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ANALYSIS of OSCILLOGRAMS

John W. Chadwick, Jr.


Technical Advisor
Mehta Tech, Inc.
208 N. 12th Ave. - P.O. Box 350
Eldridge, IA 52748
I. INTRODUCTION II. INPUT TRANSDUCERS

The purpose of monitoring the power Input transducers can be thought of


system is twofold; (1) to check the speed as primary power system conditioners.
and correctness of the protection systems They take the primary power system
and (2) to monitor the reaction of the values and prepare them for use by the
power system to disturbances. secondary devices to provide protection,
What goes into providing a good control, and monitoring functions.
analysis of the data obtained from the There are three major categories of
system monitoring? An analysis of an input transducers; current, voltage, and
oscillogram, whether consciously or event (contact).
unconsciously, includes the
characteristics of the input transducers, A. Current Transducers
the characteristics of the data
conditioning, and interpreting the Current transducers have good
output. The interpreting is often a frequency response and normally do not
function of how well the interpreter require any special attention when
understands; (1) the protection, control, operated in their recommended range of
and monitoring systems, (2) the one to twenty times rated current and at
operation of the power system, and (3) rated burden or less. Perhaps the only
the characteristics of the major unanticipated degradation in the input
components of the power system. signal will be due to the capacitance of
The analysis of analog oscillograms the cables. This can introduce errors in
is very direct and straightforward. The magnitude at several kilohertz and errors
results, on paper, are generated directly in phase angle at several hundred Hertz.
from the input transducer. The only data When harmonics are to be measured,
conditioning is in the frequency it is much better to use current than it is
response of the galvanometers. to use voltage. Current circuits are low
The only component of analysis that impedance paths that are less susceptible
differs with the digital oscillograph is to induced signals or noise; whereas,
the data conditioning. voltage circuits are high impedance
The application of digital technology paths that are more susceptible.
to oscillography provides a good Always use the fault current to select
opportunity to review the components of the current transducer ratio used for
a good analysis and to consider the effect protective relay functions. Be sure that
of each component on the analysis. any auxiliary cts are selected (both ratio
and classification) to assure that they do

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not degrade the circuit. advisable to perform a frequency
In medium and large size substations, response test on the particular magnetic
the burden on cts is mainly determined voltage transformer to be used for the
by the cable burden. The reduction of the measurements.
relay burden with the use of digital 2) Coupling Capacitor Voltage
relays is useful but usually the cable Transformers: The coupling capacitor
burden is the greater part of the ct voltage transformer uses a series tuned
burden, with either type of relays. circuit (tuned to 60 Hz.) across a lower
section of a capacitance divider to obtain
B. Voltage Transducers a voltage proportional to the primary
voltage. This voltage is transformed and
Voltage transformers do not have compensated (for both magnitude and
good frequency response, neither phase angle) to supply the specific
magnetic vts nor coupling capacitor vts. attached burden. At frequencies other
The capacitance of the cable will further than 60 Hz., the ccvt can produce an
degrade the input signal. But, depending output of 3 p.u. or more at some
on the frequency, this can be minimal harmonics of the tuned frequency, with
compared to the errors due to the plenty of hills and valleys along the way.
frequency response of the vt. It is certainly not recommended that a
If harmonics are to be measured, it is ccvt be used to measure harmonics,
much better to use current than voltage. without first performing a frequency
In addition to being a lower impedance response test on the particular ccvt to be
path, the output of the current used for the measurements.
transducer would represent the primary
values with much better accuracy over a C. Event Inputs (Contact Inputs)
range of frequencies.
Select any auxiliary vts with a ratio Event inputs are usually added to the
and classification sufficient to prevent disturbance recorder data in addition to,
any further degradation of the voltage or instead of, the sequence-of-events
circuit. recorder data. Although this input can be
1) Magnetic Voltage Transformers: a simple contact, it is deserving of
The errors are generally due to inter- considerable attention because of the
winding capacitance and winding-to- importance it can assume in the analysis
ground capacitance. If the errors are to process. Some of the items to be
be limited to 10% (in magnitude or phase considered are:
angle), then for harmonics or 1) Interposing Relays: All interposing
frequencies above 400-500 Hz. it is (auxiliary) relays introduce some time

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delay into the record. The amount can requirements should include battery on
vary from relay to relay (microswitch to overcharge. Another consideration
HFA/MG-6)(microseconds to 100 should be wet cables. The current
milliseconds). The amount of operate time required to operate the logic input should
is not as important as the fact that it be greater than the current that will
exists. The pick-up time and drop-out flow between the cables going to the
time can be added to the data on the switchyard.
oscillogram, just as ct ratio and vt ratio 5) Contact Bounce: Contact bounce
are added. occurs whenever contacts close. It is the
2) Open vs. Close Contacts: It is usually result of two contacts approaching each
clearer to indicate deviation from normal other, touching, and sliding (contact
(breaker trip, low air pressure, hot spot wipe) to their final location. From
temperature, loss of station service, etc.). contact first touch to contact at rest
In analyzing the data, it is helpful to may be a very short time, but the current
know that going from normal to flow may be interrupted hundreds of
abnormal is the same for all event inputs. times. It is important that the contact
Some manufacturers allow the user the bounce be ignored. Current should flow
option of selecting an open or a close for a predetermined time period to be
contact but other manufacturers specify considered a closed contact. This time
which it shall be. must be coordinated with the event
3) Wet vs. Dry Contacts: This is the resolution time of the recorder.
statement of who will supply the voltage 6) Event Resolution Time: This is the
to the event logic. The wet contact has time from event input to output. This time
voltage supplied from the user. The dry can include or not include the anti-
contact has voltage for the logic supplied bounce time.
from the recorder.
4) Logic Sensitivity (current III. DATA CONDITIONING
requirements): With dry contact logic,
the amount of current required for a The application of digital technology
closed contact multiplied by the number to oscillography has resulted in a
of logic circuits determines the size of different set of items for data
the manufacturers power supply. Heat conditioning. The important thing to
dissipation can also become a problem. remember is not to try to read
For wet contacts, a ground on the something into every blip and squiggle
battery (dc supply) should not cause a that you see on the output. Only try to
false indication. In the case of the explain that part of the output that the
substation batterys being used, the system is capable of handling. It is also

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important that the system be use that will prevent multiples of the
coordinated and does not have one sample rate from being interpreted as a
component that badly limits the signal with the frequency of the sample
capabilities of the system. The limits of rate.
the system should be clearly known
and thoroughly understood. What this E. Measurement Windows
means is that you need to know what you
are going to read and then select the Some devices use a measurement
proper device to read it. window or the equivalent of a
measurement window. This probably
A. Input Signal Isolators means that, at least the first sample in
the first window is not accurate (ramp up
Manufacturers can provide ac input value). Likewise, at least the last sample
isolators with good frequency response in the last window is not accurate (ramp
up to 10 kHz. down value). Depending on the sample
rate and window length, it may be
B. Analog-to-Digital (A/D) Converters desirable to ignore more than one sample
at the beginning and at the end of each
Present technology allows the use of input analog quantity. This makes slower
converters that clearly exceed the needs sample rates less desirable because; 1)
of system. Some manufacturers provide during analysis of all analog quantities,
16-bit converters (sign and 32,768 it is necessary to ignore the ramp up time
counts for full scale input) of the quantity and the ramp down time
of the quantity and 2) if data is analyzed
C. Sample Rates from more than one device, it is
necessary to keep up with the ramp up
Sample rates are available up to 5,760 and ramp down times for the different
samples/second. This is 96 samples/cycle devices and use the proper one with the
of 60 Hz. or 1 sample/3.75 electrical proper device. The use of faster sample
degrees of 60 Hz. or 1 sample/173.6 rates minimizes to insignificance the
microseconds. These sample rates will ramp up and ramp down times, therefore
allow the capture of any signal that is making it no longer necessary to ignore
likely to appear at the input. these times in the analysis.

D. Anti-Aliasing Filters IV. INTERPRETING THE DATA

Very good anti-aliasing filters are in The final component in analysis of

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the data is interpreting the data its self. reclose is not successful, if a tie to an
What is the reaction of the power system adjacent utility is lost, etc. In other
to the abnormal conditions that occur? words, how these systems will react to
The abnormal condition can be; a various abnormal power system
transmission line fault, a power conditions. Power swings on
transformer fault, a generator swing, a transmission lines and on generators are
fault on an adjacent system, etc. It is much more complex and require
important that the person analyzing the considerably more data. The analysis of
data have; a good knowledge or feel for the data depends, to a large degree, on the
the protection, control, and monitoring expertise that the person doing the
systems, a good understanding of the analysis has in protection, control, and
operation of the power system, and an monitoring. His importance becomes
understanding of the characteristics of even greater when special, or unusual,
the major components of the power or non-standard systems are use; or when
system. questionable operations occur; or when
wide area disturbances are involved.
A. Protection, Control, and Monitoring While evaluating the speed and
Systems correctness of the protection systems, the
following items will be considered:
It is very important that the person a) Did the protection systems operate
analyzing the data know, for example, as intended?
that for a self-clearing fault on b) Did the protection systems operate
transmission line 13, breaker 1467 within the time limits?
should open at stationA, in W time, c) Determine the type of fault, the
and breaker 7641 should open at station location, and possible causes.
B, in X time. Breaker 1467 should d) Did all protection systems react
reclose in Y time. After the properly?
transmission line is successfully e) Did reclosing operated as intended?
energized for Z time, breaker 7641 f) Verify system calculations and
should reclose. A similar scenario could relay settings.
be made for a power transformer, a g) Use fault interrupting duty to
generator, a capacitor bank, etc. These determine maintenance schedule.
are fairly simple examples. The person h) Can any impending failures be
analyzing the data must have a feel for detected?
these protection, control, and monitoring i) Etc.
systems and what actions might take
place if the fault occurs on peak, if the

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B. Operation of the Power System gapped iron core and the tank completes
the path for the magnetic field. These are
An intimate knowledge of the in contrast to the magnetic path in power
operation of the power system is transformers where the magnetic field is
required. The person must know what contained by the closed magnetic path
power system components are involved inside the transformer tank. It is the
and why the components are set up as understanding of the detailed
they are. He must know what options are characteristics that enables the person to
available and what procedures are interpret the current interruptions, the
necessary to initiate them. Without this charging currents, the discharging
intimate knowledge of the power system, currents, etc. This adds to the analysis to
it is extremely difficult for the person make the interpretation more complete
doing the analysis to place the and more accurate.
disturbance into proper perspective. This While evaluating the reaction of the
could mean that the greatest benefit from power system and the power system
the analysis might be lost. components to the disturbance, the
following items will be considered:
C. Characteristics of the Major a) Current Transducers
Components of the Power System b) Voltage Transducers VT or CCVT
c) Power Transformers
The analysis of the disturbance d) Circuit Breakers Opening
requires a detailed understanding of the Resistors, Closing Resistors, etc.
characteristics of the major components e) Generators
of the power system; i.e. circuit breakers, f) Shunt Capacitors
power transformers, generators, voltage g) Series Capacitors
regulators, power capacitors (shunt and h) Shunt Reactors
series), power reactors (shunt and series, i) Series Reactors
but not nuclear), transmission lines, etc. j) Switching Surges/Surge Arrester
Without this understanding, you will not Operations
know that the interrupt time in oil k) Protective Gap Flashes
circuit breakers varies inversely with l) Ferroresonance
current magnitude but in gas circuit m) Etc.
breakers it does not. Or that a 13-kV, air
insulated, shunt reactor has an air core V. SOME EXAMPLES
and a very strong magnetic field for
some distance around it, whereas a 500- The following are some examples of
kV, oil insulated, shunt reactor has a system disturbances:

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Figure 1: These are examples of surge 5a shows dc offset when the breaker is
arrester operations. reclosed into a fault. Fig. 5b shows
Figure 2: These are examples of power current transformer saturation.
transformer magnetizing inrush Figure 6: These are examples of
current. Fig. 2a shows all three phase restrikes in power circuit breakers. Fig.
currents and the neutral current. The 6a shows a restrike that was cleared. Fig.
magnitude decreased for 4.6 seconds. For 6b shows a restrike that was not cleared
a large EHV power transformer bank, and resulted in the destruction of the
this time could be several times longer. circuit breaker.
Fig. 2b shows the dc decrement dying out Figure 7: These are examples of a
very quickly, but the magnitude will power circuit breaker closing to energize
continue for quite some time. a transmission line. Fig. 7a, trace 6 shows
Figure 3: These are examples of a ringing at 21 cycles. If you can read the
coupling capacitor voltage transformer distance between the peaks of the
performance. Fig. 3a shows CCVTs being ringing you can determine the line
energized from the right. These length. At 26 cycles, you see a dc
distortions can continue for more than a decrement. Fig. 7b, trace A4 shows the dc
second, suddenly having distortion decrement again. Here is an example of
reappear after being smooth for ten another extra, the contact closing
cycles or more. Fig. 3b shows CCVTs being dispersion of a circuit breaker.
deenergized. The decaying voltage output Figure 8: This is a good example of an
can still have 3-5% voltage at tens of unsuccessful reclose (permanent fault).
cycles after deenergization. The fault occurs, the fault is cleared in a
Figure 4: This an example of an extra little under 4 cycles. The line is
that is available sometimes. EHV air-blast deenergized for about 11.5 cycles. The
circuit breakers are equipped with circuit breaker recloses into the fault,
opening resistors that are inserted as the the fault is cleared in a little under 4
main breaker contacts open and reduces cycles.
the transient to the system (and to the Figure 9: This is an example of an
breaker) when the breaker opens. This unsuccessful reclose (dead time too
resistor can be monitored, thereby short). The fault occurs, the fault is
reducing the probability of the resistor cleared in a little over 5 cycles. The
being open when the breaker is called on remote end of the line recloses in a little
to interrupt a large current. This could under 10 cycles. The dead time of the line
avert a catastrophic breaker failure. is insufficient to allow the arc path to de-
Figure 5: These are examples of ionize and the fault is reestablished.
current transformer performance. Fig. When the local circuit breaker recloses,

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the fault is still present, and the breaker of service. The increase in speed costs
opens. money. Monitoring the faster, more
Figure 10: These are examples of complex equipment is a necessary
ferroresonance. Fig. 10a shows voltages investment. This insures that the
on a 500-kV line with shunt reactor equipment does the job that you paid for.
compensation and flat line construction. It also tells you when the equipment is
When the line is disconnected from the not functioning as it should. After
system at both ends, the disconnected repairs and maintenance, you can tell if
system rings at about 40 Hertz. Fig. 10b the equipment is back to doing the job it
shows current transformer saturation. was purchased to do.
Figs. 10c&d show CCVT outputs. The increased speed of the circuit
Figure 11: This shows the same shunt breakers means that faster relay and
reactor compensated line as Fig. 10a. This control systems are required. You do not
time the fault continues to reestablish want to have a 3-5 cycle relay system on
(see trace 5) and reclosing is a 2-3 cycle breaker. Faster fault clearing
unsuccessful. times require fast relay systems to be
Figure 12a, b, &c: This data is from a matched with fast circuit breakers. Fast
digital swing recorder. This is a record fault clearing requires monitoring to
from Northfield Substation, Mass. of the verify that you do, in fact, have fast fault
loss of both nuclear units (2200 MW) at clearing.
Sequoyah Generating Station, Tenn on
Dec. 31, 1992. Fig. 12a shows the VII. BIBLIOGRAPHY
frequency and voltage excursions. Please
note the time scale is in seconds. Fig. 12b 1) Application and Evaluation of
shows the MW & MVAR excursions on the Automatic Fault-Recording Devices,
New York to New England 345-kV tie line. IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus
Fig. 12c shows the R/X impedance and Systems, Vol. PAS-84, No. 12, pp.
diagram plot of the 345-kV tie line. 1187-1203, December 1965.
2) Supplement to Application and
VI. CONCLUSIONS Evaluation of Automatic Fault-
Recording Devices, IEEE Transactions
It is important to properly identify on Power Apparatus and Systems, Vol.
and isolate faulty equipment from the PAS-90, No. 2, pp. 751-755,
power system as swiftly as you can March/April 1971.
dependably do so. The need for speed is to 3) Application of Fault and Disturbance
improve stability, reduce the damage to Recording Devices for Protective
the equipment, and improve the quality System Analysis IEEE Special

9
Publication 87 TH 0195-8-PWR.
4) Summary of the Special Publication
Application of Fault and
Disturbance Recording Devices for
Protective System Analysis, IEEE
Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol.
4, No. 3, pp. 1625-1630, July 1989
5) Pilot Relaying Performance
Analysis, IEEE Transactions on Power
Delivery, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 85-102,
January 1990.
6) IEEE Standard Common Format for
Transient Data Exchange (COMTRADE)
for Power Systems. ANSI/IEEE
C37.111-1999.
7) R. O. Burnett, Jr., Fault Analysis 101,
Fault and Disturbance Analysis
Conference, Texas A&M University,
April 1992.
8) COMTRADE: A new standard for
common format for transient data
exchange., IEEE Transactions on
Power Delivery, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 1920-
1926, October 1992.
9) Sherry L. Goiffon, Fault/Disturbance
Analysis Guide Development Use of
Fault Recorders, Fault and Analysis
Conference, Texas A&M University,
April 1993.
10)Fault and Disturbance Data
Requirements for Automated
Computer Analysis. IEEE Special
Publication 95 TP 107.

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ANALYSIS of OSCILLOGRAMS

John W. Chadwick, Jr.

Technical Advisor
Mehta Tech, Inc.
208 N. 12th Ave. - P.O. Box 350

Eldridge, IA 52748
Power system monitoring:

Checks the speed and correctness of the


protection and control systems

Monitors the reaction of the power system to


disturbances
Analysis of an oscillogram includes:

The characteristics of the input transducers

The characteristics of the data conditioning

Interpretation of the output


Interpreting the output is a function of
how well you understand:

The protection, control, and monitoring systems

The operation of the power system

The characteristics of the major components of


the power system
INPUT TRANSDUCERS

Current Transducers

Voltage Transducers
Magnetic Voltage Transformers
Coupling Capacitor Voltage Transformers

Event Inputs (Contact Inputs)


Interposing Relays
Open vs. Closer Contacts
Wet vs. Dry Contacts
Logic Sensitivity (Current Requirements)
Contact Bounce
Event Resolution Time
DATA CONDITIONING:

Input Signal Isolators

Analog-to-Digital (A/D) Converters

Sample Rates

Anti-Aliasing Filters

Measurement Window
INTERPRETING THE DATA

Protection, Control, and Monitoring Systems

Operation of the Power System

Characteristics of the Major Components of the


Power System
Evaluating the speed and correctness of the
protection systems

Did the protection systems operate as intended?

Did the protection systems operate within the time limits?

Determine the type of fault, the location, and possible causes.

Did all protection systems react properly?

Did reclosing operate as intended?

Verify system calculations and relay settings.

Use fault interrupting duty to determine maintenance


schedule.

Can any impending failures be detected?

Etc.
Evaluating the reaction of the power system to the
disturbance requires an understanding of the
major power system components

Current Transducers

Voltage Transducers VT or CCVT

Power Transformers

Circuit Breakers Opening Resistors, Closing Resistors, etc.

Generators

Shunt Capacitors

Series Capacitors

Shunt Reactors

Series Reactors

Switching Surges/Surge Arresters

Protective Gap Flashes

Ferroresonance

Etc.
CONCLUSIONS:

Properly identifing and isolating faulty equipment from the


power system as swiftly as you can dependably do so
Improves stability
Reduces damage to equipment
Improves the quality of service

The faster, more complex systems cost more


It is necessary to monitor these fast systems to assure
that they are doing the job they were purchased to do
Monitor to determine when the systems are not
functioning properly
Monitor after repairs and maintenance to verify that the
systems are back doing the job
BIBLIOGRAPHY

1) Application and Evaluation of Automatic Fault-Recording


Devices, IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems,
Vol. PAS-84, No. 12, pp. 1187-1203, December 1965.
2) Supplement to Application and Evaluation of Automatic Fault-
Recording Devices, IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and
Systems, Vol. PAS-90, No. 2, pp. 751-755, March/April 1971.
3) Application of Fault and Disturbance Recording Devices for
Protective System Analysis IEEE Special Publication 87 TH
0195-8-PWR.
4) Summary of the Special Publication Application of Fault and
Disturbance Recording Devices for Protective System Analysis,
IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 1625-
1630, July 1989
5) Pilot Relaying Performance Analysis, IEEE Transactions on
Power Delivery, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 85-102, January 1990.
6) IEEE Standard Common Format for Transient Data Exchange
(COMTRADE) for Power Systems. ANSI/IEEE C37.111-1999.
7) R. O. Burnett, Jr., Fault Analysis 101, Fault and Disturbance
Analysis Conference, Texas A&M University, April 1992.
8) COMTRADE: A new standard for common format for transient
data exchange., IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 7,
No. 4, pp. 1920-1926, October 1992.
9) Sherry L. Goiffon, Fault/Disturbance Analysis Guide
Development Use of Fault Recorders, Fault and Analysis
Conference, Texas A&M University, April 1993.
10) Fault and Disturbance Data Requirements for Automated
Computer Analysis. IEEE Special Publication 95 TP 107.