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# Rolling Spheres Method for

Lightning Protection
EPOW 6860
Surge Phenomena
Fall 2007
Joe Crispino
1
Design Problems
The unpredictable, probabilistic nature of lightning.
Lack of data due to infrequencies of lightning strikes in
switchyards.
Complexity in analyzing system in detail (\$\$\$).
No known practical method of providing 100%
shielding.
2
Design Procedure
Risk Assessment
Evaluate the importance and value of the facility.
Consequences of a direct lightning strike.
Location
Frequency and severity of thunderstorms in area.
Exposure due to surrounding area.
Method of protection (surge arrestors, shielding).
Evaluate the effectiveness and cost of design.
3
Design Methods
Empirical Design Methods (Classical)
Assume that the shielding device (wire or mast) can
intercept all the lightning strokes arriving over the
subject area if the shielding device maintains a certain
geometrical relation (separation and differential height)
to the protected object.
4
Design Methods
Electrogoemetric Design Methods (EGM)
Attractive effect of the shielding device is a function
of the amplitude of the current of the lightning stroke.
Less intense strokes get by.
More intense strokes get intercepted.
Only allow strokes that will not cause ashover
or damage to protected object.
5
Design Methods
Empirical Design Methods (Classical) - 69kV & below
Fixed Angles Method (32.5%)
Empirical Curve Method (12.6%)
Electrogeometric Methods (EGM) - 345kV & above
Rolling Sphere Method (16.3%)
Mousas Software Subshield (21.1%)
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Fixed Angle Method
Rule of thumb method.
Uses vertical angles to determine:
Total number of protection devices.
Position
Height
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Fixed Angle Method
SHIELDING OF SUBSTATIONS IEEE Std 998-1996
Figure 4-2 -Fixed angIes for masts
Independent of
voltage, BIL, surge
impedance, stroke
magnitude, GFD,
insulation ashover,
etc.
is commonly 45.
is usually 30-45.
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Fixed Angle Method
SHIELDING OF SUBSTATIONS IEEE Std 998-1996
Figure B.2-3 -ShieIding substation with masts using fixed angIe method
B.2.2 Fixed angIe method-500/230 kV substation
Applying the same method as used in the previous clause for the 69 kV substation produces the results, shown in
fgures B.2-4 through B.2-7(b). A shield angle of 45/60 degrees was used for the 230 kV section, and an angle of
45/45 degrees was used for the 500 kV section.
IEEE Std 998-1996 IEEE GUIDE FOR DIRECT LIGHTNING STROKE
Figure B.1-1 -TypicaI 69 kV substation Iayout for sampIe caIcuIations
To ensure comparability of the results of the different shielding design methods, the following criteria were adopted:
a) Maximum height of mast or shield wire support point = 100 ft (30.48 m)
b) Maximum span of shield wires = 600 ft (182.9 m)
c) No more than four shield wires are to be connected to a support structure
B.2 Fixed angIe method
B.2.1 AppIication to 69 kV substation
a) Assume a mast height and location in fgure B.2-1.
b) Determine coverage at different bus or equipment heights using 60! and 45! protective angles for the
protective masts and deadend structures. Table B.2-1(b) gives the coverage (protected area) at bus height A
for each mast height.
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Electrogeometric Model
1950s - First 345kV transmission line.
Protection utilized empirical methods.
Outages due to lightning were much higher than
expected.
Led to extensive amount of research.
10
Electrogeometric Model
1963 - Young, et al. - EGM
Most signicant research.
Only for transmission lines.
1976 - Mousa - Subshield program
Integrated substations into EGM.
1977 - Lee - Rolling Sphere
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Rolling Sphere Method
Developed by Ralph H. Lee in 1977 for shielding
buildings and industrial plants.
Extended by J.T. Orrell for use in substation design.
Builds on basic principles and theories from Whitehead.
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Rolling Sphere Method
Use an imaginary sphere of radius S over the surface of
a substation.
The sphere rolls up and over (and is supported by)
lightning masts, shield wires, substation fences, and
other grounded metallic objects that can provide
lightning shielding.
A piece of equipment is said to be protected from a
direct stroke if it remains below the curved surface of
the sphere.
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Rolling Sphere Method
IEEE Std 998-1996 IEEE GUIDE FOR DIRECT LIGHTNING STROKE
result in stroke current I
so
and that descend inside the point where the arc is tangent to the ground could strike the
equipment. This is best shown by observing the plan view of protective zones shown in fgure 5-6. Stepped leaders for
stroke current I
so
that descend inside the inner protective zone will strike the mast and protect equipment that is h in
height. Stepped leaders for stroke current I
so
that descend in the shaded unprotected zone will strike equipment of
height h in the area. If, however, the value of I
s
was selected based on the withstand insulation level of equipment used
in the substation, stroke current I
so
should cause no damage to equipment.
Figure 5-3 -PrincipIe of roIIing sphere
5.3.4 MuItipIe shieIding eIectrodes
The electrogeometric modeling concept of direct stroke protection has been demonstrated for a single shield mast. A
typical substation, however, is much more complex. It may contain several voltage levels and may utilize a
combination of shield wires and lightning masts in a three-dimensional arrangement.
The above concept can be applied to multiple shielding masts, horizontal shield wires, or a combination of the two.
Figure 5-7 shows this application considering four shield masts in a multiple shield mast arrangement. The arc of
protection for stroke current I
s
is shown for each set of masts. The dashed arcs represent those points at which a
descending stepped leader for stroke current I
s
will be attracted to one of the four masts. The protected zone between
the masts is defned by an arc of radius S with the center at the intersection of the two dashed arcs. The protective zone
can again be visualized as the surface of a sphere with radius S, which is rolled toward a mast until touching the mast,
then rolled up and over the mast such that it would be supported by the masts. The dashed lines would be the locus of
the center of the sphere as it is rolled across the substation surface. Using the concept of rolling sphere of the proper
radius, the protected area of an entire substation can. be determined. This can be applied to any group of different
height shield masts, shield wires, or a combination of the two. Figure 5-8 shows an application to a combination of
masts and shield wires.
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Rolling Sphere Method
Requires:
Surge impedance ( ).
Allowable stroke current ( ).
Used to calculate striking distance, . This
Z
S
I
S
S
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Rolling Sphere Method
Surge Impedance
R
h
R
V
E
Z
h
R
h
r
C
C
C
S
C
ln
ln ln
2
0
60
2 2
0
!
"
#
\$
%
&
' =
=
!
"
#
\$
%
&
!!
"
#
\$
%
&
=
=
R
r
C
Average height of conductor
BIL
h
V
E
C
=
=
0
kV
m
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Rolling Sphere Method
Stroke Current
I
Z
Z
I
Z
S
S
S
S
S
=
( )
=
( )
=
( )
1 1
2
2 2
0 94 1 1
2
. .
. .
BIL BIL
CFO
==
( ) 2 068 . CFO
Z
S
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Rolling Sphere Method
Strike Distance - the
probability of the stroke
tip terminating on an
object S far away is
greater than the
probability of it striking
another object S+n
away.
S kI
S kI
k
m
f
=
=
=
8
26 25
1
0 65
0 65
.
.
.
Ground or Wir res
Lightning Masts k = 1 2 .
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Rolling Sphere Method
SHIELDING OF SUBSTATIONS IEEE Std 998-1996
Figure 5-4 -ShieId mast protection for stroke current !
s
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Rolling Sphere Method
BUT WAIT!!!!!
What if the actual
stoke current is
greater than
calculated?
IEEE Std 998-1996 IEEE GUIDE FOR DIRECT LIGHTNING STROKE
Figure 5-5 -ShieId mast protection for stroke current !
s1
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Rolling Sphere Method
What if the stroke
current is less?
As long as the stroke
current was calculated
using the BIL of the
equipment, the
equipment will be
protected.
SHIELDING OF SUBSTATIONS IEEE Std 998-1996
Figure 5-6 -ShieId mast protection for stroke current !
"#
5.3.5 Changes in voItage IeveI
Protection has been illustrated with the assumption of a single voltage level. Substations, however, have two or more
voltage levels. The rolling sphere method is applied in the same manner in such cases, except that the sphere radius
would increase or decrease appropriate to the change in voltage at a transformer. (Example calculations for a
substation with two voltage levels are given in annex B.)
5.3.6 Minimum stroke current
The designer will fnd that shield spacing becomes quite close at voltages of 69 kV and below. It may be appropriate
to select some minimum stroke current, perhaps 2 kA for shielding stations below 115 kV. Such an approach is
justifed by an examination of fgures 2-4 and 2-5. It will be found that 99.8% of all strokes will exceed 2 kA.
Therefore, this limit will result in very little exposure, but will make the shielding system more economical.
5.4 AppIication of revised EGM by Mousa and Srivastava method
The rolling sphere method has been used in the preceding subclauses to illustrate application of the EGM. Mousa
describes the application of the revised EGM [B60.] Figure 5-9 depicts two shield wires, G
l,
and G
2,
providing
shielding for three conductors, W
1
, W
2,
and W
3.
S
c
is the critical striking distance as determined by Eq 5-1A, but
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Rolling Sphere Method
IEEE Std 998-1996 IEEE GUIDE FOR DIRECT LIGHTNING STROKE
reduced by 10% to allow for the statistical distribution of strokes so as to preclude any failures. Arcs of radius !
c
are
drawn with centers at G
1
, G
2
, and W
2
to determine if the shield wires are positioned to properly shield the conductors.
The factor ! is the horizontal separation of the outer conductor and shield wire, and " is the distance of the shield wires
above the conductors. Figure 5-10 illustrates the shielding provided by four masts. The height #
mid
at the center of the
area is the point of minimum shielding height for the arrangement. For further details in the application of the method,
see [B60].
At least two computer programs have been developed that assist in the design of a shielding system. One of these
programs [B71] uses the revised EGM to compute the surge impedance, stroke current, and striking distance for a
given arrangement of conductors and shield systems, then advises the user whether or not effective shielding is
provided. Sample calculations are provided in annex B to further illustrate the application.
Figure 5-7 -MuItipIe shieId mast protection for stroke current !
s
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Rolling Sphere Method
IEEE Std 998-1996 IEEE GUIDE FOR DIRECT LIGHTNING STROKE
Figure B.5-2 -ShieId wire protection for 69 kV substation
Figure B.5-2 -ShieId wire protection for 69 kV substation (!"#\$%#&'()
IEEE Std 998-1996 IEEE GUIDE FOR DIRECT LIGHTNING STROKE
Figure B.5-2 -ShieId wire protection for 69 kV substation
Figure B.5-2 -ShieId wire protection for 69 kV substation (!"#\$%#&'()
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Rolling Sphere Method
SHIELDING OF SUBSTATIONS IEEE Std 998-1996
B.5.3 The 69 kV switchyard-Mast option
A design using lightning masts for protection will be considered frst. The procedure for masts is as follows:
a) Calculate the surge impedance, !
s
(see annex C).
b) Calculate the critical stroke current, "
s
from Eq 5-2A.
c) Calculate the striking distance, # (which will become the sphere radius) from Eq 5-1B.
d) Calculate \$ as shown by the calculations that follow. \$ is the maximum horizontal distance from the mast that
an object at a height, %, is protected from a direct stroke. A circle with radius, \$, is the area of protection
afforded by a single mast for an object at height, %.
e) Calculate &, the maximum separation of two masts to prevent a side stroke. (It may help to visualize a sphere
resting on the ground that is then rolled over to just touch the two masts. The bus is arranged so that it also just
touches the surface of the sphere. By studying the various views of the fgure, it can be seen that this
determines the maximum separation to prevent side strokes.)
f) Calculate ', the maximum separation of masts to prevent a vertical stroke.
g) Calculate (, the maximum separation of three masts to prevent a vertical stroke.
h) With this information masts can be spotted in the substation; arcs can be drawn around them and adjustments
can be made for an optimal layout.
The resulting layout is found in fgure B.5-1.
Figure B.5-1 -Mast protection for 69 kV substation
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References
IEEE Std. 998-1996. IEEE Guide for Direct Lightning
Stoke Shielding of Substations.
Greenwood, A. Electrical Transients in Power Systems.
Abdel-Salam, M., et al. High Voltage Engineering -
Theory and Practice.
Zipse, D. Lightning Protection Systems: Advantages
and Disadvantages. IEEE Transactions on Industry
Applications, Vol. 30, No. 5, September/October 1994.
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