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Wind and Structures
  Volume 18, Number 5, May 2014, pages 473-495

Finite element modelling of self-supported transmission lines under tornado loading
A. Altalmas and A.A. El Damatty

    Localized wind events, in the form of tornadoes and downbursts, are the main cause of the large number of failure incidents of electrical transmission line structures worldwide. In this study, a numerical model has been developed to study the behaviour of self-supported transmission lines under various tornado events. The tornado wind fields used were based on a full three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics analysis that was developed in an earlier study. A three-dimensional finite element model of an existing self-supported transmission line was developed. The tornado velocity wind fields were then used to predict the forces applied to the modelled transmission line system. A comprehensive parametric study was performed in order to assess the effects of the location of the tornado relative to the transmission line under F2 and F4 tornado wind fields. The study was used to identify critical tornado configurations which can be used when designing transmission line systems. The results were used to assess the sensitivity of the members\' axial forces to changes in the location of the tornado relative to the transmission line. The results were then used to explain the behaviour of the transmission line when subjected to the identified critical tornado configurations.
Key Words
    transmission tower; transmission line; tornado; wind; high intensity wind; finite element
A. Altalmas : AMEC plc, Alberta, Canada
A.A. El Damatty : Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

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