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Power Distribution System Conductor Sizing As Viewed From Thermodynamics Principles

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

New Ideas

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.926.1 - 7.926.7



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Paper Authors

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Taras Grechyn

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Petro Gogolyuk

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Ilya Grinberg

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Session 2533

Power Distribution System Conductor Sizing as Viewed From Thermodynamics Principles

Ilya Grinberg, Petro Gogolyuk, Taras Grechyn

Buffalo State College/ L’viv Polytechnic National University

1. Abstract

The task of educating members of an engineering team (engineers, engineering technologists, and engineering technicians) becomes even more challenging as technology evolves towards new horizons. Power electronics, robotics, networks, advances in manufacturing technologies as well as environmental and energy saving concerns call for new pedagogical and curriculum development approaches. Theoretical instructions, laboratory exercises, and projects should include emerging issues and be common to several disciplines across the curriculum. One of the topics of such integration is identifying and linking related issues in electrical engineering/electrical engineering technology and thermodynamics courses. An example of such a topic is sizing conductors based on their current carrying capacity as well as fault current calculations.

Power distribution systems for industrial facilities with voltages less than 1 kV are decisive in terms of systems’ reliability, voltage quality, energy savings, and electromagnetic compatibility among others. In such systems only fuses or automatic (molded case) circuit breakers are used to protect from overcurrents and faults unlike more sophisticated protection techniques in systems rated over 1 kV. Such thermal protection units have varying characteristics and could differ from unit to unit quite significantly. Therefore, conductors at this voltage level should be checked not only for rated continuous current carrying capacity (ampacity) but also for their thermal stability. Thermal stability calculations involve solving for conductors’ temperature at the end of the fault clearing process. Maximum allowable temperatures depend on insulation properties and are defined by the National Electrical Code © (NEC) 1

This paper derives formulas to determine time-current characteristics of conductors to be used in coordination studies related to protective devices. The results are used in corresponding energy courses (electrical and thermodynamics) as well as in student projects.

2. Conductor Selection Based on Short-Circuit Current Temperature Rise

According to the NEC® conductors are selected based on the following conditions:

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society of Engineering Education

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Grechyn, T., & Gogolyuk, P., & Grinberg, I. (2002, June), Power Distribution System Conductor Sizing As Viewed From Thermodynamics Principles Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11345

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