The electrical cables ampacity mainly depends on the cable system operation temperature. To achieve a better cable utilization and reduce the conservativeness typically employed in buried cable design, an accurate evaluation of the heat dissipation through the cables and the surrounding soil is important. In the traditional method adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for the computation of the thermal resistance between an existing underground cable system and the external environment, it is still assumed that the soil is homogeneous and has uniform thermal conductivity. Numerical studies have been conducted to predict the temperature distribution around the cable for various configurations and thermal properties of the soil. The paper presents an experimental study conducted on a scale model to investigate the heat transfer of a buried cable, with different geometrical configurations and thermal properties of the soil, and to validate a simplified model proposed by the authors in 2012 for the calculation of the thermal resistance between the underground pipe or electrical cable and the ground surface, in cases where the filling of the trench is filled with layers of materials with different thermal properties. Results show that experimental data are in good agreement with the numerical ones.
DE LIETO VOLLARO, R., Fontana, L., Vallati, A. (2014). Experimental study of thermal field deriving from an underground electrical power cable buried in non-homogeneous soils. APPLIED THERMAL ENGINEERING, 62(2)(2), 390-397 [10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2013.09.002].