Simulation of Power Cable Performance under Extreme Soil and Environmental Conditions

M.A. El-Kady and A.A. Al-Ohaly (Saudi Arabia)


Applied Simulation in the Energy Sector, Energy Losses, Sensitivity Analysis, System Load Pattern.


The use of underground power cables in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has grown significantly over the past three decades as a result of urban expansion and increased infrastructure activities. Most cable design and operation guidelines are based on international publications, which use design, soil, and environmental parameters developed for harsh climates in calculating the cable ampacity. However, in KSA, extreme soil and environmental conditions exist where the ambient temperature sometimes exceeds 50 °C and the very dry soil in the summer produces high thermal resistance. Under such conditions, the environmental and soil parameters significantly influence the current-carrying capability of the power cable. In most previous publications, the effects of such parameters have traditionally been studied individually with one parameter being varied while all others are fixed at their respective nominal values. In this paper, a novel analysis is presented where multi parameter effects are examined simultaneously using traditional y-x plots. This new approach has revealed several important characteristics of the cable performance under design, operation and environmental parameter changes. The new approach has been applied to a practical cable system in the Saudi power grid and the results obtained confirmed the usefulness of the technique developed.

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