Wind tunnel studies on rotational effects in lightly-iced transmission line galloping

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Fleming, Patrick Hugh
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Overhead transmission lines are prone to undergo large amplitude, low frequency vibrations when exposed to freezing rain and steady side winds. These vibrations are referred to as galloping. They involve a dominant vertical motion in addition to twisting and horizontal swaying. Field reports indicate that the majority of galloping cases are associated with lightly-iced lines with thin ice accretions. Previous studies have failed to explain this trend satisfactorily. The present thesis involves a series of wind tunnel experiments to understand the rotational effects in lightly-iced transmission line galloping. The work to restore and upgrade the wind tunnel used for the experiments are also reported. Aerodynamic loads are measured first on a stationary model of a short, representative section of a lightly-iced conductor. Subsequently, automated controls force the model to undergo rotational oscillations, and the aerodynamic loads measured from these dynamic tests are compared to the stationary results. The airflow in both sets of experiments is visualised by using a laser-based system. The stationary test shows that the well-established den Hartog criterion for predicting vertical galloping does not explain why lightly-iced lines gallop. The dynamic experiments however confirm the presence of rotation-induced lift, unaccounted for by quasi-steady theory and the den Hartog criterion. This additional lift force increases the coupling between the rotational and vertical directions and may promote coupled aerodynamic instability. Visualisations indicate that the surface irregularities of the ice and the rotational motion are jointly responsible for the rotation-induced lift forces observed in the aerodynamic measurements.
galloping, conductor, wind, ice, flutter, transmission