Simulation study of lightning fault waveforms influenced by the arc quenching properties of wooden distribution line poles

Bredenoord, Carl Henk
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Abstract With an ever increasing emphasis on reliability of supply, improvement in the lightning performance of distribution lines is required. The arc quenching properties of wooden distribution line poles during lightning strikes are an important factor in the reduction of switchgear operation, hence outages. Measurements were conducted on a 22 kV distribution line and it was suspected, in some cases, that direct lightning strikes to the line did not cause switchgear operation. Distribution lines predominantly use wooden poles with a specific configuration which incorporates a 'wooden' spark gap. This paper provides background to the basic configuration of a typical distribution line and the processes which govern the electric arc. A simulation using a dynamic arc model shows that field measured lightning overvoltages on a distribution line are reproducible through system modelling. The simplistic dynamic arc model developed is sufficiently accurate to describe a set of arcs in a larger system such as a distribution line.
lightning, electric power distribution, electric power transmission, South Africa