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Isolators It is a mechanical switching device capable of opening and closing a circuit when a negligible current is broken or made or when no significant voltage difference across the terminals of each pole exists 2/1/2011 4 .
Isolators to facilitate maintenance work when the circuit is dead Operates Act as a disconnecting link capable of carrying only the rated current of the switchgear 2/1/2011 5 .
Connected one to each side of a circuit breaker Interlocks are provided to prevent opening of the isolators when the breaker is closed Lines or cables are earthed through the isolator installed on one side. by fitting an earthing switch to it 2/1/2011 6 .
Isolator has two positions . OFF and EARTH A three-phase isolator has three similar units each of which is supported on a steel framework 2/1/2011 7 .ON and OFF The line side isolator fitted with an earthing switch has three positions .ON.
Each unit comprises two or three insulator pillars depending on the type of isolator Fixed contacts mounted on insulator pillars and moving contacts attached to a blade which is also mounted on an insulator pillar 2/1/2011 8 .
links and horizontal rods 2/1/2011 9 . The simultaneous making and breaking of contacts of all the three phases are achieved by an operating mechanism Operating mechanism is coupled to the switch by a vertical shaft which provides the necessary rotational movement to the blade through built-in bearings.
the isolator is operated, a toggle action results and it gets self-locked in position when either fully open or closed Isolator fitted with arcing horns, called quick-break, makes suitable for low current switching duties The basic specification for isolators and earthing switches is BS5253
controlling transformers or feeders should be capable of breaking their magnetising or charging current and hence should have arcing horns Copper or copper clad horns should generally be used for switches Brass or GI rods may be used for horns when copper is not readily available
Selection of arcing horns
voltage(kV) Size of copper Nearest size of rod (SWG) brass or GI rods(mm) 2/0 9.52 0 1 2 2 7.94 6.35 6.35 6.35
110 66 33 22 11
per ampere of capacity and this may be used as a general guide in the design of switches 2/1/2011 13 . High pressure contact switches for outdoor service are generally with a contact pressure of ½ lb.
1250A. 3150A. 2500A. 800A. 5000A 2/1/2011 14 . 630A. 2000A. 4000A. 1600A. 400A. The rated normal current of an isolator or earthing switch is selected from the following standard values: 200A.
06 when breaking a capacitor or unloaded cable K = 0.Breaking capacity Breaking current in amperes I = KL/E where K= 0.40 when breaking load current 15 2/1/2011 .15 when breaking an unloaded transmission line K = 0.20 when breaking an unloaded transformer K = 0.
L = Centre to centre phase distance in mm. not exceeding four times the flashover distance across an open pole E = Breaking voltage in kVrms 2/1/2011 16 .
Two classes of Isolators
class and Station class Distribution isolators provide single phase or three phase sectionalizing Link switches Rocking type isolators are generally used in distribution systems
Classes of Isolators
Single break isolators and centre-rotating double break isolators are also in use Gang operated isolators are preferred for distribution systems
Distribution class Isolators
Distribution class Isolators 2/1/2011 20 .
Isolators For sub-stations up to 110kV mechanically linked gang operated isolators are used For voltages 220 kV and above single phase isolators are either mechanically. electrically or pneumatically coupled for three phase operation 2/1/2011 21 .
Station class Isolators Horizontal breaks and vertical breaks are available Centre-break type and centre rotating double break type are the normal horizontal type isolators Vertical opening single break isolators and pantograph type isolators are the general vertical models 2/1/2011 22 .
Types of isolators Rocking or Vertical break type break type Horizontal 2/1/2011 23 .
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design difficulties are experienced due to the inertia of the moving parts 2/1/2011 27 .Vertical break type Advantage of closer spacing between poles Arcing horns are provided and arc runs vertically up the arcing horns while opening the isolator This is employed up to 33 kV but at higher voltages.
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Horizontal break type The blade rotates in the same plane as the centre-post insulator to give two breaks in series Manufactured in two varieties-two post and three post 2/1/2011 30 .
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Horizontal break type Two post is economical but requires a more rigid base structure to avoid undue deflection of the insulator supporting steel framework under load 2/1/2011 32 .
The two insulator pillars of each phase assembly carry a half-length of blade and both pillars are provided with built-in bearings on the supporting frame Each insulator pillar along with half-length of the blade rotates through 90 deg in the opposite direction 2/1/2011 33 .
If the insulator is installed on the line side and line earthing is required. a special part is built on to the framework of each phase to support the driving shaft of the moving contact arm of the earthswitch The other contact is fitted to one of the half-blades of the isolator 2/1/2011 34 .
The operating mechanism is fitted under one phase of the isolator similar to that of the isolator proper coupling links between the vertical driving and horizontal transmission shaft are located in the framework The 2/1/2011 35 .
the contact rods lie up against the framework and the advantage is that they do not take any extra space in the installation 2/1/2011 36 . When the switch is not earthed.
When number of isolators are on the same line. the adjacent arms rotate in different directions direction of opening is altered just by coupling the operating mechanisms differently The 2/1/2011 37 .
The continuously increasing service voltage and system currents have resulted in more stringent requirements on isolator Two column rotary isolators are now available with rated service voltage in the range 123 to 420 kV with rated normal current of 2500 to 4000 ampere 2/1/2011 38 .
Centre-break type Isolator 2/1/2011 39 .
In these isolators. the contact design is improved in respect of robustness so that the contacts do not separate even during short periods of the passage of short-circuit current 2/1/2011 40 .
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and Tapered-roller contacts with the 4000 ampere version 2. Here the current transfer takes place via Tulip-type contact fingers arranged around two copper bolts with the 2500 ampere version. 2/1/2011 42 .1.
in the case of short-circuit currents prevents the two halves from separating in longitudinal direction 2/1/2011 43 . The current path consists of a welded aluminium structure and is equipped with a catch-hook which.
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Single column pantograph isolators A new development in two-post isolator was introduced in the late seventies to meet the challenges of extra-high voltage and currents in the range 170 to 765 kV and 2500 to 4000 A 2/1/2011 47 .
Pantograph Type Isolator 2/1/2011 48 .
suitable for outdoor installations with conductors arranged at two different levels. one above the other. requiring only a minimal ground space The three single poles necessarily need not to be in line as with the rotating pole type Each isolator pole is equipped with an earthing switch for earthing and shortcircuiting disconnected plant sections 2/1/2011 49 .
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This is somewhat costlier but has several noteworthy advantages: Switching position is clearly recognizable from a large distance The catching range is wide Adjustment is easy because of stud-bolt arrangement Down-dropper connections are eliminated Foundations and supports are lighter and cheaper 2/1/2011 52 .
Suspended contact could be arranged either transverse or parallel to the conductor Maintenance is almost nil because of welded pantograph construction Due to dead centre interlock positive switching position is ensured 2/1/2011 53 .
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the earthing contact also is attached to the top intermediate piece 2/1/2011 55 .Construction The top intermediate piece arranged between the support insulator and the gear box with the pantograph serves as the mounting point for the bottom conductor Where earthing switches are required.
flat terminals are provided on all the four sides 2/1/2011 56 . Pantograph is of welded aluminium construction Together with the cast aluminium gear box. forms a mechanical unit to ensure protection against atmospheric influences To make universal connection possible.
when the pantograph is in closed position. Damper mounted between the pantograph joints dampens the vibrations in the pantograph caused by the short-circuit current The suspended contact situated above the isolator on the overhead line is grasped. with a high pressure. by a scissor action 2/1/2011 57 .
1 mm silver-plated copper strips instead of multi-stranded conductors which are prone to corrosion due to their larger surface area 2/1/2011 58 . Current is transferred in pantograph joints and the gear box by way of flexible connections consisting of multilayered 0.
Corona protection fittings attached to the pantograph arms serves as a catching device in case of vertical movement of the suspended contact To prevent any accidental tendency for the pantograph isolators to open. the mechanism moves to a position beyond the dead centre of the linkage travel 2/1/2011 59 .
Two-post isolators in EHV ranges not favoured in our country but installed in one or two cases 2/1/2011 60 .
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a blade with moving contacts is mounted which rotates through 90 degrees on its own axis during connection or isolation 2/1/2011 63 . Centre Pillar Rotating Type ThreeIsolators Most popular Each phase has three insulator posts The outer ones carry the fixed contacts as well as the connections On the centre-post.Three-Post.
The centre post moves through 70 deg The last 20 deg is used to move the contacts at the end of the arm on their own axis Turn until the maximum dimension of moving contacts engages with the fixed contacts to give the required pressure 2/1/2011 64 .
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Principle of free entry To allow a very high contact pressure to be used without the necessity of having a powerful operating mechanism Disadvantage in extreme cold climate due to the formation of ice 2/1/2011 66 .
The centre-rotating post horizontalbreak type isolator requires greater phase centres between units as compared to the vertical-break type For installing in areas subject to snowstorms during winter. some form of ice-breaking contact should be provided 2/1/2011 67 .
In one design. a hinged tip at the end of the blade gives a toggle action to break the ice on opening 2/1/2011 68 . a mechanical means to partly rotate the blade to break the ice before it is withdrawn from the contact In another design.
if needed. to interrupt the capacitive current of the associated busbars and connections of larger switching stations 2/1/2011 69 .Metal enclosed type Usually consists of a pair of contacts mounted in a gas-filled enclosure and operate as plain break device May incorporate a quick break auxiliary contact.
due to repetitive prestriking or restriking 2/1/2011 70 . high frequency transient voltages may arise. typically of frequencies around 2 to 3 MHz. When an isolator operates under these conditions.
Earthing Switch It is a mechanical switching device for earthing a part of the circuit and capable of withstanding short circuit current for a specified time 2/1/2011 71 .
semi-pantographic design is used. the advantages being -Easy to operate due to light weight -Counter-balancing problems are obviated 2/1/2011 72 .Earthing switches Earthing switches are of the straight swinging arm type Above 220 kV.
The three phases of 400 kV earthing switch are mechanically coupled Manually operated by a horizontal wheel A half blade design is adopted to accommodate electrical clearance 2/1/2011 73 .
its only duty is to close on to a dead circuit and the circuit will be earthed through the circuit breaker 2/1/2011 74 .Earth switch In open terminal substation. an earth switch may be a free-standing independent device or part of an isolator In metal enclosed switchgear. the earth switch may be one of the three types If it is a maintenance earth switch.
it must close at high speed against the rated fault current 2/1/2011 75 . it must close at high speed to minimize arcing If used to short-circuit a fault in the event of an internal flashover.Earth switch If used to discharge high values of capacitance.
It is standard practice in the CEGB always to earth through a circuit breaker The principal disadvantage of the other types being the danger of inadvertently tripping the switch on to a live system and losing all or part of a busbar 2/1/2011 76 .
power-operated speeds for 220 kV ± 3 secs and 400 kV ± 20 secs Operation 2/1/2011 77 . Up At to 132 kV.manually operated 220 and 400 kV.
Interlocks To ensure safety of equipment and operating personnel To prevent unauthorized or inadvertent operation of equipment 2/1/2011 78 .
Types of interlocks Mechanical Key Electrical 2/1/2011 79 .
operated by inserting the correct key ± maintenance purpose Electrical-operational purpose 2/1/2011 80 . Mechanical .when the operating mechanisms are closed togethermaintenance purpose Key .
electrical interlock is for switching operations such as onload busbar changeover and key interlock is for maintenance purposes such as circuit isolation and earthing 2/1/2011 81 . Key type ± used between circuit breakers and isolators For 132 and 220 kV.
Electrical with motor mechanism 2.Operating Mechanism of Isolators The operating mechanism of isolators is generally manual plus one of the following 1. Pneumatic mechanism 2/1/2011 82 .
Operating Mechanism of Isolators Manual operation alone will be provided. when the operation is infrequent and in minor substations Power operation is used when the isolator is to be opened or closed from remote control rooms and the operation frequency is more 2/1/2011 83 .
Motor operated isolators In motor operated isolators suitable gears are used to reduce the speed of closing and opening of the switches In the pneumatic mechanism. compressed air provides reciprocating motion which is converted to rotary motion by rack and pinion gearing 2/1/2011 84 .
Inter locking and Isolator operations The following inter lockings are generally provided as applicable to the station bus bar arrangement (i)The bus isolating switch in a double bus arrangement can be opened only if both the circuit breaker and the other bus isolator of the circuit are open 2/1/2011 85 .
and this interlocking is provided by mechanical linkage 2/1/2011 86 ..earthing switch device.Interlocking (iii) In a combined isolator .e. at any time one of the above shall be open. main isolator or earthing switch of a line can be operated only alternatively (iv) i.
only if the buses are coupled (v)Bus coupler isolators can be opened.Interlocking (iv)In a double bus arrangement. the other bus isolator can be closed. if one bus isolator is closed. only if the bus coupling circuit breaker is open 2/1/2011 87 .
when in the fully open position. is at least 10 % in excess of the dry arcing distance at power frequency over the insulators 2/1/2011 88 .Dimensions The length of break of isolators.
Length of break Minimum metal-to-metal distances(mm/in) Minimum centerline-tocentreline spacings of insulator(mm/in) Singlebreak 1070(42) 1520(60) 1830(72) 2440(96) 2900(114) Doublebreak 762(30) 1070(42) 1220(48) 1730(68) 1900(75) 89 Nominal voltage rating kV No of insulator units Singlebreak 66 110 132 220 2 3 4 5 6 2/1/2011 Doublebreak 559(22) 813(32) 965(38) 1270(50) 1450(57) 813(32) 1270(50) 1520(60) 2130(84) 2640(104) .
of insulator units 2 3 4 5 6 Minimum spacing for insulators (mm/in) Vertical break type 1520(60) 2130(84) 2440(96) 3350(132) 3960(156) Horizontal break type 1830(72) 2740(108) 3350(132) 4870(192) 5500(216) Horn-gap type 2130(84) 3050(120) 3660(144) 4870(192) 5500(216) 66 110 132 220 2/1/2011 90 .Nominal voltage rating kV No.
Basic impulse level The selection of insulation levels for airbreak isolators and bus supports is a function of -the degree of surge arrestor protection -the insulation level of associated equipment such as circuit-breakers and transformers -the degree of atmospheric contamination to be encountered. and -the amount of maintenance(insulator cleaning) anticipated 91 2/1/2011 .
Isolators are selected generally on the basis of impulse withstand voltage rather than nominal voltage rating BIL should be equal to that of the associated circuit-breakers and transformers 2/1/2011 92 .
Testing standards Short-circuit tests are made to ensure that the isolator is capable of carrying its rated peak current and short time current Isolators are rated in rms amperes based on a maximum temperature rise of 45 deg C above an ambient temperature of 40 deg C and the temperature rise shall not exceed this limit 2/1/2011 93 .
at least 1.2 metre (4 ft) long is connected to each terminal and the ends into the test circuit 2/1/2011 94 . The isolator is located in a closed room and tested in a horizontal position A conductor.
tubing 175 * 8 (7 * 5/16) sq.The sizes of conductors used for tests for different current ratings Continuous current Conductor size. tubing 152 * 6 (6 * ¼) sq. tubing 100 *10 (4 * 3/8) sq. tubing95 5000 . copper rating (amps) equipment of mm (in) 400 600 1200 1600 2000 3000 4000 2/1/2011 18 (3/4) 25 (1) 50 (2) 62 (2 ½) 75 * 6 (3 * ¼) sq.
Dielectric tests If a disruptive discharge does not occur during any of the three consecutive impulses when making the impulse test. the switch is considered to have met the test If two of the three applied impulse waves cause disruptive discharges. the switch fails the test 2/1/2011 96 .
the switch is considered to have met the test 2/1/2011 97 . If only one of the three applied impulses causes disruptive discharge. three additional impulses are applied If disruptive discharge does not occur on any of the three additional impulses.
The switch shall also withstand between live parts a test voltage which is 10 % in excess of the corresponding test voltage specified in table given 2/1/2011 98 .
2 * 50 microsec kV crest 350 550 650 900 1050 99 66 110 132 220 2 3 4 5 6 2/1/2011 .Nominal voltage rating (kV) Number of insulator units Withstand Test voltage kV 60 hz kV rms Dry (1 minute) 175 280 335 465 545 Wet (10 secs) 145 230 275 385 455 Impulse 1.
Ice testing This test is stipulated for sites experiencing severe cold and snow storms Difficulty in switch operation is encountered with light coatings of ice formed at above ±10 deg C (15 deg F) 2/1/2011 100 .
7 and ±3 deg C 2/1/2011 101 .8 deg C The temperature is further lowered down to between ±6.Procedure The room temperature is lowered down to around 2 deg C Water is sprayed for a minimum period of one hour. maintaining the room temperature between 0.5 and 2.
mounted in a horizontal position near the isolator under test The spray is then discontinued but room temperature is maintained between ±6.7 and ±3 deg C for about 2 to 6 hours to equalize all parts of the switch to constant temperature 2/1/2011 102 . Water spraying is continued until 18 mm thick ice is formed on the top surface of the test bar (25 mm * 600 mm long).
The isolator is considered to have met the test. if it can be manually operated by a single operator without any damage either to it or operating mechanism 2/1/2011 103 .
Maintenance of Isolators Periodically the isolators and earthing switches shall be inspected and maintenance done The main rotating bearings shall be greased with grease gun through the nipples provided 2/1/2011 104 .
terminal connections of wires tightened and fuse carriers checked 105 .Other moving parts in the tandem pipes 2/1/2011 Maintenance of Isolators and linkages shall be externally greased The main contacts shall be thoroughly cleaned and white petroleum jelly applied The auxiliary box shall be cleaned with a blower.
Maintenance of Isolators The terminal connections from the main contacts shall be tightened wherever necessary The flexible earth connection from the operating handle shall be checked and connection ensured 2/1/2011 106 .
Maintenance of Isolators Yard metalling for the desired thickness shall be invariably maintained at the places from where personnel operate the handles of main isolator and earthing switch 2/1/2011 107 .
BIS Specifications 9921(P1 to 5).Alternating current isolators and earthing switches for voltages above 1000 V 2/1/2011 108 .
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