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School of Communications and Informatics
Victoria University
PO Box 14428 MC, Melbourne, 8001
*Manager Technology Development, POWERCOR, Australia
The analysis of voltage dips is an important technique in the determination of power quality. This
paper deals with the use of spreadsheets to calculate voltage dips in a distribution network. It is shown
that the graphs generated are essential tools in helping to understand the characteristics of voltage dips.
Voltage dips are short-duration rms voltage caused by
faults in the electricity supply system and the starting of
large loads [1]. The interest in voltage dips is mainly
due to the problems they cause on many types of
Characteristics typically analyzed when discussing
voltage dips are its magnitude and duration. However,
during voltage dips, there is a phase shift associated with
the drop in voltage, which is not included in the normal
characteristics. This characteristic is based on a balanced
voltage dip, whereas most voltage dips are a result of
unbalanced faults occurring on the system. Both these
factors play an important role in the disturbance of
equipment operation [4].
One of the most powerful tools for dealing with classical
unbalanced systems is the theory of symmetrical
components. This theory allows us to analyze the system
response when dealing with both symmetrical and
unsymmetrical faults. In this paper, the theory of
symmetrical components will be applied to voltage dips
due to single line to ground fault (SLGF) and line to line
fault (LLF).
Using a simple radial high voltage distribution network
at no load as the base model (Figure 1), phase voltage
characteristics are derived for both faults. Using data
provided with the base model and alternating the
transformer from delta-delta () to star-delta (Y), the
phase voltage characteristics are then determined in
terms of magnitude and angle. Co mparing the phase
voltage to the pre-fault phase voltages will give the
voltage dip in terms of magnitude and phase change.

Figure 1 Base model of a distribution network.

For simplified symmetrical component analysis it is
assumed that the positive and negative sequence
networks have the same impedance (Z1 =Z2 ) [2].
However for the purpose of determining phase voltages
we shall initially label both the positive and negative
impedances separately.
The analytical equations for the three phase voltages are
derived via the voltage matrix.

V R 1 1
V = 1 2
V B 1

1 V R 0
V R1
2 V R 2

where = 1120 and 2 = 1240


VR = VR0 + VR1 + VR2
VY = VR0 + 2 VR1 + VR2
VB = VR0 + VR1 + 2 VR2


Subtracting the fault voltage from its relevant pre-fault

voltage determines the voltage dip magnitude and angle.
To calculate the voltage dip at various fault points
requires changing the line impedance, due to the fact
that as the line length increases so does the line

From the SLGF sequence network it can determined that

VR0 = -IFZ0
VR1 = ER1 - Z1 IF
VR2 = -IFZ2


where IF = ER1 / (Z1 + Z2 + Z0 + 3Z F )

For the LLF the sequence network is
VR0 = 0
VR1 = IF (Z2 + ZF )
VR2 = IFZ2

The advantage of using spreadsheets is that the data can

be graphed in order to show the behaviour of the voltage
dip. In the next section plots are generated which show
the trend in voltage magnitude vs. phase change, change
in voltage magnitude vs. distance and phase change vs.
distance. The line voltages at particular fault points are
displayed as sinewave graphs so that comparison
between pre-fault, fault and post-fault conditions can
physically be seen. The advantage of this is that it is
possible to see voltage dip effects.


where IF = ER1 / (Z1 + Z2 + ZF)

Thus the sequence voltages at the fault point F and bus
R, for given networks, can be determined using the
above equations (2)(3) and (4). To determine the voltage
at bus LD the transformer connections are taken into
If the transformer is Y connected there is a phase shift
of +30 in the positive sequence and a shift of 30 in
the negative sequence [3]. There is no phase shift for the
connected transformer. Also taken into account is
the change in the zero sequence network due to
transformer connections.
Using the relevant equations obtained from the previous
section it is possible to calculate the voltage dip
expected at varying fault points (0 20km) at bus LD
for both SLGF and LLF using either transformer.

Using MATLAB tool Excel Link, the data in Excel can

be used to represent, in MATLAB, the three pre-fault
and fault voltages as vector diagrams for the fault points.
The following graphs are for both SLGF and LLF using
either transformer, however due to these graphs being
only examples we have only used the three line-ground
voltages (VRN , VBN ,VYN ) as data. Please note that VRN is
represented by a grey line, VBN by a light grey line and
VYN by a black line.
4.1 Magnitude change vs. phase change
Figures 2 to 5 are useful in determining the phase
change experienced in the line when the fault voltage
increases or decreases, and vice versa. It is also possible
to see the difference that the transformer connections
will make on the voltage dip.
4.1.1 SLGF

Firstly it is known that pre-fault values of the phase

voltages are equivalent to
VRN = 1 30
VYN = 1270
VBN = 1150
VRY = 160
VYB = 1 -60
VBR = 1180

Figure 2 Magnitude change vs. phase change for


4.2 Magnitude vs. distance

The graphs shown in this section help determine the
voltage dip magnitude at certain distances. Thus, given
the distance, it is possible to estimate what the voltage
dip magnitude will be.

4.2.1 SLGF
Figure 3 Magnitude change vs. phase change for Y
connection. Note: VYN located origin.
4.1.2 LLF

Figure 6 Magnitude vs. distance for connection.

Figure 4 Magnitude change vs. phase change for

connection. Note: VRN located at 0-30

Figure 7 Magnitude vs. distance for Y connection.

Figure 5 Magnitude change vs. phase change for Y

4.2.2 LLF

Figure 8 Magnitude vs. distance for connection.

Figure 11 Phase vs. distance for Y connection.

4.3.2 LLF

Figure 9 Magnitude vs. distance for Y connection.

4.3 Phase vs. distance

Figure 12 Phase vs. distance for connection.
Figure 10 - 13 show what phase change the system will
experience over a certain distance
4.3.1 SLGF

Figure 13 Phase vs. distance for Y connection.

Figure 10 Phase vs. distance for connection.

4.4 Sinewave graphs

The data used for the following graphs are taken at a
fault distance of 0km. These graphs give a better
understanding of the line voltage values at pre-fault,
fault and post-fault conditions. Please note that transient
effects are not taken into account.
4.4.1 SLGF

Figure 17 Y connection, at observation point

4.5 Vector diagrams

The vector diagrams visually clarify the change in
magnitude and phase in comparison to its initial value.
Please Note that the data used is once again for a fault
distance of 0km.
Figure 14 connection, at observation point.

4.5.1 SLGF

Figure 15 Y connection, at observation point

4.4.2 LLF
Figure 18 connection, at observation point

Figure 16 connection, at observation point

As can be seen, by using a simple radial high voltage
distribution network at no load as the base model, the
phase voltage characteristics where derived for both
faults using spreadsheets. Using the voltage dip data
obtained from the spreadsheets it was graphically
represented in order to give us a better understanding of
its characteristics, especially noting its behaviour when
the transformer connection was changed from to Y.

Figure 19 Y connection, at observation point

4.5.2 DLGF

The advantage of using spreadsheets is that the graphs

generated help us to physically see the comparison
between pre-fault and fault conditions as well as the
difference between fault location points. Thus it helps us
in determining the effects of voltage dips on the system.
Another advantage of using spreadsheets, especially for
students, is its ease of use and it is also relatively
affordable and obtainable compared to other simulation
[1] L. Zhang, and M.H.J. Bollen, Characteristic in
Voltage Dips (sags) in Power Systems, IEEE
Trans. on Power Delivery, vol.2, pp 827-832, April
[2] H. Saadat,1999, Power System Analysis,
[3] J.J. Grainger, W.D. Stevenson, 1994, Power System
Analysis, McGraw-Hill.

Figure 20 connection, at observation point

Figure 21 Y connection, at observation point

[4] M.H.J. Bollen, P. Wang, and N. Jenkins, Analysis

and consequences of the phase angle associated
with a voltage sag, IEEE Trans. on Power Systems
Computation Conf., Dresden, Germany, Aug 1996.