Advancing OHL Rating Calculations: Modeling Mixed-Convective Cooling and Conductor Geometry

K. Kopsidas, Shahnurriman Abdul Rahman, M. A. AlAqil, Stefano Rolfo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The existing standard current-temperature calculations for overhead line (OHL) conductors have been adequate for conventional conductors and their operating temperatures. However, these calculations make assumptions and include simplifications about conductor geometry and aero-thermal-dynamics, introducing an error in the High-Temperature Low-Sag conductors operating temperatures. To quantify the error introduced by the shape of strands, the paper employs a Multi-Physics Finite Element Modeling approach that calculates the conjugate heat transfer for trapezoidal stranded OHL conductors. Furthermore, it proposes corrective equations to improve the accuracy of existing methods. The equations incorporate a new Nusselt number correlation for mixed convection and capture the surface area ignored by current calculations. The outer conductor geometry assumptions and the combined natural and forced convective cooling omission in the IEEE and CIGRE methods introduce an error at low (below 0.12 m/s) cross-flow wind speeds suggesting an underestimation of conductor temperature by up to 4%. In medium wind speeds, typically at 0.5 m/s - 0.61 m/s, the standard methods overestimate the conductor temperature limiting its current-carrying capability. A 5% uprating for existing OHLs is potentially feasible, particularly for the trapezoidal stranded conductors, when removing the assumptions made in existing methods.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Delivery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Jul 2022


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