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2015 Texas A&M Relay Conference March 31, 2015

Detecting Open Phase Conductors


Bob Wilson ABB Inc.
Slide 1

Effects of Open Phase Conductors


Moderate to Severe Neutral Current

Slide 2

All three sequence networks are involved

Creates a phase imbalance resulting in


moderate to heavy neutral current in grounded
wye systems

Effects of Open Phase Conductors


Unbalanced Currents and Voltages

Slide 3

Imbalance in loads results in downstream


imbalanced voltage

Imbalanced voltages cause excessive heating


in three phase motors and transformers

Open Phase Conductors


Conventional Protection is Largely Ineffective

Ia + Ib + Ic = 3Io

Slide 4

Ground protection is based on 3Io magnitude

Ground protection must not trip for worst-case


natural load unbalance, usually under peak
load conditions

Ground pickup settings may be only slightly


less than phase pickup settings.

Complete loss of one phase may be


undetectable except at full load conditions

Open Phase Conductors


Worst Heavy Load Unbalance Dictates Ground Pickup

Heavy Load Assumptions (50% unbalance)

Ia = 250 0

240
Ic = 500 120
Ib = 500
Ia + Ib + Ic = 3Io

0
I0 = 83.33 180
I2 = 83.33 180
I1= 416.67

3I0 = 250A

Neutral current pickup must be above 250A in this example

Slide 5

Open Phase Conductors


Conventional Ground Protection is Largely Ineffective

Light Load Assumptions (100% unbalance)

Ia = 0 0

240
Ic = 200 120
Ib = 200
Ia + Ib + Ic = 3Io

180
I0 = 66.67 180
I2= 66.67 180
I1 = 133.33

3I0 = 200A

A complete loss of one phase under light-to-medium load conditions does not
produce enough zero sequence current to detect an open conductor condition

Slide 6

Open Phase Conductors


Negative Sequence also Ineffective

Light Load Assumptions (100% unbalance)

Ia = 0 0

240
Ic = 200 120
Ib = 200
Ia + Ib + Ic = 3Io

180
I0 = 66.67 180
I2 = 66.67 180
I1 = 133.33

In a grounded wye system, the negative sequence current is no larger than


the zero sequence current

Slide 7

Open Phase Conductors


46PD Phase Discontinuity Protection
Heavy Load Conditions

46PD is based on I2/I1 ratio

50% Unbalance
3I0 = 250A
= 0.20

Slide 8

Open Phase Conductors


46PD Phase Discontinuity Protection
Light Load Conditions

The 46PD responds to


percentage unbalance
and therefore provides
improved sensitivity
under less than maximum
load conditions.

Slide 9

Open Phase Conductors


Conclusions

Slide 10

Detection of open phase conductors is a challenge

Zero sequence and negative sequence elements are mostly ineffective

46PD (percentage unbalance) offers additional sensitivity when load levels


decrease

Even 46PD cannot detect all open phase events

Open Phase Conductors

Questions?

Slide 11