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DIFFERENT TYPES

OF FAULTS IN
POWER SYSTEM

WHAT ARE FAULTS


Faults usually occur in a power system due to either

insulation failure, flashover, physical damage or


human error. These faults, may either be three phase
in nature involving all three phases in a symmetrical
manner, or may be asymmetrical where usually only
one or two phases may be involved.
Faults may also be caused by either short-circuits to
earth or between live conductors, or may be caused
by broken conductors in one or more phases.
Sometimes simultaneous faults may occur involving
both short-circuit and broken conductor faults (also
known as open-circuit faults).

EFFECTS OF FAULTS ON POWER


SYSTEM
Flow of excessive current
Greatly increased damage at the

fault location (Fault energy = IRf t


where t is time)
Danger to operating personnel
(Flash products)
The heavy current due to shortcircuit causes excessive heating
which may result in fire or
explosion. Sometimes short-circuit
takes the form of an arc and
causes considerable damage to the
system.

EFFECTS OF FAULTS ON POWER


SYSTEM
Higher mechanical and thermal stressing of

all items of plant carrying the fault current.


If allowed to persist for a long period, slow

electromechanical transients may cause


instability of the interconnected system by
pulling synchronous machines out of
synchronism

Faults - Types
Faults can be broadly classified into two main areas
which have been designated:
Active Faults : Active fault is when actual current
flows from one phase conductor to another or
alternatively from one phase conductor to earth . This
type of fault can also be further classified into two
areas,
i) Solid fault
ii)incipient fault
Passive Faults: Passive faults are not real faults in the
true sense of the word but are rather conditions that are
stressing the system beyond its design capacity.

NEED FOR FAULT


ANALYSIS
Design of protection system requires the

knowledge of fault current.


The information obtained from the fault
studies are used to select the rating and sizes
of protective devices such as:
Fuses
Circuit breaker

The per unit system is used for fault

calculations.

TRANSIENT FAULT
Atransient faultis a fault

that is no longer present if


power is disconnected for a
short time.
Many faults inoverhead
powerlinesare transient in
nature.
Typical examples of transient
faults include:
momentary tree contact
bird or other animal contact
lightning strike
conductor clash

PERMANENT FAULT
Permanent faults, as the name implies, are the

result of permanent damage to the insulation.


In this case, the equipment has to be repaired
and reclosing must not be entertained.

SYMMETRIC FAULT
That fault on the power system which gives
rise to symmetrical fault currents (i.e. equal
fault currents in the lines with 120
displacement) is called a symmetrical fault.

SYMMETRIC FAULT
Thesymmetric,symmetricalorbalanced

faultaffects each of the three-phases equally


In transmission line faults, roughly 2% are symmetric
This is in contrast to an asymmetric fault, where the
three phases are not affected equally
In practice, most faults in power systems are
unbalanced
L-L-L faults are symmetric in nature and generally
occurs due to the carelessness of operating staff.
Per phase system is used for symmetrical fault
analysis

ASYMMETRIC FAULT
Anasymmetricorunbalanced faultdoes not affect

each of the three phases equally. Common types of


asymmetric faults, and their causes:
line-to-line- ashort circuitbetween lines, caused
byionizationof air, or when lines come into physical
contact, for example due to a brokeninsulator
line-to-ground- a short circuit between one line and
ground, very often caused by physical contact, for
example due tolightningor other storm damage
double line-to-ground- two lines come into contact
with the ground (and each other), also commonly due
to storm damage

ASYMMETRIC FAULT
Thus as mentioned there are three ways in which
unsymmetrical faults may occur in a power system:
(i) Single line-to-ground fault (L G)
(ii) Line-to-line fault (L L)
(iii) Double line-to-ground fault (L L G)
For calculations on un-symmetrical faults, symmetrical
components is used.

Other Abnormalities
Voltage and Current Unbalance
Over- Voltages
Reversal of Power
Power Swings
Under Frequency
Temperature Rise
Instability etc etc

SYMMETRICAL COMPONENTS FOR


THREE PHASE SYSTEM
The calculation procedure known as method of

symmetrical components is used to determine the


currents and voltages on the occurrence of an
unsymmetrical fault.

The positive sequence set consisting of three components

of equal magnitude, displaced by 120 & 240 o respectively


and having the phase sequence of abca.

The negative sequence set consisting of three

components of equal magnitude displaced by 240 & 120 o


respectively, having phase sequence of acba.

The zero sequence set of the component of which being

equal both in magnitude and and phase.

SYMMETRICAL COMPONENTS FOR


THREE PHASE SYSTEM
The phasor representation of three phase
system:

Fault Clearing Process


Protective relays are connected in the secondary

circuits of CTs & PTs.


The relays sense the abnormal conditions & close the
trip-circuit of associated circuit breaker.
The CB opens its contacts that results an arc b/w the
contacts which is extinguished by suitable medium &
technique.
Transient Phenomena. (TRV)
Fault clearing Time- Time elapsed between the instant
of the occurrence of a fault and the instant of final arc
extinction in the CB . Usually expressed in cycles.

Essential Qualities of
Protection
Reliability
Selectivity
Fastness of Operation/Speed
Discrimination
Sensitivity
Adequateness
Stability

Reliability
Devices must function consistently when fault
conditions occur, regardless of possibly being idle
for months or years.
Without this reliability, systems may result in
high costly damages.
Assessed through statistical data, i.e. only
mentioned as probability of failure of protective
system.
Reliability can be increased by proper designing
backed by regular and thorough maintenance.

Reliability

Selectivity
Selectivity means that devices must avoid

unwarranted, false trips.


Only the faulty sections must be isolated by
the system
Selectivity may be absolute or relative.

Speed
Relays are required to be fast acting due to:

(i) Critical Clearing time should not be exceeded


(ii) Electrical apparatus may be damaged, if they
allow to carry large faulty currents for longer
time.
Fault clearing time = Relay Time + Breaker Time

The Relays should not be made extremely fast

because lightning surge on the line must have enough


time to discharge the lightning to the ground.

Discrimination
Distinguish between normal & abnormal

conditions.
Close term to selectivity.

Sensitivity
Refers to the smallest value of the actuating quantity

at which the protection starts operating.


Should operate for the min value of fault current

in the zone.
Sensitivity Factor = Ks = Is/Io
Where,

Is = Min S.C current in the zone


&
Io = Min Operating current of protection

Adequateness
Should not be provided for every abnormal

conditions.
Not viable economically.
Therefore adequateness should be a key quality
parameter of any protection system.
(a) Rating of protected machine
(b) Location of the protected machine
(c ) Probability of abnormal condition due to any
cause.
(d) Cost of machine
(e)Continuity of supply etc etc.

Stability
Protection should remain silent for transient

conditions.
Special arrangement in relay design and

scheme are required. Such as bias differential


protection and harmonic restrain coils.

Zone of Protection
A part of system protected by a certain

protective scheme is called as protective


zone.
The entire power system is covered by

several protective zones and no part of the


system is left unprotected by overlapping of
the zones.

Primary & Back-Up


Protection
Primary or Main protection Essential

protection
In case of failure of primary protection due to

any reason, an additional protection known as


Back-up protection comes into play.
For economic reasons, back-up protection is
given against only over-current/S.C faults or
distance protection.
Function of reliability of primary protection
system.

Methods of back-up protection are :

1. Relay Back-up:

Same CB is used by both main &


Back-up protection, but protective
systems are different. Separate trip
coils are provided for the same breaker.

2. Breaker Back-up:

Different CBs are used for main and backup protection , deployed at same station.

3. Remote Back-up:

Main & Back-up protections provided at


different stations.

4. Centrally Controlled Back-up:

CIRCUIT BREAKERS
A circuit breaker is a piece
of equipment which can
(i) make or break a circuit
either manually or by
remote control under
normal conditions
(ii) break a circuit
automatically under fault
conditions
(iii) make a circuit either
manually or by remote

CLASSIFICATION OF CIRCUIT
BREAKERS
The most general way of classification is on the basis
of medium used for arc extinction. Accordingly, circuit
breakers may be classified into :
(i) Oil circuit breakers which employ some insulating
oil (e.g., transformer oil) for arc extinction.
(ii) Air-blast circuit breakers in which high pressure airblast is used for extinguishing the arc.
(iii) Sulphur hexafluroide circuit breakers in which
sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) gas is used for arc
extinction.
(iv) Vacuum circuit breakers in which vacuum is used
for arc extinction

FUSES
A fuse is a short piece of metal,

inserted in the circuit, which


melts when excessive current
flows through it and thus breaks
the circuit.
Fuse is the simplest current
interrupting device for
protection against excessive
currents.
In general, fuses may be
classified into :
(i) Low voltages fuses
(ii) High voltage fuses

PROTECTIVE RELAYS
A protective relay is a device

that detects the fault and


initiates the operation of the
circuit breaker to ioslate the
defective element from the
rest of the system.
Having detected the fault, the
relay operates to close the trip
circuit of the breaker. This
results in the opening of the
breaker and disconnection of
the faulty circuit.

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