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# Sag and tension calculations for mountainous terrain

J. Bradbury, Dip. Tech. (Eng.), G.F. Kuska, C. Eng., M.I.E.E., and D.J. Tarr
Indexing terms: Cables and overhead lines, Power transmission Abstract: While normal sag and tension calculations based on the 'equivalent-span' concept are satisfactory, when applied to transmission lines located in a reasonably undulating terrain, the answers obtained by this method are inaccurate for mountainous terrain. An alternative method of calculation, which is based on the analysis of the change of state equation for each span of a section in turn, is given. It is shown that when using this new approach the full effect of both the suspension and tension insulators can be included together with the influence of the running-out blocks on the sag of the conductor. The paper also shows how this concept can be adapted to the function of line design and gives several examples of critical areas where existing methods may give unacceptable results. When stringing conductors in mountainous terrain, it is not always practical to measure the conductor sag using conventional techniques and the paper gives three additional means which may be used, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each.
List of symbols

A = cross-sectional area of conductor, mm2 a,b,c,d = constants depending on sag>> C — catenary constant = H/W,m E = Young's modulus of complete conductor, kg/mm2 H = horizontal tension of conductor, kg H' = component of tension in line with AG (Fig. 2d), kg h = height difference between attachment points at adjacent towers, m ht = vertical distance from tower to instrument, m K = unstretched length of conductor in a span (i.e. length after removing the tension at 0° C), m L = chord length between adjacent towers (Fig. 1), m / = length of tension or suspension insulator set, m S = stretched length of conductor in a span, m T = total (tangential) tension in conductor, kg V = vertical load at attachment point due to conductor (uplift load denoted by negative value), kg W = conductor weight per unit length, kg/m Wh = conductor wind load per unit length (wind acting normal to conductor), kg/m Wr = resolved conductor weight per unit length in the plane (as shown in Fig. 2c), kg/m Wv = W + weight of ice per unit length, kg/m W' = resolved conductor weight per unit length in the plane (as shown in Fig. 2b), kg/m X = horizontal span length, m Xo = horizontal distance from attachment point to low point datum (Fig. 1), m Xp = horizontal distance from any point on the catenary to low point datum (Fig. 1), m x = horizontal distance from attachment point to any point on the catenary, m xt = horizontal distance from tower to instrument, m y = sag from chord line at point x on the catenary, m y0 = sag from attachment point at low point datum (Fig. yh yh ' Z = maximum value of y occurring at point X/2 (absence of tension insulators) (Fig. 1), m = maximum value of y not necessarily at point X/2 in presence of tension insulators (Fig. 4), m = transverse horizontal load at attachment point due to conductor, kg

= coefficient of thermal expansion of complete conductor, per deg C /3 = blow-out angle of conductor (Fig. 2b), degrees 7 = angle to the vertical of the suspension or tension insulator sets, degrees Ah = height difference between tower and conductor attachment points (Fig. 9), m Ax = horizontal difference corresponding to Ah, m 5 = angle between chord line and the horizontal in the unresolved plane, degrees 6 = conductor temperature, °C i// = angle between chord line and the horizontal in the resolved plane (Fig. 2d), degrees to = weight of tension or suspension insulator set, kg <t> = angle of the tangent at point F to the horizontal (Fig. 1), degrees Subscripts 1 and 2 denote different values for the same variables.
1 Introduction

a

Paper 20S4C (P8), first received 2nd November 1981 and in revised form 20th May 1982 The authors are with Balfour Beatty Power Construction Limited, Power Transmission Division, 7 Mayday Road, Thorton Heath, Surrey CR4 7XA, England IEEPROC, Vol. 129, Pt. C, No. 5, SEPTEMBER 1982

Since the advent of transmission lines, theories have been progressively developed to define the sag and tension behaviour of the conductor. Initially these were oriented towards manual calculations and, consequently, were based upon the parabolic theory (Boyse and Simpson [1]). With the introduction of computers most theories are now based upon the accurate catenary equations (Rieger [2]). In multi-span sections, it is usual to assume that the horizontal tensions will react to changes in load and temperature as a single span referred to by the well known term 'equivalent span'. The mathematical treatment to obtain the 'equivalent span' is based upon parabolic theory, and there is no similar concept using full catenary equations. While the methods give acceptable and practical results for the majority of lines constructed'in normal, reasonably undulating terrain, e.g. in the UK, in mountainous areas these theories produce significant errors. Overhead-line engineers are already aware of this problem, as illustrated by Winkelman [3], which develops the parabolic and catenary theories for application to inclined sections. Our recent experience, on applying this method to very mountainous terrain, highlighted the presence of further inaccuracies which will result in the towers and conductors experiencing loads in excess of their limiting design values. In an attempt to overcome these problems, a theory has been developed which is the subject of this paper. At the development stage it became evident that the above inaccuracies were valid for both the single- and multi-span sections. This paper was originally presented to the 2nd international conference on 'Progress in cables and overhead lines
0143-7046/82/050213 + 08 \$01.50/0 213

it is first necessary to calculate the Vertical' force in the rotated IEEPROC. 5. if further accuracy is required. it can be improved by adopting the second-term-approximation system given in step (d) of Section 3. Wv cos 5 and Wv sin 5. When the conductor is subjected to wind acting normal to it. Force Wv must be resolved along two axes normal to and parallel with the chord line. if point F is to the left of D. applicable to the solution of a catenary. 1 Inclined span Sign convention: Xo positive and Xp negative for the case shown. 2a) along the X X axis. are combined to give the resultant force Wr acting at an angle i// to the normal to the chord line. i. The resultant force W' acting at an angle j3 to the vertical is obtained. To obtain the tension components H. Regarding the tension. The forces in the deflected plane. the wind force Wh acting normal to the conductor and the vertical force Wv due to the conductor and ice weight. but. the value of K is equal to the chord length L. inelastic [2. This assumption causes an error of less than 0. it is assumed that the unstretched length K of the conductor at 0°C is constant.1. V and Z at tower A (Fig. Restrictions apply. i. It is therefore felt that the inelastic theory gives a tolerable accuracy.^ |} 2.1 Theory Basic equations angle to the horizontal of the tangent at point F = tan" 1 ! s i n h l . force Wr is the only force present and acts 'vertically'. in calculating the elastic changes. W' and Wv sin 5. 2 and explained below: Step 1: Fig. 1 for the unknown H'2 it should be noted that this is the 'horizontal' tension in the rotated plane (Fig. by reference to Fig. Considering the two theories.e. Under this condition. 10. 10). 1.e.e. it equals the length given by the catenary equation less the elastic and thermal changes. 2d~). after it has been clamped in. the inelastic catenary equations are used. C. the latter applied parallel with the chord line. when calculating the elastic and thermal changes. 2b shows a section through the element (Fig. respectively. It should be noted that this equation is only valid for stillair conditions. Step 4: Fig. The forces acting are Wh. These. Xp becomes positive 214 where subscripts 1 and 2 denote two different conditions. 2 2. thus satisfying the requirements to solve the change-of-state equation (eqn. Pt. for this reason. Having solved eqn. 129. it was recognised that there are two theories.2 Change-of-state equation (9) Before detailed considerations were given to the problem.for 220 kV and above' [4] and has now been expanded to include practical examples using the methods of calculations described. 2009 at 09:11 from IEEE Xplore. 2c shows the inclined span rotated about axis AB through angle /3. Step 3: Fig. Referring to Fig. and. 1. The method for resolving these forces is given in Fig. an assumption was made that. To utilise the above statement in the development of the change-of-state equation.3] and elastic (Hattingh [5]). 2d shows the inclined span rotated about point A. the mean total tension in the conductor length has been assumed to equal the horizontal tension. 2a shows an inclined span under the influence of a wind force. the vertical and transverse forces present must be resolved in the deflected plane of the conductor before applying eqn. Downloaded on July 1. two simplifications have been made related to the unstretched length of the conductor and its tension. i.01 % in the estimation of the unstretched length. 1—10 the parameters H and W should be replaced by H' and Wr. the change-of-state equation becomes: (4) sinh C2 (5) h sinh yi A (Y) EA (10) (6) (7) 1+ 2 Csinh X 2C~ (8) Xo Fig. it became evident that the elastic treatment requires lengthy computation without producing worthwhile improvements in the accuracy of the result. To use eqns. Vol. and not the inline horizontal force at the tower. SEPTEMBER 1982 Authorized licensed use limited to: UNIVERSIDADE DO PORTO. 2a). Step 2: Fig. are given below: LT catenary constant C = — = c/cosh^length of conductor between points A and D S = Csinh — C horizontal length Xo (D' A) Xo also Xo = Csinh" 1 — H vertical component of tension at point A V = //sinh^total tension at point A T = half-span sag yh = C |cosh—-1 ^ =— -Csinh"1 h X 2Csinh — (1) (2) (3) When considering a length of conductor suspended between two towers. . No. This line represents the 'horizontal' plane in which the catenary equations are valid. With respect to the former. Consider the forces acting on the conductor element. such that the chord line makes an angle \p to the line AG. It is felt that this accuracy is sufficient for practical purposes.

Q=Wh c = W v sin8 d = Wwcos6 Fig. No. SEPTEMBER 1982 215 Authorized licensed use limited to: UNIVERSIDADE DO PORTO. 3 Forces on suspension insulators a Conductor on running-out blocks b Conductor clamped in IEEPROC. 2009 at 09:11 from IEEE Xplore. Downloaded on July 1. C. 2 Resolution of forces under wind conditions a Span subjected to a wind force normal to the conductor 6 Deflection of element through section X X c Span through section Y Y d Span in resolved plane suspension insulator suspension insulator Fig. 5. Restrictions apply. Pt. Vol. 129. .