Voltage change along a transmission line electric circuit, energy is stored in electric and magnetic fields. These fields must be brought to the load to transmit that energy. At the load, energy contained in the fields is converted to the desired form of energy. Transmission of Energy ">

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VOLTAGE CHANGE ALONG A TRANSMISSION LINE

Let us summarize what we have just discussed. In an electric circuit, energy is stored in electric and magnetic fields. These fields must be brought to the load to transmit that energy. At the load, energy contained in the fields is converted to the desired form of energy.

Transmission of Energy

When the load is connected directly to the source of energy, or when the transmission line is short, problems concerning current and voltage can be solved by applying Ohm's law. When the transmission line becomes long enough so the time difference between a change occurring at the generator and the change appearing at the load becomes appreciable, analysis of the transmission line becomes important.

Dc Applied to a Transmission Line

In figure 3-18, a battery is connected through a relatively long two-wire transmission line to a load at the far end of the line. At the instant the switch is closed, neither current nor voltage exists on the line. When the switch is closed, point A becomes a positive potential, and point B becomes negative. These points of difference in potential move down the line. However, as the initial points of potential leave points A and B, they are followed by new points of difference in potential which the battery adds at A and B. This is merely saying that the battery maintains a constant potential difference between points A and B. A short time after the switch is closed, the initial points of difference in potential have reached points A' and B'; the wire sections from points A to A' and points B to B' are at the same potential as A and B, respectively. The points of charge are represented by plus (+) and minus ( - ) signs along the wires. The directions of the currents in the wires are represented by the arrowheads on the line, and the direction of travel is indicated by an arrow below the line. Conventional lines of force represent the electric field that exists between the opposite kinds of charge on the wire sections from A to A' and B to B'. Crosses (tails of arrows) indicate the magnetic field created by the electric field moving down the line. The moving electric field and the accompanying magnetic field constitute an electromagnetic wave that is moving from the generator (battery) toward the load. This wave travels at approximately the speed of light in free space. The energy reaching the load is equal to that developed at the battery (assuming there are no losses in the transmission line). If the load absorbs all of the energy, the current and voltage will be evenly distributed along the line.

Figure 3-18. - Dc voltage applied to a line.

Ac Applied to a Transmission Line

When the battery of figure 3-18 is replaced by an ac generator (fig. 3-19), each successive instantaneous value of the generator voltage is propagated down the line at the speed of light. The action is similar to the wave created by the battery except that the applied voltage is sinusoidal instead of constant. Assume that the switch is closed at the moment the generator voltage is passing through zero and that the next half cycle makes point A positive. At the end of one cycle of generator voltage, the current and voltage distribution will be as shown in figure 3-19.

Figure 3-19. - Ac voltage applied to a line.

In this illustration the conventional lines of force represent the electric fields. For simplicity, the magnetic fields are not shown. Points of charge are indicated by plus (+) and minus (-) signs, the larger signs indicating points of higher amplitude of both voltage and current. Short arrows indicate direction of current (electron flow). The waveform drawn below the transmission line represents the voltage (E) and current (I) waves. The line is assumed to be infinite in length so there is no reflection. Thus, traveling sinusoidal voltage and current waves continually travel in phase from the generator toward the load, or far end of the line. Waves traveling from the generator to the load are called INCIDENT WAVES. Waves traveling from the load back to the generator are called REFLECTED WAVES and will be explained in later paragraphs.

Dc Applied to an Infinite Line

Figure 3-20 shows a battery connected to a circuit that is the equivalent of a transmission line. In this line the series resistance and shunt conductance are not shown. In the following discussion the line will be considered to have no losses.

Figure 3-20. - Dc applied to an equivalent transmission line.

As the switch is closed, the battery voltage is applied to the input terminals of the line. Now, C1 has no charge and appears, effectively, as a short circuit across points A and B. The full battery voltage appears across inductor L1. Inductor L1 opposes the change of current (0 now) and limits the rate of charge of C1.

Capacitor C2 cannot begin to charge until after C1 has charged. No current can flow beyond points A and B until C1 has acquired some charge. As the voltage across C1 increases, current through L2 and C2 charges C2. This action continues down the line and charges each capacitor, in turn, to the battery voltage. Thus a voltage wave is traveling along the line. Beyond the wavefront, the line is uncharged. Since the line is infinitely long, there will always be more capacitors to be charged, and current will not stop flowing. Thus current will flow indefinitely in the line.

Notice that current flows to charge the capacitors along the line. The flow of current is not advanced along the line until a voltage is developed across each preceding capacitor. In this manner voltage and current move down the line together in phase.

Ac Applied to an Infinite Line

An rf line displays similar characteristics when an ac voltage is applied to its sending end or input terminals. In figure 3-21, view A, an ac voltage is applied to the line represented by the circuit shown.

Figure 3-21. - Ac applied to an equivalent transmission line.

In view B the generator voltage starts from zero (T1) and produces the voltage shown. As soon as a small voltage change is produced, it starts its journey down the line while the generator continues to produce new voltages along a sine curve. At T2 the generator voltage is 70 volts. The voltages still move along the line until, at T3, the first small change arrives at point W, and the voltage at that point starts increasing. At T5, the same voltage arrives at point X on the line. Finally, at T7, the first small change arrives at the receiving end of the line. Meanwhile, all the changes in the sine wave produced by the generator pass each point in turn. The amount of time required for the changes to travel the length of the line is the same as that required for a dc voltage to travel the same distance.

At T7, the voltage at the various points on the line is as follows:

 At the generator: -100 V At point W: 0 V At point X: +100 V At point Y: 0 V

If these voltages are plotted along the length of the line, the resulting curve is like the one shown in figure 3-22, view A. Note that such a curve of instantaneous voltages resembles a sine wave. The changes in voltage that occur between T7 and T8 are as follows:

 At the generator: Rise from -100 V to -70 V At point W: Drop from 0 V to -70 V At point X: Drop from +100 V to +70 V At point Y: Rise from 0 V to +70 V

Figure 3-22. - Instantaneous voltages along a transmission line.

A plot of these new voltages produces the solid curve shown in figure 3-22, view B. For reference, the curve from T7 is drawn as a dotted line. The solid curve has exactly the same shape as the dotted curve, but has moved to the right by the distance X. Another plot at T9 would show a new curve similar to the one at T8, but moved to the right by the distance Y.

By analyzing the points along the graph just discussed, you should be able to see that the actions associated with voltage changes along an rf line are as follows:

1. All instantaneous voltages of the sine wave produced by the generator travel down the line in the order they are produced.
2. At any point, a sine wave can be obtained if all the instantaneous voltages passing the point are plotted. An oscilloscope can be used to plot these values of instantaneous voltages against time.
3. The instantaneous voltages (oscilloscope displays) are the same in all cases except that a phase difference exists in the displays seen at different points along the line. The phase changes continually with respect to the generator until the change is 360 degrees over a certain length of line.
4. All parts of a sine wave pass every point along the line. A plot of the readings of an ac meter (which reads the effective value of the voltage over a given time) taken at different points along the line shows that the voltage is constant at all points. This is shown in view C of figure 3-22.
5. Since the line is terminated with a resistance equal to Z0, the energy arriving at the end of the line is absorbed by the resistance.