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Yamazaki and Olsen: Application of a Corona Onset Criterion to Calculation of Corona Onset Voltage of Stranded

Application of a Corona Onset Criterion to Calculation of Corona Onset Voltage of Stranded Conductors
Kenichi Yamazaki
Electrical Insulation Department Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry 2-11-1, Iwado-kita, Komae-shi, Tokyo 201-8511, Japan

Robert G. Olsen
School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Washington State University Pullman, WA 99164-2752, USA

ABSTRACT
The conditions under which corona first occurs for any set of electrodes are an important design consideration since corona can limit the performance of any given configuration of electrical conductors. Here, the 60 Hz ac corona onset voltage for a stranded wire in air is calculated. The criterion involves the characteristics, i.e. composition and pressure, of the gas in which the conductor is immersed and the electric field in the vicinity of the conductor surface. It is found that the calculated corona onset voltage agrees reasonably well with experimental data and that its behavior as a function of overall conductor radius and number of strands is as expected. Index Terms Corona onset, stranded conductor, surface irregularity, roughness.

INTRODUCTION

ORONA can limit the performance of any configuration of electrical conductors. For example, audible noise and electromagnetic interference due to corona on high voltage transmission line conductors can limit the voltage to which the line can be energized. In addition, corona can limit the power input to an aircraft antenna at high altitude. For these and other reasons, the condition under which corona first occurs for any set of electrodes is an important design consideration. The configuration to be considered here is a stranded conductor such as that used to construct overhead high voltage transmission lines. Corona on such conductors is of more interest recently with the introduction of compact transmission lines that produce higher electric fields at the conductor surface w1, 2x. Of specific interest is the 60 Hz ac corona onset voltage of a stranded conductor when placed at the center of a large cylindrical conductor as shown in Figure 1. Many years ago, experimenters measured the corona onset voltage for this configuration as a

function of the number and size of the strands that make up the stranded conductor w3-8x. Attempts have been made to calculate the onset conditions w9-13x. However, none has been successfully compared to existing experimental results over the range of values tested. It is important to be able to calculate corona onset voltage because, in recent years, the shape of conductors used for high voltage applications has been determined by numerical modeling. Yet, the attempt to calculate the corona onset voltage has been mainly focused on calculating the electric field at the surface of the conductor and assuming that corona begins at some critical value of this field. This approach is a reasonable first approximation since the surface field is the primary factor that influences corona for many electrode arrangements. However, as pointed out by Tikhodeev w13x, the surface field does not completely characterize the corona onset for stranded conductors. The properties of the gas in which the conductor is located and the rate at which the electric field decays away from the surface are also very important factors. In fact, there are important cases for which the onset voltage predicted using the surface electric field alone could be significantly different from experimental results both quanti2004 IEEE

Manuscript receied on 25 April 2003, in final form 28 October 2003.

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Figure 1. Determining the corona onset voltage for a stranded conductor.

4x characterized the influence of the strands by introducing a surface irregularity factor m, defined as the ratio of the corona onset voltage of a stranded conductor to that of a smooth round conductor with the same outer diameter. The value of m is equal to unity for a perfectly smooth conductor, and is less than 1 for stranded conductors. Based on his experiments, Peek chose ms 0.82 as a representative value for 7 strand conductor the number of strands in the outer layer was 6., but also gave a range of 0.72 to 0.82 for practical use. Although he also presented results for conductors with 19 and 37 strands the numbers of strands in the outer layer were 12 and 18, respectively ., he did not make any conclusions about the effect of the number of strands. In Whiteheads investigation, the number of strands in the outer layer was varied from 3 to 9. His data for m ranged from 0.85 to 0.92 and illustrated the physically intuitive result that conductors with a large number of strands behaved more like smooth conductors than conductors with a small number of strands. Later, more precise experiments of visually observed corona onset voltage using carefully fabricated stranded conductors were performed by Stone w8x. He defined a stranding factor as the ratio of corona onset voltage for a stranded conductor to that for a smooth conductor of the same outside diameter the same definition as Peeks irregularity factor m., and also defined a stranding ratio as the diameter of a strand divided by the outer diameter of the stranded conductor. He developed experimental curves of the stranding factor as a function of stranding ratio for conductors of various diameters. Stones data clearly indicate that the stranding or surface irregularity factor m increases and approaches unity as the number of strands approaches infinity, i.e. becomes a smooth round conductor.

tatively and qualitatively. Further, non-physical results that will be discussed later can be obtained if surface electric field is the only criterion for corona onset. The analysis of the stranded conductor presented here is used to illustrate how and why this occurs. The purpose of this paper is to use a successfully tested corona onset criterion to calculate the corona onset voltage for stranded conductors configured as shown in Figure 1. The results obtained will be compared to the results of several reported corona onset experiments. A successful comparison will serve two purposes. First, it will serve to further validate the corona onset criterion used in this paper. Second, a method will be available to calculate the onset voltage of stranded conductors with geometries other than those that have been studied experimentally.

2.2 2 BACKGROUND
2.1 EXPERIMENTS
For a single round conductor, the corona onset voltage in atmospheric air is well described by a simple empirical formula based on experimental data, such as those developed by Peek w3, 4x and Whitehead w5x, or those developed by Zaengle and Nyffenegger w6, 7x. In these formulas, the surface electric field at which corona onset occurs has been found to be a function of the conductor radius. Since the relationship between voltage and surface field is, in general, a different function, the corona onset voltage will be a function of both surface electric field and the conductor radius. A similar dependence of corona onset voltage on conductor geometry is expected for stranded conductors. The influence of stranding on the corona onset voltage of single round conductor was investigated experimentally many years ago by Peek w3, 4x and Whitehead w5x. Peek w3, 1070-9878r04r$20.00 r r

THEORY

Adams w9x, and Iyer and Pillai w10x conducted a study of the ratio of maximum surface electric field of the stranded conductor to that of a smooth round conductor, i.e., the enhancement factor, using image theory and conformal mapping, respectively. These results showed a nearly constant value approximately 1.4. of the enhancement factor for almost any number of strands in outer layer. Clearly, this result alone cannot account for the difference between the corona onset voltages for smooth and stranded conductors because the inverse of the enhancement factor is approximately constant and does not approach 1 as the number of strands approaches infinity. It should also be noted that calculations of the surface electric field for stranded conductors were made using the semi-analytical calculation method applicable to isolated stranded conductors with an arbitrary periodic strand profile provided by Andrews and Shrapnel w11x. In their discussion of the problem, they pointed out that it might not be appropri2004 IEEE
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Yamazaki and Olsen: Application of a Corona Onset Criterion to Calculation of Corona Onset Voltage of Stranded

ate to use the surface field ratio for corona onset prediction of stranded conductors. However, they did not conduct any further investigation about the effect of the strands. They also examined the effect of strand spiraling and concluded that it is sufficiently small to neglect. Since the surface electric field enhancement factor is not sufficient to explain corona onset for stranded conductors, corona onset might be dependent on the distribution of electric field near the surface of conductor as suggested in the introduction. This idea was mentioned by W. A. Lewis in the discussion of Temoshoks paper on the surface electric field of bundle conductors w12x. Later, Tikhodeev used a corona onset condition similar to that introduced in this paper to account for the distribution of electric field near the stranded conductor surface w13x. He calculated the surface irregularity factor as ms 0.82 for 17-20 strands in the outer layer and any conductor radius greater than 1 cm. While his method did account for the distribution of electric field near the surface, his value of m did not match experimental data reported later in this paper. The fact that the surface electric field criterion alone is unsatisfactory for predicting corona onset voltage for stranded conductors was the primary motivation for the present study. It was decided to try an onset criterion similar to that of Tikhodeev w13x that takes into account the gas, pressure and the electric field distribution near the energized conductor. This is the so-called corona onset criterion and has been successfully applied to the optimal design of high voltage hardware w14, 15x. In this paper, the criterion was used to determine the surface irregularity factor for stranded conductors.

, sometimes called the critical avalanche length or the boundary of the corona layer, is the distance from the conductor surface for which s , and hence its value and are functions of maximizes equation 1.. Both the electric field, the gas and the pressure. Expressions for and in atmospheric air given by Sarma and Janischewskyj w17x for positive corona were used for ac corona onset as in w14, 15x. The expressions are p is the pressure in cm-torr, and E is the electric field in kV rcm.
p

s 4.7786 ey0.221 E
p

s9.682 ey0.2642 E


E p

0.025F

E p E p

F 0.060

0.060 F
2

F 0.240

/ /

2.

3.

s 0.1298y0.541

q8.7

/
p

4.

3 METHOD
3.1 CORONA ONSET CRITERION
To determine the corona onset voltage for stranded conductors, it is important to accurately predict the condition under which corona is initiated. The corona onset criterion used in this study is based on Tikhodeevs w13x and McAllister and Pedersens work w16x, and is identical to that developed and successfully applied for optimization of high voltage hardware design w14, 15x and can be described as follows. Consider a local coordinate system that is aligned antiparallel with the Laplacian electric field. Assume the creation of K . free electrons at the local position ss r 1, where r 1 is at the surface of the conductor. Townsends first ionization coefficient and the attachment coefficient can be used to find the ratio of the number of free electrons at the position ss r 1 q where ) 0. to that at ss r 1 using w7x, K .s K r1 q . K r1 . s exp

K . was determined to be 3500 by adjusting its value until equation 1. matched experimental corona onset data for smooth round conductors taken in a coaxial geometry over the range of 0.05 to 2 cm radii w6, 7, 17x. In this study, equation 1. was used as the corona onset condition for the prediction of corona onset voltage for stranded conductors. More specifically, the voltage on the stranded conductor is increased until the integral in equation 1. equals 3500. The voltage at which this occurs is called the corona onset voltage. Since the experimental data for corona onset used for the calibration were measured using visual observations, results using equation 1. should be interpreted as predicting visually observed corona onset w7x. Further, reported corona onset data showed that the difference between positive and negative corona is small enough to be neglected for the radii of conductors considered here w17x. Thus, 1. with K . s 3500 will be referred to as simply the corona onset condition w14, 15x. The corona onset voltage obtained using the corona onset criterion may differ from that obtained by the surface electric field criterion. This is due to the fact that the corona onset criterion takes into account the distribution of electric field away from the conductor as shown in equations 1. to 4., while the surface electric field criterion only considers the electric field at the surface of conductor.

3.2 ELECTRIC FIELD AROUND STRANDED CONDUCTORS


In this study, a coaxial arrangement of infinitely long energized stranded conductors placed inside the center of a grounded cylinder was considered as shown in Figure 1. The outer diameter of the stranded conductor was defined to be 2 b, the number of strands forming the outer 2004 IEEE

r1 q

y . ds

r1

1.

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set voltage, it was only necessary to calculate the electric field along the dashed line indicated in Figure 2a; i.e., r s b to c at s 0 in Figure 2b, since equation 1. is maximized by doing this. For these calculation points, the electric field has only a radial component Er r . and can be written as Er r . s where E0 s yV b bln c

b r q

Q y1

qs1

qnDq

/
b

y q n q1 .

E0

6.

7.

is the electric field on the surface of a smooth round conductor with radius b, V is the applied voltage and Dq are as yet unknown coefficients. The coefficients Dq can be determined by solving Q simultaneous linear algebraic equations 8. for is 0, 1, 2, . . . , Qy1, at Q suitably chosen values of i . These equations result from setting the scalar potential equal to the known conductor voltage at points along the strands surface as shown in Figure 2.
Q y1

qs0

Dq f i .

yq n

cos qn i . s ln f i .

8.

Figure 2. a, Concentric arrangement for stranded conductor inside grounded cylinder; b, enlarged.

In this paper, Q uniformly spaced matching points Pi i s 0, 1, 2, . . . , Qy1. were chosen on the surface of the conductor between the tip of a strand and the point of contact of adjacent strand the exact contact point was excluded as matching point due to its singularity in calculation.. Values of i and f i . corresponding to the matching points were calculated using equations 9. to 11.. ri b
2 by a. cos i q a2 y by a. sin 2

layer of stranded conductor n, the radius of each strand a, and radius of the grounded cylinder c, where c 4 b was assumed Figure 2a.. The stranding ratio k, which is identical to Stones definition w8x, is defined as k s arb. Once the outer diameter of the stranded conductor and the number of strands in outer layer n are given, the radius of strand a is determined by the relation b sin as

f i. s

'

b
i s tan y1

9. 10.

asin

i i

by a. q acos

is

i nq2 . 2 nQ

is 0, 1, 2, . . . , Qy1.

11.

n n

5.

1qsin

A number of numerical methods have been applied to calculate the electric field around energized conductors. Here, a semi-analytic expression developed by Andrews and Shrapnel w11x was used. To determine the corona on1070-9878r04r$20.00 r r

Figure 3 gives examples of the electric field distribution near an energized conductor for smooth conductors and stranded conductors with various values of n. Two properties of these results should be noted. First, the peak value of the electric field is nearly independent of n and approaches a limit approximately 1.4 times the peak value for the smooth round conductor as n . Second, the larger n, the smaller the region over which the electric 2004 IEEE
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Yamazaki and Olsen: Application of a Corona Onset Criterion to Calculation of Corona Onset Voltage of Stranded

the purpose of comparisons with reported experimental data, the values of 2 b were chosen to be 2 mm, 5 mm, 10 mm, 20 mm, and 50 mm.

4 RESULTS
Figures 4a to 4c show the results for the surface irregularity factor m as a function of the stranding ratio k s arb . for stranded conductors with various outer diameters b. In Figure 4a, the ratio of surface electric field of the stranded conductor to that of the smooth conductor i.e. the inverse of the enhancement factor. was also plotted for comparison. The correspondence between stranding ratio k and the number of strands in outer layer n was also provided in the figure. The corona onset criterion data behave as expected, they all approach 1 as the stranding factor approaches 0. The electric field criterion data, however, do not exhibit this physically intuitive behavior. Although the inverse of the enhancement factor is somewhat close to the corona onset value of m for large stranding ratios, it is clear that it does not predict corona onset for small radii. Even more disturbing is that it does not approach 1 as the stranding factor approaches 0. As mentioned earlier and shown in Figure 4a, Tikhodeev w13x calculated a value of the stranding factor ms 0.82 for the limited range of parameters, 17 F nF 24 and b)1 cm. The fact that it is significantly lower than the calculations reported here and experimental data shown in Figure 4a and 4b appears to be due to his relatively crude approximation for the electric field near the surface. In Figure 4b, a comparison was made between data generated in the present study and Stones data obtained by careful laboratory experimentation using specially manufactured stranded conductor having stranding ratios of 0.085 to 0.25 and outer diameter of 0.75Y 19.0 mm. to 1.75Y 44.5 mm.. These data seem to be the most credible experimental data available w8x. The irregularity factor obtained using the newly applied corona onset criterion approaches unity with decreasing stranding ratio k, and hence is consistent with Stones experimental data and the description provided by Naidu and Kamaraju w18x. Further, the values are reasonably close to Stones experimental data. In addition, the irregularity factor m decreased slightly with an increase of outer diameter of the stranded conductor 2 b, although this effect is smaller than that of the stranding ratio k. It is also consistent with Stones experimental data. In Figure 4c, all available experimental data, including Stones data for commercial stranded conductor having stranding ratio of 0.085 to 0.15 and outer diameter of 28.1 mm to 44.5 mm shown in the discussion of ref. w8x most of the commercial conductors are the ACSR: aluminum conductor steel reinforced., Whiteheads experimental data for ns 3 to 9, and Peeks representative value of m for ns6 the diameter of the conductor was not specified ., are plotted and compared with the present result. The theoretical data seem to be in good agreement with exper2004 IEEE

Figure 3. Examples of electric field distribution for smooth and stranded conductors V s1000 V, bs 0.01 m, c s 1 m..

field deviates from that of a smooth conductor. In fact, the integral of this difference approaches zero as n . Later, it will be shown that this fact explains why the corona onset voltage for n approaches that of a smooth round conductor.

3.3 Determination Of Surface Irregularity Factor (m) For Stranded Conductor


The corona onset criterion described above was applied to determine the surface irregularity factor m for a stranded conductor. Here, this factor was determined as the corona onset voltage of a stranded conductor divided by the corona onset voltage of a smooth round conductor with the same outer diameter, which is identical to Peeks w3, 4x and Stones definitions of stranding factor w8x. First, the electric fields along the dashed line shown in Figure 2a was calculated assuming a conductor voltage V. Following this, K . in equation 1. was evaluated using the simple trapezoidal rule. If K . is less greater. than 3500, the conductor voltage was increased decreased . until K . s 3500. The voltage of V for which this occurs is the corona onset voltage. In the investigation, the surface irregularity factor m was calculated for various numbers of strands in the outer layer n, ranging from ns 3 to 1000. This corresponds to a stranding ratio k s arb . ranging from k s 0.464 to k f 0. In the study, the effects of the outer diameter 2 b, the radius of the grounded cylinder c, and the number of unknowns Q in the electric field calculation were investigated. c and Q were set to large enough values that they did not influence the results i.e. cs1.0 and Qs6.. For
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imental data except for the relatively large deviations of the early experimental data.

CONCLUSIONS

N this study, a corona onset criterion was successfully applied to determine the surface irregularity factor needed to predict corona onset voltage for stranded con1070-9878r04r$20.00 r r

ductors. More specifically, calculations were in reasonably good agreement with experimental data and vary with stranding ratio and conductor radius as expected from physical arguments. The results indicate that the distribution of the electric field near the conductor rather than just the surface field must be considered to predict corona onset voltage for stranded conductors. In addition, the 2004 IEEE
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Yamazaki and Olsen: Application of a Corona Onset Criterion to Calculation of Corona Onset Voltage of Stranded

work is another validation of the corona onset condition used in w14, 15x.

REFERENCES
w1x V. L. Chartier, D. E. Blair, M. D. Easley, and R. T. Raczkowski, Corona performance of a compact 230 kV line, IEEE Trans. Power Del., Vol. 10, pp. 410 417, 1995. w2x M. Melo, E. Fontana and S. R. Naidu, Electric and magnetic field of compact transmission lines, IEEE Trans. Power Del., Vol. 14, pp. 200 204, 1999. w3x F. W. Peek, The law of corona and the dielectric strength of air, AIEE Trans., Vol. 28, Pt. III, pp. 1889 1988, 1911. w4x F. W. Peek, Dielectric phenomena in high oltage engineering, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1915. w5x J. B. Whitehead, The electric strength of air, II, AIEE Trans., Vol. 28, Pt. III, pp. 1857 1887, 1911. w6x W. S. Zaengle and H. U. Nyffenegger, Critical field strength for cylindrical conductors in air: An extension of Peeks formula, Proc 3rd Intern. Conf. Gas Discharge, pp. 302 305, 1974. w7x E. Kuffel, W. S. Zaengl, and J. Kuffel, High oltage engineering: Fundamentals 2nd Edition., Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, UK, 2000. w8x L. N. Stone, EHV single and twin bundle conductors: influence of conductor diameter and strand diameter on radio influence voltage and corona initiation voltage, AIEE Trans., Vol 78, Pt. III, pp. 1434 1443, 1959. w9x G. E. Adams, Voltage gradients on high-voltage transmission lines, AIEE Trans., Vol. 74, Pt. III, pp. 5 11, 1955. w10x K. S. Iyer and K. P. P. Pillai, Analysis of irregularity factor of stranded conductor, Proc. IEE, Vol. 115, pp. 364 367, 1968. w11x J. G. Andrews and A. J. Shrapnel, Electric-field distribution around an isolated stranded conductor, Proc. IEE, Vol. 119, pp. 1162 1166, 1972. w12x W. A. Lewis, Discussion on relative surface voltage gradients of grouped conductors, AIEE Trans., Vol 67, Pt. III, pp. 1589 1590, 1948. w13x N. N. Tikhodeev, On calculating the initial voltages of corona on a D.C. line, Elektrichestvo, No. 10, pp. 12 19, 1957 in Russian.. w14x R. G. Olsen, D. B. Phillips, and P. D. Pedrow, Extrapolation of a corona streamer onset criterion to general convex conductor surface, Proc 10th Int Symp on HV Engineering, Vol. 6, pp. 181 184, 1997. w15x D. B. Phillips, R. G. Olsen, and P. D. Pedrow, Corona onset as a design optimization criterion for high voltage hardware, IEEE Trans. Dielectr. Electr. Insul., Vol. 7, pp. 744 751, 2000. w16x I. W. McAllister and A. Pedersen, Corona-onset field-strength calculations and the equivalent radius concept, Archiv fur Electrotechnik, Vol. 64, pp. 43 48, 1981. w17x M. P. Sarma and W. Janischewskyj, D. C. corona on smooth conductors in air: Steady-state analysis of the ionization layer, Proc. IEE, Vol. 116, pp. 161 166, 1969. w18x M. S. Naidu and V. Kamaraju, High Voltage Engineering 2nd Edition., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1995.

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