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43

Copyright 2002 by Cooper Bussmann®

3Ø Short-Circuit Calculations

Why Short-Circuit Calculations

Several sections of the National Electrical Code

®

relate to properovercurrent protection. Safe and reliable application of overcurrentprotective devices based on these sections mandate that a short-circuit study and a selective coordination study be conducted.These sections include, among others:110.9 Interrupting Rating110.10 Component Protection240.1 Conductor Protection250.95 Equipment Grounding Conductor Protection517.17 Health Care Facilities - Selective Coordination620.62 Selective Coordination for Elevator CircuitsCompliance with these code sections can best be accom-plished by conducting a short-circuit study as a start to the analysis.The protection for an electrical system should not only be safe underall service conditions but, to insure continuity of service, it should beselectively coordinated as well. A coordinated system is one whereonly the faulted circuit is isolated without disturbing any other part ofthe system. Once the short-circuit levels are determined, the engi-neer can specify proper interrupting rating requirements, selectivelycoordinate the system and provide component protection. See thevarious sections of this book for further information on each topic.Low voltage fuses have their interrupting rating expressed interms of the symmetrical component of short-circuit current, IS. Theyare given an RMS symmetrical interrupting rating at a specific powerfactor. This means that the fuse can interrupt the asymmetrical cur-rent associated with this rating. Thus only the symmetrical compo-nent of short-circuit current need be considered to determine thenecessary interrupting rating of a low voltage fuse. For listed lowvoltage fuses, interrupting rating equals its interrupting capacity.Low voltage molded case circuit breakers also have their inter-rupting rating expressed in terms of RMS symmetrical amperes at aspecific power factor. However, it is necessary to determine a moldedcase circuit breaker’s interrupting capacity in order to safely apply it.See the section Interrupting Rating vs. Interrupting Capacity in thisbook.110.16 now requires arc-flash hazard warning labeling oncertain equipment. A flash hazard analysis is required before aworker approaches electrical parts that have not been put into asafe work condition. To determine the incident energy and flashprotection boundary for a flash hazard analysis the short-circuitcurrent is typically the first step.

General Comments on Short-Circuit Calculations

Sources of short-circuit current that are normally taken under con-sideration include:- Utility Generation - Local Generation- Synchronous Motors- Induction Motors- Alternate Power SourcesShort-circuit calculations should be done at all critical points in thesystem. These would include:- Service Entrance - Transfer Switches- Panel Boards- Load Centers- Motor Control Centers- Disconnects- Motor Starters- Motor StartersNormally, short-circuit studies involve calculating a bolted 3-phase fault condition. This can be characterized as all 3-phases “bolt-ed” together to create a zero impedance connection. This establishesa “worst case” (highest current) condition that results in maximumthree phase thermal and mechanical stress in the system. From thiscalculation, other types of fault conditions can be approximated. This“worst case” condition should be used for interrupting rating, compo-

nent protection and selective coordination. However, in doing an arc-flash hazard analysis it is recommended to do the arc flash hazardanalysis at the highest bolted 3 phase short-circuit condition and atthe “minimum” bolted three-phase short-circuit condition. There areseveral variables in a distribution system that affect calculated bolted3-phase short-circuit currents. It is important to select the variable val-ues applicable for the specific application analysis. In the Point-to-Point method presented in this section there are several adjustmentfactors given in Notes and footnotes that can be applied that will affectthe outcomes. The variables are utility source short-circuit capabilities,motor contribution, transformer percent impedance tolerance, andvoltage variance.In most situations, the utility source(s) or on-site energysources, such as on-site generation, are the major short-circuit cur-rent contributors. In the Point-to-Point method presented in the nextfew pages, the steps and example assume an infinite availableshort-circuit current from the utility source. Generally this is a goodassumption for highest worst case conditions and since the propertyowner has no control over the utility system and future utilitychanges. And in many cases a large increase in the utility availabledoes not increase the short-circuit currents a great deal for a build-ing system on the secondary of the service transformer. However,there are cases where the actual utility medium voltage availableprovides a more accurate short-circuit assessment (minimum boltedshort-circuit current conditions) that may be desired to assess thearc flash hazard.When there are motors in the system, motor short-circuit contribu-tion is also a very important factor that must be included in any short-cir-cuit current analysis. When a short-circuit occurs, motor contributionadds to the magnitude of the short-circuit current; running motors con-tribute 4 to 6 times their normal full load current. In addition, series ratedcombinations can not be used in specific situations due to motor short-circuit contributions (see the section on Series Ratings in this book).For capacitor discharge currents, which are of short timeduration, certain IEEE (Institute of Electrical and ElectronicEngineers) publications detail how to calculate these currents if theyare substantial.

Procedures and Methods

To determine the fault current at any point in the system, first drawa one-line diagram showing all of the sources of short-circuit cur-rent feeding into the fault, as well as the impedances of the circuitcomponents.To begin the study, the system components, including thoseof the utility system, are represented as impedances in thediagram.The impedance tables include three-phase and single-phasetransformers, cable, and busway. These tables can be used ifinformation from the manufacturers is not readily available.It must be understood that short-circuit calculations are per-formed without current-limiting devices in the system. Calculations aredone as though these devices are replaced with copper bars, to deter-mine the maximum “available” short-circuit current. This is necessary toproject how the system and the current-limiting devices will perform.Also, multiple current-limiting devices do not operate in seriesto produce a “compounding” current-limiting effect. The down-stream, or load side, fuse will operate alone under a short-circuitcondition if properly coordinated.The application of the point-to-point method permits thedetermination of available short-circuit currents with a reasonabledegree of accuracy at various points for either 3Ø or 1Ø electricaldistribution systems. This method can assume unlimited primaryshort-circuit current(infinite bus) or it can be used with limited pri-mary available current.

Table Of Contents

Index

Glossary

3Ø Short-Circuit Calculations

Basic Point-to-Point Calculation ProcedureStep 1.

Determine the transformer full load amperes (F.L.A.) fromeither the nameplate, the following formulas or Table 1:

3Ø TransformerI

F.L.A.

=KVAx1000E

L-L

x1.7321Ø Transformer I

F.L.A.

=KVAx1000E

L-L

Step 2.

Find the transformer multiplier. See Notes 1 and 2

Multiplier =100*%Z

transformer

Note 1

.

Get %Z from nameplate or Table 1. Transformer impedance (Z) helps todetermine what the short circuit current will be at the transformer secondary.Transformer impedance is determined as follows:The transformer secondary isshort circuited. Voltage is increased on the primary until full load current flows inthe secondary. This applied voltage divided by the rated primary voltage (times100) is the impedance of the transformer.Example:For a 480 Volt rated primary, if 9.6 volts causes secondary full loadcurrent to flow through the shorted secondary, the transformer impedance is9.6/480 = .02 = 2%Z.

Note 2

.

In addition, UL (Std. 1561) listed transformers 25KVA and largerhave a ±10% impedance tolerance. Short circuit amperes can be affectedby this tolerance. Therefore, for high end worst case, multiply %Z by .9. Forlow end of worst case, multiply %Z by 1.1. Transformers constructed to ANSIstandards have a ±7.5% impedance tolerance (two-winding construction).

Step 3.

Determine by formula or Table 1 the transformer let-throughshort-circuit current. See Notes 3 and 4.

I

S.C.

= Transformer

F.L.A.

xMultiplier

Note 3

.

Utility voltages may vary ±10% for power and ±5.8% for 120 Volt lightingservices. Therefore, for highest short-circuit conditions, multiply values as calcu-lated in step 3 by 1.1 or 1.058 respectively. To find the lower end worst case,multiply results in step 3 by .9 or .942 respectively.

Note 4.

Motor short-circuit contribution

, if significant, may be added at all faultlocations throughout the system. A practical estimate of motor short-circuitcontribution is to multiply the total motor current in amperes by 4. Values of 4to 6 are commonly accepted.

Step 4.

Calculate the "f" factor.

3Ø Faultsf =1.732xLxI

3Ø

C x n x E

L-L

1Ø Line-to-Line (L-L) Faults2xLxI

L-L

See Note 5 & Table 3

f =C x nxE

L-L

1Ø Line-to-Neutral (L-N) Faults2xLxI

L-N

†

See Note 5 & Table 3

f =C x nxE

L-N

Where:L=

length (feet) of conductor to the fault.

C=

constant from Table 4 of “C” values for conductors andTable 5 of “C” values for busway.

n=

Number of conductors per phase (adjusts C value forparallel runs)

I=

available short-circuit current in amperes at beginningof circuit.

Note 5

.

The L-N fault current is higher than the L-L fault current at the sec-ondary terminals of a single-phase center-tapped transformer. The short-cir-cuit current available (I) for this case in Step 4 should be adjusted at thetransformer terminals as follows: At L-N center tapped transformer terminals,

I

L-N

= 1.5 x I

L-L

at Transformer Terminals.

At some distance from the terminals, depending upon wire size, the L-N faultcurrent is lower than the L-L fault current. The 1.5 multiplier is an approxima-tion and will theoretically vary from 1.33 to 1.67. These figures are based onchange in turns ratio between primary and secondary, infinite source avail-able, zero feet from terminals of transformer, and 1.2 x %X and 1.5 x %R forL-N vs. L-L resistance and reactance values. Begin L-N calculations attransformer secondary terminals, then proceed point-to-point.

Step 5.

Calculate "M" (multiplier) or take from Table 2.

M =11+fStep 6.

Calculate the available short-circuit symmetrical RMS cur-rent at the point of fault. Add motor contribution, if applicable.

I

S.C. sym RMS

= I

S.C.

xMStep 6A.Motor short-circuit contribution

,

if significant, may be added at allfault locations throughout the system. A practical estimate of motor short-cir-cuit contribution is to multiply the total motor current in amperes by 4. Valuesof 4 to 6 are commonly accepted.

Calculation of Short-Circuit Currents at Second Transformer in System

Use the following procedure to calculate the level of fault cur-rent at the secondary of a second, downstream transformer in asystem when the level of fault current at the transformer primary isknown.

Procedure for Second Transformer in SystemStep A.

Calculate the "f" factor (

I

S.C. primary

known)

3Ø Transformer

(I

S.C. primary

and

f =I

S.C. primary

xV

primary

x1.73 (%Z)

I

S.C. secondary

are

100,000xKVA

transformer

3Ø fault values)

1Ø Transformer

(I

S.C. primary

andI

S.C. secondary

are

f =I

S.C. primary

xV

primary

x (%Z)

1Ø fault values:

100,000xKVA

transformer

I

S.C. secondary

is L-L)

Step B.

Calculate "M" (multiplier).

M =11+fStep C.

Calculate the short-circuit current at the secondary of thetransformer. (See Note under Step 3 of "Basic Point-to-PointCalculation Procedure".)

I

S.C. secondary

=V

primary

xMxI

S.C. primary

V

secondary

**

MAINTRANSFORMERH.V. UTILITYCONNECTIONI

S.C. primary

I

S.C. secondary

I

S.C. secondary

I

S.C. primary

†

44

Copyright 2002 by Cooper Bussmann®

Table Of Contents

Index

Glossary

45

Copyright 2002 by Cooper Bussmann®

Fault X

2

Step 4.f=1.732x20x33,215=.10492x11,424x480Step 5.M =1= .9051 + .1049Step 6.I

S.C.sym RMS

=33,215x.905=30,059A

Fault X

3

Step A.f=30,059x480x1.732x1.2=1.333100,000x225Step B.M=1=.42861+1.333Step C.I

S.C. sym RMS

=480x.4286x30,059=29,731A208

3Ø Short-Circuit Calculations

Available UtilityInfinite Assumption1500 KVA Transformer,480V, 3Ø, 3.5%Z,3.45%X, .56%RI

f.l.

=1804A25' - 500kcmil6 Per PhaseService EntranceConductors in Steel Conduit2000A SwitchKRP-C-2000SP FuseFault X

1

400A SwitchLPS-RK-400SP Fuse50' - 500 kcmilFeeder Cablein Steel ConduitFault X

2

Motor Contribution

M

Fault X

1

Step 1.I

f.l.

=1500x1000=1804A480x1.732Step 2.Multiplier =100= 28.573.5Step 3. I

S.C.

=1804x28.57=51,540AI

S.C.motor contrib

=4x1,804*=7,216AI

total S.C. sym RMS

= 51,504 + 7,216 = 58,720AStep 4.

f

=1.732x25x51,540=0.034922,185x6x480Step 5.M=1=.96631+.0349Step 6. I

S.C.sym RMS

=51,540x.9663=49,803AI

S.C.motor contrib

= 4x1,804*=7,216AI

totalS.C. sym RMS

=49,803+7,216=57,019A

(fault X1)

One-Line Diagram

System ASystem BFault X

1

Step 1.I

f.l.

=1000x1000= 1203A480x1.732Step 2.Multiplier=100=28.573.5Step 3.I

S.C.

=1203x28.57=34,370AStep 4.f=1.732x30x34,370=.034826,706x4x480Step 5.M=1=.96641+.0348Step 6.I

S.C.sym RMS

=34,370x.9664 = 33,215A

Available UtilityInfinite Assumption1000 KVA Transformer,480V, 3Ø,3.5%ZI

f.l.

= 1203A30’ - 500 kcmil4 Per PhaseCopper in PVC Conduit1600A SwitchKRP-C-1500SP FuseFault X

1

400A SwitchLPS-RK-350SP Fuse20’ - 2/02 Per PhaseCopper in PVC ConduitFault X

2

225 KVA transformer,208V, 3Ø1.2%ZFault X

3

One-Line Diagram11322

Fault X

2

Step 4. Use I

S.C.sym RMS

@ Fault X1to calculate “f”f=1.732x50x49,803=.405022,185x480Step 5.M=1=.71171+.4050Step 6. I

S.C.sym RMS

=49,803x.7117=35,445AI

sym motor contrib

=4x1,804*=7,216AI

total S.C. sym RMS(fault X

2

)

=35,445+7,216=42,661A*Assumes 100% motor load. If 50% of this load was from motors, I

S.C.

motor contrib. = 4 x 1,804 x .5 = 3608A

Table Of Contents

Index

Glossary

Filters