1, February 1995
Abstract: The traditional laboratory experiment on three However, some current waveforms observed in the labora
phase transformer connections consists of a qualitative obser tory cannot be explained in simple terms where ideal con
vation of current and phase voltage waveforms by means of an ditions are assumed. To illustrate, Fig. 1 shows the phase
oscilloscope, with emphasis placed on the dominant third har and neutral currents of a wyedelta transformer connection
monic component. Some recorded waveshapes, however, can with grounded neutral. These waveforms show by no means
not be explained in simple terms without considering other a dominant third harmonic component in either current.
harmonic components and the quality of power supply. This
paper outlines an improved IectureJexperiment that quanti
tatively analyzes the waveforms of various transformer con
nections under steadystate noload conditions while taking
into account the nonideal voltage supply. The experimental
data obtained with the aid of a harmonic analyzer are then
compared to the qualitative predictions and the discrepancies
are discussed.
08858950/95/$04.00 0 1994 E E E
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19
An argument made by some faculty is that todays labora i.e., phase A leads phases B and C by 120 and 240 degrees,
tory experiments cover too many subjects, especially in those respectively. The same applies for the 4th, 7th, ... (3m+l)th
institutions that combined power system simulation studies harmonic components.
with the traditional machines laboratory, and there is not It is easy to verify from equations (1)(3) that the 3rd har
enough time to cover what is considered a detail. But with monic components ( n = 3) do not lead or lag one another:
the appropriate instrumentation, it is found that it actually they are in phase, and named zero sequence components. The
takes far less time to perform the proposed experiment and same applies for the 6th, 9th, ... (3m+3)th harmonic compo
answer all the related questions than the traditional proce nents.
dure where some unanswered questions and confusion in the The rest of the harmonic current components, 2nd, 5th,
mind of a novice linger. 8th, ..., (3ml)th, form what is called a negative sequence
or ACE sequence, i.e., phase A leads phases C and B by
120 and 240 degrees, respectively. These phase sequences are
BASIC PRINCIPLES Summarized in Table I below.
In threephase transformers, currents will take shape im
posed by the particular connection used, and unlike single TABLE I: PHASE ORDER OF VARIOUS HARMONIC
phase transformers, the flux can be nonsinusoidal even when COMPONENTS
the supply voltage is sinusoidal. Another source that affects
the current waveshape is the quality of the power supply. In Harmonic Order Phase Order
practical situations, it is impossible to find perfectly balanced 1, 4, 7, ... (3m+l) AEC (positive sequence)
and sinusoidal voltages. A certain degree of imbalance and 3, 6, 9, _..(3m+3) in phase (zero sequence)
waveform distortion (with mainly odd harmonics) are.always 2, 5, 8, ... (3m1) ACB (negative sequence)
present due to the nature of distribution systems and elec
trical loads. Even harmonics are also found in the supply
voltages due to halfwave rectifier loads and lack of isotrophy It is of interest to examine the sum of the three current
in core materials, but often much smaller than adjacent odd components iAn + ign+ ic, at different harmonic orders.
harmonics. This sum is zero for positive and negative sequence compo
In order to predict the current waveforms found in differ nents, but 3 times iAn for zero sequence components. Another
ent threephase transformer connections supplied by practical quantity of interest is the difference between two phase har
power supplies, it is best to assume a balanced threephase monic currents, e.g., i,in is,. This is equal to 0, v5i~,,e~,
circuit and examine the phase sequence of harmonic frequen f i i ~ , , e l  ~ ,for zero, positive and negative sequence compo
cies found in such a circuit. The effect of imbalance will be nents, respectively. Table I1 summarizes these results.
addressed afterwards.
Consider a wyewye connected transformer with the pri TABLE 11: SUM AND DIFFERENCE O F CURRENTS AT
mary neutral connected to a threephase source neutral as DIFFERENT HARMONIC FREQUENCIES
shown in Fig. 2. Since the circuit is assumed to be balanced,
the phase currents may be written in terms of Fourier series: Harmonic Order iAn i g , + ic, + iAn  i s ,
1., 4.< 7., ... (3m+l)
\ . , 0 J3i
. . .ejmo
An
.
iA = iAn = I,sin(nwt en), (I) 3, 6, 9, ... (3m+3) 3iAn 0
n=1,2.3 ,... n=1,2,3 ,._. 2, 5, 8, , ... (3m1) 0 &iA,,ejmOO
ig = ig, = C I,,sin(nwt  B, n120), (2)
n=1.2.3 ,... n=1.2,3 ,...
As a consequence, the neutral current i N of the wyewye
ic = icn = I,sin(nwt  8, +n120), (3) connection in Fig. 2 contains only the sum of the zero se
n ~ 1 . 2 .,...
3 n=1,2.3 ,...
quence current components found in the phase current, hut
where inn is the nth harmonic current component of phase magnified three times;
current i ~ .
iN = ix = iAn =3 I,sin(nwt8,).
X=A,B,C n=3.6,9 ,... n=3.6.9, ...
(4)
In addition, Table I1 indicates that the line current in a
delta connection cannot contain zero sequence components
Y
even though they may be present in the phase currents. Fur
thermore, the positive sequence components of the line cur
rent lead those of the phase current by SO degrees, while the
negative sequence components lag hy 30 degrees. These facts
modify the line current waveshape significantly from that of
the phase current.
Fig. 2: WyeWye Configuration with Primary Neutral The same definitions above apply to the voltage quantities.
Connected to Source Neutral. From Table 11, it can be concluded that the sum of the three
phase voltages contains only zero sequence components, and
The fundamental components (n = 1) of these currents the linetoline voltage contains only positive and negative
form what is called a positive sequence or AEC sequence, sequence components.
20
Considering a practical unbalanced voltage supply may ap This connection is undesirable and can be a hazard under
pear more complicated for students who are introduced to certain conditions for two reasons: (a) the peak value of the
the mhject for the first time, but must be at leased briefly phase voltage can be significantly greater than that of the
discussed so that the experimental measurements can be ex fundamental component; thus increasing voltage stress on the
plained. In this case, equations (1)(3) will have different insulation, (h) the third harmonic voltage in uNNr can be a
values of I , and B,, and each harmonic component (includ hazard due to its large magnitude.
ing the fundamental) will have its own positive, negatives and
zero sequence components. Hence, all three sequences exist C ) WyeDelta Connection (with G r o u n d e d Neutral):
at each harmonic frequency, and the content of Table I1 is no First, let one corner of the secondary delta be open. This
longer valid. configuration is similar to Fig. 2 with the exception of the
secondary transformer windings that are connected in series
(to form an opendelta) instead of a star connection. The
PREDICTION OF CURRENT AND VOLTAGE voltage across the open corner of the secondary delta is equal
WAVEFORMS UNDER BALANCED CONDITIONS to the sum of the three secondary phase voltages, and will
contain only zero sequence harmonic components found in the
The principles above are now applied to the four standard supply voltage since the supply is assumed to be balanced,
threephase transformer connections; namely, wyewye, wye I.e.,
delta, deltawye and deltadelta connections. Primary em + +
Uabc = U s lib U c = 3T Wan, (7)
phasis will be placed on the zero sequence harmonic compo 3.6, ...
nents which contain the large third harmonic component and where T and ,.w represent the transformer turn ratio and
whose paths depend of the type of transformer connection. nth harmonic voltage component found in the power supply,
Other transformer connections found in distribution systems respectively. When the secondary delta is closed, there will
(e.g., T or Scott, wyedelta or deltadelta with 4wire secon be a circulating zero sequence current proportional to U&.
daries, and V connections) are only exposed to the students Furthermore, there will be another source of current flow in
under loaded conditions where installed capacity and current the secondary: the primary phase current will no longer be
imbalance are of prime importance. equal to the exciting current whose zero sequence components
The predictions below apply only in caSe where the source will now have two paths (primary and secondary circuits are
is balanced. With an unbalanced power supply, all harmonics both closed). The amount of harmonic current flowing in each
components are expected to be present in all voltages and path depends on the relative impedances of the supply and
currents of all transformer connections. delta circuits. The neutral current will still measure 3 times
the zero sequence components found in each phase current.
A) W y e  W y e Connection (with G r o u n d e d Neutral):
This connection is shown in Fig. 2. The linetoneutral volt D ) WyeDelta Connection (with Isolated N e u t r a l ) :
age at the transformer terminals W A N is equal to the line Disconnecting the neutral wire from the connection above
toneutral supply voltage u A N , . Hence, the exciting current will open the once closed path in the primary circuit. Hence,
should be identical to the one recorded in singlephase trans the zero sequence harmonic components of the primary phase
formers [I]. This current is known to contain a large 3rd currents can no longer exist and the exciting current zero se
harmonic component, in the order of 30%  50% of the fun quence components are forced to flow only in the secondary
damental component, and small values of other harmonics. circuit. The flux and phase voltage will remain near a sinu
From equation (4), the neutral current should contain three soidal waveform.
times the zero sequence component of the phase current iA
E) DeltaWye Connection: In here, the linetoline volt
and no positive nor negative sequence components.
age is applied across each leg of the delta. Hence, the flux
B) W y e  W y e Connection (with Isolated Neutral): In has the same waveform as the voltage supply. The primary
here, the zero sequence current components are suppressed by delta connection provides a path for the zero sequence cur
the isolated neutral. Hence, the exciting current is allowed rents. The exciting or phase current in each leg is nonsinu
to contain only positive and negative sequence components. soidal and contains all sequence components, as in the case of
Consequently, the exciting current waveform will be close to wyewye connection (with grounded neutral). The line cur
a sinusoid since the magnitudes of the positive and negative rent is however very different in shape and in size from the
sequence harmonic are small as indicated above. phase current due to the fact that it does not contain zero
Due to core nonlinearity, the 3rd harmonic component must sequence components, and its positive and negative sequence
now appear in the flux 4, and phase voltage since vAhr = +
components are shifted by 30 degrees as indicated in Table
dd/dt. Therefore, the phase voltage will be nonsinusoidal 11.
and can be described by F) DeltaDelta Connection: This connection provides two
VAN =
n=1.3.6. ...
WAN,, = c
n=1.3.6. ...
V,sin(nwt &), (5) paths for the zero sequence components of the exciting cur
rent. Hence zero sequence currents are expected to circulate
in both primary and secondary paths. In a balanced circuit,
with a relatively large value of 15.
the sum of the three secondary voltages prior to closing the
According to Khirchoffs voltage law, the difference be delta is zero (unlike the wyedelta connection where phase
tween the phase voltage at the transformer and source ter voltages are added instead of line voltages). The line and
minals appears as a voltage U,,,,,,, across the two neutrals: phase currents in the primary side of the transformer should
P ~ = WAN
~ ~ uAlV,
, = V, sin(nwt  6,) (6) be similar to those found in the deltawye connection above.
n=3.6, ...
21
LABORATORY EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS a The 5th harmonic component is the dominant one in the
supply voltages.
The laboratory experiment consists of performing the fol
a The imbalance found in the power supply violates the
lowing steps for each transformer connection: (a) record var assumption of balanced conditions. Hence all current
ious currents and voltage waveshapes using an oscilloscope
waveforms are expected to contain all harmonic orders.
and camera, (b) analyze the harmonic content of each wave
form using a harmonic analyzer, (c) verify whether the pres
TABLE 111: HARMONIC CONTENT O F LABORATORY
ence or absence of the zero sequence harmonic components SUPPLY VOLTAGE
comply with those predicted in class and discuss the sources
contributing to those cases that do not comply. Harmonic Order V,, (V) Vin (v) vm ( v )
Fig. 3 shows the laboratory setup with the transformer 1 118.33 119.82 119.83
shown in a wyedelta configuration with grounded neutral. 2 .02 .06 .04
The station is composed of a 3phase 4wire supply, three 3 .40 .65 .13
shelltype transformers (each rated at 120V/60V, 60VA), cur 4 0.05 .06 .02
rent probes, an oscilloscope equipped with camera, and a 5 1.16 1.52 1.50
waveform analyzer interfaced with a personal computer for 6 .02 .03 .01
data processing, storage and waveform reproduction. It is 7 .47 .39 .50
worth mentioning that a transformer bank made up of three 8 .01 .02 .01
singlephase transformers or a threephase shelltype trans 9 .40 .25 .22
former will have the same characteristics. However, the char THD (W) 1.22 1.48 1.39
acteristics of a threephase coretype transformer differ re
markably due to the high reluctance experienced by the flux The data in Table 111 indicate that the degree of imbalance
at harmonic frequencies [4], [5]. and harmonic content of the power supply are small and well
below acceptable limits. As a consequence, the qualitative
sw,y v0e predictions above can he used with little error.
..... ................. .
A) W y e  W y e Connection ( w i t h g r o u n d e d neutral):
Fig. 4 shows the recorded phase voltage U R N , phase current
i A and neutral current i N , and Fig. 5 shows the harmonic
spectrum of these currents. The phase current is found to he
identical to the one recorded in Part I of the experiment with
the same harmonic component magnitudes [l]. The neutral
current was supposed to contain only the zero sequence com
ponents, but the graph shows that it contains all sequence
components. This is due entirely to the slight imbalance
1 found in the supply (e.g., the sum of fundamental compo
nents in Table I11 add up to a nonzero value). However, the
graph verifies that the zero sequence components of i~ are
about three times those of i ~ .
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Harmonic Order (n)

w
I I ........
1 : I / ........
I
....
j j
...  ,: 3 REFERENCES

01
........ [l] Y . Baghzouz and X. D. Gong, VoltageDependent
Model for Teaching Transformer Core Nonlinearity,
0 01
IEEE Trans. on Power Systems, Vol. 8 , No. 2, 1993,
Fig. 15: Phase and Line Currents in DeltaDelta Y. Baghzouz (S81M86SM90) was horn on August 13,
Connection. 1956, in BeniAmrane, Algeria. He received the B.S., M.S.,
and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Louisiana
100 &
10
_..
...........
. .
Line Current
Ph se Current
Defta Current

. ! State University, Baton Rouge, LA, in 1981, 1982, and 1986,
respectively.
He held a faculty position with the Electrical and Computer
. .......3.
Engineering Department of the University of Southwestern
.... / I : Louisiana, Lafayette, LA, for one year. He then joined the
1 i i ___
.. ... ... Iiniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he is presently As
.......
1
.
1, I
..... sociate Professor and Chairman of the Electrical and Com
.... puter Engineering Department. His areas of interest include
0.1 ........... .......... .......... .......... .........
.......
......... ... .....
computeraided analysis of power systems, power system har
__ .......... monics and electric drives.
0.01 I . Dr. Baghzouz is a member of the IEEE Power Engineering
Society, Eta Kappa Nu, and the IEEE Working Group on
Power System Harmonics.
Fig. 16: Harmonic Content of Phase, Line and Delta
Currents in DeltaDelta Connection. X. D. Gong (S91) was born on April 5, 1961, in Nanchang
City, China. He received the B.S. and M. S. degrees in in elec
CONCLUSION trical engineering from Jiangxi Polytechnic Institute (China)
in 1983, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1993,
The paper presented an improved lecture/laboratory ex respectively.
periment on threephase transformer characteristics under From 1983 to 1990, he was employed with the Nancbang
steadystate noload conditions. The lecture introduces novel Automation Research Institute, China, where his primarily
information needed to explain the laboratory measurements, activity was on microprocessor control of adjustable speed
including hasic properties of threephase nonsinusoidal cir drives. He is currently currently employed with Casino Data
cuits, phase sequences of harmonic components and voltage Systems, Inc. in Las Vegas, Nevada.
imbalance found in practical sources. Emphasis is placed on
the large zero sequence components whose current paths de
pend on the type of transformer connection. The experi
ment is conducted with the aid of a harmonic analyzer and
25
Discussion 200 I I I I I I I

L
(b)
c.
c
It is noted that the shape of current waveform in a a
L
wyegrounded connection is different from the phase
voltage waveform in a wye connection with a floating
neutral. While the relative magnitudes (in % of funda
3
mental) of the dominant third harmonic components are
E
nearly the same in both waveforms, their phase angles L
X
(with respect to fundamental) are significantly different.
150 
1
For the laboratory transformer tested, these phase shifts i
i
measured looo and 1 7 5 O for 13 and V3, respectively. 200 I I I I I I
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