Engineering & Consulting


CONTHERM is a program used to calculate the temperature curve of contact wires and conductors (e.g. termination conductor, feeders, auxiliary leads, earthing wires) during operation. The input parameters include:

  • the geometry- and material data of each single conductor
  • the environment parameter which impacts the heat transfer
  • the time characteristics of current in each conductor calculated with FABEL and SIMNET

CONTHERM provides a numerical solution for the non-linear equations of heat transfer. The variations of the electrical resistance of the wires with temperature are taken into consideration, as are the variations of the system time constant with temperature. Environmental factors such as ambient temperature, wind speed and exposure to sunshine are also taken into consideration.

CONTHERM has been validated several times against real measurements. It has been successfully used for network investigations on AC and DC railways.

Variations of temperature for contact wire, catenary wire and feeder as calculated by CONTHERM. The upper graph shows the calculated temperature. The lower graph shows the corresponding current in the contact wire.zoom
Validation of CONTHERM: Measured and calculated variations of temperature for a CuMg contact wire, with a test load-cyclezoom

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