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Power System Fundamentals

Transmission lines and underground cables

Pipe-type Cables

•Typically 115 kV
•Enclosed in a steel pipe
•Insulation is provided by paper
impregnated with oil at high
•Pipe is laid and welded
•Cables are pulled in
•Interior of the pipe maintained
at high pressure to maintain
dielectric strength
•180 km of High Pressure Pipe
Type that contains 4 million
litres of oil
Pipe-type Cables

•Requires pumping stations to maintain the oil at high pressure

•Requires cathodic protection for the steel pipe
•Arguably, not environmentally friendly when there is a pipe breach and a
•Good longevity
Low Pressure Liquid Filled

•Typically 115 and 230 kV kV

•Directly buried – or in a vault
•Insulation is provided by paper impregnated with oil at low pressure
•No pumping stations are required
•98 km of Low Pressure self contained that contains approximately
130,000 litres of oil
Low Pressure Liquid Filled


115 kV Low Pressure Self Oil Pressure System for Self

Contained Cable Joints Contained Cables
XLPE – Crosslinked Polyethylene

•115 kV to 400 kV
•Relatively new – limited experience regarding durability
•Water ingress and treeing can be issues
•Direct buried or in vaults or tunnels
Cables vs. lines
• In principle, underground cables are transmission lines with solid insulation.
• There are a number of important differences consideration.

 Underground cables are more expensive

 Do not have self-restoring insulation.

 Surge arresters are used to protect the main insulation of cables in line/cable
junction points.

 Cables have metallic sheaths that keep an even electric around the main

 Sheath insulation must also be protected from switching transients.

Cables vs. lines

 Sheaths are are tightly coupled to the main or core conductors. Bonding and
special grounding arrangements are necessary.

 The effective capacitance of a cable is much larger than that of a transmission

line of comparable length. Cables tend to be shorter than lines, and long cables
may need reactive compensation.

 The large capacitance also means that trapped charge in the case of de-
energization can involve substantial amounts of energy.
A few additional facts

 The series inductance of a cable is typically 5 times smaller that that of a line.
Capacitance is typically 20 times larger.

 The shunt conductace G represents the dielectric losses and is frequency

dependent: G=tan  C’,

 The surge impedance of cables is typically between 30 to 70 (about 1/10 of

that of overhead lines).

 Wave propagation is about ½ of that of overhead lines.

 High voltage cables above 1 km in length require cross-bonding. Below 1 km,

some form of single-point bonding is generally used.

  LC  5Lc  Cc / 20  1 / 2 Lc  Cc

L 5 Lc L
Zc    10 c
C Cc / 20 Cc
Calculation of cable parameters

 Complex geometry, especially distribution-class


 Varied materials are used as insulators,

semiconducting layers, metallic tapes and

 Different types of enclosures: directly buried,

inside metallic pipes, concrete vaults, metallic
trays, etc.

 G not negligible.

 Formulae is a bit more complicated than for the

case of transmission line

 EMTP gods also provided a cable constants

application for AUX
Calculation of cable parameters in the EMTP

• Two-step process starting with AUX

• Calculation algorithms are based on concentric conductor methods
• In pipe- type cables, proximity effects and steel pipe nonlinearity are ignored
Why bonding?

 The core and the sheath are coupled magnetically and capacitively.

 Similar to the windings of a transformer

 Coupling happens during steady-state operation and during transients

I1 I2
V1 V2
Sheath bonding

• Single-point bonding for cables under 1 km

• Cross-bonding for longer cables


arresters arresters
More sheath bonding

Surge • Centre-point bonding for cables under 2-3 km protection
• Pipe-type cables for no bonding restrictions
Surge protective devices

 Ring gaps

 Good for 4.4 – 5.7 kV rms TOV

 Protective level 10 – 14 kV

 35 kA fault current limit

Link to video
Surge protective devices

 ZnO surge arresters

 TOV capability depends on protective level.

 Protective level: any desired range

 If comparable to ring gap, protective level is 10 kV

and TOV is 4 kV

 Fault currents do not flow through the arrester

(unless it is toast)