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The Art of Protecting Electrical Systems1 Part -8

The Art of Protecting Electrical Systems1 Part -8

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Electrical Systems
Electrical Systems

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01/03/2015

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The Art of Protecting Electrical Systems, Part 8: Short-Circuit Calculations
By GEORGE ! "ARRE## an\$ "RA%& R! 'A#'O(A, P!E! -- Consulting-S)ecifying Engineer, 8*+*../ 0::.. A1
This installment of our ongoing series introduces short-circuit calculations, starting with the fundamentals and proceeding on through available computer programs.
In previous articles, we discussed the importance of overcurrent protection, presented fundamental theorems used in short-circuit calculations and examined component short-circuit ratings. This article begins the study of calculation methods.The fundamental electrical quantities used in short-circuit calculations are voltage, current and impedance, i.e., voltage Current = ! x " impedancewhere ! is a constant, depending on whether the circuit is single-phase or three-phase, and " is a constant by which the various levels of voltage and #\$% in a distribution system system are related to each other.Typical short-circuit calculations are carried out using line-to-neutral values of impedance, with ! = !. Tabulated values of impedance for conductors and other circuit components are always given in line-to-neutral ohms. &oth resistance and reactance are expressed this way." is selected usually by the per-unit method 'discussed later( in which impedances will be ad)usted for the various voltages and equipment #\$% levels. In this way, they might be manipulated during calculations, reducing a complex system of impedances to the
of the faulted circuit.*ometimes the resistance is ignored in short-circuit studies, with only the reactance considered. Calculations based only on reactance indicate larger short-circuit currents than may actually occur. In most systems, this is not significant, as the errors introduced are on the safe side.&efore the days of the digital computer, the great amount of calculations in dealing with the complex quantities of impedance '= 'resistance
"
+ reactance
"
(( usually made the reactance-only calculations the method of choice. ow, however, by using computer programs, more accurate results may be quic#ly obtained with both resistance and reactance being studied.The I recommended practice for low-voltage short-circuit studies mandates that both resistance and reactance calculations be made. %lso, calculations for comparison to electrical equipment ratings for alternating current '%C( high-voltage circuit brea#ers

rated on both asymmetrical current and total current basis involve both resistance and reactance 'per %*II standards(. %nother important reason to use resistance in calculations is that an /0 ratio may be determined thereby providing a way to calculate asymmetrical current. To simplify this discussion of the per-unit method, however, only the reactance of systems will be illustrated1 resistance calculations use the same formulas and methodology.
4sing the )er-unit metho\$
In the per-unit method, all impedances are assigned a value to a chosen #\$% base. 2enerally, the #\$% base is related to the magnitude of values found in the system, typically, !,333, !3,333 and !33,333 #\$%. 4nce all impedances have been converted to the chosen base they may be combined without further consideration of voltage or #\$% rating levels.To better understand the per-unit method, consider an example from another field. In this case, the 5idget *ales Company trac#s its sales every month by total sales and by sales per sales person. 6igure 7.! shows the sales figures for the first six month of the year. ote that although *mith8s sales for 9ay were only :;,<33, his per-unit sales for the month on a :! million base were :;<,333by far his best month. Thus, the per-unit method has provided a method by which an appraisal of *mith8s performance may be readily achieved.
*imilarly, in short-circuit calculations, the impedance of all elements of the system must be considered 'sales for all months and a total sales base(. This includes the equivalent utility reactance, reactances of all static items 'cable, busway, current transformers, switches( and reactances of all dynamic items 'transformers, motors, generators(.

6ormulas for application of the per-unit method to electrical systems for short circuit calculations are indicated below.
"or ca5le, 5us an\$ 5us6ay, o2erhea\$ lines, current transformers, s6itches, etc!,
where the reactance is usually given in ohms>
"OR14#A +
?@/ = per-unit reactance =percent reactance !33
"OR14#A 
?@/ 'on chosen #\$% base( = ohms reactance x #\$% base !,333 x #\$
"
where ohms is the line-to-neutral value for a single conductor, #\$% is the chosen three-phase base #\$% and #\$ is the line-to-line #ilovolts.6or example, the reactance of single-conductor, non-shielded <33-#cmil, A33-volt cable in magnetic raceway is 3.3BAA ohms per thousand feet. The per-unit reactance of <33 feet of cable operating at B73 volts on a #\$% base of !,333 is>?@/ =3.3BAA" x !,333 = 3.!3!! pu 'per unit( !,333 x 3.B7 x 3.B7
or7ing 6ith generators, motors, transformers, etc!,
where the reactances are usually given in percent to their own #\$% rating, the reactance values are first changed to a per-unit value on their own #\$% base by the use of 6ormula !, and then changed to a per-unit value on the chosen #\$% base by use of 6ormula >
"OR14#A 
?@/ 'on chosen #\$% base( =?@/ on #\$% rating x #\$% base #\$% rating6or example, given a <.;<D-reactance, !,<33-#\$% transformer what is the per-unit reactance to a !3,333-#\$% baseE 6rom 6ormula !>?@/ 'on #\$% rating( =;.;<D = 3.3<;< pu !33and from 6ormula >?@/ 'on base #\$%( =3.3<;< x !3,333 = 3.7 pu !,<33It is necessary to obtain the available fault current from the utility company when ma#ing a short-circuit study. The data are usually in the form of symmetrical amps at a given /0 ratio at the supply voltage, although it may be furnished as short-circuit #\$%.If the available fault current is given in asymmetrical amps, the symmetrical fault current may be calculated using the following>
"OR14#A 9
*ymmetrical 09* amps =assymetrical amps /0 ratio multiplier where the /0 ratio multiplier may be obtained from the tabulation given in the
part of this series. Conversion to ?@/ may be made using the following>
"OR14#A 