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Calculation accuracy of high-temperature

sag for ACSR in existing lines

D. Loudon, EFLA, Norway

D.A. Douglass*, DPC, LLC, USA
R.G. Stephen, ESKOM, South Africa
G.C. Sibilant, EPRI/UKZN, USA

Abstract temperature. Since, above the KPT, the rate of sag increase
with temperature is reduced, the determination of KPT is
According to a CIGRE questionnaire completed in a significant factor in evaluating line uprating methods
2003, over 80% of existing lines were built with steel using the existing conductors.
reinforced aluminium conductors (ACSR). Therefore,
when attempting to increase the thermal rating of existing If the aluminium layers of ACSR undergo plastic
elongation due to metallurgical creep or high tension load
High Voltage (50 kV to 345 kV) transmission lines, low-
events, then the knee-point temperature of the conductor
cost line uprating methods often involve allowing the
is reduced, typically decreasing over the life of the line.
existing ACSR conductors to operate at an increased
In calculating the conductor sag at temperatures above
Maximum Allowable Conductor Temperature (MACT)
the KPT, the possibility of compression forces, residual
temperature. Of course, minimum electrical clearances to
manufacturing stress, and greater than anticipated plastic
ground, buildings and other lines must be maintained and
elongation of the aluminium layers must be considered.
the conductor system unharmed by operating at higher
temperatures. If these criteria are not met, the line must be 1. Introduction & Background
reconductored or rebuilt.
In designing a new overhead transmission line, one of
For ACSR, all sag-tension calculation methods assume the most basic and necessary calculations is that of sag-
that the unstressed length of aluminium and steel layers tension. CIGRE Technical Brochure 324 [1] explains
is the same before and after installation. After initially the calculation of sag and tension for bare overhead
sagging the conductor, high line currents cause the conductors under various ice/wind conditions and at
conductor temperature and sag to increase. CIGRE the high conductor temperatures produced by the lines
Technical Brochure 324 suggests two linear and one highest power flow. Based on these calculations, span
non-linear conductor model. The Experimental Plastic lengths and structure heights are chosen to meet the
Elongation (EPE) model considers the aluminium layers structure loads and electrical clearance requirements over
and steel core separately. The paper explains and quantifies the life of the line.
the various factors that influence the calculation of ACSR
sag at high temperature. In evaluating existing lines, power flow constraints
on the AC Transmission System are often the result of
The thermal elongation rate of the aluminium layer(s) is inadequate thermal rating on older existing High Voltage
twice that of the steel core, and, while the total tension (50 kV to 345 kV) transmission lines, built with one
decreases with increasing temperature, the tension in the ACSR conductor per phase. Increasing the thermal rating
aluminium layers decreases faster than the tension in the of these existing lines can often be accomplished by
steel core. For strong ACSR conductors in short spans increasing the maximum design temperature of the lines
operated above 75oC, the aluminium layer tension may if this can be done while continuing to maintain minimum
reach zero at a knee-point temperature (KPT) which electrical clearances to ground, buildings and other lines.
is less than the lines actual or proposed templating As described in [2], if the sag of these ACSR conductors


High temperature sag, knee-point temperature (KPT), aluminium layer axial compression, ACSR, LiDAR, Linear
Elastic, Simplified Plastic Elongation, Experimental Plastic Elongation.

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at the higher temperature is not adequate, then the lines All three conductors are strung to an initial tension equal
conductors may be re-tensioned, the support heights raised, to about 25% of their breaking strength.
the line reconductored with High-Temperature, Low-Sag
Notice that the sag in Table 1, at 20C, is approximately 5
(HTLS) conductor of the same diameter, or the line simply
m, and that the sag increases by about 3 meters when the
replaced by a new line with adequate thermal capacity.
conductor temperature increases to 120C. The calculated
The initial step in determining the choice of thermal high temperature sag can vary by as much as a meter due to
uprating method for an existing line, is to make a detailed imperfect tension equalization [3] at supports for all three
measurement of conductor position and terrain survey ACSR conductors. Indeed, sag errors due to imperfect
for the entire line. Increasingly, this is done with airborne tension equalization, occur for all aluminium conductor as
LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). In most cases, well as ACSR.
these older lines are lightly loaded (electrically) when
the system is operating normally. Even with the line in As per Table 1, the second largest variation in calculated
service, the conductor temperature is typically within 5oC sag at 120C is due to the choice of conductor stress-strain
to 15oC of air temperature since the current in most lines model. The models are discussed at length in [2] and also
is less than 0.5 amps/mm2. At higher current densities, the in this paper.
conductor temperature which corresponds to the measured Other factors, including additional heating of three-layer
sag must be calculated. ACSR at high current due to the steel core [4], variation
in the conductor temperature when manufactured, creep of
2. Errors in High Temperature Sag aluminium at high temperature, and variation in thermal
TB244 [2] includes a useful table estimating high elongation rate due to high stress, produce relatively small
temperature sag errors due to various factors. The table is errors, typically less than 0.15 m, but can be important in
reproduced here (see Table 1) with certain modifications. certain situations.

Table 1: Sag Errors at High Temperature for three Different ACSR Strandings

Typical Errors for High-temperature Sag Calculations

ACSR Drake ACSR Condor ACSR Tern
Aluminium area (strands) 403 mm2 (26) 403 mm2 (54) 403 mm2 (45)
Steel area (strands) 66 mm2 (7) 53 mm2 (7) 28 mm2 (7)
Final tension at 20oC 25 800 N 23 150 N 19 100 N
Equivalent span length 250 m 250 m 250 m
Sag at 20C 4.84 m 5.06 m 5.36 m

Effect of Conductor Stress-strain model on final 120 C sag:

Single conductor modulus & CTE (LE or SPE) 7.76 m 7.78 m 8.53 m
Separate modulus & CTE (Graphical method) - no Residual stress (EPE) 7.00 m 7.53 m 8.53 m
Graphical method with typical 20 MPa residual stress offset. 7.32 m 7.73 m 8.53 m
Additional sag errors at 120 C :
Temperature difference core/surface +0.03 m +0.05 m +0.06 m
Change of elastic modulus vs. temperature +0.15 m +0.11 m +0.06 m
High temperature creep 0 0 +0.50 m
Multiple span effects +0.6 to -1.0 +0.5 to -0.9 m +0.5 to -0.8 m
Effect of core magnetisation losses 0 + 0.07 m +0.05 m
Effect of manufacturing temperature +/- 0.14 +/- 0.12 0

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3. Stress-strain models for behaviour of the conductor components is represented by
a polynomial equation.
sag-tension calculation
The stress-strain mechanical models for ACSR, used in 4. Linear conductor thermal
sag-tension calculations, assume that: (1) the manufactured elongation model
lengths (i.e. unstressed lengths) of the steel core and
The initial sag and tension of bare overhead transmission
the aluminium layers are the same; (2) the mechanical
conductors change with the conductor length and with
behaviour of the steel core is close to elastic and yields only
conductor weight per unit length due to ice and/or wind
a small amount of plastic elongation at high load events,
loading. Conductor length changes as the result of plastic
and; (3) the thermal elongation of both the steel core and
and elastic elongation and due to thermal elongation.
the outer aluminium layers are linear with temperature. In
Elastic elongation and thermal elongation are reversible
addition, the common conductor elongation models can
(returning to the initial tension and temperature yields the
consider the thermal and mechanical elongation of the
initial length). Plastic elongation occurs due to permanent
steel core and the outer aluminium layers separately.
elongation during high tension events and, at normal
The models for conductor elongation of ACSR, differ everyday tension, metallurgical creep elongation of
in how the plastic elongation and, to a lesser extent, the aluminium. Thermal elongation is the result of variations
linear elongation of the aluminium layers are modelled. At in air temperature, solar heating, and line current.
high mechanical loading and high temperature, the choice
For bare overhead conductors that are entirely stranded
of model affects the calculated conductor sag. CIGRE
from aluminium wires (e.g. All Aluminium Conductor),
Technical Brochure 324 [1] suggests three alternative
the conductors coefficient of thermal elongation (CTE)
mechanical conductor models, each models the steel core
is taken equal to that of the aluminium wires (23E-6 per
similarly (e.g. a linear spring) and the aluminium layers
oC). For bare overhead conductors that are stranded with
one or more layers of aluminium wires surrounding a
The Linear Elastic (LE) model [5] assumes that there is steel (or composite) core, the conductors CTE can be
no plastic elongation in the aluminium layers (the steel calculated on the basis of the CTEs and Elastic Modulii
core and the aluminium layers are modelled as parallel of aluminium and the core material accounting for the
springs). The Simplified Plastic Elongation (SPE) model cross section areas of each component.
allows for plastic conductor elongation but on the basis
of field experience rather than calculation. As explained
in the next section of this paper, for both the LE and
SPE conductor models, the conductor is represented
mechanically with a single composite conductor modulus
(EAC) and thermally with a single composite conductor
Coefficient of Thermal Elongation (CTEAC). Where the subscripts A refers to Aluminium, C refers to
Also, in reference [1], a third conductor model, the the Core, and AC refers to the complete conductor.
Experimental Plastic Elongation (EPE) model, is defined. Note that for most ACSR conductors, the composite CTE
The EPE model is very similar to the Varney graphical is closer to aluminium than to steel. For 26/7 ACSR, the
method [6]. It models the mechanical and thermal composite CTE is 18.8 whereas the aluminium CTE is 23
behaviour of the aluminium layers and the steel core, and the steel core CTE is 11.5.
separately. The mechanical stress and strain behaviour
of the aluminium layers and the steel core are measured 5. Non-linear coefficient of
experimentally as is the plastic elongation of the conductor. thermal elongation model
The thermal elongation of the aluminium and steel core
are modelled separately but not typically measured. The equation for CTEAC is derived by assuming that (1)
The generally non-linear mechanical stress-strain both the aluminium layers and the core are under tension

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Figure 1: Initial component tensions in aluminium layers and steel core for 54/7 ACSR
in a 300 m span as a function of conductor temperature.

and that (2) the length of the aluminium layers and the With ACSR, the core usually undergoes only a small
core must remain equal. For an aluminium conductor amount of plastic elongation during high load events and
with a steel core (i.e. ACSR), suspended in a catenary, the the impact of plastic elongation in the aluminium layers is
aluminium strand layers of ACSR elongate at twice the different. Using the EPE stress-strain model, the amount
rate of the steel core. of plastic elongation in the aluminium layers can be
calculated as a function of both high tension load events
If the conductor is modelled with the EPE method, the
and creep elongation over time. All three stress-strain
tension of the steel core and the surrounding aluminium
models allow one to calculate the KPT of ACSR, but LE
layers are modelled separately. Therefore, as the ACSR
assumes that it remains constant over time and loads,
conductor temperature increases, the total conductor
SPE assumes that KPT decreases a set amount over time,
length and sag increase and the total conductor tension
and EPE can be used to calculate the KPT of ACSR for
decreases. However, for the lengths of the steel core
user-specified loading events and, given creep elongation
and the surrounding aluminium layers to remain equal,
models, the variation of KPT over the life of the line.
the greater thermal elongation of the aluminium must
be offset by reduced elastic elongation and the lesser Other factors can also influence the KPT. The initial
thermal elongation of the steel core must be increased KPT of ACSR (or other reinforced conductors) can be
by increased elastic elongation. In other words, as the reduced by pre-stressing the conductors prior to sagging
conductor temperature increases, the percentage of total and clipping. Rawlins [7] suggests in some detail that the
tension in the aluminium must decrease. KPT can be higher than expected due to residual stranding
stresses in the aluminium wires of ACSR made in modern
At a temperature referred to as the knee-point
rigid-frame stranding machines, which effectively makes
temperature (KPT), the tension in the aluminium layers
the zero-stress aluminium wire layers shorter than the
of the ACSR conductor has decreased to zero (see Figure
zero stress length of the core. Finally, long pulls and
1) and all of the conductor tension is in the steel core.
high tensions during tension stringing can produce non-
Above the KPT, the aluminium wire layers go into
negligible plastic elongation of the aluminium prior to
compression. If the elastic modulus of the aluminium
sagging. These phenomena are best studied using the EPE
layers in compression is equal to that in tension (think
of the behaviour of Aluminium-clad steel wire), then the
CTE remains equal to that at temperatures below the KPT. Above the KPT, the continued thermal expansion of
If the elastic modulus of the aluminium wire layers is aluminium yields increasing aluminium compression but,
zero, then the conductors composite thermal elongation if the aluminium compression modulus is low, the rate of
rate decreases to that of the steel core alone, depending sag increase with temperature is sharply reduced to near
upon the compression modulus of the aluminium layers. that of the steel core alone as shown in Figure 2.
In any stranded aluminium conductor, the aluminium The advantage of using the EPE conductor model is that
wires undergo both elastic and plastic elongation. With it yields lower calculated high temperature sags (about a
an all-aluminium conductor, plastic elongation due to meter less at 150oC as shown in Figure 2). On the other
high load events and metallurgical creep, cause both the hand, because it is not as conservative as the LE/SPE
everyday sag and the high temperature sag to increase conductor model, there must be increased concern with
over the life of an overhead line. those factors that affect the modelling.

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Figure 2: Sag vs temperature for ACSR with LE/SPE and EPE conductor models

There are three primary concerns with regard to sags 6. Compression of helical
calculated by the EPE conductor model. They involve the
conductor manufacturing details (lay lengths and bobbin aluminium strand layers
tension), the conductor installation procedures, and the For single-layer and multi-aluminium layer ACSR
occurrence of severe mechanical ice & wind load events conductors, at conductor temperatures above the KPT, the
prior to the field sag measurements of the existing line. aluminium wires continue to expand faster than the steel
The KPT depends on the ACSR stranding (Figure 3) and the core wires putting the aluminium layers into compression
effective span length (Figure 4) as summarized in Table 2. and increasing the elastic elongation of the steel core.
Given the physics of the ACSR conductor, aluminium
Table 2: Final knee-point temperature as a function of ACSR
steel content and ruling span length. compression must occur above the KPT.

Ruling Span Length - meters

The aluminium wires in each layer are helices. Under
tension, the modulus of the aluminium wires is close to
Type* of ACSR 180 300 425 10 Mpsi and the strength of these layers is a significant
7 (e.g. 45/7) 90C 130C 160C portion of the composite conductors tensile strength.
14 (e.g.54/7) 75C 95C 110C
Under compression, an unconstrained aluminium wire
helix produces a much lower modulus because the wire
23 (e.g. 30/7) 30C 30C 40C bends rather than compresses. That is, the helix expands
* - Type = 100*[AS/AA] radially and the resistance to axial strain is about 5% of
that in tension.
Clearly, high-temperature sag accuracy is more of an
issue with existing lines having relatively short spans and Rawlins paper on High Temperature Sag Calculation [7]
for any line having high steel content ACSR (e.g. 30/19). derives the axial compression modulus (spring constant

Figure 3: Comparison of sag vs temperature for 45/7, 54/7, and 30/19 ACSR Figure 4: Sag vs conductor temperature for 180, 300, and 425 m spans.
with a 300 m ruling span.

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Figure 6: Radial expansion of unrestrained helical aluminium wire layers of Drake ACSR
as a function of axial strain.

per unit area of strand), Eff for a free helically-wound

aluminium strand layer as follows:

D = Overall diameter of strand layer
Where: E is the axial elastic modulus of aluminium d = Strand diameter in layer
(slightly less than 60 GPa). R = Radial expansion of the strand layer
n is the number of strands in the layer. Considering the number of strands in the layer, n, as a
is the lay angle of the layer. function of strand and layer diameters:
Eff is a weak function of the lay angle and is typically
slightly less than 4 GPa. Therefore, the axial modulus
of the aluminium layers in compression is less than 10%
of the axial modulus in tension unless the layers are Then:
constrained radially.

The relationship between the total length (L) of a strand

and its lay length () is shown in the following diagram. The strain, S, is the same for all layers of the conductor, so
a comparison between the radial expansion rates of each
layer can be made by
Figure 5: Two-dimensional representation of aluminium wire helix dimensions

Where: Where subscript i denotes the specific strand layer.

= Lay angle For an ACSR conductor with two layers of aluminium
R = Radius of strand helix wires, if the radial expansion rate of the outer layer is greater
L = Helical wire length than or equal to that of the inner layer, then both are free to
= Axial length of one turn of the helix (the lay length) expand radially and the modulus of each in compression is
Now, low. Given the range of recommended lay ratios from IEC
or ASTM production standards, use of preferred ratios will
allow free expansion of the aluminium layers.
With 2 or more layers of aluminium, each layer will
The conductor strain, S, is defined as the ratio of the expand similarly if free to do so. Figure 6 shows the
change in lay length divided by the lay length and the dependence of inner and outer aluminium layer expansion
radial expansion of the strand layer due to a change in lay for 26/7, 2-layer Drake ACSR as a function of lay ratio. At
length due to conductor strain is: the preferred ratio, the layers are free to expand radially.

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Figure 7: Influence of aluminium compression force and residual aluminium layer stress on EPE
high-temperature sag calculations

Rawlins developed an approximate aluminium layer 7. Experimental measurements

compression modulus for multi-layer ACSR which was
implemented in the SAG10 numerical sag-tension of High Temperature Sag
calculation method. Using the maximum recommended Field measurements of high temperature sag in operating
inner layer lay ratio (16) and the minimum recommended lines are extraordinarily difficult primarily because very
outer lay ratio (10) for 2-layer, 26/7 Drake ACSR, the few lines carry currents close the line thermal rating under
compression modulus was sufficiently high to change normal system conditions and because weather conditions
the thermal elongation rate beyond the KPT as shown in are normally more favourable to heat loss than those
Figure 7. assumed for thermal line rating calculations. In addition,
the small differences in sag produced by variation in
Note that the existence of significant axial aluminium CTE at high temperature are easily overwhelmed by
layer compression stress changes the slope of the sag small variations in end-point movement. Consequently,
versus temperature curve beyond the KPT while the experimental measurements have been attempted for
existence of residual stress from manufacturing shifts the indoor and outdoor test spans.
KPT value itself but does not change the slope. Higher The point of this paper is to explain and quantify how the
than estimated plastic elongation of the aluminium layers users choice of conductor model (LE, SPE, and EPE)
would have an effect similar to that of residual stress but influences the calculation of ACSR sag at high temperature
would reduce the KPT rather than increasing it. based on field survey measurements. The result of these

Figure 8: Comparison of measured and calculated sag vs temperature for 26/7 ACSR

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Figure 9: Comparison of experimental measurements of sag vs temperature vs
conductor average temperature.

calculations can be important in establishing the thermal The experiments at both locations indicate that high
capacity of existing clearance-limited overhead lines and temperature sag calculations using the EPE conductor
in determining the best method for increasing the thermal model should use an assumption of 15 to 20 MPa for
capacity of such lines. residual aluminium stress to be conservative on the basis
of this limited experimental data.
Two careful laboratory experiments are discussed in the
following paragraphs. Figure 8, shown in Reference [7], 8. High Temperature Sag in new
is based on tests performed as part of a study of high
temperature thermal elongation with an indoor, 90 meter and existing lines
test span. The conductor is 26/7 Hawk (240 mm2) and it it may be observed that sag at high temperature is seldom
was pre-stressed to simulate the aluminium layer plastic measured in either new or old lines. In both cases, high
elongation that would occur as a result of creep and high temperature sag is calculated based upon sag measurements
load events in an installed line. made at everyday line currents and weather conditions.
This experimental data was analysed by Rawlins [7] and For new lines, field measurements are made after tension
presented in an IEEE paper which elicited a good deal stringing as part of line construction. For existing lines,
of interesting discussion. In essence, Rawlins proposed measurements are made with the line carrying normal
current (or none), by LiDAR or conventional survey
that the experimental data could best be explained by
residual stress in the aluminium layers produced as a
result of stranding in a rigid-frame stranding machine. With new and existing lines, given non-homogeneous
He supplemented this data by measurements of residual conductors (both conventional ACSR and HTLS), the
stress in various ACSR conductors prior to installation tension distribution between core and aluminium layers is
and concluded that the KPT should be adjusted upward estimated at the time of measurement.
by assuming a residual stress of 15 MPa. The EPE analysis presented in this paper is also applicable
A second experimental study was performed in an outdoor to the analysis of high-temperature, low-sag conductors
test line (2 spans) at the Oakridge National Laboratory in having either zirconium or annealed aluminium layers
Oakridge, Tennessee. The analysis was reported by Seppa surrounding a core which has high strength and low
[8] and his plot of the test data is reproduced in Figure 9. thermal elongation.
The test facility consisted of two 180 m spans, carefully
terminated to allow accurate sag measurement and with 9. Selection of High-Temperature
many thermocouples embedded in the conductors. Sag model for new lines
The laboratory experiments demonstrate that the measured when designing new overhead transmission lines,
sags are less than those calculated with the LE or EPE, the height and the placement of support structures is
constant CTE model and greater than that calculated dependent on wind and ice loads (primarily on the
with the EPE/Graphical method where residual stress is conductors) and on the sag of the phase conductor at the
ignored. templating temperature. If the reduction in slope of sag

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versus temperature beyond the knee-point temperature In this case, the choice of high temperature sag model
is neglected, then the structure attachment heights and can be quite important. If the knee-point behaviour is
spacing will be somewhat higher than need be. The added ignored altogether, then the resulting conservative
cost of somewhat higher sag clearances may be less calculation of sag at high temperature may rule out the
onerous in new lines compared to reconductoring existing use of existing ACSR conductors at higher temperature
lines. For example, the difference in total line cost when and reconductoring may seem to be the only choice. If
increasing the templating temperature from 50C to 80C the reduced thermal elongation beyond the knee-point
has been found to be around 5% in certain projects in temperature is considered and properly modelled, then
Eskom, South Africa. This is not a generic finding and it may be possible to choose a relatively inexpensive
the cost will differ depending on the terrain, tower family method of uprating the line by raising certain supports or
being used, conductor types, etc. re-tensioning the line.
In determining the model to use, it is important to On the other hand, when doing calculations to allow thermal
determine the application of the conductor and the likely uprating of an existing line without reconductoring, one
operating temperature. If the power on the line has a must be careful to recognize the need to model the sag
fairly flat load profile, the cost of losses will likely lead behaviour correctly and to allow for both calculation
the designer to select a larger aluminium area. This will errors and measurement tolerances, both of which are
imply that the operating temperature of the conductor will impossible to avoid.
be quite low. In this case the linear model may suffice as it
will result in a slightly conservative sag but will not result If the thermal rating is to be determined in real time, it
in high line costs as the difference between the models is important that the actual sag-temperature relationship
below the knee point is small. is determined by calibration and measurement. This is
covered in TB 498 [9].
If the line is used to supply a peak load for a short duration
or is designed to operate at a high temperature under n-1 11. Use of High Temperature
conditions, it is important to understand the exact sag-
temperature relationship of the conductor. If the linear Low Sag (HTLS) conductors
model is adopted, the cost of the line may be excessive High temperature low sag conductors are often designed
due to the conservative sag calculation, because it ignores so that the conductor operates above the knee-point
the non-linear CTE behaviour of ACSR. under normal conditions. This is the case with annealed
aluminium, gapped and some polymer cored conductors.
10. Selection of High- The rate of sag as a function of temperature is therefore
Temperature Sag calculation dependent on the core only and not the aluminium
component. This allows for a high temperature of
method for existing lines operation without exceeding the permissible sag.
The initial step in evaluating methods of uprating existing If the linear model is chosen with regard to HTLS
overhead lines consists of making detailed measurements conductors, it may indicate that the conductor is not
of conductor position and terrain survey for the entire
suitable for certain applications which may not be the
line. Increasingly, this is done with airborne LiDAR,
case. This is demonstrated in Technical Brochure 244
though traditionally, by conventional survey methods.
[2]. The type of HTLS also needs to be chosen to suit the
In most cases, these older HV lines are lightly loaded
(electrically) when the system is operating normally, so
the measured conductor position in each span corresponds In determining the initial cost of the HTLS installation
to a conductor temperature within 5oC to 15oC of air it is important that an accurate sag-temperature model
temperature. It is necessary to calculate the conductor sag be used. This should take the knee-point into account.
for the lines maximum conductor design (templating) Failing to do this may result in the HTLS option being
temperature and for any higher temperature considered found less than optimal as the increase in thermal rating
for uprating purposes. may not negate the higher initial cost.

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12. Conclusions The issue is of primary concern when:

When calculating the sag of ACSR at conductor 1. The maximum operating high temperature of the line
temperatures above 75C, the thermal elongation rate is determined by the clearances produced when the
of the conductor should model the mechanical and conductor is at the templating temperature.
thermal behaviour of the aluminium layers and the steel 2. The spans are short (<400m).
core separately. If the conventional ACSR temperature- 3. The conductor has a steel core area greater than 10%
independent CTE formula is used, the sag at maximum that of the aluminium layers.
line temperature will be overestimated. In designing new 4. Lay ratios are near recommended values.
lines, allowing for the modest amount of excess high When the sag of ACSR at high temperature is essential
temperature sag which results from the linear CTE method to the selection of line uprating method, the KPT should
is of minor importance. However, in evaluating options be determined by use of the EPE mechanical conductor
for thermal uprating of existing lines, the difference in model (including the impact of metallurgical creep of
the linear and non-linear CTE methods can have a large aluminium and plastic elongation for high tension load
impact on the uprating method chosen. events) and a residual stress of 15 to 20 MPa should be
If the conductors are intended to operate at temperatures specified for the aluminium layers.
above 75C, it is recommended that a model be used that
takes into account the knee-point of the conductor. Failure
13. Bibliography
to do this may result in a suboptimal conductor being [1] CIGRE Task Force B2.12.3, Sag-tension Calculation Methods for
Overhead Lines, Technical Brochure 324, June, 2007.
chosen for the line.
[2] CIGRE Task Force B2.12, Conductors for Uprating of Overhead
The temperature gradient also needs to be considered as Lines, Technical Brochure 244, April, 2004,
the average temperature determines the conductor sag and [3] IEEE Subcommittee 15.11, Limitations of the Ruling Span Method
not the surface temperature [10]. for Overhead Line Conductors at High Operating Temperatures.
Report of IEEE WG on Thermal Aspects of Conductors, IEEE WPM
As the conductor temperature increases above ambient, 1998, Tampa, FL, Feb. 3, 1998
the aluminium layer thermal expansion rate is twice that [4] CIGRE WG B2.12, Alternating Current (AC) Resistance of
of the steel core and at the knee-point temperature Helically Stranded Conductors, Technical Brochure 345, April,
(KPT), the tension in the aluminium layers is zero and 2008.
all the tension is in the steel core. Beyond the KPT, the [5] IEC 1597, Overhead electrical conductors Calculation methods
CTE of the conductor is reduced and the conductor sag for stranded bare conductors, First Edition, 1995.
which corresponds to the lines maximum temperature is [6] Varney T., Aluminium Company of America, Graphic Method
for Sag Tension Calculations for A1/S1A (ACSR) and Other
reduced. Conductors, Pittsburg, 1927
The issue of KPT and its impact on the line sag at high [7] Rawlins, C.B., Some Effects of Mill Practice on the Stress Strain
temperature depends on a number of line design factors. Behavior of ACSR, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 14,
No. 2, April, 1999.
The issue is of minimal concern when:
[8] T. Seppa Fried Wire? (Public Utilities Fortnightly, December 2003,
1. The maximum operating high temperature of the line is pages 39-41)
determined by loss of strength in the aluminium layers [9] CIGRE Working Group B2.36, Guide for Application of Direct Real-
rather than sag. Time Monitoring Systems, Technical Brochure 498, June, 2012.
2. The spans are long (>400 m). [10] Clairmont, B, Douglass, D., Radial and Longitudinal Temperature
3. The conductor has a steel core area less than 7% that of Gradients in Bare Stranded Conductors with High Current
the aluminium layers. Densities, CIGRE Paper B2-108, Paris, 2012.
4. Compression modulus of the aluminium layers is

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