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EE4123: Electrical Power Transmission

Lecture 4:

Transmission Lines :
Insulators

Conductor Alternatives
 Typically aluminum or copper conductors are used.
 Aluminum is preferred over copper for its lower cost and lighter
weight, however, this comes at the price of some energy loss that
doesn't occur with copper.
 Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforced (ACSR)
– includes steel strands wrapped around aluminum conductors
to add strength.
– This is the most commonly used conductor.

Conventional Conductor Trapezoidal Conductor


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Transmission line conductor types
 ACSR (aluminum conductor, steel reinforced)
 ACSR/AW (aluminum conductor, aluminum-clad steel reinforced)
– can be used in worse corrosive atmospheric conditions
 ACSR-SD (aluminum conductor, steel reinforced/self-damping)
– (Trapezoidal strands included) can be used at very high tensions
without having any auxiliary dampers
 ACAR (aluminum conductor, allow reinforced)
– used in long spans in a corrosive atmosphere
 AAC-1350 (aluminum alloy conductor composed of 1350 aluminum
alloy)
– for good conductivity and has short spans
 AAAC-201 (all aluminum alloy conductor composed of 6201 alloy)
– For long spans because it is lighter (expensive)

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Selection of Conductors
 When selecting transmission line conductors, the
following factors have to be taken into account:
– The maximum amount of allowed current in the conductor
– The maximum amount of power loss allowed on the line
– The maximum amount of voltage loss allowed
– The required spa and sag between spans
– The tension on the conductor
– The climate conditions at the line location (the possibility of
wind and ice loading)
– The possibility of conductor vibration
– The possibility of having corrosive atmospheric conductors

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Conductor Sizes
 Conductor sizes are based on the circular mil.
 A circular mil is the area of a circle that has a
diameter of 1 mil.
 A mil is equal to 1 ×10-3 in.
 The cross-sectional area of a wire in square inches
equals its area in circular mils multiplied by 0.7854
×10-6
 Size is usually given by a gauge number according to
the American Wire Gauge (AWG) standard
 The larger the gauge size, the smaller the wire.
 A given conductor may consist of a single strand or
several strands.
 A solid conductor is often called a wire, whereas a
stranded conductor is called a cable.
 A general formula for the total number of strands is
Number of strands = 3n2 – 3n + 1
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Voltage Drop Consideration


 This requirement is often expressed as a maximum voltage drop of
5% across the transmission
line for a particular system.
 The total series impedance of the line is equal to the maximum
allowable voltage drop divided by the maximum load current.

– ZL is the magnitude of the total impedance of the line,


– R is the total resistance of the line,
– XL is the total inductive reactance of the line
– VDmax is the maximum allowable voltage drop for the line
– Imax is the maximum load current
 R is inversely proportional to the area of the conductor size.
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Other considerations
 Thermal considerations
– Should withstand overheating in maximum loading conditions
– Conductor should withstand temperature up to 75 o C
 Tension considerations
– Tension may vary between 10 % to 60% of rated conductor
strength
– Standard tension ratings given
 Cost considerations
– Includes investment cost of installing TL
– Present worth of energy cost of I2R losses
– Present worth of demand cost of I2R losses

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Skin Effect and Proximity Effect


 Skin effect is a tendency for alternating current (AC) to flow
mostly near the outer surface of an electrical conductor
 The effect becomes more and more apparent as the
frequency increases
 Skin effect is caused by the back emf produced by the self
induced magnetic flux in a conductor.
 For a DC current, the rate of change of flus is zero, so there
is no back emf due to changes in magnetic flux
 Proximity effect is the tendency for current to flow in other
undesirable patterns
– loops or concentrated distributions due to the presence of
magnetic fields generated by nearby conductors.

 In transformers and inductors, proximity-effect losses


typically dominate over skin-effect losses
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Corona
 If the voltage in the transmission line exceeds a particular
threshold value, then the air surrounding the conductors will gets
ionized making the atmosphere conducting.
 This results in electric discharge around the conductors due to the
flow of these ions, called Corona.
Effects
1. Power loss
2. The 3rd harmonic components makes the current non-
sinusoidal and this increase the corona loss.
3. The ozone gas formed chemically reacts with the conductor
and can cause corrosion.
4. Light (faint violet glow).
5. Audible noise (hissing or cracking).
6. Insulation damage
7. Radio, television and computer interference.
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Methods To Reduce Corona Effects


 Increase the diameter of the conductor
– i.e. ACSR conductors

 Increase the space between the conductors


 Using bundled conductors
– produced less resistances and reduce losses

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Bundled Conductors
Advantages
– Decrease in Surge impedance
loading so more power delivery
– Decrease in corona
• Therefore decrease in power
loss
• Decrease in electromagnetic
interference
• Reduction in communication
line interference
– Current carrying capacity is
increased owing to reduced skin
effect.
– More effective surface area
exposed to air, it has better and
efficient cooling
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Insulators
 Functions:
- to provide perfect insulation between the live conductors and
the supports.
- to prevent any leakage current from the live conductors to earth
through the supports.

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Insulator Materials
1. Porcelain (ceramic)
- most commonly used material for the insulators
- the dielectric strength is about 60 kV/cm
- has a particular shape and covered with glaze
2. Glass
- cheaper but less stronger than the porcelain
- the dielectric strength is about 140 kV/cm
3. Synthetic resin
- consist of the compounds of silicon, rubber, resin etc.
- light weight and comparatively cheaper
- high leakage current and short life

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Design Principle & Construction

1) Physical strength - able to withstand loads suitable with


the weight of a conductor.
2) Have high insulation resistance to prevent current leakage
to earth.
3) High resistance ratio of rupture due to surge voltage.
4) The insulator’s material used must be water-proof and
does not affected by changes in temperature.
5) Construction must be free from any impurities and cracks
as well as non-transparent to liquids and gases from
materials from space.

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Types of Insulators
Pin type Suspension type

Strain type Shackle type

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Pin Type Insulator

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Pin Type Insulator
 Small, simple in construction and cheap.
 Used for transmission and distribution of electrical power up to
33kV.
 For lower voltage up to 11kV – one piece is used.
 For higher voltage – two or more pieces are used.
 It becomes more heavy and costly for higher voltages.
 Mounted on the cross-arm of the pole.
 The line conductor is placed in the groove at the top of insulator
and is tied down with binding wire of the same material as the
conductor.

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Suspension Type Insulator

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Suspension Type Insulator
 Used for voltages above 33kV.
 Have no. of porcelain disc units which are connected to one
another in series by using metal links to form a string of
porcelain discs.
 The top of insulator is connected to the cross-arm of the tower
while the lowest insulator holds the line conductor.
 Each unit is designed for the low voltage about 11kV.
 No. of units depend on the operating voltage i.e. if operating
voltage is 132kV , the no. of units required is 12.

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Suspension Type Insulator

 Two types of suspension type insulators:


(1) Cemented cap type
(2) Hewlett @ inter-linking type
 In case of failure of any of the units,
the replacement work done on that unit
and entire string need not be replaced.
 Just add additional units to the string if the line voltage is
required to be increased at some later stage.

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Advantages of Suspension Type Insulator

 For higher voltages, these are cheaper than the pin insulator.
 Each unit is designed for low voltage (11kV) but by connecting
such units in series to form a string, insulator for higher voltage
level can be designed.
 In case of any failure, it is sufficient to replace the damaged disc
and do not need to replace the entire string.
 Provide greater flexibility to the line. The string is suspended
and is free to swing in any direction.
 The line conductors are less affected by lighting because the
conductor is lower than the tower cross-arm and the string acts
as lighting arrestor.
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Strain/Tension Type Insulator


 Used for handling the mechanical stresses at angle positions of
the line :
- corner/ sharp curve
- end of lines
- intermediate anchor towers
- long river-crossings
 Low-tension (LT) line – shackle insulators are used
 High-tension (HT) line - assembly of the suspension insulators is
used as ‘strain insulator’ but are arranged on a horizontal plane.
 On extra long spans (river crossings) two or more strings of strain
insulators are used in parallel.

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Shackle type insulator
 Shackle type insulators, similar to
strain type insulators, are used on
sharp curves, end poles and in section
poles.
 However, unlike strain insulators,
shackle insulators are designed to
support lower voltages.
 frequently used for low voltage
distribution lines.
 They can be directly fixed to the pole
with a bolt or to the cross arm

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Type of Insulator Tests

Flashover
test

Performance
Type of tests
test

Routine test

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Flashover Tests
Dry • Voltage is applied between the electrodes of the insulators
flashover and is gradually increased over the specified limit.
test • Insulator must sustain the minimum voltage for 1 minute.

• Similar to dry test but in addition to the applied voltage,


Wet the water is sprayed over the surface at an angle of 45 0
flashover (raining condition).
test • Insulator must sustain the minimum voltage for 30
seconds under wet condition.

• A generator develops a very high voltage at a frequency


Impulse of several hundred kilohertz.
frequency • This voltage is applied to the insulator and ‘spark-over
flashover voltage’ is noted.
test impulse spark  over voltage
impulse ratio 
spark  over voltage at power frequency (50Hz )

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Performance Tests
• Insulator is suspended in insulating oil and applied voltage
Puncture is increased gradually until puncture occurs.
voltage test • The voltage at which puncture starts is called ‘puncture
voltage’ and it is 30% greater than dry flashover voltage.

• Determine mechanical strength of pin type insulator.


Mechanical
strength test • Insulator is mounted on a steel pin and 250% of working
load is applied for 1 minute.

• Insulator sample is taken and broken into pieces and


immersed in a 1% alcohol under pressure of 150kg/cm2.
Porosity test • After 1 hour, the pieces are removed and are observed for the
penetration of the dye.
• This gives the degree of porosity indication.
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Voltage distribution along suspension insulators

Single pin-cap type insulator A string of three

 The voltage across each unit is different with different gradients.


 The discs nearer to the line conductor will have maximum voltage and
minimum voltage across the top unit (near the cross-arm).

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Voltage Distribution in Insulator Network


 ‘A string of insulators’ or
‘network insulator’
 The capacitance due to
two metal fittings on either
side of an insulator is
series capacitance.
 The capacitance between
the metal fittings of each
unit and the earth/tower is
known as ‘shunt
capacitance’.
 The capacitance between
the conductor and the
metal link is neglected.

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Voltage Distribution in Insulator Network
An equivalent circuit for voltage
distribution along clean eight-unit insulator
string
The voltage distribution on such a string
can be expressed as

Vk is the voltage across k units from ground end


Vn is the voltage across n units (line-to-ground volts)

C1 is capacitance between cap and pin of each unit


C2 is the capacitance of one unit to ground
C3 is the capacitance of one unit to line conductor
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Voltage Distribution in Insulator Network (continued)


The capacitance C3 is usually very
small, and therefore, its effect to the
voltage distribution can be neglected.
Hence,

where
The ratio C2/C1 is usually somewhere
between 0.1 and 0.2.

 This analysis is for clean insulators however usually there is pollution,


dirt, dampness, causing alternative paths for currents represented by
shunt resistance across each capacitor.
 Actual voltage distribution may vary and depend upon pollution, rain etc

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Methods to Improve Network/String Efficiency

 The voltage across the unit nearer to the conductor is more


than the voltage in the unit nearer to the tower.
 Therefore insulator near to the conductor is at more
electrical stress than the rest: less efficient design

Network/String efficiency
Voltage across the string

n  Voltage across the insulator near to the line conductor

 100% efficiency means that the voltage across the disc


will be exactly same.

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Methods to Improve Network Efficiency


 Grading capacitances by using
different insulators in string
Tower Bar
 Cross-arm
– increase the length of cross-arms by
D
increasing the distance between
insulator and tower. D = Bar length

– the ratio of shunt capacitance to


mutual capacitance (k=C1/C2) will Conductor

reduce to 0.1.
Figure 2.15 Cross arm schematic

– only suitable for high and large


tower post to support long bar
weight and network insulator.
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Methods of Increasing String Efficiency
 Guard/grading rings
– ring way obstruction can be done with use static shield.
– this static shield assembled on end lower part insulator
unit connected by using joining of metal in suspension
insulator and then connects to line conductor.
– reduce the earth capacitance and create capacitance
between insulator line and cap.
– higher capacitance in nearby unit with guard ring and
this will reduce voltage fall in the insulator.
– the same voltage in per unit is impossible to obtain
practically.

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Methods of Increasing String Efficiency


Tower post

Tower Post I1
C V1
C1 i1 Ix Cx

Arc Horn C V2
C1 i2 I2 Iy Cy

C V3
C1 i3 I3 Iz Cz
Obstruction Ring

Conductor Obstruction Ring

(a) Construction (b) Equivalent circuit

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