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Numerical Study on Dynamic Swing of

Insulator String in Tower-Line System under

Wind Load
Linshu Zhou, Bo Yan, Xiaogang Lu Ming Liang ,Yueming Guo,Qi Yuan
Department of Engineering Mechanics Southwest Electric Power Design Institute of Electric
Chongqing University Power Project Consultant Group of China
Chongqing 400030, China Chengdu 610021, China
E-mail: boyan@cqu.edu.cn

AbstractNumerical modeling of transmission tower-line happened. Recently, Yan et al [8] investigated the dynamic
systems subjected to stochastic wind loads is presented. response of transmission lines in stochastic wind field by
Dynamic responses of transmission tower-line systems means of numerical method, and proposed a method to
with different structural parameters in stochastic wind determine the dynamic wind load factor in the determination
fields with various average wind velocities are carried out of dynamic swing of insulator string. However, the towers
by ABAQUS software. Based on the dynamic swing angles were neglected in the numerical models they set up.
of the insulator strings, dynamic wind load factors are In this paper, more realistic numerical models of
suggested to determine the swing angle of suspension transmission lines with multi-spans, in which bundle
insulator string in tower head design. The dynamic wind conductors, insulator strings, clamps, spacers and towers are
load factors are dependent on the reliability requirement included, are set up, and the dynamic response of the lines
of the designed transmission line. with different parameters are numerically investigated. The
dynamic wind load factors for swing angle of suspension
KeywordsDynamic wind load factor, transmission tower-line insulator string under different requirements of reliability are
system, numerical simulation, swing angle of insulator string. discussed, which may provide a reference for the design code
of transmission lines.
High Voltage transmission technique, which takes
advantage of conservation of resources and large-capacity II. SWING ANGLE OF INSULATOR STRING DETERMINED BY
power transmission, has been applied in engineering practice DESIGN CODE
extensively [1]. Recently, more and more flashover accidents A. Wind load on conductors
between tower heads and conductors due to large swing of
suspension insulator strings subjected to strong wind took In the technical code of designing overhead transmission
place in China [2, 3], which usually lead to trip of the lines line in China [7], the wind load acting on a conductor is
and interruption of power supply. The statistical data of the determined by
events shows that there are more than 260 flashover accidents W H = W0 z SC C dL p B sin 2 (1)
caused by excessive swing of suspension insulator strings in W 0 = V 2 / 1600 (2)
the overhead high voltage transmission lines under the name
where is the heterogeneous coefficient of wind pressure
of the State Grid Cooperation of China, took place from 1999
along the conductor line; W0 is the standard wind pressure; z
to 2003, and the occurrence frequency of this kind of accidents
is the wind pressure height coefficient at the height of z; SC is
tends to be increasing [3].
the body shape coefficient or the so-called drag coefficient
The swing angle of insulator string under wind load was
dependent on the shape and dimension of cross-section of the
firstly investigated based on the results of the Hornisgrinde
conductor; c is the modification coefficient, which is set to be
test project in Schwarzwald, Germany [4], and an explicit
1.0 as swing angle of insulator string is calculated; d is
expression of the swing angle as a function of wind velocity
diameter of the conductor; Lp is span length; B is
was then given out by fitting the statistic test data [5]. This
amplification coefficient of wind load when ice load is taken
formula was introduced into IEEE standard [6] in 1999 to
into accounted; is the angle between wind direction and
determine the insulator swing angle in the design of insulation
conductor line and V is the wind velocity.
coordination of overhead transmission line. In the design code
of transmission line of China [7], a formula determining swing B. Wind load on insulator strings
angle of insulator string based on statics is proposed. It is The wind load WI acting on an insulator string is defined as
noted that the dynamic effect of wind load on the swing angle [7]
of insulator string is not taken into accounted these formulas, W I = W 0 Z BA I (3
which may be the reason that more flashover accidents

This work was in part financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation Project of CQ CSTC (2009BB7367), the
Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities No.(CDJXS11 24 00 15)and the research project of China Power
Engineering Consulting Group Corporation.

978-1-4577-0547-2/12/$31.00 2012 IEEE

where AI is the projected area of the insulator string subjected element model, the four towers are discrete by special beam
to wind load. elements and truss elements, the conductor lines and ground
wires are modeled with cable element, which is obtain by
C. Wind load on towers
setting the material property of truss element as NO
The wind load Ws acting on a tower is defined as COMPRESSION in ABAQUS, and insulator string is
W S = W0 z S z dL p BA S (4) modeled with special beam element.
where S is the coefficient of body shape of the structure; AS is The ends of the electric lines of the system model are fixed
the projected area of the structure subjected to wind load and Z and the bottoms of four towers are constrained. The
is modification coefficient of tower. connectors Join+Rotation in ABAQUS is used to connect the
suspension insulator strings and the electric lines, as well as
D. Swing angle of suspension insulator string insulator strings and towers.
In the technical code for designing transmission lines, the
suspension insulator string is idealized as a straight rigid rod
subjected to static loads when its swing angle is calculated to
determine the electric insulation distance between the tower
head and the suspended conductor. According to the static Tower IV
equilibrium state of the insulator string, the swing angle of the Tower III
rigid rod is determined as follows [7]:
Tower II
0.5WI + WH (5)
= arctan Tower I
0.5GI + WV
Figure 1. Transmission line section with five spans and four towers
where WI is determined by (5); WH is determined by (1); GI is
gravity force of the insulator string; WV is vertical load on the TABLE I. PARAMETERS OF CONDUCTOR AND GROUND WIRE
end of insulator string connected with conductor line, which
can be determined by [7]: Yongs Unit mass
Cross-section Diameter
Electric line modulus of line
WV = W1 L p + qT (6) (MPa)
area (mm)

where W1 is self-weight of the conductor per unit length; T is LGJ-400/50 70360 451.54 1.5093 27.6
the tension force in conductor cable in swing state and q is the
elevation difference coefficient, which is defined as LBGJ-100-20AC 147200 100.88 0.6741 13
h h (7)
l10 l 20
Here h10 and h20 are elevation differences of the two adjacent Insulator string Mass (kg) Length (mm)
spans connected with the suspension insulator string; and l10 N1 908.54 6000
and l20 are the lengths of the two spans respectively.
SX62 723.87 6505
X62 455.66 6305
B. Numerical simulation of stochastic wind field
A. Finite element model of transmission tower-line systems
Fluctuating wind velocities based on Kaimal spectrum,
A typical 500kV transmission tower-line system, as shown which reflects the change of wind velocity with height above
in Fig.1, consists of five spans, two suspension towers (towers ground, and the Davenport coherence function, are
II and III) and two dead-end towers (towers I and IV). The numerically simulated by means of WAWS [8]. Along the
height of the suspension tower is 82.2m while that of the dead- longitudinal direction of the line and vertical height direction
end tower is 73m. It is noted that there exists a height of the towers, the wind velocity samples are simulated at the
elevation between the suspension tower and dead-end tower. points every 10m in the time range of 600s. The time
These towers are made from Q235, Q345 and Q420 low- increment t is set to 0.5s; the cut-off range of circular
carbon steels. The type of the quad bundle conductor is LGJ- frequency is 0.0-6.28 rad/s; and the division number of
400/50 and the ground wire is LBGJ-100-20AC. Three types circular frequency is 3000. For each transmission line model,
of insulator string, which are N1, SX62 and X62 respectively, three stochastic wind fields with different average velocities,
are used in the line. Moreover, the physical and mechanical 25m/s, 27m/s and 31.5m/s, are generated.
parameters of electric lines (conductor and ground wire) and The time histories of wind velocity at two typical sample
insulator strings are listed in Table I and Table II respectively. points are shown in Fig.2.
Three transmission lines, whose span lengths respectively After the stochastic wind fields are generated, the stochastic
300m, 550m and 700m, are investigated. wind loads on the conductors, insulator strings and towers can
The finite element software ABAQUS is used to investigate then be determined by (1), (3) and (4), respectively.
the dynamic response of the transmission lines. In the finite
where L is the length of the suspension insulator string. The
time history of the swing angle of the suspension insulator
Velocity (m/s)

string of the upper phase on tower II defined by means of (8)
30 is shown in Fig.5.
0 100 200 300 400 500 600
time (s)
(a) Point 1

Velocity (m/s)



0 100 200 300 400 500 600

T im e ( s ) 2

(b) Point 31 O
Figure 2. Time histories of wind velocity at two typical sample points
Figure 4. The sketch map of the state of suspension insulator string
C. Dynamic response of tower-line systems 60

To numerically simulate the dynamic responses of the 50

tower-line system, its static state under self-weight has to be 40

determined. The method obtaining the static configuration of 30

the conductor line was discussed in detail in [8]. () 20

The three transmission lines with different span lengths 10

under three average wind velocities are numerical investigated 0

0 100 200 300 400 500 600
by means of ABAQUS. Fig.3(a) shows the state of the t(s)
transmission tower-line system in stochastic wind field at a
typical time. Larger swing angle of the suspension insulator Figure 5. Time history of swing angle of a suspension insulator string
string is observed in Fig.3 (b).


A. Dynamic wing angles of insulatror string
It is seen from Fig.5 that the swing angle of insulator string
under stochastic wind load is stochastic too. So statistic
method should be employed to determine the swing angle by
the following formula [8]:
(a) Tower-line system (b) Swing of suspension insulator string = + (9)
Figure 3. The mean level of Mises in the wind field at 315s(V=27m/s and where is the peak swing angle; is the mean value of
the swing angle; is the root-mean-square (RMS) of the
During the dynamic response of the tower-line system, the fluctuating response of the angle obtained by the numerical
suspension point of the insulator string on the tower-head simulation and is the safety factor, which is generally set to
vibrates, so the swing angle of the insulator string must be 2.2, corresponding to the safety reliability 98.61%, in the
determined relative to the tower-head. design code of buildings in China. Different peak swing
Fig.4 shows the states of the suspension insulator string at angles will be obtained if different safety reliability is set.
initial time and current time t. It is assumed that the horizontal The swing angles of the suspension insulator string of the
and vertical displacements of point 1 on suspension insulator conductor lines determined by (9) based on the numerical
string are U1 and V1 respectively at time t, and the horizontal simulation result are shown in Tables III and IV, in which the
and vertical displacements of point 2 are U2 and V2. Then the swing angles calculated with design code for transmission
swing angle of the suspension insulator string with respective lines in China are given out too. It is obvious that the
to the tower at time t can be determined by numerically determined swing angles are larger than those
determined by (5), for which neglecting the dynamic effect of
U 2 (t ) U 1 (t )
(t ) = arctan (8) wind load in the design code of transmission lines may be
L + V1 (t ) V2 (t ) responsible.
TABLE III. SWING ANGLES OF INSULATOR STRING IN DIFFERENT MEAN WIND The dynamic wind load factors determined by the method
VELOCITIES (L =300m, =2.2)
presented above based on the numerical results of the typical
transmission tower-line systems under different wind loads, in
V(m/s) ( ) ( ) ( ) () C the cases of different safety reliability, are shown in Table V.
25 38.46 42.80 3.23 49.90 1.54 It is observed that the dynamic wind load factors are in the
range of 1.361.54 for the 500 kV overhead transmission lines
27 42.55 46.75 3.32 53.77 1.54
depending on the requirement of safety reliability in the design
31.5 50.66 52.96 3.42 60.49 1.52 of transmission lines.


L(m) ( ) ( ) ( ) () C Reliability ( ) () C
300 42.55 46.75 3.32 53.77 1.54 90% 1.28 42.55 50.72 1.36
95% 1.64 42.55 51.93 1.43
550 47.16 53.26 3.17 60.23 1.66
98.61% 2.2 42.55 53.77 1.54
700 48.14 54.45 3.14 61.35 1.66

B. Dynamic wind load factors V. CONCLUSIONS

As mentioned above, the dynamic swing angles of insulator Numerical modeling of transmission tower-line systems,
strings determined by the numerical simulation is larger than which can be used to analyze dynamic responses of the
those determined by the current design code, it is reasonable to transmission tower-line systems subjected to any dynamic
introduce a dynamic factor c to take the dynamic effect of the load, is presented. Dynamic responses of the typical tower-line
wind load. systems in stochastic wind fields are numerically investigated.
For simplification, the dynamic effect of wind load on the It is suggested that the dynamic effect of wind load on swing
swing angle can be taken into accounted by introducing a angle of 1.36 and 1.66 for 500kV transmission lines.
dynamic factor, known as dynamic wind load factor c, into
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