Chapter 1: Modelling Power System Components

Bundled Conductors

So far we have discussed three-phase systems that have only one conductor per phase. However for extra high voltage lines corona causes a large problem if the conductor has only one conductor per phase. Corona occurs when the surface potential gradient of a conductor exceeds the dielectric strength of the surrounding air. This causes ionization of the area near the conductor. Corona produces power loss. It also causes interference with communication channels. Corona manifests itself with a hissing sound and ozone discharge. Since most long distance power lines in India are either 220 kV or 400 kV, avoidance of the occurrence of corona is desirable.

The high voltage surface gradient is reduced considerably by having two or more conductors per phase in close proximity. This is called conductor bundling . The conductors are bundled in groups of two, three or four as shown in Fig. 1.10. The conductors of a bundle are separated at regular intervals with spacer dampers that prevent clashing of the conductors and prevent them from swaying in the wind. They also connect the conductors in parallel.

The geometric mean radius (GMR) of two-conductor bundle is given by



where Ds is the GMR of conductor. The GMR for three-conductor and four-conductor bundles are given respectively by





The inductance of the bundled conductor is then given by

  where n=2,3 ....



where the geometric mean distance is calculated assuming that the center of a round conductor is the same as that of the center of the bundle.

Fig. 1.10 Bundled conductors: (a) 2-conductor, (b) 3-conductor and (c) 4-conductor bundles