International Scientific Journal

Thermal Science - Online First

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Thermal aging management for electricity distribution networks: Fem-based qualification of underground power cables

It is well-known that there is no PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT (PDCA) approach that is used by electricity distribution network operators and asset managers of power cable systems. Accordingly, this paper proposes a novel application of the PDCA approach to thermal aging management of underground power cables in electricity distribution networks. Another novelty of the proposed approach is that the finite element method (FEM) is used in combination with the traditional Arrhenius model to calculate the unknown temperature of cable conductors under service conditions. In particular, this means that the FEM-based Arrhenius model can involve the effects of other heat sources, wind, solar irradiation, etc. in procedures for qualification of underground power cables. The Arrhenius model is applied to an actual hot spot of a 110 kV underground cable line of most importance to reliable operation of the electricity distribution network of the City of Belgrade. In the hot spot, the 110 kV cable line is installed in parallel with the group of 35 kV cables and crosses an underground heating pipeline. The proposed approach is successfully validated using the existing experimental data on cross-linked polyethylene insulation. Finally, it is found that the hot spot effect can shorten the expected total service lifespan of the 110 kV cables in the hot spot area by 36.84 %, as well as that the largest consumption of total thermal lifespan occurs in the presence of all the existing thermal effects.
PAPER REVISED: 2022-02-28
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2022-03-05
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