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High-Voltage Equipment

Hui Ren
Electrical Engineering Department
North China Electric Power University

Source: John D. McDonald, Electric Power Substations Engineering

Topics

Disconnect Switches
Circuit Breakers
Power Fuses
Grounding
Current / Voltage Transformers

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Disconnect Switches
A mechanical device used to change
connections within a circuit or isolate a
circuit from its power source.
Provide a visible confirmation that the
power conductors have been opened for
personnel safety.
Designed for no load switching, opening or
closing circuits, and not designed for arc
interruption.
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Can be used for bus sectionalizing


Has Interlocking equipment to prevent wrong
operating sequence by inhibiting operation of the
disconnect switch operation until the fault and/or
load currents have been interrupted by circuit
breaker
Single-phase or three-phase operation is
possible for some switches
Operating mechanisms normally installed for
operation by an operator standing at ground
level
Motor operating mechanisms also available for
remote switching
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Arc quenching
In electric power systems, AC arcs in open air
will occur mainly in two situations:
Arcs with high current may occur in
connection with short-circuits in the system
Arcs with relatively low current will appear
between opening (and closing) disconnector
contacts
When the contacts of a circuit-breaker separate, the
current through the contacts will continue to flow (the
current is driven by the magnetic energy stored in the
inductances of the power system).
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Arc quenching
At the last moment, just before the contacts separate,
the contacts touch each other only at a very small
surface area. The resulting high current density leads
to strong heating, and the contact material will melt
and evaporate. This leads to a arc (gas discharge)
between the parting contacts in the surrounding
medium (may be air, oil or SF6, depending on the
type of circuit breaker).

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This was captured by the maintenance of a 500kV substation. It shows a


three-phase motorized air disconnect switcher attempting to open high
voltage being supplied to a large three phase shunt line reactor.
This arc was only carrying the relatively low (about 100 amps)
magnetizing current associated with the line reactor.
http://www.komar.org/christmas/faq/electrical_overload.html
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Properties of electrical arcs

Temperature in the arc


column: 10000 C

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Switching Arcs in
Circuit Breakers

Second current zero

First current zero

As shown in the figure, it is quite normal that there is an


interval with arcing between the contacts that lasts more than
half a cycle of the AC current.
Because that the circuit breaker often has still not reached
conditions for efficient extinguishing of the arc at the first
current zero.

Two conditions for a successful interruption:


The arc has to be cooled down to nonconducting state at current
zero
After current zero the contact system must be able to withstand
the recovery voltage that will appear between contacts.
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In most circuitbreaker designs the


arc between the
separating contacts
will be subjected to
a strong gas blast in
a nozzle. The flow
of cold gas will
keep the arc
concentrated, and
help to cool it at
current zero.
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Circuit-breaker arc
in axial blast nozzle

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Thermal interruption regime with


post arc current
Post arc current: when the
current approaches zero, there
will still be a certain amount
of electrical conductivity left
in the arc path.

Successful interruption or
not:
Determined by a race
between the energy
removed from the arc by
cooling and the energy
input into the arc path by
the post arc current
(driven by the recovery
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Time scale: microsecondes

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Arc quenching in various kind of


circuit breakers
Air circuit breakers may use
compressed air to blow out the arc
Or oil circuit breakers rely on the
vaporization of some of the oil to blast
a jet of oil through the arc
Vacuum circuit breakers have minimal
arcing
Gas (usually sulfur hexafluoride SF6)
circuit breakers sometimes stretch the
arc using a magnetic field, and then
rely on the dielectric strength of the
SF6 to quench the stretched arc.
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Circuit Breakers

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Medium and low voltage switchgears, and high


voltage Gas Insulated Switchgears (GIS) are
mostly categorized as Indoor switchgears,
whereas the switchgears which have air as an
external insulating medium, i.e. Air Insulated
Switchgear (AIS), are categorized as Outdoor
Switchgears.
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Outdoor circuit breakers can be identified


as either dead-tank or live-tank type of
circuit breakers according to their physical
structural design.

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Dead tank SF6

Live tank SF6


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switching devices in
the insulating medium
in a metallic vessel

In dead-tank circuit breakers,


the switching device is
located, with suitable
insulator supports, inside a
metallic vessel (s) at ground
potential and filled with
insulating medium. In deadtank circuit breakers, the
incoming and outgoing
conductors are taken out
through suitable insulator
bushings, and low voltage
type current transformers are
located at the lower end of
both insulator bushings, i.e. at
the line side and the load side.
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Incoming and
outgoing conductors
through insulator
bushings

Current
transformers

OCB (Oil Circuit Breaker)


The oil in OCBs serves
two purposes:
Insulate
Quench the arc

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Figure 12 Dead Tank Oil Circuit Breaker


1 bushing
6 plunger guide
2 oil level indicator
7 arc control device
3 vent
8 resistor
4 current transformer
9 plunger bar
5 dashpot
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All three phases are installed


in the same tank. The tank is
made of steel and is grounded.
This type of breaker
arrangement is called the dead
tank construction. The
moving contact of each phase
of the circuit breaker is
mounted on a lift rod of
insulating material. There are
two breaks per phase during
the breaker opening. The arc
control pots are fitted over the
fixed contacts. Resistors
parallel to the breaker
contacts may be installed
alongside the arc control pots.
It is customary and
convenient for this type of
breakers to mount current
transformers in the breaker
bushings.

In live-tank circuit breakers, the


interrupter (s) is located in an
insulator bushing, at a potential
above ground potential. The livetank circuit breakers are cheaper
(with no current transformer), and
require less mounting space.

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230 kV, 15 GVA, SF6


Double Pressure Breaker
The principle of operation is
similar to the air blast breakers,
except that the SF6 gas is not
discharged into the
atmosphere. A closed circuit
completely sealed and selfcontained construction is used.
The equipment consists of a
compressor, a storage container,
a blast valve that admits gas to
the interrupting chamber, and a
filter through which the exhaust
gas is returned to the compressor.
This is called the double pressure
breaker design.
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Second-generation SF6 circuit breakers


work on the single-pressure principle, i.e.
the breaker is filled with SF6 gas at rated
pressure and the differential quenching
pressure required for extinguishing the arc,
is generated during the opening
movement of contact system.

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VCB( Vacuum Circuit Breaker)


Vacuum circuit breakers
are used mostly for low
and medium voltages.
Vacuum interrupting
heads were developed for
up to 36 kV per break.
For higher voltages, the
interrupters are
connected in series.

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The interrupting chambers of vacuum breakers are made of


porcelain and are sealed. They cannot be open for maintenance.
The contact life is expected to be about 20 years, provided the
vacuum is maintained. Because of the high dielectric strength
of vacuum, the interrupters are small. The gap between the
contacts is about 1 cm for 15 kV interrupters, 2 mm for 3 kV
interrupters.
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Example
How to choose circuit breakers and
disconnect switches?

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Reliability of circuit breaker

Reliability Indices
100 units-year
Availability factor: [AH/PH] *100%
AH: available hours, that is period hours less
planned outage hours, forced outage hours,
and maintenance outage hours.
PH: period hours, that is number of hours a
unit was in the active state.

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Reliability Indices
Forced Outage Rate: FOR
[FOH/(FOH + SH)] x 100 (%)
FOH: forced outage hour, Sum of all hours
experienced during Forced Outages
SH: service hour, total number of hours a unit
was electrically connected to the system.

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Unscheduled outage factor


[UOH/PH]*100%
Unscheduled outage hours (UOH): sum of all
hours experienced during Forced Outages,
Maintenance Outages , and Scheduled
Outage Extensions of any Maintenance
Outages.

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Scheduled outage factor


[SOH/PH] x 100 (%)
SOH: scheduled outage hours, sum of all
hours experienced during Planned Outages,
Maintenance Outages, and Scheduled
Outage Extensions of any Maintenance
Outages and Planned Outages.

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Reliability indices for circuit


breaker of 220kV and above
system
Type

Voltage
level (kV)

SF6

Mini.
Oil
CB

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No.

Availability
factor
(%)

Forced outage
rate
Hundred units-year

Planned
outage factor
(%)

Unplanned
Outage
factor (%)

220

19848

99.813

1.523

0.183

0.004

330

820

99.669

1.590

0.324

0.008

500

3466

99.601

1.717

0.379

0.021

220

1855

99.707

3.040

0.286

0.007

330

11

99.759

0.241

500

99.880

0.120

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Reliability comparison of circuit


breakers
220kV circuit breaker
Year
Availability
factor
(%)
FOR
100 units-year

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Local Manuf.

99.599

99.678

99.666

99.732

99.805

Foreign Manuf.

99.658

99.722

99.730

99.779

99.794

Local Manuf.

2.871

2.360

3.038

2.500

1.868

Foreign Manuf.

0.951

0.732

1.327

0.889

0.864

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Local Manuf.

99.379

99.409

99.384

99.247

99.615

Foreign Manuf.

99.239

99.271

99.349

99.489

99.851

Local Manuf.

1.952

1.148

4.317

4.918

1.864

Foreign Manuf.

1.619

1.570

2.170

3.135

330kV circuit breaker


Year

Availability
factor
(%)
FOR
100 units-year
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Reliability comparison of circuit


breakers
500kV circuit breakers
Year
Availability
factor
(%)
FOR
100 units-year

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2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Local Manuf.

98.841

99.124

99.287

99.447

99.547

Foreign Manuf.

99.208

99.488

99.373

99.523

99.651

Local Manuf.

2.977

4.628

4.142

1.780

1.465

Foreign Manuf.

1.522

2.072

2.966

1.805

1.985

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Power Fuses
Purpose: provide interruption of permanent
faults; provide backup protection for some
secondary faults.
Application: generally limited to voltages from
34.5kV to 69kV, but has been applied for
protection of 115kV and 138kV transformers, or
voltage transformers, capacitors.

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Power Fuses
About the rating: use the smallest fuse rating
possible to provide the greatest protective margin
Fuse ratio: defined as the ratio of the fuse rating to the
transformer full load current rating.
Rating Consideration:
Coordination with other overcurrent devices
Accommodating of peak overloadings
Unbalanced voltages in a three phase system (when
selecting fuses for power transformer protection)

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Power Fuses
As backup protection for some secondary faults.
For the common delta-wye connected transformer, a fusing
ratio of 1.0 would provide backup protection for a phaseto-ground fault as low as 230% of the secondary full-load
rating.
With low fusing ratios, the fuse may also provide backup
protection for line-to-ground faults remote to the substation
on the distribution network.

Blowing or not: blowing indicator


If no blowing indicator available, blowing or not can be
figured out by the metering in the voltage transformers
secondary circuit.
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Rated
voltage

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Rated
current

Max.
capacity

Max.
blowing
current

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Min.
blowing
current

Grounding System Topic


Reasons for substation grounding system
Accidental ground circuit
Requirement

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Why need grounding system


Reasons:
Human and equipment safety, effective lightning protection,
diminishing electromagnetic coupling (EMC), and
protection against electromagnetic pulses.

A ground system that provides adequate currentcarrying capacity and a low resistance path to an
earthing connection will dissipate, isolate, or
disconnect overpotential areas resulting from fault
overcurrents or surge overvoltages.
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Grounding system include

Ground grid
Overhead ground wires
Neutral conductors
Underground cables
Foundations

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Permissible Body Current Limits


Impact on human body
Duration, magnitude, frequency of the current passing
through human body
50-60Hz
60-100mA will cause ventricular fibrillation

Allowable body current

IB

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k
ts

IB : rms magnitude of the current through the body, (A)


ts : duration of the current exposure, (sec)
k : SB1/2
SB : empirical constant related to the electric shock
energy tolerate by a certain percent of a given
population
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TT systems accidental ground


system

Ru
Im
I
Ru Rm
Rm: body resistance
Ru: grounding resistance
I: single phase grounding current
Im: current through human body
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Tolerable Voltages
Ground potential rise (GPR): the maximum
electrical potential that a substation grounding grid
may attain relative to a distant grounding point
assumed to be at the potential of remote earth.
Mesh Voltage: the maximum touch voltage within a
mesh of a ground grid.
Metal-to-metal touch voltage: the difference in
potential between metallic objects or structures within
the substation site that can be bridged by direct handto-hand or hand-to-feet contact.
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Step voltage: the difference in surface potential


experienced by a person bridging a distance of 1 m
with the feet without contacting any other grounded
object.
Touch voltage: the potential difference between the
ground potential rise (GPR) and the surface potential
at the point where a person is standing while at the
same time having a hand in contact with a grounded
structure.
Transferred voltage: A special case of the touch
voltage where a voltage is transferred into or out of
the substation, from or to a remote point external to
the substation site.

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Accidental Ground Circuit

Touch Voltage

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Step voltage

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TN systems accidental
grounding system

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Grounding resistance
Grounding resistance include
Resistance of grounding wire neglectable
Resistance of grounding grid itself neglectable
Resistance of the ground grid to remote earth

Un
Ru
I

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Un: grounding voltage


I: grounding current

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High voltage equipments


grounding resistance
For neutral solid grounding system
Maximum grounding voltage: 2000 V
I > 4000A, Ru < 0.5 ohm

For neutral resistance grounding system,


After single phase grounding failure, failure
phase is allowed to continue to operate for at
most 2 hours, which means higher probability
for personnel to touch the devices
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Requirement:
for grounding devices for both
high voltage equipment and
low voltage equipment

1.

120
Ru
I

2.

250
Ru
and Ru 10
I

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for grounding devices for


high voltage equipment

Low voltage equipments


grounding resistance
Generally <= 4 ohm
For generator, transformers using the
same grounding devices, when their
capacity <= 100 kVA, Ru <= 10 ohm

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Instrument Transformers
Input transducers for protective relays and
metering (both for revenue metering and
for data acquisition)
Current transformer
Step the current down

Voltage transformer
Step the voltage down

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Current Transformer
Secondary rating: 5A or 1A

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Current Transformer
420kV, 4000A hairpinprimary current transformer
(GEC High Voltage
Switchgear Ltd.)

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Windings of current transformer


L1,L2, K1, K2 are
polarity marks
(a) for three phase load
(b) for unbalanced
three phase system
(c) for unbalanced or
balanced three phase
system

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CTs accuracy class rating


Example:
C400 or T400, sometimes
10C400 or 10T400
C: performance is calculated
from its core magnetization
curve;
T: performance is
determined by test
10: maximum 10% CT ratio
error
400: voltage rating

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Standard ohmic
burden

Limits of error for accuracy class 5P and class


10P
Accuracy Current Phase displacement at Composite error at rated accuracy
class
error at rated primary current
limit primary current %
rated
minutes centiradians
primary
current
%
5P

10P

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60

1.8

5
10

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Voltage transformers
420kV cascade-connected
voltage transformer (GEC High
Voltage Switchgear Ltd.)

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Voltage transformers errors


Voltage error
secondary load
voltage error

U N1
KN
UN2
K N U 2 U1
U
U %
100
100
U1
U1
KN is the ratio
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Phase displacement: the phase


displacement

between primary
voltage
U 1 and secondary

voltage U 2
Limits of voltage error and phase displacement
for measuring voltage transformers
Accuracy
class

Maximum error

0.2

0.20

10

0.5

0.30

20

1.0

40

3.0

Not specified

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Percentage
Voltage error
(%)

condition
Phase displacement
minutes

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Secondary load is within


25%~100% times of rated
load; power factor is 0.8;
primary voltage is within
0.9~1.1 times UN.

Limits of voltage error and phase displacement


for measuring voltage transformers
Accuracy Maximum error
class
Percentage
Phase displacement
Voltage error minutes
(%)

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3P

3.0

120

6P

6.0

240

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Windings of voltage transformer


(a) Low voltage system:
only one single-phase
VT
(b) 3~35kV: two
single- pahse VTs
(c) 3~10kV: three-phase
VT
(d) 110kV: three
single- pahse VTs
(e) 3~10kV: three-phase
VT

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Thanks!