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# 34 Products and technology

## Precise line impedance measurements

in environments with interference
Correct setting of line protection
with CPC 100 + CP CU1

## Precise line parameters are required for distance protection relays,

fault locators and power system calculations. When performing
mathematical determination of line impedances, multiple simplifi-
cation steps are taken which do not apply in practice. As such,
the precision of the line parameters calculated in this way are
not precise and can often prove to be inadequate.
The CPC 100+CP CU1 measuring system enables measure-
ment of line impedances with a level of precision that
goes far beyond any calculations. This allows the distance
protection and fault locators to be set up precisely. CPC 100 + CP CU1:
Portable measuring system for
precise recording of line impedance

## By Rainer Luxenburger and Wernich de Villiers

Precise impedance determination required Imprecisely adjusted fault locators also give inaccurate readings
Setting up distance protection equipment properly requires of the distance to the respective fault. In these instances, repair
knowledge of the correct line impedance values. Line-to-line crews cannot be sent to precise locations, and this increases
impedances can often be calculated with acceptable accuracy. both the time required to carry out the maintenance work and
Line-to-ground impedances, on the other hand, are influenced by the associated costs. On the other hand, if the line impedance is
physical characteristics present such as metal pipes or neighbor- measured correctly, distance protection and fault locators can be
ing cables in the ground and cannot be mathematically calculated accurately adjusted. It is important to note that the difference be-
sufficiently accurately. This is because these calculations are based tween the measured values and the calculated values can be quite
on perfectly straight cable conduits and homogenous ground considerable here. For example, the calculated parameters of a
with constant conductivity conditions which are rarely found in protective relay which disconnected the wrong line section from
the real world. The impedance of a line-to-ground loop is there- the power system after a fault occurred were tested by actual
fore calculated extremely inaccurately. measurement, which can be seen in the shown table on the next
page. The measurement with the OMICRON CPC 100+CPCU1
Problems with protective devices system highlighted deviations of 48% between the imprecise,
A protective device shuts down the system if a short circuit occurs mathematically determined values and the zero-sequence imped-
in the section it is assigned to monitor. However, if a protective ance values actually measured.
device cannot be set up correctly, it may also react improperly to
faults outside the protected section. This can cause lines to be
shut down unnecessarily, which in turn can lead to power cuts
for the end customer.

## OMICRON Magazine | Volume2 Issue2 2011

Products and technology 35

Mathematically Measured
determined value value Difference
Significant deviations:
Comparison between the imprecise, mathematically Resistance of the zero-sequence system 3.57 2.41 48%
determined values and the zero-sequence impedance
values actually measured with the OMICRON system. Reactance of the zero-sequence system 14.2 9.58 48%

Electronic generators allow measurement CPC 100 from OMICRON as the ideal solution
In the past, the influence of mains frequency interference in A total of seven measurements can be performed to accurately
determining line parameters used to make measurements very determine the impedances of a system. These consist of three
time-consuming and costly. This was because they could only for line-to-line loops, three for line-to-ground loops and one for
be performed using an extremely high measurement current all three lines connected in parallel to ground. The measurement
to reduce the impact of the interference that can occur due to results can then be used to gain reliable data for adjusting protec-
surrounding systems. Extremely high power outputs are required tive relays and fault locators. With the CPC 100 and the CP CU1,
for this. The diesel generators used to generate sufficient power these measurements provide precise values, as frequency-selective
weigh several tons, which makes setting up the test apparatus measurement eliminates any connected interference. The time
much more complex and costly. Today, modern electronic genera- and costs required to actually perform the measurements are also
tors allow the use of testing signals with frequencies different to radically reduced, since portable electronic generators can be
that of the mains frequency. Testing devices which can process used in place of the devices weighing several tons. The OMICRON
these signals in a frequency-selective way then provide precise testing device offers a signal generator, power amplifier, mea-
results. This in turn allows tests to be performed with very low surement technology, and a PC in a single unit. The coupling
currents, which means that the current sources (generators) can unit CPCU1 and its grounding box CP GB1 also secure optimum
be made significantly lighter and therefore portable. Overvoltage protection throughout the measurement process.
protection in the devices themselves also guarantees optimum
safety during testing and protects operating staff from hazardous You can find further information in the Customer Area on the
overvoltages. OMICRON website at: www.omicron.at