A calculation method for the current ratings of cyclicly loaded power cables is introduced, taking into account optional shapes of the load cycle as well as the drying-out of the soil. The method is based on the Fourier-analysis of the loss cycle, representing an extension of the calculation method of VDE 0298. It is shown, that the ''VDE-method'' gives good results for the thermal resistances, if an ''utility load cycle'' in accordance with VDE 0298 is supposed. Only for cycles deviating essentially from the utility load cycle, the thermal resistances calculated by the ''VDE-method'' may be too great. In these cases the represented method is advantageous and can be processed by the aid of microcomputers.