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# To be presented at the 3i7tk meeting of the

## New York, January 14, 1016.

Copyright 1916. By A. I. E. E.

## OUTLINE OF THEORY OF IMPULSE CURRENTS

BY CHARLES P. STEINMETZ

ABSTRACT OF PAPER

## derived as special cases, corresponding to particular values of the

integration constants.

## Impulse current and voltage may be resolved into a main

wave and a return wave. The return wave is displaced from the

## 2 STEINMETZ: IMPULSE CURRENTS [Jan. 14

I. TYPES OF CURRENT

A. GENERAL

IF r = resistance

g = shunted conductance

L = inductance

C = capacity

d e . T di ,.,.

L -T- (1)

dl dt

## and the current consumed is

= e + C (2)

Differentiating (1) over dt, and (2) over dl, and combining

gives

Integrating,

## e = - A e-" r-4' (5)

= \/bL- r Af-e-t,

=zi

where

. = V*4^ (6)

## a2 = PLC - b (rC + gL) + rg (7)

= (bL - r) (bC - R)

The general solution then is a sum of such terms (4) and (6).

## These equations must represent every existing electric cir-

cuit, and every circuit which can be imagined, from the lightning

## If I = 0, that is, the length of the circuit is negligible compared

with the rate of change of i or e, (4) and (6) give the equations

## b = real or general gives the transients, impulse currents and

general transients.

## Thus, while the continuous currents represent a limiting case,

the alternating currents and the impulse currents are two co-

by them. i

## impulse currents, and their general theory thus will be given in

the following, and also that of the limiting case of the continuous

## Substituting in (4) and (5):

e = 0 when / = 0

and considering that, by equation (7), a can have two values, for

(8)

<

## Assuming now / as infinitely small, and substituting

e -"' = 1 a / (9)

## in (8), gives, as the general equation of the circuit with massed

constants,

i = B e-6'

(10)

e = (r - 6L0) B 6~>"

where

B=2A

i=B

(11)

e = r0B

i = B e-<"

## e = (r0 - bL0) B -"

= r0 i + L0 ~- (12)

## Substituting b = .jc gives as the equation of the alternating-

current circuit,

i = Ci cos ct + Ct sin ct

(13)

where

(14)

C2 = j (B, - Bt)

CONSTANTS

b=0

a = Vrg (15)

z = V- (16)

(17)

* /7

## submerged in water, or the current flow in the armor of a cable

laid in the ground, or the current flow in the rail return of the

## cient circuit length, the assumption of uniformity would be

justified as an approximation.

## (a) If the conductor is of infinite length that is, of such great

length, that the current which reaches the end of the conductor,

we have

A-, = 0

This gives

4/7 (19)

e = A V e-'V'i

or

e=\/^i

(20)

## It is interesting to note, that at a change of r or of g the effect-

ive resistance r', and thus the current flowing into the conductor

## i = Al e-' + A,. e+i'~* = Q

Hence, if

A = Ai e~l'v^ = - A* f+''vn

we have

e = A V --

## (c) If the circuit is closed upon itself at I = /0> we have

e = V {A, e-fc^I- A*

=0

Hence, if

A=Ai

we have

=A

= A V {e+(fa-o ^ - e- ('-') ^

(22)

## If, in (22), /0 = 0, that is, the circuit is closed at the starting

point, we have

t = A { e-/v^ + e+'^j

\fr _i ^~ +lvr,

'g

## or, counting the distance in opposite direction, that is, changing

the sign of /

= A (e+IX/v + e-'v/" }

e = X V- |e+'v'' - e-'^!

(23)

= ''o

hence.

[Jan. 14

A! -*

or,

A/I-

A, = .4,6-2

(24)

t=A

r.-V-

JL ,-(2/0-0

(25)

: - (2 I, -

VI,

CONSTANTS

b = jq

## and the corresponding values of b and a exist:

b = + j q, a = + h j k

- jq + h +jk

- jq - h - j k

+ jq - h + jk

sion, gives

## i = t~u \Bi cos (kl - qt) + Bt sin (k I- qt)\

+ e+u \B3 cos (kl + qt) + B< sin (kl + qt)\ (26)

where

BI = A\ + A B3 = A3 + A\

## and in the same manner, starting with equation (6),

A / f LI f i J i i J\ , J_t/ / i

## - j sin */)) (28)

where

Z = r + jqL

Y = g+jqC (29)

q = 27T/

These are the usual and well known equations of the alter-

A. GENERAL

## By the same equation, to every value of a correspond two

values of b:

b = M s (30)

where 5 = V m2 + -^ (31)

(32)

T- \

## is the energy dissipation constant, and

' * = H -ir ~ -r I

S2 < M2 (34)

a2

JLrf U

a2

i*(

a2

/^ (

## a thus must be either real, or imaginary, but it can not be

complex imaginary.

## Periodic impulse currents: a imaginary, a2 negative, and

- a2 < L C m2

The terms " periodic " and " non-periodic " here refer to the

## Non-periodic impulse currents:

a2 = positive

a = h

=V

+ r (36)

h = VL C (52 - m2)

M2 > S2 > W2

a: b:

+ h u- s

h u s

- h u +s (36)

+hu+s

a'2 = negative

a = j k

jfe2 < ws L C

a: b:

+ jk u- s

- jk u- s (38)

+ jk u + s

- jk u + s

gives :

## --- \cA> *-+*-cAt

. J_ I +W ,_ J_ rt I

, c ^3 c ^4 ,

(39)

where

. / r _1_ M

(40)

s m

## points of time and distance, by the substitution:

! = Dt e-wi-"-

3 = Di -*i+" (41)

c = +" (42)

Hence

and / for / l\

## = ^-V* {D, [-*<+" + -]

+ ZM+W + S/ e-w- ]}

## or, expressed in hyperbolic functions :

i = e-1" \B! cosh [hi - st(t - ta)] - B-I cosh [hi + s(t -/o)]|

_ (45)

c/

equation (44).

## The impulse thus is the combination of two single impulses of

the form

e-((e-W+J/ e+-5l)

ill at

## factor v p^- (the "surge impedance"), and by a time' dis-

\^

placement to. That is, in the general impulse, voltage e and the

## 14 STEIN METZ: IMPULSE CURRENTS [Jan. 14

ta is positive, that is, the current lags behind the voltage im-

Y !!

ponderates.

fa

## If m = 0, that is, = -|r- , or -^ = ^- , to = 0, that

LCgC

is, the voltage impulse and the current impulse are in phase with

## each other, that is, there is no time displacement, and current

and voltage impulses have at any time or at any space the same

(46)

## the term e - < is the attenuation of the impulse by the energy

dissipation in the circuit, that is, represents the rate at which the

## impulse would die out by its energy dissipation.

The first term: e~~("~s)/, dies out at a slower rate than given

## result, this term decreases with increasing distance /, by the factor

u ; inversely, the second term, e ' ("+j) ', dies out more rapidly

with the time, than corresponds to the energy losses, that is, at any

point /, this term abstracts energy and shifts it along the circuit,

## pagation, by e+u. In other words, of the two terms of the im-

pulse, the one drops energy while moving along the line, and the

## The terms e *'' thus represent the dropping and picking up of

energy with the time, the terms e*w the dropping and picking

## responding h) thus may be called the energy transfer constant of

the impulse. The higher s is, the greater then is the rate of

energy transfer, that is, the steeper the wave front, and s thus

where

A = DI Z>2

B = D, + >2.

## Substituting in equation (39),

A,. = B e+w--*"+*

A, = B e-,--* (47)

^1 4 ^C jL/ C

c = +'' (42)

and writing

,r,,i*

I tor I- /i

C*

where

2*

writing

t lor t h + t'

I for l-h +

= sV-4- e'le-1

c - 1 I f +il

I,-eJ^c

(50)

where

0 -e

- (51)

## Equations (48) may be interpreted as showing two impulses,

the main impulse, and the reflected impulse. The main im-

## towards rising /. The reflected impulse, with e+w, starts at

the time /' after the start of the main impulse, and decreases

by time /o-

## Equation (50) shows the two component impulses, the first

one dropping energy along its path, and thus decreasing with

first one.

## impulses in (48) t>y (49) and (51):

that is, /' is the distance traveled by the impulse during time t'.

( (62)

*/- Z>4sin*/]l

oc

where

c = \/J5L_L (54)

m s

Substituting:

## Z?4 = B e+5'- sin fe (/, - /0)

c- +" (56)

Thus,

log_c= 1 J (67)

S 25 WZ 5

and writing

/ for < - /i + to

I for / + /o

gives

## e = 5 V - e {e+" sin */ e-s' sin k (I - *,))

(58)

Exchanging sin and cos in (66), also exchanges sin and cos

in (68).

impulse.

## Current and voltage thus are in quadrature with each other in

space, and displaced from each other in time, by the " time dis-

## placement " 10.

/o is positive, that is, the current lags behind the voltage by-

f I?

L* C

C ' Li

-V-

## numerically be smaller than m.

5 = 0 gives

by (57): st0 = 0.

by (37): k = m \/L C

and by (68),

in space.

s = m gives

k=0

e=

## hence, substituting for u and w,

- i --i

i = D! 6 ' + D3 L

where

>,' = Z>,

## In this impulse, the capacity terms and the inductance terms

are separate, and current and voltage are uniform throughout the

entire circuit.

e = -~r

+ (c Dl + -^-^s

## The expressions for i and e, given in equations (39), (44), (45),

(48), (50) and (52) for the non-periodic, and in equations (53)

## Currents" is a continuation of the paper on the general equa-

tion of the electric circuit, read eight years ago. In the previous

sipation.

## different types of electric current is made from the general equa-

tion of the electric circuit, and in the second part, various forms

## As engineering is based on experience, and experiment neces-

sarily deals with special cases, the synthetic method is the first

## the general equation, and thus may not he comprehensive, since

any phenomenon which does not obey these laws, would not

be included.

## and other transients, was developed synthetically; and the

purpose of the first part of the present paper is, by the analytic

## voltages resulting from the free oscillation of the line as a quarter

wave (or half wave or full wave), and its higher harmonics.

In a few instances this agreed fairly well with the facts, thus

## would be felt over the entire circuit, whereas, experience showed

most line disturbances were more local in chaiacter, that is, very

## frequency travelling waves would give local abnormal voltage,

and rapid attenuation with the distance from the origin, and

## ings of high-voltage power transformers, usually of frequencies

between 10,000 and 100,000 cycles, and their existence has there-

## To get their relation to the other and better known classes

of current, was the purpose of the first part of the present paper.

## of circuits with distributed constants and / = oo gives the

case where the circuit is so long, that the disturbance has de-

## efficient, b is a general (or complex imaginary) number, and the

two main special cases thus are, (a) where the real term of b

is zero, (b) where the imaginary term is zero, (a) gives the al-

## derivation of various forms of the equations of the two classes

of impulse currents.

## resonance phenomena with impulse currents would be little

pronounced or absent.

portance.

L, g and C.

## Thus the general equation of the electric circuit, which is

the starting point of the present paper and the previous paper,

Qfl Qflr

## as the direct current and the alternating current. When I saw

the notice of the paper and observed the title "Outline of Theory

## of the more general impulse current.

When Dr. Steinmetz says that equations (4) and (6) "must

## which can be imagined, from the lightning discharge to the

house bell, and from the a-c. transmission line to the telephone

## misunderstand that statement,"because if you do, you might

think that after you read this article you need not read any-

against that.

## these various electrical reactions and various electrical actions,

then the following must be the relation between the current and

e.m.f. in any part of the circuit. That is what is called the in-

## tegral of it. From the equation of reactions you get an ex-

pression of the current and the e.m.f., and that is called the

integral. That is true for any point of the wire which has

certain constants.

## and make them conform to the so-called boundary conditions.

As soon as you pass from one element of the wire with certain

## say that he has given you a complete solution-he means to

say that he has given you a complete solution for any part

## of the electric circuit, but if you want to have a complete solu-

tion, good for any part and for the complete circuit, you have

to take this part, and this part, and this part and build it up.

## It is true that there are problems in electrical engineering

which have not been discussed at all, and Dr. Steinmetz has

## motor, drive it beyond synchronism, and provide it with a suit-

able capacity, and you can get oscillations exactly the same

circuit.

## The machine has to obey the integral of that differential equation,

that is to say, the machine has to obey the law of the electrical

## reactions. The mechanical power that drives the motor acts,

the motor reacts, and the result of that action and reaction is

## mathematical symbols used in the differential equations given

in the paper, but this is not true of many of the symbols appear-

## have a definite relation to the physical conditions intially

imposed on the circuit, i.e., they depend upon the voltage and

1916]

687

## equation instead of a quadratic. When there is mutual induc-

tance between the given circuit and more than one other circuit,

## tion of still higher degree. I give this merely to emphasize the

fact that the relations given in the paper apply only to a single

'Source of

Electricity

FIG. 1

## circuit, and every circuit which can be imagined, from the

lightning discharge to the house bell, and from the a-c. trans-

## that r, g, L, C are constant within the range of the currents and

voltages considered."

## By a peculiar coincidence, it occurred to me that these equa-

tions might not include all cases which are situated between the

tion.

688

[Jan. 14

IMPULSE CURRENTS

## in the paper. The whole circuit is composed of a series of such

elementary circuits.

## current at all could flow. The new fundamental equation should,

therefore, not refer to the change of voltage per unit length of line

## (~rr ) but to a voltage drop in a circuit with massed constants.

The length of circuit as such does then not enter into the com-

putation.

If e, the consumed voltage, and the other quantities r\, r2, LI,

e=

dt,

(1)

Source of

Electricity

## Leads assumed free

""from resistance

FIG. 2

## also for self-induction L2 combined with resistance r2,

= ge + C2 f- + ik X t L' + -

at

r,' C +^

edt+I"1

ft I

(2)

**

e0 1 fe+r,'

to -) I c

r2 r, J

de

finally

i-o

const. -0

(3)

## as a function of the time, and in this respect these equations

differ materially from equations (1) and (2) of the paper. The

## an adjustment of its terminal voltage, and therefore equations

(1) and (2) of the paper must leave this possibility open, which

they do.

in equation (4).

L.

with x

2L, 4Li2

--J3--A/:

2L, 4 L!* Ci Li

## coil type. Such machines work entirely with impulse currents

and it appears that circuits as per Fig. 2, or similar, will meet the

ings.

are:

## current waves over conductors are reduced to their simplest

fundamental elements.

(2) These equations (4) and (6) of the paper permit of a new

## b has no real component can the wave to which it pertains belong

to a permanent regime.

## r j with a imaginary, representing non-oscillatory transients.

(3)

The paper distinguishes the two last types by the terms " non-

periodic " and " periodic " impulses respectively. But these

## tance or space. Would it not therefore be more appropriate

to coin the terms " non-spacic " and " spade " for this differen-

tiation?

## categories, it seems doubtful whether there is enough distinction

between the two classes (2) and (3) of the non-oscillatory tran-

## between them are otherwise great enough to call for separate

discussion.

It is perhaps going too far to say that all impulses with real

## mean that this equation is a final solution of every phenomenon;

if I did, I would not have had any reason to write this paper.

## What I mean to say is that from this equation can be derived

the equations of any circuit which fulfills the condition that every

ductance.

power.

## They apply to a circuit, or a section of the circuit, of uniform

constants, but the case which Prof. Pupin discussed, where the

ning arrester.