An Introduction to Switchyard

A bird͛s eye view of 400kV Switchyard, DSTPS, DVC, Andal 

What is a Switchyard?
The switchyard is a junction connecting the Transmission & Distribution system to the power plant. 

What is a Substation?
An electrical substation is a subsidiary station of an electricity generation, transmission and distribution system where voltage is transformed from high to low or the reverse using transformers. 

What is the difference between Switchyard and Substation?
The function of substation is to stepping up or down thevoltages as per requirements. It receives electrical power via incoming transmission lines and delivers electrical power via the outgoing transmission lines. The function of Switchyards is to deliver the generated power from power plant at desired voltage level to the nearest grid. 

Parts/Elements of a substation
1. Incoming Lines. 2. Outgoing Lines. 3. Substation Equipments.
y Galvanized steel structures for towers, gantries and equipment support. y Bus Bar y Insulators y Lightning Arrestor y Circuit Breaker y Isolator y Earthing Switch y Current Transformer y Voltage transformer y Power transformer y Shunt reactor/Capacitor y Power Cables y Control Cables for protection and control. y Control and Protection Panel. y PLCC Equipments. y LV AC switchgear. y DC Battery and Charging Equipment.

4. Station Earthing Systems. 5. Station Lighting System. 6. Fire Fighting System. 7. Air Conditioning System. 

Galvanized Steel Structure
Galvanized Steel Structures are made of bolted/welded structures of angles/channels/pipes. These are generally used for following purposes :. y Towers of incoming and outgoing transmission lines. y Towers and beams for supporting strain insulators and flexible bus bars. y Support Structure for mounting the substation equipment such as CT, CVT, LA etc., y Lightning Mast. y Support structure for Post insulators which support the tubular rigid busbars. 

Busbar is used to interconnect the loads and sourcesof electrical power. It connects theincoming and outgoingtransmission lines. It also connectsgenerator and maintransformer in power plant.  Busbars are either flexible or rigid. Flexible busbars are made of ACSR conductors and are supported by disc insulator strings on both sides with the gantries. Rigid busbars are made up of Aluminum tubes and are supported on post insulators. 

Andal Site : y Main bus y Jack Bus

: :

RigidType (4͟ dia Al tube) Flexible Type (ACSR Moose conductor). 

The design of bus bar isdoneon the basis of the following points y The maximum amount ofcurrent to be carried. y Short circuit forces y Electrical clearances  Ratings of Bus bar The rating of Busbar is defined by the following parameters y Rated Current : The rms value of current which the bus bar can carry continuously with temperature rise within specified limit. y Rated Voltage : The rms value of voltage between lines for which the bus bar is intended for. Standard value 6.6, 11, 33, 66, 132, 220, 400 and 765 kV. y Rated frequency : 50Hz for Indian System. y Rated Short time Current : It is defined as the rms value of the current which the bus bar can carry with temperature rise within specified limits for specified duration (usually for 1 second). y Rated Insulation Level :The insulation level is characterized by Normal rated voltage, Power-frequency withstand voltage, Lightning impulse withstand voltage and switching impulse voltage. 

Busbar Layout y Single Busbar System y Main and Transfer Bus system y Double Main Busbar system y Double Main and Transfer Bus system y One and half breaker system AndalSite : We have used One and Half Breaker System

One and Half Breaker System
Merits Demerits Remarks Flexible Operation 1. One and half breaker Used for 400kV and Any Breaker can be per circuit; hence 220kV system. removed for higher cost. maintenance without 2. Protection and auto interruption of load. reclosing more Requires one and half complex since the tie breaker for each breaker must be circuit. responsive to both Each Circuit fed by associated circuits. two breakers All switching by breakers. Selective tripping

1. 2.


4. 5. 6. 

All the currentcarrying parts in a substation are supported on insulators. The insulators provide mechanical support to the conductors and are subject to normal operating voltage and transient over voltages. The insulators shouldn͛t fail due to mechanical load or over voltages. The insulators should have sufficient mechanical strength to withstand the maximum wind loading, ice loading, dead load etc. and should not flash over under any conditions of humidity, dirt, salt contaminates etc.,  Material used for Insulators : y Porcelain y Glass  Types of Insulator : y Disc insulator ʹ It is used for transmission lines and in substations for supporting flexible ACSR conductors. Required no. of disc insulator units are assembled together to form a string. Therefore these insulators are also called ͚string insulators͛. The number of units in a string is decided by rated voltage, creepage requirements and insulation levels. For higher mechanical loads, double/triple/quadruple strings are used. The disc insulators are used for two application : --- Suspension String. --- Tension String. AndalSite : Tension String ʹ Double String (2 x 30 nos.) Suspension String- Single string (1 x 30 nos.)

y Solid Core Insulator ʹ Solid core insulators have higher mechanical strength and are used for supporting isolators, bus bar, circuit breaker etc., y Hollow Porcelain ʹ the hollow porcelains are used for chambers of circuit breakers, CTs, CVTs, Bushings, Surge Arrestor. For oil filled and nitrogen filled porcelain housings, internal surfaces are provided with anti-tracking glazed surface like external glazing. For SF6 filled housing special epoxy coating may be considered for internal surfaces.
Surge Arrestor/Lightning Arrestor The surge arrestors are connected between phase and earth on the incoming side of the transmission line. They are also connected between the transformer terminal and earth. The function of surge arrester is to divert the lightning and switching overvoltage surges to earth without causing drop in residual voltage. When the transient over voltage disappears, the normal power frequency voltage and the normal healthy state is reached. A standard lightning impulse wave is 1/50 micro seconds and a standard switching impulse wave is of 250/2500 micro seconds. Surge Arresters have two different types 1. Conventional Gapped Arrester having silicon-carbide resistor discs in series with the spark gaps. 2. Metal Oxide (ZnO) Arrester having zinc-oxide discs and no gaps. Surge Arrester used at AndalSite :Oblum make METOVER, Metal Oxide gapless type. Isolator and Earth Switch Isolators are disconnecting switches which are used for disconnecting of the circuit under no load conditions, that is when no current is flowing through the circuit. An Isolator can be opened only after opening the circuit breaker. An Isolator should be closed before closing the circuit breaker. Circuit Breaker can make or break electric circuit under normal and fault condition. Isolators play an important role in substation maintenance. They are installed in such a way that a part of substation circuit can be isolated from other live parts for the purpose of maintenance. Earth Switch is connected between the line conductor and earth. Normally it is open. When the line is disconnected, the earthing switch is closed so as to discharge the voltage trapped on the line.

Though the line is disconnected, there is some voltage on the line to which the capacitance between line and earth is charged. This voltage is significant in high voltage system. Before proceeding with the maintenance work the voltage is discharged to earth, by closing the earthing switch. Normally the earthing switch is mounted on the frame of an Isolator. To prevent mal operation, the isolator is provided with the following interlocks : y Interlocking with Earth Switch y Interlocking with Circuit Breaker. Isolators cannot be opened unless the circuit breaker is opened. Circuit breaker cannot be closed unless the isolator is closed. Similarly the isolator cannot be closed unless the earth switch is opened. Isolators can be of following type : y Vertical Break Type (pantograph isolator). y Horizontal Centre Break Type. y Horizontal Double Break Type. Isolators used at Andal Site : Horizontal Centre Break Type.

Circuit Breaker Circuit Breakers are switching devices which open during fault conditions and interrupt the short circuit currents automatically within few milliseconds. Basically a circuit breaker comprises a set of fixed and movable contacts. The contacts can be separated by means of an operating mechanism. The separation of current carrying contacts produces an arc. The arc is extinguished by a suitable medium such as dielectric oil, vacuum and SF6 gas. The circuit breakers are classified on the basis of the medium used for arc extinction : y y y y y y y SF6 circuit breaker Air blast circuit breaker Air Break circuit breaker Vacuum circuit breaker Minimum Oil circuit breaker Bulk Oil circuit breaker Miniature circuit breaker

SF6 Circuit Breakers are now used universally for all EHV Applications. Advantages of using SF6Circuit breaker Are : y y y y Very short arcing time. Can interrupt much larger currents. Noiseless operation due to its closed gas circuit. No moisture problem.

y y y

No risk of fire since SF6 gas is non-inflammable. Low maintenance cost. No carbon deposits so that tracking and insulation problems are eliminated.

Current Transforner Current Transformers are used for reducing/stepping down ac current from higher value to lower value for measurement / protection / control. The current transformer is used to measure the very high current passing through the bus. It step downs the current and measurements are taken in the control room the ratings of CT is based on the ampere.These CTs are connected to the control room through cables. Voltage Transformer Voltage transformers are used for measurement and protection. The primary of of voltage transformer is connected directly to power circuit between phase and ground. There are three types of constructions : y Electromagnetic voltage transformer. y Capacitor Voltage Transformer. y Coupling Capacitor Voltage Transformer. CVT consists of the capacitor voltage divider and Electro Magnetic unit. The primary voltage is applied to a series capacitor group. The voltage across one of the capacitor is taken to auxiliary voltage transformer. The secondary of the auxiliary voltage transformer is taken for measurement and protection.

Power and Control Cable The function of power cables in the substation is to transfer power from auxiliary transformer to various auxiliary loads. The power cables are used for various voltage upto 11kV. The power cables are laid on cable racks. The cable racks are supported in the cable trenches. There are several types of power cables depending upon type of insulation and configuration of conductors, shield, insulation ete.,

Control cables are used for protection circuits, communication circuits. They are generally at low voltage such as 220V, 110V, 48V etc. Control cables are wired between the control panels in the control room, and the various equipment in the switchyard. The various measurements, protection, control communication functions are dependent on control cables Control and Relay Panels Control panel mostly consists of meters and protective relays. The meters include ammeter, voltmeter, wattmeter, energy meter etc. The relays include fuse failure relay, auto reclose relay, check synchronizing relay, auxiliary relay and transformer relays like OLTC out of step, winding temperature alarm, oil temperature alarm.

The trip indicators included are CB SF6 gas density low, CB Oil pressure low, VT fuse fail alarm, CB pole discrepancy trip, carrier signal received, back up protection, auto reclose lock out, control DC supply fails, distance protection inoperative, carrier out of service, distance protection trip etc.

Auxiliary Supply and Battery System The auxiliary ac system in a substation supplies to various electrical auxiliaries like lighting system, pumped motors, compressor motors, workshop and other electrical loads. Auxiliary system is at two or three ac voltages such as 415V, 6.6kV, 11kV. The auxiliary ac system comprises the following : y Auxiliary step down transformer y High voltage switchgear y LV switchgear y Power Cables y Auxiliary Distribution Board. The low voltage dc source is essential in a substation for the following purposes : y The protective relaying, relays and trip circuit y Remote position control y Remote indication y Signalling y Operation of some of the operating mechanism of circuit breakers. y Tele metering and communications y Inter-locking of equipments y Emeregency Lighting system The dc for the above purposes is usually supplied at 220V, 110V, 48V. The dc power generally obtained from lead-acid or Nickel-cadmium storage battery and rectifiers. All the dc distribution systems are generally designed with double redundancy to ensure availability and maintainability. Each battery system includes two separate battery banks with chargers. The capacity of battery system is specified in terms of ampere-hours. It is ampere hours which can be obtained from the charged batteries before reaching minimum voltage. Battery Room : The storage batteries are installed in a special room. The battery room should have adequate ventilation and lighting. The floors and walls should have acid resistance tiles. The battery cells are placed on racks.

Protection, Control and Automation in Substation The following functions of protection, control, monitoring and operation are performed by the devices in the control room automatically or semi-automatically : y Control y Monitoring y Protection y SCADA

The relay and control panels are located mainly in the control room of the substation building from where it is possible to supervise and monitor the substation. The control room is located at one end of the substation area. Protective system in a substation comprises the followings : y Protection of high voltage incoming and outgoing lines y Protection of bus bars. y Protection of Power Transformers. The protective relays are mounted on the protection panes housed in the control room. The protective relay coils or measuring circuits are connected to the secondary circuits of current transformers and voltage transformers in the main switchyard. The control cables run between the control room and the switchyard. The abnormal conditions such as short circuits in the protected zone results in increase in current in the primary circuit of the CT. Thereby the secondary current also increases and the actuating current of the relay increases. If the actuating current is above threshold value, the relay acts and trips the circuit breaker.

The primary control in substation is of two categories : y Normal routine operation by operators command y Automatic operation by action of protective relays and control system. The tasks of control system in a substation include data collection, event reporting and recording, voltage control, power control, frequency control etc. The tasks of protective system include sensing abnormal condition, annunciation of abnormal condition , alarm, automatic tripping, back up protection, protective signaling etc. The two systems work in close co-operation. PLCC Each end of the transmission line is provided with identical carrier current equipment. Carrier current in the frequency range of 30 to 500 kHz are used for the communication between the two substations connected by transmission lines. Power line carrier equipment is used for the following applications y Carrier communication y Carrier Protective Relaying.

Substation Equipments A circuit breaker is an automatically- operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit. Its function is to interrupt continuity, to immediately discontinue electrical flow. In 400/220KV substation there is SF6 circuit breaker system The SF6 is an electro-negative gas and has a strong tendency to absorb free electrons. The contacts of the breaker are opened in a high pressure flow of SF6 gas and an arc is struck between them. The conducting free electrons in the arc are rapidly captured by the gas to form relatively immobile negative ions.

Transmission substation
A transmission substation connects two or more transmission lines. The simplest case is where all transmission lines have the same voltage. In such cases, the substation contains high-voltage switches that allow lines to be connected or isolated for maintenance. A transmission station may have transformers to convert between two transmission voltages, or equipment such as phase angle regulators to control power flow between two adjacent power systems. Transmission substations can range from simple to complex. A small "switching station" may be little more than a bus plus some circuit breakers. The largest transmission substations can cover a large area (several acres/hectares) with multiple voltage levels, and a large amount of protection and control equipment (capacitors, relays, switches, breakers, voltage and current transformers). [edit] Distribution substation

A distribution substation in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada disguised as a house, complete with a driveway, front walk and a mown lawn and shrubs in the front yard. A warning notice can be clearly seen on the "front door". A distribution substation transfers power from the transmission system to the distribution system of an area. It is uneconomical to directly connect electricity consumers to the high-voltage main transmission network, unless they use large amounts of energy; so the distribution station reduces voltage to a value suitable for local distribution. The input for a distribution substation is typically at least two transmission or subtransmission lines. Input voltage may be, for example, 115 kV, or whatever is common in the area. The output is a number of feeders. Distribution voltages are typically medium voltage, between 2.4 and 33 kV depending on the size of the area served and the practices of the local utility. The feeders will then run overhead, along streets (or under streets, in a city) and eventually power the distribution transformers at or near the customer premises. Besides changing the voltage, the job of the distribution substation is to isolate faults in either the transmission or distribution systems. Distribution substations may also be the points of voltage regulation, although on long distribution circuits (several km/miles), voltage regulation equipment may also be installed along the line. Complicated distribution substations can be found in the downtown areas of large cities, with high-voltage switching, and switching and backup systems on the low-voltage side. More typical distribution substations have a switch, one transformer, and minimal facilities on the low-voltage side. [edit] Collector substation

In distributed generation projects such as a wind farm, a collector substation may be required. It somewhat resembles a distribution substation although power flow is in the opposite direction, from many wind turbines up into the transmission grid. Usually for economy of construction the collector system operates around 35 kV, and the collector substation steps up voltage to a transmission voltage for the grid. The collector substation also provides power factor correction, metering and control of the wind farm. [edit] Design The main issues facing a power engineer are reliability and cost. A good design attempts to strike a balance between these two, to achieve sufficient reliability without excessive cost. The design should also allow easy expansion of the station, if required. Selection of the location of a substation must consider many factors. Sufficient land area is required for installation of equipment with necessary clearances for electrical safety, and for access to maintain large apparatus such as transformers. Where land is costly, such as in urban areas, gas insulated switchgear may save money overall. The site must have room for expansion due to load growth or planned transmission additions. Environmental effects of the substation must be considered, such as drainage, noise and road traffic effects. Grounding (earthing) and ground potential rise must be calculated to protect passers-by during a short-circuit in the transmission system. And of course, the substation site must be reasonably central to the distribution area to be served. [edit] Layout

TottenhamSubstation, set in wild parkland in North London The first step in planning a substation layout is the preparation of a one-line diagram which shows in simplified form the switching and protection arrangement required, as well as the incoming supply lines and outgoing feeders or transmission lines. It is a usual practice by many electrical utilities to prepare one-line diagrams with principal elements (lines, switches, circuit breakers, transformers) arranged on the page similarly to the way the apparatus would be laid out in the actual station. Incoming lines will almost always have a disconnect switch and a circuit breaker. In some cases, the lines will not have both; with either a switch or a circuit breaker being all that is considered necessary. A disconnect switch is used to provide isolation, since it cannot interrupt load current. A circuit breaker is used as a protection device to interrupt fault currents automatically, and may be used to switch loads on and off. Where a large fault current flows through the circuit breaker this may be detected through the use of current transformers. The magnitude of the current transformer outputs may be used to 'trip' the circuit breaker resulting in a disconnection of the load supplied by the circuit break from the feeding point. This seeks to isolate the fault point from the rest of the system, and allow the rest of the system to continue operating with minimal impact. Both switches and circuit breakers may be operated locally (within the substation) or remotely from a supervisory control center.

Once past the switching components, the lines of a given voltage connect to one or more buses. These are sets of bus bars, usually in multiples of three, since three-phase electrical power distribution is largely universal around the world. The arrangement of switches, circuit breakers and buses used affects the cost and reliability of the substation. For important substations a ring bus, double bus or so-called "breaker and a half" setup can be used, so that the failure of any one circuit breaker does not interrupt power to branch circuits for more than a brief time, and so that parts of the substation may be de-energized for maintenance and repairs. Substations feeding only a single industrial load may have minimal switching provisions, especially for small installations. Once having established buses for the various voltage levels, transformers may be connected between the voltage levels. These will again have a circuit breaker, much like transmission lines, in case a transformer has a fault (commonly called a 'short circuit'). Along with this, a substation always has control circuitry needed to command the various breakers to open in case of the failure of some component. [edit] Switching function An important function performed by a substation is switching, which is the connecting and disconnecting of transmission lines or other components to and from the system. Switching events may be "planned" or "unplanned". A transmission line or other component may need to be deenergized for maintenance or for new construction; for example, adding or removing a transmission line or a transformer. To maintain reliability of supply, no company ever brings down its whole system for maintenance. All work to be performed, from routine testing to adding entirely new substations, must be done while keeping the whole system running. Perhaps more importantly, a fault may develop in a transmission line or any other component. Some examples of this: a line is hit by lightning and develops an arc, or a tower is blown down by a high wind. The function of the substation is to isolate the faulted portion of the system in the shortest possible time. There are two main reasons: a fault tends to cause equipment damage; and it tends to destabilize the whole system. For example, a transmission line left in a faulted condition will eventually burn down, and similarly, a transformer left in a faulted condition will eventually blow up. While these are happening, the power drain makes the system more unstable. Disconnecting the faulted component, quickly, tends to minimize both of these problems. [edit] Railways Electrified railways also use substations which may also include rectifier equipment to change alternating current from the utility power distribution network to direct current for use by traction motors.

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