The Effect of Solar Radiation on the Ampacity of an Underground Cable with XLPE Insulation

The main purpose of this paper is to quantify the thermal effect of solar radiation on the ampacity of a low voltage underground cable with cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulation. The quantification was performed for different laying depths of the cable, different colors of the upper surface of the pavement above the cable, different dimensions of the cable bedding, various load currents, various solar irradiances and different periods of the year. Simulation results were obtained using the finite element method in COMSOL and were compared with the corresponding experimental data. It was found that the ampacity of the XLPE-cable installed at a standard depth of 0.7 m can be increased up to 25.6 % in summer and up to 10.2 % in winter compared to the corresponding base cases.

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