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Design of Transmission Lines in India : a Review of Multiple Swing Angle-clearance Combinations

Dr V N Rikh, Fellow

Proper live metal clearances have to be maintained under various swing angles of the suspension insulator strings/jumper loops on a tower, in order to ensure a reliable performance of the transmission lines. The required swing angle-clearance combinations for lines of different voltages are determined on the basis of a pre-specified criterion of flashover probability. These combinations decide horizontal and vertical spacing of the power conductors and thereby determine the tower configuration, weight and cost. Presently three to five swing angle- clearance combinations are commonly specified for Indian transmission lines of each voltage. On the other hand, in many countries generally only two or three combinations are specified. Based on detailed analysis this paper attempts to prove that if even two judiciously selected swing angle-clearance combinations are used, they would adequately determine optimum tower configuration and the remaining extra combinations presently specified could be dispensed with, without jeopardizing the reliability of the lines.

Keywords : Transmission line; Line insulation; Swing angle; Line metal clearances

NOTATIONS

C 0 , C 15 , C 10 , etc : location of critical live metal part of the phase power conductor with swing angles of 0°, 15°, 30° etc

: live-metal clearances specified for swing angles of 0°, 15°, 30° etc, cm

c : minimum clearance between the live metal parts phase power conductor and the nearest (carthed) part of the tower structure or live- metal clearance, cm

h :

L 0 , L 15 , L 30 , etc

half width of the tower hamper at the critical point (where the clearance arc from the swung, live metal parts touches it), cm

l : swinging length of the suspension string duly adjusted for any longitudinal (to the string axis) projection of the guard ring/ bandle spacer, cm

hanger of the suspension

l o

: length

of

string, cm

r : transverse (to the string axis) projection, if any, of the critical point of the guard ring/bundle spacer, cm

α

:

angle at which the uppermost (nearest to the conductor) structural member of the under- neath cross-arm is inclined to horizontal plane, degrees angle at which the nearest structural mem- ber of the tower hamper is inclined to the vertical plane, degrees

:

α

θ : angle of swing of the suspension insulator string or of the jumper loop of tension insu- lator string, degrees

Φ : tan 1 [r ⁄ √(r 2 + l 2 )]

Dr V N Rikh resides at 188-A, Saket, Meerut 250 003. This paper was received on September 26, 2003. Written discussion on this paper will be received until July 31, 2004.

Vol 85, May 2004

INTRODUCTION

One of the most important criteria for ensuring a reliable perform- ance of transmission lines under all weather conditions, is to ensure that proper live metal (conductor to nearest earthed parts of the tower structure) clearances are maintained under various angles (depending on wind speeds) of swing of the suspension insulator strings for a suspension tower (or the jumper loops for a tension tower). The required live-metal clearances for different angles of swing of suspension insulator strings (or jumper loops for tension towers) are determined on the basis of a pre-specified criterion of flashover probability. When the suspension strings, supporting the power conductors, hang vertically under ‘no- wind’ conditions, the live-metal clearance is maintained at a value that ensures a probability of flashover across the air-gap within a pre-specified value of, say, less than 2%. As the string/conductor attachment point, swings toward the tower body under the influ- ence of the wind, the critical value of flashover voltage gradient across the gap correspondingly increases due to faster de-ioniza- tion of the air. This results in a reduced requirement of live-metal clearances under higher wind velocities (and consequently bigger swing angles of the string/conductor attachment points) to ensure the same level of pre-specified flashover probability across the air- gap.

The swing angle-clearance combinations presently adopted for Indian transmission lines are based on the aforesaid logic. Usually three to five swing angle-clearance combinations are specified for transmission lines of each voltage on the basis of detailed analysis of prevailing weather conditions and flashover characteristics of air-gaps. The values of these swing angle- clearance combinations commonly specified in India 1 , are shown in Table 1.

These combinations have yielded a reasonably satisfactory per- formance of the transmission lines in this country over several decades.

The 66kV, 132kV and 220kV transmission lines in India (single circuit as well as double circuit) commonly use self-supporting barrel type towers. However, while 400kV double circuit Indian

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Table 1 Swing angle-clearance combinations adopted for Indian transmission lines

Swing Angle, degree

Live Metal Clearance, mm

 

66 kV

132 kV

220 kV

400 kV

Lines

Lines

Lines

Lines

0

915

1530

2130

3050

15

915

1530

2130

22

3050

30

760

1370

1830

44

1860

45

610

1220

1675

lines also use barrel type towers, the 400kV single circuit lines commonly use corset (or Wasp-waisted) type of towers.

A study of swing angle-clearance combinations adopted in other

countries reveals that, in many countries, generally only two and sometimes a maximum of three, combinations are specified for designing tower configuration. This paper therefore attempts to analyze the impact of each of the combinations (shown in Table 1) on the tower configuration for Indian transmission lines, and determine whether all these combinations play a critical role in determining tower configuration/s or some of these (combina- tions) could be dispensed with, without jeopardizing reliability of the transmission lines.

PARAMETERS AFFECTING TOWER CONFIGURATION

The swing angle-clearance combinations, along with the follow- ing two important design parameters help determine the horizon-

tal, as well as the vertical, spacing of the power conductors and,

in turn, help decide the configuration, dimensions and therefore

the weight/cost of the towers;

The slope α and α′ (to the vertical plane) of the outermost (nearest to the conductor) structural member of the tower hamper, and

The slope α (to the horizontal plane) of the uppermost (nearest to the conductor) structural member of the underneath cross-arm.

The values of α and α′ are determined in the process of economic optimization of tower configuration.

For any given values of α′,

An increase in (inward) swing-angle, θ, of the insulator string (or, jumper loop, for a tension tower) requires a corresponding increase in the horizontal spacing of the phase

conductor/s maintain the specified live-metal clearance, Similarly, any increase in the live-metal clearance, c, requires

a corresponding increase in the horizontal spacing.

The requirement of vertical spacing of the phase conductors

, however, decreases with any increase in (inward)

swing-angle, θ, of the insulator string (or, jumper loop, for a tension tower), though an increase in the live-metal clearance c, still requires a corresponding increase in the vertical spacing.

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On the other hand, with a given value of swing angle-clearance combination;

An increase in the outward (towards the conductor, eg, in the Barrel type towers)) slope α′ of the tower hamper, increases the horizontal spacing while an increased inward (away from the conductor, eg, in a corset type tower) slope α′ of the tower hamper reduces the horizontal spacing of the conductors, and

An increase in the upward (towards the conductor) slope α of the uppermost member of underneath cross-arm results in an increased vertical spacing of the conductors. As per prevalent design practice, a downward slope of the underneath cross-arm member is not adopted.

The effect of the slopes (towards the phase conductor/s) of the tower hamper as well as that of the nearest member of underneath cross arm, on the horizontal and vertical conductor spacings, is illustrated for a Barrel type tower in Figure 1.

In case of a corset type tower, the slope of Tower Hamper is away from the (outer) phase conductor/s and its effect on the horizontal conductor can be visualized from a typical Figure 2. As the corset type tower is used for single circuit lines (usually of 400kV), there is no vertical formation of the conductors.

IMPACT OF SWING ANGLE-CLEARANCE COMBINATIONS ON THE TOWER CONFIGURATION

As explained above, for any given values of α and α′, each swing angle-clearance combination will require certain mini- mum values of horizontal and vertical spacings of the power

mum values of horizontal and vertical spacings of the power Figure 1 Effect of tower hamper

Figure 1 Effect of tower hamper and X-arm slopes on conductor spacings for barrel type tower

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Figure 2 Effect of slope of tower hamper on conductor spacing, C h , for

Figure 2 Effect of slope of tower hamper on conductor spacing, C h , for corset type tower

conductors. If the horizontal and vertical spacing requirements for each of the three (or four) swing angle-clearance combinations specified for the lines of a particular voltage (eg, 66kV) as above are determined, it can be seen that only one of the combinations (generally, with higher swing angle) will be critical for the re- quirement of (maximum) horizontal spacing while some other combination (generally with lower seing angle) will be critical for the vertical spacing, for the given values of α and α′. Thus, for the selected values of α and α′, only two combinations would normally be critical for fixing tower configuration while the remaining combinations, will require spacings which are less than the critical values and thus play no part in deciding the tower configuration.

The commonly used, practical value of α is between 0° and +15° while the value of α′ may range between +5° and +20° for Barrel type towers and between 0° and 20° for corset type tower. If the critically of all the swing angle-clearance combinations (specified for a particular line voltage) could be examined over the aforesaid practical range of α and α′, it will reveal whether all the specified combination do play a determining role for tower configuration or one/two of them, are not critical and could be dispensed with.

Considering a typical case of suspension tower, it can be shown that the horizontal and vertical spacings of the phase conductors are given by :

C h = 2 [(√l 2 + r 2 ) sin (θ ± Φ) + cos (θ ± Φ) tan α′ +



l 0 tan α′

+

c sec α′ + h]

Vol 85, May 2004

(1)


C v = (√l 2 + r 2 ) cos (θ ± Φ + sin (θ ± Φ tan α +


c sec α

+

l 0

(2)

Using these expressions, the requirement of horizontal spacings for each specified swing angle (with corresponding live metal clearance) for the aforesaid range of α, are shown in the follow- ing figures :

Figure 3(a) - 66kV lines (barrel type towers)

Figure 3(b) - 132kV lines (barrel type towers)

Figure 3(c) - 220 kV lines (barrel type towers)

Figure 3(d) - 400 kV double circuit lines with barrel type towers

Figure 3(e) - 400 kV single circuit lines with corset type towers

3(e) - 400 kV single circuit lines with corset type towers Figure 3(a) Variation of horizontal

Figure 3(a) Variation of horizontal spacing, C h , with the slope of Tower Hamper (66 kV lines)

C h , with the slope of Tower Hamper (66 kV lines) Figure 3(b) Variation of

Figure 3(b) Variation of horizontal spacing, C h , with the slope of Tower Hamper (132 kV lines)

C h , with the slope of Tower Hamper (132 kV lines) Figure 3(c) Variation of

Figure 3(c) Variation of horizontal spacing, C h , with the slope of Tower Hamper (220 kV lines)

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Figure 3(d) Variation of horizontal spacing, C h , with the slope of Tower Hamper

Figure 3(d) Variation of horizontal spacing, C h , with the slope of Tower Hamper (400 kv line — barrel type tower)

slope of Tower Hamper (400 kv line — barrel type tower) Figure 3(e) Variation of horizontal

Figure 3(e) Variation of horizontal spacing, C h , with the slope of Tower Hamper (400 kV line — corset type tower)

Similarly, the requirement of vertical spacings for each specified swing angle of α, are shown in the following Figures (there being no vertical spacing for a corset type tower):

Figure 4(a) - 66kV lines (barrel type towers)

Figure 4(b) - 132 kV lines (barrel type towers)

Figure 4(c) - 220 kV lines (barrel type towers)

Figure 4(d) - 400 kV double circuit lines with barrel type towers

The aforesaid analysis is based on the values of relevant dimen- sions as shown in Table 2.

on the values of relevant dimen- sions as shown in Table 2. Figure 4(a) Variation of

Figure 4(a) Variation of vertical spacing, C v , with the slope of underneath X-arm for (66 kV lines)

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, with the slope of underneath X-arm for (66 kV lines) 24 Figure 4(b) Variation of

Figure 4(b) Variation of vertical spacing, C v , with the slope of underneath X-arm for (132 kV lines)

v , with the slope of underneath X-arm for (132 kV lines) Figure 4(c) Variation of

Figure 4(c) Variation of vertical spacing, C v , with the slope of underneath X-arm for (220 kV lines)

, with the slope of underneath X-arm for (220 kV lines) Figure 4(d) Variation of vertical

Figure 4(d) Variation of vertical spacing, C v , with the slope of underneath X-arm for (400 kV lines — barrel type tower)

Table 2 Typical values of relevant dimensions

Item

Typical Value for Line Voltage

66 kV

132 kV

220 kV

400 kV

Swing length of suspension string, l, cm

97

163

234

385

Transverse projection of guard ring, r, cm

10

12

15

20

Hanger length of suspension string, l 0 , cm

5

5

10

35

Critical half-width of tower hamper, h, cm

50

75

85

100

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CRITICALITY OF SPECIFIED SWING ANGLE-CLEARANCE COMBINATIONS

A close examination of the Figures 3 and 4 reveals the following facts in respect of swing angle-clearance combinations (denoted only by corresponding Swing angles in the following paragraphs) specified for the Indian transmission lines of different voltages:

66kV lines [Figures 3(a) and 4(a)]:

For deciding horizontal spacing, the swing angle of 45° is critical for the entire range of αexcept for αin a small range of 18° to 20° where a 30° swing angle requires only a marginally (less than 1%) higher value of horizontal spacing.

For deciding vertical spacing, the swing angle of 15° is critical for the entire range of α expect for α in a small range of 5° to 7° where 15° swing angle requires a marginally (less that 3%) higher value of horizontal spacing.

132

kV lines [Figures 3(b) and 4(b)]:

For deciding horizontal spacing, the swing angle of 45° is critical for the entire range of α.

For deciding vertical spacing, the swing angle of 15° is critical for the entire range of α expect for α in a small range of 5° to 7° where 0° swing angle requires a marginally (less than 2%) higher value of horizontal spacing.

220

kV lines [Figures 3(c) and 4(c)]:

For deciding horizontal spacing, the swing angle of 45° is critical for the entire range of α.

For deciding vertical spacing, the swing angle of 15° is critical for the entire range of α expect for α in a small range of 5° to 7° where 0° swing angle requires a marginally (less than 1.5%) higher value of horizontal spacing.

400

kV double circuit lines on barrel type of tower [Figures 3(d)

and 4(d)]:

For deciding horizontal spacing, the swing angle of 22° is critical for the entire range of α.

For deciding vertical spacing, the swing angle of 0° is critical for most of the range of α expect for αin a small range of 16° to 20° where 22° swing angle requires a marginally (less than 1.5%) higher value of horizontal spacing.

400 kV single circuit lines on corset type tower [Figure 3(e)]

For deciding horizontal spacing, the swing angle of 44° is critical for the entire range of αexcept for αin a small range

3° where a 22° swing angle requires only a

marginally (less than 0.5%) higher value of horizontal spacing.

OBSERVATIONS

On the basis of criticality of specified swing angle-clearance combinations on Indian transmission lines as explained above and acknowledging that a marginal reduction of less that 3% in the spacings will not materially/practically affect the performance of the transmission lines, it can be noted that the following swing

of

0° to

Vol 85, May 2004

angle-clearance combinations could adequately determine the optimum tower configurations, as the other specified combina- tions do not play any role in affecting tower configuration :

66 kV lines on barrel type towers:

Swing angle = 45°, Live metal clearance = 610 mm

Swing angle = 15°, Live metal clearance = 915 mm

132 kV lines on barrel type towers :

Swing angle - 45°, Live metal clearance = 1220 mm

Swing angle = 15°, Live metal clearance = 1530 mm

220 kV lines on barrel type towers:

Swing angle = 45°, Live metal clearance = 1675 mm

Swing angle = 15°, Live metal clearance = 2130 mm

400 kV DC lines on barrel type towers:

Swing angle = 22°, Live metal clearance = 3050 mm

Swing angle = 0°, Live metal clearance = 3050 mm

400 kV SC lines on corset type towers :

Swing angle = 44°, Live metal clearance = 1840 mm

CONCLUSIONS

On the basis of aforesaid analysis, it can be seen that a maximum of two swing angle-clearance combinations, if judiciously selected, could completely and adequately determine optimum tower configuration for a pre-specified level of performance (flashover probability) of the transmission lines and the remain- ing (one or two) presently specified combinations could be dis- pensed with, without jeopardizing the reliability of the lines.

The analysis presented in this paper is based on the configuration of a suspension tower. However, it can be shown that similar results would be obtained for tension towers also.

This analysis is also based on the presumptions that :

Live metal clearances presently specified with different swing angle (for different voltage lines) are properly co-coordinated for the pre-specified level of flashover probability.

66 kV SC/DC lines, 132 kV SC/DC lines, 220 kV SC/DC lines and 400 kV DC lines use standard barrel type towers and 400 kV SC lines use corset type towers.

The values of α′ and α are within the practical range assumed in the analysis.

REFERENCES

1. ‘Transmission Line Manual.’ (Book) Publication No 268, Central Board of

Irrigation and Power, New Delhi.

2. S S Murthy and A R Santhakumar. ‘Transmission Line Structures.’ (Book)

McGraw-Hill Book Company, Singapore 1990.

3. V N Rikh. ‘Economic Stranding and Size of ACSR for H V Power Lines.’

Journal of The Institution of Engineers (India), part EL-3, vol 53, February 1973,

pp 127-134.

4. IS802 (Part 1/Sec 1) : 199, Indian Standard on ‘Use of Structural Steel in

Overhead Transmission Line Towers-Code of Practice.’ Bureau of Indian Stand- ards, New Delhi.

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