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Carrying power through metal-enclosed bus systems 28/1037

List of formulae used

Proximity effect in terms of busbar reactance

Se = (Sa Sb Sc)1/3

Short-circuit effects

Se = effective or geometric mean spacing

Sa, Sb, and Sc = spacing between conductors

(1) Thermal effects

q t = k sc
100 A

(1 + a 20 q ) t


temperature rise in rC
symmetrical fault current r.m.s. in Amp
cross-sectional area of the conductor in mm2
temperature coefficient of resistance at 20rC/rC
operating temperature of the conductor at which
the fault occurs in rC
k = 1.166 for aluminium and 0.52 for copper
t = duration of fault in seconds
or sc t = 0.0799 for aluminium for an operating
temperature at 85rC and end temperature
at 185rC
I sc
t = 0.12 for copper for an operating temperaA
ture at 85rC and end temperature at

qt =
Isc =
a20 =



(2) Electrodynamic effects

16 I sc2
10 4 N/m
maximum dynamic force that may develop on a
r.m.s. value of the symmetrical fault current in
space factor
centre spacing between two phases in mm

Fm = k

Fm =
Isc =

Skin effect
Effect on current-carrying capacity
permissible current capacity of the system
d.c. resistance
a.c. resistance
d.c. current

I ac = I dc


Use of saturable reactor to balance a large

unbalanced power distribution system
To determine size

X p = Vph 1 1 = 2 p f L
Xp = lost reactance of Y phase
L = inductance of Xp
Ir = current in R or B phase
Iy = current in Y phase


Reluctance of the magnetic path

Rl =

2 lg
k 2lg
mo A mo mr A


lg = length of the air gap in metres

mo = permeability of air (free space) = 4p 107 H/m
mr = relative permeability of the silicon steel used for
the laminates in H/m
A = area of cross-section of core in square metres
k = total length of the magnetic circuit in metres

Calculating stresses on a fault

Bending stress on busbars at section

Fm l
= kg/cm 2
12 M N


Fm = maximum electrodynamic forces acting on each

support in the event of a fault
l = centre distance between two busbar supports in
M = sectional modulus of each busbar at section
= 1 a b 2 in cm3
N = number of busbars per phase

Further Reading

Conductor resistance at higher temperature

Rdc at 85rC = Rdc20 [1 + a20(q2 q1)]



a20 = temperature coefficient of resistance at

20rC per rC
Rdc20 = d.c. resistance at 20rC
q2 = operating temperature = 85rC
q1 = since the value of Rdc is available at 20rC
therefore, q1 = 20rC

1 ERDA, Study on feasibility of upgrading the operating

temperature of Al busbars without plating.
2 Golding, E.W., Electrical Measurements and Measuring
3 Lynthall, R.T., The J & P Switchgear Book. Butterworth, London.
4 Thomas, A.G. and Rata, P.J.H., Aluminium Busbar. Hutchinson
Scientific and Technical for Alcan Industries Ltd.
5 Copper for Busbar, (available in FPS and MKS systems), Pub.
No. 22, Copper Development Association, U.K.