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The Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory

Environmental Modelling

Environmental Modelling

In order to ensure that electrical plant performs reliably it is necessary to determine the environmental conditions under which it is operating or likely to operate.  It is important that plant operates within its design parameters in order to maximise its useful lifetime.  For example, with buried cables the main design parameter that limits the bulk transmission of electrical power is the core conductor temperature of the cable.  Models that improve the accuracy of standard cable rating parameters have been developed.  By modelling the temperature of the soil at cable depth a more accurate estimate of the cable conductor temperature may be determined than through the use of a standard (worst case) soil temperature parameter.

Ongoing research into methods of modelling the migration of moisture around a buried cable circuit is also being undertaken.  The ability of the soil to conduct heat from cable is moisture dependent and the development of suitable models will improve the estimation of local soil thermal resistivity.

National Grid funded projects are investigating situations where the standard rating approach does not directly apply.  Examples include buried 3 phase cable circuit crossing points, water-cooled joint bays and cable circuits routed through tunnels (naturally and force ventilated).  To investigate these situations 2D and 3D FE thermal models have been created and obtained results compared with established standard rating approaches. 


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