energy transportation There are three other forms of bulk energy transportation available today that should be considered when designing very high-capacity infrastructure that can be considered national in scope.1 Hydrogen Both hydrogen and anhydrous ammonia are combustible and therefore can drive an internal combustion engine. They are • Natural gas pipelines • Rail and barge (mainly for coal) • Hydrogen • NH3 6. Furthermore. Neither one produce greenhouse gas. There are three basic problems with hydrogen. and so. if the energy used 36 . • Its production requires energy. We mention them here but do not discuss them further. hydrogen production must result in a net loss. In addition. both can supply a fuel cell.

37 .R. then. and Subir Sen. “Overview of the transmission line design process. Zamora. [6] R.” Proc of the 2006 IEEE PES General Meeting. “EHV Transmission Line Capacity Enhancement through Increase in Surge Impedance Loading Level. Saenz.” CIRED200 1. i. Pilotto. [3] L.” Electric Power Systems Research 35 (1995) 109-118 [5] A. Nayak. 18-2 1 June 2001. B2. [2] I. then there is no overall environmental benefit. “High Phase Order Transmission. “UPRATJNG USING HIGH-TEMPERATURE ELECTRICAL CONDUCTORS. October 2007. Castro.” CIGRE Working Groups B2. R.2 Ammonia Anhydrous ammonia (NH3) is perhaps more attractive than hydrogen because it is less reactive and does not incur the same storage problems. “Enhancement of Transmission Capability. 482 6 IEE 200 1. produce hydrogen is derived from a CO2emitting process. [1] “CONSIDERATIONS RELATING TO THE USE OF HIGH TEMPERATURE CONDUCTORS. is to use energy that would otherwise go unused in its production. C.e. 6.N.. of the 1990 IEEE PES General Meeting.” October 11. [4] R. Many are today proclaiming NH3 as a better alternative to hydrogen.11.” NSF/EPRI Workshop on Urgent Opportunities for Transmission System Enhancement. A. B2. Maz6n. “Cost-Benefit analysis of high surve impedance loading (HSIL) HVAC. Of course. 2001. J. convert wind or solar to hydrogen or NH3. Y K Sehgal. a sort of storage mechanism. [7] T.J. Dariani.12. The key to appropriate use of hydrogen or NH3. Dorazio. slides available at ….03. Conference Publication No. and then use the hydrogen or NH3 to produce electricity through a fuel cell when that electricity is needed.” Proc. Alonso. production of NH3 also requires energy.

Nov/Dec 1978. by American Superconductor. Wilson. Stewart and D. [9] “Superconductor Electricity Pipelines: A new option for long-haul transmission.” Vol. No 6.” Presentation slides at ISU Short Course. 38 . October 27. 2010. “High phase order transmission – a feasibility analysis: Part I – Steady state considerations. PAS-97.[8] J.