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04/12/2011

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SHORT CIRCUIT PHENOMENON IN TRANSFORMERS.

WHAT IS A SHORT CIRCUIT IN A TRANSFORMER?

During the service of a transformer if secondary line to line or line to ground terminals or overhead lines come into contact accidentally by means of strong winds, tree branches, reptiles, birds or by any other means, very high currents will flow due to low resistance paths. Connected distribution transformers will have to feed these fault currents.

2 of part-I. clause . Mechanical or dynamic effects are the critical ones.O explains how thermal calculations can be made. manufacturing and quality control stages. Thermal and mechanical. This type test is critical and destructive if proper care is not taken in design. 5. IS 2026-1977.9. Evan though some calculation methods are available the same has not been mentioned in any international standards unlike that of thermal. 4. Thermal effects cause excessive heat generation which can be easily calculated and proper care can be taken before commencement of design work by selecting proper current density. Basically there are two effects of a short circuit. PART-I.WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF SHORT CIRCUIT ON A TRANSFORMER? 1. 3.1977 recommends for demonstrating the capability by conducting type tests. Customers specifications and even IS 2026 vide clause 9. material selection. . 2.

HOW SHORT CIRCUIT FORCES ARE GENERATED IN A TRANSFORMER? 1. depending on the transformer rating and impedance. are directly proportional to square of the current. 4. These forces which are also termed as electromagnetic forces. Any current carrying conductor in a magnetic field experiences forces as already known. 3. Since forces are proportional to square of the currents large forces of the order of 144 times to 1600 times will be generated. . RMS currents of the order of 12 to 40 times will flow in a distribution transformer. During short circuits as mentioned above. 2.

lead connections.5. During type tests impulse short circuit current which is much higher than RMS value is passed. .5 times the RMS value of current. These kind of forces will cause dislocation of the windings. 6. tap changers etc. if proper considerations are not taken. Consequently this will further generate enormous forces due to about 2. and many times even create enough pressure to explode the tank and create fire hazards.

3.Two types of forces are generated. . Axial forces are generated due to the radial component of the magnetic flux i. Radial forces will have the tendency to push the inner winding on the core and burst out the outer winding. a) Axial b) Radial 2. leakage flux in the region between LV & HV windings and radial forces are generated due to the axial component of the leakage flux.WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FORCES OCCURING IN SUCH CASES? 1. In other words there is a force of repulsion between the windings.e.

1 .LV HV Radial forces Core Fig.

4. Axial forces are caused by interaction of current with radial component of the leakage flux.2 . LV HV Main compressive forces Core Fig. Due to this a force of attraction occurs between adjascent turns and hence the entire winding is subjected to a compressive force.

3 Centre line of HV HV . The effect of this force is to create further asymmetry Centre line of LV LV Core Fig. a) Force due to axial displacement of one of the windings.5. Fabricational asymmetry can take place during manufacturing and even minute displacement will give raise to large forces. This means that if the electrical centers are not coinciding additional forces are arising.In case of axial forces additional forces occur due to the following aspects.

Thus as in earlier case the tendency is to create further difference in heights. LV HV Core Fig. additional forces are generated. This force tends to compress the shorter winding and tends to stretch the longer winding.4 . If electrical height of one of the windings is shorter. Force due to symmetrical shortening of one the windings.b.

This force will be acting as a tensile force in the winding with tapping gap and as a compressive force in the other winding as can be seen clearly in fig. LV HV Core Fig.c) Force due to tapping gap in one of the windings. This will create additional forces due to the absence of the ampere turns in this region.5.5 . Generally all transformers will be provided with tapping arrangement for adjustment towards supply variation.

will be inbuilt in many cases regarding short circuit capability. Further. 1. specially in small range of transformers. It may not be always economical to design only for above conditions since many times we are working for optimization with capitalization rates. From the basic short circuit force calculations it can be deduced that Axial compressive forces are directly proportional to the square of number of turns.DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR A SHORT CIRCUIT PROOF TRANSFORMER. factor of safety. . directly proportional to winding diameters and inversely proportional to square of axial height of coils. 2.

This will avoid additional axial forces as already mentioned above. However in critical cases it is an improvement to maintain same electrical heights to the mm and this practice is being followed now in our company. In distribution transformers due to the difference in HV and LV voltages and corresponding end insulation. At the design stage it is very essential to maintain the centers of both windings at same level to the mm. there exists a difference in electrical heights. This is normally permissible up to 5%. Hence in critical cases it is advised to work out axial forces as above where there is every chance that the best short circuit proof design may not be optimum with respect to loss parameters. 4. 5. .3.

This will reduce the additional forces due to tapping gap to about 1/4th of that due to single gap. b) . Additional forces due to the ampere turn imbalance due to tapping gaps can be minimized by following methods. Ref fig 6. In case of medium sized distribution and small power transformers it is better to provide tappings in two groups at about 1/4th to 1/3rd distance from top and bottom to get better ampere turn balance. a) By providing tappings in the middle of winding. But in multilayer helical designs tappings are provided in last layers for convenience though in amorphous core designs tappings are being arranged in the middle layers in our company.6. This is practicable in case of cross over coil and continuous disc winding designs.

Following diagrams in fig.LV Core HV Fig.6 C) Providing a compensating gap of about 50% of tapping gap exactly opposite to the tapping gap will further improve ampere turn balance.7(extract from J&P hand book) shows ampere turn diagrams in different cases as discussed above. .

Fig.7 .

8. Tie rods and core clamps are to be of adequate cross section and section modulus to withstand predetermined forces and bending moments. number of spacers are to be matched for the required span of unsupported conductor 10. For proper pressing and clamping of windings perma wood coil pressing rings of adequate thickness are provided in case of transformers generally above 500 KVA ratings. In case of power transformers with continuous disc winding. Hence. Against radial forces. (ref fig 8 extract from BHEL book on power transformers) . 9.7. failure can take place due to bending of conductors between spacers. adequate number of supports are to be provided between LV and core to prevent collapse of LV against core or buckling of LV winding.

Fig.8 .

2. Core bolts and tie rods are to be fully tightened in order to properly secure the windings.PRECAUTIONS FOR MANUFACTURING SHORT CIRCUIT PROOF TRANSFORMERS. This is similar to the pre-stressed concrete principle. All the three limbs are to be of exactly equal height so that equal pressing is obtained for all the three limbs. 1. Coils are to be thoroughly dried and pre-compressed for design dimension. 3. As already emphasized electrical centers are to be exactly matched. 5. During assembly of core and coils care should be taken to maintain the end insulations as per design information. 4. HV & LV coils are to be wound tight under full tension to meet dimensions as per design requirement. .

9.6. bolted or brazed as applicable so that the joints will not give way due to pulling forces during the short circuit. 8. Tanks are to be of adequate strength to withstand abnormal pressure created during short circuits. . welding to be perfect and adequate stiffeners are to provided depending on the rating of transformer. 7. All the leads are to be properly crimped. Long lengths of unsupported leads are to be properly secured by providing wooden cleat supports. CCA¶s are to be properly secured to the tanks by the manufacturers standard practice. To meet this sheet thicknesses are to be appropriate.

. Die-electric tests.Power frequency voltage & induced over voltage tests .METHOD OF CONDUCTING DYNAMIC SHORT CIRCUIT TEST Brief steps followed as per IS 2026 are listed below. Measurement of insulation resistance. a) b) c) d) e) f) Measurement of winding resistance. Measurement of impedance voltage/ short circuit impedance and load losses Measurement of no load loss and current. First following routine tests as per IS 2026 are conducted. 1.. Measurement of voltage ratio.

3. There are two methods of conducting the test.1 of IS 2026. . Distribution transformers up to 3150 KVA will fall in category 1 of transformers to be tested as per clause 8. Hence system impedance is not considered for above purpose. Than the transformer will be subjected to actual shots after preliminary calibration shots.2. For higher ratings system impedance us to added to the transformer impedance for short circuit current calculations.1. a) Pre-set method where one of the winding terminals will be shorted before applying the voltage. Peak value of short circuit current will be calculated. b) Post-set method where the terminals will be shorted after applying the voltage.

three in nominal switch position on the middle limb and three in lowest tap position on the other outer limb.set method will be followed by CPRI. If the transformer is having taps number of shots will be three on each limb that is three in highest tap position on one of the outer limbs.Normally for distribution transformers Pre. . In this case in order to avoid core saturation supply will be connected to the winding farther from the core which will be generally HV. If the same is above 2. For rectangular coils with impedance of about this reference value is 7. 5.5 seconds.0% of the initial value in case of concentric circular coils. 4.0% it is an indication of major dislocation of CCA and hence test is not advisable to be continued.5%. Switching on will be controlled to get maximum asymmetry of the current by closing the breakers at instantaneous zero voltage. Duration of the shot will be 0. After each test reactance measurement is made and tests will be continued only if the variation is within 2. LV terminals will be shorted.

6. 7. After the tests routine tests as per item 1 above will be repeated and compared with the initial values. . After routine tests transformer will be opened and physical inspection of CCA is made. CPRI records the observation and does not declare categorically that the transformer has passed the test.

3 PGCIL 400 kVA through SPIC 1.0% impedance LV winding Radial forces on LV high LV number of supports increased and LV hard drawn conductor with higher tensile strength used. .0% to to 4. Impedance value was raised from 4. Electrical heights were exactly maintained 3. After 7th shot Core channels and tie rods were found bent 2.0% impedance Nature of failure HV winding collapse Probable reasons High axial forces Modification for successful testing From single group tap arrangement to double group tap arrangement.5% after taking customer approval. 2. LV winding dislocated & end insulation damaged High axial forces at lowest tap Insufficient strength of clamping structure 1. 2 EVL 10 MVA Bangladesh 6. Higher size core clamp channel was used 5. As a precautionary measure HV round wire was replaced by strip conductor.VEL¶s RECENT EXPERIENCE S.No Transformer details 1 EVL 5 MVA Bangladesh 6. Common permawood ring was used for LV & HV 6. LV conductor transposition was removed 4.

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