National Grid Models Underground Cable Routes

David Scott, UK National Grid, United Kingdom

U.K. National Grid bears responsibility for maintaining the high-voltage transmission network in the U.K. Determining accurate cable ratings (maximum load capacity while staying within temperature ranges) is a significant effort, since they have to maintain reliability, safety, and affordability while dealing with tightly constrained areas, cable congestion, and environmental impacts on cable lines. With multiphysics simulation, U.K. National Grid was able to model the changes in cable performance that stem from soil dryness, cracking, and the proximity of other cables and maximize capacity at minimal costs. Modeling also helped them optimize new cable route installations in accordance with existing routes.

Simulation results of a normalized airflow profile within a cross section of a long horizontal tunnel.