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Power Transmission, Distribution and

Utilization
Lecture# 11: Mechanical design of
overhead Transmission line
Dr. Hadeed Ahmed Sher
Assistant Professor, EED
KFUEIT, Pakistan

Slide credits
This presentation is based on
Generation, Transmission and Utilization of
Electrical Power 4th edition by A T Starr
Chapter 8 of Principles of power systems by V K
Mehta

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Contents
Introduction
Regulations
Main components of overhead transmission
line
Conductor
Line supports
Insulators

Corona
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Introduction
Overhead transmission lines are much
cheaper than the underground cables.
It provides accessibility for maintenance and
extensions.
The disadvantages are exposure to smoke, fog,
lightning, ice and right of way.
It interfere with the communication system.
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Regulations
Standards are available that ensure the safety of public.
All designs must comply with the
Elongation,
Breaking load
Elasticity

According to british standard institute

Breaking load > 1237 lb


Minimum cross sectional area for copper 0.0201 in2
Weight per mile is 409 lb.
Lines must be inaccessible except by a special appliance.

Special precautions for corrosion protection.


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Regulations
The support must withstand the load due to ice
and wind pressure.
The factor of safety must be included in design.
If the pole is wooden an earthed conductor must
be carried on wooden pole so that a broken
conductor is earthed immediately.
If the pole is metal, it is above the conductor to
protect them from lightening.
For this purpose a earth wire is provided and
connected to earth four times in one mile.
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Main components of overhead lines

Conductors
Supports
Insulators
Cross arms
Miscellaneous items

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Conductors
Copper
Ideal for use. Always use as a stranded conductor.
High current density. Hence smaller cross sectional area is
required that means less resistance to wind.
It is heavy, expensive and rarely available.

Aluminum
Cheap and light weight (specific gravity is low).
Conductivity is 60% that of Cu.
1.26 times the diameter is required for an equivalent Cu
conductor.
Exposes greater surface to wind, ice. So taller towers are
required.
Larger cross arms are required.
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Conductors
Steel cored Aluminum
Due to low tensile strength the Al conductors have
more sag. This makes them unsuitable for long
transmission lines.
ACSR (Aluminum conductor steel reinforced).
Cross section ratio is 1:6 usually.
Steel takes on the mechanical
strength. Al carry bulk current
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Conductors
Galvanized steel
Very high tensile strength
Ideal for extremely long spans
Due to poor conductivity they cannot be used for
transmitting high power at large distances.

Cadmium Copper
Addition of 1% or 2% cadmium increases the tensile
strength by 50%. The resultant conductivity is reduced
by 15%.
Very useful for long spans. However, they are very
expensive and should be used only for lines requiring
small cross section.
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Line supports
Wooden poles
Suitable for lines of
moderate cross sectional
area and spans <50m.
Cheap and thus widely
used in rural areas.
Foundation failure occur
because of rotting below
the ground level. Creosote
oil is used
They cannot be used for
voltages >20kV
Require periodic inspection
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Line supports
Steel poles
Substitute of wooden poles
Used for distribution in cities
Galvanization or painting is
required to prolong its life.

RCC poles
Reinforced concrete provides
greater mechanical strength,
long life and permits longer
spans.
Good outlook, almost
maintenance free
High cost of transportation
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Line supports
Steel towers
High voltage, long T/M
lines they are used.
Used for longer spans
Double circuit is possible
owing to additional cost.

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Insulators
Prevents current flow from the conductors to
the earth via the poles.
Prevents the leakage current from the
conductor to earth.
Porcelain is most widely used insulator.
Glass, steatite and special composite materials
can also be used for insulators.
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Insulators
Pin type insulators
A groove on the upper
part holds the conductor
Used up to 33kV
Beyond 33kV they
become too bulky and
hence expensive.

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Insulators
Suspension type insulator
Use for voltages > 33kV
Porcelain discs are joined
together by metal links in
the form of strings.
Conductor is connected at
the bottom end. Thus
provide partial protection
against lighting.
Cheaper than pin type.
Depending on the voltage
level the number of discs
can be joined.
Provide greater flexibility.
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Insulators
Strain insulators
Used on sharp curves, or
dead ends of the lines.
Discs are in vertical
plane.

Shackle insulators
Used for low voltage
distribution lines.
Can be directly fixed to a
pole.
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Corona
If the applied voltage exceeds a certain value
called critical disruptive voltage, the
conductors are surrounded by a colorful glow
called corona.
It is audible and produce ozone and is actually
a power loss.
Higher the voltage higher the corona.
However, if we keep on increasing the voltage
the air insulation breakdown will occur.
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Corona
If the conductors are polished then the corona is
uniform otherwise, the rough points glow brighter.
Under stormy weather the corona appears on less
voltage amplitude because of greater number of ions.
Rough and irregular surface reduces the value of
breakdown voltage and hence increases the probability
of corona.
Larger interspacing between the conductors reduces
the corona.
Line voltage levels also affect corona as discussed
above.
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Corona
Advantages
Virtual diameter of conductor increases that reduces
the electrostatic stress between conductors
Reduces the affects of transients

Disadvantages
Loss of energy
Ozone is formed that may lead to corrosion.
Current drawn by corona is non sinusoidal and hence
non sinusoidal voltage drops across the line.
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Corona
Corona can be reduced by
Increasing the conductor size
This increases the voltage at which corona occurs.

Increasing conductor spacing


Discussed earlier. However, this can not be increased
too much otherwise the cost of supporting structure
may increase drastically.

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