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Wind and Structures
  Volume 22, Number 6, June 2016 , pages 685-701

Two case studies on structural analysis of transmission towers under downburst
FengLi Yangand HongJie Zhang

    Downbursts are of great harm to transmission lines and many towers can even be destroyed. The downburst wind field model by Chen and Letchford was applied, and the wind loads of two typical transmission towers in inland areas and littoral areas were calculated separately. Spatial finite element models of the transmission towers were established by elastic beam and link elements. The wind loads as well as the dead loads of conductors and insulators were simplified and applied on the suspension points by concentrated form. Structural analysis on two typical transmission towers under normal wind and downburst was completed. The bearing characteristics and the failure modes of the transmission towers under downburst were determined. The failure state of tower members can be judged by the calculated stress ratios. It shows that stress states of the tower members were mainly controlled by 45 degree wind load. For the inland areas with low deign wind velocity, though the structural height is not in the highest wind velocity zone of downburst, the wind load under downburst is much higher than that under normal wind. The main members above the transverse separator of the legs will be firstly destroyed. For the littoral areas with high deign wind velocity, the wind load under downburst is lower than under normal wind. Transmission towers are not controlled by the wind loads from downbursts in design process.
Key Words
    downburst; wind speed profile; transmission tower; wind load; failure mode
FengLi Yangand HongJie Zhang: Engineering Mechanics Department, China Electric Power Research Institute, Beijing 100055, China

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