SPIRALING AND BUNDLE CONDUCTOR EFFECT
There are two types of transmission line conductors: overhead and underground. Overhead conductors, made of naked metal and suspended on insulators, are preferred over underground conductors because of the lower cost and easy maintenance. Also, overhead transmission lines use aluminum conductors, because of the lower cost and lighter weight compared to copper conductors, although more cross-section area is needed to conduct the same amount of current. There are different types of commercially available aluminum conductors: aluminum-conductor-steel-reinforced (ACSR), aluminum-conductor-alloy-reinforced (ACAR), all-aluminum-conductor (AAC), and all-aluminumalloy- conductor (AAAC).
ACSR is one of the most used conductors in transmission lines. It consists of alternate layers of stranded conductors, spiraled in opposite directions to hold the strands together, surrounding a core of steel strands. Figure 13.4 shows an example of aluminum and steel strands combination. The purpose of introducing a steel core inside the stranded aluminum conductors is to obtain a high strength-to-weight ratio. A stranded conductor offers more flexibility and easier to manufacture than a solid large conductor. However, the total resistance is increased because the outside strands are larger than the inside strands on account of the spiraling. The resistance of each wound conductor at any layer, per unit length, is based on its total length as follows: