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IEEE Guide for Planning and

Designing Transition Facilities


between Overhead and Underground
Transmission Lines

IEEE Power and Energy Society

Sponsored by the
Insulated Conductors Committee

IEEE
3 Park Avenue IEEE Std 1793-2012
New York, NY 10016-5997
USA

8 January 2013

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IEEE Std 1793-2012

IEEE Guide for Planning and


Designing Transition Facilities
between Overhead and Underground
Transmission Lines

Sponsor

Insulated Conductors Committee


of the
IEEE Power and Energy Society

Approved 5 December 2012


IEEE-SA Standards Board

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Abstract: Careful consideration of the physical and electrical characteristics of overhead lines
and transmission cables are necessary in designing a transition structure between the two
systems. Environmental and social factors also play a role in designing a transition. By
considering the factors contained in this guide, the user will be better able to design a suitable
transition that balances cost, operability, environmental factors, and future flexibility.

Keywords: IEEE 1793, riser poles, transition stations, transition structures

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.


3 Park Avenue, New York NY 10016-5997, USA

Copyright 2013 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.


All rights reserved. Published 8 January 2013 Printed in the United States of America.

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PDF: ISBN 978-0-7381-8114-1 STD98079


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Introduction

This introduction is not part of IEEE Std 1793-2012, IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities
between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines.

It is sometimes necessary to incorporate an underground cable segment into an overhead transmission line.
An underground segment may be needed in areas where it is impractical to obtain overhead right-of-way, to
avoid environmentally sensitive areas, to cross obstacles such as rivers or major highways, to cross airport
runway safety zones, or to permit other land uses that would not be feasible with overhead lines. When an
underground segment is added to an overhead transmission line, a transition facility is required. The
transition facility provides a means to terminate the overhead transmission line, terminate the underground
cable, connect the overhead and underground segments, and accommodate any ancillary systems associated
with the underground cable. Underground cables have electrical and operating characteristics which are
different from those of overhead lines, and which can affect the design of transition facilities. Underground
transitions facilities are needed for short underground sections (dips), which might be measured in the
hundreds to thousands of meters. Transition facilities are also required for longer underground segments,
which can be several kilometers in length. The length of the underground segment can affect the transition
facility design. Overhead to underground transition facilities have planning, siting, design, construction,
and maintenance considerations that should be evaluated beginning in the initial stages of a transmission
line project.

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Participants
At the time this guide was submitted to the IEEE-SA Standards Board for approval, the IEEE Guide for
Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines
Working Group had the following membership:

Dennis E. Johnson, Chair


David M. Campilii, Vice Chair

Earle C. Bascom III Donald E. Koonce Gerald J. Ruschkofski


Jonathan E. Busby Arthur J. Kroese Peter L. Tirinzoni
Todd S. Goyette Stephen F. LaCasse Nijam Robert Uddin
Chris H. Grodzinski Michael R. Mueller Jay A. Williams
James Hunt Mohammed Pasha Paul Zimmerman
Paul Jakob Forest L. Rong Joseph T. Zimnoch

The following members of the individual balloting committee voted on this guide. Balloters may have
voted for approval, disapproval, or abstention.

William Ackerman Jeffrey Helzer Douglas Proctor


Ali Al Awazi Lee Herron Reynaldo Ramos
Roy Alexander Werner Hoelzl Joseph Rezutko
Thomas Barnes David Horvath Michael Roberts
Earle C. Bascom III James Hunt Stephen Rodick
Kenneth Bow Dennis E. Johnson Thomas Rozek
Gustavo Brunello Gael Kennedy Bartien Sayogo
William Bush Morteza Khodaie Dennis Schlender
William Byrd Joseph L. Koepfinger James Smith
Robert Christman Jim Kulchisky Jerry Smith
Frank Di Guglielmo Stephen F. LaCasse Gary Stoedter
Gary Donner Chung-Yiu Lam Peter L. Tirinzoni
Dana Dufield Greg Luri James Tomaseski
Gary Engmann Arturo Maldonado Nijam Robert Uddin
Jorge Fernandez Daher Jerry Murphy John Vergis
Frank Gerleve Michael S. Newman Kenneth White
David Gilmer Joe Nims Jian Yu
Edwin Goodwin Gary Nissen Luis Zambrano
Todd Goyette Carl Orde Dawn Zhao
Randall Groves Lorraine Padden Tiebin Zhao
Timothy Hayden Donald Parker Joseph T. Zimnoch
Bansi Patel

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When the IEEE-SA Standards Board approved this guide on 5 December 2012, it had the following membership:

Richard H. Hulett, Chair


John Kulick, Vice Chair
Robert Grow, Past Chair
Konstantinos Karachalios, Secretary

Satish Aggarwal Alexander Gelman Oleg Logvinov


Masayuki Ariyoshi Paul Houz Ted Olsen
Peter Balma Jim Hughes Gary Robinson
William Bartley Young Kyun Kim Jon Walter Rosdahl
Ted Burse Joseph L. Koepfinger* Mike Seavey
Clint Chaplin David J. Law Yatin Trivedi
Wael Diab Thomas Lee Phil Winston
Jean-Philippe Faure Hung Ling Yu Yuan

*Member Emeritus

Also included are the following nonvoting IEEE-SA Standards Board liaisons:

Richard DeBlasio, DOE Representative


Michael Janezic, NIST Representative

Catherine Berger
IEEE Standards Program Manager, Document Development

Malia Zaman
IEEE Program Manager, Technical Program Development

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Contents
1. Overview .................................................................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................... 1
1.2 Purpose ................................................................................................................................................ 2

2. Normative references.................................................................................................................................. 2

3. Planning ...................................................................................................................................................... 2
3.1 Site selection ........................................................................................................................................ 3
3.2 System impacts .................................................................................................................................... 8

4. Design........................................................................................................................................................15
4.1 Monopole structure layout/design ......................................................................................................15
4.2 Transition site design ..........................................................................................................................21
4.3 Other design considerations ................................................................................................................22
4.4 Structure installation ...........................................................................................................................26
4.5 Cable installation ................................................................................................................................26
4.6 Accessories installation ......................................................................................................................27
4.7 Commissioning ...................................................................................................................................28
4.8 Operational/Maintenance (O&M) considerations ...............................................................................28

5. Conclusion .................................................................................................................................................29

Annex A (informative) Bibliography ............................................................................................................30

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IEEE Guide for Planning and
Designing Transition Facilities
between Overhead and Underground
Transmission Lines

IMPORTANT NOTICE: IEEE Standards documents are not intended to ensure safety, health, or
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1. Overview
The overhead to underground transition facilities of a hybrid overhead/underground transmission line
should be carefully planned and designed. The purpose of this guide is to provide general recommendation
of the factors that need to be considered in the planning and design of the transition facility. This guide
assumes that the decision to install an underground section has already been made. The intent of this guide
is to assist with the selection and installation of the appropriate transition facility. Although this guide is
primarily intended for use on alternating current (AC) transmission class underground cable circuits
operating at 69 kilovolts (kV) and higher, much of the information presented herein is applicable to high
voltage direct current (HVDC) transitions as well. Further, some of the information presented herein can be
applied to distribution class electric power cable systems.

1.1 Scope

This guide presents factors to be considered in the planning and design of transition facilities between
overhead and underground transmission lines. These include the system implications of a hybrid
installation as they relate to the transition facility.

While this document focuses on transmission lines only, some of the considerations listed in this guide are
common to both transmission and distribution installations.

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IEEE Std 1793-2012
IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

1.2 Purpose

The purpose of this guide is to list and describe typical factors that should be considered in the planning
and designing of transition facilities between overhead and underground transmission lines. Some of these
factors relate to the installation, operation, and maintenance of the transmission system. This guide is
intended to be comprehensive, but may not be all inclusive.

2. Normative references
The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document For dated
references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced
document (including any amendments or corrigenda) applies.

Accredited Standards Committee C2-2012, National Electrical Safety Code (NESC). 1

3. Planning
Transition facilities for overhead to underground transmission lines can be as simple as an overhead line
dead-end structure with facilities for attaching a transmission cable, or they can be as extensive as a large
transition station. Because of the electrical characteristics of underground transmission cable, an
underground system may often trigger the need for installation of additional equipment in order to deal
with voltage control, thermal rating issues, switching requirements, relay protection, and other factors.
Often, these factors trigger the need for a transition station. Planning is needed to carefully consider and
establish various electrical and cable system requirements. Such factors include the following:

Type of underground cable system to be installed: extruded dielectric, high-pressure fluid-filled


pipe-type (HPFF), high-pressure gas-filled pipe-type (HPGF), self-contained fluid-filled (SCFF), or
gas-insulated transmission lines (GITL).
NOTEGITL is considered to be a specialized subset of underground transmission lines and will not be
extensively detailed in this guide. However, many of the general principles detailed in the guide can be applied
to GITL transitions. 2
Requiring multiple cables to match an overhead line for either capacity or reliability.
Switching requirements/switching equipment between the overhead and underground lines.
Need for reactive compensation (shunt reactors) for the underground cable.
Future capacity upgrades (for example, overhead line re-conductoring, adding a second cable, or
increasing cable size).
Future voltage upgrades.
For pipe-type cables, the need for a fluid pressurizing plant or gas cabinet with its power supply,
alarm, control, and monitoring requirements, and possibly circulation equipment and forced cooling
equipment.
For SCFF cables, the need for pressurizing equipment.
Ability to repair underground cable failures while leaving the overhead line and/or other cables in
service.
For self-contained and extruded cables, the facilities required for bonding and grounding of the
cable shields. Pipe-type cables would also have bonding requirements as well as cathodic
protection requirements.

1
The NESC is available from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
(http://standards.ieee.org/).
2
Notes in text, tables, and figures are given for information only and do not contain requirements needed to implement the standard.

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IEEE Std 1793-2012
IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

Once the necessary components have been identified, the layout of the transition site or structure can be
determined to provide an efficient design that incorporates site selection, community/environmental impact,
safety, construction, operation, maintenance, and physical constraint considerations. This guide will discuss
factors to consider for either type of transition.

3.1 Site selection

When planning for an underground to overhead transmission line transition, be it a single transition pole
(typically referred to as a monopole transition) or a more complex transition station, one should consider
several issues relating to the siting of the structure or station. Some of the issues to be considered are as
follows:

Environmental and permitting considerations


Community considerations
Physical site considerations
Economic considerations

3.1.1 Environmental and permitting considerations

A primary consideration when siting an underground to overhead transmission facility is to be aware of,
and to the extent possible, avoid activity in or near the following types of environmentally sensitive areas.
Wetland areas: Wetlands provide habitat for many plant and wildlife species in addition to
providing a method for replenishing the earths reserve of fresh water. There are three
characteristics that define a wetland: 1) standing water, 2) aquatic vegetation, and 3) hydric (or
hydraulic) soils. If any of these three characteristics exist, then there is a high potential for a
wetland. These types of areas may be protected on national, regional, and local levels. Various
permits may be required if a wetland is to be disturbed, or if work will occur within designated
wetland buffer areas.
Wildlife impacts: Construction activity may take place in and around the habitat of protected
animals and/or plants. During site selection, each site should be examined to determine if any
protected animals or plants are in the area. It would then be necessary to evaluate the impact that
initial construction and the final installation would have on these animals and/or plants. A full
determination should be made in order to properly design the facility. For example, nesting stands
or wildlife guards may need to be incorporated into the transition facility. There may be seasonal
restrictions on when construction can occur in order to reduce effects on wildlife. In most areas,
there are dedicated national, regional, and/or local agencies in place that can be a resource for help
in determining the potential wildlife impact.
Archaeological sites: Construction activity in and around known archaeological sites may be
regulated on a national, regional, or local level. If a regulatory agent knows of or suspects that an
archaeological site exists at or near the site of the planned facility, further investigation may be
required. An archaeologist may need to be engaged to assist in working with the governing
historical agencies as well as to address the process of working in or around these sites. If
archaeological artifacts are discovered in the course of construction, there may be requirements to
suspend work until a thorough investigation is completed.
Land contamination sites: Pollutants that have contaminated land generally come from industrial
processes, storage facilities, and disposal activities (landfills). During site selection, each site
should be screened for the potential of having contaminated soils. Likely areas include existing or
abandoned industrial developments or land adjacent to these developments. Also, land adjacent to
commercial marine activities and railroads has a high potential to contain contaminated soils. In
some cases, contamination plumes have been known to migrate a significant distance from the

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IEEE Std 1793-2012
IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

original contamination site. If a transition facility is to be sited in an area with contaminated soils,
special permits may be required, and special construction techniques may be necessary for worker
protection, spoils disposal, cable system protection, and long term maintenance.
Public lands: Siting of high voltage transition structures or stations on public lands require the
application of all the necessary permits and certificates including acquiring a right-of-way permit to
cross or access the lands. There typically are environmental compliance regulations that should be
met prior to construction. It may be necessary to prepare specific environmental studies which may
accompany the application in order to obtain regulatory approval from the appropriate jurisdiction.
In some cases, special legislative approval at the local, regional, or national level may be required
to obtain permission to construct on public land.

3.1.2 Community considerations

There are a number of community issues to be considered in siting a transition facility. These include the
following:

Noise: Noise sources at transition facilities can include shunt reactors, pressurizing and cooling
equipment (for pipe-type cables), switching noise, and corona and gap discharge related noise.
Standard noise evaluating techniques for substations can be used to evaluate reactor and
pressurizing plant/cooling plant noise. Switching noise tends to be very infrequent, and is generally
not a significant siting issue. Corona and gap discharges can generate audible noise and
electromagnetic interference (EMI). Selection of appropriate hardware for the operating voltage
will generally reduce or eliminate corona and gap discharges. Corona and gap discharges can
develop during service as a result of surface deposits or hardware damage. It may be necessary to
evaluate the anticipated audible noise levels and the potential to interfere with communication
signals during the design of high voltage transition facilities.
Aesthetics: A transition facility may have the appearance of a single transmission pole or tower, or
it may look like a substation. In siting a transition facility, viewscapes may need to be evaluated to
try to assess and/or reduce visual impact. Screening, such as plantings or architectural features
(walls, fences, etc.) may be required. It may not be possible to fully screen a transition facility,
since the overhead line and dead-end tower should have appropriate electrical clearances from any
screening. Depending on the voltage of the line, the height of the dead-end structures within a
transition station can reach in excess of 30 m (100 ft). Visual screening should be evaluated for
both effectiveness and for long term electrical clearance issues (particularly for plantings).
Electric and magnetic fields (EMF): Overhead lines generate both electric and magnetic fields.
Underground lines generate only magnetic fields due to the electric field being contained by the
cables shielding. At an overhead to underground transition facility, electric fields will primarily be
generated from the overhead lines and exposed buswork, if any. Magnetic fields will be generated
by the overhead lines, the underground cables and auxiliary equipment, such as shunt reactors.
Because of the complex geometry at a transition structure, magnetic field calculations can be
complex. Techniques used to evaluate EMF at substations may be necessary to evaluate EMF at
transition facilities. EMF may be a significant factor in the regulatory and environmental process
for site selection. There may be standards or guidelines for EMF levels on local, regional, and
national levels, and there are some international guidelines. Local jurisdictions may have
restrictions on EMF levels generated by power lines in the vicinity of schools, daycare centers,
hospitals, playgrounds, and residential areas. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing
Radiation (ICNIRP) has published voluntary guidelines for EMF Occupational Exposure. These
voluntary guidelines have been adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO). The American
Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has published occupational threshold
limit values for 60-Hz EMF. Compliance with the restrictions of local jurisdictions, the ICNIRP
guidelines or ACGIH thresholds may be a necessary part of the siting process.
Other community issues: There may be other community issues that could affect the siting of a
transition facility. These may be possible to identify during the siting studies, or they may arise
during the licensing of the line and/or the transition facility.

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IEEE Std 1793-2012
IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

If any of these factors become an issue with the siting of a transition facility, additional costs and time may
be required for permitting, design, mitigation activity at the time of construction, and possibly for future
maintenance activities.

3.1.3 Physical site considerations

When an underground line and transition terminal is planned, the following physical constraints need to be
considered:

Topography: A flat area is needed around the structure to allow for initial installation and future
maintenance. The size of the required flat area is determined by the ultimate configuration of the
transition site. If a flat area is unavailable, the area will generally need to be graded to provide a
suitable area. Retaining walls or other slope stabilization methods may be necessary to support any
cuts in side-slope areas.
Geological impacts: The soil should be evaluated for suitability for installation of roads and
foundations. Frequently, the termination structure for the overhead line has the most significant
foundation requirements, so this structure should be evaluated against local soil conditions.
Unsuitable soils may trigger additional civil construction requirements (piles, larger foundations,
cuts/fills, etc). To the extent possible, areas with water issues (wetlands, marshes, flood plain, etc.)
should be avoided for both environmental and construction reasons. Areas designated as high
seismic zones would require specialized engineering and construction techniques, and should be
avoided to the extent possible.
Airborne contaminant impacts: The transition station may be located in an area subject to airborne
contamination. Examples include salt spray from either coastal locations or from roadway deicing
treatments, airborne dust, pollution from industrial processes, or other contaminants. Consideration
of higher voltage class insulation for the open air components of the transition, and consideration of
higher voltage class cable terminations may be necessary.
Land use: Depending on the type of transition facility (monopole transition structures or a transition
station), the land use requirements will be different. In the case of individual monopole risers, the
transition will typically be done within the same overall width as the balance of the overhead right
of way.
A transition station equipped with multiple cables per phase, shunt reactors, switching equipment, a
control house and possibly pressurizing equipment (for pipe-type cables) will require significant
space. A transition station might occupy a hectare or more (several acres) of land.
Land use issues often fall under local zoning regulations. The proponent of a transition station site
might have to demonstrate consistency with zoning requirements or obtain variances.
Access: Regardless of whether a monopole structure or a transition station is required, underground
lines need to be constructed in areas that have access for trucks, trailers, and the other equipment
used to install conduits and/or pipe, set manholes, lay or pull cable, and install accessories.
Unrestricted access to the transition site is essential both for initial construction, and for ongoing
operation and maintenance. For monopole structures, the access should be such to allow
maintenance vehicles to drive up to the pole to facilitate initial construction, operation, and
maintenance of the structure and cable system. Whether a monopole or a transition station, the site
should be sized to appropriately accommodate the installation and maintenance equipment needed
for the particular cable system. Access is frequently a significant factor in determining the overall
space requirement at the transition. Site access will typically require construction of access roads at
suitable grades for the passage of construction vehicles. Within a fenced transition station,
sufficient room should be created within the fence to allow cable reels and reel handling equipment
to get to the cable pulling location, both for the initial installation and any possible future repairs. If
shunt reactors are required, the transition station needs to be located where very large trucks can
access the site to deliver and replace the reactors in the event of a failure.

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IEEE Std 1793-2012
IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

Tree growth in the vicinity of the transition station may need to be controlled, both to reduce the
possibility of branches contacting the overhead line, and to reduce the possibility of roots
interfering with the underground lines.
Interactions with adjacent facilities: Whenever an underground power cable circuit is installed and
placed in service, the impact on other adjacent facilities such as telecommunication, railroads, pipe
lines, highways, fences, etc, should be considered. The most obvious effect is the potential induced
current on parallel communication facilities (telecommunication and railroad communications) due
to the magnetic field generated by the electric line. Generally, there is no coupling to the service if
the underground circuit makes a perpendicular crossing to the circuit. If a line runs parallel to
another service for a substantial distance, discussion should be made with the owner of the facility
to determine the adequacy of the cable shielding on the cable. Typically, communication circuits
are adequately shielded so no adverse impact would be expected.
Effect on other metallic pipe lines and buried metallic structures: Underground metallic pipes and
structures are typically cathodically protected. HPFF and HPGF pipe-type cable systems are also
cathodically protected. An evaluation should be made to determine the type of cathodic protection
systems being used and determine if any stray currents are expected that could jeopardize either
cathodically protected system. If the new cable system will be cathodically protected, the user may
also need to evaluate effects on steel reinforced concrete pipes and other buried metallic structures.
If the new cable(s) will parallel a cathodically protected steel pipe, the effect that the generated
magnetic field from the cable might have on the pipeline cathodic protection should be considered.
Future extensions: Another factor to consider in designing a transition facility is whether there is a
future possibility of having to place additional sections of the same overhead line underground. If
this possibility exists, a manhole or other splicing area should be considered. This is best located
near the base of the transition structure. The purpose of this splicing area is to provide a convenient
location to extend the underground line. If a manhole or splice pit is not originally installed and the
underground line has to be extended in the future, it would be necessary to install a manhole or
splice pit around the cable pipe, duct bank, or buried cable section. Great care is needed to reduce
the possibility of damaging the cable pipe, conduit, and cable during this operation. Once the
manhole or splicing chamber is in place, the cable would then be cut at this location and new cable
installed. The other option would be to remove the cable back to the next manhole prior to any
excavation. This is typically more costly and would typically require a more extended cable outage
during the cutover.
Distribution underbuild: Distribution underbuild (consisting of overhead distribution lines
underbuilt on the same structures as overhead transmission lines) adds an additional level of
complexity to transition stations, both from clearance issues on the overhead line side, and for the
amount of additional equipment required at the transition facility. In general, transitions with
distribution underbuild should be avoided when possible. Given that the distribution transition will
likely be substantially smaller than the transmission facility, it may be possible to transition the
distribution line a short distance away from the transmission line dead-end, thereby reducing
electrical clearance issues and simplifying the transition station.
Monopole transition structure height limitations: While there is no height restriction for extruded
dielectric or HPGF cable systems, it is important to keep the mounting height of the terminations as
low as possible to facilitate cable and accessory installation. For HPFF and SCFF cables, which
have hydraulic pressure limitations, it is important to keep the termination mounting heights as low
as possible, while still satisfying electrical clearance requirements.
If the transition area is not fenced, it is important to make sure the required electrical clearances are
achieved.
In the vicinity of airports, structure height should be evaluated to determine that aircraft glide paths
are not affected by the structure.
Monopole transition structure placement limitations: Many of the same issues for placement of
overhead line structures (avoid placement near road intersections or driveways, place away from
traffic, etc.), apply to the placement of a monopole transition structure.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

3.1.4 Economic considerations

A thorough evaluation of the total project cost should be considered in determining the best-valued
installation for either an overhead or underground transmission line.

Overhead to underground transition facilities can vary widely in their size and complexity, thus ultimately
influencing the cost of the underground project. The transition facility can vary from a single monopole,
with no fenced in area, to a transition station that can occupy up to a hectare or more (several acres). A
transition station might be needed to contain terminal structures, cable terminations, station class arresters,
circuit breakers, disconnect switches, shunt reactors, interconnecting bus work, capacitive coupled voltage
transformers (CCVTs), current transformers (CTs), potential transformers (PTs), an overhead line terminal,
a control house for relays, control equipment, station batteries, battery chargers, back-up power supplies,
and for the various communication devices.

A single monopole could potentially accommodate the transition of multiple circuits from overhead to
underground. However, depending on the utilitys operating procedures, this design may not allow for a
portion of the circuit to remain in-service while another portion of the circuit is taken out of service to be
repaired or for other considerations. If the utility desires this type of flexibility, several monopole
transitions or a larger, more substation-like transition facility may be required.

In addition to the components within the transition facility, the facility will also require: foundations for all
the equipment, a station ground grid, and some form of access road. In addition, the facility may require
fencing, lighting, landscaping, etc. The size and complexity (and cost) of the transition station is dependent
upon the following:

Voltage rating
Physical location
Number of cables or circuits coming into the transition station
Number of overhead lines leaving the transition station
How will the circuit(s) be used if one line is out of service
How much remote control is desired
The extent of switching equipment required

In addition to the actual material costs, there are other cost items to consider for a transition facility,
including, but not limited to, the following:

Cost of different types of installations versus potential operating, environmental, or licensing


benefits of the installation.
Cost of the right-of-way.
Excavation costs associated with contaminated land typically include the cost of removing and
possibly performing on-site processing of the contaminated materials, as well as the cost of
transporting the contaminated spoils to an acceptable processing or disposal site.
Excavation costs in wetland areas may include stockpiling and reuse of the top soil layers to
reestablish native conditions at the end of construction. Other permit restrictions in wetland areas
should be included in any cost evaluations.
Cost for landscaping and possible irrigation requirements, repaving costs of roads, parking lots, and
related items.
Cost of yearly maintenance.
Cost of system interruption in case of failure and cost of time for restoration.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

In considering transition station designs, the owner should review alternate solutions for initial cost,
operational costs, and for future flexibility.

3.2 System impacts

Since an underground cable system has significantly different electrical characteristics, special
consideration needs to be taken when planning to connect an underground line to an overhead line. Some of
these considerations are as follows:

Reliability and availability


Cable rating
Electrical characteristics
Protection and control
Effect on switching devices

3.2.1 Reliability and availability

Reliability criterion is typically based on the number of times a particular transmission line experiences an
outage annually, while availability is typically based on the duration of time that a transmission line is out
of service over a year period of time due to faults or other problems on the transmission line. While an
underground line typically has a higher reliability than an overhead line (fewer outages), it typically has a
lower availability (longer outage duration). It takes a significant amount of time to place an underground
line back into service after an electrical or mechanical failure, particularly for systems using dielectric
fluids. Typical repair times for underground transmission lines can be extensive, ranging from days to
months depending on the fault location, the availability of the specialized personnel needed for repairs, and
the availability of spare materials. With extruded dielectric or SCFF cable systems, some of this outage
time can be reduced if a fourth cable is installed as an available spare. This increases the cost and
complexity of the installation. The transition facility should be set up to allow connection of the fourth
cable to any of the other cable positions.

If a utility determines that the lengthy outage repair time is unacceptable, another option is to install more
than one cable per phase in order to provide the required reliability in the underground segment. Multiple
cable installations may require a right-of-way wider than the typical 10 m (30 ft) width to allow working
room for the individual lines and to reduce mutual heating between cables. Multiple cables per phase
installations will require larger transition stations, or will require multiple transition structures.

3.2.2 Cable rating

Since the power transfer capability of a single underground cable may be lower than that of an overhead
line, the cable alternative may need two (or more) cables per phase to provide the required power transfer.
Multiple cables per phase will increase the size and complexity of the transition facility. Electrical issues,
particularly cable charging and mutual heating, will be increased with each additional cable installed. In
addition to providing higher ratings, installing multiple cables per phase has the benefit of possibly
increasing the overall availability of the cable system. If one cable fails, the remaining cable(s) can carry a
portion of the total design power transfer during the time it takes to repair the failed line. There are several
considerations, however:

If the line trips electrically, the operator will need to determine if the trip was due to a fault in the
overhead line section, in which case the entire line can generally be returned to service relatively
quickly. Fault differentiating protective relaying, if installed, can help with this determination.
Otherwise, cable testing may be required to identify the faulted cable. If the fault is in one of the
underground cables, the underground section will remain out of service until the failed cable is
identified, disconnected, and grounded. This can take anywhere from a few hours to days,

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

depending on the level of fault detection equipment and switching equipment present at the
transition station. If the transitions are in remote areas, separation of the faulted cable from the
system and restoration times for the un-faulted cable can be longer still.
Once repairs are underway on the faulted cable, repair crews need to contend with induced voltages
from the remaining energized cable(s). This may extend repair times.
System planners and/or system operators should evaluate whether power flows would exceed the
thermal rating of the remaining cable(s).
While an overhead line conductor is typically designed and rated for the expected emergency condition, an
underground line conductor is typically selected based on the normal continuous expected load.
Underground cable has a much longer thermal time constant than an overhead line, so an underground
cable can provide significantly higher than normal ratings for short durations of time without damaging the
cable. In any event, it is important to specify the normal maximum continuous load for the line and the
maximum short-term emergency rating and duration in order to properly size the cable. Cable rating issues
can affect transition facility design primarily if multiple cables are required for each overhead line, and if
cable spacing issues (to reduce mutual heating) affect structure spacing. Riser conduits or shrouds at
transition stations or at monopole transitions may require evaluation, and possible venting, so that cable
risers do not limit the overall circuit rating. Similarly, if the cables are to be installed inside of a monopole
structure, careful evaluation of cable ratings within the monopole may be warranted. In some cases, riser
sections can be thermally limiting. Riser ventilation, and possibly larger conductor sizes, may be necessary
to match buried cable ratings.

3.2.3 Electrical characteristics

The electrical characteristics of cables are significantly different than similar capacity overhead lines. A
brief discussion of some of these differences is included in 3.2.3.1 through 3.2.3.4.

3.2.3.1 Surge impedance

Cables are almost always thermally limited because cables generally have ten times the surge impedance
loading limit of a comparable overhead line. Cable circuit lengths are generally short, mostly because of
cost, but also because the charging current limits the allowable line length (for AC cables).

As a general characteristic, overhead lines have much higher series inductance and much lower shunt
capacitance than underground cables. As a result, the positive sequence surge impedance of a cable is much
lower than that of an overhead line. When inserting a section of cable into an overhead system, the user
should consider that the cableparticularly in a networked power systemmay carry greater load than a
parallel overhead line because the cable typically has lower positive sequence impedance. This
phenomenon is sometimes referred to as load hogging.

Loadflow analysis may determine that an underground cable will experience unacceptable load hogging
based on the relative impedance of the cable to other parallel overhead lines. In this case, it might be
necessary to incorporate additional equipment to better balance cable loading to the rest of the transmission
system. This equipment could include series reactors or phase shifting transformers. This type of equipment
can be incorporated at the line terminal stations, or at an overhead to underground transition. If this type of
equipment is to be installed at an overhead to underground transition, the transition cannot be performed
with a monopole, and a transition station will be necessary. The transition station will then have to be sized
to accommodate this equipment and the associated accessories.

3.2.3.2 Cable capacitance and reactive compensation

Since overhead lines are largely inductive while underground cables are largely capacitive, the overhead
lines generally consume reactive power (volt ampere reactive, or VARS) while cables typically generate
reactive VARS. This characteristic of underground cables can impact the voltage on a transmission system
and ultimately affect power flow. High voltage cable sections in an overhead circuit may require shunt
reactive compensation to mitigate the voltage effects on the transmission system due to the capacitive

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

VARS from the cable. Reactive compensation can take the form of air insulated reactor coils at lower
voltages (typically 115 kV and below), or oil immersed reactor coils at higher voltages (typically 115 kV
and higher). Reactive compensation can be installed at the line terminals or at the overhead to underground
transition. If reactive compensation is to be installed at the overhead to underground transition, the
transition cannot be done on a monopole, and a transition station will be required. Reactors, the associated
electrical connections to them and the maintenance space around them can add significantly to the
transition station size.

Capacitive effects from underground cables become more pronounced as line length increases. Capacitive
effects also are much more pronounced at higher transmission operating voltages. In addition to the
possibility that shunt reactors may be required at transition facilities, cable charging current affects the type
of switches that can be installed at transition stations. Switches carry an interrupting rating for capacitive
current, which may be significantly lower than other interrupting ratings. If a transition facility will have
switching capability, it is important for the user to evaluate all the switching requirements (load pickup or
load dropping, making or breaking parallels, interrupting charging current, and perhaps even fault
interrupting), and determine that adequate switch capability is specified.

3.2.3.3 Short circuit currents

Short circuit capabilities of cables should be carefully considered in the cable design; particularly for
extruded dielectric and self-contained fluid-filled cables. The pipe of a pipe-type cable generally has
significant fault current carrying capacity, although pipe grounding should be configured carefully to allow
the fault current to reach ground. The fault current capability of a transmission cable is normally evaluated
for the case of a single-line-to-ground fault, where the fault current passes through one of the cable phase
conductors and may return through the cable metallic shield or sheath. Many utilities conservatively use
cable shield/sheath designs that allow for 1530 cycles in the event that primary protection fails to operate,
at which point, secondary protection systems will be called upon to operate to clear the fault. Adiabatic
conditions are usually assumed when sizing the shield/sheath cross sectional area.

A cable in a hybrid circuit may increase the fault current levels further out on the line because of the lower
zero sequence impedance for cable as compared to overhead lines. Consequentially, distance relays may
have to be adjusted to consider a section of cable inserted into an overhead circuit.

The transition structures will typically require provisions for attaching link boxes, polarization cells or
isolator surge protectors (ISP) (for cathodically protected cable systems), cable shield and arrester bonding
leads, and other bonding and grounding facilities. In addition, adequate shield connections to ground at the
transition facility, and adequate buried grounding conductors to establish low ground resistance and low
step/touch potential issues, should be evaluated.

3.2.3.4 Overvoltage and insulation coordination

As with any transmission system, the effects of overvoltage on the transmission system need to be
addressed. Overvoltage on any transmission system can be caused by lightning, switching, and system
instability. Insulation coordination studies should be performed to determine the correct insulation and
protection level for hybrid overhead and underground transmission lines. The most effective way of
limiting overvoltages on the underground line is to install properly sized arresters at each end of the cable.
Transition facilities should have accommodations for surge arresters close to each cable termination. This
can be accomplished with the installation of suitable brackets on monopole transitions, or be incorporated
in the termination support structure in transition stations.

3.2.4 Effect on protection and control

An underground segment in an overhead transmission line can cause a number of difficulties that should be
addressed when designing a hybrid transmission line relay protection and control system. Depending on
system requirements, the transition station could be as simple as a monopole structure used to connect the

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

overhead line to the underground cable or as complicated as a substation with circuit breakers, shunt
reactors, protective relaying, AC and DC power supplies and communication facilities. Each transition
station design provides its own relaying concerns.

Some of the main points to consider concerning protection and control of hybrid transmission lines include
the following:

Variations in the overall line impedance caused by having one or more parallel cables out of service
for maintenance while the remaining cable(s) and overhead portions remain in service.
Impedance mismatch between the overhead and underground sections.
Shunt reactors, if located at a transition station, should have protection installed locally, requiring
all normal system redundancy (e.g., dual AC and DC systems).
Fault detection and/or location equipment at the transition station may be needed to determine if the
fault is in the cable section to enable or prohibit automatic reclosing.
System studies may determine that it is desirable to remove one of the parallel cables from service
during light load periods to reduce the line charging. Switching devices (circuit breakers or circuit
switchers) would be required for this capability.
If there is automatic reclosing installed on the line, consideration should be given to discharging the
trapped charge on the line prior to re-energization.
If a protective scheme requires use of potential transformers (PTs) mounted at the terminals of the
underground cables, these PTs should have their secondaries connected to a load per the
transformers manufacturers recommendations to prevent ferro-resonance from occuring between
the underground cable capacitance and the PT inductance. This ferro-resonance can cause a very
high voltage which can cause the PTs iron core to saturate. The excessive excitation current
generated can cause the primary winding of the PT to fail due to thermal heating above the rating of
the primary winding insulation.

3.2.4.1 System protection issues

There are various protective relay types used for the protection of transmission lines. These can range from
simple overcurrent relays to distance or differential relays with communication between substations.
Overcurrent relays are generally used on lower voltage systems not requiring high-speed fault clearing. On
high voltage transmission systems, high-speed clearing is desirable, and requires a protection system with a
communication channel(s). One common form of communication channel for overhead transmission lines
is the use of power line carrier. With power line carrier, a high frequency signal is coupled onto the
transmission line and transmitted (or received) at the substation. Power line carrier is sensitive to the
characteristic impedance (surge impedance) of the line, and any changes in the characteristic impedance
along the line. The overhead and underground portions of a combination overhead/underground line have
different characteristic impedances, which would cause a power line carrier signal to have wave reflections
and signal loss. Thus, power line carrier communication is not recommended for a hybrid transmission line.
Other forms of communication for line relaying purposes should be considered, such as audio tone,
microwave, fiber optics, or a carrier bypass system.

A carrier bypass system could be installed to route the carrier signal around the underground section of the
line. The equipment includes a coupling capacitor and wave trap at each transition structure to collect the
carrier signal and minimize the signal reflection back along the overhead line. This type of system will also
require the appropriate communications cable and equipment between the coupling capacitors to carry the
signal around the underground section of the line.

Frequently, overhead transmission lines are equipped with optical fiber ground wire (OPGW) for station-
to-station communication. The underground transmission segment of a hybrid circuit can incorporate
equivalent underground fiber optic cables. The end to end fiber optic connection is frequently used as part
of a high-speed clearing protective relaying scheme.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

System studies may indicate that under light load periods, it is desirable to remove a parallel cable on a
combination overhead/underground line from service to reduce line charging. When the cable section is
removed from service, the overall line impedance between substations will change. The impedance change
needs to be accounted for if distance type relays are being used to protect the line. Monitoring of the
number of cables in service at the transition stations, with communication to the remote (substation) ends,
can allow for the appropriate relay settings to be employed.

When a transmission line is all underground cable from substation to substation, shunt reactors, when
required, are installed at those substations and protected similar to a transformer. If system studies indicate
that shunt reactors need to be installed at a transition station, protective relaying will also need to be
installed, along with all the ancillary equipment needed to support a protective system. The ancillary
equipment may include relay and control enclosure, AC and DC systems with appropriate backup,
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) equipment, Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) as well as
either local circuit breaker(s) or remote tripping at the substation.

System protection issues may be addressed with equipment located at the remote substation ends of a
hybrid overhead/underground system, or it may be necessary to install protective equipment at the actual
transition facility. In that case, it is often necessary to have a control house, with associated climate control,
AC and DC power supplies, and communication equipment located at the transition station.

3.2.4.2 Reclosing

Overhead transmission lines usually employ automatic reclosing to attempt to restore a line after a fault.
This is done because many faults on overhead transmission lines are temporary in nature. Faults on
underground transmission lines are almost never temporary, and reclosing into an underground cable fault
can cause more damage, extending already lengthy repair outages. With combination
overhead/underground lines, it is desirable to determine that the fault is not in the underground portion of
the line prior to permitting reclosing.

Protective relaying, current transformers, potential transformers, communication equipment, and other
protection equipment can be installed at the transition station to detect if the fault is in the underground
portion of the line and send a signal to the remote substations to permit or prohibit reclosing. However, due
to the possibility for trapped charge to remain on the cable, especially for extra high voltage cable systems,
special interrupting devices with a low DC impedance may be needed to discharge the cable trapped charge
to a safe level prior to permitting a reclose to occur. Potential transformers, shunt reactors, and power
transformers with grounded-wye high voltage windings will discharge cables or overhead lines over a
period of time because their DC impedance is equal to their winding resistance. Capacitive coupled voltage
transformers (CCVTs) or delta connected power transformers will not drain trapped charge because they
have a very high DC resistance. If conventional transformer potential devices are used to drain trapped
charge, the manufacturer should be consulted to determine if their primary winding is capable of handling
the relatively high current during discharge of the line capacitance.

At many utilities, the preferred relaying scheme to differentiate between overhead and underground faults
is a current differential scheme around the cables. The differential scheme compares the incoming and
outgoing current on the line. Differential schemes should account for cable charging currents.

It is recommended that the cable manufacturer be contacted and operating guidelines be set up in advance
to have these on hand to cover different reclosing situations and outage time.

Pipe-Type Cables:

If the fault is in the pipe cable section and the initial fault arc did not burn a hole through the pipe wall
thickness initially, there is a much greater risk that this could occur on a reclosure. Pipe-type cable systems

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

operate at a nominal 200 psig internal pressure, and an instantaneous leak will occur if the pipe is
compromised. In a HPFF system, a leak could require a costly environmental cleanup. If the initial fault arc
did burn through the pipe, a reclosure could ignite a fire. In a HPGF system, there is no fluid leak but the
loss of nitrogen could allow ground water to enter through the hole in the pipe, resulting in cable damage
and possibly extending the outage duration. Reclosing may also damage additional phases, extending
restoration time.

If an outage of a hybrid overhead/pipe-type cable system is caused by a fault on the overhead section, the
restoration of the overall overhead/underground circuit will be affected by the pressures experienced by the
pipe-type cable during the outage. If the pipe-type cables were always kept at their nominal operating
pressure throughout the outage, then no special precautions or procedures are needed for the HPFF or
HPGF system when re-energizing the circuit. However, on HPFF cables, if the outage affected the
electrical supply to the pressurizing plant and if backup pressurizing systems were unable to maintain
pressure on the cables, then a re-pressurizing process should be undertaken before re-energizing the cable.
If the pressure on an HPFF pipe-type cable went extremely low (below 50 psig), then an extensive re-
pressurizing process, including venting the terminations, will be necessary. It will also be necessary to
slowly re-pressurize the cables in multiple steps (typically 25 to 50 psi per step), with holds (typically
1 to 4 hours) at each step, and a final multi-hour hold at the operating pressure (nominal 200 psi). The re-
pressurizing could take several days

Extruded Cables:

If the fault is in the underground section and the initial fault arc did not melt the cable to the conduit in the
case of a duct system installation or damage the adjacent cables if the cables are touching (i.e., cable
installed direct buried in a trefoil arrangement), there is a much greater risk that this could occur on a
reclosure. If the cable is melted to the inside of the conduit, it may be difficult or impossible to remove the
faulted section of cable and replace it with a spare cable. If the cable is installed with the cables touching,
reclosing may also damage additional phases, extending restoration time. If the initial cable fault was in a
splice in a manhole or splicing vault, a reclosure has the potential to damage adjacent cables or to ignite
combustible gases generated from the initial fault, causing more damage, and extending the outage.

3.2.4.3 Faults and restoration

A fault on an underground line typically has long repair times. The repair times can be about one to two
weeks for extruded cables up to and including 138 kV, two weeks to a month or more for higher voltages,
and a month or more for a HPFF or HPGF system, although some special situations require much longer
repair times. Repair times are dependent on the following:

Ability to find the fault


Physical constraints at the fault location
Extent of repairs required
Availability of spare parts
Availability of qualified repair personnel

In developing a transition station or monopole structure, the ability to repair faulted cables should be
considered. Clearances to parallel transmission cables on the same or adjacent structures and clearance to
the overhead lines should be evaluated for terminal cable pulls and for installation of terminations. The
designer should consider that during installation of the porcelain or polymer insulator of a termination, the
height of the insulator plus an allowance for the crane boom and lifting cables should be added to the
finished height of the termination.

If adequate clearance is not provided for cable repairs, it may be necessary to switch out adjacent lines,
perhaps at a time when they are needed most because of failure of the first line. This could result in
transmission system restrictions, loss of load, or perhaps delay cable repairs to a lower load time of year.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

Some options are available to reduce the restoration time of a transmission cable system. For extruded
dielectric cable systems or self-contained fluid-filled cable systems, a spare cable can be installed and
terminated to reduce the chance of prolonged system outages. A spare cable has cost and operational issues,
but may be justified by the utility for one or more of the following reasons:
a) The circuit is of particular importance for system reliability
b) The circuit is a radial feed where there is limited ability to serve the load by other means.
c) Replacement of a failed cable will require an unusually long period of time
d) The economic consequences of circuit down time are high

Close attention should be given to placement of the spare cable terminations to minimize connection time
to any of the three cable system phases. The spare cable is usually energized from one end to minimize
switchover time and to gain assurance that the spare cable is in good operating condition. In some cases the
spare cable is connected in parallel with one of the three normal service cables; however, this is uncommon
because it creates an unbalance in the phase impedances and may result in circulating currents. A spare
cable will be in a different relative position to the normal cable geometry. This will reduce the effectiveness
of a cross bonded shield systems. For this reason, cross bonding is not recommended for a system with a
spare cable. If a user requires a cross-bonded cable shield, the effect on the cancellation should be carefully
evaluated for use of the spare cable.
Because of cable charging issues, the installation of an energized spare cable is generally not recommended
for extra high voltage cable systems or very long underground segments. However, the extremely long
repair time has occasionally led to installing a spare cable for long submarine cables.

Cable Termination Replacement:

For direct buried transmission cables or the last section approaching the riser in a duct bank installation,
slack cable is sometimes installed for all three cable phases in the immediate vicinity of the cable
termination structure. This allows for the re-termination of the cables if there is a termination failure or
damage to the above ground portion of the cable. Re-termination is accomplished by excavating the slack
loop and drawing the slack out until there is enough undamaged cable available at the structure. The
transition facility layout should be done in such a manner that there are no obstructions in the area where
the cable relocation would occur.
Another approach to cable termination replacement is to install a splice pit or pull-through manholes in
close proximity to the cable terminations. In this case, the repair plan is to cut the cable of the failed
termination in the pull-through vault, pull in a short replacement cable, install a splice in the pull-through
vault, and terminate the newly installed length of cable. This approach is sometimes used for systems
installed in conduit systems, or for direct buried cables when there is no room for the slack cable lengths
close to the cable terminations support structures.

3.2.5 Effect on switching devices

An important design consideration for transitioning between overhead and underground is the decision of
whether a switching device is needed to disconnect the underground circuit from the overhead line. The
following factors should be considered:
Voltage
Length of line/charging current
Space availability
Operational issues
In-service switching of multiple cables per phase
Structure design
Switch design

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IEEE Std 1793-2012
IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

All these issues should be addressed to be able to design a suitable disconnecting means.

One of the main concerns in selecting the disconnect means is the ability of the method selected to deal
with the charging current of the underground line.

A common method used for disconnecting a short underground circuit from the overhead line is the
removal of the jumper. The main advantage is that the transition can be accommodated on a single pole
structure with a compact design. Disadvantages include the need for a line outage, and that it requires a
construction crew to go to the site and physically remove the jumper.

Where the underground line is longer and thereby has a higher charging current, a disconnect switch may
be needed. It is important to confirm that the cable charging current does not exceed the interrupting
capability of the disconnecting device. Cable charging current is almost purely capacitive, so the
capacitive switching rating of the device should be examined. The main disadvantage of disconnect
switches is the need for additional space on a structure or an additional structure and land.

If a disconnect switch is unable to handle the charging current, then more sophisticated disconnecting
means, such as circuit breakers or circuit switchers, would need to be used.

If the switches at transition facilities will be used to make or break parallels (for multiple cable per phase
installations), or to drop or pick up load, the capability of the switching device should be examined for
suitability for these applications, as well as for charging current capability.

4. Design
Before the design or selection of a transition facility can begin, a comprehensive design criteria document
should be developed. This document should consist of the following:

Maintenance requirements
Operation requirements.
Cable system type (Extruded Dielectric, HPFF, HPGF, SCFF, GITL)
Reliability requirements (installed fourth cable)
Cable system requirements (voltage, multiple circuits, multiple cables per phase, etc.)

Once this document has been established, the decision of whether a single structure transition or a transition
station can be made. If switching is required to isolate the overhead from the underground, a transition
station is recommended. Because of switching requirements at higher voltages and because of the large
minimum bending radius of the cables, single shaft structures are generally not used for installations over
230 kV.

4.1 Monopole structure layout/design

The following subclauses detail items to consider in the design of a monopole transition structure.

4.1.1 Structure layout

The following items should be considered when laying out a monopole structure:

Cable support and protection


Training the cable away from the pole to the termination locations (S-bend design)
Minimum bending radius for the cable

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IEEE Std 1793-2012
IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

Location and orientation (vertical or at an angle) of the terminations


Electrical clearances
Climbing and working space clearances
Cable thermal ratings

Design of the overhead transmission transition structure should provide the proper electrical clearances and
requirements as defined in the National Electric Safety Code (NESC). These clearances should address
the electrical clearance from the conductors, jumper loops, equipment, and other energized parts to the
surfaces of the supporting structures and to the spaces that are designated for climbing and /or working on
the structures.

If a monopole structure will be used for a transition between a single overhead line and two sets of
underground cables per phase, the user may want the ability to operate the line with one set of cables in
service while repairs are being performed on the second set of cables. One possible design for this type of
transition would be to attach the overhead line to the tower with the phases arranged vertically. Each cable
circuit would be terminated on opposite sides of the monopole structure with removable connections from
the overhead line to each cable termination. In designing the monopole structure, careful evaluation of
electrical clearances is required to determine whether the cable repairs can be performed safely. As a
practical matter, this type of design is only achievable at lower transmission voltages, and even at the lower
transmission voltages, a transition station may be more suitable. In some cases two monopoles are provided
to give the required separation.

If a monopole structure will be used in conjunction with an installed spare fourth cable, the structure should
be arranged so that the termination from the fourth phase can be electrically connected to any of the three
overhead line positions. One possible way to accomplish this would be by terminating the active cable
phases on the sides of the monopole, and terminating the spare cable on the back of the pole (opposite
the overhead line attachment) and near the height of the lowest active termination. Vertical bus or open
wire on standoff insulators is installed up the pole from the spare termination, allowing installation of
jumpers to any of the three overhead phases.

NOTEA cable sheath bonding system utilizing single point bonding is recommended for this application since no
further modifications to the bonding system is necessary to connect the spare cable. If cross-bonding is used with an
energized spare, the spare cable will not be as balanced with the active cables. This will negatively affect cable
ampacity ratings. Cross-bonding with a spare cable will also create the need to reconfigure link boxes in order to place
the spare phase in service and remove the faulted cable. An engineering evaluation should be completed no matter
which sheath bonding method is chosen to determine the impact of an energized spare cable with regards to the voltage
rise at the open end and to evaluate the spare phase capacitance contribution to the system.

4.1.2 Structural design

Structure loads should include all typical attachments for a monopole type structure with conductors, static
wires, and insulators. In addition, the structure should be designed for the additional weight and transverse
loads due to the following:

Cables
Shrouds/cable guards if installed (to protect cables at groundline)
Terminations
Surge arresters
Link boxes
Donut-type current transformers

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IEEE Std 1793-2012
IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

When designing the transition structure, at least the following items should be considered:

The structure and support arms should be designed for all local wind, ice, seismic, and code loads
on arm and equipment. Deflection limits for both the structure as well as the cable components
should be examined. Cable and accessory manufacturers may be consulted for information on
acceptable deflection limits. Design consideration should be given to possible personnel on arms,
forces associated with the cable pulling and of possible weight of cable being suspended from
arms during installation.

The attachment plate for the terminations should have an open side (sometimes referred to as the
horseshoe cutout) to facilitate cable installation and to eliminate circulating currents in the steel.
Standoff insulators should be installed to isolate cable sheath voltages or pipe voltages from the
grounded structure. These are generally provided with the cable termination.

Some cable manufacturers and/or termination manufacturers require double clamps below the
termination to limit movement of the cable into the termination (possibly disrupting seals or
electrical stress control) under expansion and contraction of the cable. Other termination designs
may incorporate basket grips to support the weight of the cable. The structure should
accommodate the required cable support and clamping at the termination. Clamping of cable on
the structure may be required at frequent intervals, both to support cable weight and to restrain the
cables from movement under short circuit conditions. A typical clamping interval is 1 m to 2 m
(3 ft to 6 ft).

Vertical or horizontal steel members may be required below support arms to support cables.

If metal conduits are required to protect the cable up the pole or for pulling purposes at the sweep
at the base of the pole, these conduits should be non-magnetic. Materials such as aluminum and
stainless steel are suitable non-magnetic conduits. Steel conduit should not be used unless all three
cables are installed together in the same conduit. If an individual cable is installed in a steel
conduit, circulating currents will result, ultimately resulting in additional heating and a significant
reduction in the current carrying capacity of the circuit.

If a spare (fourth) phase cable is installed, the transition structure should be designed to
accommodate the fourth cable, including the associated termination and arrester. Additionally, the
transition should accommodate buswork or other means to allow the spare phase to be connected
to any of the other three phases.

If two cables per phase are required for either rating or reliability purposes, consideration should
be given as to whether the un-faulted cable can remain in service while the faulted cable is
repaired. If the un-faulted cable is to remain in service, electrical clearance for a terminal cable
pull and for termination installation should be evaluated. In most cases, the necessary clearance
will not be achievable on a monopole, and a transition station would be required.

Special design and detailing should be developed for a structure in which the cables pass through
the structure base plate or structure foundation, such as accessibility to the cable for construction
and future maintenance, cable clamping, installation requirements, etc.

4.1.3 Types of structures

As with overhead line structures, various types of structures can and have been used for the transition
structure, such as self-supporting steel, guyed steel, wood, concrete, laminate, etc. The most common is
self-supporting steel. A self-supporting steel structure eliminates the potential clearance issue if the
structure had to be guyed. In a true overhead to underground transition facility, the transition structure will
almost always be a dead end structure for the overhead line. Occasionally, this structure may be a tangent
structure, for example if the underground line is a tap to a new load.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

Structure material choices need to be carefully evaluated. Wood poles for transmission-class cable
installations are generally to be discouraged for transition structures due to the eventual maintenance issues
resulting from wood decay. Reinforced concrete poles and steel poles are generally considered more
suitable for transition structures due to their anticipated longevity. Where steel poles are utilized,
consideration should be given to the joining method of multiple piece poles. Both slip fit and flange joints
are commonly used, but with cables being installed on transmission structures, extra attention should be
given to determine that the structure design does not allow movement of the joint after its assembly. Slip fit
jointed poles should have a method for locking the joint to minimize joint movement. Several through-bolts
are usually sufficient to restrain a slip fit jointed pole, although other means of restraint can be considered.
Flange jointed poles by their nature restrict movement of the joint after assembly. However, a flange
jointed pole can add considerable cost to the structure and furthermore, special attention needs to be made
for the flange when running the cable up the pole.

4.1.4 Structure grounding

Grounding of the transition facility should follow the utilitys appropriate grounding standard.

Typical structure grounds may consist of a single rod, or may involve multiple rods, grillages, foundations,
counterpoise, potential control rings, etc. Selection of a grounding method is a function of at least the
following:

Transmission line structure: The resistivity of the transition structure is dependent on the material
used. The most common monopole transition structure is self-supporting steel. This structure has a
lower resistivity than a wood structure. Even though a steel structure has low resistance, general
practice at many utilities is to install a separate ground conductor on the steel pole to provide
bonding to surge arresters, link boxes and terminations.

Wood poles may require supplemental grounding that would be consistent and in compliance with
the NESC. A separate ground conductor should be installed on the wood poles to provide bonding
to surge arresters, link boxes and terminations.

Soil electrical resistivity: Soil resistivity should be measured at the location of the transmission
structure. The resistivity of the soil varies with depth, type and concentration of materials,
moisture content and temperature. If the existing soil conditions have a high resistivity,
supplemental grounding may be required to provide an adequate fault path. Higher resistivity will
create a higher ground potential during abnormal conditions, resulting in possible insulator or
equipment flashover.

Ground resistance: The structure grounding should provide a resistance that is sufficiently low
enough to keep ground potentials to acceptable levels during abnormal conditions. The utilitys
standard grounding procedure should be consulted to determine the appropriate level of resistance
desired for each location.

Earth surface potentials: During abnormal conditions like lightning strokes and phase-to-ground
faults, very high magnitude, short duration currents will flow within the grounding network. Part,
or all, of this current will flow through the structure ground. This will cause a momentary voltage
to appear on the structure ground that is a function of the current magnitude and the structure
ground resistance. This voltage often referred to as ground potential rise (GPR) is of special
interest with respect to earth surface potentials.

GPR effects include the presence of earth surface potentials between the structure ground and
remote earth. This creates the possibility of exposure to step and touch potentials for persons in the
vicinity of the structure at this specific instant. If the transition structure is located in an area

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

accessible to the general public, additional grounding studies may be required to assess the
effectiveness of the structure ground in controlling earth surface potential.

It may be necessary to install a supplemental grounding system at the transmission structure


(interconnected ground rods, ground grids or mats, etc.) to reduce the structure to ground
resistance, and to keep step and touch potentials to acceptable limits.

If there are adjacent buried pipelines near the transition pole, additional precautions may be
warranted. The pipeline owner may have requirements for minimal separation distance between
structure grounds and the pipeline. In general, bonding between the structure and the pipeline is
usually prohibited.

Supplemental grounding: Direct-embedded steel structures and structures with drilled-pier


foundations where the foundations steel reinforcing bars are electrically bonded to the structure
generally constitute effective and acceptable ground. A separate ground conductor provided for
bonding of cable accessories such as arresters, link boxes and terminations is recommended on the
structure and this separate ground conductor should be bonded to the structure ground and the
parallel ground continuity conductor. Should a separate ground conductor not be installed on steel
structures and bonding is performed directly to the metal pole, it is recommended that bonds be
installed across the interface of multiple piece steel poles.

Structure shielding: Shielding of transition structures consists of overhead shield wire(s), also
called overhead ground wires, positioned on the structure to intercept the lightning strikes and
reduce the likelihood of lightning striking the overhead conductors or the underground cable
termination equipment such as the cable terminations, the jumpers and the arrestors. Direct
lightning strikes to the overhead phase conductors will almost always result in a momentary
outage to the line. Direct lightning strikes to the underground termination equipment are likely to
cause serious damage to equipment and the cable. The position of the shield wires to reduce the
possibility of direct strikes to underground termination equipment depends upon at least the
following: the height of the structure, the height of surrounding structures, and the frequency of
cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in the area. Tall structures and structures in areas of frequent
lightning strikes should have shield wires located directly above or slightly outside of the
underground termination equipment. On short transition structures, or structures that are
surrounded by taller structures, trees, or buildings, a single shield wire located on the top of the
pole may protect the equipment from direct strikes, provided the vertical angle from the shield
wire to the equipment is less than 30 degrees.

4.1.5 Extruded dielectric/SCFF installations

The following design items should be considered when determining which type of structure to use:

Supporting of the cable. The cable should be periodically supported by non-magnetic cable
clamps. Most cable manufacturers require the cable to be supported, typically every 1 m to 2 m
(3 ft to 6 ft).

Affect the transition structure design would have on the rating of the cable (for example, riser pipe
or shroud ventilation, ventilation for cables installed inside the pole).

Cable protection (shrouds, riser conduits, etc).

There are two ways that are utilized to mount underground cable to a steel structure.

Install the cable inside the structure.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

Install the cable on the outside of the structure.

Installation of the cable on the outside of the structure is the more common approach.

4.1.5.1 Cable installed inside the pole

Installation of the cable inside of the pole provides complete protection from external damage. However,
this type of installation is more costly to install and more difficult to maintain than installing the cable on
the outside of the pole because of the following:

May require a larger diameter pole and foundation to allow internal access for clamping of the
cable. Otherwise, access holes are needed periodically along the length of the pole to allow for the
ability to reach into the pole and clamp the cable.
Requires special foundation design to allow the cable to be brought inside the structure. If the
cables pass through the foundation of the structure, the foundation rebar should also be carefully
arranged to avoid closing magnetic loops around individual cables.
More difficult to install cable inside the structure.
More difficult to restore the cable inside the structure in the event of a failure.
Cable ratings can be thermally limiting inside the pole. Pole ventilation or larger conductors may be
required.

4.1.5.2 Cable installed outside the pole

Installation of the cable outside of the structure is less costly than installing cable inside of the structure
because of the following:

Ease of installation and restoration.


Smaller diameter pole and foundation.
Lower pole and foundation costs.

The cable should be supported on the outside of the structure by non-magnetic cable clamps. Since lower
sections of the cable may be susceptible to possible external damage, provisions should be made to protect
the cable at the lower segment of the pole [from grade to a minimum of 3 m (10 ft) above grade]. This can
be accomplished by non-magnetic conduits or a metallic shroud covering all three phases. Poly vinyl
chloride (PVC), fiberglass reinforced epoxy (FRE), polyethylene (PE), or other plastic conduits, suitably
treated for UV resistance, can be considered for cable protection. The cable in the riser conduits should be
evaluated for thermal rating effects. Conduit ventilation or larger conductors in the risers may be necessary
if it is found that the risers thermally limit the cable circuit.

In case of multiple conduits, the individual conduits are usually supported by pipe straps and by pipe
supports. The cables should be placed on the side of the supporting structure away from vehicular traffic,
whenever practical. Caution should be exercised to insure that only non-magnetic materials are used for
riser conduits and hardware where single phases are installed in each riser. Riser cables should be
supported at the upper end of the conduit by a cable grip. In addition, a lower cable support may be
installed at the duct mouth. One or more additional intermediate cable supports may be required if elevation
differences exceed grip holding capacities or cable design parameters. The design of the cable terminations
may also dictate the type and amount of support that is required for a particular installation.

If a cable shroud is used to protect all three phases, ampacity effects within the shroud should be
considered. If cable ratings become a concern, ventilation of the shroud will typically address this. In order
to ventilate the shroud, the shroud should not extend all the way to the base of the structure, where it would
block off air from entering the bottom of the shroud. The top and bottom of the cable shroud should be
designed to allow air to flow through the shroud, creating a chimney effect. This will reduce the possibility

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

of the cable becoming the thermally limiting element of the circuit. For a ventilated shroud, it is
recommended that the bottom of the shroud end 10 cm to 20 cm (4 in to 8 in) above the base of the
structure. A wire screen or other similar material should be installed between the top of the foundation and
bottom of the shroud, to reduce the possibility of rodents nesting in this area. If the transition structure is
potentially accessible to the public, a suitable mechanical maze should be incorporated into the lower
vent to protect the public and the cable. If shroud ventilation is determined to be inadequate, larger
conductors might be needed in the riser section.

4.1.6 Pipe-type installations

In general, only one end of a high pressure fluid filled pipe-type cable can be installed using a monopole
transition because of the need for a cable pressurizing plant and associated equipment. With a high pressure
gas filled cable, it is possible to have monopole transitions on both ends. However, depending on utility
practice, a fenced transition might be needed on one or both ends of a HPGF cable to enclose gas cabinets
and system protection equipment.

A pipe-type cable transition monopole will generally resemble an extruded-dielectric monopole transitions
in appearance and simplicity. The following two basic designs are employed:

The transition from carbon steel line pipe containing the three phases to stainless steel riser pipes
for the three individual phases can be made below ground using a spreader head (steel sleeve that
makes the transition in pipes) or a below ground trifurcating joint. The stainless steel pipes are then
run up the transition pole to the individual terminations and the completed installation very closely
resembles that used for extruded dielectric cables.
The carbon steel line pipe is brought above ground through a 90 degree sweep. The spreaderhead
is placed above ground, and the stainless steel riser pipes are routed to the terminations.

4.2 Transition site design

4.2.1 Site layout

The layout of the site is predicated on the amount of equipment that is needed, such as disconnect switches,
reactors, breakers, control house, etc. The design of a transition station is similar to that of a switching
station. The utility should use their normal substation design specifications and standards for equipment
layout, phase spacing, electrical clearances, etc.

4.2.2 Structure design

When designing the transition station structures, at least the following items should be considered:

Structure should be designed for all local wind, ice, seismic, and code loads on arm and equipment.
Design consideration should be given to possible personnel on the structures, forces associated with
the cable pulling and of possible weight of cable being suspended from the structure during
installation.
The attachment plate for the terminations should have an open side (sometimes referred to as the
horseshoe cutout) to facilitate cable installation and to eliminate circulating currents in the steel.
Standoff insulators should be installed to isolate cable sheath voltages or pipe voltages from the
grounded structure. These are generally provided with the cable termination.
Some cable manufacturers and/or termination manufacturers require double clamps below the
termination to limit movement of the cable into the termination (possibly disrupting seals or
electrical stress control) under expansion and contraction of the cable. Other termination designs
may incorporate basket grips to support the weight of the cable. The structure should accommodate
the required cable support and clamping at the termination.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

A careful underground interference study should be performed in the area of the termination
structure foundations. The cable will be approaching the termination structure through large radius
conduit sweeps (possibly concrete encased) or with large radius bends (for direct buried cables).
Because transmission cables have limited flexibility, the cable or conduit should be carefully
aligned with the cable clamps and with the termination location. Structure foundations and
conduit/cable sweeps should be evaluated for potential interference. Caisson style foundations may
provide less interference potential than spread footings. A two legged riser structure (as opposed to
individual structures for each phase) will also reduce potential interference issues.
Vertical or horizontal steel members may be required below support arms to support cables.
If a spare (fourth) phase cable is installed, the transition structure should be designed to
accommodate the fourth cable, including the associated termination and arrester. Additionally, the
transition should accommodate buswork or other means to allow the spare phase to be connected to
any of the other three phases. For a transition station, the spare phase is terminated in a location
such that any of the three normal phase locations can be reached by the installation of buswork and
jumpers.
If two cables per phase are required for either rating or reliability purposes, consideration should be
given as to whether the un-faulted cable can remain in service while the faulted cable is repaired. If
the un-faulted cable is to remain in service, electrical clearance for a terminal cable pull and for
termination installation should be evaluated. Even with a transition station, electrical clearances to
other cable terminations, overhead lines, and station buswork should be evaluated.

4.2.3 Switching equipment

Depending on the operating practices of a utility, switching equipment may be needed at a transition. These
would include, but not be limited to the following:

Disconnect switches
Interrupter switches
Circuit switchers
Circuit breakers
Grounding switches

The user should carefully evaluate switch capability for the anticipated switching duty.

4.2.4 Grounding

Since a transition station is similar to a substation, the grounding of the equipment within the transition
stations would follow the utilitys standard grounding procedure for substations.

A separate ground conductor provided for bonding of cable accessories such as arresters, link boxes, and
terminations is recommended on the structure and this separate ground conductor should be bonded to the
station ground and the parallel ground continuity conductor.

4.3 Other design considerations

In addition to the design of the transition structures, the items in 4.3.1 through 4.3.10 should also be
considered.

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IEEE Std 1793-2012
IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

4.3.1 Arrester and termination material

CIGRE Technical Brochure 189 [B4] provides good information on arrester selection and placement.
Station-class arresters should be used in all cases to protect transmission cables and are recommended to be
placed at each end of a cable segment.

One issue that should be considered when cable terminations and surge protection devices are installed on
transition structures either outside or inside substation environments pertains to the failure modes for these
components.

Cable terminations and surge protection (arresters) are available with both porcelain and composite
housings for extruded-dielectric cables. Pipe-type cables use only porcelain cable terminations due to the
need to withstand the fluid pressure. Terminations and arresters with porcelain housings have been known
to fail violently. This type of failure has the potential to spray the area adjacent to the structure with
porcelain fragments. These fragments may damage adjacent utility equipment. With transitions that are
accessible to the public, there is the potential for porcelain fragments to cause property damage, and in rare
cases, injury to individuals in the immediate vicinity of the structure at the time of the failure.

Composite housings for cable terminations and arresters may fail, but the failure is generally less violent
when compared to porcelain housings. Composite housings should be considered for transition structures in
and outside of substations to reduce the possibility of fragmentation.

Some utilities have installed protective covers (shrouds) around cable terminations, especially when
installed on unfenced transition structures. These covers are installed to protect the terminator from being
hit from a projectile, to protect adjacent cable terminations from collateral damage if a cable termination
fails, and to protect the public by containing any termination fragments in the event the terminator fails
catastrophically. These shrouds are usually fiberglass cylinders that surround each of the terminations.
Long term UV stability of any termination shroud should be evaluated. Replacement of a damaged or
degraded shroud will typically require a line outage.

4.3.2 Cable support

When single core cables are used, the exposed cable on the transition structure should be clamped or
cleated to support the cables. The cable support system should be rigid enough to limit both longitudinal
and lateral movement of the cable from gravity, thermal expansion and contraction, and from short circuit
forces. In order to reduce the possibility of displacement of stress control components within the cable
terminations, the structure designer should consider means to restrain cable longitudinal and lateral
movement where the cable enters the termination on transition structures.

For single core cables, clamps or cleats are typically manufactured of plastic or non-magnetic metals such
as aluminum alloys or to a lesser extent non-magnetic grade stainless steel. When metallic clamps are
employed, liners (typically elastomeric materials) are generally used where the clamps will bear on the
cable. These liners are used to minimize the possibility of damage or deformation to the cable insulation, to
accommodate limited thermal expansion, and to provide the required restraint. Cable clamps or cleats may
also be designed to provide thermal expansion by using bolts with spring washers or partially compressed
springs.

Clamps or cleats typically installed on substation termination structures and/or monopole transition
structures are typically spaced every 1 m to 2 m (3 ft to 6 ft). The spacing is a function of the cable
diameter, bending stiffness, weight and type of metallic shield or sheathing system. The primary sources
for supply of clamps or cleats are the cable manufacturers. Cable manufacturers typically have a complete
line of clamps or cleats for their cable constructions, which are designed to accommodate a range of
diameters, and weights. Cable manufacturers will also provide recommendations for spacing of the clamps
or cleats on their product.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

The transition structure should also be designed to accommodate the cable clamp or cleat selected for the
project. Based on the clamp design, a transition structure may require vangs or pre-drilled holes to fasten
the clamps to the structure. The vang locations or the pre-drilled holes should be spaced based on the
frequency of units necessary to restrain the cables.

The stainless-steel riser pipes for pipe-type cables should be securely attached to the transition structure
(with suitable dielectric fittings to avoid shorting out cathodic protection systems, if present) to minimize
the possibility of thermal movement and vibration that could create a leak in the termination seals or crack
termination baseplate insulators.

4.3.3 Ladder clips

Some utilities want the ability to climb any structure. Ladder clips may be required on the transition
structure.

4.3.4 Fiber-optic boxes

In most installations, utilities are installing OPGW on the overhead lines. Because of this, a transition of the
fiber-optic cable also needs to be made. This is done through a fiber-optic splice box mounted on the
structure.

4.3.5 Temperature monitoring boxes

On cable installations where temperature monitoring or dynamic rating of cables is being performed with
fiber optics, a separate fiber-optic splice box will typically be required for this system. It may be necessary
to plan for a location of this splice box on the transition structure.

4.3.6 Link boxes

The most common method of grounding the cable in a transition station or transition structure is through a
link box mounted to the structure. Provision should be made for attaching the link box itself to the
structure. There will be insulated or bare bonding leads (depending on the sheath bonding scheme) installed
from the base of the terminations to the link box(es), and from the link box(es) to station ground. Provision
should be made on the structure for the installation of clips or clamps to restrain the bonding leads.

4.3.7 Pipe-type considerations

The most common and practical arrangement is to use a trifurcating joint inside a manhole located as close
as possible to the transition structure.

Three very short cable lengths are pulled, one into each of three non-magnetic stainless steel riser pipes.
The cable terminations are then installed at the top end first. The temporary night cap bolted to the
trifurcating reducer at the lower end inside the manhole is then removed and the 3 1/C cable splices
completed, with phasing checks performed prior to making the final splices.

The manhole is not an absolute necessity. The trifurcating joint can be direct buried but the necessity for
maintaining dry conditions and low humidity during cable splicing operations is usually accomplished best
using a permanent manhole.

Other arrangements such as an above ground spreader head or pull through trifurcator (no cable splice) are
also possible and sometimes used depending on the circuit configuration and transition structure design.

The cable in the riser pipes for pipe type cables can sometimes thermally limit the circuit rating due to solar
heating. It may be necessary to install larger conductors or to set up fluid circulation in the riser pipes to
mitigate potential hot spots at the risers.

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IEEE Std 1793-2012
IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

4.3.8 Current transformer application

In many of the installations the underground segment of cable is only a portion of the overall circuit, with
the protection of the cable, from a breaker or other device, is often some distance away and at the end of an
overhead section. In some installations, the utilities want to have additional data on the performance and
functionality of the underground portion of the circuit only. In addition if the cable seems to have a
potential problem then a quick determination and trip of the circuit may potentially save the whole circuit.

One method of detection is to install CTs on the cable and measure and track the readings. The CTs should
be mounted as close to the base of the terminations as possible. The output of the CT is then routed to a
central control box or termination point and then to a central operating system to determine overall actions.
Often on bulk transmission systems a dual CT system may be required to provide redundant protection.
Whether redundant or not, the CTs should be installed on all phases of the circuit.

4.3.9 Additional mechanical protection

When designing the structure, the area in which the structure is to be installed should be considered. It is
often necessary to consider the need for additional protection for the cable and the structure when
completing the design. The structures may need this protection for deterring unauthorized individuals from
getting to the structure and damaging the structure or harming themselves. A transition structure may be
fenced off to accomplish this. For unfenced transition structures, barriers such as concrete posts, or steel
guard structures may be necessary. Examples where supplemental protection could be needed include when
the structure is located in close proximity to a road or in a parking lot, where it could be hit by a vehicle.
Proper signage, color and location of markings should be taken into consideration when completing the
final design.

Additional guards on the cable, such as a cable shield or shroud may be considered in areas where the cable
may be exposed. Wildlife guards or other deterrents (anti-roosting devices, guard owls, etc.) should also be
considered in the final design.

4.3.10 Overhead interface

When designing the interface between the overhead line and the underground cable terminations,
consideration should be given to the ampacity of the jumpers, the potential heat transfer at the connection
between the overhead line to the underground cable, the air gaps between energized conductors and
surfaces of poles and arms, insulation strength of jumper struts and terminations, and working clearance
between circuits for structures with more than one circuit.

The ampacity of the jumpers should be equal to or greater than the ampacity of the of the underground
cable circuit. Cables are typically limited to 85 C to 90 C normal conductor temperatures, while overhead
conductors can be rated as high as 140 C normal. It is important that the overhead jumper size be selected
so that the cable is not damaged by heat transfer from the jumper to the cable. At higher operating voltages,
(typically 345 kV and above), bundled conductors are specified to reduce audible noise and corona
generated by the conductor surface gradient.

The air gap between energized conductors or hardware and the surface of poles and arms should be the
greater of the clearances specified by the NESC and the air gap equivalent of the insulators used on the
structure. NESC requirements should be followed for clearance to climb poles and arms and to work with
the circuit or circuits energized. If more than one circuit is on the same structure, consideration should be
given to clearances to allow for work to be performed on one circuit with the other in service.

Phase orientation should be designed to match phases on the overhead and underground circuits on both
ends of the underground circuit. When using an installed cable as a spare cable, orientation and design of
the structure at both ends should be such that the spare cable can be easily connected to replace a failed
cable.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

4.4 Structure installation

The terminal structure and its foundation should be designed to act together as a structural unit. The
installation of the structure will vary slightly depending on the type of foundation it is setting on. Utmost
care should be taken during the installation of the structure so that it is done in a safe and accurate manner.
The installer needs to have the proper equipment of adequate size so as to not damage the individual
structural components, the protective coating of the structure, and place it in the correct orientation
according to the manufacturers and owners design. The use of slings may be necessary to properly lift and
handle the structure. The structure needs to be erected plumb and the use of cambering in the design should
be discouraged. All bolts should be properly torqued and installed in accordance with the manufacturers
design. The structure should be grounded soon after it is set to reduce the possibility of lightning damage. If
a reinforced concrete foundation is used to support the structure, the structure should not be set on the
foundation until at least 7 days after the concrete has been placed and the concrete strength requirements
for that period have been met.

4.5 Cable installation

4.5.1 Pipe-type installation

For most pipe-type installations, cable reels are typically positioned at the termination structure and the
cables are pulled into the above-ground risers toward an adjacent splicing vault or pit. However, different
methods are to be considered when monopole structures are utilized, because of the increasingly large
vertical height of each riser and large separations between the cable terminations. One installation approach
is to position the reel or reels at the nearest splicing location or spreaderhead, and make single conductor
pulls toward each termination using a heavy duty bull line. The transition layout and design may also
shorten the length of the installation due to cable and pulling limitations.

4.5.2 Installation of extruded cable

Installation of the cable onto a termination structure is governed both by the type of structure and by right-
of-way constraints. Consideration should be given to the location of a crane, manlift, payout reel, winch,
and cable reels. Safe distance from energized conductors should be maintained throughout setup and cable
installation. If possible, a scheduled outage can be taken on nearby energized circuits to reduce clearance
issues. Whatever installation method is used, it is advised that the cable manufacturer review and concur
with the proposed installation procedure. It is important to always protect the cable from abrasion no matter
what method is used.

When compared to a monopole transition, transition stations generally provide for an easier initial circuit
installation, and for easier operation and maintenance of the circuit. In a transition station, the overhead
circuit and underground circuit typically reside on independent structures connected electrically with
flexible jumpers. The lower height of the cable termination structure helps greatly in the logistics of the
cable installation. Usually, the payout reel is located in the transition station and the cable is pulled to the
first splice location. A sufficient amount of cable should be left at the termination structure to allow for
termination installation. The cable should be temporarily supported at the riser location so that the cable
minimum bending radius is not exceeded. If arrestors are already installed on the termination structure and
connected to the overhead circuit, they should be either disconnected or moved to provide safe electrical
clearance for the splicers.

Constrained right-of-way poses more challenges. Limited space may require a bond pull method to raise
the cable onto the transition structure. This involves lashing (bonding) the winch line to the outside of the
cable and attaching a crane to the cable pulling eye. In a simultaneous action, the cable is pulled toward the
transition structure with the winch, the lashing is cut at the base of the structure, and the cable is lifted by
the crane. This method relies on friction of the outer lashings against the cable jacket and is only suitable
for relatively low cable pulling tensions. In order to perform a bond pull, it is necessary to have a pull-
through manhole or splice box near the transition structure so a sufficient length of cable can be accessed.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

In many installations, the cables are raised and clamped to the outside of the transition structure.
Alternately, the cables may be installed inside the tubular transition pole. With an inside the pole
installation, the only portion of the cable that is exposed to the outside is where the cable exits the pole and
is secured at the termination arm. This type of installation is typically performed in two independent
procedures. First, the cable is pulled a sufficient distance past the transition structure to allow enough cable
to be pulled to the termination arm level. Second, the pull rope from the winch is threaded through rigging
at the termination arm level and down through the interior of the pole. The cable is pulled into place with
the winch on the ground. A crane may be required to hold the cable while it is clamped to the arm.
Consideration should be given to the clamping stresses on the cable when this type of installation is chosen
since long unsupported lengths of the cable will remain inside the structure. Alternately, a larger diameter
pole can be used, or a pole with access hatches can be used, providing enough space for personnel to install
clamps inside the pole. The cable manufacturer should be in agreement with the clamping scheme.

4.6 Accessories installation

4.6.1 Pipe-type accessory installation

Pipe-type cables have more extensive terminal accessory requirements than do extruded-dielectric cable
systems. As a result, pipe-type cable transition sites tend to be more complex. Requirements include the
following:

Pressurizing plants. High-pressure fluid-filled lines require pressurizing plants to maintain fluid
pressure in the typical range of 200-300 psig (the higher pressures required to accommodate
elevation changes on the line). The plants require a distribution power supply and contain pumps,
alarms, controls, monitoring equipment, a reservoir tank that can be 7500 liters to 75000 liters
(2000 gallons to 20000 gallons), and sometimes has a self-contained moat to contain fluid in event
of leakage. The plant is typically 4 m (12 ft) wide, 4 m (12 ft) tall, and 9 m to 14 m (30 ft to 45 ft)
long. It is usually delivered as a factory-assembled and tested unit in an enclosure resembling an
outdoor refrigeration house. Because an HPFF cable should be de-energized if pressure is lost,
utilities in urban areas typically have a pressurizing plant at each end of the circuit in case there is
catastrophic failure of a single pressurizing plant. This is not generally done in a short dip of
underground cable in a long line.
HPGF cables require a nitrogen cabinet with alarms and sometimes remote monitoring. Two
cylinders of nitrogen and a regulator are typically in the cabinet to allow workers to clear a low-
pressure alarm. No power supply is required.
Both HPFF and HPGF lines require a cathodic protection system to maintain a small negative DC
voltage on the line to reduce the progression of corrosion in event of damage to the corrosion
coating. Most cathodic protection systems use an impressed-current system, in which an AC-
powered rectifier provides the DC voltage. Therefore, even a HPGF system requires a power
supply at one end of the line. It is possible to apply a passive corrosion protection system using
sacrificial anodes; this has been done, especially in remote areas where AC service is not available.
Replacing the anodes is difficult, however, since typically the anodes are distributed along the line.
The pipe should be isolated from ground for the cathodic protection system to be effective, but the
pipe should be solidly grounded for AC fault currents. Utilities typically install a polarization cell,
or its solid-state equivalent, at each end of the line. These devices block the DC cathodic protection
current but readily pass AC fault current.
Many cable pipes have temperature monitoring with thermocouples, and cathodic protection test
stations, but these are minor additions to the transition site.

4.6.2 Extruded dielectric accessory installation

The two common ways of installing an extruded dielectric terminator on a transition structure are on the
ground, usually only at lower transmission voltages, or in place on the riser structure.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

Some manufacturers or installers prefer installing the terminations on the ground. The cable end is laid
horizontally, taking care not to exceed the minimum bending radius, and the termination is installed
horizontally, with the majority of the work done from the ground. The cable and the termination are then
carefully lifted into place. One of the advantages of this method is that most of the work is done at ground
level, reducing the need for special safety equipment while terminating the cable.

Installing the terminations in the air requires either scaffolding or a man-lift. Both methods require safety
equipment and harnesses for the workers in the air.

Bonding leads, link boxes, and possibly fiber optic junction boxes are typically installed to complete the
transition.

4.7 Commissioning

4.7.1 Pipe-type

The normal practice after completion is to perform a 15 minute Direct Current High-Voltage Installation
Acceptance Test per the provisions of Section 14 in the latest edition of the AEIC CS2 pipe-type cable
specification [B1]. The system should have been under 200 psig normal operating pressure for a minimum
of 24 hours prior to performing this test.

Where an existing line is being cut into and sectionalized for a transition station, then the existing old cables
(not the new short installed cable lengths at the transition structure) will dictate the allowable DC test
voltage and test time. This voltage is often lower than the voltage that would be applied to the new cable,
and requires coordination between the user and the cable manufacturer.

In lieu of a DC Hi Pot Test, a 24-hour soak test at normal operating voltage can be considered if mutually
agreeable to the owner and cable manufacturer.

4.7.2 Extruded dielectric

The most common practice after completion is to perform a jacket integrity test and a 24-hour soak test at
normal operating voltage. This only insures that no significant damage to the cable system has occurred.
While a DC Hi Pot Test is common for pipe-type cable systems, it is not recommended for extruded
dielectric cables, and may void certain manufacturers warranty. An alternating current high potential test
with partial discharge (PD) measurements can be considered for testing extruded dielectric cables. The PD
measurement provides diagnostics on the cable and accessories and helps determine if there are any
potential problems with the cable or accessories. Test sets for this type of test usually have limitations on
the length of cable to be tested and the achievable voltage due to cable charging issues.

4.8 Operational/Maintenance (O&M) considerations

For any underground cable system, routine maintenance would typically be done as part of the substation
inspection, and would typically be done with the cables in service (observing necessary safety clearances
from energized equipment). Routine inspections would include the following:

Cable: Perform visual inspection of exposed cable and clamps to determine that the cable is well
supported, and that the clamps are not damaging the cable.
Terminations: Terminations should be visually inspected for broken skirts (if porcelain) and for
other external damage. Severely contaminated or tracking terminations should be scheduled for
cleaning or repairs. Most transmission class cable terminations are liquid filled. Terminations
should be visually inspected to make sure that the internal seals have remained intact, and that the
termination is not leaking. A leaking termination is subject to possible failure, and should be
promptly removed from service for repairs. Some designs of extra-high voltage terminations have

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

active pressure or fluid level monitoring systems that should be checked during periodic
maintenance activities.
Most transmission class terminations are mounted on baseplate insulators to allow for single point
bonding or cross bonding. These baseplate insulators should be inspected for cracks or other signs
of distress.
Surge arresters: Surge arresters should be visually inspected for damaged housings and other signs
of distress.
Bonding equipment: Bonding equipment should be inspected for general condition, and for signs of
excessive heating or other problems. A clamp-on ammeter can be placed on the bonding leads to
determine that shield currents are at expected levels, and that any special bonding systems are intact
at the transition station.
Shunt reactors: Air core shunt reactors should receive a visual inspection for disrupted windings,
burn marks, or other signs of distress. Oil immersed reactors should be inspected in a similar
manner to a station transformer. This could include periodic electrical testing, and could also
include analysis of oil samples for water or combustible gases.
Transition structure: If a transition facility is a monopole structure, tree/vegetation conditions
should be evaluated for electrical clearances.
Cathodic protection: Although not as prevalent on solid dielectric cables as with pipe-type,
sometimes extruded dielectric cables are cathodically protected. Routine maintenance would
include rectifier inspection to determine proper operation (checking to see that output current and
voltages are within expected ranges), and inspection of polarization cells or solid state isolators for
condition.
For extruded cable, DC testing is not recommended and should not be done since this would result
in cable damage. After the repair of an extruded dielectric cable, the circuit should be initially
energized at rated voltage with no load for a period of at least 24 hours.
In the event of electrical failures, for all cable systems, it is strongly recommended that the original
cable manufacturer be contacted (if available) and consulted with during the repair process.
For pipe-type systems, any protective coverings on riser pipes should be inspected to be sure they are
intact, especially at ground level and in any clamped areas.
For pipe-type and SCFF systems, the pressurization unit should be visually examined and tested per the
procedures and schedules in the pressurization unit manufacturers maintenance manual, or in
accordance with the established procedures of the utility.

5. Conclusion
Careful consideration of the physical and electrical characteristics of overhead lines and transmission
cables should be performed when designing a transition structure between the two systems. Environmental
and social factors can also play a role in designing a transition. By considering the factors contained in this
guide, the user can design a suitable transition that balances cost, operability, environmental factors, and
future flexibility.

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IEEE Guide for Planning and Designing Transition Facilities Between Overhead and Underground Transmission Lines

Annex A

(informative)

Bibliography

[B1] AEIC CS2-97, Specification for Impregnated Paper and Laminated Paper Polypropylene Insulated
Cable, High Pressure Pipe-type.

[B2] AEIC CS4-93, Specification for Impregnated Paper Insulated Low and Medium Pressure Self-
Contained Liquid Filled Cable.

[B3] AEIC CS9-06, Specification for Extruded Insulation Power Cables and Their Accessories Rated
Above 46 kV through 345 kV.

[B4] CIGRE Technical Brochure 189, Insulation Co-ordination for HV AC Underground Cable System,
CIGRE JWG 21/33 (June 2001).

[B5] CIGRE 250, General Guidelines for the Integration of a New Underground Cable System in the
Network, CIGRE Working Group B1.19 (August 2004).

[B6] EPRI Underground Transmission SystemsReference Book (2006 Edition).

[B7] ICEA S108-720-2004, Standard for Extruded Insulation Power Cables Rated Above 46 kV through
345 kV.

[B8] IEC 60840, Power Cables with Extruded Insulation and their Accessories for Rated Voltages Above
30 kV up to 150 kVTest Methods and Requirements (Latest Revision).

[B9] IEC 62067, Power Cables with Extruded Insulation and their Accessories for Rated Voltages Above
150 kV up to 500 kVTest Methods and Requirements (Latest Revision).

[B10] Transactions of CIGRE, SC21/22-10, 1996Hybrid Transmission: Aggressive Use of Underground


Cable Sections with Overhead Lines.

30
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