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Power Transformer

Transformer is a vital link in a power system which has made possible the power
generated at low voltages (6600 to 22000 volts) to be stepped up to extra high
voltages for transmission over long distances and then transformed to low voltages for
utilization at proper load centers.
With this tool in hands it has become possible to harness the energy resources at far
off places from the load centers and connect the same through long extra high voltage
transmission lines working on high efficiencies. At that, it may be said to be the
simplest equipment with no motive parts. Nevertheless it has its own problems
associated with insulation, dimensions and weights because of demands for ever
rising voltages and capacities.
In its simplest form a Transformer consists of a laminated iron core about which are
wound two or more sets of windings. Voltage is applied to one set of windings, called
the primary, which builds up a magnetic flux through the iron. This flux induces a
counter electromotive force in the primary winding thereby limiting the current drawn
from the supply. This is called the no load current and consists of two components-
one in phase with the voltage which accounts for the iron losses due to eddy currents
and hysteresis, and the other 90° behind the voltage which magnetizes the core.
This flux induces an electro-motive force in the secondary winding too. When load is
connected across this winding, current flows in the secondary circuit. This produces a
demagnetising effect, to counter balance this the primary winding draws more current
from the supply so that
Where Ip and Np are the current and number of turns in the primary while IS and NS
are the current and number of turns in the secondary respectively. The ratio of turns in
the primary and secondary windings depends on the ratio of voltages on the Primary
and secondary sides. The magnetic core is built up of laminations of high grade
silicon or other sheet steel which are insulated from each other by varnish or through
a coating of iron oxide. The core can be constructed in different ways relative to the

1- Transformer Core
Construction in which the iron circuit is surrounded by windings and forms a low
reluctance path for the magnetic flux set up by the voltage impressed on the primary.
Fig (1), Fig. (6) and Fig. (7) Shows the core type

Fig (1) core type

The core of shell type is sh

own Fig.(2), Fig.(3), Fig.(4), and Fig.(5), in which The winding is surrounded by
the iron Circuit Consisting of two or more paths through which the flux divides. This
arrangement affords somewhat Better protection to coils under short circuit

In actual construction there are Variations from This simple construction but these can
be designed
With such proportions as to give similar electrical characteristics.

Fig (2) shell type

Fig.(3) Single phase Transformer

Fig. (4) Single phase Transformer .

Fig. (5) 3- phase Transformer Shell type

Fig. (6) 3- phase Transformer core type

Fig. (7) Cross section of a three-phase Distribution Transformer (Core Type)

Three-phase Transformers usually employ three-leg core. Where Transformers to be

transported by rail are large capacity, five-leg core is used to curtail them to within the
height limitation for transport.
Even among thermal/nuclear power station Transformers, which are usually
transported by ship and freed from restrictions on in-land transport, gigantic

Transformers of the 1000 MVA class employ five-leg core to prevent leakage flux,
minimize vibration, increase tank strength, and effectively use space inside the tank.
Regarding single-phase Transformers, two-leg core is well known. Practically,
however, three leg cores is used, four-leg core and five-leg core are used in large
capacity Transformers. The sectional areas of the yoke and side leg are 50 % of that of
the main leg; thus, the core height can be reduced to a large extent compared with the
two leg core.

For core material, high-grade, grain oriented silicon steel strip is used. Connected by a
core leg tie plate fore and hind clamps by connecting bars. As a result, the core is so
constructed that the actual silicon strip is held in a sturdy frame consisting of clamps
and tie plates, which resists both mechanical force during hoisting the core-and-coil
assembly and short circuits, keeping the silicon steel strip protected from such force.

In large-capacity Transformers, which are likely to invite increased leakage flux,

nonmagnetic steel is used or slits are provided in steel members to reduce the width
for preventing stray loss from increasing on metal parts used to clamp the core and for
preventing local overheat. The core interior is provided with many cooling oil ducts
parallel to the lamination to which a part of the oil flow forced by an oil pump is
introduced to achieve forced cooling.
When erecting a core after assembling, a special device shown in Fig. (8) Is used so
that no strain due to bending or slip is produced on the silicon steel plate.

Fig (8)

Fig (9)

The steel strip surface is subjected to inorganic insulation treatment.

All cores employ miter-joint core construction. Yokes are jointed at an angle
of 45° to utilize the magnetic flux directional characteristic of steel strip.
A computer-controlled automatic machine cuts grain-oriented silicon
steel strip with high accuracy and free of burrs, so that magnetic
characteristics of the grain-oriented silicon steel remains unimpaired. Silicon
steel strips are stacked in a circle-section. Each core leg is fitted with tie plates

on its front and rear side, with resin-impregnated glass tape wound around the
outer circumference. Sturdy clamps applied to front and rear side of the upper
and lower yokes are bound together with glass tape.
And then, the resin undergoes heating for hardening to tighten the
band so that the core is evenly clamped Fig. (9). Also, upper and lower clamps
are connected by a core leg tie plate; fore and hind clamps by connecting bars.

As a result, the core is so constructed that the actual silicon strip is

held in a sturdy frame consisting of clamps and tie plates, which resists both
mechanical force during hoisting the core-and-coil assembly and short
circuits, keeping the silicon steel strip protected from such force.

In large-capacity Transformers, which are likely to invite increased

leakage flux, nonmagnetic steel is used or slits are provided in steel members
to reduce the width for preventing stray loss from increasing on metal parts
used to clamp the core and for preventing local overheat.

The core interior is provided with many cooling oil ducts parallel to
the lamination to which a part of the oil flow forced by an oil pump is
introduced to achieve forced cooling.

When erecting a core after assembling, a special device shown in Fig. (8) Is used so
that no strain due to bending or slip is produced on the silicon steel plate.

2 - Winding
Various windings are used as shown below. According to the purpose of use, the
optimum winding is selected so as to utilize their individual features.
1 - Helical Disk Winding (Interleaved disk winding)
In Helical disk winding, electrically isolated turns are brought in contact with each
other as shown in Fig. (10) Thus, this type of winding
is also termed "interleaved disk winding."
Since conductors 1 - 4 and conductors 9 - 12 assume a shape similar to a wound
capacitor, it is known that these conductors have very large capacitance.
This capacitance acts as series capacitance of the winding to highly improve the
voltage distribution for surge. Unlike cylindrical windings, Helical disk winding
requires no shield on the winding outermost side, resulting in smaller coil outside
diameter and thus reducing Transformer dimension. Comparatively small in
winding width and large in space between windings, the construction of this type of
winding is appropriate for the winding, which faces to an inner winding of
relatively high voltage.
Thus, general EHV or UHV substation Transformers employ Helical disk winding to
utilize its features mentioned above.
2 - Continuous Disk Winding
This is the most general type applicable to windings of a wide range of voltage
and current Fig. (11). this type is applied to windings ranging from BI L of 350kV
to BI L of 1550kV. Rectangular wire is used where current is relatively small,
while transposed cable Fig. (12) is applied to large current. When voltage is
relatively low, a Transformer of 100MVA

or more capacity handles a large current exceeding 1000A. In this case, the
advantage of transposed cable may be fully utilized.

Fig. (10)

Fig. (11). Continuous Disk Winding

Fig. (12) Transposed conductor construction Diagram

Further, since the number of turns is reduced, even conventional continuous disk
construction is satisfactory in voltage distribution, thereby ensuring adequate
dielectric characteristics. Also, whenever necessary, potential distribution is improved
by inserting a shield between turns.
3 - Helical windings
For windings of low voltage (20kV or below) and large current, a helical coil is used
which consists of a large number of parallel conductors piled in the radial
Direction and wound. Adequate transposition is necessary to equalize the share of
current among these parallel conductors.
Fig (12) illustrates the transposing procedure for double helical coil.
Each conductor is transposed at intervals of a fixed number of turns in the order
shown in the figure, and as a result the location of each conductor opposed to the high

voltage winding is equalized from the view point of magnetic field between the start
and the end of winding turn.

Fig. (13) double helical coil

3 - Tank.
The tank has two main parts:
a –The tank is manufactured by forming and welding steel plate to be used as a
container for holding the core and coil assembly together with insulating oil.
The base and the shroud, over which a cover is sometimes bolted. These parts are
manufactured in steel plates assembled together via weld beads. The tank is provided
internally with devices usually made of wood for fixing the magnetic circuit and the
In addition, the tank is designed to withstand a total vacuum during the treatment
process. Sealing between the base and shroud is provided by weld beads. The other
openings are sealed with oil-resistant synthetic rubber joints, whose compression is
limited by steel stops.
Finally the tank is designed to withstand the application of the internal overpressure
specified, without permanent deformation.

Fig (14) Power Transformer 30 MVA 132 / 11 KV

b - Conservator
The tank is equipped with an expansion reservoir (conservator) which allows for the
expansion of the oil during operation. The conservator is designed to hold a total
vacuum and may be equipped with a rubber membrane preventing direct contact
between the oil and the air.

Fig. (15)

Fig. (16)
4 - Handling devices:
Various parts of the tank are provided with the following arrangements for handling
the Transformer.
- Four locations (under the base) intended to accommodate bidirectional roller boxes
for displacement on rails.
- Four pull rings (on two sides of the base)
- Four jacking pads (under the base)
- Tank Earthing terminals:
The tank is provided with Earthing terminals for Earthing the various metal parts of
the Transformer at one point. The magnetic circuit is earthed via a special external
5 - Valves:
The Transformers are provided with sealed valves, sealing joints, locking devices and
position indicators.
The Transformers usually include:

- Two isolating valves for the "Buchholz" relay.
- One drainage and filtering valve located below the tank.
- One isolating valve per radiator or per cooler.
- One conservator drainage and filtering valve.

And when there is an on-load adjuster:

- Two isolating valves for the protection relay.
- One refilling valve for the on-load tap-changer.
- One drain plug for the tap-changer compartment.

6 - Connection Systems
Mostly Transformers have top-mounted HV and LV bushings according to DIN or
IEC in their standard version. Besides the open bushing arrangement for direct
Connection of bare or insulated wires, three basic insulated termination systems is
available. Fully enclosed terminal box for cables
Fig. (17&18) Available for either HV or LV side, or for both. Horizontally split design
in degree of protection IP 44 or IP 54. (Totally enclosed and fully protected against
contact's With live parts, plus protection against drip, splash, or spray water.)
Cable installation through split cable glands and removable plates facing diagonally
Optional conduit hubs suitable for single-core or three-phase cables with solid
dielectric insulation, with or without stress cones.
Multiple cables per phase are terminated on auxiliary bus structures attached to the
bushings removal of Transformer by simply bending back the cables.

Fig. (17)

Fig. (18) HV Side 300 KV

Fig. (19) LV Side (11KV) connection terminal 3-cable for each phase

7 - The dehydrating breather

The dehydrating breather is provided at the entrance of the conservator of oil
immersed equipment such as Transformers and reactors.
The conservator governs the breathing action of the oil system on forming to the
temperature change of the equipment, and the dehydrating breather removes the
moisture and dust in the air inhaled and prevents the deterioration of the Transformer
oil due to moisture absorption.
Construction and Operation
See Fig. (20) The dehydrating breather uses silica - gel as the desiccating
Agent and is provided with an oil pot at the bottom to filtrate the inhaled air. The
specifications of the dehydrating breather are shown in Table (1) and the operation of
the component parts in Table (2).

Fig. (20) Dehydrating breather

1. Case
2. Peep window
3. Flange
4. Oil pot
5. Oil pot holder
6. Breathing pipe
8. silica-gel
10. Oil (Transformer oil)
11. Wing nut
13. Suppression screw
14. Set screw
15. Oil level line (Red
Table - 1
Weight of
Type desiccating Desiccating agent

FP4.5A 4.5 kg Material --- Silica-gel (Main component

Shape, Size --- spherical, approx. Ø4 –
Mixed ratio --- white silica-gel 75%
blue silica-gel 25%

Table - 2
Item Action
Silica-gel Removes moisture in the air inhaled
by the Transformer Or reactor.
Blue silica-gel In addition to the removal of
moisture, indicates the Extent of
moisture absorption by discoloration.
(Dry condition) (Wet condition )
Blue ------ Light purple ----- Light
Oil pot Oil and filter Removes moisture and dust in the air
inhaled by: the Transformer or
reactor. In addition, while it is not
performing breathing action, it seals
the desiccating agent from the outer
air to prevent unnecessary moisture
Absorption of the desiccating agent.

absorbent Absorbs dust and deteriorated matter

in the oil pot, to Maintain the oil pot
in a good operating condition.

Having manufactured various types of bushings ranging from 6kV-class to 800kV-
class, Toshiba has accumulated many years of splendid actual results in their
Plain-type Bushing
Applicable to 24 kV-classes or below, this type of bushing is available in a standard
series up to 25,000A rated current. Consisting of a single porcelain tube through
which passes a central conductor, this bushing is of simplified construction and small
mounting dimensions; especially, this type proves to be advantageous when used as
an opening of equipment to be placed in a bus duct Fig. (21).

Fig. (21) 24 KV Bushing

Oil-impregnated, Paper-insulated Condenser Bushing

Fig. (22) 800 KV bushing

The oil-impregnated, paper insulated condenser bushing, mainly consisting of a
condenser cone of oil-impregnated insulating paper, is used

For high-voltage application (Fig. 22&23).

This bushing, of enclosed construction, offers the Following features:
• High reliability and easy maintenance.

• Partial discharge free at test voltage.
• Provided with test tapping for measuring electrostatic capacity and tan δ.
• Provided with voltage tapping for connecting an instrument Transformer if required.

Fig. (23) Bushing type GOEK 1425 for direct connection of 420 KV Power
Transformer to gas insulated Switchgear or high voltage cable

Fig. (24) Cut away view of Transformer bushing type GOE

Construction of Cable Connection and GIS Connection
Cable Connection

In urban-district substations connected with power cables and thermal power stations
suffered from salt-pollution, cable direct-coupled construction is used in which a
Transformer is direct-coupled with the power cable in an oil chamber.
Indirect connection system in which, with a cable connecting chamber attached to the
Transformer tank, a coil terminal is connected to the cable head through an oil-oil
bushing in the cable connection chamber. Construction of the connection chamber can
be divided into sections. Cable connections and oil filling can be separately performed
upon completion of the tank assembling.

Fig. (26) Indirect Cable Connection
GIS (Gas Insulated Switchgear) Connection

There is an increasing demand for GIS in substations from the standpoint

of site-acquisition difficulties and environmental harmony.
In keeping with this tendency, GIS connection-type Transformers
are ever-increasing in their applications.
The SF6 gas bus is connected directly with the Transformer
coil terminal through an oil-gas bushing. Oil-gas bushing support
is composed of a Transformer-side flange and an SF6 gas bus-side flange,
permitting the oil side and the gas side to be completely separated from each other.

Fig. (27) Direct GIS Connection

Buchholz Relays

The following protective devices are used so that, upon a fault development inside a
Transformer, an alarm is set off or the Transformer is disconnected from the circuit. In
the event of a fault, oil or insulations decomposes by heat, producing gas or
developing an impulse oil flow.
To detect these phenomena, a Buchholz relay is installed.

Buchholz Relay
The Buchholz relay is installed at the middle of the connection pipe between the
Transformer tank and the conservator.
There are a 1st stage contact and a 2nd stage contact as shown in Fig. (28). the 1st
stage contact is used to detect minor faults.
When gas produced in the tank due to a minor fault surfaces to accumulate in the
relay chamber within a certain amount (0.3Q-0.35Q) or above, the float lowers and
closes the contact, thereby actuating the alarm device.

Fig. (28). Buchholz Relay

The 2nd stage contact is used to detect major faults. In the event of a major fault,
abrupt gas production causes pressure in the tank to flow oil into the conservator. In

this case, the float is lowered to close the contact, thereby causing the Circuit Breaker
to trip or actuating the alarm device.

Temperature Measuring Device

Liquid Temperature Indicator (like BM SERIES Type) is used to measure oil

temperature as a standard practice.
With its temperature detector installed on the tank cover and with its indicating part
installed at any position easy to observe on the front of the Transformer, the dial
temperature detector is used to measure maximum oil temperature.

The indicating part, provided with an alarm contact and a maximum temperature
pointer, is of airtight construction with moisture absorbent contained therein; thus,
there is no possibility of the glass interior collecting moisture whereby it would be
difficult to observe the indicator Fig. (30&31). Further, during remote measurement
and recording of the oil temperatures, on request a search coil can be installed which
is fine copper wire wound on a bobbin used to measure temperature through changes
in its resistance.

Winding Temperature Indicator Relay (BM SERIES)

The winding temperature indicator relay is a conventional oil temperature indicator
supplemented with an electrical heating element.
The relay measures the temperature of the hottest part of the Transformer winding. If
specified, the relay can be fitted with a precision potentiometer with the same
characteristics as the search coil for remote indication.

Fig. (29) Construction of Winding Temperature Indicator Relay

Fig (30) Oil Temperature Indicator

Fig. (31) Winding Temperature Indicator

The temperature sensing system is filled with a liquid, which changes in volume with
varying temperature. The sensing bulb placed in a thermometer well in the
Transformer tank cover senses the maximum oil temperature. The heating elements
with a matching resistance is fed with current from the Transformer associated with
the loaded winding of the Transformer and compensate the indicator so that a
temperature increase of the heating element is thereby proportional to a temperature
increase of the winding-over-the maximum- oil temperature.
Therefore, the measuring bellows react to both the temperature increase of the
winding-over-the-maximum-oil temperature and maximum oil temperature. In this
way the instrument indicates the temperature in the hottest part of the Transformer
The matching resistance of the heating element is preset at the factory.

Pressure Relief Device

When the gauge pressure in the tank reaches abnormally

To 0.35-0.7 kg/cm.sq. The pressure relief device starts automatically to discharge the
When the pressure in the tank has dropped beyond the limit through discharging, the
device is automatically reset to prevent more oil than required from being discharged.

Fig. (32) Pressure Relief Device

Cooling System
The kinds of cooling medium and their symbols adopted
by I.S. 2026 (Part 11)-1977 are:
(a) Mineral oil or equivalent flammable insulating liquid O
(b) Non flammable synthetic insulating liquid L
(c) Gas G
(d) Water W

(e) Air A
The kids of circulation for the cooling medium
and their symbols are:
(a) Natural N
(b) Forced (Oil not directed) F
(c) Forced (Oil directed) D
Each cooling method of Transformer is identified by four symbols.
The first letter represents the kind of cooling medium in contact
with winding, the second letter represents the kind of circulation for
the cooling medium, the third letter represents the cooling medium
that is in contact with the external cooling system and fourth symbol represents the
kind of circulation for the external medium.
Thus oil immersed Transformer with natural oil circulation and forced air external
cooling is designated ONAF.

For oil immersed Transformers the cooling systems normally adopted are:

1- Oil Immersed Natural cooled – Type ONAN. Fig. (33 & 34)
In this case the core and winding assembly is immersed in oil. Cooling is obtained by
the circulation of oil under natural thermal head only.
In large Transformers the surface area of the tank alone is not adequate for dissipation
of the heat produced by the losses.
Additional surface is obtained with the provision of radiators.
2. Oil Immersed Air Blast - Type ONAF Fig. (35 & 36)
In this case circulation of air is obtained by fans. It becomes possible to reduce the
size of the Transformer for the same rating and consequently save in cost.

Fig. (33) Oil Immersed Natural cooled ONAN

Fig. (34) Oil Immersed Natural cooled ONAN

Fig. (35) Oil Immersed Air Blast - Type ONAF

Fig. (36) Oil Immersed Air Blast - Type ONAF

3. Oil Immersed Water Cooled - Type ONWN
In this case internal cooling coil is employed through which the water is
allowed to flow. Apparently this system of cooling assumes free supply of water.
Except at hydropower stations this would off-set the saving in cost when special
means have to be provided for adequate supply of water.
The circulation of oil is only by convection currents.
This type of cooling was employed in older designs but has been
almost abandoned in favor of the Type OFWF discussed later.

4. Forced Oil Air Blast Cooled - Type OFAF Fig. (37)

In this system of cooling also circulation of oil is forced by a pump. In addition fans
are added to radiators for forced blast of air.

5. Forced Oil Natural Air Cooled - Type OFAN Fig. (38)

In this method of cooling, pump is employed in the oil circuit for better circulation of

Fig. (37) Forced-oil, Forced-air-cooled - Type OFAF

Fig. (38) Forced Oil Natural Air Cooled - Type OFAN

6. Forced Oil Water Cooled - Type OFWF
In this type of cooling a pump is added in the oil circuit for forced
circulation of oil, through a separate heat exchanger in which
water is allowed to flow.

7. Forced Directed Oil and Forced Air Cooling -ODAF.

It should be remembered that Transformers cooling type OFAF
and OFWF will not carry any load if air and water supply
respectively is removed. It is quite common to select Transformers
with two systems of
Cooling e.g., ONAN/ONAF or ONAN/OFAF or sometimes
three systems e.g., ONAN/ONAF/ OFAF.
These determine the type of cooling upto certain loading.
As soon as the load exceeds a preset value, the fans/pumps are
Switched on. The rating of a Transformer with ONAN/ONAF
cooling may be written, say, as 45/60 MVA. This means that so
long as the load is below 45 MVA, the fans will not be working.
These are Switched on automatically when the load on the Transformer
exceeds 45 MVA. Type of cooling has a bearing on the cost of the Transformer.
It shall be appreciated that the ONAN cooling has the advantage
of being the simplest with no. fans or pumps and hence no auxiliary motors.
On smaller units say up to 10 MVA, saving in price in changing from
ONAN cooling to other forms of cooling is negligible.
On bigger units not only there is a saving in price but also the
reduced weights and dimensions, with other systems of cooling
of Transformers, render the transport easy and decrease the cost of
Foundations etc.
Site conditions sometimes influence the preferred cooling arrangement.
For example the advantage of reduced price, dimensions and weight in
case of type OFWF can be fully realised only where water supply is readily available.
Where special arrangements have to be made for water supply and
disposal of the water, the installation costs for OFWF Transformers may increase.


In Transformers, the insulating oil provides an insulation medium as well as
a heat transferring medium that carries away heat produced in the windings
and iron core. Since the electric strength and the life of a Transformer
depend chiefly upon the quality of the insulating oil, it is very important
to use a high quality insulating oil.
The insulating oil used for Transformers should generally meet the following
(a) Provide a high electric strength.
(b) Permit good transfer of heat.
(c) Have low specific gravity-In oil of low specific
gravity particles which have become suspended
in the oil will settle down on the
bottom of the tank more readily and at a faster rate,
a property aiding the oil in retaining its homogeneity.
(d) Have a low viscosity- Oil with low viscosity, i.e.,
having greater fluidity, will cool Transformers
at a much better rate.
(e) Have low pour point- Oil with low pour point will cease
to flow only at low temperatures.
(f) Have a high flash point. The flash point characterizes
its tendency to evaporate. The lower the flash point

the greater the oil will tend to vaporize.
When oil vaporizes, it loses in volume, its viscosity rises,
and an explosive mixture may be formed with the air above the oil.
(g) Not attack insulating materials and structural materials.
(h) Have chemical stability to ensure life long service.
Various national and international specifications
have been issued on insulating oils for Transformers
to meet the above requirements.
The specifications for insulating oil stipulated in Indian
Standard 335: 1983 are given below.
characteristic Requirement
1 Appearance The oil shall be clear and
transparent and free from
suspended matter or sediments.
2 Density at 29.5°C, Max 0.89 g/cm3
3 Interfacial tension at 0.04 N/m.
270°C, Min.
4 Flash point Min. 104 °C
5 Pour Point Max. - 9 °C
6 Corrosive Sulphur (in Non-corrosive.
of classification of copper
7 Electric strength (breakdown
voltage) Min. 30 kV (rms)
(a) New unfiltered oil 60 kV (rms).
(b) After filtration
8 Dielectric dissipation factor 0.002
(tan δ) at 90 °C Max.
9 Specific resistance 1012
35 X Ω / cm
(a) At 9 0 °C Min. 1500 X
Ω / cm
(b) at 2 7 0 °C
10 Oxidation stability. 0.4 mg KOH/g
(a) Neutralization value, 0.10 percent by weight
after oxidation Max.
(b) Total sludge, after
oxidation, Max.
11 Presence of oxidation The oil shall not
inhibitor contain antioxidant additives.
12 Water content, Max. 15 ppm

Gases analysis
The analysis of gases dissolved in oil has proved to be a highly practical method for
the field monitoring of power Transformers.
This method is very sensitive and gives an early warning of incipient faults. It is
indeed possible to determine from an oil sample of about one litre the presence of
certain gases down to a quantity of a few mm3 , i.e., a gas volume corresponding to
about 1 millionth of the volume of the liquid (ppm).
The gases (with the exception of N2 and O2) dissolved in the oil are derived from the
degradation of oil and cellulose molecules that takes place under the influence of
thermal and electrical stresses. Different stress modes, e.g., normal operating

temperatures, hot spots with different high temperatures, partial discharges and
flashovers, produce different compositions of the gases dissolved in the oil.
The relative distribution of the gases is therefore used to evaluate the origin of the gas
production and the rate at which the gases are formed to assess the intensity and
propagation of the gassing. Both these kinds of information together provide the
necessary basis for the evaluation of any fault and the necessary remedial action.
This method of monitoring power Transformers has been studied intensively and
work is going on in international and national organizations such as CIGRE, IEC and

The frequency with which oil samples are taken depends primarily on the size of the
Transformer and the impact of any Transformer failure on the network.
Some typical cases where gas analysis is particularly desirable are listed in the
1 - When a defect is suspected (e.g., abnormal noise).
2 - When a Buchholz (gas-collecting) relay or pressure monitor gives a signal.
3 - Directly after and within a few weeks after a heavy short circuit
4 - In connection with the commissioning of Transformers that are of significant
importance to the network, followed by a further test some months later.
Different routines for sampling intervals have been developed by different utilities
and in different countries.
One sampling per year appears to be customary for large power Transformers (Rated
>= 300 MVA >= 220 kV).
The routine that has been used over a long period of time of checking the state of the
oil every other year by measuring the breakdown strength, the tan value, the
neutralization coefficient and other physical quantities is not replaced by the gas
Extraction and analysis
To be able to carry out a gas analysis, the gases dissolved in the oil must be extracted
and accumulated.
The oil sample to be degassed is sucked into a pre-evacuated degassing column. A
low pressure is maintained by a vacuum pump. To assure effective degassing (> 99
per cent), the oil is allowed to run slowly over a series of rings which enlarge its
An oil pump provides the necessary circulation. The gas extracted by the vacuum
pump is accumulated in a vessel.
Any water that may have been present in the oil is removed by freezing in a cooling
trap to ensure that the water will not disturb the vacuum pumping.
The volumes of the gas and the oil sample are determined to permit calculation of the
total gas content in the oil. The accumulated gas is injected by means of a syringe into
the gas chromatograph, which analyses the gas sample.
The result is plotted on a recorder in the form of a chromatogram.
Using calibration gases it is possible to identify the different peaks on a
chromatogram. Recalculation of the height of a peak to the content of this gas is done
by comparison with chromatogram deflections from calibration gases.
With the composition of the gas mixture and the total gas content in the oil sample
known; the content (in ppm) of the individual gases in the oil is obtained. The
following gases are analyzed:


The detection limits depend partly on the total gas content; for hydrocarbons (except
methane) the limit lies below 0,5 ppm, for hydrogen, methane and carbon monoxide
about 5 ppm and for carbon dioxide about 2 ppm.
This high sensitivity is necessary in those cases where it is desired to determine a
trend in the gas evolution at short sampling intervals, e.g., during a heat run test or
when oil samples are taken at intervals of only a few days.
Identification of faults.
The fault types that can and should be identified are corona, electrical discharges,
excessively hot metal surfaces and fast degradation of cellulose. It is possible to
obtain an idea of the type of fault by using a diagnosis scheme.
A number of different schemes of this type have been prepared.
To avoid having to deal with the contents of the individual gases, one frequently uses
quotients between different gases.
Some schemes give an appearance of great precision, but certain care should be
observed when making assessments, until all factors influencing the gassing rate are


Type Of Gas Caused By
Gas concentration limits used in the
Interpretation of DGA data
A statistical survey concerning gas concentrations in Transformer
Oil using the results of that survey the following limits have been set:

Threshold Warning Fault Unit
Limit Limit Limit
H2 20 200 400 ppm
CH4 10 50 100 ppm
C2H6 10 50 100 ppm
C2H4 20 200 400 ppm
C2H2 1 3 10 ppm
CO 300 1000 ppm
CO2 5000 20000 ppm

The limits above are for a Transformer which are open with a breather and have no
OLTC or has a separate conservator for the OLTC.
If the Transformer tank and the OLTC have a common conservator the warning and
fault limits are 30 ppm and 100 ppm respectively for C2H2

IEC 60475 Method of sampling liquid dielectrics
IEC 60422 Supervision and maintenance guide for mineral
Insulating oils in electrical equipment
IEC 60567 Guide for the sampling of gases and of
oil from oil filled electrical equipment and
for the analysis of free and dissolved gases
IEC 60599 Mineral oil-impregnated electrical equipment in
Service -Guide to the interpretation of
dissolved and Free gases analysis
IEC 60296 Specification for unused mineral insulating oils for
Transformers and Switchgear
ASTM Dl 17-96 Standard guide for sampling, test methods,
Specifications, and guide for electrical insulating oils
Of petroleum origin
ASTM D923-97 Standard practices for sampling
electrical insulating liquids
ASTM D3613-98 Standard test methods of sampling electrical
Insulting oils for gas analysis and determination of
Water content
ASTM D36 12-98 Standard test method for analysis of gases dissolved
In electrical insulating oil by gas chromatography
ASTM D3487-88(1993)
Standard specification for
mineral insulating oil Used in electrical apparatus



Ideal parallel operation between Transformers occurs when (1) there are
no circulating currents on open circuit, and (2) the load division between the
Transformers is proportional to their kVA ratings. These requirements
necessitate that any - two or more three phase Transformers, which are desired
to be operated in parallel, should possess:
1) The same no load ratio of transformation;
2) The same percentage impedance;
3) The same resistance to reactance ratio;
4) The same polarity;
5) The same phase rotation;
6) The same inherent phase-angle displacement between primary and
secondary terminals. The above conditions are characteristic of all three phase
Transformers whether two winding or three winding. With three winding
Transformers, however, the following additional requirement must also be
satisfied before the Transformers can be designed suitable for parallel operation.
7) The same power ratio between the corresponding windings.

The first four conditions need no explanation being the same as in

single phase Transformers.
The fifth condition of phase rotation is also a simple requirement. It
assumes that the standard direction of phase rotation is anti-clockwise. In case
of any difference in the phase rotation it can be set right by simply
interchanging two leads either on primary or secondary. It is the intention here
to discuss the last two i.e., sixth and seventh conditions in detail.

Connections of Phase Windings

The star, delta or zigzag connection of a set of windings of a three
phase Transformer or of windings of the same voltage of single phase
Transformers, forming a three phase bank are indicated by letters Y, D or Z
for the high voltage winding and y, d or z for the intermediate and low voltage
windings. If the neutral point of a star or zigzag connected winding is brought
out, the indications are Y N or Z N and y n and z n respectively.

Phase Displacement between Windings

The vector for the high voltage winding is taken as the reference vector.
Displacement of the vectors of other windings from the reference vector, with
anticlockwise rotation, is represented by the use of clock hour figure. IS: 2026
(Part 1V)-1977 gives 26 sets of connections star-star, star-delta, and star
zigzag, delta-delta, delta star, delta-zigzag, zigzag star, zigzag-delta.
Displacement of the low voltage winding vector varies from zero to -330° in
steps of -30°, depending on the method of connections.
Hardly any power system adopts such a large variants of connections.
Some of the commonly used connections with phase displacement
of 0, -300, -180" and -330° (clock-hour setting 0, 1, 6 and 11) are shown in
Table ( below) Symbol for the high voltage winding comes first, followed by
the symbols of windings in diminishing sequence of voltage. For example a
220/66/11 kV Transformer connected star, star and delta and vectors of 66 and
11 kV windings having phase displacement of 0° and -330° with the reference
(220 kV) vector will be represented
As Yy0 - Yd11.

If a pair of three phase Transformers have the same phase displacement between high
voltage and low voltage windings and possess similar characteristics (Such as no load
ratio of transformation phase rotation, percentage impedance) these can be paralleled
with each other by connecting together terminals which correspond physically and
Thus taking the case of two three phase Transformers having vector symbols Dd0 and
Yy0, these can be put into parallel operation by connecting H.V terminals U1, V1 and
W1 of one Transformer to HV terminals U1, V1 and W1 of the other Transformer.
Similarly, low voltage terminals U1V1 and of one Transformer should be connected to
U1, V1 and W1 terminals of the second Transformer.
Sometimes it may be required to operate a three-phase Transformer
belonging to one group with another three-phase Transformer belonging to a
different group. This is possible with suitable changes in external connections.
For example, let us consider a three-phase Transformer with vector symbol
Dy1 and see how this can be operated in parallel with a three-phase
Transformer of similar characteristics but having vector symbol Yd11.
Referring to Table (below) the phasor diagrams of the induced voltages in the h-v and
l-v windings of the two Transformers, with the phase sequence of the supply
connected to terminals U,V, W of the two being RYB in the anti-clockwise direction
are as shown in Figs. (39a) and (39b) respectively.

Fig. (39)
Example of parallel operation of Transformers of groups 3 and 4
(Transformers having symbols Dy 1 and Yd 11 operating in parallel

It may be seen from these diagrams that the phase displacement between the induced
voltages in the h-v and l-v windings is -30° in the first Transformer and it is -330° in
the second Transformer. However, for the successful parallel operation of these
Transformers, the phase displacement must be the same in the two.
This can be achieved by interchanging externally two of the h-v
connections of the incoming Transformer to the supply, i.e., by connecting 1V to
bus B and 1W to bus Y as shown in Fig. (39c) by full lines instead of
Connecting 1V to bus Y and 1W to bus B as shown in Fig (39b) by dotted lines.

Vector Group

This results in the reversal from anticlockwise direction to clockwise direction of the
phase rotation of the induced voltages as shown by arrows in Fig. (39c) and therefore
results in a phase displacement of -30° between the induced voltages in the h-v and l-
v windings [see Fig. (39c)].

The change in two of external it-v connections of the second Transformer thus brings
it -30°. The secondary voltages of this Transformer, however, have a phase rotation
reversed with respect to that of the secondary voltages of the first Transformer.
This can be set right by changing again the two corresponding l-v external
connections, i.e., by connecting 2V to bus b and 2W to busy as shown in Fig. (39c)
instead of connecting 2V to busy and 2W to bus b as shown in Fig. (39b). Thus
Transformers connected in accordance with clock hour No. 1 and 11 can be operated
in parallel with one another by interchanging two of the external h-v and also the
corresponding l-v connections of one Transformer.

Transformers connected in accordance with clock hour No. 0 and 6 however, cannot
be operated in parallel with one another without altering the internal connections of
one of them as change of external connections only brings about change in phase
The general principle applying to the parallel operation of a three winding
Transformer with another three winding Transformer are the same as those for the
paralleling of two winding Transformers.
However, to obtain the same percentage impedance. Between the three pairs of
windings of the two (or more) Transformers (being paralleled) it is imperative that the
power ratio of the corresponding windings of the Transformers should be the same,
( PH )1 ( PM )1 ( PL)1
= =
( PH ) 2 ( PM ) 2 ( PL) 2

Where (PH)1 and (PH)2 represent the powers of the h-v windings (say primary),
(PM)1 and (PM)2 represent the powers of the medium voltage windings (say
secondary) and (PL)1 and (PL)2 represent the powers of the low voltage windings
(say tertiary) of the two Transformers labeled 1 and 2. This is proved below. Fig. (40)
Shows two 3 winding
Transformers (represented by their equivalent circuits) connected in parallel. The
currents flowing in the various circuits and windings are shown in the figure.

Fig (40) Shows two 3 winding Transformers (represented)

( ZH )1 ( ZM )1 ( ZL )1
= =
( ZH ) 2 ( ZM ) 2 ( ZL ) 2

Thus the power ratios of the corresponding windings are similar. This as is evident
also fulfils the second condition of same percentage impedance. When Transformers
which do not fulfilling this condition are paralleled the operation may be satisfactory
without fulfilling the ideal conditions so long as the loads to be carried do not
overload either Transformer.

Therefore, when new three-phase 3 winding Transformers are to be purchased for

parallel operation with existing three-phase 3-winding Transformers the purchase
order must specify the power ratings of the various windings of the existing
Transformers along with other specifications and indicate that the power ratios of the

windings of the various Transformers must be identical failing which it will be

impossible to design Transformers with same percentage impedances for the
corresponding windings.

Tap Changer
The method to change the ratio of Transformers by means of taps on the winding
is as old as the Transformer itself. From a very early stage, Transformers with a turn
ratio changeable within certain limits have been used for electrical power
transmission, since this is the simplest method to control the voltage level as well as
the reactive and active power in electrical networks.

Tap-changer with single phase transformer

At the beginning of the development it was sufficient to have tappings connected to
bushings outside the Transformer tank, which were connected according to the
necessity of the network.
A more comfortable way was to connect the tappings to tap Switches today called
"off-circuit" or "no-load tap changers" - which could only be actuated when the
Transformer was de-energized.

Obviously, this simple device only permitted occasional corrections of the

Transformer ratio. It was not possible to control voltage drops caused by load changes
in the network. At that stage these parameters could only be controlled at the
generating plant.

To solve this problem, Switching devices were needed which permitted the change of
the turn ratio of Transformers under load condition, i.e.
Without interrupting the load current such Switching devices - today called "on-load
taps changers" (OLTC) – were introduced to Transformers more than 70 years ago.
The demand for (OLTCs) came an urgent necessity in the 1920ies, then power
consumption took a sharp upward trend, which required the interconnection and
expansion of the electrical networks.
The very rapid development brought, within a few years, solutions which were quite
satisfactory in regards to operating safety and efficiency. The development of
(OLTCs) was accelerated over the years due to the steady increase of the transmission
voltage and power.

The introduction of OLTCs improved the operating efficiency of electrical systems

considerably and this technique found acceptance worldwide. In other industrialized
countries the situation is comparable.
In general the percentage of Transformers equipped with OLTCs is increasing with
the increase of the load density and interconnection of electrical networks. In addition.
OLTCs applied in industrial process Transformers as regulating units in the chemical
and metallurgical industry is another important field of application.
These range from some hundred to around 300,000 operations per year while the rated
currents range from approximately 50 to 3000 Amps.
Today's state of the art OLTC has reached such a high level of reliability that it is safe
to state that its mechanical life expectancy is equivalent to that of the Transformer.
Exceptions may be applications in industrial process Transformers. However, even on
such applications experience shows that with proper maintenance several million
operations can be obtained.
Table below shows a survey of the typical number of operations for various
Transformer No of operation
Power Power Voltage Current OLTC Per
Transformer ring ring ring Year
MVA KV A Min Mean Max
Generator 100 110 - 100 - 500 3000 10000
-1300 765 2000
Interconnection 200 110 - 300 - 300 5000 25000
-1500 765 3000
Distribution 15 - 400 60 - 525 50 - 1600 2000 7000 20000

Electrolysis 10 - 300 20 - 110 50 - 3000 1000 30000 150000
Chemistry 1.5 - 80 20 - 110 50 - 1000 1000 20000 70000
Arc furnace 2.5 - 20 - 230 50 - 1000 2000 50000 300000
150 0

The problem to be solved when changing taps under load is how to connect the
tappings of the Transformer winding successively to the same output terminal without
interrupting the load current.
During the load transfer operation between to adjacent taps, both taps must be
temporarily connected to the output terminal.
To avoid a short circuit of the winding transition impedances, which can be reactors
or resistors? Are inserted. Two basic principles have been invented and are still used
today - the slow motion reactor Switching principle and the high speed resistor
Switching principle. Today both principles have been developed into reliable OLTCs.
The reactor type OLTC has its development origin in the USA, hut also in Germany
inventions were applied for a patent in 1905 and 1906. Because of the fact that the
reactor Switching principle causes a 90 degree phase shift between the Switched
current and the recovery voltage arising at the Switching distance, the reactor type
OLTC is less suitable for large step voltages.
In addition to this the costs of transition reactors increase considerably with higher
step voltages.
Thus the reactor Switching principle over the years has lost the remarkable
importance it had in the beginning of the OLTC development. In the late 1940 is
many OLTC manufacturers abandoned the production of OLTCs with this Switching
principle. However, in the USA the reactor principle is still used in a large scale and
reactor type OLTCs are still under production.
The high-speed resistor type OLTC has its origin in the invention of Dr. Jansen of a
diverter Switch and a tap selector. Which were patented in 1926. The transition
impedance is been carried out with ohmic resistor with this principle the current
Switched and the recovery voltage are in phase. This lightens the quenching of the arc
in the current zero.
The transition resistors hake to be dimensioned only for a short-time loading which
enables an economic use of OLTCs in case of higher step voltages and power.
Though the reactor principle has also proven itself, its application is limited to loner
voltages, whereas the resistor principle dominates in the high voltage field or in
special applications like HVDC - Transformers, Phase-Shifting Transformers or EHV-
Transformers. The reactor principle OLTC in these fields can only be applied by mean
of booster Transformers. Which make its application more difficult in regards to
transport weight, transport size and profile and overall economic considerations
compared to the resistance principle OLTC.


With an on-load tap-changer the Transformer voltage ratio can be varied in steps by
adding or subtracting turns. For this purpose a Transformer is furnished with a tapped
winding and these taps are connected to terminals on the tap-changer. The tap-changer
provides two basic functions.

Fig (2) Basic connection of a star-point linear regulation

The first is to “select” a Transformer tapping connection in an open-circuit condition,

the second is to “divert” or “transfer” power to that selected tapping without
interrupting the through-current.
The simplest type OLTC, the selector Switch, combines these two functions into one
device. Whereas separate selectors and diverter or transfer Switches are used for
higher power requirements.
Various tapping winding configurations are possible. The selection function can be
without change-over selector (linear). Or with change-over selector (reversing or
coarse / fine). A basic connection of a star-point linear regulation is given in Fig (2).
The mechanical configuration of the tap selector can be designed as a single or double
multiway selector. The transfer of the load current from the connected to the pre-
selected trip is either achieved by means of resistor transition or the alternative
method. Mainly used in the USA, reactor transition. In service, the diverter or transfer
Switch is required to make and break current at a recovery voltage whose value is in
the same order as the voltage between two taps.
The power transfer function can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. The former
providing similar Switching conditions for advanced or retard power flow from the
Transformer. The action of the diverter or transfer Switch can be rotary or oscillatory.
All designs of tap-changers maintain direct mechanical synchronism between the tap
selector, change-over selector and the diverter or transfer Switch. The transfer of
electrical power involves arcing in the oil and therefore contamination of the
insulating oil (the exception are OLTCs that use vacuum interrupters as Switching
Therefore, the Switching devices are located in their own
Switching compartment to separate the contaminated oil from the oil in the
transformer main tank. To fulfill this requirement several designs have been
developed. Selector Switches are designed for operation within an enclosure inside
the Transformer tank (in-tank type) or externally in a separate oil-tilled housing bolted
to the outside of the main Transformer tank (compartment type).


The high-speed resistor type OLTC is designed either as a tap selector and a diverter
Switch, or as a selector Switch combining the functions of the tap selector and
diverter Switch into one device.

Fig (3) Principle scheme of a selector Switch type OLTC

The latter is economical to manufacture, but certain inherent limitations reduce the
possible applications to small and medium size Transformers with highest voltages of
equipment of 132 kV and rated-through currents in the range of 500 A to 600 A.

Fig (4) Principle scheme of a-tap selector and diverter Switch type OLTC
This type can only be built in one enclosure as mentioned above and, therefore, the
arc products are in contact not only with wearing mechanical parts, but also with
insulation subject to high voltages.
The selector Switch principle is represented in Fig. (3) The OLTC comprising a tap
selector and a diverter Switch lends itself for any application up to the highest
Transformer rating. Line-end applications with highest voltages for equipment of 362
kV and rated through-currents of 4500 A have been realized. Figure (4) shows an
OLTC comprising a tap selector and diverter Switch. With the tap selector-diverter
Switch concept the tap-change is affected in two steps. The tap adjacent to the one in

service is pre-selected load free by the tap selector. Thereafter the

Fig (4) Switching sequence for tap-changer on Switching from position 6 to position
a) Position 6. Selector contact V lies on tap 6 and selector contact
H on tap 7. The main contact x carries the load current.
b) Selector contact H has moved in the no-current state from tap 7 to
tap 5.
c) The main contact X has opened. The load current passes through
the resistor Ry and the resistor contact y.
d) The resistor contact u has closed. The load current is shared
between Ry and Ru The circulating current is limited
by the resistance of Ry + Ru.

e) The resistor contact y has opened. The load current passes through
Ru and contact u
f) The main contact V has closed, resistor Ru. Has been
short-circuited and the load current passes through
the main contact V. The tap-changer is now in position 5.

Fig (45) Three-phase tap-changer type UCBRN 380/600, neutral point
design for 21 position with plus/minus Switching

Fig. (46) Motor-drive mechanism type BUE for UC tap-changer
Tap-changers undergo type tests according to the international standards for on-load
tap-changers, IEC 214 the first edition of which was published in 1966 and the most
recent one in 1976. The tests on the tap-changer itself comprise:
1- Temperature rise of contacts at 1.2 times the maximum rated
2- Switching tests.
3- Short-circuit current tests.
4- Temperature rise of transition resistors.
5- Mechanical tests.
6- Dielectric tests.
And for the motor-drive mechanism:
1- Mechanical load test.
2- Overrun test.
3- Degree of protection of motor-drive cubicle.

SF6 Transformer

Demand for effective space utilization is becoming increasingly stronger

as a result of grade advancement of commercial/industrial activities and
urban life styles.
Concurrently, city construction facilities including buildings, underground shopping
areas, traffic systems, and public structures are becoming larger in size and gaining in
the degree of complications. Since such facilities immensely contribute to improving
the efficiency of urban activities, the current trend indicates the possibility of further
expansion in the future.
On the other hand, accidents involving outbreaks of extensive fire and
other troubles are occasionally occurring in these large-sized urban facilities,
resulting in the creation of public voices demanding improved fire or accident

preventive measures.

These construction facilities of cities represent high-valued social assets. However,

since a great number of citizens utilize such .facilities day after day, it is quite
to provide effective means to eliminate outbreaks of fire.
To achieve this purpose, it is important to install modern fire-fighting
systems capable of coping with various causes of fire. At the same time,
Basically it is most important to eliminate the possible causes of fire.

The SF6 gas-insulated Transformers are designed to ideally satisfy

Non flammability-ensuring plans of power reception and transformation systems
installed in these urban facilities. Since no oil for insulation is used, these
can completely free structures or adjacent rivers from oil contamination during new
installation work or system operation. In other words, the SF6 gas-insulated
Transformers qualify themselves as truly "non flammability-ensuring equipment"
usable for power systems required to prevent fires or accidents and eliminate

The SF6 gas-insulated Transformers offer excellent insulation and cooling
characteristics and thermal stability. Additionally, these Transformers possess
the following features resulting from containing the active parts in a tank sealed
with nonflammable, harmless, and odorless SF6 gas.
1. High-level stability
Even should the actual Transformer develop an accident, or should a fire
break out on the installation environment, combustion or an explosion will not occur.
Since all live parts are housed in grounded metal cases, maintenance and inspection
can be achieved easily and safely.
2. Outstanding accident preventive characteristics Nonflammable structure
employing no insulation oil contributes to minimizing the scope of associated
accident-preventive facilities such as fireproof walls, fire-fighting equipment, or oil
3. Compactness of substation
By directly coupling with gas-insulated Switchgear, substation space can be
as the result of compact facilities.
4. Simplified maintenance and long service life
Because the Transformers are completely sealed in housing cases, no contact exists
with exterior atmospheric air, thereby eliminating problems of degradation or
triggered by moisture or dust accumulation. Constant enveloping of components with
dry SF6 gas results in minimizing aging deterioration of insulating materials and
prolonging Transformer service life.
5. Easy, clean installation
SF6 gas can be quickly sealed into the Transformer tank from a cylinder.
Installation work never contaminates surrounding areas, and ensures maintenance
of a clean environment.
6. Ideal for high voltage systems
By increasing the seal pressure, SF6 gas Transformers offer insulation performance
comparable to that of oil-insulated types, being ideal for high voltages of 22 kV to
154 kV.
The SF6 gas-insulated Transformers are suitable for the following applications:

• Locations where safety against fire is essential Buildings such as hotels,
department stores, schools, and hospitals Underground shopping areas,
underground substations Sites close to residential areas, factories, chemical
• Locations where prevention of environment pollution is specifically
demanded Water supply source zones, residential quarters, seaside
areas Water treatment stations
• Locations where exposure exists to high-level moisture or dust accumulation
Inside tunnels, industrial zones

Specifications and Ratings

The SF6 gas-insulated Transformers are manufactured under the following
standard specifications.
Table 1 Standard specifications

1. Mounting of on-load tap-changer is possible. The voltage adjusting range
in this case is ±10 % of the rated voltage.
2. As for codes affixed to the primary tap voltage, F indicates
full-capacity taps and R indicates rated taps.
3. Consultation regarding ratings other than the above is accepted.
Quality specifications
The following specifications are provided to ensure safe operation of
gas-insulated Transformers.
• Withstand voltage during zero gas gauge pressure No problem is caused
by operation under normal operating voltage.
• Permissible load under zero gas gauge pressure No problem is caused
by 50 % load continuous operation.
• Permissible load under 1-series operation when 2-series coolers are
provided No problem is caused by 75 % load continuous operation.

External Dimensions and Weight

Figures below show external dimensions and weight. Since external dimensions are
subject to change without notice, please obtain final confirmation from approval
drawings. Also,

Natural-cooled type

Natural-cooled type

In case of 72.5 kV, GIS direct-coupling type, X size (up to bushing
Terminal end) becomes "the value in the above Table + 600 mm."

Forced-gas-circulated, natural-air-cooled type
SF6 gas-insulated Transformer

Forced-gas-circulated, forced-air-cooled type

SF6 gas temperature indicator (dial thermometer)
Measures temperature of SF6 gas sealed in Transformer tanks. Gas
temperature is measured by the heat sensing probe of a thermometer inserted into
the protective cylinder provided in the tank or on the cover. Since this protective
cylinder maintains air tightness of the gas, the temperature indicator itself can be
The temperature indicator is provided with alarm contacts and a pointer for
indicating maximum temperature.

Dial thermometer

SF6 gas pressure gauge (compound gauge)

This gauge is used to measure the pressure of SF6 gas sealed in the Transformer tank.
The gauge is a compound type that measures both positive and negative pressure,
cm 2
capable of measuring the positive pressure up to 3.0 kg / and the negative
pressure up to 760 mmHg. Generally, only the positive pressure is indicated during
Since vacuum suction is conducted when sealing SF6 into the tank, the graduations
for negative pressure are provided for use during this gas sealing.
The pressure gauge is provided with alarm contacts that actuate at the upper limit of
normal pressure during operation.

Pressure gauge (compound gauge)

Temperature compensating pressure Switch

Leakage is detected of SF6 gas sealed in the Transformer tank. Pressure in the
Transformer tank is compared with pressure in the reference pressure chamber
inserted into the protective cylinder provided in the tank or on the cover.
Therefore, regardless of temperatures in the Transformer, SF6 gas leakage is
accurately detected and the alarm contacts are actuated.

Temperature compensating pressure switch

SF6 Gas Properties

SF6 is a combination of sulfur and fluorine its first synthesis
was realized in 1900 by French researchers of the
Pharmaceutical Faculty of Paris.
It was used for the first time as insulating material,
In the United States about 1935.
In 1953, the Americans discovered its properties for extinguishing the
electric arc. This aptitude is quite remarkable.

Physical properties
It is about five times heavier than air, and has a density of 6.1 4kg / m3.
It is colorless, odorless and non-toxic.
Tests have been carried out replacing the nitrogen content of air by SF6 (the gaseous
mixture consisted of 79 % SF6 and 24 % oxygen): five mice were then immersed in
this atmosphere for 24 hours, without feeling any ill effects.
It is a gas which the speed of sound propagation is about three times less than in air, at
atmospheric pressure. The interruption of the arc will therefore be less loud in SF6
than in air.
The dielectric strength of SF6 in on average 2.5 times that of air, and, by increasing
pressure, it can be seen that the dielectric strength also increases and than around 3.5
bar of relative pressure, SF6 has the same strength as fresh oil.
The principal characteristics of the gas are as follows:
Molar mass 146.078
Critical temperature 45.55°C
Critical pressure 37.59 bars
In short, SF6 at atmospheric pressure is a heavier gas than air, it becomes liquid at -
63.2°C and in which noise propagates badly.
SF6 on the market
SF6 which is delivered in cylinders in liquid phase, contains impurities (within limits
imposed by IEC standards No. 376)
Carbon tetra fluoride (CF4) 0.03 %
Oxygen + nitrogen (air) 0.03 %
Water 15 ppm
C02 traces
HF 0.3 ppm
SF6 is therefore 99.99 % pur.

Chemical properties
SF6 is a synthetic gas which is obtained as we have just explained by combination of
six atoms of fluorine with one atom of sulfur:

S 2 + 6 F 2 → 2SF 6 + 524 Kcal

You can see therefore that this reaction is accompanied by an important release
of heat. This approximately similar to coal combustion.
Given that the energy released during synthesis is the same as is needed in order to
dissociate the final element, it can immediately be seen that:
- SF6 is a stable gas

- 524 k. calories are necessary for molecular breakdown, we can there fore already
expect that it will be a powerful cooling agent:
6 F 2 → S 2 + 2 SF 6 + 524 Kcal
The dissociation products before interruption of the arc
At normal temperature, the gas is stable, and does not react with its environment. In
contact with the parts where electric currents circulate, the gas is heated to
temperatures of around four hundred degrees SF6 gives the following decomposition
Thionyl fluoride SOF2
Sulfur fluoride SO2F2
Sulfur tetra fluoride SF4
Sulfur deca fluoride S2F10
Thionyl tetra fluoride SOF4

SF6 also reacts with the materials that are found in its environment:
With water (impurity in the gas), it gives hydrofluoric acid HF,
With air dioxide (impurity in the gas), it gives sulfur dioxide SO2,
With carbon dioxide (impurity in the gas), it gives carbon tetra fluoride CF4,
With the araldite casings which are high in silicon dioxide, it gives silicon tetra
fluoride SF4.

The dissociation products after interruption of an arc.

An electric are develops high temperatures which can reach 15000 °C.
At these temperatures, many dissociation products that we have previously studied
disappear. It is thus that, besides the impurities of the gas (water, air, carbon, and
dioxide), there only remain:
Sulfur fluoride SO2F2
Carbon tetra fluoride CF4
Silicon tetra fluoride SIF4
Sulfurous anhydride SO2.
You can therefore see that a large number of products have been dissociated by the
electric arc. The importance of the remaining products may be lessened by adding a
powder (alumina silicate).
All these gases are heavier than air, and May, under certain conditions is poisonous.
SF6 Safety precautions:
Today there is no known dielectric and breaking agent combined better than SF6 gas.
Initial state
In its initial state, before it has undergone thermal stress (usually the electric arc); SF6
is perfectly safe in normal conditions:
- It is non-toxic,
- It is uninflammable,
- It will not explode.
This does not mean that no precautions need to be taken: because of its lack of
oxygen, this gas will not support life.
However, the concentration of SF6 would have to be high, since the International
electro technical Commission (IEC) has shown that five mice left for 24 hours in an
atmosphere of 79 % SF6 and 21 % oxygen will not only remain alive but will show
no signs of abnormal behavior.

Man dies when the oxygen level of the gas he is breathing falls below 12 %.

Precautions and hygiene

The first recommendation is not to smoke when SF6 gas is around. The heat given off
by the cigarette may decompose the gas. Your cigarette would then take on a very
strange taste also avoid operating combustion engines in this gas.
When the work positions are indoors, have ventilation and / or a system for detecting
this halogen placed at the lowest points of the installations.
Remember that SF6 is a very heavy gas. This device will warn you any gas leaks.

Post-breaking state
As we seen at the beginning of this Chapter, the heat from the arc modifies the
SF6.This creates gaseous and solid decomposition products.
It is these products that need to be spoken about. Certain of these gases are medically
defined as being violent irritants of the mucous membranes and of the lungs. In
extreme cases, they may cause pulmonary edema.

The solid decomposition products (whitish powder) an aggressive when the react with
the humidity of the mucous membranes and of the hands.
Following this rather unpleasant description of the SF6 after breaking we may
reassure ourselves on two counts:
- For reasons of quantity
- For reasons of probability.

The volume of decomposed is microscopic. This means that dangerous thresholds are
rarely reached, thanks in part to the molecular sieve which regenerates the
decomposition products to form pure SF6. This sieve is present in all extinguishing
chambers. Regeneration time is short, but depends on the number of ampere being
The presence of hydrogen sulphide, noticeable through its sickening smell, makes an
excellent alarm signal. The smell detection threshold is ten times lower than the toxic
threshold (1 ppm is detected by smell).

In normal operation, electric Switchgear using SF6 has a leak rate guaranteed to be
less than 1 % of the mass per year. This makes any danger impossible in normal
The abnormal situation is the risk of an appliance exploding. This is fortunately
extremely infrequent. And if by chance such an incident accrued, the putrid smell
would make us aware of it immediately.

Precaution and hygiene.

If you were to find yourself in contact with decomposed SF6 gas, you must leave your
post and ensure that the gas is eliminated by means of powerful ventilation.
Once the polluted gas has disappeared (when the smell becomes bearable) you are
still in contact with solid decomposition products.
Operations on the equipment must be carried out with a gas mask, gloves and
appropriate clothing. All this - together with the powders themselves - shall be sent to
a factory for dealing with dangerous products.

Any damage to the hands caused by these powders can be neutralized by limewater.


It is important to point out that sulfur hexafluoride does not bring about an increase in
the risks entailed in the work stations. This lack of specific danger is furthermore
confirmed by the fact that we have not had to record any accident since 1960, the year
in which SF6 was first used as a breaking agent. As a matter of interest SF6 does not
harm the ozone layer. This is partly due to its weight.

The electric arc

The creation of an arc
Everyone has noticed that, when placing one’s hand near to a television screen, one
feels a force which attracts.
There exists, in fact, in this apparatus, what one calls an electric field. The latter is the
source of an electric current, for it is this that displaces the electrons in the
An electric field appears at the separation of the live contacts. Such a field of a very
great intensity will draw electrons at the hot points of contacts.
The electric arc has been born. If its own energy is not sufficient, the arc will
extinguish rapidly itself. If, on the other hand, it is crossed by a strong current, it
draws throughout its own energy, which ensures the survival of the arc.
The electric arc:
We have seen that the electric field was at the origin of the displacement of electrons.
When the contacts separate, the electric field draws electrons to the hot points. These
electrons are going to circulate in surroundings which are not conductive, which one
calls dielectric, and will cause the temperature of the surroundings to increase, if they
are in sufficient number.
All bodies, under the influence of temperature, end up by reaching their threshold of
ionic dissociation. At this moment, it parts with electrons, and becomes conductive.
These electrons themselves, and for the same reasons, will create others. We have an
avalanche, that is to say, creation of electrons, which will accelerate. One can reach
temperature of 15000 °C. The value of the thermal power can be 10MW.
The electric arc is thus going to follow the variations of alternating current, and thus,
at regular intervals, the arc will disappear and reappear immediately, if the electrons
have not been eliminated because in this case, the surroundings remain conductive.
In order to eliminate these electrons, one could:
- Rid oneself of them by some physical means, like blow-out for example,
- use dielectric with a very high speed of recuperation (the case of SF6)
- use a process to reduce the temperature of the element (decompression, blow-
out, etc.)
Out-off a current
If we perfect a system which allows cooling the arc (turning arc, magnetic blow-out,
mechanical or thermodynamic blow-out, etc ...). One can well understand that the arc
increasing to temperatures of 1500°C.
Under the effect of current passing through it, will see a temperature decrease as soon
as the alternating current starts its descent towards 0.
The temperature will decrease all the more rapidly as:

- SF6 has two states of conduction, and appearance of the resistive arc will bring
about a fall in
the intensity, and thus its temperature,
- SF6, as we have seen in its physical properties, is a gas which Absorbs large
quantities of energy when it dissociates.
The blow out of the arc will thus (mean) evacuate a large quantity of energy.
This lowering of temperature will make the ionic recombination of the bodies and the
dielectric will recover its insulating properties which thus ensure interruption of the
Lastly the hydrofluoric acids attack all metals giving metallic fluorides which are all
very hydroscopic insulating powders.

Fig (1) Disruptive voltage versus pressure

Fig (2) SF6 absolute pressure versus temperature with constant volume mass (density)

Electrical Substations

Electrical Network comprises the following regions:

1 - Generating Stations.
2 - Transmission Systems.
3 - Distribution Systems.
4 - Load Points.

Functions of a Substation
1 - Supply of required electrical power.
2 - Maximum possible coverage of the supply network.
3 - Maximum security of supply.
4 - Shortest possible fault-duration.
5 - Optimum efficiency of plants and the network.
6 - Supply of electrical power within targeted frequency limits, (49.5 Hz and 50.5
7 - Supply of electrical power within specified voltage limits.
8 - Supply of electrical energy to the consumers at the lowest cost.

Substation Layouts
1. Switching requirements for normal operation.
2. Switching requirements during abnormal operations,
such as short circuits and overloads.
3. Degree of flexibility in operations, simplicity.
4. Freedom from total shutdown and permissible period of shutdown.
5. Maintenance requirements, space for approaching various
6. Safety of personnel.
7. Protective zones, main protection, back-up protection
8. Bypass facilities.
9. Technical requirements such as ratings, clearances,
Earthing lightning protection, Noise, radio interference, etc.
10. Provision for extensions, space requirement.
11. Economic considerations, availability, foreign
exchange involvement, cost of the equipment.
12. Requirements of network monitoring, power line
communication, data collection, Data transmission etc.
13. Compatibility with ambient conditions.
14. Environmental aspects, audible noise, RI, TI etc.
15. Long service life, Quality, Reliability, and Aesthetics.

Essential Features for substation

1 - Outdoor Switchyard having any one of the above.
2 - Bus-Bar schemes.
3 - High voltage Switchgear. Medium voltage Switchgear, Low voltage
Switchgear and control room.
4 - Office building.

5 - Roads and rail track for transporting equipment.
6 - Incoming line towers and outgoing line towers/cables.
7 - Store.
8 - Maintenance workshop (if required).
9 - Auxiliary power supply Low voltage AC.
10 - Battery room and low voltage DC. Supply system.
11 - Fire fighting system.
12 - Cooling water system; drinking water system, etc.
13 - Station Earthing system.
14 - Lighting protection system, overhead shielding.
15 - Drainage system.
16 - Substation lighting system etc.
17 - Fence and gates, Security system etc.

SF6 Gas Insulated Substations (GIS)

1. Introduction
SF6 Gas Insulated Substations (GIS) are preferred for voltage ratings
of 72.5 kV, 145 kV, 300 kV and 420 kV and above. In such a substation,
the various equipments like Circuit Breakers, Bus-Bars. Isolators,
Load Break Switches, Current Transformers, Voltage Transformers
Earthing Switches, etc. are housed in metal enclosed modules filled with SF6 gas.
The SF6 gas provides the phase to ground insulation. As the dielectric strength
of SF6 gas provides the phase to ground insulation. As the dielectric strength
of SF6 gas is higher than air, the clearances required are smaller. Hence,
the overall size of each equipment and the complete substation is reduced
to about 10 % of conventional Air-insulated substations.
As a rule GIS are installed indoor. However outdoor GIS have also been installed

High voltage Gas Insulated Switch gear
Type B95 Double Bus-Bar (make Alostom)

Single line diagram
High voltage Gas Insulated Switch gear Type B95
Double Bus-Bar (make Alostom)
1 – Circuit Breaker .
2 – Spring Mechanism .
3 – Disconnected .
4 – Slow Earthing Switch
5 – Make Proof Earthing Switch.
6 – Current Transformer.
7 – Voltage Transformer.
8 – HV cable connection.

The various modules of GIS are factory assembled and are filled with SF6 gas at a
pressure of about 3 kg/cm2. Thereafter, they a taken to site for final assembly. Such
substations are compact and can be installed conveniently on any floor of a multi-
storied building or in an underground substation.
As the units are factory assembled, the installation time is substantially reduced. Such
installations are preferred in cosmopolitan cities, industrial townships, etc., where cost
of land is very high and higher cost of SF6 insulated Switchgear (GIs) is justified by
saving due to reduction in floor area requirement.
They are also preferred in heavily polluted areas where dust, chemical fumes and salt
layers can cause frequent flashovers in conventional outdoor air-insulated substations

GIS bay single Bus-Bar Make Mitsubishi
1- Circuit Breaker
2- Disconnector Switch (GL-Type)
3- Disconnector Switch (GR-Type)
4- Earthing Switch (GRE-Type)
5- 3-ph. Bus-Bar.
6- Current Transformer.
7- Base.
8- Voltage Transformer.
The SF6 Gas Insulated Substations (GIs) contains the same Components as in the
conventional outdoor substations. All the live parts are enclosed in metal housings
filled with SF6 gas. The live parts and supported on at resin insulators.
Some of the insulators are designed as barriers between neighboring modules such
that the gas does not pass through them.
The entire installation is sub-divided into compartments which are gas tight with
respect to each other. Thereby the gas monitoring system of each compartment can be
independent and simpler.
The enclosures are of non-magnetic material such as aluminum or stainless steel and
are earthed. Static O-seals placed between machined flanges provide the gas tightness.

The O-rings are placed in the grooves' such that after assembly, the O-rings are
squeezed by about 20 %. Quality of material and dimension of grooves and O-seals
are important to ensure gas-tight performance.
The GIs has gas-monitoring system. The gas density in each compartment is
monitored. If pressure drops slightly, the gas is automatically tapped up with further
gas leakage, the low-pressure alarm is sounded or automatic tripping or lock-out
Advantages of GIs and Application Aspects:
1- Compactness.
The space occupied by SF6 installation is only about 8 to 10 % of that a conventional
substation. High cost is partly compensated by saving in cost of space. A typical

420/525 kV SF6 GIs
requires only 920 m2 site area against 30.000 m2 for a conventional air insulated
2 - Choice of Mounting Site.
Modular SF6 GIS can be tailor made to Suit the particular site requirements.
This results is saving of otherwise Expensive civil-foundation work. SF6 GIS can be
suitably mounted indoor
on any floor or basement and SF6 Insulated Cables (GIC) can be taken through walls
and terminated
through SF6 bushing or power cables.
3 - Reduced Installation Time.
The principle of building block construction (modular construction) reduces the
installation time to a few weeks. Each conventional substation requires several
months for installation.
In SF6 substations, the time-consuming high cost galvanized steel structures are
eliminated. Heavy foundations for galvanized steel structures,
Equipment support structures etc are eliminated. This results in economy and reduced
project execution time. Modules are factory assembled, tested and dispatched with
nominal SF6 gas. Site erection time is reduced to final assembly of
4 - Protection from pollution.
The external moisture. Atmospheric Pollution, snow dust etc. have little influence on
SF6 insulated substation. However, to facilitate installation and maintenance, the
substations are generally housed inside a small building.
5- Increased Safety.
As the enclosures are at earth potential there is no possibility of accidental contact
by service personnel to live parts.
6 - Explosion-proof and Fire-proof installation.
Oil Circuit Breakers and oil filled equipment are prone to explosion. SF6 breakers and
SF6 filled equipment are explosion proof and fire-proof..

Summary of Merits of SF6 GIS

Operating personnel are protected by the

earthed metal enclosures
The complete enclosure of all live parts guards
against any Impairment of the insulation system.
SF6 Switchgear installations take up only 1/10
Space saving of the space Required for conventional
High flexibility and application versatility
provide novel, and economic overall concepts.
An extremely careful selection of materials. an
Maintenance expedient design and a high standard of
free manufacturing quality assure Long service life
with practically no maintenance requirement.

Low weight due to aluminum enclosure,
Low weight correspondingly
Low cost foundations and buildings.
Quick site assembly ensured by extensive
Shop assembled preassembly and Testing of complete feeders or
large units in the factory.

Disadvantages of GIS:

1- High cost compared to conventional outdoor substation.
2 - Excessive damage in case of internal fault. Long outage periods as
Repair of damaged part at site may be difficult.
3 - Requirement of cleanliness is very stringent. Dust or moisture can cause
internal flashovers.
4 - Such substations are generally in door. They need a separate building.
This is generally not required for conventional outdoor substations.
5 - Procurement of gas and supply of gas to site is problematic.
Adequate stock of gas must be maintained.
6 - Project needs almost total imports including SF6 Gas. Spares conventional
substation is totally indigenous up to 400 kV.
Configuration of GIS:
The GIS installations are assembled from a variety of standard modules.
Which are joined together by flange connections and plug contacts on the
Conductors. So as to easily permit subsequent disassembly of individual components.
Gas-tight barrier insulators in the Switchgear sections prevent neighboring Switchgear
parts from being affected by overhauls.
Any maintenance and overhaul work on Switch contacts can be done without
removing the enclosure.
With GIS installations, all basic substation Bus-Bar schemes used, in
conventional plant constructions can be realized. Installations with single or
multiple Bus-Bar-also alternatively with a bypass bus-can be made with the
standard modules, including Bus-Bar sectionalizing with disconnects and
Breakers, and Bus-Bar coupling. The two-breaker. One and-a-half circuit
breaker and ring-bus systems can also be realized economically.
The essential parts of a GIS are: -
1 - Conductors which conduct the main circuit current and transfer power
these are of copper or aluminum tubes.
2 - Conductors need insulation above grounded enclosures. Conductors also
need phase to phase insulation, In SF6 GIS these insulation requirements
are met by cast resin insulators and SF6 gas insulation.
3 - Gas filled modules have nonmagnetic enclosures. Enclosures are of aluminum
alloy or stainless steel. Adjacent modules are joined by means of multi-bolts
tightened on flanges. Suitable neoprene rubber “O” ring gaskets are provided
for ensuring Gas-tight sealing joints.
4 - Various circuit components in main circuit are: CB, Isolator, Earthing Switches
for conductors, CTs, VTs, cable-ends, Bushing-ends and Bus-Bars.
Each of these main components has its own gas -filled metal enclosed module.
5 - Gas filling, monitoring system.
6 - Auxiliary LV DC and LV AC supply system, control, protection and Monitoring
system. This is air-insulated like in conventional sub-station.

The Bus-Bars are conducting bars to which various incoming and
outgoing bays are connected. In SF6 GIS the Bus-Bars are laid l
longitudinally in GIS hall.
The bays are connected to Bus-Bars cross-wise. Bus-Bars are either
with a three-phase enclosure or single phase enclosure.

Alternatives of Enclosures, Single three phase

and three single enclosures

Three phase Single Enclosures

Three phase and three single enclosures

The following alternatives are available to the designers for configuration of GIs.
1. Separate enclosure for each phase. This alternative was used for Components
and Bus-Bars in early GIs. Now it is used only for EHV and UHV, GIS.
The GIS above 420 kV are generally with separate enclosure for each phase.
2. Separate enclosure for components and a common single enclosure
For three phase enclosure for Bus-Bars.
This alternative is more widely used now for all GIS
3. Common single enclosure for all three phases for components and
For Bus-Bars. The per cent trend is to use single three phase modules for
components and Bus-Bars for all GIS. The GIS developed during 1980’s are with
this philosophy.

Design Aspects

The SF6 insulated Switchgear contains the same components as a conventional

outdoor substation. Fig (1) illustrates the construction of typical bay.

Fig (1) Section of a 145 KV SF6 GIS with duplicate bus-bar

1 – 3- phase Bus enclosure.

2 – Isolator.
3 – Earthing Switch.
4 – C.B puffer type.
5 – CT's
6 – Line Isolator.
7 – VT.
8 – High Speed Earthing Switch.
9 – Cable sealing End.
10 – Operating mechanism (cabinet).
11 – Conductor tube.
12 – Epoxy partition fig. (2).
All the live parts are enclosed in metal housing filled with SF6 gas. Live parts are
supported on cast resin insulators. Some of the insulators are designed as barriers
between neighboring modules such that the gas does
not pass through them. The entire installation is sub-divided into compartments,
which are gas tight with respect to each other. Thereby the gas monitoring system of
each compartment can be independent and simple
The enclosures are of nonmagnetic material such as aluminum or stainless steel and
are earthed. The gas tightness is provided by static O-seals placed between machined
The O-rings are placed in the grooves such that after assembly, the
O-rings get squeezed by about 20 %. Quality of material and dimension of groove are
important. Aluminum or stainless steel enclosures surround all live parts. Enclosures
are earthed.
Pressurized SF6 gas provides internal insulation between conductors and metallic
enclosures. Fig (2) below.
High grade insulators of Epoxy partition resin give support to active parts inside the
enclosures and are also used as barriers between adjacent gas filled compartments.

Fig(2) Epoxy partition resin

Individual compartments (modules) are connected by silver plated

Plug contacts for current conduction. Flanges of enclosures are bolted.
Control cabinet installed near the bay contains instruments, relays, auxiliary Switches,
control wiring etc. for local control, indication, alarm etc.
GIS is installed on self supporting steel structures fixed on t he floor.

Expansion bellows
(Bellows compensators)

Expansion Bellows

Expansion Bellows

Variations in length due to temperature changes and dimensional differences due to

assembly tolerances are resolved by making use of the wide range of bellows,
which take up axial or lateral tolerances.
These bellows are self compensated or compensated in compression by tie-rods
Bellow compensators permit absorption of manufacturing tolerances in Bellow
Compensators also permit absorption of vibrations caused by
length of enclosures Bus-Bars, Transformers, reactors.
Conductors are usually of aluminum alloy tubes. The conductors are
plugged to silver plated finger contact assembly mounted on support insulators.
These sliding contacts permit tubular conductors to expand axially with temperature
rise without any additional stress on support insulators.
The enclosures are of welded aluminum or stainless steel plates to which
cast aluminum or stainless steel flanges are welded. Metallic connections between
adjacent enclosures are ensured to permit circulation of full return current. The
induced currents circulate in enclosures and provide magnetic field of [heir own such
- Outside the enclosures the magnetic field of enclosures opposes the magnetic
field of conductor currents.
- Inside the enclosures, the magnetic field of enclosure currents adds
to that of conductor current resulting in centralizing force on conductor.
The conductor tends to remain along the central axis of enclosure.

Cable connection

All cables, irrespective of their type of insulation (oil impregnated paper or XLPE)
and section, can be connected.
The cable sealing end is fixed inside the SF6 gas Filled compartment, in accordance
with the IEC 859 standard commonly used. Isolation of the Switchgear from the high
voltage cables during dielectric testing is achieved by removing the contact (1) and
the conductor (2).Safety is fully ensured by earthing of the cable Side through access
(3), in parallel with closing of the cable earth Switch.

Connection to Transformer Cable connection box
1 - Removable contact's 1 – Removable contact's
2 - Removable conductor. 2 – Removabl conductor.

3 - Access for Earthing rod. 3 – Expansion bellows

4 - Gas tight bushing. 4 – Bushing.
5 - High voltage.

Compartments of SF6 Gas Insulated Switchgear

Bus-Bar . ‫قضبان التوزيع الرئيسية‬

Circuit Breaker. ‫قاطع الدائرة‬

Bulk Oil Circuit Breaker

Small Oil Volume Breaker

Vacuum Circuit Breaker

SF6 Circuit Breaker

Air Blast Circuit Breaker

Current Transformer. ‫محول تيار‬

Voltage Transformer. ‫محول جهد‬

Earth Switch. ‫سكينة تأريض‬
Isolator (Disconnector Switch). ‫سكينة عزل‬
Cable End ‫طرف توصيل الكابل‬

Bus-Bar Modules
The Bus-Bar modules are either with single phase or three phase enclosure. Three-
phase enclosures are compact and have lesser eddy current losses. Single phase Bus-
Bars are necessary to suit other components having single phase enclosures. The three
Bus-Bars are conveniently staggered by
a distance equal to centre spacing.
The diameter of enclosure depends on rated voltage and internal clearance
The main conductors are aluminum or copper tubes. The contact areas
are silver plated. There is a provision of expansion joints which permits axial
elongation at higher temperatures. The tubular conductors are supported on epoxy
resin cast insulators
Fig (13) the shape of insulators is such that the field distribution is uniform.
The dimensions of conductor tubing depend upon the mechanical strength
corresponding to short circuits forces. The size so obtained is generally adequate for
carrying normal current without excessive temperature rise.

Bus-Bar dismantling principle

1 - Bus-Bar Disconnector
2 - Removable contact
3 - Bellows
4 - Bus-Bar conductor
Modular components fitted in Bus-Bar lengths and bays.
Depending upon particular local requirements, the following standard
elements are included in the assembly Fig. below.
(a) Lateral mounting unit.
(b) Axial length compensator (for Bus-Bars of straight length)
(c) Parallel compensator (for joint between Bus-Bars at an angle)
(d) Bellow compensator

Axial length compensator (for Bus-Bars of straight length)

1- L - unit (9o° junction)

2 - Four-way junction unit

3- T-unit with flange for Earthing switch

4 - Angle unit (120° to 180° jaunaion )

Circuit Breaker

The Circuit Breakers are automatic Switches which can interrupt fault
The part of the Circuit Breakers connected in one phase is called the pole.
A Circuit Breaker suitable for three phase system is called a ‘triple-pole
Circuit Breaker. Each pole of the Circuit Breaker comprises one or more
interrupter or arc-extinguishing chambers.
The interrupters are mounted on support insulators. The interrupter encloses
a set of fixed and moving contact's
The moving contacts can be drawn apart by means of the operating links
of the operating mechanism. The operating mechanism of the Circuit
Breaker gives the necessary energy for opening and closing of contacts of
the Circuit Breakers.
The arc produced by the separation of current carrying contacts is
interrupted by a suitable medium and by adopting suitable techniques for
arc extinction. The Circuit Breaker can be classified on the basis of the arc
extinction medium.
The Fault Clearing Process
During the normal operating condition the Circuit Breaker can be opened
or closed
by a station operator for the purpose of Switching and maintenance.
During the abnormal or faulty conditions the relays sense the fault and close
the trip circuit of the Circuit Breaker. Thereafter the Circuit Breaker opens.
The Circuit Breaker has two working positions, open and closed.
These correspond to open Circuit Breaker contacts and closed Circuit
contacts respectively.
The operation of automatic opening and closing the contacts is achieved by means
of the operating mechanism of the Circuit Breaker.
As the relay contacts close, the trip circuit is closed and the operating
of the Circuit Breaker starts the opening operation.

The contacts of the Circuit Breaker open and an arc is draw between them.
The arc is extinguished at some natural current zero of a.c. wave.
The process of current interruption is completed when the arc is extinguished
and the current reaches final zero value. The fault is said to be cleared.
The process of fault clearing has the following sequence:
1- Fault Occurs. As the fault occurs, the fault impedance being low,
the currents increase and the relay gets actuated.
The moving part of the relay move because of the increase in the operating
torque. The relay takes some time to close its contacts.
2 - Relay contacts close the trip circuit of the Circuit Breaker closes and trip coil is
3 - The operating mechanism starts operating for the opening operation.
The Circuit Breaker contacts separate.
4 - Arc is drawn between the breaker contacts. The arc is extinguished
in the Circuit Breaker by suitable techniques. The current reaches final zero
as the arc is extinguished and does not restrict again.
The Trip-Circuit
Fig (1) below illustrates the basic connections of the Circuit Breaker control for the

opening operation

The characteristics of a Circuit Breaker including its operating devices and

auxiliary equipment that are used to determine the rating are:
(a) Rated characteristics to be given for all Circuit Breakers.
1. Rated voltage.
2. Rated insulation level.
3. Rated frequency.
4. rated current.
5. Rated short Circuit Breaking current.
6. Rated transient recovery voltage for terminal faults.

7. Rated short circuit making current.
8. Rated operating sequence.
9. Rated short time current.
(b) Rated characteristics to be given in the Specific cases given below:
1 - Rated characteristics for short line faults for
three pole Circuit Breakers rated at 72.5 kV and
above, more than 12.5 kA rated short circuit breaking
current and designed for direct connection to overhead
transmission lines.
2 - Rated line charging breaking current, for three pole
Circuit Breakers rated at 72.5 kV and above and intended
for Switching over- head transmission lines.
3 - Rated supply voltage of closing and opening devices, where applicable.
4 - Rated supply frequency of closing and opening devices, where applicable.
5 - Rated pressure of compressed gas supply for operation and
Interruption, where applicable.

(c) Optional rated characteristics:

1. Rated out of phase breaking current.
2. Rated line charging breaking current, for three pole
Circuit Breakers rated at less than 72.5 kV and for single
pole Circuit Breakers.
3. Rated cable charging breaking current.
4. Rated single capacitor bank breaking current.
5. Rated small inductive breaking current.
6. Rated supply voltage of auxiliary circuits.
7. Rated supply frequency of auxiliary circuits

The type of the Circuit Breaker

The type of the Circuit Breaker is usually identified according to the medium of arc
extinction. The classification of the Circuit Breakers based on the medium of arc
extinction is as follows:
(1) Air break' Circuit Breaker. (Miniature Circuit Breaker).
(2) Oil Circuit Breaker (tank type of bulk oil)
(3) Minimum oil Circuit Breaker.
(4) Air blast Circuit Breaker.
(5) Vacuum Circuit Breaker.
(6) Sulphur hexafluoride Circuit Breaker. (Single pressure or
Double Pressure).

Type Medium Voltage, Breaking Capacity

1 – Air break Circuit Air at atmospheric (430 – 600) V– (5-15)MVA
Breaker pressure (3.6-12) KV - 500 MVA
2 – Miniature CB. Air at atmospheric (430-600 ) V
3 – Tank Type oil CB. Dielectric oil (3.6 – 12) KV
4 – Minimum Oil CB. Dielectric oil (3.6 - 145 )KV
5 – Air Blast CB. Compressed Air 245 KV, 35000 MVA
(20 – 40 ) bar up to 1100 KV, 50000 MVA

6 – SF6 CB. SF6 Gas 12 KV, 1000 MVA
36 KV , 2000 MVA
145 KV, 7500 MVA
245 KV , 10000 MVA
7 – Vacuum CB. Vacuum 36 KV, 750 MVA
8 – H.V.DC CB. Vacuum , SF6 Gas 500 KV DC

Bulk Oil Type Breaker

In Bulk Oil Circuit Breaker oil serves a two-fold purpose, i.e., as means of
the arc and also for providing insulation between the live parts and the metallic tank.
This is the oldest amongst the three types having been developed towards close
of the nineteenth century.

In its simplest form the process of separating the current carrying contacts
was carried out under oil with no special control over the resulting arc
other than the increase in length caused by the moving contact's
As the power systems began to develop resulting in higher voltages and higher
fault levels, plain break type breaker could no longer keep pace with the requirements.
Various methods of controlling the breaking process were investigated and developed.
This led to the development of controlled break oil Circuit Breaker.
This employed pressure chamber and is still widely used because it is relatively
cheap to make and gives greatly improved performance in terms
of final extinction, gap length and arcing time, as against the plain break
oil Circuit Breaker. Various designs exist according to the preferences
and requirements of individual manufacturers and designations such
as ‘Cross Jet Type’, ‘Explosion Pot’ and ‘Baffle pot’, etc.
Many oil Circuit Breakers feature special arc control devices most of which are based
on the simple pressure chamber principle but incorporate certain modifications
aimed at improving the breaking capacity.
Depending on the working principle of these special pressure chambers
the breakers are designated as: impulse oil Circuit Breakers deign grid breakers,
breakers with double arc pressure chambers and axial jet pressure
chamber oil Circuit Breakers.
For general illustration, a view of the contact actuating mechanism of 33 kV,
type OKM, bulk oil breaker manufactured by M/s English Electric Co. is shown in
Fig (1)
The contacts are actuated by a lever assembly L housed within the top-plate
and connected to the lifting bridge N by links M.

The beam lever assembly is pivoted on a shaft H fixed in bearings in the top-plate and
is operated by a tie rod G connected by an adjustable coupling J to the vertical pull-
rod K from the Circuit Breaker operating
mechanism. An oil seal F is fitted to prevent leakage from top-plate and an indicator
arm is operated by a pin E on the driven end of the beam lever. The lifting bridge N
which carries the lift rods Q and moving contacts R moves vertically on guide I, rods

D fixed in the top-plate, At the top end of each guide rod and fastened to the top plate
by clips A is an accelerating spring C.

These springs are compressed by the lifting bridge during the closing stroke and
provide a throw off force when the breaker is tripped open. The mechanism is
prevented from over traveling the closed position by adjustable stops B in the top-
plate. At the lower end of each guide rod is an oil dashpot assembly P.
These oil buffers arrest the downward or contact opening movement. The working
part of the breaker is cylindrical chamber known as an interrupter pot. The view of the
interrupter is shown in Fig (2) the interrupter pot is screwed and locked on to an
interrupter top block. The interior of the chamber is fitted with insulating dividing
plates which form labyrinths and oil flow passages. Assembled in the top of the
chamber is the fixed spring loaded cluster type contact, the fingers of which are
arranged in a circular formation to engage with the moving contact which is of the
solid rod of candle type.
Alternate cluster fingers are extended to form arcing contacts.
These parts carry the arc current and protect the normal current carrying parts from
burning. The moving contacts are clamped by pinch bolts at each end of a cross bar
which is bolted to the lift rod.
The separation of the contacts and drawing out of the arc take place in the interrupter
pot which almost completely restricts the movement of the oil within it.
The internal space available for gas is thus little more than that swept out by the
moving contact, and a pressure is set up which depends upon the rate of gas
production and its rate of flow through the vents.
The pressure rise and the condition resulting there from are believed to play a large
part in giving this type of oil Circuit Breaker a very much higher breaking capacity
than the plain break type.

Fig (1)

Fig (2)

Small Oil Volume Breaker

As the system voltages and fault levels increased the Bulk Oil Breakers required huge
quantities of insulating oil and
became unwieldy in size and weight.
This added enormously to the cost of a power system. Simultaneously improvements
were made in the technique
of ceramics.
The function of oil as insulating medium in the Bulk Oil Breakers was transferred to
the porcelain containers.
Only a small quantity of oil was used to perform its functions as arc quenching
medium. This led to the development
of small oil volume or low oil content breakers in the continent of Europe.
Like the Bulk Oil Breakers these have also since then passed through many stages of
development with varying designs
of the arcing chambers. Today the small oil volume breakers are available for
voltages up to 36 kV and the fault levels
associated therewith.
Contrary to the operation of the impulse type Circuit Breaker, such as air blast Circuit
Breaker, in which arc extinction
and dielectric recovery
are affected by means of an external quenching medium, the process of arc extinction
in the small oil volume
Circuit Breaker is of internal
thermo- dynamic origin.
During the tripping operation an arc strikes in oil between the moving contact and the
fixed contact's
This arc is elongated vertically in the explosion pot until the distance traveled is
sufficient to withstand the
voltage between contacts.
The increase in internal pressure due to the Splitting up
and vaporization of oil by the arc creates a rapid movement of the extinguishing
medium round the arc This self-quenching effect causes a rapid cooling of the
ionized column along its whole
Length due to partition of the explosion pot and the dielectric recovery is sufficiently
To prevent the arc restricting after a natural Passage Through zero. The electric arc
itself has, therefore,
Supplied the necessary energy for its own extinction. There are now numerous
manufacturers of small oil volume breakers
However, to illustrate the principles of working, the sectional view of working
portion of 170 kV 3500 MVA.
Breakers of

Fig (4)

M/s Delle France have been shown in Fig. (4) the most important part of the breaker
is its extinguishing chamber.
This takes the form of an insulating cylinder containing oil, in the axis of which
moves the contact rod and within
which breaking occurs.
The arcing chamber is supported at its base by a casing enclosing a mechanism whose
function is to
move the contact rod According to the impulses given by the control mechanism. In
the on position, the current flows from
the Upper current terminal (1) to the contact fingers, (2) Follows the movable contact
rod (7) and reaches the current terminal (10) across the lower contact fingers (8). At
the beginning of the stroke and before breaking, the contact rod strongly pulled down.
Wards by the tripping springs, starts a high speed opening motion.
Then, an arc strikes between the contact rod tips (6) and the stationary
Arcing ring (3) protecting the upper contact fingers.
At this moment gases escape without hindrance towards top of the apparatus.
The contact rod rapidly reaches a very high linear speed; it moves
the arc downwards and forces it to enter the explosion pot (5) where it is maintained
rectilinear and is elongated in a direction opposite to the release of gases towards
fresh oil. Since the arc is as short as possible the arc voltage is minimized and the

energy dissipated is reduced. Still, since the gases can no longer develop freely,
they generate a considerable pressure in the explosion pot (5), thus producing a
violent upward axial blast of oil vapor, exhausting the highly ionized gaseous mass.
The optimum distance is thus obtained, the jet of oil causes the dielectric strength to
be rapidly increased, and at the
following current zero, the arc is impeded from restricting and the breaking is thus
The explosion pot (5) is intended to withstand high pressures.
It is partitioned into several components by means of discs whose function is to retain
a certain quantity of fresh oil while the first break is proceeding; this allows a second
break to occur with complete
safety at the full short circuit current. The low oil content Circuit Breakers require
separate current Transformers of wound type. Still at all voltages from 33 kV and
above the costs of these breakers
inclusive of current Transformers compete favorably with that of the Bulk Oil

In addition there are certain other advantages which may be summed up as under:
(I) Light and reduced size rendering transport
(ii) Simple construction making erection easy.
(iii) Quick and simple
One of the limitations put forward against this class of breakers is frequent
maintenance, owing to reduced quantity of oil and consequent liability to quick
carbonization, on circuits susceptible to frequent trappings because of too many
Interruptions on lines carried on pin insulators are rather too many on account of poor
workmanship, inadequate
and improper maintenance.
However, for this reason alone, it may not be worthwhile to reject these breakers
unless the difference in cost
with Bulk Oil Breakers is meager. For this very reason doubt was expressed about the
ability of these breakers
for rapid reclosing duty. However, low oil content breakers have been designed and
constructed for rapid reclosing duties by established makers of this class of breakers.
Rated breaking capacities in general are covered securely by a circuit breaking of any
design but, depending on the arc extinguishing principles employed,
difficulties are sometimes encountered in performing certain specific duties.
The situations where the small oil volume breakers are, presently,
considered at disadvantage are:
(I) Switch unloaded lines.
(II) Evolving faults.
(III) Out of phase disconnection.
The small oil volume breakers have distinct advantage over the air blast breakers
under the following conditions:
1 - Kilometric faults.
This is because the oil Circuit Breakers are much less
sensitive to the natural frequency of the restricting voltage.
2. Disconnection of Transformers on load.

The current chopping phenomenon which causes over voltages,
before natural zero, is not serious in this class of breakers as the arc extinguishing
Energy is always proportional to the broken current. Restricting voltage

1 – Circuit Breaker pole

2 – Mechanism housing
2a – cover of mechanism housing
3 – Pole head
4 – Pole cylinder
5 – Crank housing
6 – Upper main terminal
13 – Bottom main terminal
22 – Vent housing
23 – 0il level indicator
39a – square on charging shaft
47 – Spring condition indicator
82 – off push - button
88 – on push – button

98 – Circuit Breaker indicator
99 – Operation counter
119 – Lifting hole for transport
Fig (5) Small Oil Volume Breaker type OD4 makes BBC

Vacuum Circuit Breaker

Sectional view of a Vacuum Circuit Breaker, marketed by M/s Driescher Picnicker
Madras is shown is Fig. (6) the most important part is the vacuum interrupter, blown
up view of which is given in Fig. (7) When the contacts separate, the current to be
interrupted initiates a metal vapor arc discharge and flows through this plasma until
the next current zero.
The arc is then extinguished and the conductive metal vapor condenses on the metal
surfaces within a matter of microseconds.
As a result, the dielectric strength in the break builds up very rapidly.
The self generated field causes the arc root to travel, thereby preventing local
overheating when large currents are being interrupted. Certain minimum current is
necessary to maintain the metal vapor arc discharge.
Current of a lesser value is chopped prior to current zero, causing unduly high
voltages, as may happen during interruption of no load magnetizing currents of
unloaded Transformers.
The rapid build up of the dielectric strength in the break enables the arc to be safely
extinguished even if contact separation occurs immediately prior to current zero the
maximum arcing time for the last pole to clear is stated to be 15 ms.

Further the arc voltage developed in vacuum interrupter is low (say between 20 to 200
V) due to high conductivity of metal vapor plasma.

For there reasons the arc energy developed in the break is very small. High Switching
life is claimed on this account. Performance is claimed to be immune to pollution
because of interrupters being hermetically sealed.

The manufacturing range of M/s Driescher Panicker covers Vacuum Circuit Breakers
up to rated voltage of 36 kV.
Vacuum Circuit Breakers are specially suited in industrial applications, where the
Switching frequency is high combined with high degree of pollution.

Fig (6)

1 - Vacuum Interrupter
2 - Terminal
3 - Flexible connection .
4 - Support insulators.
5 - Operating rod.
6 - Tie bar.
7 - Common operating shifts .
8 - operating corn .
9 - Locking cam.
10 - Making spring .
11 - Breaking spring.
12 - Loading spring.
13 - Main link.

Fig (7)

1- cast resin post insulator

2- upper connection
3- upper contact support
4- 5- fastening nuts
6- Rear pull strap
7- Front pull strap
8- vacuum Switching chamber
9- contact Switch with toroidal
contact Lower contact support
Consisting of :-
10.1 transmission lever
10.2 burn-off indicator
10.3 actuation crank

10.4 actuation lever
10.5 telescope rod with contact spring
11 hook stick
Fig (8)
Construction of the Switch pole type VA, VXC

Current Transformer

Current Transformers comprise air insulated cores mounted inside a cylindrical

The central main conductor forms the primary winding a second cylindrical enclosure,
Between the cores and the conductor, separates the cores from the SF6 thus
preventing any risk of leakage from the LV terminals.
The number and ratings of the cores are adapted according to customer requirements.
Current Transformers can be installed on either or both sides of the circuit-breakers
and at the ends of outgoing circuits.

Current Transformer (Make ABB)

1 - Gas tight enclosure
2 - Terminal box
3 - Secondary winding

Current Transformer (Make Alostom)
1- Main conductor.
2- Secondary winding.
3- Shunt Insulating .

Voltage Transformer

Voltage Transformers are induction type and are contained in their own SF6
compartment, separated from the other parts of the installation.
The active portion consists of a rectangular core, upon which are placed the secondary
windings and the high voltage winding.
Provision is made for up to two secondary windings for measurement and an
additional open delta winding for earth fault detection.

A synthetic film separates the different wraps of the windings. The Transformers can
be installed Any where on the substation.

Voltage Transformer Module

For rated voltage up to 145 kV inductive Transformer with cast resin coil For rated
voltage of
245 kV inductive VT with SF6 gas as main insulation. For 300 kV and above,
Capacitive Voltage Transformers are preferred Inductive type Voltage Transformer.
The single-pole inductive type Voltage Transformers (Fig. 1) can be mounted either
vertical or horizontal. They are connected to the Switchgear with the standardized
connecting flange via a barrier insulator.

The primary winding is insulated with SF6 gas and connected to the HV. by a flexible
connection. The primary winding (2) surround the core on which the secondary
windings (1) are also wound.
The connection between the secondary winding and the terminals in the external
terminal box is made through a gas tight multiple bushing.
The Transformers are equipped with two metering windings and one tertiary winding
for earth-fault protection.

Capacitor Voltage Transformer

In Switchgear for voltage above 300 kV, Capacitor Voltage Transformers are also
employed. Two systems are available:
- Transformers with high capacitance connected to an intermediate Transformer. The
oil-insulated capacitor of conventional
design is accommodated in an enclosure filled with SF6 gas. The high-voltage
connection to the GIS is made through
a barrier insulator. The low-voltage choke and the intermediate Voltage Transformer
are housed separately in a cabinet
on the earth potential side.

- Transformers with a low capacitance accommodated in the current Transformer or in
a separate housing, connected to an

1 - Secondary winding
2 - Primary winding
3 - Terminal box
4 - Support insulator
5 - Filling valve
6 - Safety diaphragm
7 - Density Switch

(Fig. 1) Voltage Transformer (Make ABB)

Earthing Switch

Earthing Switch is necessary to earth the conducting parts before

maintenance and also to provide deliberate short-current while testing. There can
be three types of Earthing witches in metal-clad Switches manually operated
automatic high speed Earthing Switch, protective Earthing Switch for Earthing
the installation.
There are several versions of Earthing Switches for following applications
1 - Maintenance Earthing Switches. These are single pole or three pole units;
manually operating mechanism with a provision of filling motor mechanism.
2 - High Speed Earthing Switches. These are operated by spring energy. Spring is
charged by motor-mechanism

Fig (1)

Fig (2) the one pole Earthing Switch

Closed position

Earthing Switch:
1- Moving contact
2- Operating lever
3- Position indicator

Open position

The earth Switch is mounted direct on the enclosure Fig. (1) Earthing Switch has
to satisfy various requirements. For Earthing isolated sections of Switchgear for
protection of personal during maintenance and over-hauls or erection, the
maintenance Earthing Switches are employed. For Earthing higher capacitances
(cables, overhead line etc.) high speed Earthing Switch are employed. Depending
on the substation scheme, the Bus-Bars may be earthed either by
or high-speed Earthing Switches.

Special high speed Earthing Switches with interrupting capability are also
available. These are suitable for interrupting capacitive and inductive currents
from parallel overhead lines. In certain cases, Earthing Switches are fitted to
the enclosure with interposed insulation.

This enables various tests to be performed on the Switchgear or item of

equipment, such as testing the current Transformer of measuring the operating
time of breakers, without having to open the enclosure. During normal operation
the insulation is bypassed by a short-circuit-proof link.

To check whether a point to be earthed really is dead, the Earthing Switch

can be equipped with a capacitive tap for connecting a voltage test unit. This
additional safety device reduces the risk of closing onto a live conductor.

Disconnector switch
Isolating Switches are normally Switched only when not on load but they may also
interrupt the no load current of small Transformers as well as disconnect short pieces
of overhead lines or cables.

Disconnector Switch.
1 - Support insulator
2 - Fixed contact
3 - Moving contact
4 - Coupling contact
5 - Moving earthing contact
6 - Drive insulator
7 - Arcing contact

The BS: 3078-1959 on isolators distinguishes between “off load” and “on
load” isolator as under:

1 - Off Load Isolator is an isolator which is operated in a circuit either when the
isolator is already disconnected from all
sources of supply or when the isolator is already disconnected from the supply and
the current may be due to
capacitance currents of bushings, Bus-Bar connections, and very short lengths of
2 - On Load Isolator is an isolator which is operated in a circuit where there is a
parallel path of
low impedance so that no significant change in the voltage across the terminals of
each pole
occurs when it is operated.

1- supporting insulator
2- fixed contact
3- moving contact
4- earthing Switch
5- driving insulator
To ensure that the off load isolators are not operated inadvertently under load it is
necessary that the isolators are suitably interlocked with the connected breakers.
Isolating Switches can broadly be divided into the three categories given ahead.
a) Bus isolator.
b) Line isolator.
c) Transformer isolating.
An isolator may be constructed single pole or three poles and shall be rated in terms
1 - Voltage.
The rated voltage of an isolator or an earthing Switch shall be one of the highest
system voltages, given below:
3, 6, 7.2, 12, 24, 36, 72.5, 123, 145, 245, 300 and 420 kV.
2 - Insulation level.
The rated insulation level should be selected from standard Tables according
To IS: 9921
3 - Frequency
Rated frequency should be 50 Hz in Kuwait.
4 - Normal current (for Disconnector only)
The rated normal current of an isolator or an earthing Switch should have one of the
Standard values:
200 A, 400 A, 630 A (alternatively 800 Amps), 1250 A, 1600 A, 2000 A, 2500 A,
3150 A, 5000 A and 4000 A.
5 - Short time withstand current

The rated short-time withstands current of a Disconnector or earthing Switch should
have one of the following values:
8, 10, 12.5, 16, 20, 25, 31.5, 40, 50, 63, 80 or 100 KA.
6 - Duration of short circuit
The short time current rating of an isolator, unless directly associated with and
protected by a fuse or by a Circuit Breaker fitted with series releases or current
Transformer operated releases when it need not be assigned a short time rating, should
not be less than the short circuit current at the point of installation or the
corresponding ratings of the associated Circuit Breaker.
The rated maximum duration of short circuit is one second.
For short circuit duration greater than one second, the relation between current (I) and
time (t), unless otherwise specified, shall be assumed to be in accordance with the
t = constant
7 - Peak withstand current
The rated peak withstand current of a Disconnector or earthing Switch is that peak
current which it shall be able to carry in the closed position without material
deterioration. It shall have a value 2.5 times the rated short time withstand current.

8 - Short circuit making current (for earthing Switches only)

The earthing Switches to which a rated short circuit making current has been assigned
shall be capable of making at any applied voltage, upto and including that
corresponding to their rated voltage, any current upto and including their short circuit
making current.
9 - Contact zone
Divided frame Disconnector and earthing Switches shall be able to operate within the
limits of their rated contact zone. For examples of rated contact zones, the reader may
refer to IS: 9921 (Part II)-1982.
10 - Mechanical terminal load
Disconnector and Earthing Switches should be able to close and open whilst subject
to their rated mechanical terminal loads, where assigned, plus wind loads acting on
the equipment itself.
11 - Supply voltage
closing and opening devices (where these operating devices are supplied separately)
of auxiliary circuits, peak power And total duration of operations.

The rated supply voltage shall preferably be one of the standard values given
DC. Volts AC. volts
24 110 Single phase
48 240 Single phase
110 240 /415 three phases
The operating device shall be capable of closing and opening the isolator at any value
of the supply voltage between 85 percent and 110 percent of the rated voltage.
12 - Supply frequency of closing and opening devices and of auxiliary circuits.
The rated supply frequency of an operating device or an auxiliary circuit is the
frequency at which the conditions of operation and heating are determined.
13 - Pressure of compressed gas supply for operation.

The rated pressure should correspond to the operating pressure of the associated air
blast Circuit Breakers, if installed and preferably have one of the following standard
500, 1000, 1600, 2000 or 3900 kPa.
The pneumatic operating device shall be capable of closing and opening the isolator
when the air pressure is between 85 percent and 105 percent of the rated supply

1. Type Tests laid down in IS: 9921(part 4)-1985
A) Normal Type Tests
- Dielectric Tests Comprising Of.
1 - Lightning Impulse Voltage Tests
2 - Switching Impulse Voltage Tests for rated
3 - Power Frequency Voltage Tests.
4 - Artificial Pollution Tests.
5 - Partial Discharge Tests.
6- Tests on Auxiliary and Control Circuits.
B) Routine Tests
The following shall comprise routine tests:
1- Power Frequency Voltage Test,
2-Voltage Test on Auxiliary Equipment.
3- Operation test
4- Measurement of the Resistance of the Main Circuit.

Cable connection

All cables, irrespective of their type of insulation (oil impregnated paper or XLPE)
and section, can be connected.
The cable sealing end is fixed inside the SF6 gas Filled compartment, in accordance
with the IEC 859 standard commonly used. Isolation of the Switchgear from the high
voltage cables during dielectric testing is achieved by removing the contact (1) and
the conductor (2).Safety is fully ensured by earthing of the cable Side through access
(3), in parallel with closing of the cable earth Switch.

Connection to Transformer Cable connection box
1 – Removable contact's 1 - Removable contact's
2 – Removable conductor. 2 - Removable conductor.
3 – Expansion bellows. 3 - Access for Earthing rod.
4 – Bushing. 4 - Gas tight bushing.
5 - High voltage

SF6 Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIs)

Types of Bays SF6 Gas Insulated Switchgear.

1 – Feeder Bay. ‫خلية مغذى‬
2 – Transformer Bay. ‫ خلية محول‬
3 – Bus section Bay. ‫خلية رابط قضبان طولى‬
4 – Bus coupler Bay. ‫خلية رابط قضبان عرضى‬ Drawing

Component of SF6 Gas Insulated Feeder bay

1 – High Speed Earth Switche (Line Earth Switch). ‫سكينة تأريض مغذى‬
2 – Isolator for Voltage Transformer. ‫سكينة محول جهد‬
3 – Voltage Transformer. ‫ محول جهد‬
4 – Line Isolator. (Disconnector Switch) ‫سكينة عزل المغذى‬
5 – Maintenance Earth Switches. ‫سكينة تأريض‬
6 – CT's For Bus-Bar protection. ‫محول تيار لحماية البسبار‬
7 – Circuit Breaker. ‫ قاطع الدائرة‬
8 – CT's For Line protection and metering. ‫محول تيار المغذى و أجهزة القياس‬
9 – Maintenance Earth Switches. ‫سكينة تأريض‬

10 – Bus-Bar Isolator ‫سكينة عزل البسبار‬ Drawing

‫ خلية مغذى‬Feeder Bay

Component of SF6 Gas Insulated Transformer bay

1 – Bus-Bar Isolator. (Disconnector Switch) ‫سكينة عزل البسبار‬
2 – Maintenance Earth Switches. ‫سكينة تأريض‬
3 – CT's For Transformer protection. ‫محول تيار لجهزة وقاية المحول‬
4 – Circuit Breaker. ‫ قاطع الدائرة‬
5 – CT's for Bus-Bar protection and metering. ‫محول تيار لحماية البسبار و أجهزة القياس‬
6 – Maintenance Earth Switches. ‫سكينة تأريض‬
7 – Transformer Isolator. ‫سكينة عزل المحول‬

8 – Maintenance Earth Switches. (Transformer E.S) ‫سكينة تأريض المحول‬

‫ خلية محول‬Transformer Bay

Component of SF6 Gas Insulated Bus section bay
1 – Bus-Bar Isolator. (Disconnector Switch) ‫سكينة عزل البسبار‬
2 – Maintenance Earth Switches. ‫سكينة تأريض‬
3 – CT's For Bus-Bar protection and metering. ‫محول تيار لحماية البسبار و أجهزة القياس‬
4 – Circuit Breaker. ‫قاطع الدائرة‬
5 – Maintenance Earth Switches. ‫سكينة تأريض‬ Drawing

‫ خلية رابط قضبان طولى‬Bus Section bay

Component of SF6 Gas Insulated Bus coupler bay

1 – Bus-Bar Isolator. (Disconnector Switch) ‫سكينة عزل البسبار‬
2 – Maintenance Earth Switches. ‫سكينة تأريض‬
3 – CT's For Bus-Bar protection and metering. ‫محول تيار لحماية البسبار و أجهزة القياس‬
4 – Circuit Breaker. ‫قاطع الدائرة‬
6 – Maintenance Earth Switches. ‫سكينة تأريض‬
7 – Bus-Bar Isolator. ‫سكينة عزل البسبار‬

‫ خلية رابط قضبان‬Bus coupler bay

Important considerations when design protection system
Important considerations when design protection system
1. Types of fault and abnormal Conditions to be protected against
2. Quantities available for measurement
3. Types of protection available
4. Speed
5. Fault position discrimination
6. Dependability / reliability
7. Security / stability
8. Overlap of protections
9. Phase discrimination / selectivity
10. CT’s and VT’s ratio required
11. Auxiliary supplies
12. Back-up protection
13. Cost
14. Duplication of protection

Types of protection
A - Fuses
For LV Systems, Distribution Feeders and Transformers, VT’s, Auxiliary Supplies

B - Over current and earth fault

Widely used in All Power Systems
1. Non-Directional
2. Directional

For feeders, Bus-bars, Transformers, Generators etc
1. High Impedance
2. Low Impedance
3. Restricted E/F
4. Biased

5. Pilot Wire

D - Distance
For transmission and sub-transmission lines and distribution feeders, also used as
back-up protection for transformers and generators without signaling with signaling to
provide unit protection e.g.:

1. Time-stepped distance protection

2. Permissive underreach protection (PUP)
3. Permissive overreach protection (POP)
4. Unblocking overreach protection (UOP)
5. Blocking overreach protection (BOP)
6. Power swing blocking
7. Phase comparison for transmission lines
8. Directional comparison for transmission lines

E - Miscellaneous:
1. Under and over voltage
2. Under and over frequency
3. A special relay for generators, transformers, motors etc.
4. Control relays: auto-reclose, tap change control, etc.
5. tripping and auxiliary relays

Fast operation: minimizes damage and danger
Very fast operation: minimizes system instability discrimination and security can be
costly to achieve.
1. differential protection
2. differential protection with digital signaling
3. distance protection with signaling
4. directional comparison with signaling

Fault position discrimination

Power system divided into protected zones must isolate only the faulty equipment or

Dependability / reliability
Protection must operate when required to Failure to operate can be extremely
damaging and disruptive Faults are rare. Protection must operate even after years of
inactivity Improved by use of:
1. Back-up Protection and
2. duplicate Protection

Security / Stability
Protection must not operate when not required to e.g. due to:
1. Load Switching
2. Faults on other parts of the system
3. Recoverable Power Swings

Overlap of protections
1. No blind spots
2. Where possible use overlapping CTs
Phase discrimination / selectivity
Correct indication of phases involved in the fault Important for Single Phase Tripping
and auto-Reclosing applications

Current and voltage transformers

These are an essential part of the Protection Scheme. They must be suitably specified
to meet the requirements of the protective relays.
1A and 5A secondary current ratings, Saturation of current transformers during heavy
fault conditions should not exceed the limits laid down by the relay manufacturer.
Current transformers for fast operating protections must allow for any offset in the
current waveform. Output rating under fault conditions must allow for maximum
transient offset. This is a function of the system X/R ratio.
Current Transformer Standards/Classes:
British Standards: 10P, 5P, X
American: C, T.
Location of CTs should, if possible, provide for overlap of protections. Correct
connection of CTs to the protection is important. In particular for directional, distance,
phase comparison and differential protections. VT’s may be Electromagnetic or
Capacitor types. Busbar VT’s: Special consideration needed when used for Line

Auxiliary supplies

Required for:
1. Tripping circuit breakers
2. Closing circuit breakers
3. Protection and trip relays
• AC. auxiliary supplies are only used on LV and MV systems.
• DC. auxiliary supplies are more secure than ac supplies.
• Separately fused supplies used for each protection.
• Duplicate batteries are occasionally provided for extra security.
• Modern protection relays need a continuous auxiliary supply.
• During operation, they draw a large current which increases due to
operation of output elements.
Relays are given a rated auxiliary voltage and an operative auxiliary voltage range.
the rated value is marked on the relay. Refer to relay documentation for details of
operative range. it is important to make sure that the range of voltages which can
appear at the relay auxiliary supply terminals is within the operative range.
IEC recommended values (IEC 255-6):
Rated battery voltages:
12, 24, 48, 60, 11 0, 125, 220, 250, 440
Preferred operative range of relays:
80 to 10% of voltage rated
AC. component ripple in the dc supply:
<10% of voltage rated

The cost of protection is equivalent to insurance policy against damage to plant, and
loss of supply and customer goodwill.
Acceptable cost is based on a balance of economics and technical factors. Cost of
protection should be balanced against the cost of potential hazards there is an
economic limit on what can be spent.

Minimum cost:
Must ensure that all faulty equipment is isolated by protection
Other factors:
1. Speed
2. Security/Stability
3. Sensitivity:
Degree of risk in allowing a low level fault to develop into a more severe
4. Reliability

Total cost should take account of:

1. Relays, schemes and associated panels and panel wiring
2. Setting studies
3. Commissioning
4. CT’s and VT’s
5. Maintenance and repairs to relays
6. Damage repair if protection fails to operate
7. Lost revenue if protection operates unnecessarily

Distribution systems
1. Large number of switching and distribution points, transformers and feeders.
2. Economics often overrides technical issues
3. Protection may be the minimum consistent with - statutory safety regulations
4. Speed less important than on transmission systems
5. Back-up protection can be simple and is often inherent in the main protection.
6. Although important, the consequences of maloperation or failure to operate
are less
serious than for transmission systems.

Transmission systems
1. Emphasis is on technical considerations rather than economics
2. Economics cannot be ignored but is of secondary importance compared with
the need for highly reliable, fully discriminative high speed protection
3. Higher protection costs justifiable by high capital cost of power system
elements protected.
4. Risk of security of supply should be reduced to the lowest practical levels
5. High speed protection requires unit protection
6. Duplicate protections used to improve reliability
7. Single phase tripping and auto-reclose may be required to maintain system

Basic of protection system

The purpose of an electrical power generation system is to distribute energy to a
multiplicity of points for diverse applications.

The system should be designed and managed to deliver this energy to the
utilization points with both reliability and economy.

As these two requirements are largely opposed, it is instructive to look at

the relationship between the reliability of a system and its cost and value to the
consumer, which is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Relationship between reliability of supply,

its cost and value to the consumer.

It is important to realize that the system is viable only between the

cross-over points A and B. The diagram illustrates the significance of reliability
in system design, and the necessity of achieving sufficient reliability.

On the other hand, high reliability should not be pursued as an end in

itself, regardless of cost, but should rather be balanced against economy, taking
all factors into account.

Security of supply can be bettered by improving plant design, increasing

the spare capacity margin and arranging alternative circuits to supply loads. Sub-
division of the system into zones, each controlled by switchgear in association
with protective gear, provides flexibility during normal operation and ensures a
minimum of dislocation following a breakdown.

The greatest threat to a secure supply is the shunt fault or short circuit,
which imposes a sudden and sometimes violent change on system operation.

The large current which then flows, accompanied by the localized release
of a considerable quantity of energy, can cause fire at the fault location, and
mechanical damage throughout the system, particularly to machine and
transformer windings. Rapid isolation of the fault by the nearest switch-gear will
minimize the damage and disruption caused to the system.

A power system represents a very large capital investment. To maximize the return
on this outlay, the system must be loaded as much as possible. For this reason it is
necessary not only to provide a supply of energy which is attractive to prospective
users by operating the system within the range AB (Figure 1.1), but also to keep
the system in full operation as far as possible continuously, so that it may give the
best service to the consumer, and earn the most.

Revenue for the supply authority. Absolute freedom from failure of the
plant and system network cannot be guaranteed.

The risk of a fault occurring, however slight for each item, is multiplied by
the number of such items which are closely associated in an extensive system, as
any fault produces repercussions throughout the net-work. When the system is
large, the chance of a fault occurring and the disturbance that a fault would bring
are both so great that without equipment to remove faults the system will become,
in practical terms, inoperable.

The object of the system will be defeated if adequate provision for fault
clearance is not made. Nor is the installation of switchgear alone sufficient;
discriminative protective gear, designed according to the characteristics and
requirements of the power system, must be provided to control the switchgear.

A system is not properly designed and managed if it is not adequately

protected. This is the measure of the importance of protective systems in modern
practice and of the responsibility vested in the protection engineer.

Fundamentals of protection practice

This is a collective term which covers all the equipment used for detecting,
locating and initiating the removal of a fault from the power system. Relays are
extensively used for major protective functions, But the term also covers direct-
acting A.C. trips and fuses.

In addition to relays the term includes all accessories such as current and
voltage transformers, shunts, D.C. and A.C. wiring and any other devices relating
to the protective relays.

In general, the main switchgear, although fundamentally protective in its

function, is excluded from the term 'protective gear', as are also common services,

such as the station battery and any other equipment required to secure operation
of the circuit breaker.

In order to fulfil the requirements of discriminative protection with the

optimum speed for the many different configurations, operating conditions and
construction features of power systems, it has been necessary to develop many
types of relay which respond to various functions of the power system quantities.

For example, observation simply of the magnitude of the fault current

suffices in some cases but measurement of power or impedance may be necessary
in others. Relays frequently measure complex functions of the system quantities,
which are only readily expressible by mathematical or graphical means.

In many cases it is not feasible to protect against all hazards with any one
relay. Use is then made of a combination of different types of relay which
individually protect against different risks. Each individual protective arrangement
is known as a 'protection system'; while the whole coordinated combination of
relays is called a 'protection scheme'.
The need for a high degree of reliability is discussed in Section 1. Incorrect
operation can be attributed to one of the following classifications:

a. Incorrect design.
b. Incorrect installation.
c. Deterioration.
d. Protection performance

1. Design
This is of the highest importance. The nature of the power system condition which
is being guarded against must be thoroughly understood in order to make an
adequate design. Comprehensive testing is just as important, and this testing
should cover all aspects of the protection, as well as reproducing operational and
environmental conditions as closely as possible. For many protective systems, it is
necessary to test the complete assembly of relays, current transformers and other
ancillary items, and the tests must simulate fault conditions realistically.

2. Installation.
The need for correct installation of protective equipment is obvious, but the
complexity of the interconnections of many systems and their relation-ship to the
remainder of the station may make.

Difficult the checking of such correctness. Testing is therefore necessary;

since it will be difficult to reproduce all fault conditions correctly, these tests must
be directed to proving the installation. This is the function of site testing, which
should be limited to such simple and direct tests as will prove the correctness of
the connections and freedom from damage of the equipment.

No attempt should be made to 'type test' the equipment or to establish

complex aspects of its technical performance;

3. Deterioration in service.
After a piece of equipment has been installed in perfect condition, deterioration
may take place which, in time, could interfere with correct functioning. For
example, contacts may become rough or burnt owing to frequent operation, or
tarnished owing to atmospheric contamination; coils and other circuits may be
open-circuited, auxiliary components may fail, and mechanical parts may become
clogged with dirt or corroded to an extent that may interfere with movement.

One of the particular difficulties of protective relays is that the time

between operations may be measured in years, during which period defects may
have developed unnoticed until revealed by the failure of the protection to
respond to a power system fault. For this reason, relays should be given simple
basic tests at suitable intervals in order to check that their ability to operate has
not deteriorated.
Testing should be carried out without disturbing permanent connections.
This can be achieved by the provision of test blocks or switches.
Draw-out relays inherently provide this facility; a test plug can be inserted
between the relay and case contacts giving access to all relay input circuits for
injection. When temporary disconnection of panel wiring is necessary, mistakes in
correct restoration of connections can be avoided by using identity tags on leads
and terminals, clip-on leads for injection supplies, and easily visible double-ended
clip-on leads where 'jumper connections' are required.
The quality of testing personnel is an essential feature when assessing
reliability and considering means for improvement. Staff must be technically
competent and adequately trained, as well as self-disciplined to proceed in a
deliberate manner, in which each step taken and quantity measured is checked
before final acceptance.
Important circuits which are especially vulnerable can be provided with
continuous electrical super-vision; such arrangements are commonly applied to
circuit breaker trip circuits and to pilot circuits.

4. Protection performance
The performance of the protection applied to large power systems is frequently
assessed numerically. For this purpose each system fault is classed as an incident
and those which are cleared by the tripping of the correct circuit breakers and
only those are classed as 'correct'.
The percentage of correct clearances can then be determined.
This principle of assessment gives an accurate evaluation of the protection of the
system as a whole, but it is severe in its judgment of relay performance, in that
many relays are called into operation for each system fault, and all must behave
correctly for a correct clearance to be recorded.

On this basis, a performance of 94 % is obtainable by standard techniques.

Complete reliability is unlikely ever to be achieved by further improvements in
construction. A very big step, however, can be taken by providing duplication of
equipment or 'redundancy'. Two complete sets of equipment are provided, and
arranged so that either by itself can carry out the required function. If the risk of

an equipment failing is x/unit, the resultant risk, allowing for redundancy, is x2.
Where x is small the resultant risk (x2) may be negligible.
It has long been the practice to apply duplicate protective systems to bus-
bars, both being required to operate to complete a tripping operation, that is, a
'two-out-of-two' arrangement. In other cases, important circuits have been
provided with duplicate main protection schemes, either being able to trip
independently, that is, a 'one-out-of-two' arrangement. The former arrangement
guards against unwanted operation, the latter against failure to operate.
These two features can be obtained together by adopting a 'two-out-of-
three' arrangement in which three basic systems are used and are interconnected
so that the operation of any two will complete the tripping function.

Such schemes have already been used to a limited extent and application of
the principle will undoubtedly increase. Probability theory suggests that if a
power network were protected throughout on this basis, a protection performance
of 99.98 % should be attainable.

This performance figure requires that the separate protection systems be

completely independent; any common factors, such as, for instance, common
current transformers or tripping batteries, will reduce the overall performance to a
certain extent.

Protection is arranged in zones, which should cover the power system completely,
leaving no part unprotected. When a fault occurs the protection is required to
select and trip only the nearest circuit breakers. This property of selective tripping
is also called 'discrimination' and is achieved by two general methods:

1. Time graded systems.

Protective systems in successive zones are arranged to operate in times which are
graded through the sequence of equipments so that upon the occurrence of a fault,
although a number of protective equipments respond, only those relevant to the
faulty zone complete the tripping function. The others make incomplete
operations and then reset.

2. Unit systems.
It is possible to design protective systems which respond only to fault conditions
lying within a clearly defined zone. This 'unit protection' or 'restricted Protection'
can be applied throughout a power system and, since it does not involve time
grading, can be relatively fast in operation.

Unit protection is usually achieved by means of a comparison of quantities

at the boundaries of the zone. Certain protective systems derive their 'restricted'
property from the configuration of the power system and may also be classed as
unit protection.
Whichever method is used, it must be kept in mind that selectivity is not
merely a matter of relay design.

It is a function of the correct co-ordination of current transformers and
relays with a suitable choice of relay settings, taking into account the possible
range of such variables as fault currents, maximum load current, system
impedances and so on, where appropriate.

Zones of protection
Ideally, the zones of protection should overlap across the circuit breaker as shown
in Figure 2, the circuit breaker being included in both zones.

Figure 2. Location of current transformers

on both sides of the circuit breaker.

For practical physical reasons, this ideal is not always achieved,

accommodation for current trans-formers being in some cases available only on
one side of the circuit breakers, as in Figure 3. This leaves a section between the
current transformers and the circuit breaker A within which a fault is not cleared
by the operation of the protection that responds. In Figure 3 a fault at F would
cause the bus-bar protection to operate and open the circuit breaker but the fault
would continue to be fed through the feeder.

Figure 3 Location of current transformers
on circuit side of the circuit breaker.

The feeder protection, if of the unit type, would not operate, since the fault
is outside its zone. This problem is dealt. With by some form of zone extension, to
operate when opening the circuit breaker does not fully interrupt the flow of fault
current. A time delay is incurred in fault clearance, although by restricting this
operation to occasions when the bus-bar protection is operated the time delay can
be reduced.

Figure 4 Overlapping zones of protection systems.

The point of connection of the protection with the power system usually defines
the zone and corresponds to the location of the current transformers. The
protection may be of the unit type, in which case the boundary will be a clearly

defined and closed loop. Figure 4 illustrates a typical arrangement of overlapping

Alternatively, the zone may be unrestricted; the start will be defined but the extent
will depend on measurement of the system quantities and will therefore be subject
to variation, owing to changes in system conditions and measurement errors.


This term, applied to protection as distinct from power networks, refers to the
ability of the system to remain inert to all load conditions and faults external to the
relevant zone. It is essentially a term which is applicable to unit systems; the term
'discrimination' is the equivalent expression applicable to non-unit systems.

The function of automatic protection is to isolate faults from the power system in a
very much shorter time than could be achieved manually, even with a great deal of
personal supervision. The object is to safeguard continuity of supply by removing
each disturbance before it leads to widespread loss of synchronism, which would
necessitate the shutting down of plant.

Loading the system produces phase displacements between the voltages at

different points and therefore increases the probability that synchronism will be
lost when the system is disturbed by a fault. The shorter the time a fault is allowed
to remain in the system, the greater can be the loading of the system. Figure 1.5
shows typical relations between system loading and fault clearance times for
various types of fault.

It will be noted that phase faults have a more marked effect on the stability
of the system than does a simple earth fault and therefore require faster clearance.

It is not enough to maintain stability; unnecessary consequential damage

must also be avoided. The destructive power of a fault arc carrying a high current
is very great; it can burn through copper conductors or weld together core
laminations in a transformer or machine in a very short time. Even away from the
fault arc itself, heavy fault currents can cause damage to plant if they continue for
more than a few seconds

Figure 5 Typical values of power that can be
transmitted as a function of fault clearance time.

It will be seen that protective gear must operate as quickly as possible; speed,
however, must be weighed against economy.

For this reason, distribution circuits for which the requirements for fast
operation are not very severe are usually protected by time-graded systems, but
generating plant and EHV systems require protective gear of the highest
attainable speed; the only limiting factor will be the necessity for correct
Sensitivity is a term frequently used when referring to the minimum operating
current of a complete protective system. A protective system is said to be
sensitive if the primary operating current is low.
When the term is applied to an individual relay, it does not refer to a
current or voltage setting but to the volt-ampere consumption at the minimum
operating current.
A given type of relay element can usually be wound for a wide range of
setting currents; the coil will have an impedance which is inversely proportional
to the square of the setting current value, so that the volt-ampere product at any
setting is constant.
This is the true measure of the input requirements of the relay, and so also
of the sensitivity. Relay power factor has some significance in the matter of
transient performance.
For D.C. relays the VA input also represents power consumption, and the
burden is therefore frequently quoted in watts.

Primary and back-up protection

The reliability of a power system has been discussed in earlier sections. Many
factors may cause protection failure and there is always some possibility of a
circuit breaker failure. For this reason, it is usual to supplement primary
protection with other systems to 'back-up' the operation of the main system and

ensure that nothing can prevent the clearance of a fault from the system.

Back-up protection may be obtained automatically as an inherent feature

of the main protection scheme, or separately by means of additional equipment.
Time graded schemes such as over current or distance protection schemes
are examples of those providing inherent back-up protection; the faulty section is
normally isolated discriminatively by the time grading, but if the appropriate
relay fails or the circuit breaker fails to trip, the next relay in the grading
sequence will complete its operation and trip the associated circuit breaker,
thereby interrupting the fault circuit one section further back. In this way
complete back-up cover is obtained; one more section is isolated than is desirable
but this is inevitable in the event of the failure of a circuit breaker.
Where the system interconnection is more complex, the above operation
will be repeated so that all parallel infeeds are tripped.

If the power system is protected mainly by unit schemes, automatic back-up

protection is not obtained, and it is then normal to supplement the main protection
with time graded over current protection, which will provide local back-up cover
if the main protective relays have failed, and will trip further back in the event of
circuit breaker failure.
Such back-up protection is inherently slower than the main protection and,
depending on the power system configuration, may be less discriminative. For the
most important circuits the performance may not be good enough, even as a back-
up protection, or, in some cases, not even possible, owing to the effect of multiple
infeeds. In these cases duplicate high speed protective systems may be installed.
These provide excellent mutual back-up cover against failure of the protective
equipment, but either no remote back-up protection against circuit breaker failure
or, at best, time delayed cover.

Breaker fail protection can be obtained by checking that fault current

ceases within a brief time interval from the operation of the main protection. If
this does not occur, all other connections to the bus bar section are interrupted,
the condition being necessarily treated as a bus bar fault. This provides the
required back-up protection with the minimum of time delay, and confines the
tripping operation to the one station, as compared with the alternative of tripping
the remote ends of all the relevant circuits.
The extent and type of back-up protection which is applied will naturally
be related to the failure risks and relative economic importance of the system. For
distribution systems where fault clearance

Times are not critical, time delayed remote back-up protection is adequate
but for EHV systems, where system stability is at risk unless a fault is cleared
quickly, local back-up, as described above, should be chosen.

Ideal back-up protection would be completely independent of the main

protection. Current trans-formers, voltage transformers, auxiliary tripping relays,
trip coils and D.C. supplies would be duplicated. This ideal is rarely attained in
practice. The following compromises are typical:

a. Separate current transformers (cores and secondary windings only)
are used for each protective system, as this involves little extra cost or
accommodation compared with the use of common current
transformers which would have to be larger because of the combined
b. Common voltage transformers are used because duplication would
involve a considerable increase in cost, because of the voltage
transformers them-selves, and also because of the increased accom-
modation which would have to be provided. Since security of the VT
output is vital, it is desirable that the supply to each protection should
be separately fused and also continuously supervised by a relay which
will give an alarm on failure of the supply and, where appropriate,
prevent an unwanted operation of the protection.
c. Trip supplies to the two protections should be separately fused.
Duplication of tripping batteries and of tripping coils on circuit
breakers is sometimes provided. Trip circuits should be continuously
d. It is desirable that the main and back-up protections (or duplicate main
protections) should operate on different principles, so that unusual
events that may cause failure of the one will be less likely to affect the

Definitions and Terminology

1. All-or-nothing relay
A relay which is not designed to have any specified accuracy as to its operating

2. Auxiliary relay.
An all-or-nothing relay used to supplement the performance of another relay, by
modifying contact performance for example, or by introducing time delays.

3. Back-up protection.
A protective system intended to supplement the main protection in case the latter
should be in-effective, or to deal with faults in those parts of the power system that
are not readily included in the operating zones of the main protection.

4. Biased relay.
A relay in which the characteristics are modified by the introduction of some
quantity other than the actuating quantity, and which is usually in opposition to the
actuating quantity.

5. Burden.
The loading imposed by the circuits of the relay on the energizing power source or
sources, expressed as the product of voltage and current (volt-amperes, or watts if
D.C) for a given condition, which may be either at 'setting' or at rated current or

The rated output of measuring transformers, expressed in VA, is always at rated
current or voltage and it is important, in assessing the burden imposed by a relay,
to ensure that the value of burden at rated current is used.

6. Characteristic angle.
The phase angle at which the performance of the relay is declared. It is usually the
angle at which maximum sensitivity occurs.

7. Characteristic curve.
The curve showing the operating value of the characteristic quantity corresponding
to various values or combinations of the energizing quantities.

8. Characteristic quantity.
A quantity, the value of which characterizes the operation of the relay, e.g. current
for an over current relay, voltage for a voltage relay, phase angle for a directional
relay, time for an independent time delay relay, impedance for an impedance relay.

9. Characteristic impedance ratio (C.I. R.)

The maximum value of the System Impedance Ratio up to which the relay
performance remains within the prescribed limits of accuracy.

10. Check protective system.

An auxiliary protective system intended to prevent tripping due to inadvertent
operation of the main protective system.

11. Conjunctive test.

A test on a protective system including all relevant components and ancillary
equipment appropriately interconnected. The test may be parametric or specific.

a. Parametric conjunctive test.

A test to ascertain the range of values that may be assigned to each parameter when
considered in combination with other parameters, while still complying with the
relevant performance requirements.

b. Specific conjunctive test.

A test to prove the performance for a particular application, for which definite values
are assigned to each of the parameters.

12. Dependent time delay relay.

A time delay relay in which the time delay varies with the value of the energizing

13. Discrimination.
The quality whereby a protective system distinguishes between those conditions for
which it is intended to operate and those for which it shall not operate.

14. Drop-out.
A relay drops out when it moves from the energized position to the un-energized

15. Drop-out / pick ratio.
The ratio of the limiting values of the characteristic quantity at which the relay
resets and operates. This value is sometimes called the differential of the relay.

16. Earth fault protective system.

A protective system which is designed to respond only to faults to earth.

17. Earthing transformer.

A three-phase transformer intended essentially to provide a neutral point to a
power system for the purpose of Earthing.

18. Effective range

The range of values of the characteristic quantity or quantities, or of the energizing
quantities to which the relay will respond and satisfy the requirements concerning it,
in particular those concerning precision.

19. Effective setting

The 'setting' of a protective system including the effects of current transformers. The
effective setting can be expressed in terms of primary current or secondary current
from the current transformers and is so designated as appropriate.

20. Electrical relay

A device designed to produce sudden predetermined changes in one or more
electrical circuits after the appearance of certain conditions in the electrical circuit
or circuits controlling it.
NOTE: The term 'relay' includes all the ancillary equipment calibrated with the

21. Energizing quantity.

The electrical quantity, either current or voltage, which alone or in combination
with other energizing quantities, must be applied to the relay to cause it to

22. Independent time delay relay.

A time delay relay in which the time delay is independent of the energizing

21. Instantaneous relay.

A relay which operates and resets with no intentional time delay.
NOTE: All relays require some time to operate; it is possible, within the above
definition, to discuss the operating time characteristics of an instantaneous relay.

22. Inverse time delay relay.

A dependent time delay relay having an operating time which is an inverse
function of the electrical characteristic quantity.

23. Inverse time delay relay with definite minimum (I.D. M . T.)
A relay in which the time delay varies inversely with the characteristic quantity up
to a certain value, after which the time delay becomes substantially independent.

24. Knee-point e.m.f.
That sinusoidal e.m.f. applied to the secondary terminals of a current transformer,
which, when increased by 10 %, causes the exciting current to increase by 50%.

25. Main protection.

The protective system which is normally expected to operate in response to a fault
in the protected zone.

26. Measuring relay.

A relay intended to operate with a specified accuracy at one or more values of its
characteristic quantity.

27. Notching relay.

A relay which switches in response to a specific number of applied impulses.

28. Operating time.

With a relay de-energized and in its initial condition, the time which elapses
between the application of a characteristic quantity and the instant when the relay

29. Operating time characteristic.

The curve depicting the relationship between different values of the characteristic
quantity applied to a relay and the corresponding values of operating time.

30. Operating value.

The limiting value of the characteristic quantity at which the relay actually

31. Overshoot time.

The extent to which the condition that leads to final operation is advanced after the
removal of the energizing quantity, expressed as time at the rate of progress of the
said condition appropriate to the value of the energizing quantity that was initially

32. Pick-up.
A relay is said to 'pick-up' when it changes from the un-energized position to the
energized position.

33. Pilot channel.

A means of interconnection between relaying points for the purpose of protection.

34. Protected zone.

The portion of a power system protected by a given protective system or a part of
that protective system.

35. Protective gear.

The apparatus, including protective relays, trans-formers and ancillary equipment,
for use in a protective system.

36. Protective relay.
A relay designed to initiate disconnection of a part of an electrical installation or
to operate a warning signal, in the case of a fault or other abnormal condition in
the installation. A protective relay may include more than one unit electrical relay
and accessories.

37. Protective scheme.

The coordinated arrangements for the protection of one or more elements of a
power system.
A protective scheme may comprise several protective systems.

38. Protective system.

A combination of protective gear designed to secure, under predetermined
conditions, usually abnormal, the disconnection of an element of a power system,
or to give an alarm signal, or both.

39. Rating.
The nominal value of an energizing quantity which appears in the designation of a
relay. The nominal value usually corresponds to the CT and VT secondary ratings.

40. Resetting value.

The limiting value of the characteristic quantity at which the relay returns to its
initial position.

41. Residua/ current.

The algebraic sum, in a multi-phase system, of all the line currents.

42. Residua/ voltage.

The algebraic sum, in a multi-phase system, of all the line-to-earth voltages.

43. Setting.
The limiting value of a 'characteristic' or 'energizing' quantity at which the relay is
designed to operate under specified conditions.
Such values are usually marked on the relay and may be expressed as direct
values, percentages of rated values, or multiples.

44. Stability.
The quality whereby a protective system remains inoperative under all conditions
other than those for which it is specifically designed to operate.

45. Stability limits.

The R.M.S. value of the symmetrical component of the through fault current up to
which the protective system remains stable.

46. Starting relay.

A unit relay which responds to abnormal conditions and initiates the operation of
other elements of the protective system.

47. System impedance ratio (S./.R.).

The ratio of the power system source impedance to the impedance of the protected

48. Through fault current.

The current flowing through a protected zone to a fault beyond that zone.

49. Time delay.

A delay intentionally introduced into the operation of a relay system.

50. Time delay relay.

A relay having an intentional delaying device.

51. Unit electrical relay.

A single relay which can be used alone or in combinations with others.

52. Unit protection.

A protection system which is designed to operate only for abnormal conditions
within a clearly defined zone of the power system.

53. Unrestricted protection.

A protection system which has no clearly defined zone of operation and which
achieves selective operation only by time grading.

Fault Definitions and:

For the purpose of this International Standard, the following definitions, some
of them based on IEC 60050(191), IEC 60050(212) and
IEC 60050(604) apply:

1- Fault
An unplanned occurrence or defect in an item which may result in one or more
failures of the item itself or of other associated equipment
[IEC 604-02-011
NOTE - In electrical equipment, a fault may or may not result in damage to
the insulation and failure of the equipment.

2- Non-damage fault
A fault which does not involve repair or replacement action at the point of the
NOTE - Typical examples are self-extinguishing arcs in switching equipment
or general overheating without paper carbonization.
[IEC 604-02-091

3- Damage fault
A fault which involves repair or replacement action at the point of the fault
[IEC 604-02-08, modified]

4- Incident
An event related to an internal fault which temporarily or permanently disturbs
the normal operation of an equipment [IEV 604-02-03, modified]

NOTE - Typical examples are gas alarms, equipment tripping or equipment

5- Failure
The termination of the ability of an item to perform a required function [IEC

NOTE - In the electrical equipment, failure will result from a damage fault or
incident necessitating outage, repair or replacement of the equipment, such as
internal breakdown, rupture of tank, fire or explosion.

6- Electrical fault
a partial or disruptive discharge through the insulation.

7- Partial discharge
A discharge which only partially bridges the insulation between conductors. It
may occur inside the insulation or adjacent to a conductor
[IEC 212-01-34, modified]

NOTE 1 - Corona is a form of partial discharge that occurs in gaseous media

around conductors which are remote from solid or liquid insulation. This term
is not to be used as a general term for all forms of partial discharges.

NOTE 2 - X-wax is a solid material which is formed from mineral insulating

oil as a result of electrical discharges and which consists of polymerized
fragments of the molecules of the original liquid
[IEV 212-07-24, modified].
Comparable products may be formed from other liquids under similar

NOTE 3 - Sparking of low energy, for example because of metals or floating

potentials, is sometimes described as
Partial discharge but should rather be considered as a discharge of low energy.

8- Discharge (disruptive) .
The passage of an arc following the breakdown of the insulation
[IEC 604-03-38, modified]

NOTE 1 - Discharges are often described as arcing, breakdown or short circuits.

The more specific following terms are also used:
- spark over (discharge through the oil);
- puncture (discharge through the solid insulation);
- Flashover (discharge at the surface of the solid insulation);
- tracking (the progressive degradation of the surface of solid insulation
by local
Discharges to form conducting or partially conducting paths);
- sparking discharges which, in the conventions of physics, are local
Dielectric breakdowns of high ionization density or small arcs.

NOTE 2 - Depending on the amount of energy contained in the discharge, it
will be described as a discharge of low or high energy, based on the extent of
damage observed on the equipment .

9- Thermal fault
Excessive temperature rise in the insulation

NOTE - Typical causes are

- Insufficient cooling,
- Excessive currents circulating in adjacent metal parts (as a result of bad
Contacts, eddy currents, stray losses or leakage flux),
- Excessive currents circulating through the insulation (as a result of high
Dielectric losses), leading to a thermal runaway,
- overheating of internal winding or bushing connection lead.

10- Typical values of gas concentrations.

gas concentrations normally found in the equipment in service which have no
symptoms of failure, and which are over passed by only an arbitrary
percentage of higher gas contents, for example 10 % .

NOTE 1 - Typical values will differ in different types of equipment and in

different networks, depending on operating practices (load levels, climate,

NOTE 2 - Typical values, in many countries and by many users, are quoted as
"normal values", but this term has not been used here to avoid possible


2 Time delay starting or closing relay.
3 Checking or interlocking relay
21 Distance relay
25 Synchronizing or synchronism check relay
27 Under voltage relay
30 Annunciator relay
32 Directional power relay

37 Undercurrent or under power relay
40 Field failure relay
46 Reverse phase or phase balance current relay
49 Machine or transformer thermal relay
50 Instantaneous over current or rate-of-rise relay
51 A.c. time over current relay
52 A.c. circuit breaker
52a Circuit breaker auxiliary switch—normally open
52b Circuit breaker auxiliary switch—normally closed
55 Power factor relay
56 Field_application relay
59 Over voltage relay
60 Voltage or current balance relay
64 Earth fault protective relay
67 A.c. directional over current relay
68 Blocking relay
74 Alarm relay
76 D.c. over current relay
78 Phase angle measuring or out-of-step protective relay
79 A.c. reclosing relay
81 Frequency relay
83 Automatic selective control or transfer relay
85 Carrier or pilot wire receive relay
86 Locking-out relay
87 Differential protective relay
94 auxiliary tripping relay


Click Here

Relay contact systems

Relay contact systems

a. Self-reset.
The contacts remain operated only while the controlling quantity is applied,
returning to their original condition when it is removed.

b. Hand or electrical reset.

These contacts remain in the operated position after the controlling quantity
is removed. They can be reset either by hand or by an auxiliary electromagnetic
The majority of protective relay elements have self-reset contact systems,
which, if it is so desired, can be made to give hand reset output contacts by the use
of auxiliary elements.
Hand or electrically reset relays are used when it is necessary to maintain a
signal or a lock-out condition. Contacts are shown on diagrams in the position
corresponding to the un-operated or de-energized condition regardless of the
continuous service condition of the equipment. For example, a voltage

supervising relay, which is continually picked-up, would still be shown in the de-
energized condition.
A 'make' contact is one that closes when the relay picks up, whereas a
'break' contact is one that is closed when the relay is un-energized and opens
when the relay picks up. Examples of these conventions and variations are shown
in Figure 6.

Figure 6 indications of contacts on diagrams.

A protective relay is usually required to trip a circuit breaker, the tripping

mechanism of which may be a solenoid with a plunger acting directly on the
mechanism latch or, in the case of air-blast or pneumatically operated breakers, an
electrically operated valve. The relay may energize the tripping coil directly, or,
according to the coil rating, and the number of circuits to be energized, may do so
through the agency of another multi-channel auxiliary relay.
The power required by the trip coil of the circuit breaker may range from
up to 50 watts, for a small 'distribution' circuit breaker, to 3000 watts for a large
extra-high-voltage circuit breaker.
The basic trip circuit is simple, being made up of a hand-trip control switch
and the contacts of the protective relays in parallel to energize the trip coil from a
battery, through a normally open auxiliary switch operated by the circuit breaker.
This auxiliary switch is needed to open the trip circuit when the circuit breaker
opens, since the protective relay contacts will usually be quite incapable of
performing the interrupting duty. The auxiliary switch will be adjusted to close as
early as possible in the closing stroke, to make the protection effective in case the
breaker is being closed on to a fault.

Protective relays are precise measuring devices, the contacts of which

should not be expected to perform large making and breaking duties. Attracted
armature relays, which combine many of the characteristics of measuring devices
and contactors,
Occupy an intermediate position and according to their design and
consequent closeness to one or other category, may have an appreciable contact
Most other types of relay develop an effort which is independent of the
position of the moving system.

At setting, the electromechanical effort is absorbed by the controlling
force, the margin for operating the contacts being negligibly small. Not only does
this limit the 'making' capacity of the contacts, but if more than one contact pair is
fitted any slight misalignment may result in only one contact being closed at the
minimum operating value, there being insufficient force to compress the spring of
the first contact to make, by the small amount required to permit closure of the
For this reason, the provision of multiple contacts on such elements is
undesirable. Although two contacts can be fitted, care must be taken in their
alignment, and a small tolerance in the closing value of operating current may
have to be allowed between them. These effects can be reduced by providing a
small amount of 'run-in' to contact make in the relay behavior, by special shaping
of the active parts.
For the above reasons it is often better to use inter-posing contactor type
elements which do not have the same limitations, although some measuring relay
elements are capable of tripping the smaller types of circuit breaker directly.
These may be small attracted armature type elements fitted in the same case as the
measuring relay.
In general, static relays have discrete measuring and tripping circuits, or
modules. The functioning of the measuring modules will not react on the tripping
modules. Such a relay is equivalent to a sensitive electromechanical relay with a
tripping contactor, so that the number or rating of outputs has no more
significance than the fact that they have been provided.
For larger switchgear installations the tripping power requirement of each
circuit breaker is considerable, and, further, two or more breakers may have to be
tripped by one protective system.
There may also be remote signaling requirements, interlocking with other
functions (for example auto-reclosing arrangements), and other control functions
to be performed. These various operations are carried out by multi-contact
tripping relays, which are energized by the protection relays and provide the
necessary number of adequately rated output contacts.
Operation indicators.
As a guide for power system operation staff, protective systems are
invariably provided with indicating devices. In British practice these are called
'flags', whereas in America they are known as 'targets'. Not every component relay
will have one, as indicators are arranged to operate only if a trip operation is
initiated. Indicators, with very few exceptions, are bi-stable devices, and may be
either mechanically or electrically operated. A mechanical indicator consists of a
small shutter which is
Released by the protective relay movement to expose the indicator pattern,
which, on GEC Measurements relays, consists of a red diagonal stripe on a white
Electrical indicators may be simple attracted armature elements either with
or without contacts. Operation of the armature releases a shutter to expose an
indicator as above.
An alternative type consists of a small cylindrical permanent magnet
magnetized across a diameter, and lying between the poles of an electromagnet.
The magnet, which is free to rotate, lines up its magnetic axis with the
electromagnet poles, but can be made to reverse its orientation by the application
of a field. The edge of the magnet is colored to give the indication.

Relay tripping circuits.
Auxiliary contactors can be used to supplement protective relays in a number of
a. Series sealing.
b. Shunt reinforcing.
c. Shunt reinforcement with sealing. These are illustrated
Figure 7.
When such auxiliary elements are fitted, they can conveniently carry the
operation indicator, avoiding the need for indicators on the measuring elements.
Electrically operated indicators avoid imposing an additional friction load
on the measuring element, which would be a serious handicap for certain types.
Another advantage is that the indicator can operate only after the main contacts
have closed.

Figure 7 Typical relay tripping circuits.

With indicators operated directly by the measuring elements, care must be taken
to line up their operation with the closure of the main contacts. The indicator must
have operated by the time the contacts make, but must not have done so more than
marginally earlier.

This is to stop indication occurring when the tripping operation has not
been completed.

Ta. Series sealing.

The coil of the series contactor carries the trip current initiated by the
protective relay, and the contactor closes a contact in parallel with the protective
relay contact.
This closure relieves the protective relay contact of further duty and keeps the
tripping circuit securely closed, even if chatter occurs at the main contact.

Nothing is added to the total tripping time, and the indicator does not operate
until current is actually flowing through the trip coil.
The main disadvantage of this method is that such series elements must
have their coils matched with the trip circuit with which they are associated.
The coils of these contactors must be of low impedance, with about
5 % of the trip supply voltage being dropped across them.
When used in association with high speed trip relays, which usually interrupt their
own coil current, the auxiliary elements must be fast enough to operate and
release the flag before their coil current is cut off.
This may pose a problem in design if a variable number of auxiliary
elements (for different phases and so on) may be required to operate in parallel to
energize a common tripping relay.

b. Shunt reinforcing.
Here the sensitive contacts are arranged to trip the circuit breaker and
simultaneously to energize the auxiliary unit, which then reinforces the contact
which is energizing the trip coil.
It should be noted that two contacts are required on the protective relay,
since it is not permissible to energize the trip coil and the reinforcing contactor in
parallel. If this were done, and more than one protective relay were connected to
trip the same circuit breaker, all the auxiliary relays would be energized in
parallel for each relay operation and the indication would be confused. The
duplicate main contacts are frequently provided
As a three point arrangement to reduce the number of contact fingers.

Figure 8 Examples of trip circuit supervision.

c. Shunt reinforcement with sealing.

This is a development of the shunt reinforcing circuit to make it applicable
to relays with low torque movements or where there is a possibility of contact
bounce for any other reason.
Using the shunt reinforcing system under these circumstances would result
in chattering on the auxiliary unit, and the possible burning out of the contacts not
only of the sensitive element but also of the auxiliary unit. The chattering would
only end when the circuit breaker had finally tripped.
It will be seen that the effect of bounce is countered by means of a further
contact on the auxiliary unit connected as a retaining contact.
This means that provision must be made for releasing the sealing circuit
when tripping is complete; this is a disadvantage, because it is sometimes in-
convenient to find a suitable contact to use for this purpose.

Supervision of trip circuits.

The trip circuit extends beyond the relay enclosure and passes through
more components, such as fuses, links, relay contacts, auxiliary switch contacts
and so on, and in some cases through a considerable amount of circuit wiring with
intermediate terminal boards.

These complications, coupled with the importance of the circuit, have
directed attention to its supervision.
The simplest arrangement contains a healthy trip lamp, as shown in Figure
The resistance in series with the lamp prevents the breaker being tripped
by an internal short circuit caused by failure of the lamp. This provides super-
vision while the circuit breaker is closed; a simple extension gives pre-closing
Figure 1.8(b) shows how, by the addition of a normally closed auxiliary
switch and a resistance unit, supervision can be obtained while the breaker is both
open and closed.
I n either case, the addition of a normally open push-button contact in
series with the lamp will make the supervision indication available only when
Schemes using a lamp to indicate continuity are suitable for locally controlled
installations, but when control is exercised from a distance it is necessary to use a
relay system. Figure 8(c) illustrates such a scheme, which is applicable wherever a
remote signal is required.
With the circuit healthy either or both of relays A and B are operated and energize
relay C. Both A and B must reset to allow C to drop-off. Relays A and C are time-
delayed by copper slugs to prevent spurious alarms during tripping or closing
operations. The resistors are mounted separately from the relays and their values
are chosen such that if any one component is inadvertently short-circuited, a
tripping operation will not take place.
The alarm supply should be independent of the tripping supply so that indication
will be obtained in the event of the failure of the tripping battery.

Classification and function of relays

A protection relay is a device that senses any change in the signal which it is receiving,
usually from a current and/or voltage source. If the magnitude of the incoming signal is
outside a preset range, the relay will operate, generally to close or open electrical contacts
to initiate some further operation, for example the tripping of a circuit breaker.

3.1 Classification:
Protection relays can be classified in accordance with the function which they carry out,
their construction, the incoming signal and the type of functioning.

3.1.1 General function:


3.1.2 Construction:
Solid state.

Nonelectric (thermal, pressure ......etc.).

3.1.3 Incoming signal:

3.1.4 Type of protection
Over current.
Directional over current.
Over voltage.
Reverse power.

Figure 1 Armature-type relay

In some cases a letter is added to the number associated with the protection in
order to specify its place of location, for example G for generator, Τ for
transformer etc. Nonelectric relays are outside the scope of this book and
therefore are not referred to.

3.2 Electromagnetic relays

Electromagnetic relays are constructed with electrical, magnetic and
mechanical components, have an operating coil and various contacts and are very
robust and reliable. The construction characteristics can be classified in three
groups, as detailed below.

3 . 2 . 1 Attraction relays

Attraction relays can be supplied by AC or DC, and operate by the
movement of a piece of metal when it is attracted by the magnetic field produced
by a coil. There are two main types of relay in this class.
The attracted armature relay, which is shown in figure 1, consists of a bar
or plate of metal which pivots when it is attr acted towards the coil.
The armature carries the moving part of the contact, which is closed or
opened according to the design when the armature is attracted to the coil. The other
type is the piston or solenoid relay, illustrated in Figure 2, in which α bar or piston is
attracted axially within the field of the solenoid. In this case, the piston also carries the
operating contacts.
It can be shown that the force of attraction is equal to K1I2 - K2, where Κ1 depends
upon the number of turns on the operating solenoid, the air gap, the effective area and
the reluctance of the magnetic circuit, among other factors. K2 is the restraining force,
usually produced by a spring. When the relay is balanced, the resultant force is zero and
therefore Κ112 = K2,

I = K 2 / K 1 =constant.
So that

In order to control the value at which the relay starts to operate, the restraining
tension of the spring or the resistance of the solenoid circuit can be varied, thus
modifying the restricting force. Attraction relays effectively have no time delay and,
for that reason, are widely used when instantaneous operations are required.

3 . 2 . 2 Relays with moveable coils

This type of relay consists of a rotating movement with a small coil suspended or
pivoted with the freedom to rotate between the poles of a permanent magnet. The coil
is restrained by two springs which also serve as connections to carry the current to the
The torque produced in the coil is given by:

T = B.l.a.N.i


T= torque
B = flux density
L =length of the coil
a = diameter of the coil
N = number of turns on the coil
i = current flowing through the coil

Figure 2 Solenoid-type relay

Figure 3 Inverse time characteristic

From the above equation it will be noted that the torque developed is proportional to
the current. The speed of movement is controlled by the damping action, which is
proportional to the torque. It thus follows that the relay has an inverse time
characteristic similar to that illustrated in Figure 3. The relay can be designed so that
the coil makes a large angular movement, for example 80º.

3 . 2 . 3 Induction relays
An induction relay works only with alternating current. It consists of an electromagnetic
system which operates on a moving conductor, generally in the form of a disc or cup,
and functions through the interaction of electromagnetic fluxes with the parasitic
Fault currents which are induced in the rotor by these fluxes. These two fluxes, which
are mutually displaced both in angle and in position, produce a torque that can be
expressed by

T= Κ1.Φ1.Φ2 .sin θ,

Where Φ1 and Φ2 are the interacting fluxes and θ is the phase angle between Φ1 and
Φ2. It should be noted that the torque is a maximum when the fluxes are out of phase
by 90º, and zero when they are in phase.

Figure 4 Electromagnetic forces in induction relays

It can be shown that Φ1= Φ1sin ωt, and Φ2= Φ2 sin (ωt+ θ ) , where θ is the angle
by which Φ2 leads Φ1. Then:

dΦ 1
iΦ 1 α α Φ 1 cos ω t

iΦ1 α α Φ1 cos ( ωt + θ )
Figure 4 shows the interrelationship between the currents and the opposing forces.

F = ( F 1 - F 2 ) α (Φ2 iΦ1+ Φ1 iΦ2 )

F α Φ2 Φ1 sin θ α T

Induction relays can be grouped into three classes as set out below.

Shaded-pole relay
In this case a portion of the electromagnetic section is short-circuited by means of
a copper ring or coil. This creates a flux in the area influenced by the short
circuited section (the so-called shaded section) which lags the flux in the
nonshaded section, see Figure 5.

Figure 5 Shaded-pole relay

Figure 6 Wattmetric-type relay

In its more common form, this type of relay uses an arrangement of coils above and below
the disc with the upper and lower coils fed by different values or, in some cases, with just
one supply for the top coil, which induces an out-of-phase flux in the lower coil because of
the air gap. Figure 6 illust r ates a typical arrangement.

Cup-type relay

This type of relay has a cylinder similar to a cu which can rotate in the annular air gap
between the poles of the coils, and has a fixed central core, see Figure 7. The operation of
this relay is very similar to that

Figure 7Cup-type relay

Of an induction motor with salient poles for the windings of the stator. Configurations
with four or eight poles spaced symmetrically around the circumference of the cup are
often used. The movement of the cylinder is limited to a small amount by the contact
and the stops. Α special spring provides the restraining torque.

The torque is a function of the product of the two currents through the coils and the
cosine of the angle between them. The torque equation is

T= ( KI1I2 cos (θ12 – Φ) – Ks ),

Where K, .Κs and Φ are design constants, Ι1 and I2 are the currents through the two
coils and θ12 is the angle between I1 and I2.

In the first two types of relay mentioned above, which are provided with a disc, the
inertia of the disc provides the time-delay characteristic. The time delay can be
increased by the addition of a permanent magnet. The cup-type relay has a small
inertia and is therefore principally used when high speed operation is required, for
example in instantaneous units.

Calculation of short circuit current

The current that flows through an element of a power system is a parameter which can
be used to detect faults, given the large increase in current flow when a short circuit
For this reason a review of the concepts and procedures for calculating fault currents
will be made in this chapter, together with some calculations illustrating the methods
Although the use of these short-circuit calculations in relation to protection settings
will be-considered in detail, it is important to bear in mind that these calculations are
also required for other applications, for example calculating the substation Earthing

grid, the selection of conductor sizes and for the specifications of equipment such as
power-circuit breakers.

1 Mathematical derivation of fault currents

The treatment of electrical faults should be carried out as a function of time,
t = 0+
from the start of the event at time until stable conditions are reached, and
therefore it is necessary to use differential equations when calculating these currents.
In order to illustrate the transient nature of the current,
consider an RL circuit as a simplified equivalent of the circuits in electricity-
distribution networks. This simplification is important because all the system
equipment must be modeled in some way in order to quantify the transient values
which can occur during the fault condition.
For the circuit shown in Figure 1, the mathematical expression which defines the
behaviour of the current is:

e(t) = L di + Ri(t) 2.1

Vmax Sin( ωt + α )

Figure 1 RL, circuit for transient analysis study

This is a differential equation with constant coefficients, of which the solution is

in two parts:

ia ( t ) : ih ( t ) + i p ( t )

ih(t) Is the solution of the homogeneous equation corresponding to the transient
period and ip(t) is the solution to the particular equation corresponding to the
steady-state period.

By the use of differential equation theory, which will not be discussed in detail
here, the complete solution can be determined and expressed iii the following

i (t ) = ( Sin (ω t + α ) − Sin(α − Φ).e −( R / L ) ) 2.2

Z = R 2 + ω2 L2

α = the closing angle which defines the point on the source sinusoidal voltage when
the fault occurs and

Φ= tan −1 (ωL / R )

It can be seen that, in eqn. 2.2, the first term varies sinusoidally, while the
second term decreases exponentially with a time constant of L/R. The latter term
can be recognised as the DC component of the current, and has an initial
value when α −Φ π
=± / 2
, and zero value when Φ=α, see Figure 2.
It is impossible to predict at what point the fault will be applied on the sinusoidal
cycle and therefore what magnitude the DC component will reach. If the tripping
of the circuit, owing to a fault, takes place when the sinusoidal component is at its
negative peak, the DC component reaches its theoretical maximum value half a
cycle later.

Figure 2 Variation of fault current with time

a (α–Φ) =0

b (α–Φ)=π/2

An approximate formula for calculating the effective value of the total
asymmetric current,
including the AC and DC components, with acceptable accuracy can be obtained
from the following expression:

I rms.asym = 2
I rms + I DC

The fault current which results when an alternator is short circuited can
easily be analysed since this is similar to the case which has already been analysed,
i.e. when voltage is, applied to an RL circuit. The reduction in current from its
value at the onset, owing to the gradual decrease in the magnetic flux caused by
the reduction of the e.m.f. of the induction current, can be seen in Figure 3. This
effect is known as armature reaction.
The physical situation that is presented to a generator, and which makes the
calculations quite difficult, can be interpreted as a reactance which varies with time.
Notwithstanding this, in the majority of practical applications it is possible to take
account of the variation of reactance in only three stages without producing
significant errors. In Figure 4 it will be noted that the variation of current with
time, 1(t), comes close to the three discrete levels of current, I", 1 ' and I, the
subtransient, transient and steady-state currents, respectively. The corresponding
X d" , X d'
values of direct axis reactance are denoted by and Xd,

Figure 3 Transient short-circuit currents in a synchronous generator

Figure 4 Variation of current with time during a fault

Figure 5 Variation of generator reactance with time during a fault

And the typical variation with, time for each of these is illustrated in
Figure 5.
To sum up, when calculating short-circuit currents it is necessary to take into
account two factors which could result in the currents varying with time:
the presence of the DC component;
the behaviour of the generator under short circuit conditions.

In studies of electrical protection some adjustment has to be made to the

values of instantaneous short circuit current calculated using subtransient
reactance's which result in higher values of current.
Time delay units can be set using the same values but, in some cases, short-circuit
values based on the transient reactance are used, depending on the operating speed
of the protection relays. Transient reactance values are generally used in stability
Of necessity, switchgear specifications require reliable calculations of the
short-circuit levels which can be present on the electrical network. Taking into
account the rapid drop of the short-circuit current due to the armature reaction of
the synchronous machines, and the fact that extinction of an electrical arc is never
achieved instantaneously, ANSI Standards C37.010 and C37.5 recommend using
different values of subtransient reactance when calculating the so-called
momentary and interrupting duties of switchgear.

Asymmetrical or symmetrical r.m.s. values can be defined depending on
whether or not the DC component is included. The peak values are obtained by
multiplying the R.M.S. values by .

The asymmetrical values are calculated as the square root of the sum of the
squares of the DC component and the r.m.s. value of the AC current, i.e.:

= (0.9 2V / X d" ) 2 + (0.9V / X d" ) 2

I rms = 2

The momentary current is used when specifying the closing current of

switchgear. Typically, the AC and DC components decay to 90% of their initial
values after the first half cycle. From this, the value of the r.m.s. current would then

.asym .clo sin g = + I AC .rms . sys

2 2
I rms I DC

= (0.9 2V / X d" ) 2 + (0.9V / X d" ) 2

=1.56V / X d" =1.56 I rms.sym 2.5

Usually, a factor of 1.6 is used by manufacturers and in international standards so that,

in general, this value should be used when carrying out similar calculations.
The peak value is obtained by arithmetically adding together the AC and DC
components. It should be noted that, in this case, the AC component is multiplied by
a factor of Thus:

I peak = I Dc + I AC

= (0.9 2 V / X d" ) + (0.9 2 V / X d" )

= 2.55 I rms.sym 2.6

When considering the specification for the switchgear-opening cur-rent, the so-called
r.m.s. value of interrupting current is used in which, again, the AC and DC
components are taken into account, and therefore:
Replacing the DC component by its exponential expression gives:

.asym. int = + I Ac.rms . int
2 2
I rms I DC

I rms = ( 2 I rms. e −( R / L ) ) 2 + I rms

. sym. int

= I rms 2e −2 ( r / l ) t +1 2.7

I rms . asym. int / I rms . sys . int

The expression ( ) has been drawn for different
Values of X/R, and for different switchgear contact-separation times, in ANSI
Standard C37.5–1979. The multiplying factor graphs are reproduced in Figure 6

Figure 6 Multiplying factors for three-p hase and line-to-earth faults (total current
rating basis) (from. IEEE Standard C37.5-1979; reproduced by permission of the

NOTE: Fed predominantly through two or more transformations or with external

reactance in series equal to or above 1.5 times generator subtransient reactance

As an illust r ation of the validity of the curves for any situation,
Consider a circuit breaker with a total contact-separation time of two c yc l e s
o n e cycle due to the relay and one related to the operation of the breaker
mechanism. If the frequency, f is 60 Hz and the ratio X/R
With this arrangement, voltage values of any three-phase system,
Va Vb and Vc can be represented thus:
Va =Vao + Va1 + Va2
Vb =Vbo + Vb1 + Vb2
Vc =Vco + Vc1 + Vc2

It can be demonstrated that:

V b= V ao+a 2V a1+aV a2
V c= V ao+aV a1+ a 2V a2

where a is a so called operator which gives a phase shift of 120° clockwise and a
multiplication of unit magnitude, i.e. a=1 ∠120
and a similarly gives a phase shift
of 240°, i.e. a 2=1∠240°
the following matrix relationship can be established:

Va  1 1 1  Va 0 
V  = 1 a a 2  × V 
 b    a1 
Vc  1 a 2 a  Va 2 

Inverting the matrix of coefficients:

Va 0  1 1 1  V a 
V  = 1 1 a a 2  × V 
 a1  3    b
Va 2  1 a 2 a  Vc 
 

From the above matrix it can be deduced that:

Va 0 = (Va + Vb + Vc )
Va1 = (Va + aVb + a 2Vc )
Va 2 = (Va + a 2Vb + aVc )
The foregoing procedure can also be applied directly to currents, and gives:

I a = I a 0 + I a1 + I a 2
I b = I a 0 + a 2 I a1 + aI a 2
I b = I a 0 + a I a1 + a 2 I a 2

I a0 = (I a + Ib + Ic )
I a1 = ( I a + aI b + a 2 I c )
I a 2 = ( I a + a 2 I b + aI c )
In three-phase systems, the neutral current is equal to In = (Ia + Ib + Ic) and, therefore,
l n= 3 I 0
By way of illustration, a three-phase unbalanced system is shown in Figure 8 together
with the associated symmetrical components.

2.1 Importance and construction of sequence networks

The impedance of a circuit in which only positive-sequence currents are

circulating is called the positive-sequence impedance and, similarly, those in
which only negative and zero-sequence currents flow are called the negative and
zero-sequence impedances.
These sequence impedances are designated Z1, Z2 and Z0, respectively, and are
used in calculations involving symmetrical components.
Since generators are designed to supply balanced voltages, the generated voltages
are of positive sequence only.
Therefore, the positive-sequence network is composed of an e.m.f source in series
with the positive-sequence impedance. The negative and zero-sequence net-works
do not contain e.m.f but only include impedances to the flow of negative and zero-
sequence currents, respectively.
The positive- and negative-sequence impedances of overhead-line circuits are
identical, as are those of cables, being independent of the phase if the applied
voltages are balanced.
The zero-sequence impedances of lines different from the positive and
negative-sequence impedances since the magnetic field creating the positive and
negative-sequence currents is different from that for the zero-sequence currents.
The following ratios may be used in the absence of detailed information. For a
single-circuit line, Zo/Z1 = 2 when no earth wire is present and 3.5 with an earth
wire. For a double-circuit line Zo/Z1 = 5.5. For underground cables Zo/Z1 can be
taken as 1 to 1.25 for single core, and 3 to 5 for three-core cables:

For transformers, the positive and negative-sequence impedances are equal

because in static circuits these impedances are independent of the phase order,
provided that the applied voltages are balanced. The zero-sequence impedance is
either the same as the other two impedances, or infinite, depending on the
transformer connections. The resistance of the windings is much smaller and can
generally be neglected in short-circuit calculations. When modelling small
generators and motors it may be necessary to take resistance into account.
However, for most studies only the reactance's of synchronous machines are used.
Three values of positive reactance are normally quoted-subt r ansient, transient and
synchronous reactance, denoted by X", Xd' and Xd. In fault studies the subtransient
and transient reactance of generators grid motors must be included as appropriate,
depending on the machine characteristics and fault clearance time.

Table 1 Typical per-unit reactance for three -phase synchronous machines

Type of X d" X d' Xd X2 X0


Turbine 2 pole 0.09 0.15 1.20 0.09 0.03

generator 4 pole 0.14 0.22 1.70 0.14 0.07

Salient with 0.20 0.30 1.25 0.20 0.18

pole dampers
generator without 0.28 0.30 1.20 0.35 0.12

X"= subtransient reactance; X'd =transient reactance; Xd=synchronous
reactance X.2=negative sequence reactance; X0=zero sequence reactance

The subtransient reactance is the reactance applicable at the onset of the fault
occurrence. Within 0.1 sec. the fault level falls to a value determined by the
transient reactance and then decays exponentially to a steady-state value
determined by the synchronous reactance.
Typical per-unit reactance's for three phase synchronous machines are given in
Table 1.
In connecting sequence networks together, the reference busbar for the positive-
and negative-sequence networks is the generator neutral which, in these networks,
is at earth potential so that only zero-sequence currents flow through the
impedances between neutral and earth. The reference busbar for zero-sequence
networks is the earth point of the generator. The current which flows in the
impedance between the neutral and earth are three times the zero-sequence current.
Figure 2.9 illustrates the sequence networks for a generator.
The zero sequence networks carries only zero-sequence current in one phase
which has an impedance of Zo = 3Ζn + Zeo
The voltage and current components for each phase are obtained from the
equations given for the sequence networks. The equations for the components of
voltage, corresponding to the phase of the system, are obtained from the point an
on phase a relative to the reference bus bar, and can be deduced from Figure 2.9 as

Va1 = E a − I a1 Z 1
Va 2 = − I a 2 Z 2
Va 0 = − I a 0 Z 0
Εa = no load voltage to earth of the positive-sequence network
Z1 = positive-sequence impedance of the generator
Z2 = negative-sequence impedance of the generator
Zo= zero-sequence impedance of the generator (Zeo) plus three times the
impedance to earth
The above equations can be applied to any generator which carries unbalanced
currents and are the starting point for calculations for any type of fault. The same
approach can be used with equivalent power systems or applied to loaded

generators, Ea then being the voltage behind the reactance before the fault

2.2.2 Calculation of asymmetrical faults using symmetrical components

The positive, negative and zero-sequence network, carrying currents I1, I2 and Io
respectively, are connected together in a particular arrangement to represent a
given unbalanced fault condition. Consequently, in order to calculate fault 1
levels using the method of symmetrical components, it is essential to determine
the individual sequence impedances and combine these to make up the correct
sequence networks. Then, for each .type of fault, the appropriate combination of
sequence networks is formed in order to obtain the relationships between fault
currents and voltages.

Phase-to-earth fault
The conditions for a solid fault from line a to earth
are represented by the equations Ib=0, Ic =0 and V a =0,

Single phase fault connected to earth

As in the previous equations, it can easily be deduced

that I a1 = Ia2 = I ao = E a / (Z 1 +Z 2 + Z o ). Therefore,
the sequence networks will be connected in series,
as indicated in Figure 2.10a. The current and voltage
conditions are the same when considering an open-circuit
fault in phases b and c, and thus the treatment
and connection of the sequence networks will be similar.

Phase-to-Phase fault
The conditions for a solid fault between
lines h and c are represented by the equations

I a = 0, I b = –I c and V b = V c .
Equally, it can be shown that
I ao = 0 and I a1 = E a /(Z 1 +Z 2 ) = Ia2 .
For this case, with no zero-sequence current,
the zero-sequence network is not involved and the overall sequence network is
composed of the positive- and negative-sequence networks in parallel as
indicated in Figure 2.10b.

Phase-to-Phase-to-earth fault

The conditions for a fault between lines b and c and earth are represented by the
equations 1a = 0 and Vb=Vc =0. From these equations it can be proved that:

I a1 =
Z1 +
Zo + Z2

The three sequence networks are connected in parallel

as shown in Figure 2.10c.

2.3 Equivalent impedances for a power system.

When it is necessary to study the effect of any change on

the power system, the system must first of all be represented
by its corresponding sequence impedances.
The equivalent positive- and negative-sequence impedances
can be calculated directly from:
Z= V2/P

Z = Equivalent positive and negative-sequence impedances
V =nominal phase-to-phase voltage
P = three-phase short circuit power
The equivalent zero-sequence of a system can be derived from the expressions of
sequence components referred to for a single-phase fault, i.e.

Ia1=Ia2=Ia3 = VLN/ (Z1 + Z2 + Z0)

VLN = the line-to-neutral voltage.

For lines and cables the positive and negative ímpedances are equal.
Thus, on the basis that the generator ímpedances are not significant in most
distribution-network fault studies, it may be assumed that overall
Ζ2 = Z1 which simplifies the calculations.
Thus, the above formula reduces to Ia = 3I0 = 3 VLN / (2Z1 + Zo),
Where VLN = line-to-neutral voltage and Zo= (3VLN / Ia) - 2Z1

3 Supplying the current and voltage signals to protection systems

In the presence of a fault the current transformers (CTs) circulate current proportional
to the fault current to the protection equipment without distinguishing between the
vectorial magnitudes of the Sequence components.

Figure 10 Connection of sequence networks for a3ymmetrical faults
a Phase-to-earth fault
b Phase-to-phase fault
c Double phase-to-earth fault

Therefore, in the majority of cases, the relays operate on the basis of the
corresponding values of fault current and / or voltages, regardless of the values of
the sequence components. It is very important to emphasise that, given this, the
advantage of using symmetrical components is that they facilitate the calculation of
fault levels even though the relays in the majority of cases do not distinguish
between the various values of the symmetrical components.

Figure 11a Currents and voltages for various types of faults

Figure 11b Currents and voltages for various types of faults
a Sequence currents for different types of fault
b Sequence voltages for different types of fault

In Figure 11a & b the positive and negative sequence values of current and
voltage for different faults are shown together with the summated values of current
and voltage.
Relays usually only operate using the summated values in the right-hand
columns. However, relays are available which can operate with specific values of
some of the sequence components.

In these cases there must be methods for obtaining these components, and
this is achieved by using filters which produce the mathematical operations of the
resultant equations to resolve the matrix for voltages and for currents.
Although these filters can be constructed for electromagnetic elements, the
growth of electronics has led to their being used increasingly in logic circuits.
Among the relays which require this type of filter in order to operate are those
used ιn negative-sequence and earth-fault protection.

Current and voltage transformers

Current or voltage instrument transformers are necessary for isolating the

protection, control and measurement equipment from the high voltages of a power
system, and for supplying the equipment with the appropriate values of current and
voltage - generally these are 1A or 5Α for the current coils, and 120 V for the
voltage coils.
The behaviour of current and voltage transformers during and after the
occurrence of a fault is critical in electrical protection since errors in the signal from
a transformer can cause maloperation of the relays.
In addition, factors such as the transient period and saturation must be taken
into account when selecting the appropriate transformer.
When only voltage or current magnitudes are required to operate a relay then
the relative direction of the current flow in the transformer windings is not
important. However, the polarity must be kept in mind when the relays compare the
sum or difference of the currents.

1- Voltage transformers:
With voltage transformers (VTs) it is essential that the voltage from the
secondary winding should be as near as possible proportional to the primary
In order to achieve this, VTs are designed in such a way that the voltage drops
in the windings are small and the flux density in the core is well below the
saturation value so that the magnetization current is small; in this way
magnetization impedance is obtained which is practically constant over the required
voltage range. The secondary voltage of a VT is usually 110 or 120 V with
corresponding line-to-neutral values. The majority of protection relays have
nominal voltages of 110 or 63.5 V, depending on whether their connection is line-
to-line or line-to-neutral.

Figure 1 Voltage transformer equivalent circuits

Figure 2 Vector diagram for voltage transformer

1.1 Equivalent circuits

VTs can be considered as small power transformers so that their

equivalent circuit is the same as that for power transformers, as shown in Figure
1a. The magnetization branch can be ignored and the equivalent circuit then
reduces to that shown in Fig 1b.
The vector diagram for a VT is given in Figure.2, with the length of the
voltage drops increased for clarity. The secondary voltage Vs lags the voltage
Vp/n and is smaller in magnitude. In spite of this, the nominal maximum errors
are relatively small. VTs have an excellent transient behaviour and accurately
reproduce abrupt changes in. the primary voltage.

1.2 Errors

When used for measurement instr uments, for example for billing and
control purposes, the accuracy of a VT is important, especially for those values
close to the nominal system voltage.

Notwithstanding this, although the precision requirements of a VT for
protection applications are not so high at nominal voltages, owing to the
problems of having to cope with a variety of different relays, secondary wiring
burdens and the uncertainty of system parameters, errors should he contained
within narrow limits over a wide range of possible voltages under fault
This range should be between 5 and 173% of the nominal primary voltage
for VTs connected between line and earth.
Referring to the circuit in Figure 1a, errors in a VT are clue to differences
in magnitude and phase between Vp/n, and Vs. These consist of the errors under
open-circuit conditions when the load impedance Ζ B is infinite, caused by the
drop in voltage from the circulation of the magnetization current through the
primary winding, and errors due to voltage drops as a result of the load current
IL flowing through both windings. Errors in magnitude can be calculated from
Error V T = {(n Vs - Vp) / Vp} x 100%. If the error is positive, then the
secondary voltage exceeds the nominal value.

1.3 Burden
The standard burden for voltage transformer is usually expressed in volt-
amperes (VΑ) at a specified power factor.
Table 1 gives standard burdens based on ANSI Standard C57.1 3. Voltage
transformers are specified in IEC publication 1 8 6 Α by the precision class, and
the value of volt-amperes (VΑ).
The allowable error limits corresponding to different class values are shown
in Table 2, where Vn is the nominal voltage. The phase error is considered
positive when the secondary voltage leads the primary voltage. The voltage
error is the percentage difference between the voltage at the secondary
terminals, V2, multiplied by the nominal transformation ratio, and the primary
voltages V1.

1.4 Selection of VTs

Voltage transformers are connected between phases, or between phase and
earth. The connection between phase and earth is normally used with groups
of three single-phase units connected in star at substations operating with
voltages at about 34.5 kV or higher, or when it is necessary to measure the
voltage and power factor of each phase separately.
The nominal primary voltage of a VT is generally chosen with the higher
nominal insulation voltage (kV) and the nearest service voltage in mind. The
nominal secondary voltages are generally standardized at 110 and 120 V. In order
to select the nominal power of a VT, it is usual to acid together all the nominal
VΑ loadings of the apparatus connected to

Table 1 Standard burdens for voltage Transformer

Standard burden Characteristics for 120 V Characteristics for 69.3 V
and 60 Hz and 60 Hz

design Volt- power resistance( Ω ) inductance impedance resistance inductance impedance

amperes factor (H) (Ω) (Ω) (H) (Ω)

12.5 0.10 115.2 3.040 1152 38.4 1.010 384

Χ 25.0 0.70 403.2 1.090 575 134.4 0.364 192

Υ 75.0 0.85 163.2 0.268 192 54.4 0.089 64
Ζ 200.0 0.85 61.2 0.101 72 20.4 0.034 24
ΖΖ 400.0 0.85 31.2 0.0403 36 10.2 0.0168 12
Μ 35.0 0.20 82.3 1.070 411 27.4 0.356 137

Table 2 Voltage transformers error limits

Class Primary voltage Voltage Phase error
error (±min)
0.1 0.1 0.5
0.2 0.2 10.0
0.5 0.5 20.0
1.0 1.0 40.0
0.8 Vn , 1.0 Vn
and 1.2 Vn

0.1 1.0 40.0

0.2 1.0 40.0
0.5 0.5 Vn 1.0 40.0
1.0 2.0 80.0

0.1 0.2 80.0

0.2 2.0 80.0
0.5 Vn 2.0 80.0
1.0 3.0 120.0

Vn = nominal voltage
The VT secondary winding. In addition, it is important to take account of the
voltage drops in the secondary wiring, especially if the distance between the
transformers and the relays is large.

1 .5 C a p a c i t o r v o l t a g e t r a n s f o rm e r s
In general, the size of an inductive VT is proportional to its nominal voltage
and, for this reason, the cost increases in a similar manner to that of a high voltage
transformer. One alternative, and a more economic solution, is to use a capacitor
voltage transformer.
This device is effectively a capacitance voltage divider, and is similar to a
resistive divider in that the output voltage at the point of connection is affected by the
load - in fact the two parts of the divider taken together can be considered as the
source impedance which produces a drop in voltage when the load is connected.

Figure 4 Capacitor VT equivalent circuit

The capacitor divider differs from the inductive divider in that the equivalent
impedance of the source is capacitive and the .fact that this impedance can be
compensated for by connecting a reactance in series at the point of connection.
With an ideal reactance there are no regulation problems - however, in an
actual situation on a network, some resistance is always present. The divider
can reduce the voltage to a value which enables errors to be kept within
normally acceptable limits. For improved accuracy a high voltage capacitor is
used in order to obtain a bigger voltage at the point of connection, which can
be reduced to a standard voltage using a relatively inexpensive trans-former as
shown in Figure 3.
Α simplified equivalent circuit of a capacitor VT is shown in Figure 4 in
which Vi is equal to the nominal primary voltage, C is the numerically equivalent
impedance equal to ( C1 + C2 ), L is the resonance inductance, Ri represents the
resistance of the primary winding of transformer Τ plus the losses in C and L, and
Ze is the magnetization impedance of transformer Τ. Referred to the inter-mediate
voltage, the resistance of the secondary circuit and the load impedance are
Rs' Z B' Vs' Is'
represented by and respectively, while and represent the secondary
voltage and current.

Figure 5 Capacitor VT vector diagram

It can be seen that, with the exception of C, the circuit in Figure 4.4 is the same
as the equivalent circuit of a power transformer. Therefore, at the system frequency
when C and L are resonating and canceling out each other, under stable system
conditions the capacitor VT acts like a conventional transformer. Ri and R's are
not large and, in addition, Ie is small compared to I' s , so that the vector difference
between Vi and V's which constitutes the error in the capacitor VT, is very small.
This is illustrated in the vector diagram shown in Figure 4.5 which is drawn
for a power factor close to unity. The voltage error is the difference in magnitude
between Vi and V's, whereas the phase error is indicated by the angle θ. From the
diagram it can be seen that, for frequencies different from the resonant frequency,
the values of EL and EC predominate, causing serious errors in magnitude and
Capacitor VTs display better transient behaviour than electro-magnetic VTs
as the inductive and capacitive reactance in series are large in relation to the load
impedance referred to the secondary voltage, and thus, when the primary voltage
collapses, the secondary voltage is maintained for some milliseconds because of
the combination of the series and parallel resonant circuits represented by L, C and
the transformer T.

2 Current transformers
Although the performance required from a current transformer (CT) varies with the
type of protection, high grade CTs must always be used. Good quality CTs are more
reliable and result in less application problems and, in general, provide better

Figure 6 Current transformer equivalent circuits

The quality of CTs is very important for differential protection schemes where
the operation of the relays is directly related to the accuracy of the CTs under
fault conditions as well as under normal load conditions.
CTs can become saturated at high current values caused by nearby faults; to
avoid this, care should be taken to ensure that under the most critical faults the CT
operates on the linear portion of the magnetization curve. In all these cases the CT
should be a ble to supply sufficient current so that the relay operates
2.1 Equivalent circuit
An approximate equivalent circuit for a CT is given in Figure 4.6a,
Where n2ZH represents the primary impedance ZH referred to the secondary
side, and the secondary impedance is, ZL, Rm and Xm represent the losses and the
excitation of the core.
The circuit in Figure 4.6a can be reduced to the arrangement shown in figure
4.6b where ZH can be ignored, since it does not influence either the current IH/n or
the voltage across Xm. The current flowing through Xm is the excitation current Ιe.
The vector diagram, with the voltage drops exaggerated for clarity, is shown in Figure
4.7. In general, ZL, is resistive and Ιe lags Vs by 90°, so that Ie is the principal source of
error. Note that the net effect of Ie is to make I lag and be much smaller than ΙH /n, the
primary current referred to the secondary side.

Figure 7 Vector diagram for the CT equivalent circuit

2.2 Errors
The causes of errors in a CT are quite different to those associated with VTs. In
effect, the primary impedance of a CT does not have the same influence
On the accuracy of the equipment it only adds an impedance in series with the line,
which can be ignored. The errors are principally due to the current which circulates
through the magnetizing branch.
The magnitude error is the difference in magnitude between ΙH / n and IL and is
equal to Ir the component of Ie in line with k (see Figure 7).
The phase error, represented by θ, is related to Iq the component of Ie which is in
quadrature with IL. The values of the magnitude and phase errors depend on the
relative displacement between Ie and IL, but neither of them can exceed the vectorial
error it should be noted that a moderate inductive load, with Ie and IL approximately in
phase, has a small phase error and the excitation component results almost entirely in
an error in the magnitude.

2.3 AC saturation
CΤ errors result from excitation current, so much so that, in order to check if a
CT is functioning correctly, it is essential to measure or calculate the excitation curve.
The magnetization current of a CT depends on the cross section and length of the
magnetic circuit, the number of turns in the windings, and the magnetic characteristics
of the material.
Thus, for a given CT, and referring to the equivalent circuit of Figure 4.6b, it
can be seen that the voltage across the magnetization impedance, Es, is directly
proportional to the secondary current. From this it can be concluded that, when the
primary current and therefore the secondary current is increased, these currents reach
a point where the core commences to saturate and the magnetization current becomes
sufficiently high to produce an excessive error.

When investigating the behaviour of a CT, the excitation current should he

measured at various values of voltage the so-called secondary injection test. Usually,
it is more convenient to apply a variable voltage to the secondary winding, leaving the
primary winding open-circuited. Figure 4.8a shows the typical relationship between
the secondary voltage and the excitation current determined in this way.
In European standards the point Κp on the curve is called the saturation or knee
point and is defined as the point at which an increase in the excitation voltage of ten
per cent produces an increase of 50 % in the excitation current. This point is referred
to in the ANSI / IEEE standards as the intersection of the excitation curves with a 45°

tangent line, as indicated in Figure 4.8b. The European knee point is at a higher
voltage than the ANSI/IEEE Knee point.

2.4 Burden
The burden of a CT is the value in ohms-of the impedance on the secondary
side of the CT due to the relays and the connections between the CT and the relays.
By way of example, the standard burdens for CTs with a nominal secondary current of
5 A are shown in Table 3, based on ANSI Standard C57.13.
IEC Standard Publication 185(1987) specifies CTs by the class of accuracy followed
by the letter Μ or P, which denotes whether the transformer is suitable for
measurement or protection purposes, respectively. The current and phase-error limits
for measurement and protection CTs are given in Tables 4a and 4.4b. The phase error
is considered positive when the secondary current leads the primary current.
The current error is the percentage deviation of the secondary current,
multiplied by the nominal transformation ratio, from the primary current, i.e. {(CTR x
Ι2) – I1} ÷ I1 (%), where I1 = primary current (A), I2 = secondary current (A) and
CTR = current transformer transformation ratio. Those CT classes marked with `ext'
denote wide range (extended) current transformers with a rated continuous current of
1.2 or 2 times the nameplate current rating.
2.5 Selection of CTs
When selecting a CT, it is important to ensure that the fault level and normal
load conditions do not result in saturation of the core and that

CT magnetization curves

Figure 8a CT magnetization curves

Figure 8b CT magnetization curves

a Defining the knee point in a CT excitation curve according to

European standards
b Typical excitation curves for a multi ratio class C CT (From IEEE
Standard C57.13-1978; reproduced by permission of the IEEE).

Table 4.3 Standard burdens for protection

CTs with 5 Α secondary current

Designation Resista nce Inductance Impedance Volt- Power

(Ω) (mH) (Ω) factor
(at 5 A)
B-1 2.3 1.0 25 0.5
B-2 1.0 4.6 2.0 50 0.5

B-4 2.0 9.2 4.0 100 0.5

B-8 4.0 18.4 8.0 200 0.5

The errors do not exceed acceptable limits. These factors can be assessed from:
CT magnetization curves;
CT classes of accuracy.
The first two meth ods provide precise facts for the selection of the CT. The third
only provides a qualitative estimation. The secondary voltage Ε in Figure 4.6U has
to be determined for all three methods. If the impedance of the magnetic circuit,
Xm is high, this can be removed from the equivalent circuit with little error' giving
Es=Vs and thus:

Vs=IL (ZL+ZC+ZB) (1)

Vs = r.m.s. voltage induced in the secondary winding
IL =maximum secondary current in amperes;
this can be determined by dividing the maximum
Fault current on the system by the transformer
turns ratio selected
ZB = e x t e r n a l impedance connected
ZL = impedance of the secondary winding
ZC =impedance of the connecting wiring

Use of the formula

This method utilizes the fundamental transformer equation:
Vs = 4.44.f. Α. N. Bmax.1 0 -8 V (2)
f =frequency in Hz,
Α =cross-sectional area of core (cm 2)
Ν =number of turns
Bmax =flux density (lines/cm2)

Table 4α Error limits for measurement current transformers

Class % current error at the given proportion  % phase error at the given proportion of the  rated 
of rated current shown below current shown below

2 1.2 1 0.50 0.20 0.10 2.0* 1.2 1. 0.5 0. 0.1 0.05

.0* .00 0.05 0 2

0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.25 5 5 8 10

0.2 0.2 0.2 0.35 0.50 10 1 1 20
0 5
0.5 0.5 0.5 0.75 1.00 30 3 4 60
0 5
1.0 1.0 1.0 1.5 2.00 60 6 - 9 12 -
0 0 0
3.0 3.0 3.0 - - - - _ 12 - 12 - - -

0 0

0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.25 0.4 5 - 5 8 10 15

0.2 0.2 0.2 0.35 0.50 0.75 10 - 1 1 20 30

ext 0 5
0.5 0.5 0.5 0.75 1.00 1.5 30 - 3 4 60 90
ext 0 5
1.0 1.0 1.0 1.5 2.00 60 - 60 - 90 120 -
3.0 3.0 - - 3.0 - - - 120 - - 120 - - -

Table 4b Error limits for protection current transformers

+/- percentage
Accuracy +/- Phase error
Class ratio error

5 20 100 120 5 20 100 120
0.1 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.1 15 8 5 5
0.2 0.75 0.35 0.2 0.2 30 15 10 10
0.5 1.5 0.75 0.5 0.5 90 45 30 30
1.0 3 1.5 1.0 1.0 180 90 60 60

Total error for nominal error limit current and nominal load is five per cent for 5P
and 5Ρ ext CTs and ten per cent for 10P and 10P ext CTs.
The cross-sectional area of metal and the saturation flux density are sometimes
difficult to obtain.
The latter can be taken as equal to 100 000 lines/Cm2, which is a typical value
for modern transformers. To use the formula, V is determined from eqn. 4.1 and
Bmax. is then calculated using eqn. 2. If Bmax.
Exceeds the saturation density, there could be appreciable errors in the secondary
current and the CT selected would not be appropriate.
Example 1.
Assume that a CT with a ratio of 2000/5 is available, having a steel core of high
permeability, a cross-sectional area of 3.25 In cm2 and a secondary winding with a
resistance of 0.31 Ω. The impedance of the relays, including connections, is 2 Ω.
Determine whether the CT would be saturated by a fault of 35 000 A at 50 Hz.
If the CT is not saturated, then the secondary current, IL, is
35 000x 5/2000=87.5 A. N= 2000/5 = 400 turns
And Vs=87.5x (0.31+2) =202.1 V. Using eqn. 4.2, Bmax, can now be calculated:
Bmax = 202.1X108/4.44X50X3.25X400=70 030 lines/ cm2
Since the transformer in this example has a steel core of high permeability, this
relatively low value of flux density should not result in saturation.
Using the magnetization curve

Typical CT excitation curves which are supplied by manufacturers state the
r.m.s. current obtained on applying an r.m.s. voltage to the secondary winding, with
the primary winding open-circuited.
The curves give the magnitude of the excitation current required order to obtain
a specific secondary voltage.
The method consists of producing a curve which shows the relationship
between the primary and secondary currents for one tap and specified load conditions,
such as shown in Figure 4.9.
Starting with any value of secondary current, and with the help of the
magnetisation curves, the value of the corresponding primary current can be
determined. The process is summarized in the following steps:
(a) Assume a value for IL.
(b) Calculate Vs in accordance with eqn. 4.1.
(c) Locate the value of Vs on the curve for the tap selected, and find the associated
value of the magnetization current, Ie.
(d) Calculate I H / n (=IL + Ie) and multiply this value by n to refer it to the primary
side of the CT.
(e) This provides one point on the curve of IL against IH, and the process is then
repeated to obtain other values of IL and the resultant values of IH. By joining the
points together the curve of IL against IH is obtained.

Figure 4.9 using the magnetization curve

a - assume a value for IL.

b - Vs = I L ( Z L + Z C + Z B )
c - find I e from the curve
d - IH=n(I1,+ I e )
e - draw the point on the curve

This method incurs an error in calculating I H /n by adding I e and IL
together arithmetically and not vectorially, which implies not taking account of
the load angle and the magnetizations branch of the equivalent circuit. However,
this error is not great and the simplification snakes it easier to carry out the
After construction, the curve should be checked to confirm that the
maximum primary fault current is within the transformer saturation zone. If not,
then it will be necessary to repeat the process, changing the tap until the fault
current is within the linear part of the characteristic.
In practice it is not necessary to draw the complete curve because it is
sufficient to take the known fault current and refer to the secondary winding,
assuming that there is no saturation for the tap selected.
This converted value can be taken as IL initially for the process described
earlier. If the tap is found to be suitable after finishing the calculations, then a
value of IH can be obtained which is closer to the fault current.

Accuracy classes established by the ANSI standards

The ANSI accuracy class of a CT (Standard C57.13) is described by two
symbols — a letter and a nominal voltage; these define the capability of the CT.
C indicates that the transformation ratio can be calculated, and T indicates
that the transformation ratio can be determined by means of tests. The
classification C includes those CTs with uniformly distributed windings and other
CTs with a dispersion flux which has a negligible effect on the ratio, within
defined limits.
The classification T includes those CTs with a dispersion flux which
considerably affects the transformation ratio.
For example, with a CT of class C—100 the ratio can be calculated, and the
error should not exceed ten per cent if the secondary current does not go outside
the range of 1 to 20 times the nominal current and if the load does not exceed 1Ω
(1Ω x 5 Ax 20=100 V) at a minimum power factor of 0.5.
These accuracy classes are only applicable for complete windings. When
considering a winding provided with taps, each tap will have a voltage capacity
proportionally smaller, and in consequence it can only feed a portion of the load
without exceeding the ten per cent error limit. The permissible load is defined as
ZB= (NP Vc) / 100, where ZB, is the permissible load for a given tap of the CT, NP,
is the fraction of the total number of turns being used and Vc is the ANSI voltage
capacity for the complete CT.

2.6 DC saturation
Up to now, the behavior of a CT has been discussed in terms of a steady
state, without considering the DC transient component of the
DC saturation is particularly significant in complex protection schemes since, in the
case of external faults, high fault currents circulate through the CTs.
If saturation occurs in different CTs associated with a particular relay
arrangement, this could result in the circulation of unbalanced secondary currents
which would cause the system to malfunction.
2.7 Precautions when working with CTs
Working with CTs associated with energized network circuits can be extremely
hazardous. In particular, opening the secondary circuit of a CT could result in

dangerous over voltages which might harm operational staff or lead to equipment
being damaged, because the current transformers are designed to be used in power
circuits which have impedance much greater than their own.
As a consequence, when secondary circuits are left open, the equivalent primary-
circuit impedance is almost unaffected but a high voltage will be developed by the
primary current passing through the magnetizing impedance Thus, secondary
circuits associated with CTs must always he kept in a closed condition or short-
circuited in order to prevent these adverse situations occurring. To illustrate this,
an example is given next using typical data for a CT and a 13.2 kV feeder.

Choice of CT’s Primary rating

The c. t. primary rating is usually chosen to be equal to or greater than the normal full
load current o f the protected circuit. Standard primary ratings are given in B.S.
3938:1973. Generally speaking, the maximum ratio of CT’s is usually limited to about
3000/1. This is due to
(I) limitation of size of CT’s and more importantly
(II) the fact that the open circuit volts would be dangerously high for large CT’s
Primary ratings, such as those encountered on large turbo alternators, e.g. 5,000
amperes. It is standard practice in such applications to use a cascade arrangement of
say 5,000/20A together with 20/1A interposing auxiliary CT’s

Instantaneous over current relays

Class P method of specification will a suffice. A secondary accuracy limit current

greatly in excess of the value t o cause relay operation serves no useful purpose and a
rated accuracy limit of 5 will usually be adequate.
When such relays are set to operate at high values of over current, say from 5 to 15
times the rated current o f the transformer, the accuracy limit factor must be at least as
high as the value of the setting current used in order to ensure fast relay operation.
Rated outputs higher than 15VA and rated accuracy limit factors higher than 10 are
not recommended for general purposes. It is possible, however, to combine a higher
rated accuracy limit factor with a lower rated output and vice versa. But when the
product of these two exceeds 150 the resulting current transformer may be
uneconomical, and/or of unduly large dimensions.

Over current relays with Inverse and Definite Minimum Time

(IDMT) lag characteristic

In general, for both directional and non-directional relays class 10P current
transformers should be used

Earth fault relays with inverse time characteristic

(1) Schemes in which phase fault current stability and accurate time grading are not
Class 10P current transformers are generally recommended in which the product of
output and rated accuracy limit fact or approaches 150 provided that the earth fault

relay is
not set below 20% of the rated current of the associated current transformer and
that the
burden of the relay at its setting current does not exceed 4VA.

(2) Schemes in which phase fault stability and/or where time grading is critical.
Class 5P current transformers in which the product of rated output and accuracy
limit factor approaches 150 should be used.

They are in general suitable for ensuring phase fault stability up to 10 times the rated
primary current and for maintaining time grading of the earth f a u l t relays, up to
current values of the order of 10 times the earth fault setting provided t h a t the phase
burden effectively imposed on each current transformer does not exceed 50% of it s
rated burden.
The rated accuracy limit factor is not less than 10 the earth fault relay is not set below
30 % The burden of the relay at its setting does not exceed 4VA
The use of a higher relay setting the use of an earth fault relay having a burden of less
than 4VA at its setting The use of current transformers having a product of rated
output and rated accuracy factor in excess of 150.

Class “X” Current Transformer

Protection current transformers specified in terms of complying with Class ' X I

Specification is generally applicable to unit systems where balancing of outputs from
each end of the protected plant is vital.
This balance, or stability during through fault conditions, is essentially of a transient
nature and thus the extent of the unsaturated (or linear) zone is of paramount
importance. Hence a statement of knee point voltage is the parameter of prime
importance and it is normal to derive, from heavy current test results, a formula
stating the lowest permissible value of VK if stable operation is to be guaranteed, e.g.

Vk = K In (RCT + 2RL + R0)

K - Is a constant found by realistic heavy current tests?
In - rated current of C.T. and relay
RCT - secondary winding resistance of the line current transformers
RL - lead burden (route length) in ohms
Ro - any other resistance (or impedance) in circuit

Protection Scheme
1 - Feeders Protection Schemes.
2 - Transformers Protection Schemes.
3 - Bus Bar Protection Schemes.
4 - Generators Protection Schemes.

Types and voltage level of Feeders

A – O. H. T. Lines
• 500 KV O. H. T Line
• 400 KV O. H. T Line

• 275 KV O. H. T Line
• 220 KV O. H. T Line
• 132 KV O. H. T Line
• 66 KV O. H. T Line
• 33 KV O. H. T Line
• 22 KV O. H. T Line
• 11 KV O. H. T Line
B – U. G. Cables
• 275 KV U. G. Cable
• 220 KV U. G. Cable
• 132 KV U. G. Cable
• 66 KV U. G. Cable
• 33 KV U. G. Cable
• 11 KV U. G. Cable
500, 400, 275 and 220 KV O.H.T. Lines
Protection Schemes
• Main (A) Protection:
Distance Protection Permissive Over Reach Scheme. (POTT)
• Main (B) Protection:
Distance Protection Permissive Under Reach Scheme. (PUTT)
• Backup Protection:
1. I.D.M.T Directional O/C & E/F Relay.
2. Circuit Breaker Fail to Tripe.
3. Inter Trip.
4. SF6 Pressure Low Trip
5. Cable Oil Pressure Low Trip (For Cable Tail )
Drawing : single Line diagram for
protection scheme Click Here
132 and 66 KV O.H.T. Lines
Protection Schemes
• Main Protection:
Distance Protection Permissive Under Reach Scheme. (PUTT)
• Back up Protection:
1. I.D.M.T Directional O/C & E/F Relay.
2. Circuit Breaker Fail To Tripe.
3. Inter Trip.
4. SF6 Pressure Low Trip
5. Cable Oil Pressure Low Trip (For Cable Tail)
Drawing : single Line diagram for
protection scheme Click Here

33 and 22 KV O.H.T. Lines

Protection Schemes
• I.D.M.T Direction O/C & EF Relay
• I.D.M.T Non Direction O/C & EF Relay

11 KV O.H.T. Lines
Protection Schemes

• I.D.M.T Direction O/C & EF Relay

275, 220 U.G.C. Line
Protection Scheme
• Main (A) Protection:
Differential Protection (Solkor – R)
• Main (B) Protection:
Distance Protection Permissive Over Reach Scheme. (POTT) With Carrier Signal
through Pilot Cable
• Back up Protection:
1. I.D.M.T Directional O/C & E/F Relay.
2. Circuit Breaker Fail to Tripe
3. Inter Trip.
4. SF6 Pressure Low Trip
5. Cable Oil Pressure Low Trip
132, and 66 KV U.G.C. Line
Protection Scheme
• Main Protection:
Differential Protection (Solkor – R)
• Back up Protection:
1. I.D.M.T Directional O/C & E/F Relay.
2. Circuit Breaker Fail to Tripe.
3. Inter Trip (Through Pilot Cable).
4. SF6 Pressure Low Trip
5. Cable Oil Pressure Low Trip
33, 22 KV U.G.C. Line
Protection Scheme
• Main Protection:
Differential Protection (Solkor – R)
• Back up Protection:
• I.D.M.T Directional O/C & E/F Relay.
• I.D.M.T Non Directional O/C & E/F Relay.
• Cable Oil Pressure Low Trip.

11 KV U.G.C. Line
Protection Scheme
• Main Protection:
Differential Protection (Solkor – R)
• Back up Protection:
• I.D.M.T Non Directional O/C & E/F Relay.

Example for 300 KV feeder protection scheme

Example for 132 KV feeder protection scheme

Transformers Protection Schemes
Some types of power transformers
• 300 MVA. 3 Winding Power Transformer
275 KV / 132 KV / 33 KV. (Y.Y.Δ).
• 75 MVA. & 45 MVA. 2 Winding Power Transformer 1
32 KV / 33 KV.
• 30 MVA 2 Winding Power Transformer
132 KV / 11 KV.
• 20 MVA & 15 MVA 2 Winding Power Transformer
33 KV / 11 KV.

Drawing : single Line diagram for
protection scheme Click Here

300 MVA 3 Winding Power Transformer

Protection Scheme.
• Main (A&B) Protection:
1. Differential Protection.
2. Restricted Earth Fault Protection. (both at 275 kv and 132 kv)
side neutral of the star winding.
• BackupProtection:
1. C.B Fail to trip.
2. I.D.M.T Non Direction O/C & E/F relay on 300 KV side
3. I.D.M.T Direction O/C & E/F relay on 132 KV side
4. Inter Trip (through pilot cable).
5. Buchhols Trip.
6. Tap Changer Buchhols Trip.
7. Oil Temperature Trip.
8. Winding Temperature Trip.
9. Cable oil pressure Low Trip. (for cable tails )
10. SF6 pressure Low Trip.

75, 45 And 30 MVA- 2 Winding Power Transformer

Protection Scheme.
• Main (A) Protection:
1. Differential Protection.
2. Restricted Earth Fault Protection.
(At the neutral of the LV. Winding).
• Backup Protection:
1. Stand-By Earth Fault relay at the neutral of LV. Winding.
2. C.B Fail to trip. (For 132 KV. C.B only)
3. I.D.M.T Non Direction O/C & E/F relay on 132 KV side
4. Inter Trip (through pilot cable).
5. Buchhols Trip.
6. Tap Changer Buchhols Trip.
7. Winding Temperature Trip.
8. Cable oil pressure Low Trip. (For cable tails)

20 & 15 MVA- 33 / 11 KV, 2 Winding Power Transformer

Protection Scheme.
• Main (A) Protection:
1. Differential Protection.
2. Restricted Earth Fault Protection.
(At the neutral of the LV. Winding).

• Backup Protection:
1. Stand-By Earth Fault relay at the neutral of LV. Winding.
2. I.D.M.T Non Direction O/C & E/F relay on 33 KV side
3. Inter Trip (through pilot cable).
4. Buchhols Trip.

Example for 132 KV Transformer protection scheme

Bus-Bar Protection Schemes

Bus-Bar Protection Schemes.

• 500, 400, 275, 220 and 132 KV. Bus-Bar Protection Scheme.
- Differential Protection For each section of bus-bar.

- SF6 Pressure low Trip.

• 66 and 33 KV. Bus-Bar Protection Scheme.

- Differential Protection For each section of bus-bar or Arc protection or Micro
switch protection.
- SF6 Pressure low Trip.

• 22 and 11 KV BUS-Bar Protection Scheme.

- Arc protection or Micro switches protection.

• 500, 400, 275, and 220 KV BB section & BB couplers protection scheme.
- I.D.M.T Non Directional O/C & E/F Relay.
- C.B Fail to Trip.
- SF6 Pressure Trip.
- Inter Trip (through pilot cable).

• 132 KV BB section & BB couplers protection scheme.

- I.D.M.T Non Directional O/C & E/F Relay.
- C.B Fail to Trip.

• 33 KV BB section & BB couplers protection scheme.

- I.D.M.T Non Directional O/C & E/F Relay.

• 11 KV BB section & BB couplers protection scheme.

- I.D.M.T Non Directional O/C & E/F Relay.

Shunt Reactor Protection Scheme.

275 &132 KV. Shunt Reactor Protection Scheme.
• I.D.M.T Non Direction O/C & E/F relay.
• Inter Trip (through pilot cable – SHR connected through cable C.B. “for 132 kV
• Buchhols Trip.
• Oil Temperature Trip.
• Winding Temperature Trip.
• Cable oil pressure Low Trip. (For cable tails)
• SF6 pressure Low Trip.
• C.B Fail to trip. (For 132 KV. C.B only).

33 KV. Shunt Reactor Protection Scheme for both connected

to 33 KV Bus-Bar or to tertiary of 300 MVA Transformer.

• I.D.M.T Non Direction O/C & E/F relay.

• Buchhols Trip.
• Oil Temperature Trip.
• Winding Temperature Trip.

Over-current and Earth Fault Protection


As the fault impedance is less than load impedance, the fault current is more
than load current. If a short circuit occurs the circuit impedance is reduced to a
low value and therefore a fault is accompanied by large current.

Over-current protection is that protection in which the relay picks up when

the magnitude of current exceeds the pickup level.

The basic element in Over-current protection is an Over-current relay.

The Over-current relays are connected to the system, normally by means of

Over-current relaying has following types:

1. High speed Over-current protection.
2. Definite time Over-current protection.
3. Inverse minimum time Over-current protection.
4. Directional Over-current protection (of above types).

Over-current protection includes the protection from overloads. This is most

widely used protection. Overloading of a machine or equipment generally) means
the machine is taking more current than its rated current. Hence with
overloading, there is an associated temperature rise. The permissible
temperature rise has a limit based on insulation class and material problems.
Over-current protection of overloads is generally provided by thermal relays.

Over-current protection includes short-circuit protection. Short circuits a be

phase faults, earth faults or winding faults. Short-circuit currents are generally
several times (5 to 20) full load current. Hence fast fault clearance is always
desirable on short-circuits.

When a machine is protected by differential protection, the over-current is

provided in addition as a back-up and in some cases to protect the machine from
sustained through fault.
Several protective devices are used for over-current protection these include:
1. Fuses
2. Circuit-breakers fitted with overloaded coils or tripped by over-
current relays.
3. Series connected trip coils operating switching devices.
4. Over-current relays in conjunction with current transformers.

The primary requirements of over-current protection are:

• The protection should not operate for starting currents,
permissible over-current, and current surges. To achieve this, the
time delay is provided (in case of inverse relays). If time delay
cannot be permitted, high-set instantaneous relaying is used.
• The protection should be coordinated with neighboring over-
current protections so as to discriminate.

Applications of Over-current Protection
Over-current protection has a wide range of applications. It can be applied
where there is an abrupt difference between fault current within the protected
section and that outside the protected section and these magnitudes are almost

The over-current protection is provided for the following:

Motor Protection
Over-current protection is the basic type of protection used against overloads
and short-circuits in stator windings of motors. Inverse time and instantaneous
phase and ground over-current relays can be employed for motors above 1200
H.P. For small/medium size motors where cost of CT's and protective relays is
not economically justified, thermal relays and HRC fuses are employed, thermal
relays used for overload protection and HRC fuses for short-circuit protection.
Transformer Protection
Transformers are provided with over-current protection against faults, only,
when the cost of differential relaying cannot be justified. However, over-current
relays are provided in addition to differential relays to take care of through
faults. Temperature indicators and alarms are always provided for large
Small transformers below 500 kVA installed in distribution system are generally
protected by drop-out fuses, as the cost of relays plus circuit-breakers is not
generally justified Line Protection.
The lines (feeders) can be protected by
(1) Instantaneous over-current relays.
(2) Inverse time over-current relays.
(3) Directional over-current relay.
Lines can be protected by impedance or carrier current protection also.

Protection of Utility Equipment

The furnaces, industrial installations commercial, industrial and domestic
equipment are all provided with over-current protection.

Relays used in Over-current Protection

The choice of relay for over-current protection depends upon the Time / current
characteristic and other features desired. The following relays are used.
1. For instantaneous over-current protection. Attracted armature type,
moving iron type,
permanent magnet moving coil type and static.
2. For inverse time characteristic. Electromagnetic induction type, permanent
moving coil type and static.
3. Directional over-current protection. Double actuating quantity induction
with directional feature.
4. Static over-current relays.
5. HRC fuses, drop out fuses, etc. are used in low voltage medium voltage
and high voltage distribution systems, generally up to 11 kV.

6. Thermal relays are used widely for over-current protection.

Not: Now Digital Numerical Relay you can used for all types

Characteristics of relay units for over current protection

There is a wide variety of relay-units. These are classified according to their type
and characteristics. The major characteristic includes:
1. Definite characteristic
2. Inverse characteristic
3. Extremely Inverse
4. Very Inverse

In definite characteristic, the time of operation is almost definite i.e.

I0 * T = K
I = Current in relay coil
T = Relay lime
K = Constant.
In inverse characteristic, time is inversely proportional to current i.e.

I1 * T = K
In more inverse characteristic

In * T = K

Where n can be between 2 to 8 the choice depends on discrimination desired.

Instantaneous relays are those which have no intentional time lag sod which
operate in less than 0.1 second, usually less than 0.08 second. As suck they are
not instantaneous in real sense.

The relays which are not instantaneous are called Time Delay Relay'. Such relays
are provided with delaying means such as drag magnet, dash poss. bellows,
escape mechanisms, back-stop arrangement, etc.

The operating time of a relay for a particular setting and magnitude actuating
quantity can be known from the characteristics supplied by the manufacturer.
The typical characteristics are shown in (Fig. 1)

An inverse curve is one in which the operating time; becomes less as the
magnitude of the actuating quantity is increased. However for higher magnitudes
of actuating quantity the time is constant. Definite time curve is one in which
operating time is little affected by magnitude of actuating current. However even
definite time relay has a characteristic which is slightly inverse

The characteristic with definite minimum time and of inverse type is also called
Inverse Definite Minimum Time (IDMT) characteristics (Fig.1).

(Fig.1) Inverse Definite Minimum Time (IDMT) characteristics

Principle of trip circuit

Referring to (Fig. 2) the three current transformers and relay coils connected in
star and the star point is earthed. When short circuit occurs in the protected zone
the secondary current of CT's increases.

These current flows through relay coils and the relay picks-up, the relay
contacts close, thereby the trip circuit is closed and the circuit breaker-operates
The over-current protection scheme with three over-current relays (Fig. 2)
responds to phase faults and earth faults including single-phase to earth fault.
Therefore such schemes are used with solidly earthed systems where phase to
phase and phase to earth faults are likely to occur.

For proper functioning of over-current and earth fault protection, the choice of
CT's and polarity connections should be correct.

Fig.2) Over Current protection with three phase OC relays

Methods of CT Connections in Over-current Protection of 3-Phase Circuits

Connection Scheme with Three Over-current Relays

Over-current protection can be achieved by means of three over-current relays
or by two over-current relays (See Table 1).
Table 1
Fig Description Note
1 One OC with one For balanced
CT for over load load only.

2 Two OC relays
with two CT's for
phase to phase
fault protection.

3 Three OC relays EF current >
with three CT's two time pick-
for phase to up phase
phase fault current

4 Three OC relays EF setting less

with three CT's than phase
for phase to fault setting
phase fault
protection and
phase to earth
5 Two OC and one
EF relays for
phase to phase
and phase to
earth fault

Earth-Fault Protection

When the fault current flows through earth return path, the fault is called Earth
Fault. Other faults which do not involve earth are called phase faults. Since earth
faults are relatively frequent, earth fault protection is necessary in most cases.
When separate earth fault protection is not economical, the phase relays sense
the earth fault currents. However such protection lacks sensitivity. Hence
separate earth fault protection is generally provided. Earth fault protection
senses earth fault current. Following are the method of earth fault protection.

Connections of CT's for Earth-fault Protection

1. Residually connected Earth-fault Relay

Referring to Fig. 3 In absence of earth-fault the vector sum of three line currents
is zero. Hence the vector sum of three secondary currents is also zero.

IR+I Y +I B =0

The sum (IR+I Y +I B ) is called residual current

The earth-fault relay is connected such that the residual current flows through it
(Figs.3 and Fig. 4), in the absence of earth-fault,
Therefore, the residually connected earth-fault relay does not operate.
However, in presence of earth fault the conditions is disturbed and
(IR+I Y +I B ) is no more zero. Hence flows through the earth-fault relay. If

the residual current is above the pick-up value, the earth-fault relay
In the scheme discussed here the earth-fault at any location near or away
from the location of CT's can cause the residual current flow. Hence the
zone is not definite. Such protection is called unrestricted earth-fault protection

(Fig.3) Earth-fault Relay connected in Residual Circuit.

(Fig.4) Earth fault protection combined with phase fault protection

2. Earth-fault Relay connected in Neutral to Earth Circuit (Fig. 5).

Another method of connecting an earth-fault relay is illustrated in Fig 5. The relay is

connected to secondary of a CT whose primary is connected in neutral to earth
connection. Such protection can be provided at various voltage levels by connecting
earth-fault relay in the neutral-to-earth connection of that voltage level. The fault
current finds the return path through the earth and then flows through the neutral-
to-earth connected. The magnitude of earth fault current is dependent on type of
earthing (resistance, reactance or solid) and location of fault. In this type of protection,

The zone of protection cannot be accurately defined. The protected area is not
restricted to the transformer/generator winding alone. The relay senses the earth
beyond the transformer/generator winding hence such protection is called
unrestricted earth-fault protection. The earth-fault protection by relay in neutral
to earth circuit depends upon the type of neutral Earthing. In case of large
generators, voltage transformer is connected between neutral and earth

(Fig. 5) Earth-fault protection by earth-fault-relay connected

in neutral-to-earth circuit.

Combined Earth-fault and Phase-fault Protection

It is convenient to incorporate phase-fault relays and earth-fault relay in a

combined phase-fault and earth-fault protection. (Fig. 4) The increase in
current of phase causes corresponding increase in respective secondary
currents. The secondary current flows through respective relay-units Very often
only two-phase relays are provided instead of three, because in case of phase
faults current in any at least two phases must increase. Hence two relay-units
are enough.

Earth-fault Protection with Core Balance Current Transformers. (Zero

Sequence CT)

In this type of protection (Fig. 6) a single ring shaped core of magnetic material,
encircles the conductors of all the three phases. A secondary coil is connected to
a relay unit. The cross-section of ring-core is

(Fig.6) Principle of core-balance CT for earth fault protection

Ample, so that saturation is not a problem. During no-earth-fault condition, the

components of fluxes due to the fields of three conductors are balanced and the
secondary current is negligible. During earth faults, such a balance is disturbed
and current is induced in the secondary. Core-balance protection can be
conveniently used for protection of low-voltage and medium voltage systems. The
burden of relays and exciting current are deciding factors. Very large cross-
section of core is necessary for sensitivity less than 10 A. This form of protection
is likely to be more popular with static relays due to the fewer burdens of the
latter. Instantaneous relay unit is generally used with core balance schemes.

Theory of Core Balance CT

. Let Ia, Ib and I c , be the three line currents and Φa, Φb and Φc be corresponding
components of magnetic flux in the core. Assuming linearity, we get resultant flux
Φ as,

Φ=k (Ia + Ib + I c )

where k is a constant Φ = K * Ia. Referring to theory of symmetrical components

(Ia + Ib + I c )= 3 I c= I n
Where, Io is zero sequence current and In, is current in neutral to ground circuit.
During normal condition, when earth fault is absent,

(Ia + Ib + Ic) = 0

Hence Φr = 0 and relay does not operate

During earth fault the earth fault current flows through return neutral path.
For example for single line ground fault,

If = 3Iao = In

Hence the zero-sequence component of I o produces the resultant flux Φr in the
core. Hence core balance current transformer is also called as zero sequence
current transformers (ZSCT).

Application for Core Balance CT's with Cable Termination Joints

The termination of a three core cable into three separate lines or bus-bars is
through cable terminal box. Ref. (Fig. 7), the Core Balance Protection is used
along with the cable box and should be installed before making the cable joint.

The induced current flowing through cable sheath of normal healthy cable needs
particular attention with respect to the core balance protection.

The sheath currents (Ish) flow through the sheath to the cover of cable-box and
then to earth through the earthing connection between cable-box. For eliminating
the error due to sheath current (Ish) the earthing lead between the cable-box and
the earth should be taken through the core of the core balance protection.
Thereby the error due to sheath currents is eliminated. The cable box should be
insulated from earth.
1. Cable terminal box
2. Sheath of 3 core cable connection to (1)
3. Insulator support for 1
4. Earthing connection passing through 5
5. Core balance CT

Fig (7) Mounting of Core Balance CT with Cable Terminal Box

Frame-leakage Protection

The metal-clad switchgear can be provided with frame leakage protection. The
switchgear is lightly y insulated from the earth. The metal-frame-work or enclosure
of the switchgear is earthed with a primary of a CT in between (Fig. 8).

The concrete foundation of the switchgear and the cable-boxes and other conduits
are slightly insulated from earth, the resistance to earth being about 12 ohms. In
the event of an earth fault within the switchgear, the earth-fault current finds the'
path through the neutral connection. While doing so, it is sensed by the earth fault

Metal clad switchgear

Earthing bus
Earth fault current

EF Relay
(Fig. 8) Principle of
frame-leakage protection
of metal-clad-switchgear

Circulating current differential protection also responds to earth-faults within its

protected zone.

Earth-fault protection can be achieved by following methods:

1. Residually connected relay.

2. Relay connected in neutral-to-ground circuit.
3. Core-balance-scheme.
4. Frame leakage method.
5. Distance relays arranged for detecting earth faults on lines.
6. Circulating current differential protection.

Directional Over-current Protection

The over-current protection can be given directional feature by adding

directional element in the protection system. Directional over-current protection
responds to over-currents for a particular direction flow. If power flow is in the
opposite direction, the directional over-current protection remains un-operative.

Directional over-current protection comprises over-current relay and power

directional relay- in a single relay casing. The power directional relay does not
measure the power but is arranged to respond to the direction of power flow.

Directional operation of relay is used where the selectivity can be achieved by

directional relaying. The directional relay recognizes the direction in which fault
occurs, relative to the location of the relay. It is set such that it actuates for faults
occurring in one direction only. It does not act for faults occurring in the other
direction. Consider a feeder AC (Fig. 9) passing through sub-section B. The
circuit breaker CB3 is provided with a directional




(Fig. 9)
Principle of directional protection

Relay `R' which will trip the breaker CB3 if fault power flow in direction C
alone. Therefore for faults in feeder AB, the circuit breaker CB3 does not trip
unnecessarily. However for faults in feeder BC the circuit-breaker CB3 trips
Because it's protective relaying is set with a directional feature to act in
direction AC
Another interesting example of directional protection is that of reverse power
protection of generator (Fig. 10). If the prime mover fails, the generator
continues to run as a motor and takes power from bus-bars.

Directional of flow
For tripping


(Fig. 10) Reverse powers protection
against motoring action of a generator

Directional power protection operates in accordance with the direction of power

Reverse power protection operates when the power direction is reversed in
relation to the normal working direction. Reverse power relay is different in
construction than directional over-current relay.
In directional over-current relay, the directional element does not measure the
magnitude of power. It senses only direction of power flow. However, in Reverse
Power Relays, the directional element measures magnitude and direction of
power flow.

Relay connections of Single Phase Directional Over-current Relay :

The current coils in the directional over-current relay are normally connected to a
secondary of line CT. The voltage coil of directional element is connected to a line
VT, having phase to phase output (of 110 V). There are four common methods of
connecting the relay depending upon phase angle between current in the current
coil and voltage applied to the voltage coil.

Fig.11 Numerical Over current, and Overload Protection Relay

3-Phase Directional over current relays

When fault current can flow in both directions through the relay location, it is
necessary to make the response of the relay directional by the introduction of
directional control elements. These are basically power measuring devices in
which the system voltage is used as a reference for establishing the relative
direction or phase of the fault current.

Although power measuring devices in principle, they are not arranged to

respond to the actual system power for a number of reasons:

1. The power system, apart from loads, is reactive so that the fault
power factor is usually low. A relay

V a , Vb and Vc. Normal system voltages

Vb 1 and V c 1 Voltages at fault location on faulted phases
Vb 2 and V c 2 Voltages remote from fault location

Fig.12 Phase voltages for a B-C fault

Responding purely to the active component would not develop a high torque
and might be much slower and less decisive than it could be.
1. The system voltage must collapse at the point of short circuit. When
the fault is single-phase, it is the particular voltage across the short-
circuited points which are reduced. So a B—C phase fault will cause
the B and C phase voltage vectors to move together, the locus of their
ends being the original line be for a homogeneous system, as shown in
At the point of fault the vectors will coincide, leaving zero voltage across the
fault, but the fault voltage to earth will be half the initial phase to neutral
voltage. At other points in the system the vector displacement will be less,
but relays located at such points will receive voltages which are unbalanced
in their value and phase position.

The effect of the large unbalance in currents and voltages is to make the
torques developed by the different phase elements vary widely and even
differ in sign if the quantities applied to the relay are not chosen carefully. To
this end, each phase of the relay is polarized with a voltage which will not be
reduced excessively except by close three-phase faults, and which will remain
in a satisfactory relationship to the current under all conditions.

Relay connections
This is the arrangement whereby suitable current and voltage quantities are
applied to the relay. The various connections are dependent on the phase
angle, at unity system power factor, by which the current and voltage applied
to the relay are displaced.

Relay maximum torque

The maximum torque angle (MTA) is defined as the angle by which the
current applied to the relay must be displaced from the voltage applied to
the relay to produce maximum torque.
Although the relay element may be inherently wattmetric, its characteristic
can be varied by the addition of phase shifting components to give maximum
torque at the required phase angle.
A number of different connections have been used and these are discussed
below. Examination of the suitability of each arrangement involves
determining the limiting conditions of the voltage and current applied to
each phase element of the relay, for all fault conditions, taking into account
the possible range of source and line impedances.

30° relay connection (0° MTA)

The A phase relay is supplied with current la and voltage V ac. In this case, the
flux due to the voltage coil lags the applied Vac voltage by 90°, so the
maximum torque occurs when the current lags the system phase to neutral
voltage by 30°. For unity power factor and 0.5 lagging power factor the
maximum torque available is 0.866 of maximum. Also, the potential coil
voltage lags the current in the current coil by 30° and gives a tripping zone
from 60° leading to 120° lagging currents, as shown in (Fig. 13a).

The most satisfactory maximum torque angle for this connection, that
ensures correct operation when used for the protection of plain feeders, is 0°,
and it can be shown that a directional element having this connection and 0°
MTA will provide correct discrimination for all types of faults, when applied
to plain feeders

If applied to transformer feeders, however, there is a danger that at least one

of the three phase relays will operate for faults in the reverse direction; for
this reason a directional element having this connection should never be used
to protect transformer feeders.
This connection has been used widely in the past, and it is satisfactory under
all conditions for plain feeders provided that three phase elements are
employed. When only two phase elements and an earth fault element are

used there is a probability of failure to operate for one condition. An inter-
phase short circuit causes two elements to be energized but for low power
factors one will receive inputs which, although correct, will produce only a
poor torque. In particular a B—C fault will strongly energize the B element
with lb current and Vba voltage, but the C element will receive Ic and the
collapsed Vcb voltage, which quantities have a large relative phase
displacement, as shown in (Fig. 13b). This is satisfactory provided that three
phase elements are used, but in the case of a two phase and one earth fault
element relay, with the B phase element omitted, operation will depend upon
the C element, which may fail to operate if the fault is close to the relaying

A phase element connected l a Va c

B phase element connected l b Vb a
C phase element connected Ic Vcb
(a) Characteristic and inputs
for phase A element

(b) B-C Fault with voltage


(Fig. 13) Vector diagrams for the 30° connection

60° No. 1 connection (0° MTA)

The A phase relay is supplied with lab current and Vac voltage. In this case, the
flux due to the voltage coil lags the applied voltage to the relay by 90°, so
maximum torque is produced when the current lags the system phase to
neutral voltage by 60°. This connection, which uses Vac voltage with delta
current produced by adding phase A and phase B currents at unity power
factor, gives a current leading the voltage Vac by 60°, and provides a correct
directional tripping zone over a current range of 30° leading to 150° lagging.
The torque at unity power factor is 0.5 of maximum torque and at zero
power factor lagging 0.866; see (Fig.14).
It has been proved that the most suitable maximum torque angle for this
relay connection, that is, one which ensures correct directional
discrimination with the minimum risk of mal-operation when applied to
either plain or transformer feeders, is 0°.
When used for the protection of plain feeders there is a slight possibility of
the element associated with the A phase mal-operating for a reversed B—C

A phase element connected lab Vac

B phase element connected I b c V b a
C phase element connected Ica Vcb

(Fig.14) Vector diagram for the 60°

No. 1 connection
(phase A element)
However, although the directional element may mal-operation, it is unlikely
that the over current element which the directional element controls will
receive sufficient current to cause it to operate. For this reason the
connection may be safely recommended for the protection of plain feeders.
When applied to transformer feeders there is a possibility of one of the
directional elements mal-operation for an earth fault on the star side of a

delta/star transformer, remote from the relay end. For mal-operation to
occur, the source impedance would have to be relatively small and have a
very low angle at the same time that the arc resistance of the fault was high.
The possibility of mal-operation with this connection is very remote, for two
reasons: first, in most systems the source impedance may be safely assumed
to be largely reactive, and secondly, if the arc resistance is high enough to
cause mal-operation of the directional element it is unlikely that the over
current element associated with the mal-operation directional element will
see sufficient current to operate.
The connection, however, does suffer from the disadvantage that it is
necessary to connect the current transformers in delta, which usually
precludes their being used for any other protective function. For this reason,
and also because it offers no advantage over the 90° connection, it is rarely

60° No. 2 connection (0° MTA)

The A phase relay is supplied with current la and voltage In this case, the flux
of the voltage coil lags the applied voltage by 90° so the maximum torque is
produced when the current lags the system phase to neutral voltage by 60°.
This connection gives

A phase element connected Ia —Vc

B phase element connected Ib — Va
C phase element connected Ic —Vb

(Fig.15) Vector diagram for the 60° No. 2 connection

(phase A element).

a correct directional tripping zone over the current range of 30° leading to
150° lagging. The relay torque at unity power factor is 0.5 of the relay
maximum torque and at zero power factor lagging 0.866; see (Fig.15).

The most suitable maximum torque angle for a directional element using this
connection is 0°. However, even if this maximum torque angle is used, there
is a risk of incorrect operation for all types of faults with the exception of
three-phase faults. For this reason, the 60° No. 2 connection is now never

A phase element connected Ia Vbc

B phase element connected Ib Vca
C phase element connected Ic Vab
(Fig.16) Vector diagram for the 90°- 30° connection
(Phase A element)

90° relay quadrature connection

This is the standard connection for the type CDD relay; depending on the
angle by which the applied voltage is shifted to produce the relay maximum
torque angle, two types are available.

90°- 30° characteristic (30° MTA)

The A phase relay is supplied with la current and Vbc voltage displaced by 30°
in an anti-clockwise direction. In this case, the flux due to the voltage coil
lags the applied voltage Vbc by 60°, and the relay maximum torque is
produced when the current lags the system phase to neutral voltage by 60°.
This connection gives a correct directional tripping zone over the current
range of 30° leading to 150° lagging; see (Fig.16). The relay torque at unity
power factor is 0.5 of the relay maximum torque and at zero power factor
lagging 0.866. A relay designed .for quadrature connection and having a
maximum torque angle of 30° is recommended when the relay is used for the
protection of plain feeders with the zero sequence source behind the relaying

90°- 45° characteristic (45° MTA)

The A phase relay is supplied with current la and voltage Vbc displaced by 45°
in an anti-clockwise direction. In this case, the flux due to the voltage coil
lags the applied voltage Vbc by 45°, and the relay maximum torque is

produced when the current lags the system phase to neutral voltage by 45°.
This connection gives a correct directional tripping zone over the current
range of 45° leading to 135° lagging.

The relay torque at unity power factor is 0.707 of the maximum torque and
the same at zero power factor lagging; see (Fig.17).

A phase element connected Ia ,Vbc

B phase element connected Ih Vca
C phase element connected Ic Vab
(Fig.17) Vector diagram for the 90°-45° connection
(Phase A element)

This connection is recommended for the protection of transformer feeders or

feeders which have a zero sequence source in front of the relay. The 90°- 45°
connection is essential in the case of parallel trans-formers or transformer
feeders, in order to ensure correct relay operation for faults beyond the star/
delta transformer. This connection should also be used whenever single-phase
directional relays are applied to a circuit

Theoretically, three fault conditions can cause mal-operation of the

directional element: a phase-phase ground fault on a plain feeder, a phase-
ground fault on a transformer feeder with the zero sequence source in front
of the relay and a phase-phase fault on a power transformer with the relay
looking into the delta winding of the transformer.

It should be remembered, however, that the conditions assumed above to

establish the maximum angular displacement between the current and
voltage quantities at the relay, are such that, in practice, the magnitude of the
current input to the relay would be insufficient to cause the over current
element to operate. It can be shown analytically that the possibility of mal-
operation with the 90°- 45° connection is, for all practical purposes, non-

(Fig.18) Directional relays applied to parallel feeders.

Parallel feeders

If non-directional relays are applied to parallel feeders, any faults that might
occur on any one line will, regardless of the relay settings used, isolate both
lines and completely disconnect the power supply. With this type of system
configuration it is necessary to apply directional relays at the receiving end
and to grade them with the non-directional relays at the sending end, to
ensure correct discriminative operation of the relays during line. faults. This
is done by setting the directional relays R'1 and R'2 as shown in (Fig.18) with
their directional elements looking into the protected line, and giving them
lower time and current settings than relays R1 and R2. The usual practice is
to set relays R'1 and R'2 to 50% of the normal full load of the protected
circuit and 0.1 TMS, but care must be taken to ensure that their continuous
thermal rating of twice rated current is not exceeded.

Ring mains

Directional relays are more commonly applied to ring mains. In the case of a
ring main fed at one point only, the relays at the supply end and at the mid-
point substation, where the setting of both relays are identical, can be made
non-directional, provided that in the latter case the relays are located on the
same feeder, that is, one at each end of the feeder.

It is interesting to note that when the number of feeders round the ring is an
even number, the two relays with the same operating time are at the same
substation and will have to be directional, whereas when the number of
feeders is an odd number, the two relays with the same operating time are at
different substations and therefore do not need to be directional.

It may also be noted that, at inter-mediate substations, whenever the

operating times of the relays at each substation are different, the difference
between their operating times is never less than the grading margin, so the
relay with the longer operating time can be non-directional.

Grading of ring mains

The usual procedure for grading relays in an inter-connected system is to
open the ring at the supply point and to grade the relays first clockwise and
then anti-clockwise; that is, the relays looking in a clock-wise direction round
the ring are arranged to operate in the sequence 1—2—3—4—5—6 and the
relays looking in the anti-clockwise direction are arranged to operate in the
sequence 1'—2'—3'—4'—5'—6', as shown in (Fig.19)

(Fig.19) Grading of ring mains

The arrows associated with the relaying points indicate the direction of
current flow that will cause the relays to operate.

A double-headed arrow is used to indicate a non-directional relay, such as

those at the supply point where the power can flow only in one direction, and
a single-headed arrow a directional relay, such as those at intermediate
substations around the ring where the power can flow in either direction. The
directional relays are set in accordance with the invariable rule, applicable to
all forms of directional protection that the current in the system must flow
from the substation bus-bars into the protected line in order that the relays
may operate.
Disconnection of the faulty line is carried out according to time and fault
current direction. As in any parallel system, the fault current has two
parallel paths and divides itself in the inverse ratio of their impedances.

Thus, at each substation in the ring, one set of relays will be made inoperative
because of the direction of current flow, and the other set operative. It will
also be found that the operating times of the relays that are inoperative are

faster than those of the operative relays, with the exception of the mid-point
substation, where the operating times of relays 3 and 3' happen to be the

The relays which are operative are graded downwards towards the fault and
the last to be affected by the fault operates first. This applies to both paths to
the fault. Consequently, the faulty line is the only one to be disconnected
from the ring and the power supply is maintained to all the substations.

When two or more power sources feed into a ring main, time graded over
current protection is difficult to apply and full discrimination may not be
possible. With two sources of supply, two solutions are possible. The first is
to open the ring at one of the supply points, whichever is more convenient,
by means of a suitable high set instantaneous over-current relay and then to
proceed to grade the ring as in the case of a single infeed, the second to treat
the section of the ring between the two supply points as a continuous bus
separate from the ring and to protect it with a unit system of protection, such
as pilot wire relays, and then proceed to grade the ring as in the case of a
single infeed.

Directional Earth-Fault Protection

In the directional over-current protection the current coil of relay is actuated

from secondary current of line CT. whereas the current coil of directional earth
fault relay is actuated by residual current.

In directional over-current relay, the voltage coil is actuated by secondary of line

VT. In directional earth fault relay, the voltage coil is actuated by the residual
voltage. Directional earth fault relays sense the direction in which earth fault
occurs with respect to the relay location and it operates for fault in a particular
direction. The directional earth fault relay (single phase unit) has two coils. The
polarizing quantity is obtained either from residual current

I RS = (Ia + Ib + Ic)

or residual voltage VRs = V a + V b + V c

Where V a , V b and Vc are phase voltages.

Referring to (Fig. 11) the directional earth-fault relay has two coils. One to
the coils is connected in residual current circuits (Ref. Fig. 5). This coil gets
current during earth-faults. The other coil gets residual voltage,

V RS= V a + V b + V c

Where V a , V b a n d V c are secondary voltages of the potential transformer

('Three phase five limb potential transformer or three separate single phase
potential transformers connected as shown in Fig. 20). The coil connected in
potential-transformer secondary circuit gives a polarizing field.

(Fig. 20) Connections of a directional earth-fault relay.

The residual current I RS i.e. the out of balance current is given to the current coil
and the residual voltage VRs is given to the voltage coil of the relay. The torque is
proportional to
T = I RS * V RS * cos (Φ - α)
Φ = angle between I RS and VRs
α = angle of maximum torque.

Over-current protection responds to increase in current above the pick-up value
over-currents are caused by overloads and short-circuits.
The over-current relays are connected the secondary of current transformer. The
characteristic of over-current relays include inverse time characteristic, definite
time characteristic.
Earth fault protection responds to single line to ground faults and double line to
ground faults. The current coil of earth-fault relay is connected either in neutral to
ground circuit or in residually connected secondary CT circuit.
Core balance CTs are used for earth-fault protection.
Frame leakage protection can be used for metal clad switchgear.
Directional over-current relay and Directional Earth fault relay responds to fault
in which power flow is in the set direction from the CT and PT locations. Such
directional relays are used when power can flow from both directions to the fault
Correct current relay application requires knowledge of the fault current that
can flow in each part of the network. Since large scale tests are normally im-
practicable, system analysis must be used. It is generally sufficient to use
machine transient reactance X'd and to work on the instantaneous
symmetrical currents. The data required for a relay setting study are:
1. A one-line diagram of the power system involved, showing the
type and rating of the protective devices and their associated
current transformers.
2. The impedances in ohms, per cent or per unit, of all power
transformers, rotating machines and feeder circuits.
3. The maximum and minimum values of short circuit currents
that are expected to flow through each protective device.

4. The starting current requirements of motors and the starting
and stalling times of induction motors.
5. The maximum peak load current through protective devices.
6. Decrement curves showing the rate of decay of the fault current
supplied by the generators.
7. Performance curves of the current transformers.
8. The relay settings are first determined so as to give the shortest
operating times at maximum fault levels and then checked to see
if operation will also be satisfactory at the minimum fault
current expected. It is always advisable to plot the curves of
relays and other protective devices, such as fuses, that are to
operate in series, on a common scale. It is usually more
convenient to use a scale corresponding to the current expected
at the lowest voltage base or to use the predominant voltage
base. The alternatives are a common MVA base or a separate
current scale for each system voltage.
9. The basic rules for correct relay co-ordination can generally be
stated as follows:
10. Whenever possible, use relays with the same operating characteristic
in series with each other.
11. Make sure that the relay farthest from the source has current
settings equal to or less than the relays behind it, that is, that the
primary current required operating the relay in front is always equal to
or less than the primary current required operating the relay behind it.


Among the various possible methods used to achieve correct relay co-
ordination are those using either time or over current or a combination of both
time and over-current. The common aim of all three methods is to give correct
discrimination. That is to say, each one must select and isolate only the faulty
section of the power system network, leaving the rest of the system
1. Discrimination by time
In this method an appropriate time interval is given by each of the relays
controlling the circuit breakers in a power system to ensure that the breaker
nearest to the fault opens first. A simple radial distribution system is shown in
(Fig. 21) to illustrate the principle.

(Fig. 21) Radial systems with time discrimination

Circuit breaker protection is provided at B, C, D and E, that is, at the infeed

end of each section of the power system. Each protection unit comprises a
definite time delay over current relay in which the operation of the current

sensitive element simply initiates the time delay element. Provided the setting
of the current element is below the fault current value this element plays no
part in the achievement of discrimination. For this reason, the relay is
sometimes described as an 'independent definite time delay relay' since its
operating time is for practical purposes independent of the level of over

It is the time delay element, therefore, which provides the means of

discrimination. The relay at B is set at the shortest time delay permissible to
allow a fuse to blow for a fault on the secondary side of trans-former A.
Typically, a time delay of 0.25s is adequate.

If a fault occurs at F, the relay at B will operate in 0.25s, and the subsequent
operation of the circuit breaker at B will clear the fault before the relays at C,
D and E have time to operate. The main disadvantage of this method of
discrimination is that the longest fault clearance time occurs for faults in the
section closest to the power source, where the fault level (MVA) is highest.

1. Discrimination by current

Discrimination by current relies on the fact that the fault current varies with
the position of the fault, because of the difference in impedance values
between the source and the fault. Hence, typically, the relays controlling the
various circuit breakers are set to operate at suitably tapered values such that
only the relay nearest to the fault trips its breaker. (Fig. 22) illustrates the

(Fig. 22) Radial system with current discrimination

For a fault at F1, the system short circuit current is given by:

I = 6350 /(Zs + ZL1) A

Where Zs = source impedance = 11 2 / 250 = 0.485 ohms

ZL1= cable impedance between C and B = 0.24 ohms

Hence I=6350/0.725 = 8800 A

So a relay controlling the circuit breaker at C and set to operate at a fault

current of 8800 A would in simple theory protect the whole of the cable
section between C and B. However, there are two important practical points
which affect this method of co-ordination.

1. It is not practical to distinguish between a fault at Fl and a
fault at F 2, since the distance between these points can be only a
few meters, corresponding to a change in fault current of
approximately 0.1%.
2. In practice, there would be variations in the source fault level,
typically from 250 MVA to 130 MVA. At this lower fault level
the fault current would not exceed 6800 A even for a cable fault
close to C, so a relay set at 8800 A would not protect any of the
cable section concerned.

Discrimination by current is therefore not a practical proposition for correct

grading between the circuit breakers at C and B. However, the problem
changes appreciably when there is significant impedance between the two
circuit breakers concerned. This can be seen by considering the grading
required between the circuit breakers at B and A in (Fig. 22).

Assuming a fault at F 4, the short-circuit current is given by:

I = 6350 /(Zs + ZL1 + ZL2 +ZT) A

ZS = source impedance
=112 / 250 = 0.485 ohms

ZL1 = cable impedance between C and B 0.24 ohms

ZL2 = cable impedance between B and 4 MVA
transformer 0.04 ohms
ZT = transformer impedance
=0.07(112/4) =2.12 ohms
Hence I = 6350/ 2.885 = 2200 A

For this reason, a relay controlling the circuit breaker at B and set to operate
at a current of 2200 A plus a safety margin would not operate for a fault at F 4
and would thus discriminate with the relay at A. Assuming a safety margin
of 20% to allow for relay errors and a further 10% for variations in the
system impedance values, it is reasonable to choose a relay setting of 1.3 x
2200, that is, 2860 A for the relay at B. Now, assuming a fault at F3, that is, at
the end of the 11 kV cable feeding the 4 MVA transformers, the short-circuit
current is given by:
I = 6350 /(Zs + ZL1 + ZL2 +ZT)
I = 6350 /(0.485 + 0.24 + 0.04)=8300 Amp.
Alternatively, assuming a source fault level of 130 MVA:
I = 6350 /(0.93 + 0.24 + 0.004)=5250 Amp.

In other words, for either value of source level, the relay at B would operate
correctly for faults anywhere on the 11 kV cable feeding the transformer.

Like In mechanical .designs where the criterion for design depends on the
mechanical strength, of the materials and the stresses that are generated during their
operation, in high voltage applications, the dielectric strength of insulating materials
and the electric field stresses developed in them when subjected to high voltages are.
The important factors in high voltage systems in a high voltage apparatus the
important materials used are conductors and insulators. While the conductors carry
current the insulators prevent the flow of currents undesired paths the electric, stress
to which an insulating material is subjected to is numerically equal to the voltage
gradient, and is equal to the electric field intensity

E = −∇ϕ →1

Where E is the electric field intensity,

φ is the applied voltage,
And ∇
(read Del) operator is defined as

∂ ∂ ∂
∇ = ax + ay + az
∂X ∂Y ∂Y

Where ax, ay, and aZ are components of position vector

r = a . X +a .Y + a .Z
x y z
As already mentioned, the most important material used in a high voltage apparatus is
the insulation. The dielectric strength of an insulating material can be defined as the
maximum dielectric stress which the material can
Withstand. It can also be defined as the voltage at which the current starts increasing
to very high values unless controlled by the external impedance of the circuit.

The electric breakdown strength of insulating materials depends on a variety of

parameters, such as pressure, temperature, humidity, field configurations, nature of
applied voltage, imperfections in dielectric materials, material of electrodes, and
surface conditions of electrodes, etc. An understanding of the failure of the insulation
will be possible by the study of the possible mechanisms by which the failure can

The most common cause of insulation failure is the presence of discharges either
within the voids in the insulation or over the surface of the insulation. The probability
of failure will be greatly reduced if such discharges could be eliminated at the
normal working voltage. Then, failure can occur as a result of thermal or
electrochemical deterioration of the insulation.

Gas/vacuum as Insulator
Air at atmospheric pressure is the most common gaseous insulation. The breakdown
of air is of considerable practical importance to the design engineers of power

transmission lines and power apparatus. Breakdown occurs in gases due to the
process of collisional ionization.
Electrons get multiplied in an exponential manner, and if the applied voltage is
sufficiently large, breakdown occurs. In some gases, free electrons are removed by
attachment to neutral gas molecules; the breakdown strength of such gases is
substantially large. An example of such a gas, with larger dielectric strength, is
sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

High pressure gas, provides a flexible and reliable medium for high voltage insulation
using gases at high pressures, field gradients up to 25 MV/m have been realized.
Nitrogen (N2) was the gas first used at high pressures because of its inertness and
chemical stability, but its dielectric strength is the same as that of air. Other important
practical insulating gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), dichlorodifluor9methane
(CC12F2) (popularly known as Freon), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). The
breakdown voltage at higher pressures in gases shows an increasing dependence on the
nature and smoothness of the electrode material. It is relevant to point out that, of the
gases examined to-date, SF6 has probably the most attractive overall dielectric and
arc quenching properties for gas insulated high voltage systems.

However, in recent years pure SF6 gas has been found to be a green house gas causing
environmental hazards and therefore research efforts are presently focussed on finding
a replacement gas or gas mixture which is environmentally friendly. Pure nitrogen, air
and SF6/N2 mixtures show good potential to replace SF6 gas in high voltage
apparatus. In the next few years, SF6/N2, SF6 gas has to be replaced by a new gas and
lot of research is being done to find such a gas.
Ideally, vacuum is the best insulator with field strengths up to 107 V/cm, limited only
by emissions from the electrode surfaces. This decreases to less than
105 V/cm for gaps of several centimeters. Under high vacuum conditions, where the
pressures are below 10-4 ton, the breakdown cannot occur due to collisional processes
like in gases, and hence the breakdown strength is quite high. Vacuum insulation is
used in particle accelerators, x-ray and field emission tubes, electron microscopes,
capacitors, and Circuit Breakers.


Liquids are used in high voltage equipment to serve the dual purpose of
insulation and heat condition. They have the advantage that a puncture path is
self-healing. Temporary failures due to over voltage are reinsulated quickly by
liquid flow to the attacked area. However, the products of the discharges may
deposit on solid insulation supports and may lead to surface breakdown over
these solid supports.

Highly purified liquids have dielectric strengths as high as 1 MV/cm. Under

actual service conditions, the breakdown strength reduces considerably due to
the presence of impurities. The breakdown mechanism in the case of very pure
liquids is the same as the gas breakdown, but in commercial liquids, the
breakdown mechanisms are significantly altered by the presence of the solid
impurities and dissolved gases.

Petroleum oils are the commonest insulating liquids. However, fluorocarbons,
silicones, and organic esters including castor oil are used in significant quantities.
A number of considerations enter into the selection of any dielectric liquid. The
important electrical properties of the liquid include the dielectric strength,
conductivity, flash point, gas content, viscosity, dielectric constant, dissipation
factor, stability, etc. Because of their low dissipation factor and other excellent
characteristics, polybutanes are being increasingly used in the electrical industry.
However, in 1970s it was found that Askarels which more extensively used,
exhibit health hazards and therefore most countries have legally banned their
production and use. Many new liquids have since been developed which have no
adverse environmental hazards. These include silicone oils, synthetic and
fluorinated hydrocarbons.

In practical applications liquids are normally used at voltage stresses of about

50–60 kV/cm when the equipment is continuously operated. On the other hand,
in applications like high voltage bushings, where the liquid only fills up the voids
in the solid dielectric, it can be used at stresses as high as 100–200 kV/cm.


1. Solid Dielectrics

A good solid dielectric should have some of the properties mentioned earlier for
gases and liquids and it should also possess good mechanical and bonding
strengths. Many organic and inorganic materials are used for high voltage
insulation purposes. Widely used inorganic materials are ceramics and glass. The
most widely used organic materials are thermosetting epoxy resins such as
polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE) or cross linked polyethylene
(XLPE). Kraft paper, natural rubber, silicon rubber and polypropylene rubber
are some of the other materials widely used as insulates in electrical equipment.

If the solid insulating material is truly homogeneous and is free from

imperfections, its breakdown stress will be as high as 10 MV/cm. This is the
`intrinsic breakdown strength', and can be obtained only under carefully
controlled laboratory conditions. However, in practice, the breakdown fields
obtained are very much lower than this value. The breakdown occurs due to
many mechanisms. In general, the breakdown occurs over the surface than in the
solid itself, and the surface insulation failure is the most frequent cause of
trouble in practice.

2. Composites

In many engineering applications, more than one types of insulation are used
together, mainly in parallel, giving rise to composite insulation systems.
Examples of such systems are solid/gas insulation (transmission line insulators),
solid/vacuum insulation and solid/liquid composite insulation systems (trans-

former winding insulation, oil impregnated paper and oil impregnated metallised
plastic film etc).

In the application of composites, it is important to make sure that both the

components of the composite should be chemically stable and will not react with
each other under the application of combined thermal, mechanical and electrical
stresses over the expected life of the equipment. They should also have nearly
equal dielectric constants. Further, the liquid insulate should not absorb any
impurities from the solid, which may adversely affect its resistivity, dielectric
strength, loss factor and other properties of the liquid dielectric.

It is the intensity of the electric field that determines the onset of breakdown and
the rate of increase of current before breakdown. Therefore, it is very essential
that the electric stress should be properly estimated and its distribution known--
in a high voltage apparatus. Special care should be exercised in eliminating the
stress in the regions where it is expected to be maximum, such as in the presence
of sharp points.

· Estimation and control of electrical

The electric field distribution is usually governed by the Poisson's equation:

∇2ϕ =− →2
Where φ is the potential at a given point,

Is the space charge density in the region

Is the electric permittivity of free space (vacuum) However, in most of the
high voltage apparatus, space charges are not normally present, and hence the
potential distribution is governed by the Laplace's equation:

∇ 2ϕ = 0 →3

In Eqs. (2) and (3) the operator is called the Laplacian and is a vector with

∂2 ∂2 ∂2
∇2 = + +
∂X 2 ∂y 2 ∂Z 2

There are many methods available for determining the potential distribution.
The most commonly used methods are

1. The electrolytic tank method, and

2. The numerical methods

3. The potential distribution can also be calculated directly. However, this is

very difficult except
for simple geometries. In many practical cases, a good understanding of
the problem
is possible by using some simple rules to plot the field lines and
The important rules are

4. The equipotentials cut the field lines at right angles,

5. When the equipotentials and field lines are drawn to form curvilinear
squares, the density of the field lines is an indication of the electric stress in a
given region, and in any region, the maximum electric field is given by dv/dx,
where dv is the voltage difference between two successive equipotentials, dx

Considerable amount of labour and time can be saved by properly 'choosing the
planes of symmetry and shaping the electrodes accordingly. Once the voltage
distribution of a given geometry is established, it is easy to refashion or redesign
the electrodes to minimize the stresses so that the onset of corona is prevented.
This is a case normally encountered in high voltage electrodes of the bushings,
standard capacitors, etc. When two dielectrics of widely different permittivity
are in series, the electric stress is very much higher in the medium of lower
permittivity. Considering a solid insulation in a gas medium, the stress in the gas
εr εr
becomes times that in the solid dielectric, where is the relative
permittivity of the solid dielectric. This enhanced stress occurs at the electrode
edges and one method of overcoming this is to increase the electrode diameter.

Other methods of stress control are shown in Fig. 1

Fig. 1 Control of stress at an electrode edge


1. Solid Dielectrics
A good solid dielectric should have some of the properties mentioned
earlier for gases and liquids and it should also possess good mechanical
and bonding strengths. Many organic and inorganic' materials are used for high
voltage insulation purposes. Widely used inorganic materials are ceramics and
glass. The most widely used organic materials are thermosetting epoxy resins
such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE) or cross linked polyethylene
(XLPE). Kraft paper, natural rubber, silicon rubber and polypropylene rubber
are some of the other materials widely used as insulate in electrical equipment.
If the solid insulating material is truly homogeneous and is free from imperfections,
its breakdown stress will be as high as 10 MV/cm. This is the `intrinsic breakdown
strength', and can be obtained only under carefully controlled laboratory conditions.
However, in practice, the breakdown fields obtained are very much lower than this
value. The breakdown occurs due to many mechanisms. In general, the breakdown
occurs over the surface than in the solid itself, and the surface insulation failure
is the most frequent cause of trouble in practice.

2. Composites
In many engineering applications, more than one types of insulation are used
together, mainly in parallel, giving rise to composite insulation systems. Examples
of such systems are solid/gas insulation (transmission line insulators), solid/vacuum
insulation and solid/liquid composite insulation systems (trans-former winding
insulation, oil impregnated paper and oil impregnated metallised plastic film etc).
In the application of composites, it is important to make sure that both the
components of the composite should be chemically stable and will not react with
each other under the application of combined thermal, mechanical and electrical
stresses over the expected life of the equipment. They should also have nearly equal
dielectric constants. Further, the liquid insulate should not absorb any impurities from
the solid, which may adversely affect its resistivity, dielectric strength, loss factor and
other properties of the liquid dielectric.
It is the intensity of the electric field that determines the onset of breakdown and the
rate of increase of current before breakdown. Therefore, it is very essential that the
electric stress should be properly estimated and its distribution known in a
high voltage apparatus. Special care should be exercised in eliminating the

stress in the regions where it is expected to be maximum such as in the presence of
sharp points. In the design of high voltage apparatus, the electric field intensities
have to be controlled, otherwise higher stresses will trigger or accelerate the aging of
the insulation leading to its failure. Over the years, many methods for controlling and
optimizing electric fields to get the most economical designs have been developed.
Electric field control methods form an important component of the overall design of

Electric Field
A brief review of the concepts of electric fields is presented, as it is essential for high
voltage engineers to have knowledge of the field intensities in various media under
electric stresses. It also helps in choosing proper electrode configurations and
economical dimensioning of the insulation, such that highly stressed regions are not
formed and reliable operation of the equipment results in its anticipated life.
The field intensity E at any location in an electrostatic field is the ratio of the force
on an infinitely small charge at that location to the charge itself as the charge
decreases to zero. The force F on any charge q at that point in the field is given

F = q*E 4

The electric flux density D associated with the field intensity E is

D = ε*E 5
Where E is the permittivity of the medium in which the electric field exists. The work
done on a charge when moved in an electric field is defined as the potential. The
potential φ is equal to

Where l is the path through which the charge is moved.

Several relationships between the various quantities in the electric field can be
summarized as follows:

Where F is the force exerted on a charge q in the electric field E , and S is the
closed surface containing charge q.

Uniform and Non-Uniform Electric Fields
In general, the electric fields between any two electrodes can be both uniform and
non-uniform. In a uniform field gap, the average field E is the same throughout the
field rigion, whereas in a non-uniform field gap, E is different at different points of
the field region.
Uniform or approximately uniform field distributions exist between two infinite
parallel plates or two spheres of equal diameters when the gap distance is less than
diameter of the sphere. Spherical electrodes are frequently used for high voltage
measurements and for triggering in impulse voltage generation circuits. Sometimes,
parallel plates of finite size are used to simulate uniform electric fields, when gap
separation is much smaller than plate size.
In the absence of space charges, the average field E in a non-uniform field gap is
maximum at the surface of the conductor which has the smallest radius of curvature.
It has the minimum field E at the conductor having the large radius of curvature.
In this case, the field is not only non-uniform but also asymmetrical. Most of the
practical high voltage components used in electric power systems normally have
non-uniform and asymmetrical field distribution.

Estimation of Electric Field in Some Geometric Boundaries

It has been shown that the maximum electric field Em in a given electric field
configuration is of importance. The mean electric field over a distanced between
two conductors with a potential difference of V12 is

Ε av =

In field configurations of non-uniform fields, the maximum electric field Em is always

higher than the average value. For some common field configurations, the maximum
value of Em and the field enhancement factor f given by Em/Eav, are presented Below.

f = Em / Eav

1-Parallel plates

Em = f =1

Parallel plate

2- Concentric cylinders

3- Parallel cylinders of equal diameter


The design of power apparatus particularly at high voltages is governed by their

transient behavior. The transient high voltages or surge voltages originate in power
systems due to lightning and Switching operations. The effect of the surge voltages
is severe in all power apparatuses. The response of a power apparatus to the
impulse or surge voltage depends on the capacitances between the coils of
windings and between the different phase windings of the multi-phase machines.
The transient voltage distribution in, the windings as a whole are generally very non-
uniform and are complicated by traveling wave voltage oscillations set up within the
windings. In the actual design of an apparatus, it is, of course, necessary to consider
the maximum voltage differences occurring, in each region, at any instant of time
after the application of an impulse, and to take into account their durations
especially when they are less than one microsecond.

An experimental assessment of the dielectric strength of insulation against the power

frequency voltages and surge voltages, on samples of basic materials, on less complex

assemblies, or on complete equipment must involve high voltage testing. Since the
design of an electrical apparatus is based on the dielectric strength, the design cannot
be completely relied upon, unless experimentally tested. High voltage testing is done
by generating the voltages and measuring them in a laboratory.
When high voltage testing is done on component parts, elaborate insulation
assemblies, and complete full-scale prototype apparatus (called development testing),
it is possible to build up a considerable stock of design information; although
expensive, such data can be very useful. However, such data can never really be
complete to cover all future designs and necessitates use of large factors of safety.
A different approach to the problem is the exact calculation of dielectric strength of
any insulation arrangement. In an ideal design each part of the dielectric would be
uniformly stressed at the maximum value which it will safely withstand. Such an ideal
condition is impossible to achieve in practice, for dielectrics of different electrical
strengths, due to the practical limitations of construction. Nevertheless it provides
information on stress concentration factors the ratios of maximum local voltage
gradients to the mean value in the adjacent regions of relatively uniform stress. A
survey of typical power apparatus designs suggests that factors ranging from 2 to 5 can
occur in practice; when this factor is high, considerable quantities of insulation must
be used. Generally,

Improvements can be effected in the following ways:

1. by shaping the conductors to reduce stress concentrations,
2. by insertion of higher dielectric strength insulation at high stress points, and by
selection of materials of appropriate permittivity to obtain more uniform voltage

Insulating gases

Electronegative gases make good insulators since the ions rapidly combine with the
ions produced in the spark. However, they tend to be corrosive. Some gases though,
dissociate only where the discharge is (or wants to be), making them particularly good

Gases with electronegative species (i.e. halogens such as chlorine) make good
insulators, hence the popularity of SF6, which is not only dense (breakdown voltage is
roughly proportional to density) but is mostly Fluorine, a highly electronegative
element. The halogenated hydrocarbon refrigerants are also a popular insulator. CCl4,
CCl2F2, CCl3F, and C2Cl2F4

Unfortunately, the cost of insulating gases has greatly increased in the last few years
largely due to the various treaties regulating halocarbon refrigerants. The traditional
Freons (R-12, R-22) are not being produced any more, and are quite expensive. Since
the regulatory thrust eliminated chlorinated alkanes, modern refrigerants are relying
more on fluorinated or per-fluoro hydrocarbons (e.g.HC-134a) . Unfortunately, plant
capacity is limited, and plants that used to make SF6 are now making fluorinated
hydrocarbons resulting in much higher prices for SF6. In the mid 1980's SF6 was
about $3-4/lb. Now, in the mid 90's, it is about $100/lb. Since a pound is only about
10 liters, filling up a large insulating tank with SF6 has become a very expensive

The breakdown voltage of most gases can be increased by increasing the absolute
pressure. In the case of some gases, there is a limit imposed by the liquefaction point
at normal operating temperatures (i.e. Freon 12 liquifies at 5 atmospheres). Mixtures
of gases can overcome some of these issues and a mixture of Freon 12 and Nitrogen
was popular.

One disadvantage of the halogenated compounds is that the dissociation products are
highly corrosive, so it is important that operating voltages remain well below corona
starting voltages. Even air forms highly reactive nitrogen oxides and other corrosive
compounds, particularly if there is any water vapor present. High pressure air can also
support combustion due to the oxygen content. Pure Nitrogen seems to not have these
disadvantages, although its breakdown is only about 15 % better than air.

Air - approximate breakdown is 30 kV/cm at 1 atm. = 30 + 1.53d where d in cm. The

breakdown of air is very well researched, to the point where the breakdown voltage of
a calibrated gap is used to measure high voltages.

Freons- The vapor pressure of CCl2F2 (R-12) is 90 psi at 23C, where the breakdown is
some 17 times that of air at 1 atm. An even higher insulating strength can be obtained
by adding nitrogen to the saturated CCl2F2 to bring the total pressuire to the desired
value. The saturated vapor pressure of C2Cl2F4 at 23C is 2 atm abs, at which condition
it has a relative dielectric strength of 5.6 times N2 at 1 atm

Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) - Sulfur Hexafluoride is probably the most popular

insulating gas, although its cost has risen dramatically recently.

Hydrogen - Hydrogen gas is not a particularly good insulator (65% of air) from a
breakdown voltage standpoint. Its very low viscosity and high thermal capacity make
it an insulating gas of choice for high speed, high voltage machinery such as turbo
generators. There isn't an explosion hazard, provided that the oxygen content in the
hydrogen tank is kept below the flammable limit (around 5%). Of course, hydrogen
has lots of other handling problems, including hydrogen embrittlement, it leaks
through very tiny holes (even the pores in the metal tanks), and perfectly colorless,
but very hot, flames.

Relative spark breakdown strength of gases

Gas N2 Air NH3 CO2 H2S O2 Cl2 H2 SO2 C2Cl2F4 CCl2F2

V/Vair 1.15 1 1 0.95 0.9 0.85 0.85 0.65 0.30 3.2 2.9

Conduction and breakdown in Gases

1 – Gases as insulating Media

The .simplest and the most commonly found dielectrics are gases. Most of the
electrical apparatus use air as the Insulating medium, and in a few cases other gases
such nitrogen (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2), freon (CC12F2) and sulphur hexafluoride
(SF6) are also used.
Various phenomena occur in gaseous dielectrics when a voltage is applied. When
the applied voltage is low, small currents flow between the electrodes and they
insulation retains, it's electrical properties. On the other hand, if the applied voltages

are large, the current flowing through the insulation increases very sharply an
electrical breakdown occurs. A strongly conducting spark formed during breakdown
practically produces a short circuit between the electrodes.
The maximum voltage applied to the insulation at the moment of breakdown is
called the breakdown voltage
In .order to understand the breakdown phenomenon in gases, a study of the electrical
properties of gases and the processes by which high current are produced in gases is

The electrical discharges in gases are of two types:-

(i) Non-sustaining discharge.
(ii) self- sustaining.

The breakdown in a gas, called spark is the transition of non-sustaining discharge

into a self-sustaining discharge. The build-up of high currents in a breakdown is due
to the process known as ionization in which electrons and ions are created from
neutral atoms or molecules' and their migration to the anode and cathode
respectively leads to high current. At present two types of theories, viz.
(i) Townsend theory
(ii) Streamer theory are known
'Which explain the mechanism of breakdown under different condition?
The various physical condition of gases namely' pressure, temperature, electrode
field configuration nature of electrode surfaces
and the availability of initial conducting particles are known to govern the ionization


1. Types of Collision

An electrical discharge is normally created from unionized gas by collision

processes. These processes are mainly gas processes which occur due to the collision
between the charged particles and gas atoms or molecules. These are of the following
two types.

Elastic collisions: Elastic collisions are collisions which when occur, no change takes
place in the internal energy of the particles but only their kinetic energy gets
redistributed. These collisions do not occur in practice. When electrons collide with
gas molecules,

a single electron traces' a zig-zag path during its travel. But in between the collisions
it is accelerated by the electric field. Since electrons are very light in weight, they
transfer only a part of their kinetic energy to the much heavier ions or gas molecules
with which they collide. These results in very little loss of energy by the electrons
and therefore electrons gain very high energies and travel at a much higher speed
than the ions. Therefore in all electrical discharges electrons play a leading role.

Inelastic collisions: Inelastic collisions, on the other hand, are those in which internal
changes in energy take place within an atom or a molecule at the expense of the total
kinetic energy of the colliding particle. The collision often results in a change in the

structure of the atom. Thus all collisions that occur in practice are inelastic collisions.
For example ionization, attachment, excitation, recombination are inelastic collisions.

2. Mobility of Ions and Electrons

When an ion moves through a gas under the influence of a static uniform electric
field, it gains energy from the field between collisions and loses energy during
collisions. Electric force on an electron/ion of charge e is eE, with the resulting
acceleration being eE/m. When the energy gained by the ions from the electric field
is small compared with the thermal energy, the drift velocity in the field direction Wi
is proportional to the electrical field intensity E and may be expressed as follows:

Wi = µi * E (1)

Where µi is called the mobility of ions the mobility is mainly a characteristic of the
gas through which the ion moves. At normal temperatures and pressures the mobility
µ is of the order of several cm2/volt-sec.

However, the concept of ionic mobility cannot be directly applied to electrons

because of their extremely low mass. Any externally applied electric field will

cause the electrons to gain energies much higher than their mean thermal energy. So
the electron drift velocity, which has been defined as the average velocity, with
which the centre of mass of the electron swarm moves in the direction of the field, is
not a simple function of E/p, but is determined from the energy distribution function.
From the kinetic theory the electron drift velocity We is given in microscopic terms
as follows:

We = Ee / 3ma2 d/dc (l c2) (2)

Where l is an equivalent mean free path of an electron with speed c

3. Diffusion Coefficient

When particles possessing energy, which is exhibited as a random motion, are

distributed unevenly throughout a space, then they tend to redistribute themselves
uniformly throughout the space. This process is known as diffusion and the, rate at
which this occurrence is governed by the diffusion passing through unit area in unit
time perpendicular to the concentration gradient and for unit concentration gradient.
In three dimensions this may be written as

= −D∇2 n →3

Where n is the concentration of particles.

Kinetic theory gives D in microscopic terms as follows

D = 1/3 (lc) 4

Where l is the mean free path and c the random velocity, the average being taken
over c

In electrical discharges, whenever there is a non-uniform concentration of charges

there will be migration of these charges from regions of higher concentration to
regions of lower concentration. This process is called diffusion and this causes a de-
ionising effect in the regions of lower concentration. The presence of walls confining
a given volume increases the de-ionisation effect since charged particles lose their
charge on hitting the wall. Both diffusion and mobility result in mass motion
described by a drift velocity caused either by unbalanced collision forces
(concentration gradient) or by the electric field itself.

4. Electron Energy Distributions

For the development of a complete theory giving the relationship between the data
concerning single collisions of electrons with gas molecules, and the experimentally
obtained average properties of discharges, a knowledge of the electron energy
distribution functions is essential. The most widely used distribution functions are the
Maxwellian and Druyesteynian distributions which apply specifically to elastic

The Maxwellian distribution has been found to apply where there is thermal
equilibrium between the electrons and molecules.

The distribution takes the form

( −1.5 )
F (ε ) = C1ε 0.5
.e ε−
Where Cl is the constant and is the mean energy.

Druyesteynian distribution applies when the electron or ion energy is much greater
than the thermal energy and is therefore expected to be more of application in
transcends discharges. This distribution takes the form

( −1.5 )
F (ε ) = C 2ε 0.5
.e ε −2

Where C2 is another constant

5. Collision Cross Section

Collision cross section is defined as the area of contact between two particles during
a collision. In other words, the total area of impaCT'sThis area of contact is different
for each type of collision. For example, the area of impact is more for ionisation
while for an excitation it is less. For simultaneously, occurring processes such as
ionization, excitation, charge transfer, chemical reactions, etc., the effective cross
section is obtained by simple a addition of all the cross sections. If q, is the total cross
section, and if qi, qe, qc ... etc., are the cross sections for ionization, excitation, charge
transfer, etc, respectively, then

qt= qi +qe + qc + …….

Thus the use of collision cross sections instead of mean free paths has often proved to
be advantageous. The collision cross section is also expressed in terms of the
probability of a collision to take place, i.e.,

P = nq (7)

which is the reciprocal of the mean free path.

6 The Mean Free Path (λ)

The mean free path is defined as the average distance between collisions. When a
discharge occurs large number of collisions occurs between the electrons and the gas
molecules. Depending on the initial energy of the colliding electron, the distance
between the two collisions vary The average of this is the mean free path. The free
path is a random quantity and its mean value depends upon the concentration of
particles or the density of the gas.

The mean free path can be expressed as

λ =k / p (8)

Where k is a constant and p is the gas pressure in microns.

The value of k for nitrogen is 5. From this equation it is seen that at a pressure of 1
torr, λ is 5 x 10-3 cm. If the pressure is 10-6 ton, then λ = 5 x 10+3 cm. From this it is
seen that mean free path is very large at very low pressures and is very small at high


A gas in its normal state is almost a perfect insulator. However, when a high voltage
is applied between the two electrodes immersed in a gaseous medium, the gas
becomes a conductor and an electrical breakdown occurs.

The processes that are primarily responsible for the breakdown of a gas are ionization
by collision, photo-ionization, and the secondary ionization processes. In insulating
gases (also called electron-attaching gases) the process of attachment also plays an
important role.

1. Ionization by Collision

The process of liberating an electron from a gas molecule with the simultaneous
production of a positive ion is called ionization. In the process of ionization by
collision, a free electron collides with a neutral gas molecule and gives rise to a new
electron and a positive ion. If we consider a low pressure gas column in which an
electric field E is applied across two plane parallel electrodes, as shown in Fig. 1
then, any electron starting at the cathode will be accelerated more and more between
collisions with other gas molecules during its travel towards the anode.

If he energy (ε) gained during this travel between collisions exceeds the ionization
potential, Vi, which is the energy required to dislodge an electron from its atomic
shell, then ionization takes place. This process can be represented as

e − + A → e − + A+ + e −

Where, A is the atom, A + is the positive ion and a is the electron.

Ultraviolet Light


- +

Current limiting resistor

HV source

Fig 1 Arrangment for study of a townsend discharge

A few of the electrons produced at the cathode by some external means, say by ultra-
violet light falling on the cathode, ionize neutral gas particles producing positive ions
and additional electrons. The additional electrons, then, themselves make `ionizing
collisions' and thus the process repeats itself. This represents an increase in the
electron current, since the number of electrons reaching the anode

per unit time is greater than those liberated at the cathode. In addition, the positive
ions also reach the cathode and on bombardment on the cathode give rise to
secondary electrons.

2. Secondary Ionization Processes

Secondary ionization processes by which secondary electrons are produced are the
one which sustain a discharge after it is established due to ionization by collision and
They are briefly described below.

(i) Electron Emission due, to Positive Ion Impact

Positive ions are formed due to ionization by collision or by photo-ionization, and
being positively charged, they travel towards the cathode.

A positive ion approaching a metallic cathode can cause emission of electrons

from the cathode by giving up its kinetic energy on impaCT's If the total energy of
the positive ion, namely, the sum of its kinetic energy and the ionization energy, is
greater than twice the work function of the metal, then one electron will be ejected
and a second electron will neutralize the ion. The probability of this process is
measured as , which is called the Townsend's secondary ionization coefficient due
to positive ions and is defined as the net yield of electrons per incident positive ion.
, increases with ion velocity and depends on the kind of gas and electrode
material used.

(ii) Electron Emission due to Photons

To cause an electron to escape from a metal, it should be given enough energy to

overcome the surface potential barrier. The energy can also be supplied in the form of
a photon of ultraviolet light of suitable frequency. Electron emission from a metal
surface occurs at the critical condition

h .v ≥ ϕ

where cp is the work function of the metallic electrode. The frequency (v) is given by
the relationship

h (10)

Is known as the threshold frequency For a clean nickel surface

With φ = 4.5 eV, the threshold frequency will be that corresponding to a wavelength
λ = 2755 Aº. If the incident radiation has a greater frequency than the threshold

frequency ', then the excess energy goes partly as the kinetic energy of the emitted
electron and partly to heat the surface of the electrode. Since φ is typically a few
electrons volts, the threshold frequency lies in the far ultraviolet region of the
electromagnetic radiation spectrum.

(iii) Electron Emission due to Metastable and Neutral Atoms

A metastable atom or molecule is an excited particle whose lifetime is very large (10-
s) compared to the lifetime of an ordinary particle (10-8 s). Electrons can be ejected
from the metal surface by the impact of excited (metastable) atoms, provided that
their total energy is sufficient to overcome the work function. This process is most
easily observed with metastable atoms, because the lifetime of other excited states is
too short for them to reach the cathode and cause electron emission, unless they
originate very near to the cathode surface. Therefore, the yields can also be large
nearly 100%, for the interactions of excited He atom with a clean surface of
molybdenum, nickel or magnesium. Neutral atoms in the ground state also give rise
to secondary electron emission if their kinetic energy is high
(= 1000 eV). At low energies the yield is considerably less.

Electron Attachment Process

The types of collisions in which electrons may become attached to atoms or

molecules to form negative ions are called attachment collision. Electron attachment
process depends on the energy of the electron arid-the nature of the gas and is a very
important process from the engineering point of view. All electrically insulating
gases, such as O2, CO2, C12, F2, .C2F6, C3F8, C4F10, CC12F2, and SF6 exhibit this
property. An electron attachment process can be represented as:

Atom + e- → negative atomic ion + (Ea + K) 11

The energy liberated as a result of this process is the kinetic energy K plus the
electron affinity Ea. In the attaching or insulating gases, the atoms or molecules have
vacancies in their outermost shells and, therefore, have an affinity for electrons. The
attachment process plays a very important role in the removal of free electrons from
an ionized gas when arc interruption occurs in gas-insulated Switchgear.


Referring to Fig. 1 let us assume that no electrons are emitted from the cathode.
When one electron collides with a neutral particle, a positive ion and an electron are
formed. This is called an ionizing collision. Let α be the average number of ionizing
collisions made by an electron per centimeter travel in the direction of the field (α
depends on gas pressure p and E/p, and is called the Townsend's first ionization
coefficient). At any distance x from the cathode, let the number of electrons be nx.
When these nx electrons travel a further distance of dx they give

X=0 nx=n0
d nx/dx = α nx ; nx=n0 e αx
Then, The number of electrons reaching the anode (x=d)

nd=no e(α.d)

The number of new electrons created, on the average, by each electron is

e(α.d) -1 = (nd - no) / no 12

Therefore, the average current in the gap, which is equal to the number
of electrons traveling per second will be

I =Io. e(α.d) 13

where 10 is the initial current at the cathode.


Townsend mechanism when applied to breakdown at atmospheric pressure was

found to have certain drawbacks. Firstly, according to the Townsend theory, current
growth occurs as a result of ionization processes, only. But in practice, breakdown
voltages were found to depend on the gas pressure and the geometry of the gap.
Secondly, the mechanism predicts time lags of the order of 10-5 s, while in actual
practice breakdown was observed to occur at very short times of the order of 10-8 s.
Also, While the Townsend mechanism predicts a very diffused form of discharge, in
actual practice, discharges were found to be filamentary and irregular. The Townsend
mechanism failed to explain all these observed phenomena and as a result, around
1940, Rather and, meek and. Loeb independently proposed the Streamer theory.

Streamer Theory
In practice, discharges were found to be filamentary and irregular. The Townsend
Mechanism failed to explain all the above phenomena and therefore around 1940,
Raether and Meek and Loeb independently proposed the Streamer theory.

The growth of charge carriers in an avalanche in a uniform field is described by eαd.

This is valid only as long as the influence of the space charge due to ions is very
small compared to the applied field. In his studies on the effect of space charge on
avalanche growth, Raether observed that when charge concentration was between
106 and 108, the growth of the avalanche became weak.

On the other hand, when the charge concentration was higher than 108, the avalanche
current was followed by a steep rise in the current between the electrodes leading to
the breakdown of the gap.

Both the slow growth at low charge concentrations and fast growth at high charge
concentrations have been attributed to the modification of the originally applied
uniform field (E) by the space charge P. Fig. 2 shows the electric field around the
avalanche as it progresses along the gap and the resulting modification to the applied

For simplicity, the space charge at the head of the avalanche is assumed to have a
spherical volume containing negative charge at its top because of the higher electron
mobility. Under these conditions, the field gets enhanced at the top of the avalanche
with field lines from the anodes terminating on its head. Further, at the bottom of the
avalanche, the field between electrons and ions reduces the applied field (E). Still
further down the field between cathode and the positive ions gets enhanced.

Thus, the field distortion occurs and it becomes noticeable with a charge carrier
number n < 106. For example, in nitrogen at p = 760 ton and with a gap distance of 2
cm, the filled field distortion will be about 1%. This 1% field distortion over the
entire gap will lead to a doubling of the avalanche size, but as the distortion is
significant only in the vicinity of the top of the avalanche its effect is still negligible.
However, if a charge density in the avalanche approaches n = 108 the space charge
filled field and the applied field will have the same magnitude and this leads to the
initiation of a streamer.

Thus, the space charge fields play an important role in the growth of avalanches in
corona and spark discharges in non-uniform field gaps. It has been shown that
transformation from an avalanche to a streamer generally occurs when the. charge
within the avalanche head reaches
A critical value of
no e(αxe) = 108 or αxc lies between 18 and 20,
Where xc is the length of the avalanche in which the secondary electrons are
produced by photo-ionization of gas molecules in the inter-electrode gap.

Fig.( 2) Field distortion in a gap due to space charge

Further, cloud chamber photographs of the avalanche development have shown that,
under certain conditions, Ole space charge developed in an avalanche can transform
the avalanche into streamers which lead to very rapid development of breakdown.
In the theories proposed by Raether and Meek it has been shown that when the
avalanche in the gap reaches a critical size, the combined applied field and the space
charge field cause intense ionization and excitation of the gas particles in front of the
avalanche. Instantaneous recombination between positive ions and electrons releases
photons which in turn produce secondary electrons by photo-ionization. These
secondary electrons under the influence of the field in the gap develop into
secondary avalanches as shown in Fig. 3. Since photons travel with the velocity of
light, the photo-ionization process gives rise to rapid development of conduction
channels across the gap.

Fig. (3) Formation of secondary avalanches due to photo-ionization

On the basis of experimental observations Raether proposed an empirical expression

for the streamer spark criterion of the form

αxc = 17.7 + In xc + In (Er/E) (14)

Where Er is the space charged field directed radially at the head of the avalanche and
E is the applied field.
The conditions for the transition from the avalanche to streamer assumes that the
space charged field, E, approaches the externally applied field
(E = Er) and hence the breakdown criterion (Eq. (14)) becomes

αxc = 17.7+ln xc (15)

The minimum breakdown value for a uniform field gap by streamer mechanism is
then obtained on the assumption that the transition from an avalanche to a streamer
occurs when the avalanche has just crossed a gap, d. Thus, a minimum breakdown
voltage by streamer mechanism occurs only when a critical length xc = d.
Meek proposed a simple quantitative criterion to estimate the electric field that
transforms an avalanche into a streamer. The field Er produced by the space charge,
at the radius r, is given by

Er = 5.27 * 10-7(α e(αxe))/(X/P)1/2 V/cm (16)

Where α is Townsend's first ionization coefficient, p is the gas pressure in ton, and x
is the distance to which the streamer has extended in the gap. According to Meek, the
minimum breakdown voltage is obtained when Er = E and x = d in the above
The equation simplifies into,

α d+ln(α/P)= 14.5+ln(E/P)+1/2 ln(d/p) (17)

This equation is solved between α/P and E/P at which a given p and d satisfy the
equation. The breakdown voltage is given by the corresponding product of E and d.
The above simple criterion enabled an agreement between the calculated and the
measured breakdown voltages. This theory also neatly fits in with the observed
filamentary, crooked channels and the branching of the spark channels, and cleared
up many ambiguities of the Townsend mechanism when applied to breakdown in a
high pressure gas across a long gap.

It is still controversial as to which mechanism operates in uniform field conditions
over a given range of pd values. It is generally assumed that for pd values below
1000 torr-cm and gas pressures varying from 0.01 to 300 torr, the Townsend
mechanism operates, while at higher pressures and pd values the Streamer
mechanism plays the dominant role in explaining the breakdown phenomena.


This is the phenomenon which occurs after the actual breakdown has taken place and
is of technical importance. Glow and arc discharges are the post-breakdown
phenomena, and there are many devices that operate over these regions. In a
Townsend discharge see Fig. (1) The current increases gradually as a function of the
applied voltage. Further to this point (B) only the current increases and the discharge
changes from the Townsend type to Glow type (BC). Further increase in current
results in a very small reduction in voltage across the gap (CD) corresponding to the
normal glow region. The gap voltage again increases (DE), when the current is
increased more, but eventually leads to a considerable drop in the applied voltage.
This is the region of the arc discharge (EG). The phenomena that occur in the region
CG are the post-breakdown phenomena consisting of glow discharge (CE) and the
arc discharge (EG).

Glow Discharge
A glow discharge is characterized by a diffused luminous glow. The colour of the
glow discharge depends on the cathode material and the gas used. The glow
discharge covers the cathode partly and the space between the cathode and the anode
will have intermediate dark and bright regions. This is called normal glow. If the
current in the normal glow is increased such that the discharge covers the entire
cathode surface, then it becomes abnormal glow. In a glow discharge, the voltage
drop between the electrodes is substantially constant, ranging from 75 to 300 V over
a current range of 1 mA to 100 mA depending on the type of the gas. The properties
of the glow discharge are used in many practical applications, such as cold cathode
gaseous voltage stabilized tubes (voltage regulation tubes or VR tubes), for
rectification, as a relaxation oscillator, and as an amplifier.

Arc Discharge
If the current in the gap is increased to about 1 A or more, the voltage across the gap
suddenly reduces to a few volts (20—50 V). The discharge becomes very luminous
and noisy (region EG in Fig. 1 This phase is called the arc discharge and the current
density over the cathode region increases to very high values of 103 to 107A/cm2.
Arcing is associated with high temperatures, ranging from 1000°C to several
thousand degrees Celsius. The discharge will contain a very high density of electrons
and positive ions, called the arc plasma. The study of arcs is important in circuit
breakers and other switch contacts. It is a convenient high temperature high intensity
light source. It is used for welding and cutting of metals. It is the light source in
lamps such as carbon arc lamp. High temperature plasmas are used for generation of
electricity through magneto-hydro dynamic (MHD) or nuclear fusion processes.

Fig. (1) d.c. voltage-current characteristic of an electrical discharge with
electrodes having no sharp points or edges



Over the years, considerable amount of work has been done to adopt a specific gas
for practical use. Before adopting a particular gas or gas mixture for a practical
purpose, it is useful to gain knowledge of what the gas does, what its composition is,
and what the factors is that influence its performance. The greater the versatility of
the operating performance demanded from an insulating gas or gas mixture, the more
rigorous would he the requirements which it should meet. These requirements
needed by a good dielectric do not exist in a majority of the gases. Generally, the
preferred properties of a gaseous dielectric for high voltage applications are:
(a) high dielectric strength,
(b) thermal stability and chemical inactivity towards materials of construction,
(c) non-flammability and physiological inertness, and environmentally non-
(d), low temperature of condensation,
(e) good heat transfer, and
(f) ready availability at moderate cost.
Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) which has received much study over the years has been
found to possess most of the above requirements.
Of the above properties, dielectric strength is the most important property of a
gaseous dielectric for practical use. The dielectric strength of gases is comparable
with those of solid and liquid dielectrics see Fig. (2.).
It is clear that SF6 has high dielectric strength and low liquefaction temperature, and
it can be used over a wide range of operating conditions. SF6 was also found to have
excellent arc-quenching properties. Therefore, it is widely used as an insulating as
well as arc-quenching medium in high voltage apparatus

Fig (2) d.c. breakdown strength of typical solid, liquid, gas and vacuum insulations
in uniform, fields

SF6 and Other Gas Mixtures

SF6 is widely used for applications in power system due to its high dielectric
strength and good arc interruption properties. However, SF6 gas has been found to
be a green house gas that causes environmental problems. The production and use of
SF6 gas has increased steadily and today it is about 10,000 metric tons due to
leakages into the atmosphere from the electrical equipment. The concentration of
SF6 in the environment has been steadily increasing. The release of SF6 into the
atmosphere leads to concentration of large volumes of SF6 gas in the upper
atmosphere. SF6 molecules absorb energy from the sun and radiate it into the
atmosphere for long duration of time.
There has been a large concern for these environmental effects and therefore the
electrical industry has been looking for an alternate gas or gas mixture to be used in
electrical equipment which presently use SF6 gas, as an insulating and arc
interruption medium. The large amount of experimental data that is presently
available suggest that 40% SF6/60% N2 mixtures have all the dielectric
characteristics that make it suitable for use as insulation in high voltage equipment.
Ideally the gas mixture should be suitable for use in the existing equipment as well as
in the equipment that will be designed and manufactured in future.

Extensive research work done in SF6 and its mixtures with N2, air and CO2 has
given breakdown values which are 80—90% of the pure SF6 values as shown in Table

Lightning Impulse Breakdown Strength of SF6/Other Gas Mixtures

(Breakdown Strength (kV/cm
Breakdown Strength
Mixture Ratio
SF6 gas 100% 89.0
1% SF6/99% 80.0

10% SF6/90% 78.0
20% SF6/80% 76.5
40% SF6/60% 75.6
10% SF6/90% CO2 76.5
20% SF6/80% CO2 76.5
40% SF6/60% CO2 75.5
10% SF6/90% Air 77.0
20% SF6/80% Air 76.5
40% SF6/60% Air 75.6

The industry is looking for a gas mixture that can replace the pure SF6 gas in
the existing SF6 insulated apparatus, requiring no change in hardware, test procedures
or ratings. SF6/N2 mixture is the one that has been found to be a good replacement for
SF6. SF6/N2 mixtures have been used in Gas Insulated Transmission System and were
found to perform well. Also, the work done so far has shown that the ability of SF6/N2
mixtures to quench high current arcs is promising.

The cost of such mixtures is low and is less sensitive to field non-uniformities present
inside the equipment. In view of the above, the industry is trying to find out the
optimum mixture ratio and the total pressure of the SF6/N2 mixture that would be
required for a variety of applications. For many applications, such as Gas Insulated
Transmission Systems, cables, capacitors, current transformers and voltage
transformers, mixtures with different SF6 concentrations varying from 5% to 40%.

SF6/N2 mixtures show promise as a medium in circuit breakers. It has been found that
a mixture containing 69% SF6/31 % N2 gave higher recovery rate than pure SF6 at the
same partial pressure. It has also been shown that it is possible to further improve the
arc interruption properties of SF6 by using SF6/N2 or SF6/He mixtures.

In summary, it may be said that there is an urgent need to significantly reduce the use
of SF6 gas and its leakage from power apparatus. Use of gas mixtures appears to be
feasible, but it has to be ensured that there is no loss in the performance of the
equipment. Wherefore, further research has to be carried out to identify a suitable
gas mixture, its pressure and its arc interruption capability to be used in the existing
apparatus and the apparatus that will be designed and manufactured in future.

Insulating Liquids

Transformer Cable Capacitor Silicone

Property Askarels
Oil Oil Oil Oils

Breakdown strength
(20 C, 2.5mm sphere 150 300 200 200-250 300-400
Relative Permittivity
2.2-2.3 2.3-2.6 2.1 4.8 2-73
Loss Tangent (50Hz) .001 .002 0.25E-3 0.60E-3 .001
Loss Tangent (1 kHz) .0005 .0001 0.10E-3 0.50E-3 0.1E-3
Resistivity (Ohm -cm) 1e12-1e13 1e13-1e14 2e12 3e14
Specific Gravity at 20
0.89 0.93 0.88-0.89 1.4 1.0-1.1
Viscosity at 20 C
30 30 30 100-150 10-1000
Refractive Index 1.4820 1.4700 1.4740 1.6000
Saponification 0.01 0.01 0.01 <0.01 <0.01
Thermal Expansion 7e-4/deg 7e-4 7e-4 7e-4 5e-4
Max permissible Water <30 <30
50 50 50
content (ppm) negligble negligible

Pure Liquids

Pure liquids often have much higher breakdown strengths than commercial liquids.
For instance, the addition of 0.01% water to insulating oil reduces its breakdown
strength to 20% of the "dry" value. Compare, for example, the breakdown for
Transformer Oil is usually taken as 150 kV/cm (see above table), but when highly
purified, it is almost 8 times that, or 1000 kV/cm.

Max Breakdown
Liquid Strength
Hexane 1.1-1.3
Benzene 1.1
Transformer Oil 1.0
Silicone 1.0-1.2
Liquid Oxygen 2.4
Liquid Nitrogen 1.6-1.9
Liquid Hydrogen 1.0
Liquid Helium 0.7
Liquid Argon 1.10-1.42


1. Solid Dielectrics
A good solid dielectric should have some of the properties mentioned
earlier for gases and liquids and it should also possess good mechanical
and bonding strengths. Many organic and inorganic' materials are used for high

voltage insulation purposes. Widely used inorganic materials are ceramics and
glass. The most widely used organic materials are thermosetting epoxy resins
such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE) or cross linked polyethylene
(XLPE). Kraft paper, natural rubber, silicon rubber and polypropylene rubber
are some of the other materials widely used as insulate in electrical equipment.
If the solid insulating material is truly homogeneous and is free from imperfections,
its breakdown stress will be as high as 10 MV/cm. This is the `intrinsic breakdown
strength', and can be obtained only under carefully controlled laboratory conditions.
However, in practice, the breakdown fields obtained are very much lower than this
value. The breakdown occurs due to many mechanisms. In general, the breakdown
occurs over the surface than in the solid itself, and the surface insulation failure
is the most frequent cause of trouble in practice.

2. Composites
In many engineering applications, more than one types of insulation are used
together, mainly in parallel, giving rise to composite insulation systems. Examples
of such systems are solid/gas insulation (transmission line insulators), solid/vacuum
insulation and solid/liquid composite insulation systems (trans-former winding
insulation, oil impregnated paper and oil impregnated metallised plastic film etc).
In the application of composites, it is important to make sure that both the
components of the composite should be chemically stable and will not react with
each other under the application of combined thermal, mechanical and electrical
stresses over the expected life of the equipment. They should also have nearly equal
dielectric constants. Further, the liquid insulate should not absorb any impurities from
the solid, which may adversely affect its resistivity, dielectric strength, loss factor and
other properties of the liquid dielectric.
It is the intensity of the electric field that determines the onset of breakdown and the
rate of increase of current before breakdown. Therefore, it is very essential that the
electric stress should be properly estimated and its distribution known in a
high voltage apparatus. Special care should be exercised in eliminating the
stress in the regions where it is expected to be maximum such as in the presence of
sharp points. In the design of high voltage apparatus, the electric field intensities
have to be controlled, otherwise higher stresses will trigger or accelerate the aging of
the insulation leading to its failure. Over the years, many methods for controlling and
optimizing electric fields to get the most economical designs have been developed.
Electric field control methods form an important component of the overall design of

Electric Field
A brief review of the concepts of electric fields is presented, as it is essential for high
voltage engineers to have knowledge of the field intensities in various media under
electric stresses. It also helps in choosing proper electrode configurations and
economical dimensioning of the insulation, such that highly stressed regions are not
formed and reliable operation of the equipment results in its anticipated life.
The field intensity E at any location in an electrostatic field is the ratio of the force
on an infinitely small charge at that location to the charge itself as the charge
decreases to zero. The force F on any charge q at that point in the field is given

F = q*E 4

The electric flux density D associated with the field intensity E is
D = ε*E 5
Where E is the permittivity of the medium in which the electric field exists. The work
done on a charge when moved in an electric field is defined as the potential. The
potential φ is equal to

Where l is the path through which the charge is moved.

Several relationships between the various quantities in the electric field can be
summarized as follows:

Where F is the force exerted on a charge q in the electric field E , and S is the
closed surface containing charge q.

Uniform and Non-Uniform Electric Fields

In general, the electric fields between any two electrodes can be both uniform and
non-uniform. In a uniform field gap, the average field E is the same throughout the
field rigion, whereas in a non-uniform field gap, E is different at different points of
the field region.
Uniform or approximately uniform field distributions exist between two infinite
parallel plates or two spheres of equal diameters when the gap distance is less than
diameter of the sphere. Spherical electrodes are frequently used for high voltage
measurements and for triggering in impulse voltage generation circuits. Sometimes,
parallel plates of finite size are used to simulate uniform electric fields, when gap
separation is much smaller than plate size.
In the absence of space charges, the average field E in a non-uniform field gap is
maximum at the surface of the conductor which has the smallest radius of curvature.
It has the minimum field E at the conductor having the large radius of curvature.
In this case, the field is not only non-uniform but also asymmetrical. Most of the
practical high voltage components used in electric power systems normally have
non-uniform and asymmetrical field distribution.

Estimation of Electric Field in Some Geometric Boundaries

It has been shown that the maximum electric field Em in a given electric field
configuration is of importance. The mean electric field over a distanced between
two conductors with a potential difference of V12 is

Ε av =

In field configurations of non-uniform fields, the maximum electric field Em is always

higher than the average value. For some common field configurations, the maximum
value of Em and the field enhancement factor f given by Em/Eav, are presented Below.

f = Em / Eav

1-Parallel plates

Em = f =1

Parallel plate

2- Concentric cylinders

3- Parallel cylinders of equal diameter


The design of power apparatus particularly at high voltages is governed by their

transient behavior. The transient high voltages or surge voltages originate in power
systems due to lightning and Switching operations. The effect of the surge voltages
is severe in all power apparatuses. The response of a power apparatus to the
impulse or surge voltage depends on the capacitances between the coils of
windings and between the different phase windings of the multi-phase machines.
The transient voltage distribution in, the windings as a whole are generally very non-
uniform and are complicated by traveling wave voltage oscillations set up within the
windings. In the actual design of an apparatus, it is, of course, necessary to consider
the maximum voltage differences occurring, in each region, at any instant of time
after the application of an impulse, and to take into account their durations
especially when they are less than one microsecond.

An experimental assessment of the dielectric strength of insulation against the power

frequency voltages and surge voltages, on samples of basic materials, on less complex
assemblies, or on complete equipment must involve high voltage testing. Since the
design of an electrical apparatus is based on the dielectric strength, the design cannot
be completely relied upon, unless experimentally tested. High voltage testing is done
by generating the voltages and measuring them in a laboratory.
When high voltage testing is done on component parts, elaborate insulation
assemblies, and complete full-scale prototype apparatus (called development testing),
it is possible to build up a considerable stock of design information; although
expensive, such data can be very useful. However, such data can never really be
complete to cover all future designs and necessitates use of large factors of safety.
A different approach to the problem is the exact calculation of dielectric strength of
any insulation arrangement. In an ideal design each part of the dielectric would be
uniformly stressed at the maximum value which it will safely withstand. Such an ideal
condition is impossible to achieve in practice, for dielectrics of different electrical
strengths, due to the practical limitations of construction. Nevertheless it provides
information on stress concentration factors the ratios of maximum local voltage
gradients to the mean value in the adjacent regions of relatively uniform stress. A
survey of typical power apparatus designs suggests that factors ranging from 2 to 5 can
occur in practice; when this factor is high, considerable quantities of insulation must
be used. Generally,

Improvements can be effected in the following ways:

1. by shaping the conductors to reduce stress concentrations,

2. by insertion of higher dielectric strength insulation at high stress points, and by
selection of materials of appropriate permittivity to obtain more uniform voltage

Capacitor Discharge Impulse Generators

This is the simplest means of generating a high voltage impulse in a load. Practical
considerations usually dictate that more sophisticated means be used (like Marx
generators, Transmission line pulse formers, Impulse Transformers, etc.), but the basic
capacitor discharge circuit is a good place to start.

The circuit above has all the essential components:

Echg - A means of charging the capacitor. Often, either a current limited HV power
supply and a Switch to connect it to the capacitor, or a HV power supply and a large
series resistor to limit the charging current.

Cs - A capacitor to store the energy.

S - A Switch to apply the energy to the load

R1 and L Series resistance and/or inductance, either parasitic or added for pulse shape

R2 - Load resistance

Cload - Load capacitance

Waveforms and the effect of resistances and inductances

Assuming the parasitic inductances are small (often, this is not a valid assumption),
the output of a capacitive impulse generator can be represented by a pair of
exponentials, reflecting the charging of the load capacitance and then, the discharge of
the storage and load capacitance. The most common way to describe the waveform is
by it's rise and fall times.

A standard waveform for lightning impulse testing would be a 2/50, where the load
voltage reaches its peak in 2 microseconds, and the decay to half the peak voltage
takes 50 microseconds.

Energy Discharge Capacitors

In these systems, the capacitor is used to store the energy to be used for the impulse.
Since fast rise times are usually desired, the capacitor should have low parasitic
inductance. Resistive losses also result in lower efficiency and slower rise times.
Commercial energy storage capacitors are designed to a specific capacitance. The
manufacturer then tests them, and their actual characteristics (capacitance, stored
energy) are marked on the label.


The Switches for an impulse generator fall into two general categories. The first is
those that are primarily mechanical in nature, consisting of contacts that are closed by
some means such as a spring, solenoid, air cylinder, or other actuator. The second is
those that have no moving parts, with the triggered spark gap being very popular,
although in some applications, devices such as SCR's are used.

Capacitor Charging considerations

The rectified output of a high voltage Transformer is probably the simplest system
used for charging the capacitor. Some form of current limiting is necessary because
the capacitor looks like a dead short when fully discharged. The current limiting is
often in the form of a series impedance. The impedance be either inductive or
resistive and can either be in the primary side of the Transformer or the secondary (or
be in sort of both, in the form of leakage inductance in the Transformer).

A resistive current limiter is simple, but the energy dissipated in the resistor is
signficant, being equal to the stored energy in the capacitor. Inductive current limiters
don't have the power dissipation problem of a resistor, but are more susceptible to
unwanted resonance effects, particularly with parasitic reactance's. A resonant
charging scheme using a diode and an inductor is very popular for capacitor discharge
circuits that are fired repeatedly.

Fruengel recommends the use of a voltage multiplier (Cockroft-Walton type), because

it has a hyperbolic voltage/current characteristic that lends itself to capacitor charging.
The disadvantage is that there is significant stored energy in the capacitor stack of the
multiplier, although raising the input frequency reduces the size of capacitor required,
and the stored energy. In fact, a logical outgrowth of this trend is the use of Switching
power supplies.

Switchers as capacitor chargers

In recent years, Switching power supplies have become popular for capacitor
charging. The generally high (tens of kHz) Switching frequency reduces the stored
energy in the supply, which enhances safety and reduces the chances of a flashover
arc developing. They can provide a constant charging current, reducing the power lost
compared to a series resistor RC scheme. They can also detect faults and shut down
the supply if an arc develops or a capacitor fails (shorted) during charging. HV power
supply manufacturers such as Maxwell have power supplies designed specifically for
charging capacitors.

Watch out for voltage reversals during discharge

The system for charging should take into account the voltage reversal on the storage
capacitor if any. For instance, a currrent limited HV Transformer feeding a bridge
rectifier is a convenient way to charge a capacitor. However, if the capacitor discharge
waveform has any voltage reversal, the diodes in the bridge will be forward biased in
parallel with the capacitor, and the resulting high peak currents will most likely
destroy the diodes.

<figure here>

Marx Generators
A Marx Generator is a clever way of charging a number of capacitors in parallel, then
discharging them in series. Originally described by E. Marx in 1924, Marx generators
are probably the most common way of generating high voltage impulses for testing
when the voltage level required is higher than available charging supply voltages.
Furthermore, above about 200 kV, the discharge capacitor becomes very expensive
and bulky. The Fitch circuit is becoming popular where very good control over
impulse voltage is required.

How it works
The charging voltage is applied to the system. The stage capacitors charge through the
charging resistors (Rc). When fully charged, either the lowest gap is allowed to
breakdown from over voltage or it is triggered by an external source (if the gap
spacing is set greater than the charging voltage breakdown spacing). This effectively
puts the bottom two capacitors in series, over voltage the next gap up, which then puts
the bottom three capacitors in series, which overvoltages the next gap, and so forth.
This process is referred to as "erecting". A common specification is the erected
capacitance of the bank, equal to the stage capacitance divided by the number of
The charging resistors are chosen to provide a typical charging time constant of
several seconds. A typical charging current would be in the 50-100 mA range. The
charging resistors also provide a current path to keep the arc in the spark gaps alive,
and so, should be chosen to provide a current of 5-10 amps through the gap. The
resistors are sometimes called "feed forward" resistors for this reason. The discharge
through the charging resistors sets an upper bound on the impulse fall time, although
usually, the impulse fall time is set by external resistors in parallel with the load (or
integrated into the generator, as described below).
For example, with a stage voltage of 100 kV, a desired output voltage of 1 MV (i.e. 10
stages), the charging resistors should be about 20-40 kohms (corresponding to an arc
current of 5 to 10 Amps). If the capacitors were 1 uF, then the discharge time constant

would be 20 milliseconds, much, much longer than the 50 microsecond time constant
of the standard test impulse. This example generator would have a stored energy of 5
kJ/stage or 50 kJ for the total system. At a charging current of 50 mA, it would take at
least 20 seconds to charge the entire stack.
If a constant voltage charging source is used, significant energy is dissipated in the
charging resistors, equal to the stored energy in the capacitors.

Design enhancements and considerations

Charging with a constant current source
If the Marx generator is charged from a constant voltage source, the energy dissipated
in the charging resistors will be equal to that stored in the Marx capacitors. If the bank
is charged with a constant current source, this energy loss can be substantially

Integrating the wave shaping resistors into the generator

In the classic capacitor discharge impulse generator, the shape of the pulse is
controlled by external impedances (usually resistors) at the "output" of the pulse
generator. As voltages get higher, it gets harder to build practical resistors with low
parasitic inductance that will also withstand the full impulse voltage. The usual
remedy for this is to include the wave-shaping resistors in the Marx bank itself, as
illustrated in the following figure.

Reducing the jitter

If the gaps in the Marx generator don't all fire at exactly the same time, the leading
edge of the impulse will have steps and glitches as the gaps fire. These delays also
result in an overall longer rise time for the impulse. If the jitter in the gaps is reduced,
the overall performance is improved.
The traditional Marx generator operating in air has all the gaps in a line with the
electrodes operating horizontally opposed. This allows the UV from bottom gap to
irradiate the upper gaps, reducing their jitter. Tests reported in Craggs and Meek
showed that obstructing the UV led to greatly increased jitter in the bank output,
which they attribute to the lack of UV irradiation on the upper gaps.
For a Marx generator which is immersed in oil, or using enclosed spark gaps, resistor
or capacitor networks can be used to propagate the trigger pulse to all the gaps, rather
than relying on the over voltage of the upper gaps to fire them.. A design from
Maxwell labs uses a series of resistors to apply the trigger impulse to all the gaps.
Laser irradiation or triggering of the gaps could also be used.
Craggs and Meek also report the use of radioactive sources included within the gap
electrodes to reduce the jitter.

Other Switching devices
The Marx technique has been used to generate impulses of several kilovolts from a
relatively low charging source using avalanche transistors as the Switching device
instead of a spark gap. In this case, the resistors need to be chosen to keep the
transistor turned on.

Alternate charging schemes

Particularly for lower output voltages, the capacitors can be charged in parallel from a
common source through a series resistor or inductor. The charging impedance has to
withstand the full output voltage for the top stage. For the solid state Marx generator
running at a few kV described above, this isn't as much of a problem as it would be
for a megavolt range lightning impulse simulator.

Inductors as the charging impedances

The charging resistors can be replaced by inductors, eliminating the power loss in the

The Fitch circuit

Fitch Impulse Generators

The Fitch circuit is used when better control of the impulse voltage is required than
can be provided by the Marx circuit.

High Voltage Safety


1. Electrical Hazards, Fuses and Safety Switches

2. Burns
3. Induction Field Effects
4. Ozone, Nitrites, and Vapors
5. Ultraviolet Light and X-ray Production
6. Radio Frequency Interference
7. Fire Hazards
8. Chemical Hazards
9. Explosion Hazards
10. Noise Hazards
11. Neighbors, The Spouse, and Children
12. Other

1.0) Electrical Hazards, Fuses and Safety Switches

The risk of death or injury is significant in many high voltage, and particularly high
energy systems. The following general guidelines are suggested:

1. Turn off the power before touching part of high voltage system, or even
getting close. A key Switch or lockout device
2. High voltage capacitors may hold a charge long after power is turned off.
Always discharge capacitors and keep them shorted in storage or when
working on them.. Even after being shorted, a capacitor can regain significant
voltage when open circuited. Ideally, the system should be designed so that the
capacitor shorting is failsafe.
3. Make sure the metal cases of Transformers, motors, control panels and other
items should be properly grounded.
4. Keep a safe distance from energized, or potentially energized components.
OSHA guidelines provide for the following distances. Don't move conductive
objects too close to energized components
5. Use adequate fusing of the power and/or Circuit Breakers to limit the
maximum current
6. Spend some time laying out your circuits. Hot glue, electrical tape and
exposed wiring are quick and easy, but could be lethal.

Information about electricity and humans

Lightning kills about 300 people each year in the United States, and injures an
additional three to four times this number. (Sorry, I have no data for the rest of the
planet.) More than one thousand people are killed each year in the U.S. due to
generated electric current, and several thousand more are injured. (This would include
potential tesla coilers.) In the case of lightning, the voltage and current are extremely
high, but the duration is short. The current tends to flow on the outside of the body
and may cause burns, respiratory arrest and/or cardiac arrest. Many die from lightning
due to respiratory arrest rather than cardiac arrest. (The portion of the brain
controlling breathing is often severely affected in a lightning strike.) Power line

deaths usually involve lower voltages and currents, but the duration may be
significant. Often the current flows inside the body, causing deep burns and cardiac
arrest. Frequently, the individual cannot let go of the power source due to involuntary
muscle contraction. The brain and heart are the most sensitive organs. The dose
response for animal and human data suggest the following: for less than 10 mA hand
to foot of 50-60 cycle line current, the person merely feels a "funny" sensation; for
currents above 10 mA, the person freezes to the circuit and is unable to let go; For
currents of 100 mA to one ampere, the likelihood of sudden death is greatest. Above
one ampere, the heart is thrown into a single contraction, and internal heating
becomes significant. The individual may be thrown free of the power source, but may
go into respiratory and/or cardiac arrest.

Six factors determine the outcome of human contact with electrical current: voltage,
amperage, resistance, frequency, duration and pathway. I will discuss each


Low voltages generally do not cause sudden death unless the external resistance is
low (so don't fire up your coil in wet areas). As the voltage is increased, more and
more current passes through the body, possibly causing damage to the brain, heart, or
causing involuntary muscle contractions. Perhaps 100-250 volts A. C. is the most
lethal voltage, because it is high enough to cause significant current flow through the
body, and may cause muscles to contract tightly, rendering the victim incapable of
letting go. Lower voltages often are insufficient to cause enough current flow, and
higher voltages may cause the victim to be thrown clear of the hazard due to the
particularly fierce involuntary muscle contractions. Arcing may occur with high
voltages, however. Naturally, burns become more severe as the voltage is increased.


Greater amperage means greater damage, especially due to heating within tissues. As
little as 10 micro amps of current passing directly through the heart can cause
ventricular fibrillation (heart muscle fibers beat out of sync, so no blood is pumped)
and cardiac arrest. Because of the air filled lungs, much of the current passing through
the chest may potentially pass through the heart. The spinal cord may also be affected,
altering respiration control. 100-1000 milliamperes is sufficient to induce respiratory
arrest and/or cardiac arrest. Thermal heating of tissues increases with the square of the
current (I2R), so high current levels can cause severe burns, which may be internal.


A heavily callused dry palm may have a resistance of 1 megohm. A thin, wet palm
may register 100 ohms of resistance. Resistance is lower in children. Different body
tissues exhibit a range of resistances. Nerves, arteries and muscle are low in
resistance. Bone, fat and tendon are relatively high in resistance. Across the chest of
an average adult, the resistance is about 70-100 ohms. Thermal burns due to I2R
losses in the body can be significant, resulting in the loss of life or limb long after the
initial incident. A limb diameter determines the approximate "cross section" which the

current will flow through, (for moderate voltages and low frequencies). As a result, a
current passing through the arm generates more temperature rise and causes more
thermal damage than when passing through the abdomen.


The "skin effect" also applies to a human conductor, and as the frequency gets above
about 500 kHz or so, little energy passes through the internal organs. (I unfortunately
have little data in the 50-250 kHz range, where we operate most tesla coils. I'll check
another reference I have at home.) At a given voltage, 50-60 A.C. current has a much
greater ability to cause ventricular fibrillation than D.C. current. In addition, at 50-60
Hz, involuntary muscle contractions may be so severe that the individual cannot let go
of the power source. Higher frequencies are less able to cause these involuntary


Obviously, the longer the duration, the more severe the internal heating of tissues.
Duration is particularly a problem when working with 110-240 volts A.C., which can
render the individual incapable of letting go.


If the current passes through the brain or heart, the likelihood of a lethal dose
increases significantly. For example, hand to hand current flow carries a 60%
mortality, whereas hand to foot current flow results in 20% overall mortality. Be
aware that foot to foot conduction can also occur, if a high voltage lead is
inadvertently stepped on or if grounding is inadequate.

Electrical Precautions

Obviously, the A.C. line voltage, the high voltage Transformer and the high voltage
R.F. generated by a tesla coil are each potentially lethal in their own unique ways.
One must always respect this extreme danger and use high voltage shielding,
contactors, safety interlocks, careful R.F. and A.C. grounding, and safe operating
procedures when working with coils. A safety key to prevent inexperienced operators
from energizing a coil is essential. High voltage capacitors can also retain lethal
energies (especially in the "equidrive" configuration) and should always be grounded
before adjusting a primary. Whenever possible, have a buddy around to assist you.
Place one hand in your pocket when near electrical components so the current won't
pass through your chest, and use the back of your hand to touch any electrical
components so you can let go if it happens to bite you. Remember that most deaths
are caused by regular 110 A.C. power! Never perform coiling when overtired or under
the influence of mind altering drugs. Watch a tesla video instead!

More Tesla coils electrical danger information

The previous article mentioned some of them in a general electrical hazard context,
while this article will attempt to discuss the dangers from a tesla coil point of view.

Electrical Dangers

Exposed wiring on Transformers. Most Transformers have exposed high voltage lugs.

Most neon sign Transformers that I have seen used for tesla coil usage have exposed
lugs. A 15000 volt Transformer has a turn ratio of 125:1 (assuming 120 volts in). If
you haven't disconnected your input power from the source (unplugged your variac),
you may be in for a surprise. A variac that is putting out two volts will give you a 250
volt shock if you touch the high voltage outputs of the neon sign Transformer!

Pole pigs (also known as distribution Transformers, such as the one that is probably
hanging on a utility pole near your home) have the same dangers as mentioned above,
as well as having much more current available. At the output voltage of a pole pig, the
current that can go through you is not really limited by anything other than the current
regulation that you attached to the pig.

Once I shocked myself with one end (7500 volts) of a 60 mA. neon sign Transformer.
I just brushed against an exposed end, so I wasn't gripping anything. It was quite
painful, much more so than touching a sparkplug wire. I felt the path of the current
follow my arm, and go down my leg. Keep one hand in your pocket when working
near or with charged items. (Capacitors, secondary coils, etc.)

Richard Hull's "Tesla Coil Primer" tape has some excellent safety suggestions in it, is
entertaining, informative, and well worth the money. One of his best suggestions is
the one of holding the power plug to the power Transformer in your hand whenever
you are putting your hands around the circuit.

The transmission line between your high voltage Transformer and your tesla coil is
another potential source of electrocution. This should be constructed using neon sign
wiring (rated to 40 kV) or thick coaxial cable like RG-8A/U or RG-11A/U. If using
coaxial cable, use the inner conductor for the high voltage, and strip back the outer
braid about 6-12 inches from each end. Connect one end of the braid to your RF
ground. Leave the other end unconnected so it does not form a current loop. Some
coilers also place their high voltage cables inside a plastic conduit, which is laid on
the floor. This also protects the cable somewhat from strikes.

• Charged capacitors.
"Equidrive" systems will almost always have a residual charge remaining on the
capacitor when the system is turned off.
The "equidrive" system uses two capacitors in the primary coil circuit. The gap is
across the Transformer, and the capacitors extend from the gap to each side of the
primary coil. Even with the gap shorted, the capacitors can hold a lethal voltage.
If you use this configuration, make yourself a shorting rod using a piece of copper
tubing or wire with an insulating handle attached, and always short out each capacitor
at the end of each run, and again each time you plan to touch the primary system.

Capacitors can also build up a residual charge from electrostatic sources.

Capacitors have been known to accumulate a charge from various sources such as
static electricity and electric fields.

Capacitors can "regain" charge from dielectric "memory". The dielectric in a capacitor
is put under electrical stress during use. During operation, this stress may cause the
molecules in the dielectric to orient themselves in such a manner that they store this
charge in their structure. The charge remains after the capacitor has been discharged.
Later the molecules return to their original states and the charge that they "captured"
ends up on the plates of the capacitor. This charge is then available to shock you.

Other sources of danger

You are literally playing Russian Roulette when you stick a hand held metal rod into
the output streamer of your coil running at 3kvA, while standing on a concrete floor!!!
When you start running these kind of power levels (or even less) some coils have a
tendency to form a corona or even send a streamer down to their own primaries every
once in a while. A grounded strike ring is often added around the primary to try to
prevent this self striking streamer from hitting the primary coil and thus introducing a
high voltage pulse into the 'bottom end electronics' where it could do damage to
components. These strike rails are not 100% effective. The streamer can still, and
sometimes does strike a point downstairs that is part of the LETHAL high voltage 60
Hz circuitry. When such a contact is made, any person also connected to a
corona/streamer link to the secondary at the same time will, via the ionized air path,
become connected to lethal 60 Hz mains current. You could try the trick you described
standing on the cement floor in your tennis shoes half a dozen times and live, or be
killed the very next time you try it. The fact that the bottom of your secondary is tied
to ground will not save you!

If you isolate your own body well away from the floor and any other potentially
conductive objects in the vicinity, such as sitting or standing on an elevated insulated
platform (I would NOT consider a plastic milk crate adequate!), then you will
probably survive if 60 Hz is introduced into the streamer you are in contact with by
the mechanism described above. However, in setting up this insulated platform you
must consider the path that may be taken from streamers that will re-emerge from
your body and head off looking for other targets, which could result in direct contact
with earth ground again.

In a safety warning I have about the potential hazards of Tesla coils mention is made
of a stage lecturer while demonstrating how he could cause long sparks to come out of
his fingers (by standing on a specially constructed coil), was electrocuted when the
discharge created an ionized path to grounded overhead pipes supporting stage back
drops, and the lower voltage but far more deadly 60 cycle current passed through his
body along that path. The name of this lecturer is believed to be Transtrom.

I was dinking around once with a vacuum tube coil drawing 15 inch streamers to a
hand-held, 10 megohm metal film porcelain resistor about a foot long while standing
on a carpeted, elevated wooden floor in composition rubber soled dry shoes. I
inadvertently got the resistor too close to the primary tank coil (the top end directly
connected to the 3 kilovolt output of the plate supply Transformer) and the high
voltage RF closed a path to the primary. I felt an uncomfortable 60 Hz shock through
my entire body. Had that resistor been a solid metal rod I would have experienced a
very painful jolt or worse, and had I been standing on a cement floor, I'd probably be
'worm food'.

I think the danger of electrocution is just as real by making contact with a hand held
florescent lamp tube, as any solid conducting metal objeCT's

I cringe when I hear of some body contact stunts proposed by people on this list! The
potential (no pun intended) for death is very real. Be EXTREMELY careful!

Another viewpoint

The 60 cycle side of things is where electrocution can happen. Keep well away from
any 60 cycle leads, use grounds and cages as appropriate. Bear in mind that if a radio
frequency arc starts from a place which also has 60 cycles on it (one side of a primary
circuit, for example) there is the possibility of high-current 60 cycle conduction along
the ionized path. That could be deadly.....

Back to contents

2.0) Burns

Tesla coils can cause burns, especially due to RF discharges from the secondary. Stay
out of the immediate vicinity of a tesla coil. Remember, if you do get zapped by a
large coil system, the heating effects may be mostly internal, causing lasting damage!
Also remember that spark gaps and rotaries get hot and are a potential source of

3.0) Induction Field Effects

Tesla coils operate in a pulsed mode, and strong electric and magnetic fields are
locally produced. In addition, significant amounts of RF may be produced if the
grounding is poor, or before spark breakout. This can result in induced currents in
other conductors, like test equipment, nearby computers and electronics, and metal
structures in the facility. The end result is generally bad. Turn off computers and
sensitive test equipment, and move it away from the vicinity of your coils. If you
foolishly choose to use your house electrical ground as your RF ground, you are
asking for trouble. Currents may be induced anywhere in the building, and voltage
standing waves along the wiring may destroy electronics far from the coil location.
Construct a dedicated RF ground, and make sure it is properly connected before firing
any coil of substantial size.

Fire from other induced currents.

Tesla coils are good at inducing currents. Beware of metal things that are connected to
the same ground as a tesla coil. For example, I run my coil in my garage, which has a
wooden door on metal tracks. The tracks are against the concrete floor, and near the
strap that serves as a ground for my coil. When the coil operates, it causes sparks to
jump between the running hardware of the door and the tracks.

Static charges

During the operation of the tesla coil, significant static charges can build up on the
secondary. If you need to move the secondary (say you are adjusting the coupling),
you may get a nasty zap right across your chest when you pick it up with both hands.
Before you touch the secondary, wipe it lightly with a grounded wire. You can
sometimes hear the crackling as you do so. Besides the shock hazard, there is the
physical hazard caused by the shock. You will likely drop the secondary or jump onto
something that isn't soft.

Hazards to electronics

Strikes to house electrical ground -- also goes to power(?) A tesla coil must be
connected to a ground that is separate from the house ground or water pipes.
Connecting your coil to either of these grounds is a recipe for disaster. Notice that
your stereo, computer, VCR, etc., have three prong plugs. Also, note where your
telephone box is grounded. It is likely grounded to the water pipes.

Consider what happens when your coil strikes the grounded strike rail, or an
unexpectedly long spark that hits an electrical receptacle. That enormous voltage at
high frequency will now be connected to the grounds of all your electronic goodies or
your telephone. Furthermore, a spark is a conducting path in the atmosphere. By
creating this path, you open your electrical system up to connections among the
120/220v house system and ground.

Strikes to garage door opener rails. Since many people do their coiling in the garage,
this topic deserves individual consideration. If you have a garage door opener, or are
installing one, you should put in a mechanism, such as a Switch or plug and socket,
that allows you to disconnect the opener from the house power.

My garage door got zapped by my coil. The door is connected to the opener track so
the opener got zapped too. The strike caused the opener to attempt to open the already
open door. Since the door couldn't go any further, the opener started binding. I was
able to unplug the opener and keep the thing from smoking.

More than one person on the list has replaced their opener as a result of their coiling
activity. Be warned of the dangers to the equipment. An untested suggestion is to put a
grounded wire underneath the rail and opener to draw the sparks to the wire.

Electric fields inducing currents and killing sensitive meters. Oddly enough sensitive
meters and measuring equipment are just that -- sensitive. Solid state instruments are
much more susceptible to damage from being near tesla coils than are vacuum tube
items. Consider purchasing a cheap volt-ohmeter (VOM) with an analog meter
movement. If will survive in places many digital units will not. A used vacuum tube

oscilloscope is also more likely to survive the tesla coil environment and can be
obtained cheaply at hamfests.

Good electrical practice

Place your coil in a location that will prevent the strikes from hitting electrical outlets,
people, animals, and sensitive electrical equipment. Turn off and unplug computers in
your house.

4.0) Ozone, Nitrites, and Vapors

A sparking tesla coil produces ozone, nitrites, and probably a host of other potentially
toxic substances. Do not operate a large coil in an enclosed area for long periods of
time. Make sure ventilation is adequate at all times. There have been anecdotal
references to people becoming ill due to ozone toxicity. The long term bioeffects are
unknown. (On the other hand, it does help out the ozone layer!) When constructing
secondaries, use adequate ventilation when coating coils with varnish, etc. Some of
these materials are also quite toxic. The flux from solder is also potentially hazardous.

5.0) Ultraviolet Light and X-ray Production

Ultraviolet light may be produced by the spark gap during operation of a tesla coil.
The human eye has no pain sensors within it, so the bioeffects are felt later, when it is
too late. (Ever look at the sun for a while, or watch a welder at work?) The light
produced in a spark gap is essentially identical to that produced by an arc welder,
containing substantial amounts of hard ultraviolet light. As any professional arc
welder will tell you "Don't Look At The Arc!" Spark gaps produce a large amount of
UV and visible light. The visible light is extremely bright, and the ultraviolet light
will damage your eyes, and can cause skin cancer. The arc is so bright that you
couldn't make out any detail anyway, so why bother? If you must study your spark
gap, use welder's glasses. Generally, it is not too difficult to rig up a piece of plastic,
cardboard, etc. that will shield yourself and others.


X-rays can be produced whenever there is a high voltage present. Although a number
of coilers have tested their coils for x-ray radiation and found none present that is not
to say that x-rays cannot be produced, especially if vacuum tubes, light bulbs, and
other evacuated vessels are placed near a coil. Here is a little information about X-

X-ray Production

A number of vacuum tubes work pretty well as X-ray tubes, and several articles have
appeared in Scientific American magazine in the distant past. X-rays are typically
produced by slamming electrons into either the nuclei or inner shell electrons of
atoms. The source electrons are usually boiled off a heated filament (cathode), and
accelerated toward an anode via some large potential difference, typically 25-150 kV
in the medical world. Basically, any time the voltage gets above 10 kV, there is a
significant risk of X-ray production, and the risk increases with increasing voltages.

You can also get some X-ray production via field emission, whereby electrons escape
a cold metal due to very high local electric fields (the Schottky effect). This was
probably the type of emission obtained by an amateur described recently on the list.
For the remainder of this discussion I will limit my comments to conventional X-ray
tubes, using a filament and anode, although most of it applies to both forms. The
target or anode is normally a high atomic number material like tungsten. X-ray
production is relatively inefficient, so most of the energy is wasted as heat (typically
about 99% with good X-ray tubes). Tungsten works well because of its high melting
point (to absorb all that wasted heat energy). If the potential difference between the
anode and cathode is +100 kV D.C., a spectrum of X-rays will be produced with
energies from zero to 100 keV. The graph of the number of X-rays produced (y-axis)
versus X-ray energy (x-axis) has a negative slope with a Y=0 point at x = 100 keV.
Hence, many more low energy X-rays are produced than high energy X-rays. Some of
these low energy photons are absorbed by the tube housing. In a clinical X-ray
machine, the tube is placed in a leaded shield with a window (hole) in it for the X-rays
to escape through. This window has a piece of aluminum over it to further attenuate
the low energy X-rays. In conventional equipment, the tube, housing and aluminum
filter accounts for about 2.5 - 3.5 mm of aluminum equivalent material in the exit
port. This effectively knocks out most of the low energy (<10 keV) radiation, which
would be absorbed in the patient and could not contribute to producing an image

X-ray Absorption

High atomic number materials readily absorb x-ray radiation. There is an energy
dependence here, as high energy X-rays are more penetrating than low energy x-rays.
For example, the percentage of radiation which will pass through 10 cm (about 4
inches) of water is 0.04% at 20 keV, 10% at 50 keV and 18% at 100 keV. Compare
this with 1 mm of lead (about 0.04 inches), which transmits 0.02% at 50 keV and
0.14% at 100 keV. The human body absorbs X-rays pretty readily (similar to water),
but becomes more transparent as the energy of the X-ray increases. That is why we
use 50-150 keV for many clinical procedures. The low energy X-rays are filtered out
of the spectrum before they enter the patient, usually through the use of an aluminum
filter, which lets the high energy X-rays pass through with little attenuation (except
possibly to give you enough contrast to see what you want). Most of the x-rays are
absorbed in the patient, with 1-5% exiting the patient typically. Low energy X-rays (0-
15 keV) are totally absorbed in human skin near the skin surface, and would
contribute substantially to patient dose if allowed to reach the patient. This is to be
avoided in general!


The best materials are lead or depleted (nonradioactive) uranium. Concrete and steel
also work pretty well. Aluminum is a poor absorber of radiation, unless the radiation
is very low in energy. Most plastics are similar to water in attenuating properties
(quite poor).


X-rays are capable of producing ionizations, which means that the electrons can be
stripped off of atoms when an x-ray is absorbed in a material. This results in the
production of chemically reactive free radicals, and the direct disruption of chemical
bonds. This is generally bad in humans, causing cancer, leukemia cataracts, etc.
However, due to natural background radiation levels, humans have built in radiation
repair mechanisms and can handle low doses of radiation quite well. Bio-effects are
not generally observed for doses of less than 25 rem. Skin reddening occurs with
doses of around 300 rem or so. Natural background radiation levels typically
contribute 0.2 - 0.5 rem per year. Most regulatory agencies recommend no more than
0.5 rem per year above background radiation levels for the general public.
Occupational radiation workers can get 5 rem per year above background. The
radiation from a well designed X-ray tube can be as high as 10-50 rem per minute of
exposure, at a distance of 1/2 meter. The radiation source acts like a light bulb,
decreasing in intensity via the square law with distance. Hence, don't stand close to a
possible radiation source, use adequate shielding and minimize the exposure time.
Incidentally produced radiation from metal objects other than X-ray tubes will
generally be at much lower production levels, but should be avoided, nonetheless.


In the U.S. the individual states regulate X-ray machines. They generally keep close
tabs on clinical and industrial X-ray machines and aren't too impressed to see them in
the hands of people without the appropriate licenses. If you happen across an old X-
ray tube, you might consider releasing the high vacuum inside (very carefully, please)
so that it is inoperable, and a little safer to handle for show and tell (and much more
acceptable to the regulators). This can be done by making a small hole in the glass
envelope with a file, keeping the tube wrapped in a large quantity of towels for
implosion protection during the process. (It goes without saying that you should
always have your favorite towel handy anyway [for you Doug Adams fans]).


At this point I presume you are wondering how to tell if that great apparatus in your
basement or garage is producing X-rays. There are several ways to tell. First, go look
for a surplus Geiger-Mueller counter at your local hamfest or make friends with
someone in your local fire department, since many fire departments have radiation
survey meters at their stations (in case we have a nearby nuclear explosion, etc.).
(Don't bother with the fire department if your apparatus is likely to upset them!) In
addition, nearly every hospital has a radiation safety officer who is likely to be more
than willing to take a look at your toys, and will bring a radiation survey meter along.
The standard method for monitoring radiation dose is via film badge and/or
thermoluminescent dosimetry monitors, but these are not all that useful to the
experimenter since they must be mailed back to the dosimetry lab for reading. In
general, film is quite insensitive to radiation, and is of limited value in the
experimenters setting unless you can leave the equipment on for a long time to get
adequate exposure. Cloud chambers are great fun and can detect a variety of radiation
particles, but get easily overwhelmed by devices that put out even low radiation
levels. If you don't expect any radiation but still want to check, a cloud chamber can

be used. Buy a thorium doped lantern mantle at your local camping store to use as a
radiation check source to make sure your chamber is working okay before you power
up your equipment. Another possibility is to construct an electroscope and place it
near your apparatus. An electroscope measures the amount of charge using two thin
metal foils which are charged up to a high potential, causing them to swing apart due
to repulsion of like charges. Radiation ionizes the air in the electroscope chamber,
causing a loss of charge on the foils. Naturally, this type of equipment has limited
utility in the direct vicinity of high voltage equipment if electric fields are significant.

X-rays and Tesla Coils

I have monitored my various tesla coils using a number of different radiation

instruments and have not seen measurable radiation levels. My coils produce 3 to 5
foot sparks in magnifier and conventional forms using up to 15 kV input, with power
levels of no more than 1.5 kVA. Obviously, you don't want to get a survey meter too
close to an operating tesla coil.

Finally, always keep safety in mind with all of this equipment. Humans are not able to
sense X-ray and ultraviolet radiation. If you think you are producing some, use an
appropriate instrument to find out for sure.

6.0) Radio Frequency Interference

Tesla coils are generally inefficient as antennas go, but can still produce a fair amount
of RF, especially if operated with a large top capacitance, before spark breakout.
Significant quantities of RF can also be produced if the RF grounding is inadequate.
This can cause interference with TV's, radios, and other electronics. If you note
interference, try to improve your ground first, since that is likely where your problem
is. In addition, every tesla coil should be wired with a power line conditioner in series
with the primary circuit. These are relatively inexpensive and are very effective in
keeping RF out of the house wiring.

Legal dangers

In the United States, RF transmitters are regulated by the Federal Communications

Commission ( FCC), and they generally aren't keen on any type of RF interference.
They have specific rules which prohibit the operation of spark gap type damped
oscillators, dating back to the early days of radio. Make sure you operate your coil
with a good RF ground. If interference still exists, construct a Faraday cage from
chicken wire or similar material, which should eliminate the interference.

Other Comments

When I first got interested in tesla coils, I called the FCC to ask about the legal
aspects of coiling. While the man that I talked to wasn't too sure about the potential
interference, he did say that modulation of the output is definitely illegal. Of course, if
you shield your coil from emitting RF to the outside world, you can do anything you

Try to be aware that your coil may cause various interference problems. If you know
about any, take care to eliminate them if possible before they figure out who caused it.

7.0) Fire Hazards

The danger of fires is substantial with tesla coils! Make sure you have a functional
fire extinguisher designed for fighting electrical fires handy. Fires can be caused by an
overheated spark gap, equipment failure (e.g., shorted Transformer), corona
discharge, induced currents, to name a few causes.

Fire starting from sparks to flammable points. The sparks from a tesla coil are hot.
Depending on where they strike, these sparks can cause a fire. Richard Hull has
captured fires caused by sparks from his coils on video tape. (This was due to a failed
power line conditioner.)

Be sure that when you run your coil, that there are no flammable substances around.
For example, gas cans (e.g., for a lawnmower), ammunition, sawdust, fireworks, etc.
Walls and ceilings can also be ignited, so keep the fire extinguisher handy.

Gasoline on premises (mowers, etc.) Without a spark, what's a tesla coil? What's it
take to ignite gasoline? Consider the location of gas cans, lawnmowers, etc. when
operating your coil. Remember that when you operate your coil, it's usually in the
dark with plenty of exposed high voltage wires. Not a good combination for fighting a
fire in your garage.

In addition, most coilers use polyethylene and other plastics in constructing their
coils, capacitors, and other equipment. These plastics ignite at relatively low
temperatures, and produce large quantities of toxic smoke.

8.0) Chemical Hazards

Old capacitors and Transformers often used PCB oils for insulation. This oil is a
known carcinogen. Similarly, the materials used to coat coils (e.g., varnish) may
contain hazardous chemicals. Consult a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for any
materials you have questions about. (Many of these are available via Internet. Use
your favorite Web search engine with the key word MSDS'.) Some forms of solder
contain lead, which is also generally bad for humans.

9.0) Explosion Hazards

Explosions can and do occur with tesla coils! The rotary gap and capacitors are the
most frequent culprits, but nearby flammables are also at risk.

Rotary gaps

During operation, rotary gaps spin at high speeds. The spinning rotor or disk is
subjected to tremendous force. At a modest 3600 RPM, the periphery of a 10" disk is
subjected to a force of 1835 G's. A 5 gram (0.011 lb) 1/4-20 brass acorn nut used as an

electrode will exert a force of over 20 pounds. The peripheral speed of the 10" disk is
107 MPH. At 10000 RPM, the edge of the disk is running at about 300 MPH!

All these numbers translate into one thing: Danger.

The best way to guard against this danger is to shield the rotor and build the entire
system carefully and take pains to balance it. The shielding must be nearly bullet
proof (literally). Lexan (polycarbonate) is an excellent plastic for shielding. It is non-
conductive, strong, and tough. Consult with your plastics dealer to determine what
thickness you need.


Capacitors are great at releasing energy very quickly. The explosion danger in a
capacitor occurs when it shorts out and suddenly produces a large volume of hot
vaporized gas. Since capacitors are usually in an airtight container, the volume of gas
will cause the container to explode, sending pieces of solid cap guts and oil all over.

One recommended method of shielding capacitors is in an HDPE (High Density

PolyEthylene) pipe. These pipes are used in the pyrotechnics industry as mortars
because of their strength and the fact that they don't create shrapnel as steel or PVC
pipes do.

Also, avoid storing gasoline or other flammables near a tesla coil!

10.0) Noise Hazards

Tesla coils produce a lot of noise, and large coils can damage one's hearing. Go to
your local gun shop and buy ear protection if you operate large coils.

One type of spark gap, the air blast gap, produces a loud noise. Buy and use a set of
ear muffs or ear plugs. There are a wide variety of types of ear plugs and muffs, so
you will likely find one that works well and is comfortable. I prefer the roll up foam
type myself. If you are on a tight budget (blew all the $$$'s on the pig), you can wash
the foam ear plugs. Just put them in a pants pocket (one that closes is best) and run the
pants through the wash. Works great.

When a coil is in tune, you will notice a dramatic increase in the noise level as it
sparks. This noise is loud enough that it can damage hearing. See the warnings in the
previous paragraph.

Hearing is important -- how will you tell if your teenager is mocking you behind your

11.0) Neighbors, The Spouse, and Children

While the beauty of a tesla coil firing outside is something to behold, often your
neighbors will not see it that way, and your local police will make a personal house
call. Be cognizant of your possibly unreasonable neighbors, and do your work inside
if possible, or invite them over and explain things before you start. Attitudes are a lot
different if a little common sense is used first.

Coils are noisy

Please consider your neighbor's sleep habits.

Remember the following:

¨ For new parents, sleep is the most precious commodity that they have.

¨ Not everyone works 8am to 5pm.

¨ Not everyone is tolerant or nice.

A potential secondary hazard would be from enraged neighbors if radio or TV

interference was generated often enough to be a nuisance, and said neighbors could
trace it to its source. Good citizenship will solve this problem (or a large building with
a good RF ground and a batch of power line filters).

Kids, small pets

Kids and small pets are quite curious, innocent, and ignorant. (Note the similarity!)
Their judgment isn't the greatest either. If you have children and they have access to
your coil, install some sort of key lock on your power cabinet, variac, or whatever.
Killing or injuring a child or pet, be it yours or neighbors, will most likely be the
worst thing that will happen to you in your life.

The Spouse

Another potential hazard is if the spouse thinks one is spending too much time on his
or her hobby. ANY HOBBY!!!! Expect the wife to not understand!

11) Other

Whenever possible, have a buddy assist you. Most coilers prefer to operate their coils
with the lights off, which is inherently dangerous. This situation can be improved by
having an assistant around to operate the lights and/or power Switch. Also, have your
buddy learn CPR, and post your local emergency telephone numbers, just to be safe.

The layout of your apparatus is also a safety consideration. Many coilers throw their
systems together using electrical tape, hot glue, and assorted bits of plastic. If things
move around a bit during firing, the risk of something bad occurring is increased
significantly. Spend a little time to construct yourself a nice power cabinet with a
safety Switch, and construct a safe high voltage transmission line to your coil.

Drinking and coiling can be lethal! If you feel the need to consume some mind
altering drugs, watch a tesla video instead! Never operate a tesla coil while under the
influence! Quaff the ales later during bragging hour, not when you are actually


Corona is caused by the electric field next to an object exceeding the breakdown value
for air (or whatever it is immersed in). Since the magnitude of the field is inversely
proportional to the radius of curvature, sharper edges break down sooner. The corona
starting voltage is typically 30 kV/cm radius. Dust or water particles on the surface of
the object reduce the corona starting voltage, probably by providing local areas of
tighter curvature, and hence higher field stress.

The easiest case to analyze is that of a sphere. The magnitude of the electric field at
the surface of a sphere in free space is simply the voltage/radius. Note that if the
sphere is near another conductor, the field is no longer uniform, as the charge will
redistribute itself towards an adjacent conductor, increasing the field.

Since corona is fundamentally a breakdown phenomenon, it follows Paschen's law:

the voltage is a function of pd. Double all the dimensions and halve the gas pressure,
and the corona voltage will be pretty much the same.

Corona Surface Factor

The following table gives empirically determined correction factors for various
surface conditions. These factors are multiplied by the corona starting voltage (or
field) to determine the corrected voltage.

Condition of Conductor m0
New, unwashed 0.67-0.74
Washed with grease solvent 0.91-0.93
Scratch-brushed 0.88
Buffed 1.00
Dragged and dusty 0.72-0.75
Weathered (5 months) 0.95
Weathered at low humidity 0.92
For general design 0.87-0.90
7 strand concentric lay cable 0.83-0.87
19, 37, and 61 strand concentric lay

Eliminating or reducing corona

Smoothly radiusing the corners of objects at high voltages relative to nearby objects
will reduce the local field strength.

Put the sharp corner in something with a higher breakdown strength than air. The trick
here is to make sure that you have really got the replacement substance in contact
with the conductor. By making the high field occur within a substance with a higher
breakdown than the surrounding air, corona can be reduced.

Covering sharp corners with an insulating film increases the corona starting voltage at
the points with high E-field stress. Generically known as "corona dope", this is an
enamel or polystyrene paints or gels that you can apply. Glyptal is one example, and
clear nail polish has also been used. Clear acrylic spray paint is another alternative,
although the coating is quite thin.

Potting the entire assembly in an insulator (traditionally paraffin or sulfur were used,
silicone RTV is a more popular modern alternative) achieves the same result.
Immersing the assembly in oil or other insulating fluids will also work. All of the
potting and immersion techniques depend on removing the air or gas bubbles to work.
Commercial manufacturers pull a vacuum on the container while the assembly is
being potted to facilitate the removal of the air bubbles. Experimenters building
polyethylene and aluminum foil capacitors for tesla coils run them at low powers
using the electrostatic forces between the plates to vibrate and pump the air bubbles

A popular approach to reducing corona on wires is to surrounding the conductor by a

semiconducting film or layer of greater radius. This effectively increases the radius of
the object, and hence lowers the field strength. You may not need a huge amount of
copper to carry the required current (often micro or milliamps), but you want the
diameter of the conductor large enough to reduce the corona. Wire of this type is
manufactured by Belden, Rowe-Talley, and Caton, among others.

Field grading rings are often used on high voltage equipment to control the electric
field distribution. Rather than rely the field that would exist in free space between two
charged conductors, a series of other conductors are interposed at intermediate
voltages. The intermediate voltages are derived from a capacitive or resistive divider.
A capacitive divider may be a simple as the inter electrode capacitances of the grading
rings themselves.

Running the system in a tank at high pressure, or in an insulating gas, will increase the
corona starting voltage.


The purpose of commissioning is to satisfy, to pre-determined standards, that

all the equipment erection is correct and that all the equipment connections /
cables have been installed in accordance with the approved erection drawings
and diagrams. Furthermore to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the client that
the foregoing work has been done and that the equipment functions as designed.

The 'Commissioning Procedures' as detailed in this document will be carried

out by 'Commissioning Teams' under the direction of the Principal
Commissioning Engineer (PCE). The PCE will take overall responsibility for
the documentation, drawings, liaison with the client, commissioning
lists/methods, supervision and direction of the commissioning teams and clients
approval / acceptance.

The format of the commissioning teams will vary of course from contract to
contract as the work content and demands change. Normally the PCE will be

supported by one or more Senior Commissioning Engineers (SCE) who are
authorized to deputies for the PCE in his absence. The appropriate Factory Test
Engineers (FTE) and any Subcontractor Commissioning Engineers (CE) will
also form an essential part of the team.
The 'Commissioning Procedures' document covers the normal operational and
electrical pre-commissioning and commissioning test / checks. It is not
intended to cover the post-erection 'mechanical' checks that the (FTE's) carry
out as part of their installation responsibility.
To avoid any confusion in this respect this document covers all of the tests
and checks that are genuinely considered part of the commissioning procedures
to be carried out by the commissioning team and therefore under the direction
of the PCE.

To ensure that the commissioning procedures are carried out as effectively

and efficiently as possible it is vital that co-operation and flexibility is
paramount between the various personnel involved, viz erection engineers
(factory and sub-contractor), factory test engineers, commissioning engineers and
clients' representatives.

Commissioning High voltage equipment

1. Inspection of different compartments for every Switchgear bay

including Bus-Bar compartment, Circuit Breaker
compartment, Isolators & earthing Switches compartment
and cable box compartment.
2. Circuit Breakers of the same rating shall be fully
3. Inspection of the Circuit Breaker parts and its function,
also SF6 gas pressure and other related works.
4. Inspection of Circuit Breakers operating mechanism and its
function particularly the ones operated by hydraulic or
pneumatic system.
5. Inspection of isolators & earthing Switches parts and its
6. Inspection of the operation & control circuits for the Circuit
Breakers isolators and earthing Switches.
7. Inspection of the control and relay boards.

All Power Transformer kinds.

1. Check the Transformer oil level.

2. Check all valves of the Transformer are in the service position.
3. Check the cooling fans operation.
4. Check the automatic tap changer operation.
5. Check for the Transformer protection functions,

6. Check that the service settings are adopted for oil temperature &
winding temperature instruments.
7. General inspection of all Transformers parts to ensure its healthy

Auxiliaries and other equipment.

1. Inspection of the batteries and its chargers function.

2. Inspection of the air compressors and its function, also to confirm
its service settings.
3. Inspection of the LT board and ensure the function of Circuit
Breakers and isolators.
4. Inspection of the local Transformers and ensure the related parts
healthiness, also service tap position adjustment for manual tap
5. Inspection of the fire fighting equipment and confirm 'its function,
settings and related alarms & signals.
6. 6Inspection of the power cables tails (for feeders and Transformers)
and its related oil gauges and to confirm its function, settings,
alarms, tank pits, fire resistant coating and all other related works.
7. Inspection of control center communication and telemetry equipment.
8. Inspection of substation main earthing system and connection of all
equipment to the earth.
• Protection equipment.
Check that each bay is provided with main and back up protection relays.
1. Check that the equipment healthiness & nothing abnormal to block its
function and the relay service settings are adopted.
2. Check that the test / service Switches function and all the Switches are in
service position.
3. Inspection of the pilot cable marshalling cabinets and confirm all wires
connection with clear identifications
4. Check that all alarms and signals of the substation are received and
connected to control center.
5. Check the function of the tap changer automatic voltage regulator,
either individual or parallel.
6. Check the function of the Synchronizing equipment (if applicable) for
closing or blocking the closing in case of not Synchronized system.
7. Checks the function of the auto reclosure equipment (if applicable)
and the intertrip equipment.

General note.
Confirm the availability of nameplates & labels (for all panels & Transformers
at different location of control & relay boards and equipment), operation
instruction (if necessary), single line diagram, and GIS sectional drawing.
All wires should be provided with ferrules and coloring code.
Confirm the receipt of complete copies from test result sheets, instruction
manuals and as built marked up drawings.

Check the availability of special operating tools, which should be supplied
with the equipment and are necessary for the equipment operation and testing.
Check the availability of the keys for control & relay panels and different
equipment padlocks. These are to be provided in keyboards with proper identification
labels & Nos. and to be located at suitable places.


1- Visual Check and Inspection of all Electrical Equipment

A visual check will be carried out on all electrical equipment, internally and
externally, to determine that no transit/erection damage has occurred (or where this has
happened that satisfactory rectification work has been done). All control and relay
panels, local control panels, Switchgear and electrical devices will be internally
checked for compliance with the approved drawings and approved connection wiring

The tests carried out in order to satisfy the above will be: -

1. Internal Panel Wiring Compliance Visual Check

2. Internal Panel Wiring/Devices Insulation Check
3. D.C. Supply Checks
4. A.C. Supply Checks
5. Scheme Checks (Positive and Negative Rail Principle)

All relays will be visually checked to see that there is no packing, dirt, metal swarf,
etc., present in the magnet gaps or on the contacts. All connections will be checked for
tightness on the relays and at all other wiring terminations including the terminal

All devices shall be checked to see that they are clearly numbered/identified in
accordance with the general arrangement drawings and that the phases are marked
where appropriate.

2- Earthing
An earth survey is carried out for each substation at the beginning of the contract in
order to obtain a value for the site earth resistivity which is required as part of the
Earthing design brief. This should be witnessed and signed by Owner.
Standard earthing tests are carried out during the erection stage by the erection staff. On
completion of these tests, a copy of the results obtained must be submitted to the PCE
for his approval and retention.

These tests will be repeated during the acceptance testing stage by the erection staff in
liaison with a commissioning team member, when they will be witnessed by the

3- Bus Wiring

All inter-panel bus wiring will be tested and checked in accordance with the
appropriate termination diagrams.
Insulation checks will be made using a 500V Megger on each bus wire to earth and
from each bus wire to all others. These checks should be carried out with all individual
fuses, links, miniature Circuit Breakers, etc., open or removed at a) the source of
supply and b) all incoming and outgoing circuit panels and Switchgear.

4- Multi-Core Cables

All multi-core cables will be tested and checked in accordance with the
appropriate termination diagrams.
The insulation resistance will be measured using a 1000V megger after all the
multi-core cables have been connected to the erected equipment. (These tests
on the multi-core cables although done at the pre-commissioning stage to
sort out any obvious problems will be repeated during the acceptance testing

5 - Batteries and Chargers

The batteries and chargers will be checked to see that they have been
erected / assembled correctly in accordance with the manufacturers
recommended procedures.
The tests that are carried out at this stage will be to determine that the
batteries and chargers are functioning correctly, within the recommended
tolerances, so that their performance can be relied upon during the
commissioning of the rest of the substation equipment.
The responsibility for carrying out the above will be taken by a SCE. The
actual acceptance tests, including the time-consuming discharge tests, to be
witnessed by the client, are carried out towards the end of the
commissioning programme.

6- 132kV GIS Site Tests

These tests are carried out in accordance with the format of the Works
Site Test Report. The tests conducted are:
1. Bus-Bar and Connections - Conductivity Tests
2. Circuit Breaker - Contact Resistance Checks
3. Circuit Breaker - Contact Timing Tests
4. Mechanical and Local Electrical Operational Checks
5. Air and Gas Leakage Tests
6. SF6 Gas Pressure Switch Setting Check
7. Compressed Air System Sequence Checks

7- 132/11.5kV 30 MVA Transformer Site Tests

The Transformers are inspected and tested in accordance with the factory
check sheets for Transformer installation. As well as detailed inspection
this also includes oil testing.

8- Shunt Reactor

These tests are carried out in accordance with the format of the Works Site Test
Report. The tests conducted are:-

(1) Visual Checks.

(2) Winding Insulation Level.
(3) Oil Tests.
(4) Oil / Winding Temperature Gauge Calibration Fan Control
Sequence Test.


1- 275, 220,132 and 66kV VT Tests

The tests carried out will be:
1. Insulation test
2. Flick Test
The polarity of the VT will be checked by carrying out the flick test. 2.2

2- 275, 220,132 and 66kV CT Tests

The tests carried out will be:

1. Insulation Test
2. Flick Test
3. Resistance Test
4. Saturation Test
Where more than one CT is in each phase of a circuit, tests where practical will be
carried out to prove the CT's are positioned correctly so that arranged overlap of zones
of protection is correct This may be carried out by a) a visual inspection b) a
continuity test.
Flick tests will be done on all CT's in a group to prove that they are connected to the
protection in the same polarity. These tests will also be done on CT's mounted in
Transformer bushings. The flick test results should be compared with those expected
from the schematic diagrams.
All CT's will have the dc secondary loop resistance and individual secondary winding
resistances measured.
The saturation tests will be carried out to prove there are no shorted turns associated
with the CT and to establish the knee point voltage of the CT's The magnetization
curve will be plotted for each CT or superimposed on the factory curves in order to
determine that the correct CT is installed.

3- 275, 220,132 and 66kV Primary Injection

Tests these tests carried out will be:

1. CT Ratio and Polarity Test

2. Busbar Inter-Group CT Ratio and Polarity Tests-
3. Relay Operation Tests
4. Busbar Protection Operation and Stability Tests
5. Unit Protection Operation and Stability Tests
6. Directional Over current Operation and Stability Tests

Primary current shall be passed through each CT to prove its ratio and polarity with
reference to other CTs in its group. All relays and instruments will be proved to be
wired in the correct phases.

All current "test terminals" will be checked for correct phasing, CT shorting
Switches will be proved and any withdrawable relays should have their shorting
contacts checked.

Inverse time relays shall be made to "creep' on minimum setting.

Earth fault relays shall be checked for spill Current when injecting phase to
phase and minimum operation.

Transformer biased differential protection. The two groups of CTs, (one on the 132
kV side and one on the 11kV side of the Transformer) should each be proved for ratio
and polarity, and the differential relay proved to operate for phase-phase, and phase-
earth fault injection on each side of the Transformer. When the Transformer is
energies, on load tests will be used to prove stability.
Bus zone protection. The group of CT's of each circuit shall be checked for correct
ratio and polarity. Each group of CT's should then be checked against the bus
section/coupler CT's of the same zone of protection for out of zone stability by
measuring spill currents.
Directional Over current Protection Operation of the protection will be tested by
primary injection of current and voltage simulating the fault direction. Reversal
of the current polarity proves the stability of the protection.

4 - Secondary Injection Tests

The secondary injection tests will be made to prove the relays, trans-
ducers and meters are operating and measuring correctly.
Secondary injection tests will consist of 'a.c.' injection into the relay coils to
prove that the relay calibration is correct
A record of the relay type, serial number, and its setting range shall be
The secondary current injection shall take place from the point at which the
primary injection checks were made on the CT's.

For inverse time relays, the minimum starting current for which the relay will close its
contacts with a maximum time dial setting shall be recorded. The resetting time of the
disc shall be recorded, and the time of operation for a current injection of twice, five
times and ten times setting current. These results should be carried out on the relays
service setting (or nominal setting if service not known). The results should be
compared with the relay curve supplied by the manufacturer. Also the time setting
multiplier characteristics will be checked at 2 points (setting point + 1 other point).

For instantaneous relays the operating current or voltage and the drop off
value shall be recorded.
For all relays fitted with a mechanical flag, the flag should operate just before
the contacts make and the flag mechanism should not interfere with the
operation of the relay.

Differential Relays (e.g. Transformer biased differential or pilot wire relays

will require "on-load" checks to prove their stability) in addition to secondary
injection tests.
Distance protection relays will require current and voltage of varying
magnitude injected into them to simulate different values of fault impedance
and "on-load" checks will be required to. prove the directional feature of the

Directional elements of inverse time O / C and E / F relays will require

secondary injection of current and voltage of varying phase angle between them
to determine the operation and stability zone.

The calibration of all instruments and transducers will be checked at i scale

and full scale by current and/or voltage injection with varying phase angle
as required.

5- 275, 220,132 and 66kV GIS Operational Tests

The tests carried out will be: -

1. Local and Remote Operations of all Isolators, Earth Switches and Circuit
2. Local and Remote Indications of above
3. Electrical Interlocks of above
4. Synchronizing Sequence Tests (including secondary injection of voltage
selection scheme)
5. Gas Monitoring Sequence Tests
6. Alarm Sequence Tests
7. Tripping Tests

Sequence tests will be carried out to prove all electrical circuits are operating correctly
as shown in the schematic diagrams.
The control circuits will be tested by the manual operation of all close-trip Switches
from all positions, for all Circuit Breakers, disconnecting Switches (line Switches),

ground Switches (earth Switches), and other devices in accordance with the schematic

The operation of all protection circuits will be proved to be in accordance with the
protective gear schematic diagrams.

The tests will be conducted by manually making every main relay contact or
initiating device at source and observing Circuit Breaker tripping, auxiliary relay
operation, lock-out relay operation and any others. Tripping initiated by each relay in
a protection scheme will be tested with the appropriate trip link in and out to prove
that the link is connected and labeled correctly.

The annunciator circuits will be proved to be in accordance with the schematic

diagrams including alarm buzzer and/or bell, lights and any other means of alerting

Operation tests of the alarm circuit will be by operating, at source, each alarm
initiating relay, where possible, or otherwise by simulation.

Operation of each Circuit Breaker, isolator, earthing Switch or other piece of

equipment will be proved to be free or locked according to the interlock condition
shown on the schematic diagrams.

Synchronizing Sequence Tests will be made by secondary injection of voltage at the

VT test terminals" on the, appropriate panels. Care must be taken to ensure that the
VT secondary are isolated from the VT voltage circuits so that no high Voltage is
developed at the VT primary circuits.

6. 132/11.5kV 30 MVA Operational Tests and Measurement of Audible Noise


The following checks will be carried out.

1. Winding Insulation Level

2. Ratio Test
3. Vector Group Test
4. Cooling System Control Sequence Test
5. Local/Remote Tap Change Operations (Mech. and Elec.)
6. Operation of Protective Devices

Load drop compensation and winding temperature CTs mounted in the trans-former
should be proved to be in the correct phase and have the correct ratio where

Buchholz relays: the alarm and trip initiation shall be proved by means of the
test button, if provided, or by shorting the appropriate terminals at the relay.
Winding temperature tripping and alarms shall be proved by operating the
appropriate initiating Switches. The cooler control ON and OFF shall be
proved when three phase 'A.C.' supplies are available by operating the
ON/OFF Switch and the appropriate temperature indicating initiating

Switches. The direction of the fan rotation must be checked in accordance
with the mark.

Tap-changer position indicator should be proved to indicate the correct tap position.
The limit Switch must function properly to prevent the tap-changer from further
movement beyond the two extreme tap positions. Tap-changing shall be tested for
every step ensuring stepping relay
functions correctly.

Measurement of audible noise level on site will be carried out under

the following conditions using a sound level meter
(IEC Pub 551 type 1 or equivalent):
1. The background noise level at all measuring points shall not exceed 45dBA
in accordance with ANSI standard.

2. Only the Transformer under test shall be energized and shall have been
on soak for at least 24 hours prior to measurement. The tests shall be carried
out at rated voltage with all normal fans running at no load conditions.
3. The audible sound level of each Transformer in turn will be measured
at a number of points 30 meters from the substation.
4. The average value of the noise measurements for each Transformer
shall be taken and this value checked to ensure it does not exceed 50dBA.

7- 11/0.433kV 250kVA Transformer Tests

These tests are carried out in accordance with the format of the Works Site Test
Report. The tests conducted are:-
a) Winding Insulation Level
b) Ratio Test
c) Vector Group

8- HV Pressure Tests (132kV Equipment)

These tests will be carried out in accordance with the Works Site Test
The magnitude and duration of the test voltage is given in Table below. An
opportunity to check VT calibration will be taken during these tests.
Test Voltage Test
KV Duration
132 GIS 115 10 min.
11 KV 24 1 min

9- Supervisory Interface Test

The tests carried out will be:

a) Initiation of the appropriate alarms or indications at source and checking
that the correct logic signals are received at the telemetry terminal (TTB)

b) Apply a 50V DC voltage to the (TTB) cabinet terminals and check that the
correct Circuit Breaker or tap changer command is received and executed.

10 - 11kV VT Tests.

The tests carried out will be:

a) Insulation Test.
b) Flick Test.
The polarity of the VT will be checked by carrying out the flick test.
11 - 11kV CT Tests
The tests carried out will be:
a) Insulation Test.
b) Flick Test.
c) Resistance Test
d) Saturation Test
Where more than one CT is in each phase of a circuit, tests where practical will be
carried out to prove the CT's are positioned correctly so that arranged overlap of
zones of protection is correct This may be carried out by a) a visual inspection b)
a continuity test.

Flick tests will be done on all CT's in a group to prove that they are connected to the
protection in the same polarity. These tests will also be done on CT's mounted in
Transformer bushings. The flick test results should be compared with those expected
from the schematic diagrams.

All CT's will have the dc secondary loop resistance and individual secondary
winding resistances measured.

The saturation tests will be carried out to prove there are no shorted turns
associated with the CT and to establish the knee point voltage of the CT's The
magnetization curve will be plotted for each CT or superimposed on the factory
curves in order to determine that the correct CT is installed.

12- 11kV Primary Injection

Tests the tests carried out will be:

a) CT Ratio and Polarity Test
b) Relay Operation Tests
c) Unit Protection Operation and Stability Tests

Primary current shall be passed through each CT to prove its ratio and polarity with
reference to other CTs in its group. All relays and instruments will be proved to be
wired in the correct

All current "test terminals" will be checked for correct phasing, CT shorting Switches
will be proved and any withdrawable relays should have their shorting contacts
Inverse time relays shall be made to "creep' on minimum setting.

Transformer biased differential protection. The group of CTs should be proved for
ratio and polarity, and the differential relay proved to operate for phase-phase, and
phase-earth fault injection.

Transformer Restricted Earth F a u l t Protections. The groups of CTs shall be

proved for ratio and p o l a r i t y and stability by measuring spill currents.

13- 11kV Secondary Injection Tests

The secondary injection tests will be made to prove the relays, transducers and
meters are operating a n d measuring correctly.
Secondary injection tests will consist of 'a.c.' injection into the relay coils to prove that
the relay calibration is correct
A record of the relay type, serial number, and its setting range shall be recorded. -
The secondary current injection shall take place from the point at which the primary
injection checks were made on the CTs.
For inverse time relays, the minimum starting current for which the relay will close its
contacts with a maximum time dial setting shall be recorded. The resetting time of
the disc shall b_ recorded, and the time of operation for a current injection of twice,
five times and ten times setting current. These results should be carried out on the
relays service setting (or nominal setting if service not known). The results should be
compared with the relay curve supplied by the manufacturer. Also the time setting
multiplier characteristics will be checked at 2 points (setting point +1 other point).

For all relays fitted with a mechanical flag, the flag should operate just before the
contacts make and the flag mechanism should not interfere with the operation of the

The calibration of all instruments and transducers will be checked at scale and full
scale by current and/or voltage injection as appropriate.

14. 11kV Switchgear Contact Resistance Checks

The contact resistance of all primary contacts will be checked by current

injection and voltage drop measurement.

15. 11kV Switchgear Operational

Tests The tests carried out will be:

a) Local and Remote Operations of all Circuit Breakers
b) Local and Remote Indications of above
c) Electrical Interlocks of above
d) Gas Monitoring Sequence Tests
e) Alarm Sequence Tests
f) Tripping Tests including Arc Fault Tripping scheme
Sequence tests will be carried out to prove all electrical circuits are operating correctly
as shown in the schematic diagrams.

The control circuits will be tested by the manual operation of all close-trip Switches
from all positions, for all Circuit Breakers and other devices in accordance with the
schematic diagrams.
The operation of all protection circuits will be proved to be in accordance with the
protective gear schematic diagrams.
The tests will be conducted by manually making every main relay contact and
observing Circuit Breaker tripping, auxiliary relay operation, lock-out relay
operation and any others. Tripping initiated by each relay in a protection scheme will
be tested with the appropriate trip link in and out to prove that the link is connected
and labeled correctly.
The annunciator circuits will be proved to be in accordance with the schematic
diagrams including alarm buzzer and/or bell, lights and any other means of alerting
Operation tests of the alarm circuit will be by operating, at source, each alarm
initiating relay contact, where possible,-or otherwise by simulation.
Operation of each Circuit Breaker disconnect Switch and earthing Switch will be
proved to be free or locked according to the interlock condition shown on the
schematic diagrams.
16.HV Pressure Tests (11kV Equipment)
These tests will be carried out in accordance with the Marugame Works Test Sheets.
The magnitude and duration of the test voltages are given in Table 1
17. Battery and Charger Tests
The batteries and chargers will have already been assembled, checked and put into
service during the pre-commissioning stage by members of the commissioning team.
However certain further tests are now done and others repeated during the acceptance
testing stage to be witnessed by the client. These tests will be carried out in
accordance with the manufacturers recommended testing procedures and will include
the battery discharge tests.
18. Multi-Core Cable Tests
All the multi-core cables will have already been checked to be in accordance with
the appropriate termination diagrams during the pre-commissioning stage.
The insulation resistance tests will be repeated during the acceptance testing stage
when they will be witnessed by the client.
19. Earthing Tests
The erection staff will have originally conducted earthing tests but these will be
repeated during the acceptance testing stage when they will be witnessed by the client.
20. Fire Fighting Equipment Tests
The Subcontractor will have already carried out limited post erection checks, i.e.
mechanical checks including a pressure test on the main tank and air leakage tests on
the air receiver.
The commissioning tests for water spray system will be:-
a) Compressor Sequence Tests
b) Alarm Sequence Tests

c) Indication Sequence Tests
d) Deluge Valve Sequence Tests
e) Discharge and Water Spray Tests
f) Inter-tripping Tests
The commissioning for the other systems will be:
a) Detector Operation Tests
b) Detector Line Supervision Tests
c) Pushbutton Function Tests
d) Tripping Tests
e) Halon Discharge Test
f) Dry Powder Discharge Test