Follow-on to a report on the Applicability of the “Gallet equation” to the vegetation clearances of NERC Reliability Standard FAC-003-2
Description: In earlier work, a study done at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory examined a NERC proposed standard specifying clearances between vegetation and power lines. The method proposed for calculating the clearances was based on the results of testing for high-voltage line designs. An equation developed to relate the results of testing with rod-plane gaps to proposed tower window sizes was incorporated into the calculations. The equation in question, sometimes called the “Gallet equation,” describes the insulation performance of the atmosphere for air gaps of a few meters. The equation was described in the PNNL study as a good and simple-to-use way to solve a problem made difficult by the nonlinear interactions of the variables. For calculations based on this equation, a certain set of assumptions must be made. In particular, a value for a quantity called the “gap factor” is needed. This is the amount by which the gap to be modeled by the equation is stronger than the reference gap that was used in developing the Gallet equation. That reference gap is the gap between a rod and a plane. This follow-on report examines the effect on flashover probabilities of assuming an incorrect value for the gap factor. In particular, the flashover probability is found that would result from using a value of 1.3 when a gap factor of 1.0 should be applied. It is shown that with these assumptions the probability of a flashover changes from being extremely unlikely (about 1 in 1000 chance) to a virtual certainty (about 97% chance).
Date: August 31, 2012
Creator: Kirkham, Harold
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