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Overhead Power Lines Manual – Contents Warning Notice: This manual is a Proprietary Document - no part of it may be reproduced or used in any way other than for the purposes of this seminar and its practical sessions


Section No

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1.1 Relation between Electricity Demand and Commercial Activity 1.1.1 Relation between electricity demand and commercial activity 1.1.2 Generating Station Sites 1.2 Choice of Voltage Levels for Transmission and Distribution Networks 1.2.1 Historical significance Fig.1.1 Generation, Transmission and Distribution in the UK 1.3 Overhead Lines versus Underground Cables Fig.1.2 Overhead Lines are Insulated by Natural Air Fig.1.3 Insulation Requirements and Heat Produced in Underground Cables 1.4. Balanced Transmission and Distribution (3 Conductors) Fig.1.4 Single Line Diagram : 3-phase Alternator feeds a 3phase load Fig.1.5 Wye-connected alternator feeds a Wye-connected Resistive load Fig.1.6 Three-phase Balanced Currents Fig.1.7 Illustrating Two Voltage Level Circuits on the same pole Table 1.1 Author’s Experience of Support Structures versus Voltage Level Fig.1.8 400 kV Transmission Line Fig.1.9 Bipolar HVDC 1.5 Summary

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Courtesy of National Grid - UK

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1.1 The Reason for Transmission and Distribution Power Networks
1.1.1 Relation between electricity demand and commercial activity The demand for electrical energy in any country, and within any geographical area of that country, is directly related to the density of industrial and/or agricultural activity. There are two main components to electricity demand: • • Industrial and commercial component domestic component

In general the utilisation of electrical energy by industry, commerce and even in homes to some extent depends upon the availability, or otherwise, of alternative economic energy sources which are suitable for the application. Electrical energy is high grade and hence its employment, either domestically or industrially, is often governed as much by technical constraints as by economic constraints. For example electrical energy is almost always employed for motive power and lighting. For heating applications its employment depends upon availability of other fuels and the relative costs involved. 1.1.2 Generating Station Sites A major factor that leads to the development of transmission and distribution networks is that modern generating stations are rarely sited close to centres of industry, commerce and population. The constraints that lead to this remoteness are as follows: • technical • economic • environmental For example, hydro power stations offer a cheap running cost but have to be sited where the water resources exist. Such sites are rarely close to the main centres of industry and population. Large thermal stations require huge quantities of cooling water and are thus sited on the coast or on rivers. The cost of transportation of indigenous fuels such as coal and oil often governs the siting of thermal power stations leading to their construction close to the source of fuel. Economies of size in the design of turbines and alternators result in the wish to construct large power stations. Environmental and social constraints are imposed on those engaged in the development of large generating stations. There is thus the inevitable need for transmission and distribution of the generated electrical energy to the centres of industry and population. Recent advances in the employment of combined cycle gas turbine generation, notably in Europe, have reduced to some extent the need for extensive transmission networks. However, new transmission and distribution networks continue to be built or extended throughout the world for the reasons stated above.
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Choice of Voltage Levels for Transmission and Distribution Networks
• • level of power to be transmitted distances of transmission or distribution

In general voltage levels for power networks are chosen in accordance with:

Although it is an over simplification, the current rating of the conductors governs the power transfer capacity of a circuit. The higher the voltage the higher is the power transfer for the same conductor size. Power transfer given by √3 VL IL where Vl = Line voltage, IL = Line current There is no internationally recognised distinction between what is a transmission system and what is a distribution system. The definition varies from country to country and from utility to utility. Here are some of the nominal line to line voltage levels currently employed in AC transmission and sub-transmission networks. • 1000 kV - EHV Transmission • 750 kV - EHV Transmission • 400 kV - EHV Transmission • 380 kV - EHV Transmission • 275 kV - HV Transmission • 230 kV - HV Transmission • 132 kV - HV Sub-transmission • 110 kV - HV Sub-transmission • 66 kV - MV Sub-transmission Here are some of the nominal voltage levels normally employed in utility and large industrial distribution networks. • 66 kV

• 33 kV • 13.8 kV • 11 kV • 6.6 kV • 3.3 kV

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OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 1 - POWER SYSTEM OVERVIEW PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 1.2.1 Historical significance When considering the reasons for the choice of the various voltage levels it is useful to consider the history of electricity production and we shall use the United Kingdom for our example. Early production of electricity in the United Kingdom from the late 1880s until the 1930s centred on local towns and villages. Relatively small generating stations were constructed with sufficient capacity for the local needs at the time. The de-facto ‘transmission/distribution’ voltage standards were 3.3 kV, 6.6 kV and 11 kV, rarely exceeding the latter since the level of power to be transmitted was in the tens of MW and the distances usually less than 15 km. The actual value of the nominal ‘transmission’ voltage chosen stemmed from the choice of normal consumer 3-phase line to line voltage of 415 V, 3.3 kV being approximately eight times that voltage. The major consideration, however, was available switchgear technology relating to both short-circuit levels and surge withstand available at the time of design and construction. Some localised interconnection of these separate networks in order to share spare generating capacity and effect economies of production began to develop and again a de-facto standard of 33 kV was often adopted. This has, therefore, been retained in many networks as one of the standard voltage levels in the UK and adopted by its switchgear manufacturers. Some circuits appeared at 66 kV when switchgear technology permitted and distances and levels of power to be transmitted increased. 66 kV networks remain in service in many parts of the world but the voltage level is rarely adopted for newly designed networks. Interconnection of these local undertakings began in earnest, towards the end of the 1930s and the ‘transmission’ voltage chosen for the developing grid system was 132 kV. This matched the larger transmission power levels/distances required (40-50 km 50100 MW) and again matched the available switchgear technology, originally bulk oil circuit breakers and towards the end of the development air blast breakers. At the same time in North America 110 kV was chosen almost arbitrarily as the best compromise available. The constraints on generating station size and siting, previously referred to, required a higher transmission voltage to be selected for further expansion of the UK grid from the mid 1950s onwards. The voltage level chosen was 275 kV. The switchgear employed was almost entirely air-blast. At the same time in North America, however, 220/230 kV became a de-facto transmission voltage standard.

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1 Generation. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module1 .3 kV. The EHV Transmission voltage in the UK is now 400kV. Clearly manufacturers of transmission and distribution components who had invested in research and development at the appropriate voltage standards wished to export to countries without power networks or with a rapid expansion in electricity utilisation. 6.Transmission & Distribution in the UK .Courtesy National Grid Company This brief introduction has been included to give a broad picture as to why Transmission and Distribution Networks exist widely right across the globe.Power System Overview Page 4 of 12 .6 kV. 66 kV.1. See figure 1.POWER SYSTEM OVERVIEW PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT The choice of voltage levels for transmission and distribution in developing countries excluding those within the USSR was largely influenced by from where the expertise was drawn to design. On the other hand networks influenced by North America employed 220V as the standard consumer voltage and for example 110 kV and 230 kV for transmission and distribution. build and operate the networks. 11 kV. 33 kV. developing networks influenced by UK engineers employed 415 V as the standard consumer voltage with 3.1 Fig. Thus. 132 kV and 275 kV for distribution/ transmission.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 1 .

2). The result is that underground conductors would tend to run much hotter than overhead ones. A sheath of lead or aluminium covers this and there is an outer covering of plastic to prevent corrosion (See figure 1. 1. (See figure 1. through technological improvements which permit the existing transmission system to be worked harder. wooden poles etc. As many as 12 separate cables may be needed for an EHV underground transmission circuit. Heat is also generated in the metal sheath and in the insulation. so layers of insulating material are used. Each cable needs to be well-spaced from others for good heat dissipation and installed at a depth of about a metre to ensure safety. For Transmission networks these are always steel towers (Pylons). Air is the simplest and cheapest insulation. the subject of this seminar. the underground conductor has to be bigger than its overhead counterpart to reduce its electrical resistance and hence the heat produced. and the heat produced by the electricity flowing through the bare overhead conductors is also removed naturally and efficiently by the air. and the earth does not cool conductors as well as air. each containing three cables.3 Overhead Lines versus Underground Cables Main High and Extra High Transmission Circuits are predominantly Overhead Lines.POWER SYSTEM OVERVIEW PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT On occasions it may be possible to reinforce a transmission system without installing new lines or cables. Four separate trenches. So. may be needed to match an overhead line.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 1 . When conductors are buried underground. high quality insulation is needed to withstand the very high voltage. This leads to a conductor up to four times bigger for the same amount of electricity transmitted. Insulation is wrapped layer upon layer around the central copper conductor. The major differences between overhead lines and underground cables arise from the different ways in which they are insulated. The live conductors are kept away from the earth by hanging them from porcelain or glass insulators which are suspended from the structure. however. New power stations have to be connected to the country’s existing transmission system Industrial and urban development may also lead to the need for additional lines and/ or substations. Wooden poles and other structures are usually employed at the lower (Distribution) Voltages. but there will also be times when additions to the system are required.Power System Overview Page 5 of 12 . Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module1 . Conductors transmitting electricity need to be insulated from the ground.3) Unfortunately the insulation also retains the heat generated in the copper conductors. However it is useful in this introductory Module to address the reasons why Overhead Lines are favoured over Underground Cables. steel latticed towers. Overhead lines use air whereas underground cable conductors are wrapped in layers of insulating material.

but also on local details like soil conditions and cable engineering.2 Overhead Lines are insulated by Natural Air Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module1 . depending mainly on the power to be transmitted. The amount of soil and rock excavated is more than 30 times greater than for the equivalent length of overhead line where only pylon foundations are required.Power System Overview Page 6 of 12 . Fig.1.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 1 .POWER SYSTEM OVERVIEW PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT What this means is that installing underground circuits entails construction activity amounting to the width of a dual carriageway road. The total width required ranges from 15 to 30 metres.

Their capacitance is extremely high compared to an equivalent overhead line.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 1 .1. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module1 .POWER SYSTEM OVERVIEW PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT Fig. At Transmission level voltages this also results in increased capital and operating costs in the necessary provision of shunt reactors to absorb surplus VARS.3a Insulation Requirements and Heat Produced in Underground Cables Another reason why Overhead Lines are favoured is that the electrical characteristics of cables are very different than overhead lines.Power System Overview Page 7 of 12 .

operational and environmental factors are taken into account.000 for every kilometre of overhead line that is put underground at 400 kV Due principally to the long time to repair faults. The repair costs are also significantly greater. This has generally meant that underground cabling has been the exception for transmission in all countries around the world.8kV. Where overhead line pylons are impracticable.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 1 . cable faults due to the intrusion of digging machinery were widespread. Short lengths of underground cabling are inevitably employed for some road and river crossings. 1.4.4 which illustrates a simple system with a single generator feeding a star connected load. The author’s experience in the capital city of Riyadh where the medium distribution voltage is 13. Disruption in both urban and rural environments is greater in extent and duration when laying these cables as compared to overhead lines. a three-phase diagram of the same simple system shows a 4-wire feeder connecting the wye connected generator stator coils with the 3-phase wye connected resistive load. • • • Operational problems arise where underground cables are employed at any voltage and particularly in densely populated cities with a high level of construction activity. There are cases where undergrounding at high voltage has been justified for reasons of visual amenity (for example. Examining the single line diagram of figure 1.500. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module1 . When all these economic. overhead lines have significant advantages compared to underground cabling. For example this roughly means an extra £9.POWER SYSTEM OVERVIEW PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT In Summary here are the main issues: • It costs between 15 and 25 times as much to install underground cable as to build an overhead line. underground cables have the advantage During construction of underground cables. Underground cables have advantages in minimising the visual impact of electricity transmission. Balanced Transmission and Distribution Transmission and Distribution overhead lines and cables are balanced when the load currents flowing in each of the three phases are equal in magnitude.5. in special circumstances in areas nationally designated for their scenic beauty) and where transmission substations need to be placed in the centre of cities and towns. Figure 1.Power System Overview Page 8 of 12 . river and sea crossings Also in dense urban areas. the volume of spoil excavated is over 30 times that required for the equivalent overhead line route. In addition it is economically practical to terminate overhead transmission circuits using cables for modern compact SF6 substations. particularly in the high voltage transmission of electricity. underground cables are on average out of service for a period 25 times longer than that for overhead lines.

4 Single Line Diagram : 3-phase Alternator feeds a 3-phase load 3phase Alternator Wye I1 I2 IN I3 3phase Circuit 3phase Resistive Load R2 R1 N R3 Fig. The sum of the three phase currents will therefore flow in the neutral return path (IN).Power System Overview Page 9 of 12 . The three currents in the resistors meet at the neutral point N.1.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 1 .5 x I3 ) Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module1 .5 x I 2 ) + (-0.5 Wye-connected alternator feeds a Wye-connected Resistive load If in the three-phase system of figure 1. However this current IN is the sum of I1 + I2 + I3 and is zero at any instant in time.0. the resistive loads are identical.1. (in phase with the voltages). then the currents in each resistor will have the same magnitude but displaced by 120 degrees. For example at 90 degrees the sum is I1 + (.POWER SYSTEM OVERVIEW PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 3phase Alternator 3phase Circuit 3phase Resistive LOAD Fig.5.

Power System Overview Page 10 of 12 .1. such as large motors.6 Three-phase Balanced Currents The conclusion is that provided the three loads are identical then there is no current in the neutral (return path). However single phase loads connected to three-phase systems are connected across one phase only which results in an imbalance. They also carry earth fault currents for very short durations during short-circuits Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module1 . Thus.POWER SYSTEM OVERVIEW PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT I1. short-circuits. There are also examples of lower voltage circuits strung on steel towers.5 Fig. At voltages above 132kV. One or two earth wires are strung from the top of the pylons. Occasionally. it is only necessary to provide a neutral path when the three-phase loads are not balanced (4-wire Distribution systems). are inherently balanced.5 of peak I2 I3 30 60 90 120 150 180 210 240 270 300 330 360 R1 = R2 = R3 in figure 3.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 1 .6 and are equal in magnitude because the value of the resistors R1. these conductors are strung on steel-latticed towers of many different shapes and size (Refer to module 4 for more details). also referred to as pylons. There are. R2 and R3 are equal. situations develop on the power system that result in temporarily unbalanced conditions. This permits the use of only three load-current carrying conductors for main Transmission and Distribution overhead line circuits. I2 and I3 represent the peak values of current shown on Figure 1. Most large industrial three-phase loads. These are not load-current carrying and act as lightning protection. many examples of 132kV circuits supported on steel-latticed towers. however. The “System” is said to be BALANCED when the load demand in each of the three phases is equal. + Current I1 At Peak Value of I1(Red) I2 (yellow) and I3 (Blue) at -0.

Each conductor is normally a bundle of say 7 stranded aluminium wires around a hollow centre. toughened glass or a polymeric. where steel poles are sometimes employed. (Refer to Module 5 for more details) The conductors are insulated from the grounded steel towers by means of strings of porcelain. typically 50-75 0C.Power System Overview Page 11 of 12 .OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 1 . more than one circuit is usually strung on the same tower. (Refer to Module 4 for more details) Each phase of a circuit is often constructed of twin or quad conductors to achieve the maximum current carrying capacity in relation to tower size and strength. These are known as “insulators” or “sheds”. (Figure 1.POWER SYSTEM OVERVIEW PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT In the case of Transmission circuits. it is not uncommon to have more than two voltage level circuits on the same structure.7 shows an 11kV circuit with the 415V conductors strung on the same pole) In North America and in a number of other countries. Where the main distribution system (say 33kV. At lower voltages other constructions usually wooden poles and occasionally reinforced concrete are employed. The current carrying capacity is dependent upon the maximum operating temperature of the conductor bundle. filled with a special grease to aid heat dissipation. 11kV Circuit 415V Circuit Fig. This is basically a four-wire circuit as single phase loads are tapped off to consumers along its length. This is connected to a time or light intensity control contactor at the feeding 11KV/415V Transformer Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module1 . 11kV etc) is overhead. The most common arrangement is two and this is usually referred to as a “Double-Circuit”.7 Illustrating Two Voltage Level Circuits on the same pole Author’s note – The 415V circuit has 5 conductors.1. The fifth wire is used to feed the street lighting. the lower consumer voltage conductors are strung on the same poles when it is economic to do so. These are invariably single-circuit in many countries. A Lamp is just visible in the centre of photograph towards the bottom.

OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 1 .1 gives the author’s experience of the types of support structure employed at the various voltage levels. It also addressed the issue of balanced systems.Power System Overview Page 12 of 12 .6kV 10kV 11kV 13.1.3kV 6.8 and 1.8kV 15kV 20kV 33kV 66kV 110kV 132kV 230kV 380/400k V 500kV 750kV X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Table 1.1. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module1 .9 Bipolar HVDC Line 1.POWER SYSTEM OVERVIEW PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT Two Pylon photographs are included in figures 1. together with the reasons behind the choice of Overhead Lines rather than underground cables.9 Table 1.1 Author’s Experience of Support Structures versus Voltage Level Fig. Voltage Level (Line) Steel Latticed Circuits (DC) Steel Latticed Circuits (SC) Steel Poles (DC) Steel Poles (SC) Reinforced Concrete Poles (SC) X X X X X X X Wooden Poles (SC) 220V 415V 3.8 A 400 kV Transmission Line – Courtesy of National Grid UK Fig. The module is an overview as a precursor to the detail in the modules that follow.5 Summary The Module has introduced the need for High Voltage Overhead Transmission and Distribution Circuits. Communication and Technical Sites Re-alignment of Route to Avoid Obstacles Fig.3 Vandalism Typical Road Crossing Clearance requirements for overhead lines .5 Illustrating Line Deviations for Minimum Additional Angle Towers Overhead Power Lines Page 1 of 3 Module 2 –Route Planning.8.1 Introduction .3 The Economics of Route Selection 2.2.6 Armed Services Land 2. Surveys & Wayleaves – Contents Warning Notice: This manual is a Proprietary Document .no part of it may be reproduced or used in any way other than for the purposes of this seminar .3.9 Mineral Workings 2.2.1 Flight Paths 2.1 The Electricity Act of 1989 2.3.2 Contours 2.1 Route Security Fig.2. Airfields 2. Physical Restraints on Routing 2.2.4 Service Lines 2.Statutory Requirements 2. 1 2 4 4 4 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 10 10 11 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 14 14 16 16 2.2. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES CONTENTS Section No Description Figure or Table Page No.4.2.2 Parallelism 2.2.2 Safety Fig.LOW HEIGHT CONSTRUCTION 2.2.1 Crossings 2.4.5 Roads and Highways Table 2.2.4.Suspension Tower (BES-L9) .2.2 Typical Overhead Line Danger Notices 2.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.3 Clearances Section Lengths Fig.3(a) 400kV Quad Conductor -Suspension Tower (BES-L6) Fig.4 Illustrating Tension Towers.3(b) 400kV Quad Conductor .8 Railways 2.4.2. Suspension Towers and Spans 2.2.7 River Crossings 2.1 A 400 kV Quad Conductor Line – Houses built adjacent to the tower and underneath a span Special towers Fig.4.

3 Sealing Ends Fig.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.8.5.2 Cost 2.1 Technical Feasibility 2.3.7 Circuits Cabled into Power Plant (Kilroot.4. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES CONTENTS Section No Description Figure or Table Page No 16 17 17 17 18 19 20 21 21 23 23 23 24 24 24 25 25 26 26 26 27 27 27 27 28 28 28 28 28 29 30 30 31 2.6 Route Planning for Ease of Construction and Maintenance 2.11 Damage to Trees 2. Types of Objections to be Considered when Planning Routes 2.8 Drips and Ice Damage to Land 2.5 Agriculture 2. UK) Surveying and Profiling 2.8. Routing Objectives Overhead Power Lines Page 2 of 3 Module 2 –Route Planning.1 Additional Costs and Electrical Problems 2.4.2 Sealing End Compounds and Terminal Supports Illustration for Integration of a cleared area 2.7 Radio and Television Interference (“active”) Introduction 2.10 Agricultural Interference Underground Cable Sections – Incorporated in Overhead Transmission Lines 2.8 The investigation of Alternative Routes 2.3. 2.4 Corona Discharge 2.9 Land Use Interference 2.8.5 Wind 2.5.2 Conductors 2.5 Tree Cutting Fig. Surveys & Wayleaves – Contents Warning Notice: This manual is a Proprietary Document .7 Power Corridors Arcing 2.3 Amenity 2.3 Reinstatement Building Sterilisation 2.4 Future Known Developments 2.3.13 Physiological – Effects on the Human Body Towers and Insulators part of it may be reproduced or used in any way other than for the purposes of this seminar .3.4.

1 Vertical and Horizontal Scales 2.2 Templates Fig. Wayleave.3.3.3 Preliminary Routing 2.5. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES CONTENTS Section No Description Figure or Table Page No 31 31 32 33 33 33 33 33 34 35 37 37 37 37 38 39 40 41 2.4. Surveys & Wayleaves – Contents Warning Notice: This manual is a Proprietary Document .5 Computer aided Techniques 2.2 Aerial Survey Detailed Line Survey and Profile 2.9 400kV single-circuit twin conductor overhead line crossing the Zagos Mountains in Iran Fig.2.3 Ground Survey 2.3.4 Ground Soil Conditions 2. access and Terrain Typical Sag Template Details (Courtesy of EDP Limited) 2.8 Logical Sequence for Overhead Line Design.5. Summary Overhead Power Lines Page 3 of 3 Module 2 –Route Planning.1 Accuracy Requirements 2.10 Helicopter assisted conductor stringing – Hong Kong 2.5 Profile Requirements 2.5. Planning and Routing 2.3.6 Optimisation Fig.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE part of it may be reproduced or used in any way other than for the purposes of this seminar .2.5.1 Survey Equipment Requirements Fig.

In other words they were charged with ensuring that the effect of overhead line construction on the environment was minimised. Regional electricity companies were formed to distribute the bulk power to consumers It was a requirement in formulating any plans to construct new circuits.1 Introduction . transmission and distribution of electricity was vested with a number of state owned companies acts of parliament governed and restricted these activities. by virtue of the powers conferred upon him by the Act. produces technical requirements in the form of a Statutory Instrument . Later in 1968 when the Countryside Act was passed all government departments and public bodies were charged with this and other similar responsibilities. In addition. The conditions imposed in the lower voltage overhead distribution for reasons of amenity continued to be less stringent than those for the higher transmission voltages requiring the use of large steel towers (Pylons) Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 1 of 41 . In the United Kingdom when the generation. In almost all countries electricity transmission or distribution companies have obligations under law as far as the erection of overhead power lines at any voltage. and the geological or features of special interest. did not relieve electricity companies in the UK from these responsibilities as far as the construction of overhead lines was concerned.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. 1947. From the early days of electricity production in the UK following Edison’s first power station in New York (1878) the way things were done was a 3-step process as follows : • • The Government of the day enacted legislation to cover the functions of electricity supply i.The Electricity Supply Regulations (See below ) The Generators and Distributors of the day interpreted the requirements of the Acts and Regulations into Engineering Standards • Privatisation and the formation of the National Grid Company along with Generating Companies and Distribution Companies in the early 1990’s. The requirements of course vary widely across the globe. The Electricity Supply Acts. The electricity act of 1957 established the Central Electricity Generating board (CEGB) and vested in them the responsibility for developing and maintaining an efficient. they were required under the statute to protect buildings and other objects of architectural or historical interest. fauna. coordinated and economical system of supply of electricity in bulk to all parts of England and Wales.e. particularly overhead transmission lines or to modify existing routes. 1926. that due regard to the desirability of preserving natural beauty.Statutory Requirements. 1957 etc The appropriate Government Minister of the day. of conserving flora.

These costs are in addition to the total engineering capital cost of the project even before construction can begin and can be broken down as follows:1. This allows the constructor to install and maintain the line. This scenario exists in most developed countries. conductors as a result of the public enquiry. the landowner can also tell the utility to remove its line at any time under most wayleave agreements. conductor type are rendered necessary. 4.1. special towers in certain locations. conductors. relevant to distribution lines where the requirement for covered conductor rather than bare conductor on wooden-pole lines is required for safety reasons. poles.1 The Electricity Act of 1989 Continuing with the UK as an example. whether overhead or underground. The objectors are hardly ever satisfied with the original route and compromises are required. The exception to this is if a line follows a public highway. However. Section 37 of the 1989 Act states “An electric line shall not be installed or kept installed above ground except in accordance with a consent granted by the appropriate cabinet minister. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. also require consent from landowners. Costs associated with changes to tower or pole design. Where the line is to be built on land within the direct control of the appropriate Electricity Company. The first exception was intended to cater for a single consumer on a long HV spur where it would not be technically satisfactory feed the load at 415/240V. 2. This is known as wayleave. There are two main exceptions to this rule: 1. Where a line does not exceed a voltage of 20kV and will supply only one consumer (a ‘service’ line) 2. A wayleave is not required. That’s one reason why roads are dug up so frequently. This is particularly. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 2 of 41 . cross-arms and other hardware. All electricity supply lines. Costs associated with a change to the economically designed line route. So the cost of a new overhead line is not only calculated in terms of towers.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.g. Direct costs associated with adequate preparation for the public enquiry if required. Such enquiries may result in a final consent but the terms are such that changes to the design e. The cost of obtaining the Section 37 consent. 3. but also in the time and effort required to obtain a wayleave. tower heights. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2.

Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 Based on these regulations new design standards were drawn up by the electricity companies and many existing standards were amended. those most relevant to the construction of overhead lines are underlined. where the costs of obtaining consent can be higher than the line construction itself. They also realise that following privatisation the industry is now a commercial enterprise and in some cases it becomes almost impossible to obtain consents for new routes. At the transmission voltages of 275 kV and 400 kV. maintenance and operation is in a safe and efficient mode. so does the cost differential between overhead and underground particularly at 11kV. • Very significant changes have been made to the way the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) operates in the United Kingdom as a direct result of the 1989 Electricity Act. therefore. compulsory powers are often enforced to obtain the necessary overhead route. in practice this is very rarely applied to overhead lines below 132kV. Landowners and local authorities in the UK are now generally more aware of their legal position under the 1989 Act. but changes the onus of responsibility onto the supply company. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 3 of 41 .OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. The company has to ensure that within current standards the line is fit for the purpose for which it is intended Obtaining and retaining consents for overhead lines in the UK and in other developed countries continues to become increasingly difficult. • • • • • • The Electricity Supply Regulations 1988 The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 The Provision and Use of Equipment Regulations 1992 Personal Protective Equipment at Work (PPE) Regulations The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 The Construction (Health. If wayleaves for the required designed route are objected to and this would. These are listed below. Although it is possible to seek compulsory powers under the Act. This Act still maintains that a properly engineered design is used and all construction. where the costs per unit length for cable alternatives (See Module 1) are very much higher. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT At the time of the Electricity Act of 1989 a number of regulations relevant to the production and distribution of electricity were issued by the government. As the voltage reduces. This ensures that they can influence line routes and designs selected by the electricity company alone. lead to a Public Enquiry then the cable route is adopted due to overall economics.

2.1 A 400 kV Quad Conductor Line – Houses built adjacent to the tower and underneath a span.2.2. Fig. English Heritage.) with an interest in the route then a Public Enquiry may be needed. Physical Restraints on Routing 2. Royal Society for Protection of Birds. A suitable design is obtained and a route specified (See Section 2. The Local Authority and environmental groups must also be consulted. to obtain wayleave and section 37 consent by a sensitive choice of line route. Section 37 (Government) consent must be obtained. These will be addressed in this section. 5.g. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT The process is roughly:1. obscures view) and the line design (at the lower voltages low profile wood pole being preferred to towers). Objections can be based on the actual route (too close.2 that in the UK it is almost certainly cheaper. etc. It can be seen from section 2. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 4 of 41 . Alternatives such as routing close to forest edges or keeping well below the skyline is often requested.2) 3. permitting its construction and future access to it for maintenance. 6. If serious objections from landowners or other bodies e. rather that it is a kind of lease. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.1 Route Security A problem when seeking routes for overhead lines in developing areas is security of tenure for the works after they have been erected. As the word suggests a wayleave for a structure base. Health and Safety effects and financial depreciation of their property.1.2. whether for a steel tower or a wooden pole. does not mean that the land so utilized is purchased from the landowner. 4. In most countries the major areas of concern for the public are generally visual impact. Network designers identify that a new line is needed or a current line needs upgrading 2. Landowners may also request undergrounding. A Wayleave then needs to be obtained from the landowners along the route.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.

Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route does not bind the land. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 5 of 41 . (The photograph in Figure 2. If a new owner refuses to accept money in respect of an existing consent and requires that the equipment be removed. The practical consequence of this is that the wayleave is only legally valid for as long as the person who granted it owns the land. It is. It is amazing that people actually build on open land adjacent and almost underneath a span of a transmission line. In fact the payment serves only to consolidate the legal position whereby the Electricity Undertaker could be forced to remove its plant from the Grantor’s property if it defaulted on payment. Wayleaves have been in existence in one form or another for hundreds of years. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT As the development in the area proceeds. legally the electricity company is trespassing and must remove its equipment after the expiry of a three month period from the landowner. of course. For overhead line structures. The two come to an agreement about what the activity is.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.1 illustrates this). an engineering judgment based on the time scale of the development as to whether it is worthwhile financially to construct an overhead line in the first place and to place the circuits underground when the development requires it. there are operational difficulties in preserving network security or direct supplies to consumers in the case of distribution lines since an outage is required for the diversion. Nobody gets rich on this. Apart from the problem of finding an alternative overhead route in the vicinity. the electricity company concerned may be asked to move the line (this applies particularly to distribution lines and the building of new roads) or to raise the height of existing towers to give adequate clearance to new buildings being placed under the line. payment for a single wood pole on arable land is currently just over 11 sterling pounds or $15. how long it should go on for. depending on the type. for example in the UK. a new wayleave would need to be sought each time the land on which equipment is placed changes hands. If the letter of the law were to be followed. there is usually a small payment made by the electricity company to the landowner. any payment to be made by B to A in respect of the use of his land and any other matter the two feel it is their mutual interest to agree upon. It is simply an agreement between two parties whereby party B wishes to carry out some simple activity on party A’s land. There is another problem in the UK that sometimes arises associated with wayleaves (usually for distribution pole mounted lines) is the fact that it only binds the person who signs it . This all makes the use of roadside verges very attractive to electricity companies as access rights and wayleaves are not required. may be better to divert the line. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT A much more secure way of obtaining a right to place equipment on private land in the UK is to secure an easement.2. both residential and commercial. Consequently. An easement is an absolute right in law to carry out an activity on someone else’s land. Electricity companies usually have procedures in place. This gives by far the greatest protection to any equipment placed on private land and is extensively used by other Statutory Undertakers to secure their water and gas pipelines etc. it is usually much more difficult to persuade a landowner to enter into an easement (or Deed of Grant) because it binds his land absolutely and it may become an encumbrance in the future. An easement can be very expensive depending upon the individual circumstances.for example a “not to build” clause is usual as a way of protecting an underground cable from being built over. a route can be reserved where a line passes over a potential gravel or other mineral rich area. A standard warning notice employed in the UK is shown on figure 2. particularly if the easement carries a “not to build” clause. it may not be in the electricity company’s best interest to remain stoically fixed on its route . An easement can also be drawn up to include other things that could be relevant . It can devalue potential development land. it cannot be rescinded by any person other than the beneficiary unless there is a clause included in the documentation to that effect. However. In this particular situation. Similarly.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 6 of 41 . In this way. but only after the person or company who is gaining the benefit of mineral extraction has agreed to meet the cost of such a diversion. (a) Industrial The use of cranes adjacent to or under the line for working or constructional work by other than the electricity company whose safety rules dictate how such work should proceed requires particular vigilance. whoever owns the land in the future is bound by it. pose certain problems of safety not generally encountered when passing over open country or desert. OSHA is responsible for such matters in the USA (Refer to Appendix 2). an electricity company can be protected from unexpected costs incurred by demands for the re-siting of its equipment. so again assuming there is no wording included to the contrary. Its two greatest benefits as far as the electricity company is concerned are: • Unlike a wayleave. it is attached to the title of the land and transfers with it.2 Safety Lines constructed overhead in built-up areas.2 Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. In the UK the Health and Safety Executive give guidance to companies who need to work under overhead lines (Refer to Appendix 1). • It binds the land rather than the person who granted it.

vandalism involving damage to overhead structures is common. there is a tendency for them to shatter and so the damage becomes visible. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.2. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 7 of 41 . increased corona discharge will inevitably occur leading to losses and ultimate failure.2. recreational parks and domestic gardens under a line can be dangerous and the attention of the local education authorities should be drawn to this where such possibilities could arise. In most countries. the need for frequent repairs to a line reduces network security 2. particularly in military airfields are constantly changing. however.2 Typical Overhead Line Danger Notices 2. Airfields Special consultations are necessary about proposed line routes in the vicinity of operational military and civil airfields. airfields have safeguarded areas to ensure that there are no obstructions placed which would endanger aircraft on take off or landing on the runways. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT (b) Residential The erection of television aerials at roof level under or near to a line on domestic properties can lead to serious or fatal accidents. The details are usually held by the country’s Ministry of Defence and their Civil Aviation Authority.4. The flying of kites and wire-controlled model aircraft in school playing fields. It is important to ensure that all airfields are checked for safeguard areas even when there is no activity as requirements. However. stone throwing at equipment or gun shooting at the insulators.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Porcelain insulators tend to crack when hit by such missiles without shattering and the damage cannot readily be identified from ground level.3 Vandalism In the Urban areas. In the case of glass insulators. Notices of possible dangers need to be posted Fig.2. Apart from the costs that are involved. This usually takes the form of tower climbing. (See Module 5 for more information on Corona Discharge and Module 6 for identification and repairs).

Figure 2. There are examples around the world where the steel towers for the majority of the route length are of lattice construction but with steel pole type structures on a few spans entering a substation close to urban development. Two phases of each circuit are carried on the lower cross-arm and one phase of each circuit on the upper cross-arm. Figure 2.3 Special towers The author has included this item within this section on airfields but the employment of special towers is not uncommon in situations other than in the vicinity of such safeguarded areas. This effectively reduces the height of the standard tower by about 18. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2.3(b) shows the special lower height design.2.3 illustrate this with an example from the UK Supergrid system. This design carries three phases of each circuit on two cross-arms instead of the normal three. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 8 of 41 .1 Flight Paths In general terms. must be obtained from the safeguarding authorities who may specify conditions to ensure the safety of aircraft.2.5 metres. However. The levels in the area should be studied by appropriate ground surveys to ascertain whether the proposed route is on the most satisfactory alignment having regard to the requirements of safety and construction (See also Module 6) 2. for a specific airfield.4. these towers are only employed where absolutely necessary as they can be more visually intrusive and they do detract from the general symmetry of the line Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. In many countries. specially designed reduced-height towers are employed close to airfield runways.3(a) is the standard suspension tower for an L6 double-circuit 400 kV line. Details of the permissible heights for structures across and adjacent to flight paths.4.4. the taller the proposed line and the supporting structures. This warning equipment often involves additional costs and wayleaving requirements for the low voltage supplies associated with such installations and their maintenance.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Brightly coloured balls to mark earthwires and/or conductors in the vicinity of flight paths in order to make them clearly visible can also be employed 2. This can take the form of illuminating the peaks of structures with red warning lights as a guide to pilots using the airfield.2 Contours The separation distance of an overhead line of a particular height can vary very considerably within the safeguarded area if the ground contours in the vicinity of the flight-path are not level.2. Figures 2. the greater the separation distance required from the airfield runways.

Civil aviation authorities have operational navigation beacons and radar stations throughout most countries.3(b) 400kV Quad Conductor Suspension Tower (BES-L9) LOW HEIGHT CONSTRUCTION As previously addressed government consent in the UK is not required to construct a wooden-pole 11kV line in order to feed a single consumer.4.2. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 9 of 41 . satellite.4 Service Lines Fig.2. However in the safeguarded area in the vicinity of airfields there is an exception and consultations are required with the appropriate aviation authority. the problem of maintaining separation is on the increase throughout the world. If airfield clearances are only affected marginally then it may be possible to obtain a relaxation from the authorities if an alternative route has major disadvantages 2.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.3(a) 400kV Quad Conductor Suspension Tower (BES-L6) 2. Complexity of communication systems. UHF and so on.4.2.2. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT Fig.5 Communication and Technical Sites The clearances require for Communication stations and technical sites are based on electrical rather than physical criteria and detailed consultations are required for all voltages from 11kV upwards.

Cleaning the conductors and replacement of damaged insulators can usually remedy this interference.3m Table 2. however. The restrictions require that “All supplier’s works shall be sufficient for the purposes for. Minimum clearances above ground and roads are specified at the conductor’s likely maximum temperature. protected (both electrically and mechanically).5 Roads and Highways There are usually government restrictions placed on electrical utilities when the route crosses existing and future planned streets and main roads.1 Typical Road Crossing Clearance requirements for overhead lines Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. and the circumstances in.2.8m 6. Where a line would pass close to an existing or planned communications or technical site.7m 7.0m 6. used and maintained as to prevent danger or interruption of supply so far as is reasonably practicable”.0m 7. Thus the maximum electrical load must be taken into account at the design stage. Required typical road crossing clearances are shown in Table 2. which they are used and so constructed. 2. the operational standards of that line will need to be maintained to the designed parameters at all times by high standards of maintenance to avoid any interference of an active nature. For example. In the UK a distinction is made between ordinary streets/roads and what is defined as special roads. installed.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. The earliest consultations are advisable so that any adjustments to a proposed route can be made prior to detailed investigations into other constraining issues. These constitute the motorways and trunk roads having dual carriageways. This increases the life-time costs of the line. it can be caused by dirt on the conductors collected during the “running out” and erection of the line.1 Up to 33kV 33kV-66kV 66kV-132kV 132kV-275kV 275kV-400kV 5. On newly commissioned lines. Dirty or cracked insulators may cause this to occur. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 10 of 41 . The important part here is the “sufficient for purpose”! This means the onus is on the supplier to make sure everything is safe. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT The interference to radio signals resulting from the emission of radio waves or “radio noise” from an overhead line is known as “active interference”.

Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. Problems of identification can arise where the construction labour force.1 but without increasing the total number of structures in that section of the line. 4. 3. particularly at “safeguarded” establishments.6 Armed Services Land In most countries it is difficult to gain access to land owned by the military. Often the military have security arrangements which make this unrestricted access totally impracticable.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Where such restraints exist. arrangements for appropriate scaffold sockets in the central reservation should be made to facilitate future line maintenance requirements. Consultations with the appropriate party by the electricity company should take place at an early stage of the route planning to ensure that these areas are identified and where necessary avoided. Where there are future proposals for lighting standards to be erected on the road. scaffolding is often required for such crossings. varying from day-to-day. the Skycradle specially designed for wide road crossing sections that support the conductors help to reduce problems during the construction and future maintenance.g. Where the overhead line is to be constructed before the road. followed by a permanent 24-hour availability of access for emergency repairs and maintenance to ensure continuity of supplies and overall network security. Certain areas of land are set aside for the storage of explosive materials and others as firing ranges for exercises. however. much of which has restricted access. Where appropriate a suitable lay-by on either side of the road to accommodate the skycradle should be considered to ease the problems of future line maintenance. An overhead line within these sites could be a hazard and have a marked effect on power system security. Inevitably. 2. The electricity company requires initial access to construct the line. The crossing should be as near to a right-angle as possible to minimise the amount of scaffolding required. requires access to such sites. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 11 of 41 . Towers or poles adjacent to the road should be sited to give the maximum clearance over the road with the minimum values as given in table 2.2. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT When planning a route that is likely to affect a major road. the best approach is to avoid the area even if it means a considerable change and extension to the route length. Mobile scaffolding machines e. certain criteria should be observed 1. the crossing point of the line should be reconciled as far as possible with the future positions of any such lamp standards. 2.

The placing of these signal circuits underground in order to remedy this is costly and where possible such parallelism should be avoided by modifying the route of the power line. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. using pantograph collection of motive power from overhead conductors carried on gantries.2. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2.2. When planning routes it should be borne in mind that access both for construction and future maintenance may well be constrained by the traffic needs of the railway company. This will also reduce the amount of induction in the railway overhead telegraph circuits at the crossing to a minimum.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. River Crossings In most countries there are restrictions on waterway crossings. provision should be made in the planning of the overhead power line for a tower or pole to be sited close to the railway line in order to give maximum clearance over it without the need for excessively high towers or poles. In some cases it will be cheaper to place the signal circuits underground rather than modify the route of the power line.2. Where practicable. 2.8. 2. wither existing or proposed. Wooden pole circuits up to 132kV will generally be supported on steel towers at the point of crossing. account has to be taken of any track electrification.8 Railways It is appreciated that few railways exist in this part of the world. this section is included for interest.3 Clearances When calculating the clearances to be provided over railway tracks. Similar to road crossings they should be designed as near to a right angle to ease future maintenance. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 12 of 41 .2 Parallelism Where railway lines have overhead signal telegraphs. However. The [lacing of high voltage overhead lines in parallel can cause induction in the signal circuits.2. creeks. Care must also be taken to ensure that any modification to the route of the lone does not have an adverse effect on the amenity of the surrounding area. Obviously early consultation with the railway authorities about the proposed route is desirable.1 Crossings Overhead line crossings of railway tracks should be planned to be as near to a right-angle as possible in order to minimise the amount of scaffolding required during the construction of the line and its subsequent maintenance. Often such crossings require raised towers if the necessary span to cross the waterway is greater than the average span for the tower design. 2. interfering with their operation.8. canals etc. rivers.

Maintaining support for a line across gravel crossings can lead to problems and. fittings. This additional cost is usually found to be cheaper than paying compensation to the mining company for modifying their removal methods. erosion of the ground around the line supports by the action of wind and water (or by the over-working of the operator) can lead to the need for expensive remedial works to maintain stability In addition. The technical constraints or the main items to consider are: • • The electrical voltage and current (load) requirements of the proposed overhead line The mechanical strength capabilities of the line components (conductor.2. the working of certain minerals involves blasting operations. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. The earlier sections for this module have addressed the consent requirements and the physical restrictions on the construction of an overhead power line. Figures 2. In some areas of gravel workings. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 13 of 41 . these areas should be avoided.4.3 on special towers were sketches of two 400 kV quad 0.3 The Economics of Route Selection.9 Mineral Workings In mineral working regions. Most utilities will have standard tower arrangements for various voltage levels and conductor sizes.4 sq inches Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced (ACSR) conductor tower support structures.2.3 are suspension towers. This can lead to problems of system security during the alterations. steelwork and structures) used to meet with the environmental loads (wind. Supports near to gravel operating plants frequented by heavy lorries are prone to damage unless adequately protected at additional cost. This can conflict with the presence of an overhead line and result in damage to the conductors or supporting structures. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. Module 3 gives some further examples of steel support structures and wood-pole support structures at lower voltages. it may be prudent to plan for an increase in the height of the line supports at the time of construction to give extra clearances for jibs or tipper lorries working over known future extraction areas. A different support structure is required called the tension tower. The examples in figures 2. ice and snow) The components’ reliability and longevity in the field and the techniques or methodologies adopted for the construction and maintenance of the overhead line.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. 2.3 in section 2. Additional clearances for any operating plant such as washers and crushers may also be necessary. Where possible. it may become necessary to deviate lines where clearance is insufficient for working and where sterilisation would lead to a greater cost than re-alignment. • Each of these will be addressed in more detail in later modules.

Consequently. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. and can be considered an added visual intrusion into the area. may cause additional interference to the land on which it is sited. Figure 2.2. section lengths are determined by the engineering requirements of line design and operation. the maximum continuous length of a conductor that can be handled during these operations • At points where the maintenance requirements necessitate the dropping of conductors where one line crosses over another and security for the lower circuits is required. two suspension towers and the meaning of a span.1 Section Lengths The length of a section in an overhead power line is that continuous part of the conductors in suspension between two tension structures. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.g. Each additional supporting structure adds to the cost of the line. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 14 of 41 .3. It is one of the objectives of economic line planning to ensure that the minimum number of supporting structures is used.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.4 Illustrating Tension Towers. Suspension Towers and Spans Tension structures are required for one or more of the following possible reasons: • • Wherever a line changes direction Where “uplift” of the suspension insulators would occur due to the tower being sited on relatively low ground in a valley and where excessive extensions would otherwise be required to overcome the problem • Where the length of a straight section of suspension structures would exceed the design parameters of the line for construction and maintenance e.4 is a photograph denoting a tension tower. and the availability of suitable sites for the structures. Tension Tower 1 Span between Suspension Towers Fig. by changes in direction caused by physical obstructions.

Any larger steel tower lines. Additionally. The latter limits the total length of any two adjacent spans to the design parameters of the type of line being constructed. by careful selection of the positions of tension towers. the use of extensions on steel tower lines where available and the avoidance of obstructions where practicable. Increasing the height of any particular support in a steel tower line generally has a minimal impact overall and so consideration should be given during the planning stages to the inclusion of extensions on certain towers if this would avoid adding an additional tower into the section with its attendant constructional and amenity problems The application for a tolerance provision when it is submitted to the appropriate government department enables the constructing electricity company to adjust the line slightly in order to meet any last-minute wishes of the landowner and occupier’s affected subsequent to the original consent being granted and after a detailed survey has been carried out. Tolerance provision – this is the UK term – other countries have similar Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 15 of 41 . a line can be designed where the sections provide the optimum run of conductor length supported by the minimum number of structures. the heavier angle towers are not as acceptable in the landscape as the lighter suspension towers and their siting should take into account the requirements of amenity as well as accessibility. Thus.3 the normal individual span of the L6 line type is 366 metres. e.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. referring again to figure 2. The accessibility to those positions must be considered in an effort to reduce the problems of transporting heavy loads into a site.g. the stringing (erection) of conductors is a major operation and it is necessary to have the conductor drums at angle positions together with winches and other miscellaneous gear. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT The distance between line supports will vary with: The type of construction employed The profile of the ground over which the line will pass The cross-sectional area of the conductors being supported The need to maintain the electrical safety clearances required from the ground and from any buildings or other obstructions Additional factors in design limitation concerned with the “sum” of adjacent spans. procedures.

Surveys & Wayleaves Page 16 of 41 .2 Re-alignment of Route to Avoid Obstacles Care has to be taken when planning the route for a proposal. will lead to an increase in the total expenditure on a scheme.3. It is preferable to re-align the route in the early stages of planning in order to avoid the obstacle (Figure 2.5 Illustrating Line Deviations for Minimum Additional Angle Towers 2. The line planner needs to be aware of. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. this inevitable leads to the need for stays which are an additional interference with uses of the land. In the case of wooden-pole lines.3 Underground Cable Sections – Incorporated in Overhead Transmission Lines The selection of a route where a section of proposed overhead line has to be placed underground.5 illustrates this) DEVIATIONS FOR OBSTACLES SMALL AMENITY AREAS OR THOSE OF SPECIAL INTEREST DEVIATION A -B -CD DEVIATION X -B C -Z DEVIATION X -Y Z Involves the use of Involves the use of Required Four additional angle structures Two additional angle structures No additional angle structures Y B C A x Z D OBSTACLE Fig. and will usually be required to explain the reasons for this during the negotiations previously described in this module. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. either because of a physical constraint like an airfield or because of the amenity considerations.2. This is both costly and is usually objectionable on the grounds of amenity.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.3. to ensure that a situation does not arise where it becomes necessary to use a series of angle structures to deviate around an obstacle.

by carefully matching of types. The advent of XLPE cables at transmission voltage has overcome the need for oil tanks. sealing end compounds and terminal supports are still required and if the section is of sufficient length it needs to be separately protected so involving even more cost. the complexities of the sealing ends. Concealment is not always straightforward and the terminal structures required are the heavier types of tension tower with considerable “clutter” on the cross-arms added to by the “down leads” to the ends. either all mounted on platforms. if this is possible.2 Sealing End Compounds and Terminal Supports Sealing end equipment can vary from small boxes mounted on wooden pole supports at the lower voltages to large compounds of about half an acre containing terminal towers and other equipment for high voltage lines. On the high voltage distribution and transmission lines.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2.1 Additional Costs and Electrical Problems When a section of underground cable is incorporated in an overhead line. water cooling etc.3. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 17 of 41 . cover a more extensive area and the re-instatement of the surface along the entire route after laying has finished is a more complicated task.3 Reinstatement The passage of an overhead line across agricultural fields etc much of the surface is undisturbed except for the areas around supporting structures and along access routes. terminal equipment is required at each end. together with the cable itself.3.3. 2. At or near to substations. much larger spacing between the cable phases was necessary with additional oil tank reservoirs and in some cases water cooling. 2. electrical security and amenity.3. This equipment is required at positions where underground cables are connected to overhead line conductors. These.3. Additional land was utilised and maintenance levels were high. The overall effect of this can be improved if there is little or no cover. either when mounted on platforms at the sides of the towers or in compounds on the ground adds to the amenity problem. where underground cable entries may be necessary both for operational and amenity reasons. raise problems of additional costs. Until the development of XLPE cables when such cables were of the oil filled type. or alternatively. Cable excavations on the other hand.3. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. all sited in compounds on the ground. However at the terminations. a multiplicity of sealing ends can occur in a small area.

ducts and supporting bridges has to be made for the cables so that they can be easily withdrawn and repaired should this be necessary. upon completion of the excavations (b) Drainage Systems Interference with field drainage systems can be remedied by the use of suitable pipes laid to bridge the cable excavations. Hedges require double protective fencing during the period of re-growth In areas of high amenity. where chalk.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. 2. fences and hedges All will require reinstatement after the work is complete. the compensation payable for an easement on a cable route is nearly always greater than that paid fro the equivalent length of overhead line. As a result. the restrictions on building works over or adjacent to underground cable routes are more severe. no development can take place over a cable route because of the danger that can arise from excavations and the need for access facilities to the installation at all times for emergency repairs or maintenance.4 Building Sterilisation Whereas an overhead line. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT (a) Surface Soil The fertile top soil on agricultural fields needs to be removed and stacked separately from the subsoil so that it can be returned last. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. As a result of the above requirements. An adequate width of pipe is required so that it is supported on either side of the excavations by undisturbed ground to avoid any problems of subsidence (c) Walling. A protective or support strip is required on either side of the cable trench to prevent interference with the circuits either by building operations or from invasion by tree roots. the provision of tunnels. Care must be taken to ensure that heat dissipation from the cable is not prejudiced otherwise the cable will be de-rated. without mixing. In places where cable pass under or over permanent features such as railways. For obvious reasons. re-instatement required on cable routes far exceeds that necessary for overhead lines. rivers and canals. care should be taken to ensure that the “scar” is re-instated with a covering of top soil. building can be permitted under line subject to preservation of the required electrical safety clearances from the conductors and the maintenance of access to the supporting structures.3. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 18 of 41 . limestone or other light coloured materials are brought to the surface during cable laying. and grassed if necessary.

The continued tree planting. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 19 of 41 . is removed The electricity company has no continuing maintenance problem with the cutting of any re-growth under the line or any further sterilisation payments to make. it is inevitable that some tree felling and lopping will be required for any major overhead line proposal.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. In small areas of woodland or copses where a major part of the whole would be felled or lopped or in the case where a route would pass through and close to the edge of a woodland area. the overall effect of felling is greater for an underground cable than for the equivalent overhead line where it is sometimes possible to substitute lopping for complete felling. in many places suggests that the author should anyway include this section. where applicable. to clearing the area completely and returning it to the adjacent enclosures by an adjustment of the fencing and walling. Tree felling and lopping is expensive.5 Tree Cutting Whilst this problem for line routing is seldom met in the Middle East and Gulf States Countries. Figure 2. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. As it is generally necessary at high voltages to dissipate the heat from underground cables by a wider spacing of the circuits than when they are carried overhead. this section is included for interest. the fencing of a line route where it passes through a new plantation to prevent destruction by rabbits.6 illustrates this. consideration should be given. In addition. where the ownership permits.3. deer and other fauna all add to the cost. The extent of the felling varies with the size of the line and the line planner should be concerned to reduce the amount necessary to an absolute minimum compatible with achieving the maximum screening for the line as it crosses the countryside. In a country with as many trees as the UK. which would have been difficult and uneconomic to manage. This arrangement has some advantages as follows: The occupier adds to this land and an area of woodland remaining. The provision of alternative replacements for trees that have been felled and compensation payments for the sterilisation of woodland. however. adds considerably to this cost. Delegates Notes Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.


Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. and the acceptability of “power corridors”. The layout of many transmission networks around the world does not lend itself to power corridors.6 Route Planning for Ease of Construction and Maintenance Although the main parameters for a line route will be resolved by a reconciliation of the many factors already addressed. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 21 of 41 . the line planner needs to be experienced in the methods of working employed during the construction. produces separated radial patterns rather than parallel routes for the interconnecting network and associated distribution lines. to construct a line by carrying in all equipment and materials by helicopter. the higher the voltage of the overhead line to be constructed then the longer is this construction period. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. In general. but somewhat expensive. The aim will be to ensure that the minimum damage is caused to third party assets and that the maximum use can continue to be made of the land by the third party as the construction proceeds. 2. care in the siting of main structures in accessible areas can go along way towards reducing the problems of construction and subsequent maintenance. the compensation payable during either construction or maintenance. At 400 kV it may sometimes continue intermittently over a period as long as three years.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Support for the use of power corridors. This approach can also reduce.7 Power Corridors Over the years. where overhead lines are kept parallel and close together. In extreme cases. it is possible. Therefore. The availability of existing access roads is critical in desert countries where the construction of temporary reinforced tracks as access roads can be time consuming and expensive. where appropriate.3. In order to do this effectively. has been based on the supposition that this practice would limit the visual intrusion of those lines to specific areas rather than appear as a network throughout the entire landscape. In addition the planner must be aware of the likely loads of equipment that has to be transported into the various sites and the period of time that the work is likely to continue on the holding. The practice is much favoured in North America. the line planner will also be considering at the appropriate time the effect that access to the proposals will have on the land and its management during the construction period.3. Grid Systems with their major switching and transforming substations site some thirty to 40 km apart at most. consideration has been given in a number of countries to the need for.

There is also an impact on system security. span lengths and therefore matching catenaries. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 22 of 41 . Even where lines of a similar type have been successfully matched the visual impact is still severe. This is particularly difficult in the UK when: There are substantial variations in the ground profile. Power line corridors are best suited to countries where the landscape is on a large scale and where the electricity companies purchase land and own “rightsof-way” for their overhead lines. In this case the wishes of the owners and occupiers need to be considered when planning a route and their acceptable requirements for the siting of towers and poles on the land that they own has to be complied with wherever possible. In addition. The requirements of the individual wayleave grantors have to be met The visual impact of miss-matches with different types of tower and span lengths that can occur in the locality of a power corridor is infinitely worse than the aggregated impact of two well-separated lines. The need for multiple supports and stays increases the difficulty in the farm enclosures and the wider swathes required prevent the growing of trees in large areas of any woodland that the corridor passes through. When constructing new overhead lines. This would mean designing lines with similar tower heights.5 kM or more to obtain a reasonable separation distance between lines. Therefore. the probability of multiple fault conditions occurring almost simultaneously increases dramatically. Suitable positions required for the several structures adjacent to each other are often difficult to find. then the type of line construction in the main must be similar for symmetry. At the same time at compact Transmission substations with more than one or two circuits and equipped with Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) it is necessary anyway to cable in circuits with short lengths. double-circuit supports are best employed to provide for the maximum future capacity even if only one circuit is required initially. There are scattered building developments along the route causing separation of the lines. dual construction at medium voltage 11-13. it is often the policy at entries by cabling the lower voltage distribution lines for considerable distances pf say 1. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT In many networks problems of parallelism do arise in the vicinity of substations. where numbers of transmission and distribution lines meet.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. If power corridors are to be an advantage for the visual impact. In areas of high lightning incidence or conductor clashing due to high winds.8 kV helps to reduce the proliferation of poles over limited distances. the majority of overhead lines cross properties under different ownership using either easement or wayleaves as previously addressed in the module. Other problems can arise in farming areas with power corridors as a result of the increased interference caused to agricultural and forestry operations by lines close to and in parallel. In the UK. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.

OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Alternatives suggested by objectors to the preferred route which have not necessarily been subjected to the same criteria as those applied to the preferred route. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. where considerable distances can be involved. 2.8.1 Technical Feasibility The alternatives(s) must achieve the same standards as the electricity company’s preferred proposal in respect of the quantity. wayleaving (where appropriate) and amenity considerations In the planning of routes for the larger transmission lines. using the same criteria for assessment as those used for the selection of the preferred route for which it is proposed to seek consent.8.3. In the planning of short routes the situation is different in that it is more normal to obtain consents for all its length before requesting consent from the appropriate government department. Any additional problems associated with access for construction and maintenance should be calculated and included. A thorough appraisal of the number and types of structures to be used on each route is required in order to compare costs. When comparing the costs of alternatives.3. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. consideration has to be given to the vulnerability of such a route to undergrounding either because of a physical constraint such as an airfield or for amenity reasons. 2.8 The investigation of Alternative Routes There are two main categories of alternative routes for overhead lines that require investigation during the planning stages: Alternatives which are investigated by the electricity company in the normal course of selective route planning. These must be investigated and assessed in the same manner as the electricity company’s preferred proposal and a reasoned statement made about their suitability or otherwise based on engineering.3.2 Cost If its is to be considered seriously. the cost of any alternative must follow the general level of costs incumbent on the electricity company’s preferred proposal. together with the extra construction costs caused by the need to pile drive foundations or excavate in rock where this is required. This requires a ground survey on the alternative routes unless an aerial survey has already been flown which covers this (Refer also to Module 3). quality and security of supply. it is not generally feasible to obtain consents along both the preferred route and also any alternatives being considered. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 23 of 41 . The case in the UK is that outline consent is usually sought from the individual landowners until they are all obtained and then final consent being obtained from the government.

The amount of tree felling if required 3.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. 5. Where alternative routes cover wide areas.5) Delegates Notes Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. such as properties in woodland.g. Future proposals in the area to be made by the electricity company 2. 4. (Refer to section 2. those routes that have hidden physical constraints. The actual selection of the final route should be done on the ground where the contours are more readily apparent and the effect of the proposal on the countryside as it will be seen by people can be assessed. Road proposals.3 Amenity Any assessment of the effect on amenity will include the following comparisons: Visibility overall and prominence of the alternative routes 1.4 Future Known Developments These will include considerations of the following 1.3. Mineral working areas. land set aside for a future new town or amenity park. The effect on existing properties and their environment 2. where possible.8. Urban development. 3. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2.8. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 24 of 41 . It may be useful to discuss the general merits of alternative routes with representatives of the appropriate government ministries when they are broadly similar in all other respects.3. Aerial and Ground surveys are addressed later in this module. which are not visible from the surrounding roads.5 Agriculture The overall effect of the number of structures per kilometre of line upon agricultural operations should be considered particularly where aerial crop spraying is adopted.8. Changes in land designation e.3. 2. The values of the countryside along each route 2. it is sometimes convenient to fly along them in a helicopter to eliminate.

Types of Objections to be Considered when Planning Routes 2. however. are generally out of scale with the intimate countryside covering most of the landscape of countries in Europe and elsewhere where there is a large amount of fauna.4. The impact increases. Porcelain insulators have been given a silvergrey finish instead of the more normal brown colour and insulators made of green instead of clear glass have been employed on some instances. when a number of wood pole lines are sited close together or when there is associated top-hamper such as pole-mounted transformers and cable sealing ends. However. The larger steel tower lines. however.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. They cannot thus be screened effectively. Porcelain. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. The number of strings of insulators on some suspension towers is reduced from the normal two to one per phase by making a slight overall increase in the size and load bearing capacity of the remaining single string. the parts of the tower that cause the greatest visual impact are the cross-arms and the insulators that are by necessity located in the upper part of the tower. for glass insulators to reflect in sunshine and become very much more visible. Variations in the colour have been employed in a number of countries. There is a tendency. whether steel or wood pole. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 25 of 41 . however. The heights of indigenous trees are rarely as tall as main transmission towers.4. The proportions and design of the upper sections of steel towers can only vary within the engineering standards prescribed and the line planner must therefore concentrate on reducing the number of towers with multiple insulators and heavy cross-arms to a minimum. over the years. the changing seasonal colours render this exercise somewhat futile and the general consensus is that the weathered galvanising or grey paint is the best compromise. and the associated insulators.1 Towers and Insulators The greatest visual impact of any overhead line is caused by the supports. toughened glass and polymeric/resin (composite) are the three insulating materials used on overhead lines. this has helped to produce such improvements in design as waisted or eiffelised towers with a more pleasing appearance. (Refer also to Module 3) In Europe. Unfortunately. The visual impact of wood pole lines is over a very limited area and they are generally capable of being assimilated into the landscape without becoming a major intrusion. In the UK the Electricity Supply Industry has discussed new tower designs with the Royal Fine Arts Commission and. experiments have been made by painting steel towers with other than “battleship grey” in an effort to reduce their effect on the landscape.

endeavour to provide a sympathetic match of the conductor catenary to the physiographic qualities of the area. In order to reduce the visual impact of the quadruple conductor formations.2 Conductors To increase power flow through each route accomplished. wherever possible. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 26 of 41 . Some 400 kV lines employ double conductors again with spacers. 2.2). The four conductors are joined at intervals along the span by spacers to maintain conductor separation in all conditions. 2.3. Both these arrangements keep corona discharge within acceptable limits it being inversely proportional to the effective emitting area. (Refer also Section 2. (Refer also to Module 5) at the same time as increasing the capacity. However. 2. both the line voltage and the number of conductors need to be increased.4. The multiplicity of smaller lines required to provide the same power transfers at lower voltages would have resulted in an unacceptable level of “wirescape” and interference with land use. conductors were developed with larger cross-sectional areas for use in twin formation per phase on the heavy duty 400 kV lines. At 400 kV quadruple conductors in each phase are normally employed.3 Sealing Ends Sealing ends are used at points where an overhead line is taken underground by means of a cable. When planning the route profile.3.7 Circuits Cabled into Power Plant (Kilroot. UK) Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT The increase in the physical size of lines necessitated by the increases in operating capacity has been of considerable benefit. Many objections to towers and their attendant insulators can usually be overcome by a minor re-positioning along the line and an intelligent appreciation of the surrounding environment. This occurs where a line entry into a substation has to be cabled or where a section of line is placed underground for operational or amenity reasons. Fig.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. although at a distance. this quad and twin type construction also increases the prominence pf the line spans.4. the design engineer should. the twin and quadruple conductor formations merge to become one entity visually.

a hissing or “frying” noise will become audible. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT In urban areas. In the dark.4.5) Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. (Refer also to Module 5 for further details on corona discharge) (Refer also to Module 6 – Maintenance of Overhead Lines) 2.6 Arcing This is usually associated with a defect on the line such as cracked or defective insulators.4. is the phenomenon known as corona. These faults should be remedied as soon as possible. thus adding to the visual intrusion of the line.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. a glow can be seen around the conductor. The voltage at which this occurs depends upon the following conditions: The diameter of the conductor The surface characteristics of the conductor The distance between the conductors The atmospheric Conditions The noise from corona discharge can be very intrusive on residential properties situated in quiet urban or rural surroundings adjacent to the line. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 27 of 41 .4 Corona Discharge Among the factors that affect the choice of conductor in a transmission line. (Refer also to Module 6 – Maintenance of Overhead Lines) 2. protective screens may have to be erected and these add to the equipment that has to be mounted on the tower. Attempts to reduce this noise by greasing have had little success. As the voltage on a conductor is increased beyond a certain point.4. a hum occurs as the wind passes over the surface of a conductor that can be very penetrating and like corona cause a nuisance to residential properties. 2.5 Wind In exposed areas or in conditions of high wind velocity. vandalism can be a problem at sealing ends which are fitted to platforms up a tower.4. 2. To protect the equipment from stone throwing and guns.4. (Refer also to Section 2.2. apart from the amount of current to be carried.7 Radio and Television Interference (“active”) The interference to radio signals resulting from the emission of radio waves or “radio noise” from an overhead line is known as “active interference”.

2.4. harrowing and rolling operations have to avoid the bases of towers or poles/stays. However the possibility of damage caused by ice falling from conductors over buildings and gall-houses must be taken into account. It is desirable in such climates to avoid any glasses areas on farms and market gardens since consequential damage can result.4.4.10 Agricultural Interference Towers. 2. particularly for the heavy tension towers at the changes in direction. The main interference is to arable cultivation where ploughing. discing. they cause problems when these are cut mechanically.4. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2.4.9 Land Use Interference The presence of a tower or pole line and associated conductors places a restriction on the use of the land over which it passes.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.12 Damage to Land This is generally a construction problem caused by the passage of heavy loads and the line planner should always consider the effect of the proposed route and accesses to the support positions on the enclosures that would be affected. 2. Over open ground there is unlikely to be any serious physical damage caused under the line due to the action of rain or ice and consequently this factor has little effect on the selection of a line route. Development is prevented at tower and pole positions. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. Aerial crop spraying is inevitably interfered with particularly where there are many lines entering a substation. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 28 of 41 .8 Drips and Ice The following sub-section clearly does not apply in hot climates but has been included for completeness and interest. poles and stays almost invariably interfere with farming operations.11 Damage to Trees Again this is not relevant to any great extent in this part of the world but as previously described construction inevitably requires some felling and lopping of trees. Even when sited in or astride hedges. 2. Access must be maintained to them at all times and the height of any development under the line is restricted by the electrical safety clearances required between building and conductors.

SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. (Refer also to Appendix 3) Delegates Notes Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.13 Physiological – Effects on the Human Body.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. there has been a considerable in public awareness and interest about the physiological effects of high-voltage electromagnetic and other radiation effects on the human body when it is subjected to various periods of exposure. To date there is no clausal evidence connecting brain cancer and other illnesses with persons who are subjected to the high-voltage electromagnetic fields from overhead lines at least up to 400kV.4. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 29 of 41 . Over the past two decades.

SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. Refurbishing an existing overhead line. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 30 of 41 . Span length. The output of all this will be a profile of the land within. There are two situations that require surveys and profiling 1. Any obstacle that can affect.5.1 Introduction Before any new line is built or any major changes made to an existing line it will need to be surveyed and profiled. It is important for overhead line planners to realise what is involved in a survey and the results that can be expected. even remotely. rail. surveying means going along the line and making a detailed note of: • • • • • • • • Every existing support structure if upgrading an existing circuit age. houses etc near to the line (height. the existence of the overhead line needs to be considered. Surveying is essential as new buildings are built and land changes use in ways that could affect safety or normal operation of the line. Nearby tree growth. Conductor type. Standard surveys and profiles are relatively inexpensive in comparison to line construction or refurbishment costs. river or footpath crossing Fences. say. It is often advisable anyway to employ a consultant who knows what to do and can almost certainly do it quicker and cheaper and more effectively. Essentially. Land heights relative to the conductor Land height relative to mean sea level (normally to a local Ordnance Survey (OS) datum point) Road. A new line 2. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. 10 metres either side of the existing or planned line.5 Surveying and Profiling 2. however as the cost of the line includes surveying and profiling the costs should be kept to a minimum by deciding on the route in general terms with a preliminary survey. It is also important to know what cannot be expected of the surveyor. condition).OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Large electrical utilities will have qualified surveyors whilst smaller utilities will employ specialist-surveying companies.

carries out the preliminary routing and includes this information in a tender specification such that competitive tenders may be received from a variety of design and construct contracting organisations.3 Preliminary Routing 2. the client is in a position to narrow the choice of tower and span design to the most economic. The contractor will then carry out the detailed line routing and profile work. Routing Objectives The preliminary routing work determines the physical constraints involved as describe in section 2. foundations and conductors may then be included in tender documentation for the supply and erection of the overhead line.500 map is generally used for precise pole position on medium voltage circuits. identification paint and pegs 6. By careful preliminary routing the effect on the environment may be minimised.8. typically 1:10.000 scale maps are also useful to get a general idea of the route. 2. It is assumed in this example that the client.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.5.5. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. A 1:2. Theodolite and level may be worthwhile but not essential for the preliminary survey 4. Ranging rods to enable checks and recording of location relative to centres of proposed angle towers.1 Survey Equipment Requirements 1.2. 2. Good survey quality compass and compass bearing monocular. Appropriate maps for the expected line route and adjacent areas to a suitable scale. At the same time the client is able to take into account a strategy for minimum maintenance costs. 2. The detailed routing survey and profile allows the towers to be located in the most economic manner. In addition. These greatly assist orientation and road or river crossing locations together with the projection of sections.000 for cross-country work.2. or his consultant.5. 100m tapes 5. Estimated quantities for the towers.3. 3. and allows the establishment of the least-cost solution for the overhead line. Standard 1:50. angles of deviation and so on. It will take into account proximity restrictions and maintenance of specified design parameters such as electrical clearances. wind spans. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT The logical sequence for the design and planning of the routing of an overhead line is shown in figure 2. Hammers. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 31 of 41 .

Planning and Routing Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.8 Logical Sequence for Overhead Line Design. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT EXTERNAL INFLUENCES ENGINEERING INFLUENCES System Planning (A) SOURCE OF POWER SUPPLY Voltage selection Optimise Voltage selection Preliminary Route selection Environmental Impact studies Decision to build Transmission line From (A) to (B) Electrical Civil/ Structural Survey/ Geological/ geographical Climatic conditions Select Only from Standard voltages Environmental Constraints Preliminary Conductor selection Optimise Conductor selection Loading Conditions Select Only from Standard conductors Voltage drop and loss calculations Route optimisation Ground profile survey Profile analysis Family of towers Tower top layout Preliminary ruling span Insulation Selection and coordination Statutory clearances NATIONAL REGULATIONS Operational and Maintenance constraints Finalise Conductor selection Shield wire Selection and location Soil survey Flashover Risk analysis Preliminary Tower configuration Foundation designs Reconsider Type of Conductor Originally selected Try alterative conductors Review Original Conductor Tension choice Ruling Span optimisation Try alterative voltages PWWR and Optimum Line casting Final tower and foundation design Tower spotting optimisation Power Demand location (B) Fig. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 32 of 41 . 2.

5.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.3. 2. such as the impacts of the line on the environment.000 to design and detail then the use of a limited number of standard designs may well prove cheaper than having a large number of special tower types necessary to achieve the more direct line route. access and Terrain Figure 2. If a 400 kV tower costs $100. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2.3. which are extremely difficult to equate in financial terms.3 Ground Survey The ground survey is required since the exact route may differ very considerably from that proposed by studying maps and aerial photographs.10 illustrates this 2. However.3. This is as a result of all the difficulties of obtaining wayleaves that have been described earlier in this module.3.9 shows an example of a 400kV single circuit overhead line crossing extremely difficult terrain in the Zagros Mountains of Iran which connects the Shah Kabir Dam hydro-electric scheme to Arak.5. difficulties for support erection and maintenance almost always require deviations from the straight line option. ground conditions.5. Figure 2. In such cases the construction is greatly assisted by the use of helicopters. The increase in overall materials and construction costs of the overhead line route will usually obviate the savings so accrued.3.6) Further economic considerations involving parameters. (Refer again to section 2. The proposed route is indicated on the photographs if available in conjunction with maps of the area.2 Aerial Survey Aerial survey photographs greatly aid the routing designer and reduce the time taken for the ground survey. 2. wayleave availability.6 Optimisation (a) Practical Routing Considerations The sending and receiving ends of the transmission line from existing or future substations or tee-off points are first established and are usually well defined. access.5.5 figure 2. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 33 of 41 . Overhead lines often cover areas without good communications access. avoidance of populated or high atmospheric pollution or industrial areas. must be considered as described earlier in this module. in practice large savings are unlikely to be reaped since considerable deviations are likely to be necessary to achieve this condition. The straight line between these two points must the n be investigated to see if this really represents the cheapest solution. 2.5 Wayleave.4 Ground Soil Conditions It may be possible in exceptional cases to route the overhead line such that the chosen ground conditions favour low foundation costs.5.3. In practice.

2.9 400kV single-circuit twin conductor overhead line crossing the Zagos Mountains in Iran (Courtesy of Balfour Beatty) Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 34 of 41 .OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT Fig.

3 metres for the first 5 kA of earth fault current plus 0. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT Fig. The proposed route is then investigated by walking or driving along the whole of the route. Angle or section towers may be provided near the terminal points in order to allow some flexibility for substation entry and slack spans or changes to the future substation orientation and layout. Gaz de France sets threshold values of maximum AC induced currents in pipelines at 100 a/M2. (b) Methodology Once the terminal points for the line have been established they are linked on the maps avoiding the obstacles as previously described.5 metres for each additional kA. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 35 of 41 .10 Helicopter assisted conductor stringing – Hong Kong (Courtesy of Balfour Beatty) Lines should not be routed parallel to pipelines or other similar services for long distances because of possible induced current effects. However. If this is not possible then there should be a minimum distance of around 10 metres between the vertical projection of the outer phase conductor for a 132/145 kV line and the pipeline. Oil companies require a minimum clearance between overhead line counterpoise (if installed) and buried steel pipes of say.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. research has shown that there is a small polarising effect which could lead to corrosion in the very longterm. Corrosion effects from AC should be negligible because of the current reversal. The purpose of this thorough investigation is to endure that the route is feasible and what benefits could accrue from possible changes.2. Similar precautions must be taken with regard to proximity to gas relief valves or hydrants.

60O angle towers. the technical specifications for the overhead line are drawn up for use in tender documentation. Ground conditions are recorded during the field trip in order to estimate the different tower foundations required (piled-and. At the same time an estimate of the difficulties likely to be encountered in obtaining the required tower footing resistance and the need for counterpoise. The average span is the basic span multiplied by an efficiency factor which rakes into account the nature of the ground and varying span lengths envisages from flat to hilly terrain. A factor of 2 x over the basic span may be used as a guide to the weight span (which does not greatly affect tower design) and this will allow for tower spotting and wind spans to be optimised. if necessary. The approximate quantities of different tower types (suspension. terminal towers etc). The cost of the line is proportional to the tower steel and foundation loads. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 36 of 41 . However. normal. tower earth rods etc is made.1 times) is necessary to allow for some flexibility over uneven ground. 30O angle towers. is access for a piling rig possible? – screw anchor. W. The costs of suspension insulator strings.000 scale. This constant (typically 1.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. conductor and earthwire(s) are established. Such an iterative procedure is.1) where W is the tower weight of steel (kg) C is a constant h is the tower overall height (m) M is the tower overturning moment under maximum loading conditions at ground level (kg) Tower heights and their overturning moment are established for a variety of basic spans. very suited to computer analysis. This then allows the engineer to concentrate on the total number of intermediate towers required. of course. the computer algorithm will place towers in inconvenient or impossible locations without the knowledge resulting from the field survey described. fittings and foundations are then added to the estimated number of towers in order to derive the basic span and the first approximation to the cheapest overhead line routing solution. A constant ratio is applied to each basic span in order to obtain the wind span. Finally. rock etc). SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT The feasible preliminary route is then plotted on the maps to at least 1:10. The estimated quantities for materials may be derived from the average span. The tower weight. Suspension towers will often account for more than 80% of the total number of towers required on the overhead line route and quantities must be optimised and accurately assessed. may be approximated from Ryles formula: - W = C x h x M …………………………………………………(2.

SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. The party carrying out the work will depend upon the type of contract being let by the electricity company in charge of the works. When national maps of good quality are available the vertical survey data may be cross-referenced to bench marks of a known level. roads.5.000 map and differences investigated until resolved on site.4 Detailed Line Survey and Profile 2. river and pipeline crossings. should be on graph type paper with a grid background. whether computer generated or not. buildings adjacent to the wayleave etc) 2.5 Profile Requirements 2. The location of angle and terminal towers is best specified in a contract document rather than allow a complete free hand to the overhead line contractor. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. Greater accuracy is possible from the survey data but in practice cannot be easily transferred to the profile. rail. This greatly eases the reading of span lengths or clearances even when photocopy prints have slight distortions.5. The profiles.1 m in the vertical plane. This is because access may be an important parameter for the electricity company if maintenance costs for the line are to be minimised.1 Vertical and Horizontal Scales In order to keep the drawings to a manageable size the detailed survey drawings are scaled to typically 1:200 vertical and 1:2000 horizontal or as necessary in hilly terrain.3 m must be recorded together with all major features (angles of deviation. Horizontal survey dimensions to tower centrelines are checked against the 1:10. The vertical profile ground line is surveyed from one angle or terminal tower to the next. The required accuracy should be ± 0.3 m in the horizontal plane and ± 0. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 37 of 41 . In hilly terrain side slopes in excess of ± 0.5.5. On sloping sites it will be necessary to ensure that foundation depths are not compromised and individual tower legs may be adjusted to correct to the tower centre profile level.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. other power overhead lines or cable routes. underground services.1 Accuracy Requirements The objective is to draw up a plan and section so that further refinement of the tower distribution may be made.5.4.

81 m/sec2 L = span length m T = conductor tension N T1 = initial conductor tension N T2 = initial conductor tension N Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.T = (W 1 2 x g 2 x L2 x EA /24 T2 . The templates show: The maximum sag condition (usually at maximum temperature but could be under extreme loading conditions) The minimum sag condition (Usually at minimum temperature without the loading) Basic span and cases up to about ± 20% above and below the basic span Today modern computer tools permit the sag/tension relationship to be calculated using full catenary equations.11. Using the parabolic approximation for the tension for any equivalent span is then given by: EA x α x (t 2 . Surveys & Wayleaves Page 38 of 41 .T2 2 ) where E = modulus of elasticity MN/m2 A = conductor cross-sectional area mm2 α = coefficient of linear expansion per OC t1 = initial temperature OC t2 = final temperature OC W = weight of conductor and may include wind and/or ice loadings W1 = initial conductor effective weight in kg/m W2 = final conductor effective weight in kg/m g = gravitational constant (1 kgf = 9.5.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Normally the parabolic approximation suffices unless special long spans or hilly terrain with slopes greater than 15 o are envisaged. Historically templates were prepared on Perspex ( ≈ 3mm thick) with all the engraving on the back using the same scales as the ground profile.2 Templates A typical sag template is shown in figure 2. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2.81 N) 9.5.t 1 ) + W1 x g2 x L2 x EA/ 24 T1 2 ( 2 ) .

2. Temperatures. Creep SAG at Min Temp. Contractor Name TEMPLATE CONSTRUCTION Material to be Perspex between 2 and 3 mm thick. Wind and Ice (if applicable). SAG TEMPLATE THE TITLE BLOCK MUST BE LOCATED IN THE LOWER RIGHT HAND CORNER AND CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: Equivalent Span in large printing Conductor Data such as Name and Stranding Sagging basis giving design parameters such as Tensions. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 39 of 41 50 mm Minimum True Size . SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 20mm Min Approx 1.11 Typical Sag Template Details (Courtesy of EDP Limited) Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning. Ground Clearance Inc. Curves are to be marked with relevant wording giving sag and temperature or ground clearance value. Route Title including voltage. Scales as used on profile. All Engraving to be permanently filled with black paint Fig.8 times Basic Span Approx 1. All lines and curves to be clearly engraved on the reverse face as convenient.2 times Basic Span 20mm Min SAG at Max Temp.OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Client’s name. Stable in the country where line is constructed.

OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 40 of 41 . vertical and horizontal angles may all be transferred directly from a modern theodolite via a portable computer to an office power line survey and computer aided drafting and design (CADD) facility. This eliminates the need for completion by the surveyor of a field record book and any transcription errors that may occur. ownership. Once field data has been transferred to the CADD tool the ground line profile may be automatically produced with all the annotations that the surveyor has included in the field. In addition.. It has been estimated that power utilities using such systems can achieve survey and data transfer time savings of up to 50% and nearly 80% for line design involving poles and towers respectively.(2. SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT The sag (S in metres) for different span lengths is then derived from the following expression: - S= W x g x L2 m …………………………………………………………………. Chainage. As a further feature such surveys may be linked into coordinates derived from geostationary geographical information system satellites (GIS). some packages allow details of type of ground. Overhead line structures may be spotted at any point along the profile manually by the engineer or automatically by the computer and strung with any conductor type. extensions and foundations are taken into account. clearances must not be infringed. It is always essential that tower fittings.2) 8T ice weight per unit length = By(y + x) kg/m Wind load = p(2 y + x ) N/m ………………………………………………………(2. pole and tower information will then be used to calculate sag and tension for the given conductor. Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.. etc. 2.3) 1000 ⎡ (wind load)2 ⎤ 2 ( ) + + weight of conductor ice ⎢ ⎥ g2 ⎣ ⎦ Effective conductor weight = = Where x = conductor diameter in mm y = radial thickness of ice mm p = wind pressure N/m2 More than one technically feasible solution for tower locations is always available and therefore the final test of acceptability is based on cost. also to be recorded electronically during the survey. In addition.5 Computer aided Techniques It is now normal practice to use computer-aided techniques to prepare the overhead line profile. The software library containing conductor. uplift forces on any structures and ensure ground clearances are not infringed at a user specified temperature. level.5.

SURVEYS & WAYLEAVES PROPRIETARY DOCUMENT 2. Summary This module has covered the physical and amenity constraints on ideal routing of overhead lines. It has covered the need for surveying and profiling at the preliminary stages of a project together with the detailed surveying and profiling required before construction commences. Delegates Notes Proprietary Document Overhead Power Lines Module 2 –Route Planning.6. Surveys & Wayleaves Page 41 of 41 .OVERHEAD POWER LINES MODULE 2 – ROUTE PLANNING.