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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
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.

## 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

## 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.

## 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:

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

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.

## The basic relationship between sag and

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

## 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
the area in considering the sag-tension
calculation. Conductor and supports may
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.

## Ice loads + conductor weight is the

maximum vertical load that the
structures and foundations must
support.
Ice loads + conductor weight + wind
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...

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 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:

## 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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