Optimization of Power Cable Thermal Performance using Finite-Element Generated Gradient

M.S. Al-Saud, M.A. El-Kady, and R.D. Findlay (Canada)


Underground cables, optimization, ampacity, thermal field, finite-element.


An optimization model was developed in conjunction with the perturbed finite element in order to achieve optimal desired cable performance. It considers various design parameters and sensitivities associated with these parameters simultaneously and provides the optimal solution subject to user-defined constraints. The design problem of selecting the optimal parameter values of the thermal circuit parameters, including the thermal conductivities, boundary conditions and heat generation, is formulated using a multi-dimensional gradient optimization method. The technique considers all thermal circuit parameters and provides the optimal solution which minimizes the objective function. This model represents a generalization of the nonlinear programming formulation to include practical cases of the cable design objective functions which may include the thermal parameters and the cable temperatures (ampacity) subjected to upper and lower bounds on the design parameters, linear system of equations constrains, or nonlinear constrains. The optimization analysis includes the sensitivity profiles of the temperature (or ampacity) with respect to the thermal circuit parameters, or constraints other suitable objective functions so that a secure, reliable cable design may be obtained.

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