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Wood H-Frame Transmission Line

Design on a Personal Computer: Using

Mainframe Programs on a PC
Gary C. Thomann

Introduction as cost of conductor material and right-of-way costs

It has been the author’s experience that effective are inputted. Sagtension and loading data and mini-
use of a personal computer (PC) requires knowledge mum mid-span clearance information are entered. Fi-
of a number of software packages. For technical ap- nally, financial data consisting of values such as discount
plications, either a series of software packages is used rates and cost of energy are inputted.
to make the actual analysis or data is transferred from For each conductor/span combination, TLOP runs a
one package to another for format manipulation and sagtension analysis to determine maximum sag. The
graphing. This paper will describe the use of a PC (the maximum sag is combined with minimum mid-span
term PC in this paper will mean any IBM PC compat- clearance, insulator length, and structure geometry to
ible that includes a hard disk and a math coprocessor) get tower height. Then, tower cost is calculated using
for transmission line design with wood H-frame struc- an algorithm that relates cost to height, transverse, and
tures. Simple wood H-frame structures are very popu- longitudinal loading. Construction costs and life-cycle
lar for transmission line design in the United States costs are calculated using the financial data supplied,
because of their low first cost combined with relatively and all spankonductor combinations are compared to
long life. A short description of two H-frame structural determine the optimum pair.
analysis and design programs will be given, but the When considering wood H-frame structures, the al-
main purpose of the paper is to demonstrate how some gorithm relates the pole class of the two tower vertical
of the popular commercial software packages can be poles to the pole height and transverse load on the
applied to help with the use of the structural analysis structure. Pole class ( H l , 1, 2, etc.) is a measure of
programs. A brief discussion of the use of the PC for pole strength and actually specifies pole diameter. TLOP
transmission environmental calculations is also given. selects pole height in response to mid-span clearance
requirements, and transverse load is calculated from
Analysis Program Description the span and user-input loading conditions. The algo-
TLOP (transmission line optimization program) is one rithm then specifies which length and class pole to use
of the TLWorkstation programs developed for EPRl [ 1 1, for each spardconductor combination. Of course, high-
[ 2 I. TLOP considers spankonductor combinations and class poles cost more than the thinner lower-class ones.
selects the most economic combination. For each An economic trade-off develops between short spans
conductor/span combination, tower height and cost are with cheaper but numerous structures against long
calculated, and the initial construction cost of the spans with fewer but more expensive structures. Con-
transmission line is calculated. In addition, a life-cycle ductor type influences design in a similar way. Small
cost is calculated for each combination using financial conductors require modest towers, but the small con-
data and the analysis lifetime. ductors have more 12Rlosses over the line lifetime than
Before performing an analysis, the user must supply larger diameter conductors. However, the larger con-
a variety of data about the transmission line being con- ductors require heavier, more expensive towers. The
structed. General data includes the number of circuits user must supply the algorithm. To develop the algo-
on the line, the line length, any angles in the line, the rithm, a structure must be analyzed for a range of con-
structure to be considered, the insulator length, and ductor sizes (transverse loads), pole lengths, and pole
the spans and conductors to be considered. TLOP con- classes. Approximate methods can be used to make
siders 10 tower configurations;one is the wood H-frame the calculations [3], or more exact structural models
structure. Construction costs consisting of values such can be used. One such detailed model is HFRAME-84.
14 IEEE Computer Applications in Power 0895-01 56/88/0400-00 14$1.OO 0 1988 IEEE

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HFRAME-84 is a computer program written in FOR- tion, crossarm location, or phase spacing also neces-
TRAN that performs either the analysis or design of sitate numerous changes to the input file. The extensive
transversely loaded planar wood, steel, and pre- file editing effectively negates the use of the program
stressed concrete transmission structures [ 41. Input data for making a large number of runs. The procedure to
for both analysis and design include a description of circumvent this problem is described below; the tech-
the structure geometry and its nominal material prop- nique could be used with other batch programs writ-
erties, conductor and ground-wire sizes, and locations ten for mainframe computers.
of structure loads. In the analysis mode, span is input-
ted, and the program computes stresses and deflec- Doing the Analysis on a PC
tions at several points in the structure. In the design First, the HFRAME-84 code was compiled to run on
mode, the program computes the span, which causes a PC. Then a template (worksheet) was constructed
the structure to fail and indicates the failure point. Wind using one of the popular spreadsheet programs. The
loads may be inputted as a uniform pressure or com- cell widths in the spreadsheet were set to exactly match
puted by the program using reference velocity, wind the HFRAME-84 input format requirements, since the
profile, and drag coefficients. HFRAME-84 was written FORTRAN input format is very particular. Each cell in
to run in a batch mode on a mainframe computer. It the template holds a data entry-for example, joint
is not an interactive program. With the mainframe ver- number, joint location, pole height, material proper-
sion, an input file was originally prepared on computer ties, etc. A picture of part of the template is shown in
cards, the program was run, and an output report was Fig. 1. When the left side of the template is examined
printed. The current mainframe method of running the on the monitor screen, it looks exactly like the HFRAME-
program would be to construct an input file in ASCII 84 ASCII input file. However, underlying many of the
format using an editor or word processing program. worksheet cells are equations. Off to the right edge of
Development of the TLOP algorithm requires a large the template is an input area to enter information about
number of runs, typically 25 to 100. Other types of the structure geometry-for example, vertical pole
analysis could also require numerous runs, for exam- spacing, crossarm and X-brace cross section, X-brace
ple, examining the effect of changing vertical pole location, etc. If pole spacing or any other tower di-
spacing, X-brace location, pole burial depth, conductor mensions are changed in this structure-geometry input
diameter, loading conditions, etc. Each run requires area, the formulas in the cells in the data area then
returning to the original input file and editing the file’s adjust the cell values automatically to reflect the new
contents, which takes considerable time. Another time- structure geometry. Therefore, any part of the tower
consuming editing feature is that structure joint loca- design can be changed in seconds. As another feature,
tions must be inputted, and each joint location is ref- a separate template was set up as a pole and conduc-
erenced to the ground point of the left vertical pole. tor library. This library template has pole height and
When pole height is changed, the location of each joint diameter information and conductor diameter and
changes, and about a dozen changes are necessary to weight data. Then, in the original template, if a pole
the input file. Changes to tower width, X-brace loca- class/height combination (like HI-70 for a 70-ft class
HI pole) or a conductor name (like DRAKE) is typed
in response to a prompt, the
pole or conductor informa-
tion is retrieved from the li-
brary a n d automatically
inserted into the template.
Again, the equations under-
lying the cells make all nec-
essary adjustments for pole
height by changing joint-lo-
cation values. Therefore,
These cells poles or conductors can also
be changed in seconds. A
contain data simple example will be given
about the to illustrate the equations.
structure Suppose an H-frame struc-
ture that has the crossarm
located 8 ft from the top of
the tower is being analyzed,
and suppose the structure is
Fig. l A diagram showing the template layout. presently being analyzed for

April 1988 15

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a 60-ft pole length. A picture
of the structure is shown in
Fig. 2. Normally, a pole is
buried in the ground a dis-
tance of 10 percent of its
length + 2 ft, or 8 ft for the
60-ft pole. Therefore, the top
of the structure is at 52 ft,
a n d the crossarm height
(joint 4 in Fig. 2) is 44 ft. Part
of line 9 of the left area in
the template destined to be
the HFRAME-84 input file
would have the following
information in it.
Cell A9 B9 C9
Data 4 0.0 44.0
The 4 in cell A9 is the joint
number where the cross-
arm connects to the vertical
pole, the 0.0 in cell B9 is the
x dimension (0.0 since the
left pole is the reference),
and the 44.0 in C9 is the y
distance above the ground.
The pole length, 60 ft, is en-
tered in another part of the
template. Now, suppose the
user decides to analyze the Fig. 2 A picture of an H-frame structure using a 6 0 4 pole
structure with an 80-ft pole. length and a crossarm located 8 ft from pole top.
Then, 80 is entered into the
cell for pole length. The joint-location change in cell of the template in Fig. 1 into a print file, which is now
C9 is made by having the equation in cell C9 be: exactly the input file required by HFRAME-84. When
PLENGTH - (0.1 x PLENCTH + 2) - CROSSARM the spreadsheet program is exited, the batch program
regains control, renames the print file to the input-file
PLENCTH is the location of the cell where the pole name required by HFRAME-84, runs HFRAME-84, and
length is stored, and CROSSARM is the location of the places the program output results in a separate file,
cell in the right-hand area of the template shown in which the user can either examine on the monitor
Fig. 1 where the distance from the top of the pole to screen or print out. Using the combination of the tem-
the crossarm is stored. The distance to the crossarm plate, the conductor/pole library and the batch tile, a
is stored this way so that the crossarm can be quickly complete edit, run, and data examination can be done
moved up and down the tower if desired. The equation every 2 to 3 mins, depending on the PC clock speed.
now displays the value 62 in cell C9, which is the cross- This tumaround is, of course, orders of magnitude faster
arm height. The user does not have to be constrained than would be possible with manual input-file editing.
to a pole burial depth of 10 percent of length + 2 ft; Each time a run is made, virtually any feature of the
another variable could be used, and the burial depth tower can be quickly changed, including pole height
can then be inputted into the structure-geometry area or strength, conductor, structure geometry, ultimate
of the template. stresses, loading conditions, etc.
Finally, to complete the process, a small DOS (disk For this application, the output information from a
operating system) batch (command) tile was con- large number of runs was inserted into yet another
structed to automate the process. This batch file opens spreadsheet template, and a regression analysis was
the spreadsheet program and calls up the template. done to obtain the algorithm needed for TLOP. The
The user then makes any changes to the input tile de- regression data was also sent to a word processing
sired and exits the spreadsheet program. The exit is program for inclusion in a report and also to a graphics
done in a way to trigger the recording of the left area program to produce a graph showing how well the
data fit a linear regression. The graph was also in-
16 IEEE Computer Applications in Power

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eluded in the report. The regression equation was used frame computers. The other feature of PC analysis that
to make the TLOP runs. The TLOP output was also was demonstrated is that data usually travels through
sent to a word processing program to be included in a software series, from analysis to graphics to word
the final report. The complete analysis then used two processing for report preparation. The engineer needs
FORTRAN programs, a spreadsheet, a graphics pro- to be familiar with these programs; at a minimum, in
gram, a word processing program, and a DOS batch addition to technical software, a utility engineer should
file. be able to use word processors, spreadsheet, data base,
and simple graphics programs. Also, with the conver-
Other Transmission line Design Calculations sion of several programs from mainframe computers
The above discussion considered structural analysis to PCs, a large percentage of transmission line design
of suspension towers on level terrain. Nonlevel terrain could be done on the PC. As faster PCs become avail-
can be included in the HFRAME-84 analysis by adjust- able with operating systems that eliminate current
ing the wind/weight span ratio. Strain towers can be memory addressing problems, many more mainframe
analyzed by inputting concentrated loads on the tower. programs will become available for the small ma-
The concentrated load could be automatically applied chines.
using the spreadsheet template. A future version of TLOP
should have a tower-spotting routine using digitized References
elevation data and a dynamic programming routine to TL Workstation Code: Version 1.0, EPRl EL-454O-CCM,v6, Elec-
select tower locations. tric Power Research Institute, 3412 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto,
It would be nice to use the PC for other aspects of CA 94304, July 1986.
1. S. Grant and R. E. Clayton, “Transmission Line Optimiza-
transmission line design, including radio interference tion,’’ IEEE PES Summer Conference, Mexico City, Mexico,
(RI), electric and magnetic fields, flashover from light- 1986.
ning and switching surges, and higher phase orders. A Design Manual for High-Voltage Transmission Lines, REA Bul-
brief discussion of this analysis will be given here; more letin 62-1, United States Department of Agriculture, Dec. 1981.
Reliability-Based Design of Transmission Line Structures User
detailed coverage would be a suitable subject for an-
Manual: HFRAME-84 Analysis and Design of Multiple Struc-
other paper. tures, EPRl EL-4097-CCM, Electric Power Research Institute,
The author is aware of mainframe computer pro- 3412 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94304, Sept. 1985.
grams to calculate audible noise [5], electric field at Audible Noise Program, Power Technologies, Inc., P.O. Box
the conductor surface and across the right-of-way [6], 1058, Schenectady, NY 12301, June 1983.
and RI [7]. These programs are simple enough to be Electric Field Program, #M-4-82, Power Technologies, Inc.,
P.O. Box 1058, Schenectady, NY 12301, Dec. 1981.
compiled to run on a PC, and they include the capa- Radio Noise Program, #M-2-82, Power Technologies, Inc., P.O.
bility of considering 6 and 12 phase lines. Unlike Box 1058, Schenectady, NY 12301, Oct. 1984.
HFRAME-84, these programs are interactive; because TLWorkstation Code: Version 1.0, vol. 1, Electric Power Re-
they require a lot of common data for each run, such search Institute, 3412 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94304, July
interactive programs are often run on mainframe com-
TLWorkstation Code: Version 1.0, MULTI-FLASH Manual, vol.
puters using another small program that automatically 5, Electric Power Research Institute, 3412 Hillview Ave., Palo
inserts requested data. These small programs are called Alto, CA 94304, July 1986.
command files. Unfortunately, DOS batch files will not LICOR, Line Insulation Coordination Program, Power Tech-
operate like the mainframe command files, but there nologies, Inc., P.O. Box 1058, Schenectady, NY 12301, May
are PC programs available that will. In addition to the
The Electromagnetic Transients Program, EMTP Version 1.O,
audible noise, electric field, and RI programs men- The EMTP Development Coordination Group, July 1986.
tioned here, there may be others available. Future ver-
sions of TLWorkstation should have environmental
calculation packages [ 81. The TLWorkstation program Gary C. Thomann received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.
MULTIFLASH can be used for lightning flashover cal- degrees in electrical engineering from the University of
culations [9]. There is at least one PC program avail- Kansas in 1965, 1967, and 1970, respectively. From 1970
able that will calculate flashover probabilities for to 1975, Dr. Thomann worked for the National Aero-
switching surges [ IO]. Switching-surge distributions can nautics and Space Administration Earth Resources
be calculated using the electromagnetic transients pro- Laboratory in Slidell, Louisiana, as a Principal investi-
gram (EMTP) [ 1 1 ]. EMTP is a mainframe program that gator, performing remote sensing experiments. In 1975,
will simulate high-phase order lines; the author un- he joined the faculty of Wichita State University (WSU),
derstands that a PC version is available but, at present, Wichita, Kansas. In September 1987, he joined Power
has no experience with it. Technologies, Inc., and is presently a Senior Engineer
in the Overhead Transmission Systems Unit.
Conclusions and Discussion Dr. Thomann is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Phi Kappa
This article demonstrates how popular commercial Phi, Sigma Xi, ASEE, the lEEE Power Engineering So-
software can be used to greatly enhance the effective- ciety; he is a Senior Member of the IEEE and is a Reg-
ness of batch programs originally written for main- istered Professional Engineer in Kansas.
April 1988 17

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