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G N Alexandrov


G V Podporkyn

Leningrad Technical University, USSR


It is good practice to limit the ratio of

transmitted power to surge impedance loading
(SIL, or natural capacity), U P n , to & 1 ,
with the aim to reduce voltage drop and
power losses. This may be achieved by reducing phase-to-phase spacings and using subconductor bundles instead of single conductors. In so doing, it is possible to ensure
S/P 6 1 over a wide range of conductor
crofs-sections with the result that voltage
drop and power losses become independent of
conductor cross-section and the performance
and cost characteristics of lines, especially of long ones, are essentially improved.
Thus, the use of conductor bundles on 35- to
220-kV compact lines is an important means
for improving their efficiency.
It has been shown by Alexandrov et al. ( 1 )
that increasing the SIL of a line through an
increase in the number of subconductors and
a reduction in phase-to-phase spacings substantially improves the conditions of power
transmission, thus ensuring reduced voltage
drop and power losses a d larger transmission distances. However, experience in designing EKV overhead lines suggests that the
potentialities of increasing the SIL through
an increase in the number of subconductors
are limited. This was due to the fact that
as the number of subconductors increased,
the subspacings remained unchanged and the
phase-to-phase spacings were relatively
large, the maximum field strength at the
conductor surface being below its maximum
allowable value as determined from the conditions of corona-loss and radio-interference limiting, E
= E
The present paper
shows that the S I m f 3 5 5 to 220-kV lines
may be increased in proportion to the number
of subconductors by adopting simple design

A decrease in or at least a limitation on

the ratio S/P with increasing load P ( o r ,
which is the fame, a decrease in o r a limitation on the product Z F with increasiw
cross-section F) is posgible through an increase in the number of subconductors (not
through an increase in the cross-section of
a single conductor) in proportion to a r e quired increase in load, the use of conductor bundles being nowadays a common practice
in EHV lines.


The power S transmitted through a line is

determined by phase voltage Uph? conductor
cross-section F and current denslty j,
P = S cos Y = 3 UphF j cos Y
The SIL of a line is determined by the s u r face area of conductors, A (rather than
their cross-section), the maximum field
, the voltage
strength at their surface, E
and the factor allowing for flalfon-uniform

distribution of field strength over the conductor surface, k,, as shov6 in references
(2) and ( 3 ) ,

=$nr, ufi kn

where n and r are the number of subconductors per phas8 and their radius, respectively.
The upper limit on E
is set by the requirement of corona-f%&
and radio-interference limiting (E ,C Ea, the allowable
field strength). %%refore,
a minimum surface area of conductors and thus minimum
wind and ice loads of conductors and towers
and a minimum possible
obtain with E
xa = E into (2) and taltfng the ratio of %%nsmi?ted
power to S a

S _ = 120r F J k n -60% TO x j kn
whereF = F n = x r 2 Z n , de = 0.61 to 0.67
and F is tRe cross-8ection of phase subconductors.

It follows from these equations that the ratio S/P is determined by the ratio between
conduct% cross-section and surface area per
unit length, F/A, or the ratio between the
electron gas flux, F e j = I, and the f l u x of
the vector of field strength through a unit
length of the conductor surface, A-E /kn.
The other way around, a specified ra%o SIPn
corresponds with a well defined ratio, between conductor cross-section and surface
area per unit length, F/A.
Hence, in order to transmit power economically through overhead lines, it is necessary to emure a certain ratio between conductor cross-section and surface area per unit

As can be seen, the smaller the required ratio S/P , the smaller the ratio F/A that
must benensured, which, by virtue of ( 4 ) . 18
equivalent to the requirement to reduce ro
and/o r X

If the requirements of corona limiting and

of power transmission with an economical
current density are satisfied simultaneously,
S/P increases as r , i.e., as F , irrespechve of line voleage class ( 3 ) ? Accordingly, the maximum allowable cross-section
of subconductors and their radius may be obtained from the condition S/P 5 1 for
lines, in which the requireme% of corona
limitina determines the conductor design,




1 h x c - t o-phase spaciws


Note that E depends on r . lionover, ro can

be easily c?ilculatcd by iqcrntionc.
Assumin, S / ? = 1 , 2 = 3.65, Is = 1 .3 Afmm ,nwe have F.
= 926

j =
k': Ac-


Thus, the m c a x i m m allooable crosxj-section of

subconductors is F9
300 mr: for lines
with a working vol a, of 220 kV and above.
Conductors of larger cross-sections cannot
be efficiently used on overhead lir,es. This
conclusion has been confirmed by project dovelopments for 750- and 1150-kV lines in the

Equations (5) and (6) enable us to dotemine

the required values of r and F for any
specified values of j an8 S/P .oTable 1
lists tlie required values of Po and I' for
different values of j and SIP nssumi8t:8 =
= 0.65 (the average value fornaluminiumsteel conductors) and k = 1. Conversion to
value of kn can be Qasily done using
and (6).









It is seen that the insulation spacings of

tablo 2 n r e much smzller than conductcr-toconductor spaciws on lines in traditional
de ij i;n

.;it11the use of single conductors, a limit

on phase spacin:: is nlso set by corona considerations. Figure 1 shows the minimum
phase spacinLs ns determined by ccrona supp r e s r i o n conditions. A l s o shosm in the fis u r e n r e minimwl, insulction spacings as detcnnincd bg li;;htning surges according to
t a b l o 2. On 35-kV lines, th.e condition of
c o r o n a suppression s h o w s up only foy conduct o r radii below 1.33 cm (I' = 22 m ) (fiZ u r r I , curve I), i . c . , it'does
not praoticnlly affect the choice of phase spacings.
On 113-kV lines, its influence mapfests itself for r
3.62 cn (P < 78 mm ) (figure
1 , curve 28. O n 220-kV lynes, the condition
of corona suppression affects the choice of
cings over t h e vhole renge of
o r oss - 0 e c, t ion.5 employc d




I n table 2 , k is tile rated voitage surge fact o i - currently adopted in the USSX (at left)
nnd tha-t:.iith deep vo1tac;e surge suppression
(at ri",ht); G .
nnd GI.,,., are the miniinm ph~sc-to-~~~s~t-pacin&g
the conditions of reliable operation under
lichtnin; *urges ncoordin,n to the USSR Electric Installation Code and under switching
surges, respectively.

On 35- to 110-kV lines, E

< E practically over the whole rangPa)6f po8sible phase
spacings. Accordingly, the listed values of
S/P and j correspond with much smaller
crcgs-sections and radii of conductors by
virtue of (5) and (6).

It is seen from table 1 that virtually any

combination of j and S/P may be ensured
using the existing condu&ors, which enables
us to consider variation of these parmeters
over a wide range in an analysis of po'ver
transmission regimes.

In the U S S R , conductor-to-conductor spacings

are currently adopted mainly on the basin of
preventing the whipping o f conductors rather
than on the basis of a required electric
strength of phase-to-phase gaps. Table 2
lists the minimum insulation spacings, S . ,
required for the operational reliobilitymln
of phase-to-phase air gaps.

2efcrring to table
2, if w e adopt on i? 35-kV ~
line, c geonotric mean conductor-to-conductor
spacing of 0.5 n, ,which can be ensured by inst:,.llin& tvio 01- three insulator spacers in a
s p a n , the 3 I L of the line with single conduct o r s increases to 4.2 - 4.8 X J depending on
conductor diLunoter. This appreciably affects
the regime of the lines as compared to lines
of t h e s m e concuctor cross-section with
t r e d i t 3 . o n a l phase spacings.
Similarly, w i t h the uae of the minimum insulation spacings according t o table 2 and fi? w e 1 for n 110-kV line, the SIL of the line
increases to 3C - 43 J W . The regimes are altered accordingly i3.s shown in reference ( l )

?educed conductor spacings do not solve com3 1 c t e l y t h e problem of inproving the regimes
of overhead lines :.iith relatively thick conductors. This brings about the need for conductor bundles. F o r three or more subconductors p e r p h a s e , it is advantazeous to use
flat phases since t h e y o n s u r e a more compact
line desipn as cho1-mby Alexandrov et a1.(4).

The parameters of lines have been evaluated

by solving a system of equations with potential coefficients and finding the charges on
subconductors. Average working capacitance
C is dependent on the ratio of phase crosssgctional length h to phase spacing G (figure 3 ) . By varying h, for a constant G, the

ratio h/G was varied for the average working
capacitance to be equal to the allowable value as determined by the requirement of limiting the field strength nt the conductor

E o = ca



where q is the allowable charCe at the s u r face ofaa phase. The S I L of a line may be
expressed through the average working capacitance C-,
" according to reference ( 3 ) , a s

p, = 3%i
, =3vc0 u;


where Z = l / ( v Co) is the surge impedance

of the 'line.

For an approximate evaluation of the parameters of overhead lines, the values of kn,
were adopted on the basis of experience in
the analysis of line parameters presented by
Alexandrov et al. ( 5 ) in accordance with
table 3.

- Values
of k and r for different
n in flat p f l f a s e s ( P calculated
' f o r .j = 1 . 3 ~ / m
, Osrpn---J-= 3.3 .


ro (cm)













A s n increases from 1 to 4 , k increases

from 1 to 1.20. F o r larger n,%he value of
k = 1.20 may be assumed to be constant.

WPth varying k , the optimum subconductor

radius r variffs accordin~ly(see table 3 ) .
The radi8s is the largestofor single conductors. With n increasing from 1 to 4, it decreases and thereafter remains constant.
Figures 2 and 3 present the principal calculated parameters of 220-kV lines with flat
phases f o r n varying from 2 to 5. Increasing
n drastically increases the ower transmitted
(figure 2 ) . Indeed, using ( 5 7 and (6), the
power transmitted through a line may be written down in the form

which shows that S varies as n.

However since k varies with increasing n
from 2
4 (tabye 3), the S vs. n curves
somewhat differ from straight lines (figure
2). A s n further increases, k remains constant so that S VS. n dependehies become
linear and, according to figure 2 , may be
extrapolated to any n.


= 1 and j = 1.3 A/mm2, a power of

250 to 950 W A may be transmitted through n
220-kV line with n increasing from 2 to 5
(figure 2 ) .

F o r S/P

It is seen from equation

( 1 0 ) and figure 2

that the power transmitted decreases as the

square of S/P
This is due to the fact that
decreasing S/f proportionally decreases r
(5) with the r8sult that F decreases as t8e
square of S/P ( 6 ) and so 8oes the power
transmitted ( 4 0 ) . It is a l s o seen from (10)

that, for a specified S/P , the power transmitted decreases with inchasing j , which is
also a result of decreasing ro and Fo.

As S increases d t h n for a specified S/P

the SIL of thc line also increases, which%
equivalent to a decrease in Z (figure 2).
For S/P = 1 , Z varies from"l80 to 90 R
vith n %.rying faom 2 to 5 , respectively.
F i p r e 3 show the required ratios of phase
croon-sectional length to phase spacing, h/G,
for uhich the 3 v s . n and Z vs. n dependen-

cies of figure 2 hold true.s8s seen from figure 3, increasing the number of subconductors per phase, i.e., the total cross-secticn
of o phase, increases the ratio h/G, uhich,
for a constant G, implies longer phase crosssections (greater h).
Smaller S/P considerably reduces the phase
size by dragtically decreasing the poner
transmitted (figure 2 ) and, for a specified
S/P , the SIL must be accordin:;ly reduced,
i.e?, the average worki
capacitance of a
phase must be reduced
which is obtained
just by reducing thc phase size.


Larger rated current density, j, drastically

reduces the phase size (figure 3).2E.g., for
n = 2 S/P = 0.8 and j = 1 . 3 A / m , we have
h/G ='0.4 f o that h = G x 0 4 = 2.5 x 0 . 4 =
= 1 m, and for j = 1 . 6 B/mm2, we obtain h/G=
= 0.16, o r h = 2.5 x 0.16 = 0.4 m, the size
of the phase being thus reduced by a factor
of Z.?. Bote, howyer, that changip over
I r o m J = 1 . 3 A/mm to j = l.G A / m also decreases the power transmitted, S , from 180
to 160 IKI ( l o ) , i.e., 11%.
Note that figure 3 gives the phase size for
a preliminary evaluation of the parameters of
a line from the averaged working capacitance,
C , allowance being made for non-uniform
caarge and field distribution over subconductors by non-uniformity factor kn. For a specific line design version under study, the
data of figures 2 and 3 may be used as a
first approximation in elaborating an optimum phase design that ensures equal working
capacitances of phases and a uniform charge
distribution over subconductors, according
to reference ( 5 ) . In so doing, the inner
phase should be 'compressed' and the outer
phases 'stretched' about 20% as compared to
the data of figure 3 by arranging the subconductors non-uniformly within their phases.
A s shown in reference ( 5 ) , the parameters of
lines with flat phases are essentially independent of whether the phases are arranged
vertically or horizontally. Therefore, the
data of figures 2 and 3 may be a l s o used for
evaluating the parameters of lines with horizontally o r otherwise (e.g., parabolically) arranged phases (figure 4).
Tho reported data corroborate the feasibility of 220-kV lines using conductor bundles.
The phase size (specifically, the cross-sectional length) is found to be reasonable
even with a large number of subconductors,
in which case the SIL is 4 times or more
that of lines in traditional design.
As shown above for 35-kV lines (in most cas e s , this is also valid for 110-kV lines),
the electric field strength at the surface
of conductors, Emax, lies below an allowable
value f o r all actually used conductor types.
Therefore, it is not reasonable to choose ro


using (5). The vr?lue of r mcy he chosen

Prom the condition or th8 povier tranomitted not to exceed the line SIL with due regard to the restrictions imposed by the requirements relating to the mechanical
strength of conductors.

TIiBLZ 4-~

_ _of 35-BV lines

(j =

Table 4 lists the calculated parameters of

35- and 110-kV lines in traditional design,
of single-conductor lines with reduced phase
spacings and of compact lines with flat phases comprised of different nunbers of suhconductors with a subspacing of 39 to 60 cm,
As seen from table 4, the SIL of 35-1cV lines
with a geometric mean phase spacing of 4 m
is 3 blW. Reducing the phase spacing to 0.5 m
(see table 2 ) increases the SIL to 4.3 LX
whereas, for flat phases, varying n from 2
to 5 increases the SIL from 7.9 to 16.0 V : I ,
i.e., for n = 5, the SIL is 5 times t1in.t of
lines in traditional design, the condition
I being satisfied for any n.


1 .2




Similar dependencies of line parameters on

phase spacing and number of subconductors
are valid for 110-kV lines (see table.4).
Figures 5 and 6 show the calculated average
working capacitances and their proportional
SIL's for 35- to 110-kV lines as functions
of h/G for different numbers of subconductors in flat phases. It is seen that the SIL
of a line can be varied to a large extent by
varying h/G. This enables the most suitable
phase design to be determined for a specific
line version.


Alexandrov, G.N., Lisochkina, T.V.,

Nosov, I.M., Podporkyn, G.V.,
Seleznev, Yu.G., and Yevdokunin, G.A.,
1987, "New Means for Power Transmission
in Power Systems", Lenin ad University
Press, USSR. (In Russiany


Alexandrov, G . N . , Astakhov, Yu.N.,

Venikov, V.A., Lyslcov, Yu.I.,
Podporkyn, G . V . , and Postolatiy, V . K . ,
1982, "Electric Transmission Lines of
Increased Capacity and Reduced Ecological Effect", CIGRE, 31-03.

The use of flat phases and reduced phaso s p e
cings enable the ratio S/P to be confined
to ,C 1 , which considerablynenhances the economic efficiency and quality of power transmission, enables the transmission distance
to be increased and the operational lifetime
of existing systems to be extended with
their increased loads prior to putting into
operation new or reconstructed systems.

3. "EIW Transmission Line 'Design", ed. by

Alexandrov and L.L. Peterson,
1983, Lenin rad, Energoatomizdat.
(In Russian?.


Conductor bundling and ultimate reduction of

phase spacings, down to distances determined
by the requirements of reliable operation
and lightning surges, allow an increase in
the transmission capacity of 35- to 220-kV
lines virtually in proportion to the number
of subconductors per phase, i.e., b y a factor of 3, 4 or more as compared to traditional lines.
An increased transmission capacity of compact lines is attained with relatively small
phase sizes. A s a guide, the subspacing may
be 30 cm on 35-kV lines, 60 cm on 110-kV
lines and 1.2 m on 220-kV lines with a phase
spacing of 0.5, 1.4 and 2.5 m, respectively.


Alexandrov, G.IT., Alvarez, E.J.,

Krylov, S . V . , Nosov, I.M., Podporkyn,
G.V., Solovyov, E.P., and Trifonov,
V . Z . , 1984, "Insulation of Compact
Lines, its Electric Strength under
Switching Surges and Working Voltage",
CIGRE, 11-15.

5. Alexandrov, G J T . ,

Yevdckunin, G.A., and

Podporkyn, G.V., 1982, "The Parameters
of Overhead Transmission Lines in Compact Design", Elektrichestvo, 4,10-17.
(In Russian. )

6. Alexandrov, G . N . ,

and Nosov, I.M., 1981,

USSR Inventors' Certificate No. 898024.


Figure lG,,i,as

determined by corona l i m i t i n g
- 110 kV,

r : ( 1 ) - 35 kV, ( 2 )
( 3 ) -'220






y 20



Figure 3 h / G VS. n on 220-kV l i n e s for S/Pn=

= 0.6, 0 8, 1.0, and j = 1.3 m c l
1 .6 A / m *

F i g u r e 2 S ( s o l i d ) and Z ( d a s h e d ) v s . n
i n a flat p h 2 s e s f o r d i f f e r e n t S/Pn:
j = 1.3 A/mm


F i g u r e 4 Tower model for a 220-1cV compact

l i n e w i t h p a r a b o l i c phases
s u g g e s t e d i n r e f e r e n c e (6)

Figure 6




a a?


h /G

Figure 5

t? ( s o l i d ) and Pn
f 8 r 35-BV l i n e s :

G =





( s o l i d ) and Pn (dashed) V.S. h / C

fXr 110-kV l i n e s : G = 1 ..I II