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Percentage Impedance (Z%

)
The impedance of a transformer is marked on most nameplates - but what is it and what
does the Z% figure mean?
Definition
The percentage impedance of a transformer is the volt drop on full load due to the winding
resistance and leakage reactance expressed as a percentage of the rated voltage.
It is also the percentage of the normal terminal voltage required to circulate full-load current
under short circuit conditions
Measuring Impedance
The impedance is measured by means of a short circuit test. With one winding shorted, a
voltage at the rated frequency is applied to the other winding sufficient to circulate full load
current - see below:

The percentage impedance can then be calculated as follows:

Z% = Impedance Voltage x 100
Rated Voltage

Changing the Impedance Value
The most economical arrangement of core and windings leads to a 'natural' value of
impedance determined by the leakage flux. The leakage flux is a function of winding ampere
turns and the area and length of the leakage flux path. These can be varied at the design
stage by changing the volts per turn and the geometric relationship of the windings.
The Effect of Higher and Lower Impedances
The impedance of a transformer has a major effect on system fault levels. It determines the
maximum value of current that will flow under fault conditions.
It is easy to calculate the maximum current that a transformer can deliver under symmetrical
fault conditions. By way of example, consider a 2 MVA transformer with an impedance of
5%. The maximum fault level available on the secondary side is:
2 MVA x 100/5 = 40 MVA
and from this figure the equivalent primary and secondary fault currents can be calculated.
A transformer with a lower impedance will lead to a higher fault level (and vice versa)
The figure calculated above is a maximum. In practice, the actual fault level will be reduced
by the source impedance, the impedance of cables and overhead lines between the
transformer and the fault, and the fault impedance itself.

phase-phase etc) lead to more complex calculations requiring the application symmetrical component theory. Z2 and Z0 respectively). Generally. Non-symmetrical faults (phaseearth.As well as fault level considerations. zero sequence current requires a delta winding. or a star connection with the star point earthed. End . Any impedance in the connection between the star point and earth increases the overall zero sequence impedance. This has the effect of reducing the zero sequence current and is a feature that is frequently put to practical use in a distribution network to control the magnitude of current that will flow under earth fault conditions. negative and zero sequence impedances (Z1. However. the positive and negative sequence impedances (Z 1 and Z2) of a transformer are identical.known as 'regulation' affects load sharing when two or more transformers operate in parallel Sequence Impedance (Z1 Z2 Z0) The calculation above deals with a balanced 3-phase fault. the zero sequence impedance is dependent upon the path available for the flow of zero sequence current and the balancing ampere turns available within the transformer. the impedance value also: determines the volt drop that occurs under load . This in turn involves the use of positive. As with all passive plant.