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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

When a conductor is suspended between

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

two supports and carrying its own


uniform weight, the curve formed is
called a catenary. For simplified
analysis, some of the design engineers
assume that the curve is parabolic. This
is only true if the sag is small as
compared with the span length which
happens mostly on the distribution lines.
Although the formula is quite complex, it
is always recommended to follow
catenary calculations.

It is important to predict the sag and


tension of the conductor to determine if:

it will pass the required electrical


clearances to ground, right-of-way
(blowout) and uplift (wts and strain)
it will not exceed the tension limits of
the conductor at varying loading
conditions
it will pass the required levels of
electric and magnetic field, aeolian
vibration and ice galloping
the structure is sufficient to withstand
the conductor tension.

The sag of the conductor depends on:

Conductor unit weight


Span Length
Tension in the conductor

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

Weather Conditions (effect of wind,


ice)
Temperature
Elasticity of the conductor materials
Creep

CATENARY CURVE

If the lowest point of the curve will be


taken as the origin, then it can be
modeled by the equation:

where:

x = horizontal distance from lowest


point in span (m)
y = vertical distance from lowest
point of span
C = Catenary constant

Under no-wind condition, the catenary


constant is essentially the ratio of the
horizontal tension in the conductor to
the unit weight.

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

and

where:

H = Horizontal component of tension


(N)
W = distributed load on conductor
(N/m)
m = unit mass of conductor (kg/m)
g = gravitational constant of 9.81
m/s2

Some important notes about this curve:

The tension at any point acts


tangentially through the conductor.
The horizontal component of
Tension, H, is constant all throughout

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

the the conductor.


For simplification purposes, some
calculations assumed that Tension is
equal to the horizontal Tension, T =
H.
Also, some calculations assumed that
vertical component of tension Ty =
WS/2.

TRUE CONDUCTOR LENGTH

The true conductor length, Lc , is only


marginally greater than the span length,
S. Applying calculus, the conductor
length from the lowest point to any
other point along the conductor is given
by the following equation:

For a level span, the distance from the


lowest point to one conductor support is
x = S /2. Thus the total conductor length
is:

Analyzing the equation above, the slack


of the line is the difference between true
conductor length and span length.

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

CHANGES IN CONDUCTOR
LENGTH

The actual length of the conductor is


affected by two factors:

Conductor elastic stretch under


tension, and
Conductor expansion and contraction
according to temperature

Conductor elastic stretch is a function of

Horizontal Tension, H
modulus of elasticity (Young’s
Modulus) , E
The cross-sectional area of the
conductor, A

But note that most overhead conductors


are made of aluminum reinforced of
steel wires. Thus the modulus of
elasticity of composite conductor is:

Also the effective linear thermal


coefficient of expansion of the composite
conductor is:

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

The modulus of elasticity is the ratio of


the stress to strain, as follows:

E = Stress / Strain or
Strain = Stress / E

Consequently, the change in conductor


length due to strain-stress, is as follows:

The change in conductor length due to


thermal expansion, is as follows:

CONDUCTOR STATE CHANGE


EQUATION

As temperature increases, the conductor


expands in length and therefore its
tension decreases, while the sag
increases. With the reduction in tension,
there is also a reduction in strain in the
conductor. Thus, there is a complicated
relationship between temperature and
tension.Thus,

Final Conductor Length = Initial


Conductor Length + Effect of Thermal

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Expansion + Effect of Strain

By substitution, we will arrive to this


equation:

where:

H1 = initial conductor tension at initial


temperature (N)
W1 = unit weight of the conductor at
initial temperature (N/m)
Δt =t2 t1 = temperature change (°C)
E = final modulus of elasticity (Pa)
A = cross-sectional area conductor
(m2)
∝ = coefficient of linear thermal
expansion (/°C)
S=length of ruling span ( simply span
length for a single span) (m)

This equation is used to generate


stringing charts and sag template. This
is called the conductor state change
equation.

Conductor tension, H2 ,at any given


temperature can be calculated by
iterative solving the roots of this
equation. This can be easily carried out
in excel or other spreadsheet that has

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

“goal seek” or solver plug-in. I will share


my spreadsheet once it will be
completed.

SAG – TENSION RELATIONSHIP

The basic relationship between sag and


span length, for a level single span, is as
follows:

This can be approximated as:

EFFECT OF ICE AND WIND

When the conductor will be covered with


ice and/or subjected to wind, the total
unit weight of the conductor increases
and changes the shape of the catenary
curve. Line design engineers must
consider expected extreme loading in
the area in considering the sag-tension
calculation. Conductor and supports may
fail under this extreme loading
conditions. Also, it may exceed the
required electrical clearances.

There are different physical forms of ice


that my form in the conductor. These

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

are:

glaze ice
rime ice
wet snow

In calculations, glaze ice formation is


usually considered with density of 57
lb/ft3.

Influence of ice and wind loading are:

Ice loads + conductor weight is the


maximum vertical load that the
structures and foundations must
support.
Ice loads + conductor weight + wind
load is the maximum transverse load
that the structure must also
withstand.

EFFECT OF ICE ON CONDUCTOR


WEIGHT

Volume of ice:

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

Weight of ice per unit length:

where:

Vice = Volume of ice per unit length


(m3 / m)
D = outside diameter of the
conductor (m)
t = thickness of the ice (m)
ρice = ice density (kg/m3)

EFFECT OF WIND ON
CONDUCTOR WEIGHT

The wind pressure is usually in lb/ft2 and


assume to act horizontally on the
projected area of the conductor. On the
next post, I will present a detailed
derivation and example calculations of
wind pressure on conductors and poles.

Weight due to wind per unit length


(and/or radial ice included):

TOTAL CONDUCTOR UNIT


WEIGHT

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

Thus total conductor weight:

Thus the total sag of the conductor is


given by the following equations:

But, take note that this sag makes an


angle θ with the vertical. So the vertical
sag of the conductor is, as follows:

where θ = blowout angle.

Some textbooks suggest that the effect


of wind is essential only if you are
concerned in horizontal clearance
because of the conductor blowout.

CREEP

Most materials subjected to stress will


suffer from creep, i.e. permanent
elongation or inelastic stretch. The factor
affecting creep are:

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Fundamental Concepts of Sag-Tension Relationship in Transmission a... https://electricalengineerresources.com/2018/01/02/complete-sag-tensi...

material composition
manufacturing process
everyday conductor tension
operating temperature
time
stranding
span length

Due to creep, the sag in the span will


increase and may lead to insufficient
clearance if not included in the design.

On the next post, I will discuss how to


calculate wind pressure and make
example calculations for sag-tension of
same level support.

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