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Travelling Wave - Concept

The Open-Circuited Line

• Let a source of constant voltage E be switched
suddenly on a line open-circuited at the far end.
• Then neglecting the effect of line resistance a
rectangular voltage wave of amplitude E and its
associated current wave of amplitude I = E/Zc will
travel with velocity v towards the open end
• At the open end, the current must of necessity
fall to zero, and consequently the energy stored
in the magnetic field must be dissipated in some
• Since R and G neglected, this energy can only be
used in the production of an equal amount of
electrostatic field.
• If this is done, the voltage at the point will be
increased by an amount e such that the energy
lost by the electromagnetic field (0.5 LI2) is equal
to the energy gained by the electrostatic field
• Hence, the total voltage at the open end
becomes 2E.
• The open end of the
line can thus be
regarded as the origin
of a second voltage
wave of amplitude E,
this second wave
travelling back to the
source with the same
velocity v.

Variation of voltage and current in an

open-ended line
The Short-Circuited Line
• In this case, the voltage at the far end of the
line must of necessity be zero, so that as each
element of the voltage wave arrives at the end
there is a conversion of electrostatic energy
into electromagnetic energy.
• Hence, the voltage is reflected with reversal
sign while the current is reflected without any
change of sign: thus on the first reflection, the
current builds up to 2I.
• It will be seen that the
line voltage is
periodically reduced to
zero, but that at each
reflection at either end
the current is built up
by the additional
amount I = E/Zc. Thus,
theoretically, the
current will eventually
become infinite as is to
be expected in the case
of a lossless line.
Reflection, Refraction and
• Refraction: Refers to change
in direction of waves as they
pass from one medium to
another medium

• Reflection: Refers to change

in direction of waves when
they bounce of a barrier

• Diffraction: Refers to change

in direction of waves as they
pass through the opening or
around a barrier in their path
Expression for Reflection and
Refraction Wave
• Let V1 be the magnitude of a step wave (incident wave)
approaching the junction and I1 corresponding current
wave. Then I1 = V1 / ZA
• Let V2 be the reflected voltage wave. The corresponding
current waves are I2 = -V2 / ZA
• Let V3 be the refracted voltage wave. The corresponding
current waves are I3 = V3 / ZB
• At the junction by applying KCL we have
• I1 + I2 = I3 ; V1 + V2 = V3
Expression for reflected wave
Expression for refracted wave

Numerical Example
• Surge impedances of OH line ZA = 350 Ohm;
cable: ZB = 50 Ohm;
• The incident step wave magnitude: 300 kV;
Compute reflected and refracted voltage and
current wave magnitudes

• Incident current wave: • Reflected voltage wave:

I1=V1/ZA V2= a x V1
• I1 = 300,000/350 =642.9 • V2 = -0.75x300 = -225
A kV
• Reflection coefficient • Reflected current wave:
a=(ZB-ZA)/(ZB+ZA) I2=-(V2/ZA)
• a = (50-350)/(50+350) = • I2 = -(-225000)/350 =
-0.75 643 A
• Refraction coeffcient b=
2 x ZB/(ZA+ZB)
• b = 2x50/(50+350) =
• Transmitted voltage
wave: V3=b x V1
• V3 = 0.25x300 kV= 75 kV
• Transmitted current
wave:I3= (V3/ZB)
• I3 = 75000/50 = 1500 A

Note: The voltage penetrating into the cable is only 75 kV; cable some times
used to protect equipment – just insert a section of cable between OH line and
terminal equipment
Energy Conservation
• Energy is conserved at the junction by
initiation of secondary waves
• Energy input to the line

• Energy reflected back to the line

• Energy refracted to the line

• According to the Law of conservation of
Junction of several lines