A new method for the material-optimised design of high voltage cables by accurate ampacity simulations has been presented by Wenger Engineering, a leading provider of thermodynamic solutions and services in the area of hydrogen technology, at the European Comsol Conference in Milan, Italy. The ampacity of high voltage cables, used to connect off shore wind farms, can be determined much more precisely with a multi physical coupled approach.
Standard specification IEC 60287-3 is a semi-empirical design approach to determine the maximum temperatures, including safety margins, and provide good approximations for basic designs. The more complex the design of the cable and its installation situation are, the more the standard calculation differs from the real-world physics. Since the costs of the conductor materials are very high, an accurate simulation offers enormous potential to save weight, material and considerable costs through the optimisation of designs.
The multi-physical simulation offers great benefits, especially with complex cable designs, as there are bidirectional electrical, electro-magnetical and thermal interactions between the single components of the cable that need to be taken into consideration. These interactions are not represented in the standard calculation model, which therefore needs to include very high safety margins.
‘We are very pleased to present our work in the area of ampacity simulations and optimised cable design at this year’s Comsol Conference,’ said Dr David Wenger, managing director of Wenger Engineering. ‘With the presented calculation method it is possible to reach a very good representation of the prevailing physics, leading the customer to choose the right cable dimension for his use case. This is especially of high interest for cable manufacturers, network operators and wind farm constructors. But also the automotive and aerospace industries can benefit from these calculation methods since material optimised design, as well as the realisation of light-weight design methods, are still late-breaking topics.’