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• To understand the mechanical structure/

support for transmission lines
• To derive the calculation of sag
• To discuss the effect of tower structure and
environment effects on sag calculations
• To discuss about standard formats Sag
template and Stringing Chart
• To discuss about Indian electricity rules
related to transmission line support and
ground clearance
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• The power conductors ACSR/AAC/Galvanised Al are
connected to the transmission line structures by
insulators (typically made of porcelain) that must be
strong enough to support tensile forces and the weight
of the conductors while preventing electrical contact
between the conductors and the structure.
• Shield wires are connected directly to the structures,
are installed above the conductors to protect the
conductors from direct lightning strikes.
• Each structure must be designed for both the loads
imposed on it by the weight of the conductors and
dynamic loads resulting from factors such as wind and
ice accumulation.

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Line Supports
• Supporting structure of transmission line include
 To maintain proper spacing between conductors
 To provide minimum ground clearance (distance
between lowest conductor and earth)
 High mechanical Strength
 Cheap in cost
 Longer life
 Easy availability

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Line Supports…
Selection of line support
• Terrain (Environmental conditions)
• Engineering Constraints (Span of line, Line Voltage)
• Local circumstances (Cost, city map, Space etc.)
Material/Stay-wired or Self supporting structure
• Poles (Wooden): Not used these days
• RCC pole : pre-stressed concrete, for Distribution up to 11kV,
long life but more weight, damage during transportation,
more transportation cost, life 20-25 years
• Steel Pole: Galvanised steel, up to 33kV, high mechanical
strength, long life than RCC, less weight, more maintenance
cost due to corrosion, 30-35 years life (short spans)
• Steel Tower: Steel tower, Less breakdown due to tower
foundation, Used for High/EHV lines, Life of nearly 50 years
(long spans)
H Tower, Delta Tower, Lattice Tower
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H- Tower


Lattice Tower Delta Tower

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Mechanical Design of Overhead Line
• Mechanical design of overhead line is important to know
the tension in conductor supported between pole/towers.
Tension in the conductor under all possible mechanical
loading and environmental conditions should not exceed
safe stress limit.
• An overhead line consists of conductor, supports,
insulators, dampers, power fittings. The flexible conductor
stung between supports form a catenary curve.
• The difference in the level between the points of support
and the lowest point on conductor is called Sag.
• Sag depends on weight of conductor, length of span,
working tensile strength, temperature.
 Too high sag : more conductor material, more height in
supports, greater swing amplitude due to wind load.
 Too small sag: more strain in conductor, chances for the
conductor to break or partial breaking of strands of ACSR
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Sag &Tension Calculations Unlevelled supports
Conductor supported between levelled supports /poles A and B
O : the lowest point on conductor catenary curve taken as origin.
 : weight of conductor per unit length
𝑃(𝑥,𝑦): Point on the curve
𝑇𝑥 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑇𝑦 : Tensions in horizontal and vertical direction at point 𝑃(𝑥,𝑦)
such that = 𝑡𝑎𝑛θ
θ: Tangential Angle w.r.t horizontal axis at point 𝑃
𝑇𝐻 ∶ Horizontal Tension
𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑇𝑤 : Vertical tension due to weight of conductor
Equating horizontal and vertical components:
𝑇𝑥 = 𝑇𝐻 =H, 𝑇𝑦 =𝑇𝑤 = 𝜔𝑆
For an elemental length 𝑑𝑠 of conductor such that 𝑑𝑠 = 𝑑𝑥 2 + 𝑑𝑦 2 and 𝑡𝑎𝑛𝜃 =
𝑇𝑦 𝑑𝑦 𝜔𝑆
= 𝑡𝑎𝑛θ = =
𝑇𝑥 𝑑𝑥 𝐻
2 2
𝑑𝑆 𝑑𝑦 𝜔𝑆
= 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝜃 = 1 + = 1+
𝑑𝑥 𝑑𝑥 𝐻 Levelled supports
Solving for 𝑥 D
𝐻 𝜔𝑆
𝑥 = 𝑠𝑖𝑛ℎ−1 + 𝐶1
𝜔 𝐻
At origin O, 𝑥=0, when 𝑆 = 0 𝑎𝑡 𝑥 = 0, 𝐶1 = 0,
𝐻 𝜔x
hence S= 𝑠𝑖𝑛ℎ
𝜔 𝐻
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Sag Calculations…
To determine sag at point 𝑃(𝑥,𝑦) is the vertical distance between point 𝑃(𝑥,𝑦) at lowest point 𝑂 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑢𝑟𝑣𝑒 ∶
𝑑𝑦 𝜔𝑥
= sinh
𝑑𝑥 𝐻
𝐻 𝜔𝑥
Solving for 𝑦 ∶ 𝑦= cosh + 𝐶2
𝜔 𝐻
At origin O, 𝑥=0,𝑦 = 0, 𝐶2 = −
𝐻 𝜔𝑥
(cosh − 1) is the equation of catenary curve.
𝜔 𝐻
Tension at point 𝑃(𝑥,𝑦) on conductor
2 2 𝜔𝑥
𝑇= 𝑇𝑥 + 𝑇𝑦 = 𝐻2 + 𝜔𝑆 2 = 𝐻𝑐𝑜𝑠ℎ
At distance 𝑥 = ±𝑙 = ±𝐿/2 at supports A and B:
𝜔𝑙 𝐻 𝜔𝑙
𝑇 = 𝐻𝑐𝑜𝑠ℎ
and Sag D=
− 1),
𝐻 𝜔𝑙
Length of line in half span = S= 𝑠𝑖𝑛ℎ
𝜔 𝐻
Hyperbolic function is simplified using McClaurn’s series
𝑧2 𝑧4 𝑧6 𝑧3 𝑧5 𝑧7
𝑐𝑜𝑠ℎ𝑧 = 1 + + + +… and sinh𝑧 = 𝑧 + + + +…
!2 !4 !6 !3 !5 !7
Neglecting higher order terms
𝐻 𝜔x 𝜔2 𝑥 3 𝜔2 𝑙3
S= 𝑠𝑖𝑛ℎ = x + 2 , Conductor length in half span= S= L + 2
𝜔 𝐻 6𝐻 6𝑇
𝐻 𝜔𝑙 𝐻 (𝜔𝑥) 2 (𝜔𝑥) 4 𝜔𝑙 2
and Sag D= 𝜔 (cosh 𝐻 − 1) = 𝜔(1 + 2𝐻 2 + + 24𝐻 4 +…)-1)= 2𝑇
(𝑇 = 𝐻, 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑠𝑎𝑔 𝑖𝑠 𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑢𝑚𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑠𝑚𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑚 𝑜𝑓 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑙𝑎 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛 𝑠𝑢𝑝𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑠)

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Supports at different level
ℎ = 𝐷2 − 𝐷1 ; difference in level between supports A and B
O : the lowest point on conductor catenary curve taken as
 : weight of conductor per unit length
Conductor is 𝑥 units from the support of low level. Distance of
point O from higher level supports (L-𝑥)
𝜔𝑥 2 𝜔(𝐿−𝑥)2
𝐷1 = and 𝐷2 = ;ℎ = 𝐷2 − 𝐷1
2𝑇 2𝑇
Substituting and solving for 𝑥 to locate point O .
𝐿 𝑇ℎ
Span length 𝑥 = −
2 𝜔𝐿
If 𝑥 comes out be negative, then it implies that both supports
will be on the higher level support.

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Effect of Ice Loading and Wind Pressure
Ice loading and wind pressure increases the effective weight
of conductor and hence vertical sag is increased.
𝑑: diameter of conductor
𝑡: Thickness of ice in radial direction
Overall diameter of conductor = D = (𝑑 + 2𝑡)
Area occupied by Ice: Outer Area-Inner area=𝜋𝑡(𝑑 + 𝑡)
Volume of ice per meter length of conductor Conductor
Layer of Ice
V=𝜋𝑡 𝑑 + 𝑡 × 1 = 𝜋𝑡(𝑑 + 𝑡)
𝜌: Density of ice (910kg/m3)
Weight of ice per meter length =𝑤𝑖 = 𝜌 × 𝜋𝑡(𝑑 + 𝑡) kg.
It acts vertically downwards.
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Weather conditions…
Wind pressure is assumed to be in horizontal direction and pressure is
taken on projected area.
Projected surface of conductor of length= (𝑑 + 2𝑡) × 1
Wind load per unit length= 𝑤𝜔 = 𝑃𝑤 𝑑 + 2𝑡
𝑃𝑤 is wind pressure in kg/m2.
Maximum wind pressure in India is (100-150kg/m2)
Total vertical loading= 𝑤𝐶 + 𝑊𝑖
Total horizontal loading= 𝑤𝜔
Resultant effective weight on conductor = 𝑊 = 𝑤𝐶 + 𝑊𝑖 2 + 𝑤𝜔 2
Loading factor= 𝑞𝜔 = 𝑊/𝑤𝐶
for fair weather 𝑞𝜔 = 1.0 𝜑 𝑤𝜔
Sag in vertical plane = sin𝜑 and
Sag in horizontal plane = = cos𝜑
𝑤𝐶 + 𝑊𝑖 𝑊

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An overhead line has a span of 250m. Find the weight of
the conductor, if the ultimate tensile strength is 5758kg ,
sag = 1.5m and factor of safety as 2.
Soln.: T= Ultimate strength/2= 5758/2= 2879 kg.
D= 1.5m, span length=250m
𝜔𝑙 2
Sag=D= ; 𝑙= 0.5 times span length
Solving for Weight of conductor 𝜔= 0.5528kg/m
𝜔2 𝐿3
Total length of conductor = 𝐿 + = 250.024𝑚
24𝑇 2
Weight of conductor =𝜔𝐿=0.5528*250.024= 138.21kg.

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An overhead line consists of 7 strands of copper
conductor having a cross-sectional area of 2.2cm2. Weight
of conductor = 1.4kg/m, ultimate strength =8000kg/cm2,
Wind pressure =40kg/sq-m of projected area. Calculate
the vertical sag for a span length of 300m with a factor of
Soln.: Working tension+ 8000*2.2/3= 5866kg.
Diameter of conductor 𝑑 = 4 × 2.2/𝜋=1.67cm
Wind pressure loading = 𝑤𝜔 =40*1.67*1/100=0.668kg
𝑊 = 𝑤𝐶 + 𝑊𝑖 2 + 𝑤𝜔 2 = (1.4)2 + 0.668 2
= 1.55𝑘𝑔.
𝜔𝐿2 1.55∗150∗150
Vertical sag= sin𝜑 = *(1.4/1.55)= 2.673m
2𝑇 2∗5866

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A transmission line conductor crossing a river is supported from two towers at
heights of 30m and 75m above the water level. The horizontal distance
between the supports is 275m. If the allowable tension in the conductor is
1600kg., find the clearance between the water level and the conductor at a
point mid way between the towers under fair weather conditions. The weight
of conductor is 0.7kg/m. also find the allowable span for the maximum sag if
the supports are at the same level.
Soln.: ℎ = 𝐷2 − 𝐷1 = 75 − 30 = 45𝑚
𝐿 𝑇ℎ 275 1600×45
Span length 𝑥 = − = − = −236.5𝑚
2 𝜔𝐿 2 0.7×275
Since 𝑥 is negative, both the supports are on same side of the lowest point.
𝐿 275
Distance of mid point P from O= − 𝑥 = -(-236.5)= 374m
2 2
Distance of point B from O= L − 𝑥= 275-(-236.5)= 511.5m
𝜔𝑥 2 511.52 𝜔(𝐿−𝑥)2 3742
𝐷1 = = 0.7 × =57.2m and 𝐷2 = = 0.7 × = 30.7𝑚
2𝑇 2×1600 2𝑇 2×1600
Distance between mid point P and point B= 57.2-30.7=26.5m
Distance of point P above water level= 75-26.5= 48.5m
Maximum Sag= 57.2m
𝜔𝑙 2
For level supports Sag= D= 57.2=0.7𝑙 2 /(2*1600)
Solving for 𝑙 = 512.5m, Span length L = 2𝑙 = 1025m
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Overhead lone is subjected three types of vibrations:
 Simple Swing
 Low frequency Vibrations
 High frequency Vibrations
1. Simple swing due to wind. It is harmless provided the
clearance is sufficiently large so that during swing
conductors do not reach within sparking range of each
2. Low frequency vibrations about 1cycle/sec that occurs
during sleet storms with a strong wind. The amplitude of
vibration may go beyond 6m or more and the conductors
are said to galloping/dancing. Due to dancing of conductor
horizontally and vertically , irregular sleet deposition takes
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• . High frequency oscillations of 5-100Hz and
amplitude about 2-5 cm. This vibration is due to
formation of eddies and the leeward side of
conductor. The frequency of vibration depends
upon wind speed 2-10km/hr. The line conductor
will vibrate in a number of loops depending upon
its length, mass per unit length and tension. This
vibration can cause fatigue and ultimate failure of
supporting clamp.
• The conductors are protected by dampers which
prevent the vibrations from reaching the
conductors at the clamps or suppports.
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Dampers are two weights of slender shape
(Stockbridge type) fixed at either end of a length of flexible
steel cable which is fastened to the conductor at its mid
point by means of a clamp.
Two dampers are required for each point of suspension of
the conductor, one on either side of line length to supress
wind-induced vibrations.
Damping action is due to dissipation of vibrational energy of
the conductor by inter-strand friction
in the flexible damper cable.
H. Stockbridge, a Scientist who developed vibration damper
in 1920.
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Vibration Dumbbell Damper

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Armoured Rods
Armoured rods are also . used to suppress
vibration of line. The point of suspension of the
conductor in the clamp is surrounded by a spiral
layer of small rods. These rods give in effect at
the point of suspension a stranded cable of much
larger diameter than actual conductor.

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An overhead transmission line at river crossing is supported from towers at
height of 25m and 75m above water level. The horizontal distance between
tower is 250m and the clearance between the conductor and water midway
between towers is 45m. If both the towers are on same side of the point of
maximum sag of the parabolic configuration, find the string tension in the
conductor. Also find the span allowable for maximum sag if the two supports
across the river are of same height equal to 75m. The weight of the
conductor is 0.70kg/m.
Soln.: sag at point x= 𝜔𝑥 2 /2𝑇
Sag at point 𝑃1 : 𝑠1 = 𝜔𝑥1 2 /2𝑇
Sag at point 𝑃2 : 𝑠2 = 𝜔𝑥2 2 /2𝑇
Difference ℎ = 𝑠2 -𝑠1 = 𝑥2 2 − 𝑥1 2 O P1
ℎ = 𝑠2 -𝑠1 = 75 − 25 = 50𝑚, 𝑥2 -𝑥1 = 250𝑚
T=1.75( 𝑥2 +𝑥1 )=1.75(250+2𝑥1 )=437.5+3.5𝑥1
For point midway between towers 𝑑 = 𝜔(𝑥1 +125)2/2𝑇

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𝑥1 +125)2 𝜔𝑥1 2
𝑑 − 𝑑1 = 45 − 25 = 0.70( −
2𝑇 2𝑇
T= 2.19(125+2𝑥1 )
Solving for T and 𝑥1
𝑥1 =186m and T= 1088.78kg.
When the supports are on same side of allowable
span for maximum sag =2𝑥2 =
2 250 + 186 = 872𝑚

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An overhead line has ACSR conductor of 1.95 cm diameter and a span of 244m. The permissible tension
in conductor is 35.6 kN. Find (sag) in still are condition with snow covering. Find vertical sag when an ice
covering of 0.96 cm thickness and a horizontal wind pressure of 380N/m2 of projected area. Ice weighs
8920kN/m2. The line is carried by an insulator string of 1.45m long. What should be the height of lowest
cross arm to give a minimum ground clearance of 7.62m under bad weather conditions. The conductor
weighs 0.847kg/m.
𝜔𝑙 2
Soln.: Sag in still air=𝑠 =
For Weight of conductor 𝜔=0.847*9.81= 8.31N/m, l=244m, T= 35.6kN
𝜔𝑙 2
Sag in still air=𝑠= 8𝑇 = 1.735m
Sag with ice covering and wind pressure in conductor
d= 1.95cm, t=0.96cm, Effective dia with ice = D=d+2t= 3.87cm
Wind pressure 𝐹𝑤 = 380 ∗ 3.87 ∗ 10−2 = 14.706 𝑚
Weight of ice = 𝜔 𝑖 = 𝜌(𝐷2 − 𝑑 2 ) × 𝜋/4=8920(3.892 − 𝑑 2 ) × 𝜋/4 =7.8245N/m
Effective stress 𝐹𝑖 = 𝐹𝑤 2 + 𝜔 𝑖 + 𝜔 2 = 21.93N/m
Vertical sag= (21.97*244*244)/8*21.93= 4.552m
𝛾 = 𝑡𝑎𝑛 = 42.33
𝜔 + 𝑤𝑖
Vertical sag = S cos 𝛾= 4.552*cos(42.33)= 3.355m
Height of lowest cross-arm= Minimum ground clearance +vertical sag+ length of
insulator string = 7.62+3.355+1.43= 12.42m
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