The mathematical modelling of heat transfer in electrical cables

Andrej Bugajev, Gerda Jankevičiūtė, Olga Suboč, Natalija Tumanova


This paper describes a mathematical modelling approach for heat transfer calculations in underground high voltage and middle voltage electrical power cables. First of the all typical layout of the cable in the sand or soil is described. Then numerical algorithms are targeted to the two-dimensional mathematical models of transient heat transfer. Finite Volume Method is suggested for calculations. Different strategies of nonorthogonality error elimination are considered. Acute triangles meshes were applied in two-dimensional domain to eliminate this error. Adaptive mesh is also tried. For calculations OpenFOAM open source software which uses Finite Volume Method is applied. To generate acute triangles meshes aCute library is used. The efficiency of the proposed approach is analyzed. The results show that the second order of convergence or close to that is achieved (in terms of sizes of finite volumes). Also it is shown that standard strategy, used by OpenFOAM is less efficient than the proposed approach. Finally it is concluded that for solving real problem a spatial adaptive mesh is essential and adaptive time steps also may be needed.


Power transmission; Numerical models; Finite element analysis; Finite volume methods; Convergence of numerical methods


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