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High Voltage XLPE Cable Systems Techincal User Guide

2. Cable layout and system design

The dimensioning of a high voltage cable system - Ambient conditions:

is always based on the specifications and Type of installation
demands of the project at hand. The following Ambient temperatures (incl. external effects)
details are required for calculation: Special thermal resistance of the ground
- The type of cable insulation
- Nominal and maximum operating voltage The calculation of the admissible load currents
- Short-circuit capacity or short-circuit current with (ampacity) and the cable temperatures is
statement of the effect time performed in accordance with the IEC publication
- Transmission capacity or nominal current 60287. At Brugg Cables, professional computer
- Operating mode: permanent operation or partial programs are in use for the calculation of the
load operation (load factors) various cable data.

2.1 Electrical field

In initial approximation, the main insulation of a E

high voltage XLPE cable can be regarded as a
homogenous cylinder. Its field distribution or
voltage gradient is therefore represented by a
homogenoius radial field. The value of the voltage
gradient at a point x within the insulation can
therefore be calculated as:

Ex (kV/mm)
rx ln a
ri ri rx ra
Uo = Operating voltage (kV) x
rx = Radius at position x (mm)
ra = External radius above the insulation (mm)
ri = Radius of the internal field delimiter (mm)

The electrical field strength is highest at the inner

semiconductor and lowest above the insulation
(below the external semiconductor, rx = ra).

Field distribution within a high voltage XLPE cable

2.2 Capacity, charging current

The operating capacity depends on the type of d = Diameter over inner semiconducter (mm)
insulation and its geometry. The following formula Single-core high voltage XLPE cables represent
applies for all radial field cables: an extended capacitance with a homogenous
radial field distribution. Thus a capacitive charging
5.56 current to earth results in the following formula:
Cb ( F/km)
D IC U0 C b (A/km)
with Uo = Operating voltage (kV)
r = Relative permittivity (XLPE: 2,4) = Angular frequency (1/s)
D = Diameter over main insulation (mm) Cb = Operating capacity (µF/km)

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High Voltage XLPE Cable Systems Techincal User Guide

2.3 Inductance, Inductive reactance

The operating inductance in general depends on Laying formation: flat

the relation between the conductor axis spacing
and the external conductor diameter. Practically, 2r
two cases have to be considered: a a
Laying formation: trefoil The mean operating inductance for the three
phases calculates as

4 a'
Lm 2 10 ln (H/km)
a a 0,779 rL

a aÿ= 3 2 a Mean geometric distance (mm)
The operating inductance for all three phases a = Phase axis distance (mm)
calculates as: rL = Diameter of conductor over inner
a semiconducting layer (mm)
L 2 10 ln (H/km)
0,779 rL
The inductive reactance of the cable system
with calculates for both cases as:
a = Phase axis distance (mm) X L [ /km]
rL = Diameter of conductor over inner with
semiconducting layer (mm) = Angular frequency (1/s)

2.4 Losses in cables

Voltage-dependent and current-dependent power II) Current-dependent losses

losses occur in cables.
The current-dependent losses consist of the
I) Voltage-dependent losses following components:
Voltage-dependent power losses are caused by - Ohmic conductor losses
polarization effects within the main insulation. - Losses through skin effect
They calculate to: - Losses through proximity effect
- Losses in the metal sheath
Pd U o2 C b tan (W/km) Ohmic conductor losses
The ohmic losses depend on material and
with temperature. For the calculation of the ohmic
Uo = Operating voltage (kV) losses R I², the conductor resistance stated for
20°C (Ro) must be converted to the operating
= Angular frequency (1/s)
Cb = Operating capacity (µF/km) temperature of the cable:

Dielectric power loss factors tan for typical cable R = Ro [1 + ( - 20°C )] [ /km]
insulations are:
XLPE (1,5 to 3,5) 10þ4 with
EPR (10 to 30) 10 = 0.0393 for Copper
Oil cable (18 to 30) 10 = 0.0403 for Aluminium

The conductor cross-section and admissible DC

resistances at 20°C (Ro) correspond to the
standards series pursuant to IEC 60228.

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High Voltage XLPE Cable Systems Techincal User Guide

Losses through skin effect

Losses in the metal sheath
The losses caused by the skin effect, meaning the
High voltage cables are equipped with metal
displacement of the current against the conductor
sheaths or screens that must be earthed
surface, rise approximately quadratic with the
frequency. This effect can be reduced with
suitable conductor constructions, e.g. segmented
conductors. Sheath losses occur through:
- Circulating currents in the system
Losses through proximity effect
- Eddy currents in the cable sheath
The proximity effect detects the additional losses (only applicable for tubular types)
caused by magnet fields of parallel conductors - Resulting sheath currents caused by induced
through eddy currents and current displacement sheat voltage (in unbalanced earting systems)
effects in the conductor and cable sheath. In
practice, their influence is of less importance, The sheath losses, especially high circulating
because three-conductor cables are only installed currents, may substantially reduce the current
up to medium cross-sections and single-conductor load capacity under certain circumstances. They
cables with large cross-sections with sufficient can be lowered significantly through special
axis space. The resistance increase through earthing methods.
proximity effects relating to the conductor
resistance is therefore mainly below 10%.

2.5 Earthing methods, induced voltage

High voltage cables have a metallic sheath, along sufficiently to the earthing system. The following
which a voltage is induced as a function of the table gives an overview of the possible methods
operating current. In order to handle this induced and their characteristics:
voltage, both cable ends have to be bonded

Standing voltage Sheath voltage

Earthing method Typical application
at cable ends limiters required
Substations, short connections,
Both-end bonding No No hardly applied for HV cables,
rahter for MV and LV cables
Usually only for circuit lengths
Single-end bonding Yes Yes
up to 1 km

Only at cross- Long distance connections

Cross-bonding Yes
bonding points where joints are required

Overview of earthing methods and their characteristics

Both-end bonding
Both ends of the cable sheath are connected to
the system earth. With this method no standing
voltages occur at the cable ends, which makes it
the most secure regarding safety aspects. On the
other hand, circulating currents may flow in the
sheath as the loop between the two earthing U
points is closed through the ground. These
circulating currents are proportional to the
conductor currents and therefore reduce the cable
ampacity significantly making it the most
disadvantegous method regarding economic
Induced voltage distribution at both-end bonding

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High Voltage XLPE Cable Systems Techincal User Guide

Single-ended Bonding
One end of the cable sheath is connected to the
system earth, so that at the other end (ýopen
endü) the standing voltage appears, which is earth continuity
induced linearily along the cable length. In order
to ensure the relevant safety requirements, the
ýopen endü of the cable sheath has to be U
protected with a surge arrester. In order to avoid
potential lifting in case of a failure, both earth
points have to be connected additionally with an
earth continuity wire. The surge arrester (sheath
voltage limiter) is designed to deflect switching
and atmospheric surges but must not trigger in x
case of a short-circuit.
Induced voltage distribution at single-end bonding

This earthing method shall be applied for longer sheath crossing after each section. The
route lengths where joints are required due to the termination points shall be solidly bonded to earth.
limited cable delivery length. A cross-bonding
system consists of three equal sections with cyclic

Section 1 Section 2 Section 3




Induced voltage distribution at cross-bonding

Along each section, a standing voltage is induced. Very long route lengths can consist of several
In ideal cross-bonding systems the three section cross-bonding systems in a row. In this case, it is
lengths are equal, so that no residual voltage recommended to maintain solid bonding of the
occurrs and thus no sheath current flows. The system ends in order to prevent travelling surges
sheath losses can be kept very low with this in case of a fault.
method without impairing the safety as in the two- In addition to cross-linking the sheaths, the
sided sheath earthing. conductor phases can be transposed cyclicly. This
solution is especially suited for very long cable
engths or parallel circuits.

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High Voltage XLPE Cable Systems Techincal User Guide

Calculation of the induced voltage

The induced voltage Ui within a cable system and where LM is the mutual inductivity between
depends on the mutual inductance between core core and sheath (H/km).
and sheath, the conductor current and finally on
the cable length:
The mutual inductivity between core and sheath
Ui X M I L (V) LM calculates as follows:

XM = Mutual inductance between core and sheath For installation in trefoil formation:
( /km) 2a
I = Conductor current per phase (A) LM 2 10 ln (H/km)
L = Cable length dM

Two cases must be considered for the

determination of the maximum occurring voltage For installation in flat formation:
and for the dimensioning of the surge arresters: 3
7 2 2 a
I = IN Normal operating current (A) LM 2 10 ln (H/km)
I = Ic Three-pole Short-circuit current (A) dM

The mutual inductance between core and sheath

calculates from the following formula: with
XM LM ( /km) a = Axial spacing (mm)
dM = Mean sheath diameter (mm)
= Angular frequency (1/s)

2.6 Short-Circuit current capacity

For the cable system layout, the maximum short-

circuit current capacity for both þ the conductor Insulation
and the metallic sheath þ have to be calculated. material XLPE Oil
Both values are depending on material Cu Al Cu
- the duration of the short-circuit current kA kA
mm2 1s; 90..250°C 1s; 85..165°C
- the material of the current carrying component
2500 358 237 260
- the type of material of the adjacent
2000 287 190 208
components and their admissible temperatue
1600 229 152 166
1400 201 133 -
The duration of a short circuit consists of the
inherent delay of the circuit breaker and the relay 1200 172 114 125
time. 1000 143 95 104
800 115 76 83
630 90 60 66
Short-Circuit current capacity of conductors 500 72 47 52
The following table contains the maximum 400 57 38 42
admissible short-circuit currents Ik,1s for 300 43 28 31
conductors acc. to IEC 60949 with a duration of 240 34 23 25
1 second for the different conductor and insulation
types. Admissible short-circuit currents

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High Voltage XLPE Cable Systems Techincal User Guide

Based on these reference values, the short-circuit transfer from the current carrying componen to its
currents for other durations can be converted with adjacent components is allowed.
the following formula:
1 Short-Circuit current capacity of metallic sheaths
I k ,x I k ,1s In addition to the above mentioned, the short-
tc circuit current capacity of metallic sheaths
depends on their layout. The short-circuit current
with capacity is different for tubular sheats and wire
Ikx = Short-circuit current during x seconds [kA] screens, but generally the total short-circuit
tc = Duration of short-circuit [s] current capacity of a metallic sheath is the sum of
Ik,1s = Short-circuit current during 1 second [kA] the capacity of its components.

The above stated values were calculated on a Typical metallic sheath layouts with their
non-adiabatic basis, which means that heat constructional details are listed in a separate

2.7 Dynamic forces

Single-core cables have to be fixed in their Radial force

position at certain intervals. The calculation of
The dynamic force that a spacer has to absorb is:
dynamic forces for cable systems is important for
the determination of the fixing interval and the Fr Fs
layout of the fixing devices. It has to be Fs = Dynamic force [kN/m]
distinguished between radial (e.g. clamps, = Layout factor (typical value for mid phase:
spacers) and tangential (belts etc.) forces. 0.866)

The amplitude of a dynamic force in general is

calculated applying the following formula: Tangential force

7 The dynamic force that a fixing belt has to absorb

2 10 I s2 is:
Fs (kN/m)
a Ft Fs
Fs = Dynamic force [kN/m]
with = Layout factor (value for trefoil: 0.5)
a = Phase axis distance (mm)
Is 2 Ic

ls = Impulse short-circuit current [kA]
= surge factor (usually defined as 1.8)
lc = Short-circuit current [kA]

2.8 Metallic sheath types

The metallic sheath of high voltage XLPE single Since high voltage XLPE cables are very sensitive
core cables has to fulfill the following electrical to moisture ingression, the metallic sheath also
requirements: serves as radial moisture barrier. There are
- Conducting the earth fault current several modes of preventing water and moisture
penetrating into the cable and travelling within it
- Returning the capacitive charging current
along its length. Solutions for closed metallic
- Limitation of the radial electrostatic field sheathes can be based on welding, extruding or
- Shielding of the electromagnetic field gluing. Some typical sheath layouts as available
from Brugg Cables are shown in the following

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