Simulation of Electromagnetic Effects in Urban Environment

This presentation was made at CAASE18, The Conference on Advancing Analysis & Simulation in Engineering. CAASE18 brought together the leading visionaries, developers, and practitioners of CAE-related technologies in an open forum, to share experiences, discuss relevant trends, discover common themes, and explore future issues.

Resource Abstract

In today’s urban landscape sources of electromagnetic fields (e.g., radio towers and transmission lines) abound and can induce currents in the surrounding infrastructure. Under certain circumstances these can be sufficient to injure or kill humans having contact with these structures. The United States Department of Labor has reported multiple cases of electric shock produced under these conditions but the full number of non-fatal electric shocks due to induced current remains unclear due to underreporting.

Computational simulation can be used to identify conditions around fixed urban infrastructure (e.g., bridges and de-energized power lines) that may lead to harmful or fatal electric shock. Recent work conducted on a bridge in Illinois showed that transmission lines passing under the bridge structure produced conditions that led to a non-fatal electric shock for bridge workers. The workers were located on a manlift next to the transmission lines. Previous work showed that an amplitude modulation (AM) radio transmitter located less than one mile from a bridge in New York induced currents of sufficient magnitude to shock bridge workers that were also located on a manlift. The simulations include the source and the structure to assess the interaction. Currents in the bridge and the floating potential of the manlift are both calculated in the analyses. The analyses indicate the conditions leading to electric shock. In addition, a proposed mitigation technique is simulated to demonstrate elimination of the conditions leading to the hazard.

To reduce the likelihood of future shock events, simulations of the electromagnetic fields produced by sources such as radio towers and transmission lines can quantify the induced current and floating potential of surrounding structures to identify when conditions exist that could pose a hazard to workers. Thus, the analyses conducted in this work are representative of those that should be conducted when electromagnetic sources are in the vicinity of infrastructure on which work is being performed by humans.

Document Details

AuthorCrompton. J
Date 5th June 2018
OrganisationAltaSim Technologies LLC


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